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Diecast Forums Forum 43 Diecast Zone

Posted By: Graeme Ogg
Posted On: Wednesday May 15, 2019 at 6:47 AM
Here is a link to an interesting (or very boring) guide to model scales.

The usual story is that Tri-Ang took a scale railway track width of 33 millimetres and rounded down the 1:42.5 scale result to get a tidy 1:42 (then made their road vehicles consistent with that) while Meccano rounded UP the numbers and got 1:43 (and DIDN'T make their vehicles consistent with that!)

The only tiny problem with that theory is that if you take the standard rail gauge of 4 foot 8 and a half inches and multiply by 25.4 (millimetres to the inch) you get 1435.1 millimetres. Divide by the 33 millimetres scale track gauge and my calculator says the scale ratio is 1:43.5, not 1:42.5. Oh, good grief.

Quick, nurse, a touch of CPR, if you'd be so kind.

I think we all have models sitting side by side in our collections which suggest some makers have never quite got to grips with all this subtlety (or just produced whatever ballpark approximation suited them.)

By the way, I've always understood that 1:43 came about not because of a difference between British and U.S. O-gauge (which is apparently 1:48) but rather because Britain and the U.S. were both still using "Imperial" measurements as opposed to the European (metric) system, and the strange "bastard" scale of 7 millimetres equals 12 inches was a knicker-twisting attempt to achieve a functional compromise between the two measuring systems. At the expense of our mathematical sanity, obviously.

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Message thread:

O Guage to 1/43 comparisons by J.D. Simmons #25851
In the UK O Gauge is 1:43rd scale but in the USA it is 1:48th scale …. by Chris Sweetman #25851.1
This is such disturbing news. You are now saying that the Brits by Don Anderson #25851.1.1
Technically, British O scale is 1:43.5) by Robert Bolin #25851.1.2
I always thought O gauge was 1:42 - hence Spot-On Models all being this scale.... by John Roberts #25851.1.2.1
Here is a link to an interesting (or very boring) guide to model scales. by Graeme Ogg #25851.
Thanks, Graeme. Your research is always impeccable. (EOM) by John Kuvakas #25851.
Not only enjoyable reading, but it's clearly written. Thanks, Graeme! (EOM) by David Holcombe #25851.
Excellent post Graeme. Now tell me, is CPR a Scottish or Irish distillery? (EOM) by John Roberts #25851.
Caledonian Patented Rotgut (St Kilda Distillery) (EOM) by Graeme Ogg #25851.
Thank you sir...will look in Tescos tomorrow (EOM) by John Roberts #25851.
Not sure who the author/s are for this article but I would suggest ... by Chris Sweetman #25851.
John, Spot-On were expensive compared to the tiddlers produced by by Chris Sweetman #25851.
I had one house Chris but it perished with age...a Spot On not a real one! (EOM) by John Roberts #25851.
If one is looking at track gauges then we must go back to 1891... by Chris Sweetman #25851.1.2.2
Thanks to all who replied. by J.D. Simmons #25851.3
You are welcome JD and I am looking forward to seeing the results. (EOM) by Chris Sweetman #25851.3.1
PICS--1:43 cars fill the settings for my O Gauge buildings. Building makers call 1:43-1:48 "O gauge" by Frank Racibozynski #25851.4
Looks great, Frank. I really like how busy it looks, just like a crowded city street. (EOM) by John Kuvakas #25851.4.1
I like it Frank. But... by Harvey Goranson #25851.4.2
Blasphemer! Fortunately, it is safe with the rest of the family. by John Kuvakas #25851.4.2.1
It's in a far better place now. (EOM) by Frank Racibozynski #25851.
Impressive diorama Frank and it looks very similar to my route into work …. by Chris Sweetman #25851.4.3
Excellent Frank! Is that a Renault Dauphine in one shot? (EOM) by John Roberts #25851.4.4
Thank you John. Yes, it is a Dauphine. Got it for $10 at Countryside ~10 years ago. Like it a lot. (EOM) by Frank Racibozynski #25851.4.4.1
Love the diorama Frank but it needs more cars. (EOM) by Bob Jackman #25851.4.5
Agree with you Bob. I'm thinking of adding an open sided parking deck. (EOM) by Frank Racibozynski #25851.4.5.1
Excuse please--double post. by Frank Racibozynski #25851.5

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