This is probably the zillionth+1 times this question has been asked, but here it goes. I understand guage. But I am haveing trouble getting a clear number for the 'scale' of N guage. Scale to me is how manyfeet (mm) defines actual dimention e.g. 1:12 can be 1"= 12'.I have not found this information, yet, and have been looking quite a while. Reason: I am building my own diaramas and need to know this so I can make the components of the scenery to the right scale.:cry:

Please correct me if I am wrong...but, I believe that doing your diaramas in strict scale may be a problem.At least with N-guage it would have very little detail...I think. There are a couple of threads containing layouts with different size models up to and including n- mixed with HO.the larger models were slightly farther away giving the illusion that they were scale but allowed for much more detail. Let's face it this whole hobby is all about tricking the eye.I plan on building a "City on the hill" in HO for my O layout to make it look further away. Maybe someone remembers the photos I am talking about. It was sometime in march I believe.

Dont over plan or think this. Buy N scale buildings and trees and work with them until you have an "eye" for the correct size. When you think about it God build the scenery in the 1:1 world long before Collis Huntington and Lelamd Stanford but their rails across it. Likewise God grew the spruce before WVP&P cut all of it down. You could measure evey tree and bush and clift you build and place but that is no fun. Just do it with a few examples of reany made to go by. If it look right it usualy is. Gil Finn

We modellers have a couple of ways of looking at scale. One is something=1 foot. For N this is 1.75mm (most places.) The other is a ratio; 1:160 where 1 unit on the model is equivalent to 160 on the real thing (One real foot is 160 model feet in N.) The 1:12 ratio is a scale of 1 inch to 1 foot. (the small end of trains you can actually ride on.) Model railroaders have a shorthand of letters (N and HO and O) that we use to define scales. We also use them to define gauge, on the understanding that the designated gauge is a model of 56.5" standard gauge. If you want an exhausting article on the topic, look up scale models on Wikipedia.

Using an N scale ruler is an easy solution but if you are working from drawings alot simply use a caculator. Take the real full size dimension and divide it by 160 to get the N scale size. I do it in decimals. So if I am building a railing or something that is three feet high full size, three feet will be 36.00 inches. Devide 36 by 160 and you get .225 I use mitotoyo digital calipers for most of my measuring because it's fast and accurate. So I just set them to .225 and transfer the measurement to the model part. I would also go to Home Depot and by a ProjectCalc it's a little yellow calculator ($15) that calculates inches and feet. Devide 36' by 160 and you get (2 45/64") Then you can use any ruler to transfer it if you don't have calipers.