"Christopher A. Lee" wrote
Absolutely right, Lima, Fleischmann and Rivarossi (not to mention the much
inferior Playcraft range) all started to produce UK models in HO scale and
where are any of them in today's British market?
But my point is that Lima, Fleischmann, Rivarossi & Playcraft if you
like, did *not produce HO models, but some mythical in between scale* .
How did any of these big brands ever expect British HO to take off?
If your going to challenge a new market seriously, you have to be
prepared to do the job properly. If you want customers to change their
loyalty, you have to provide a better alternative. Instead the HO models
were *all crap, regardless of scale* and something to be sold to
unsuspecting parents/relatives at High St toy shops.
The Rivarossi LMS coaches in particular looked to be quite a high
quality model but the proportions were dreadful & they would have lost a
lot of money on their tooling costs. Kittle Hobby's were trying to flog
them off for years afterwards :-)
When Lima failed in their British HO, they significantly lifted their
game for the OO versions, just look at the HO & OO Class 33s side by
side, there is simply no comparison.
At least Lima recognised eventually that there was a significant number
adult modellers and the British market was not just kids train sets at
My memories of Playcraft suggest that they were the closet to being a
consistent 3.5mm scale compared to the others, if the models were
somewhat crude - OK then, complete rubbish.
"Kevin Martin" wrote
As far as I'm aware only Trix produced models to the odd-ball 3.8mm:1 foot
scale, the others were pretty much standard HO.
Lima of course did produce a bastard scale 'Deltic' but that was because
they'd already started to produce at HO-scale and switched half-way through,
but that was really a one-off, other than the class 50 which utilised the HO
scale 'Deltic' bogies.
Which doesn't prove anything, either way.
They lasted 30 years because they had a large market for continental
HO. If they had been a company whose sole product line was British HO
they would have gone a lot quicker.
They didn't have much choice. Britsh industry was completely burned out
after WW2, there wasn't any money for investment in new tooling. Rovex had
the advantage of not starting before the economy started to pick up again in
Not quite true. Page 49 of Hornby Book of Trains 25 year edition, tells
a different story, where the desired choice of materials was not
available due to Gov't restriction on the use of nonferrous metals. This
was because of the Korean War.
It also tells of brass plunger pick ups (mounted vertically) lifting the
driving wheels sufficiently to prevent a Princess from hauling more than
2 coaches ;-)
Ah, Thank you Paul. Some one with the right answer at last ;-)
It's always been a Furphy, the comments about British & Continental
outline not mixing. I have never understood the relevance of that
argument at all. The prototypes are built to the same scale, so why not
the models? Especially when it leads to a total botchup that OO is.
There is no advantage in getting the scale/gauge ratio correct
unless you can also use narrow wheels with dead-scale profile
(proto87 for H0, P4 for 4mm), which you can't reliably do for an
r-t-r train set.
If you use wider r-t-r overscale wheels with the correct gauge,
the wheels and valve gear won't fit behind outside cylinders,
inside the spashers, etc., which have to be widened to fit. If you
use r-t-r wheels with a correct gauge, the inevitable result is that
the model is over scale width in running gear, bogie sides,
axleboxes, etc. This is noticeable on all r-t-r H0 models.
Those who promote coarse-scale H0 for British-outline steam
locomotives have never addressed this issue.
The best solution for r-t-r wheels is to narrow the gauge slightly
so that you can get the wheels to fit within a scale width model.
Going right down to 00 gauge for 4mm/ft scale is overdoing it a
bit, but reflects the time when r-t-r wheels were much wider than
they are now. But the principle of using a narrowed gauge for r-t-r
models is correct. What's the advantage of having an exact track
gauge if the models look wrong?
Because Henry Greenly wasn't a scale modeller. His main interest was
functioning large scale live steam. Most of which was over-scale to
give more powerul, more impressive engines but nobody really noticed
So when HO was introduced he made the engines over-scale to fit the
available mechanisms because British prototypes were smaller than
European or American. Hence OO using HO track.
no problem! :-)
Just think of all the agro that would have been avoided EM, EEM, Scale 4,
whatever the other one was called? Protofour? All the bellyaching about 4mm
scale bodies not being wide enough to get scale gauge wheels into.
If Hornby Dublo had declared towards the end of the war or just after that
new releases were to have been in HO new manufacturers would have followed
suite, Trix would not have been bothered and all the effort could have been
put into making better models. Much as it galls (sp) me just look at the
American models of the sixties, streets ahead of our stuff, yes I know there
were other considerations.
The big opportunity missed and I bet 3mm scale would have been dead in the
got to take issue here!
I have to say you are missing the point. Get the fundamentals right and
work can be done on the other stuff. Flange depth is not a function of
Yup I agree but not half as noticeable as the narow gauge, its over 2mm out
for goodness sake!
Its a problem for the dead scale 4mm types!
Whats the point of having scale width cylinders and motion if the gauge
Getting the gauge/scale ratio right is fundamental. Lots of people were
using the gauge so why not used a true scale? 19mm gauge was a complete non
starter as hardly anyone in the UK was using it, no one on the Continent,
only in the US did it gain a foot hold.
Who says so? Where is it written down? What's so sacrosanct
about the track gauge dimension above all the others?
I could equally say that getting the dimension across the outside
faces of the wheels right is fundamental.
But you can't have them both right unless you adopt P4 or proto87.
I'm not defending the reduction all the way to 16.5mm gauge, but
the principle that as you coarsen the wheel profile, so you reduce
the gauge, is correct.
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