New to here

Discussion in 'New members' started by iain_r, 8 October 2019.

  1. iain_r

    iain_r Member


    I have been a OO modeller for many years & am intrigues by P4 & like the look & feel of O Gauge..
    Both of those lend themselves to small layouts, but for different reasons, so I figured I may as well put them together & try Scale7.
    After a useful chat with a couple of Scale7 Group members in Scaleforum, they recommended I sign up here.
    I will still model in OO. I have a scale model of a WCML station at home (the smallest I could find). I am building it in 1930s/1940s at the moment but I also model in c1990, so will re-build the scenic section it in that era once I am happy with it.
  2. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Welcome aboard Iain!

    As you may have noticed, we are a broad church covering lots of different scales and gauges. You should fit right in, but remember that we like photos. When you’re settled, start a thread or two on what you’re up to, and take lots of photos to show us as you go. Don’t forget to ask questions, too. I’ve learned tons by hanging round this virtual model railway club!

    Dog Star and Dan Randall like this.
  3. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Welcome Iain, Scale 7, :thumbs:
    Prairie Tank likes this.
  4. iain_r

    iain_r Member

    I don't understand why Scale7 is not more popular.
    P4 is growing & that involves just as much work, so it lends itself to smaller layouts.
    O gauge is quite popular. Its size & cost also lends itself to smaller layouts.
    So why is S7 not more widespread?
  5. Michael Osborne

    Michael Osborne Western Thunderer

    Iain, welcome to S7. I was manning the S7 information stand last weekend at the Wigan show along with Adrian Cherry and others.
    What we get told regularly is that S7 looks so much better but I have 20 loco's and a 100 wagons in fine scale and the cost would be to much work both in time and money. I think the people who are going to go S7 are people moving up from S4 before they have invested a large amount money in New stock.
    76043, Pencarrow, john lewsey and 3 others like this.
  6. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    Welcome to WT Iain. :thumbs:


  7. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    Welcome. I don't model in S7 for one major, and one lesser reason;

    The major reason is that I restarted in 0F and met up with a bunch of local like-minded mates some twenty years ago, and like Michael, have built up far too much of a collection to consider rewinding & starting again, however attractive it might be.

    The lesser reason is the acceptable radius of curvature - with some compromise it is possible to run main line trains around 6’, better 8 or 9’ radius curves in 0F. In S7 these radii are going to be somewhat limiting in terms of stock and speed. If that compromise suits you better than the other compromise, well, you pays yer money...

    My compromises are mitigated somewhat by the use of 31.5 gauge, which, with the finer flangeways I feel looks far better than 32mm. My long term plan is an indoor layout with roundy roundy potential for main line trains. I don’t think that’s possible for me in S7 but I think I can do it in 0MF. Don’t hold your breath!

    Photos, I think Heather mentioned that we like photos :)

    3 LINK likes this.
  8. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    I don't do S7 as life is too short as things are. Plus at Telford Guildex this year I utterly & totally failed to realise that the layout I liked and watched the most was S7. :oops:
    P4 stands out because the gauge is so obviously different to 'standard' 16.5mm. For S7 I've found it's usually the wheel flanges that give it away - the gauge difference is minimal, as with OF at 31.5. Yes I know the pointwork looks finer in both than in standard 32mm O, but from a low viewpoint across the tracks even that isn't immediately obvious.
    In my 'Other Life' a.k.a. US outline, I don't do Proto:48 as once again life is too short, and a lot more work is involved converting locos and stock, as the gauge is actually narrowed, so truck (bogie) sideframes have to be moved inwards as well to look better. Also the same issue of curve radius can be a problem I understand, and as I use 36" radius curves,I play safe with standard 32mm, or "OW5" as it's known Stateside.
    I shan't mention my 'speciality de maison' hand-laid American track; known on this Forum as "Jordan Track", it simply wouldn't work in Proto:48 - or S7, for that matter....
  9. Ian@StEnochs

    Ian@StEnochs Western Thunderer

    Sorry but S7 is not just about track! You can make nice looking 32 mm gauge trackwork but it will never be a scale model of the real thing.

    However the track gauge affects everything which runs on it. 32, 31.5, or whatever are just not scale and loco frames and stock have to be distorted to accommodate the reduced back to back gauge. Remember too that all these compromise gauges use overscale wheels which accentuate the problem.

    Real Railways are linear, I only know of one which goes roundy roundy*, and seeing the same train keep reappearing reminds me of a train set. If that ticks your box, fine by me, it’s just a hobby, but it’s not for me.


    * Glasgow subway and that’s 4’ gauge
  10. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    I agree broadly with all the points you make, however, the question I was answering is "So why is S7 not more widespread?" from a personal perspective.

    Regarding the roundy-roundy, there is a model of Bath Green Park, with links from the G0G forum, which, whilst not strictly a "roundy roundy" layout, is the kind of thing to which I aspire, let's call it "a source of inspiration" - and which is dependent on limited curve radii (I don't know but 6' seems likely) to get the length of run into the available space.

    And, of course, the vast majority of live steam / garden layouts are built so that the trains can run, and so are roundy-roundies too.

    I'm not criticising S7 (or anyone else's preferred scale/gauge/locale/era). It is, I believe, simply a case of choosing the compromises you wish to make, and those which you wish to avoid. I guess that means considering your own priorities, and then hopefully, not changing your mind.

    Pencarrow and 3 LINK like this.
  11. Mudhen

    Mudhen Western Thunderer

    I'm a member of the Love Lane team. In the last couple of years we've altered the layout to an oval with fiddle yards on one side and scenic on the other. In its permanent home we can run trains round and round whilst sitting watching them and drinking coffee. At a show its operated as an end to end layout. This way we have the best of both worlds.
    Simon, our track radius around the curves in in the region 7' to 7' 6" with a minimum radius on curved cross overs of 6'6". I really understand your view on working with like-minded mates and so adopting 32mm FS. We're very fortunate in that we have a good number of S7 members in our area who are all good friends.
    Jordan, I hope it was our layout you were referring to. :D If I'm right what was it that you liked about it? Whilst we are all keen proponents of S7 we want people to appreciate it as a model railway first and as an S7 layout secondly. One of our key rules is that it must be fun for us all. We had many conversations about it with visitors a lot of which were about smoothness and reliability of running. That's when we would explain our version of the S7 philosophy. We're going to be at Bristol, so if you're there please come and say hello. There's a couple of us who would enjoy talking to you about American railroading.

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  12. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I wonder if Jordan was referring to Simon's Layout...

  13. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I belong to the "life is too short" brigade but if I was 30 years younger I would consider S7. As it is I am struggling to put in the hours to build a Fine Scale layout.

    One thing I don't like is that I have to use Peco track because if I built my own it would take forever. Ironically, the one thing I would change with Moor Street down the road would be to replace all the track but it would still be Finescale from Marcway.

    The good news about WT is that it is a broad church and there are none of the naysayers on board that exist on other forums. When I say "naysayers" I always think of an engineer in Venezuela who began every sentence with "Pero", there had to be a downside in his every comment.
  14. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    I worked with his cousin...

    john lewsey likes this.
  15. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Don't count on it - I will sure give it a go in P48 ;) for my shortline.....

    I'm sure S7 would become more popular if you could buy ready to lay flexible track and DIR (Drop In Replacement) wheelsets with gears for RTR locomotives which are available in P4 and in P48 for US outline diesels.

    I was and still am contemplating S7 for my LT layout.
  16. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    The important thing is to have matching track and wheel standards. In O 'fine scale' Slaters have gradually refined the wheel profiles to improve the appearance of locos but the track standard has remained as it was 50 years ago, so the two don't really match any more. Therefore narrowing the gauge to 31.5mm makes some sense - the flangeways match the wheel standard better so less clunking over crossings and the track looks finer.

    I am still recovering from reading the postscript to Trevor Pott's article in MRJ 272 where it says 31mm gauge is being adopted and finer wheels will have to be used to suit. That just seems perverse to me - under gauge track and needing to change everything to non standard wheels. Where is the positive in that? Scale7 is a much better option with no compromise necessary in locos or track, and it works. Small radius curves are not a problem in S7, provided small locos are used to suit. I admit to being biased but I have never regretted choosing S7 over 25 years ago.
  17. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I have, twice. Just before Warley and just before Telford :))

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  18. iain_r

    iain_r Member

    That's a bit of a catch 22. RTR track won't be financially practical unless the gauge becomes much more popular. Until then we will have to choose to use O gauge or build our own track.

    One of my O gauge locos is an LT Pannier tank & I never had any intention of leaving it as O gauge. I need to find out what suitable wagons it can work with.
  19. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Drop in S7 wheel sets for rtr loco's has been looked into, the problem at present, to be honest, is the cost out ways the market ( we have about 300 members ) and not everyone want's rtr loco's.
    Re-profiling the original wheels and re-gauging on the axles is fairly straight forward ( new axles can be fitted ) if you have access to a lathe.
    There are of coarse people who can do it for you :D...and the cost may be cheaper than replacements in some cases.

    As for ready to lay track...that's more likely to happen than drop-in wheel sets.

    Prairie Tank likes this.
  20. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    4ft 8 1/2 that's it really
    Ian@StEnochs likes this.