Scale strategy


Slightly after the fact, a spot of commentary on the blog’s first poll. As you can see the majority of voters selected 009, but there’s no way of knowing if this reflects the distribution of all narrow gauge modellers or just those who visit (and vote!) here.

Seeing that the top three scales voted for coincide with my current stop-start progress, I’ve been thinking about about what each one means to me and what it could be most useful for. Hopefully, with a bit more focus, I might stop wandering off on tangents and maybe even manage a finished project now and again.

009 – Two layouts started, but ground to a halt due to my wandering focus and the shed filling up with bits of house. Until developing the plan for Fairlight I hadn’t really thought about my 009 modelling in terms of creating a complete railway, which kind of accounts for the slightly random acquisition of locos and stock of broadly 2′ gauge origins. However I’ve always been interested in the larger side of narrow gauge and this has firmed up a bit more recently as I’ve learned about European and Indian prototypes as well as the traditional larger British stuff – Welshpool & Llanfair, Sittingbourne, etc. So as the house extension gets closer to completion, and there will hopefully be room to move in the shed again before long, I’m looking to push Fairlight towards being a 2’6″ gauge railway. We should be paying a visit to the W&L next week so plenty of opportunity to load up on inspiration there!

5.5mm scale – No layout yet, but things are bit more straightforward here. 5.5mm has traditionally been “Ffestiniog scale” and I’m intending to live up to this by focusing my modelling of 2′ gauge prototypes here. After all 2′ is where my heart is, if not all of my attention. With Palmerston and a couple of coaches to build at the moment I’m thinking about a simple single line terminus diorama to display them on, based on Penrhyn (FR) in early preservation. Things get slightly more complex when you consider 5.5 scale is ideal for 3′ gauge (16.5mm track) and 18″ gauge (9mm track) but let’s not go there for now.

0-14 – Finally, and slightly the wild card, 0-14 is for 2′ gauge industrials purely because the larger size helps when it comes to smaller prototypes and there’s a nice consistent range of kits and track parts available. I’m building a very small 0-14 layout for this year’s ExpoNG challenge, which I’ll blog about soon! I’m trying really hard to resist going full on into 7mm scale because it would only be duplicating the interests detailed above but I’m sure you all know how rationality goes out the window when it comes to railway modelling!


I’ve also started a new poll which will run for another few weeks, plenty of time to think up some more questions!

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