G scale ... aka as???

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by kfh227, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. kfh227

    kfh227 Member

    Another simple question.

    I'm looking at products on the internet at the various manufacturer web sites.

    I am now at Bachmans site. They offer:
    N scale
    Large Scale

    I am starting to go nuts. OK, is "Large Scale" aka "G gauge"?

    Are there any other terms that G gauge goes by?

    And while I am at it, is anything that is termed 45 mm also G gauge? I know that this is the track spacing but it seems like every manufacturer out there trys to create their own terminology.
  2. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Unfortunately there isn't a simple answer. Not everything that runs on 45mm track is the same scale, and "scale" is not the same as "gauge."

    "G" generally refers to equipment in 1:22.5 scale, running on meter-gauge track (the tracks are 1 meter apart, as opposed to standard gauge, 4'8.5") However, meter-gauge narrow equipment is generally only found in Europe.

    American narrow gauge on 45mm track is generally 1:20.3 scale, to represent 3' gauge prototypes, and is sometimes called "F scale."

    Modeling standard-gauge equipment on 45mm track is typically called "Gauge 1" (the original name for that width, as model railroad scales were originally known by numbers rather than letters.) Standard gauge equipment on 45mm track is 1/32 scale, or 3/8" scale.

    Re: the Bachmann site: since Bachmann's equipment is generally American prototype, it's safe to assume that their "large scale" equipment is 1:20.3 scale.
  3. kfh227

    kfh227 Member

    Thanks Jet Rock.

    This is such a confusing thing to a newbie, especially when some info seemed to conflict.
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    You had to pick G gauge. There probably is no more confusing situation in the hobby of model railroading. I certainly wish the gods of Large Scale (another generic term) would do a major overhaul of the specs. I suggest some extensive reading on the various manufacturers interpretation of G/Large scale. Basicly, its an attempt to use the same track for a multitude of various sized trains. Some of them not even scale models.
  5. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I've heard G Gauge... The gauge refers to the gauge of the track. There are a number of scales, 1:32, 1:22.5 & 1:20.3, plus more...
  6. Geno

    Geno Member

    This lack of a unifying track gauge and distinct size classification is what keeps alot of people out of G. But on the other hand, I can see why G gaugers like what they like- nice big trains and you can run them outside in all kinds of weather. And this is probably what brings alot of people into G.

    The cost of track, engines and rolling stock is another matter- be prepared to pay double what you would for O gauge. I guess you really have to like G gauge if you're willing to pay twice the price of O.

    If I had the funds to do both G and O, I would probably stick with one brand of G gauge- USA Trains. I really like their line of modern diesels, intermodal cars, and aluminum streamliners- very nice.

  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Actually, the track gauge (the width between the rails) is the one thing that most large scales have in common (aside from specialized scales like Gn15, 1:22.5 scale modeling on 16.5mm track, otherwise known as HO scale standard gauge, intended to represent 15" gauge industrial trains.) This "USA Trains" sounds like they build models of standard-gauge prototypes, and therefore their stuff is 1/32 scale, rather than G, but running on the same width of track (45mm.)

    The cost keeps me out of large scales...a boxcar costs hundreds and a locomotive can cost thousands! Of course, one doesn't really have room for a hundred-car drag, so that sort of expense is less of an issue...
  8. kfh227

    kfh227 Member

    Thanks for the comments. I'm either going with Aristo-Craft or Bachman locomotives and cars.

    I think the whole key is sticking to one brand.
  9. Geno

    Geno Member

    I thought G gauge was 1/32... I honestly do not know that much about G gauge, but what I do know is that there is no distinct size separation in G as there is in O gauge i.e. MTH's Premeir line and Lionel's 'Standard O' lines are generally scale-sized items, and the Lionel traditional and MTH Railking lines are generally semi-scale cars.

  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Geno: Trains of 1:32, 1:22.5, and 1:20.3 scale (among others) all run on the same track intended for "G" scale trains. The gauge (in real-world measurement) is the same, 45mm, but the scale is not--and thus the modeled track gauge varies. I realize that in the tinplate world "scale" and "gauge" are often interchangeable, but for those modeling a specific scale they're two different things.

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