Your guess is as good as mine, but I think it might be a mistake to move away from the Hornby-compatible code 100 series track systems for general HO/OO use. I can see some sense in producing a fine scale OO track but whether the British market alone is big enough to support this is questionable. You only need to check out the price of some of their minority trackage systems to see how costly such a range might be.
That would equate to a narrow gauge track for 4mm scale, what would the point be, the 'Streamline' track system might not have the correct sleeper spacing or length but it / looks / in proportion - correct sleeper spacing looks wrong in OO gauge IMO.
-- Jerry. Location - United Kingdom. In the first instance please reply to group, The quoted email address is a trash can for Spam only.
Unlikely since that market is pretty well covered already by C&L and Scaleway.
For anyone with an eye for proportion '00' looks wrong, period. But track of the correct gauge for the scale is readily available from Exactoscale, C&L, Scaleway and can even be built from 'Peco Individualay' components so we are all pretty well catered for. Keith
Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
The shuffling Shambling Zombiefied corpse of estarriol
I have to say it would be nice to have correct scale sleeper spacings in a ready to run set of points etc. I have been looking at finescale track and the idea of having to construct 8 or 9 points is not an incentive, not with having to re-wheel locos and stock etc.
But unless the mass market (ie. those who just want to lay some track and get running or those who aren't worried about the wrong sleeper spacing) decided to buy RTR 'correctly built' turnouts the price would not be much less than the above I suspect.
Dick Ganderton" wrote... "You certainly don't need to buy kits for turnouts - just the rail, sleepers and chairs. Certainly a lot less than 22GBP more than likely a lot less than 7GB that you would pay for 'toy' turnouts."
A while ago I worked out how much a typical turnout cost in materials using ply sleepers and C&L parts etc, and guess what? It was around 6-7 quid. I just saw the C&L turnout kits at the Thornbury show, and I think for your 22 quid you get a Vee and planed switch rails, so a lot of the hard work is already done for you, but surely the making is half the fun!!
The shuffling Shambling Zombiefied corpse of estarriol
You certainly don't need to buy kits for turnouts - just the rail, sleepers and chairs. Certainly a lot less than 22GBP more than likely a lot less than 7GB that you would pay for 'toy' turnouts.
True, but you then need to build them from scratch, I am trying to balance the skills needed against time/cost/ease. I agree the finescale looks considerably better and if I could buy them rtr I would certainly go this route, but at the moment the investment of time and skill to make them from scratch and the cost of the point kits are both beyond my budget. Its all a trade off at the moment.
Okay, me stupid- sorry for what is written below!! Hope some kind soul can help!
Just how difficult are these kits? (I have no prior experience in track construction at all and my soldering skills are particularly poor.) Are the different manufacturer's standards compatible? (e.g. can I mix and match Exactoscale with C&L ?, etc.) How difficult are locos. and stock to convert to P4 these days? (Diesel- era in particular.) Does RTR stock have to be compensated? (I don't really wish to compensate but I have heard many old stalwarts of both EM and P4 shrieking that I must!!) What basic tools and equipment will I require both for track construction and stock conversion (and where can I get them)?
Many thanks in advance. I have been seriously considering an attempt at P4 for a while now but consider twenty- odd quid a lot of brass to spend if I haven't got the basic ability to make a decent job of a turnout kit.
I'll have a go here! Firstly, I'm assuming from what you've written that you're currently running OO RTR, and I'll answer each point in turn, based on my own personal experience. I would also suggest that from the type of questions you are asking that a jump to P4 may be a bit much, and EM gauge may be a better first step. Please don't take offence at that - it is meant with the best intentions.
From that, I would suggest that first of all you brush up soldering skills. Brian Lewis' little "Soldering Handbook" is a good a place as any to start
and search for C1210) Next buy a copy of Iain Rice's book "A Pragmatic Guide to Building, Wiring and Laying PCB Track" from Wild Swan. This isn't necessarily finescale by any means, but shows you how to build pointwork relatively cheaply, and most importantly means you learn whether or not you can do it! Depending on how flush you're feeling whilst you're at the Wild Swan shop, a copy of "An Approach to Building Finscale Track in 4mm" by the same author (he likes his snappy titles!) is well worth getting. I have never bought a kit because it is much cheaper to buy the materials from the specialist societies.
Yup - no problem. I have done just that on my trackwork page
(apologies - captions are still to come)
Phew - nothing like diving in at the deep end, eh? DEMU at
may be able to offer some help here.
For EM gauge, you don't need to compensate RTR stock. It is just OO but a bit wider and built to a consistent standard. As you say, the old stalwarts say for P4 you must compensate everything, but there are layouts successfully running converted RTR, which I guess speaks for itself. I model in EM gauge, so don't have personal experience of P4.
This tells me you aren't a member of the specialist societies. I would recommend you join the EM Gauge society
This caters for both EM and P4, but I am also a member of the Scalefour Society
which caters for S4. As far as I'm concerned, P4 and S4 are the same, but I'm sure the proponents of each are still arguing the toss about their own standard! Both sell the appropriate gauges, materials and give you lots of advise in the form of manuals. The EMGS in particular gives you (for your joining fee) a hefty manual about 2" thick!
It is a lot of money, and I really do think your best start is to make sure you have the ability with a cheap system. I've just thought of the SMP point kits, available from Mainly Trains at
and search by the manufacturer Scaleway. Cheap and cheerful, they look awful, being copperclad sleepers, but they taught me the basics. Did I mention you should join the EMGS? Membership costs less than one point kit, and gives you an awful lot more value for money. Don't forget thay also cater for P4, so you get he best of both worlds.
Until you stand 4mm/ft scale rolling stock on it, at which point it looks ludicrous.
Whereas 4mm/ft scale track modelled at 16.2mm gauge using
4mm scale rail, 4mm scale sleepers, 4mm scale spacings,
4mm scale fixings, is wrong in one dimension only, and then only by 14%.
Which is nothing compared to some of the other discrepancies which we normally accept - flangeway gaps wrong by more than double, radii only a fraction of correct scale, platform lengths less than half. And if you use code 100, rail overscale by 22%.
Have you actually tried to build a point? It's not that difficult and it does not cost an arm an a leg to try it out. Try building one using PCB sleepering which is a bit cheaper that using chairs and sleepers from C&L or Exactoscale.
It's always surprised me that people will quite happily take on the construction of complex plastic or etched brass kits without batting an eyelid, but will refuse to undertake making a point because it is 'too difficult'.. There are a few basic, simple rules to follow and there are plenty of instructions around - either in magazines, the web or in books.
And if you start making your own you find that you are not restricted to track layouts that have to work with whatever Peco (or whoever) decide to supply.
I've probably built more points Jim than you've had hot dinners but at the end of the day it's not an option for a large layout as far as I'm concerned - if only because life's not long enough and there's scores of other things I want to do before they put me in a box and roast me.