How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Post your narrow gauge model railway questions here. That includes model railway narrow track gauges Nn3 to Gn15 and beyond!.
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Mountain
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How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Mountain » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:14 pm

I started in standard gauge (00) and then went to H0e (009 wasn't available in ready made form but H0e was back then) to run with the 00 gauge. I then happened to see a Smallbrook Studio kit advertized in the Railway Modeller which made me buy it! (I did once try a brief time in 7mm narrow gauge via a Hornby 0-4-0 saddle tank conversion years before but not for long).
The Smallbrook Clio kit remained in its packet for a year or two befoee I took the plunge and I was hooked. There were just so many advantages. Larger scale which can fit in a small space which doesn't cost the earth to model in. I found it also runs better then H0e/009. Not saying the H0e didn't run well as it was supurbly made, but it seemed to need a tad more cleaning then my 7mm narrow gauge locos and track does. (Though it was the ease of scratchbuilding in the larger scale to a tight budget that won it for me with 7mm narrow gauge (0-16.5). I gave my collection of H0e to a friend who had helped me in the past.

b308
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby b308 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:45 am

How? I was given some Triang TT3 stuff way back in the early 70s which I used to model in OOn3, never looked back... I got into Continental HOe when I visited the Welshpool and saw their Austrian 0-8-0T and coaches...

Cost? Has never come into the equation, NG can easily be as costly, or as cheap, as SG, I just don't bother worrying about it. If I want a particular loco and it costs then i save for it if I haven't the money to hand... I feel the "cost" reason is used too much as an excuse for modelling in NG, especially in OO9 and O-16.5, the trouble is it leads to lots of little unrealistic layouts with unrealistic locos and stock which are clearly N or OO locos with big cabs. If I'm going to do something I prefer it to look realistic therefore I'll pay the extra, even if it means I have to wait...

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Mountain
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Mountain » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:17 pm

Can lead to unrealistic models but being honest I would rather see that and enjoy the efforts of creativity then have people not trying incase they may fail.
Failure or success is in the eyes of the individual. My models are closer to toys if a RTR manufacturer came along and did the same. Howevrr, in my eyes they are characterful models and that's what counts. The atmosphere I can create by employing consistency covers the lack of detail and inaccuracies my models may contain. To be honest I can say "What inacuracies?" as my models don't have a direct prototype apart from the odd item, and to try to find prototypes is missing the point in what I am trying to achieve. I want to achieve an overall picture of a railway might have been with its own style and character. If it was in 2D form it would end up being more like a painting then a photograph.
I have to be honest and say that I much prefer to see the efforts of something home made rather then look at a factory made model. Yes, to pay for the factory made model may have taken a few sacrifices, but the homebuilt model has the builders charactor which adds a little something to the scene. (I didn't used to feel like this in the past. I used to see a crudely made model and think "What's that? I can do better then that!", but when I started to make my own models I started to appreciate the efforts of others).

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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby b308 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:35 am

I'm the opposite, Mountain, I prefer to see a model which is recognisable as a real loco, not a converted toy. I saw far too many of the latter in my early OO9 days 50 years ago (and still do, though now more in O-16.5 than OO9) and dislike them with a vengeance. To me they represent a slapdash approach to modelling, I'm not saying that doing it on the cheap is wrong, quite the opposite (a scratchbuilt loco is usually a cheap loco!) but at least make the effort to make it look realistic! I get as much satisfaction from running an RTR as a scratchbuild/kitbash, that side doesn't worry me at all.

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Mountain
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Mountain » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:14 pm

Is interesting the different approaches in the same hobby. Ours are just two different approaches. I changed my approach when I realized that my modelling skills would struggle to get the perfection that I would like to obtain. It had me re-examine what I valued in the hobby. What did I enjoy the most and what made me the most frustrated. (I was becoming frustrated with thoughts of giving up the hobby at one time as I saw such high standards that I couldn't dream of doing the same... It was when I realized that a consistant approach will give me the desired result without the need to have any special expertise that made me happy again. Scratch and kit building suddenly became alive to me and I now was having fun! I will say that if I was highly skilled then my thoughts may have been different).

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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby b308 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:54 pm

You've now got some really nice cheap conversion kits (Smallbrook, etc.) in 7mm scale for the cheapo Hornby chassis so there's really no need for people to compromise. The trouble with using OO diesels such as the Dock Shunter or 04 is that the louvres, modelled to 4mm scale always look wrong... Even filing them off and putting on home made versions or false panels would help but it seems beyond many modellers, the cad is as far as they get, the same applies to N gauge locos used the same way in OO9. I just wish people would take the time to look at the real thing and modify their "doner" loco accordingly! ;) :)

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Mountain
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Mountain » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:50 pm

The steps are the first things that need correcting. Regarding doors, it all depends on how the model ends up looking. Some don't need changing. Others do. Some of the Smallbrook kits use much of the origional donor loco and a few have the smaller scale doors etc. I find that some smaller details cover nicely with a few coats of thick pint applied with a brush. Not ideal, but as the models tend to need around three coats of paint to cover the origional colour of the donor loco, one can be half way to cover such small details already. The more pronounced details need a little more work. It all depends on how the model looks. For example, handrails moulded on may need removing and new handrails added.
Steps... Taking out every other rung if they are nice and wide. If they are too narrow then new steps are needed. Chimneys need to be replaced or a larger exhaust added if a diesel.

Beginners may just add a cab and a chimney and that isnit, but be aware one has to start from somewhere. Many such locos get rebuilt in later years when the builder has gained a bit more experience. We can encourage them in this way and suggest modifications to their work which can improve their models.

Some projects one is just thrilled to make a loco that moves under its own power. I have not yet made my own chassis successfully as I once tried it and it didn't work as planned. I have more ideas now to put into practice so one day I may try them. For now I either use RTR chassis as they are or I will rebuild and heavily modify a chassis if needed. It took a while but I managed to start off with a Triang 0-4-0 chassis and by cutting and milling/drilling, I added modern Hornby 0-4-0 parts and ended up with a rather nice metal freerunning chassis which I am very happy with.

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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:38 pm

Well, and there are not too many of us on this forum, I completed my N gauge layout (almost!) and wanted to try something new. All my layouts in the past had suffered from lack of space to do the intended style of railway justice - too short trains, too tight curves etc. And N gauge was just too damn small. So I started thinking about returning to 00 gauge, but that didn't really appeal (and certainly didn't solve the space issue). And I never wanted to model an actual specific place. And buying RTR locos and stock was not exciting me as it used to. And all the locos of a similar size & colour looked the same. And I didn't want to be constrained by what I could do. And...

So I thought about something completely different - and, having happened across the Smallbrook Studios website, O-16.5 seemed to fit the bill extremely well:
  • a nice large scale
  • prototypical tight curves and short trains (usually!)
  • quirky and full of character (often!)
  • no RTR models available for British outline (but some easy-looking kits to get me started)
It seemed promising, so I tried it out. My first loco ran very nicely for a cheap chassis, I enjoyed the body build very much, I felt I had managed to instill character into it, and I didn't feel constrained by...well...anything really :D. Very liberating, and lots of fun!

I'm sure I'll continue in this scale/gauge and a recent visit to Wales saw me loving the 'Great Little Trains' 8). My approach is not for everyone - but what I want, and firmly believe I can achieve, is a reliable model railway where I can look back on the build of every item with fondness, that looks like it resembles a real railway (though a very fictitious one of course!). For the moment at least, narrow gauge is for me!

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Mountain
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Mountain » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:43 pm

I love what you make PNP. Your attention to the little details is impressive. Any plans for a layout?

Which of the railways in Wales did you see?

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:20 am

Mountain wrote:I love what you make PNP. Your attention to the little details is impressive. Any plans for a layout?

Which of the railways in Wales did you see?


Thanks Mountain. My next layout is a little way off as a lot of house rearranging/redecorating etc and shed rebuilding/replacing are required before my intended room will become available. A bit of a long term aspiration, but will give me a nice space to work with eventually! In the meantime, inspired by Timbersurf's diorama, I may start on a small 3' x 1' plank . . .

In Wales we stayed in Bala, so obviously rode on the Lake Railway there (and heard all about their intended extension across the river into Bala town):
ImageIMG_9066 by Pink Nosed Penguin, on Flickr
ImageIMG_9096 by Pink Nosed Penguin, on Flickr

We also visited Dolgoch on the Talyllyn, but due to the train timetable didn't actually ride a train there:
ImageIMG_9202 by Pink Nosed Penguin, on Flickr

But the most scenic encounter was with the Welsh Highland Railway, where we were luckily enough to be driving towards Porthmadog from Caernarfon at the same time as this beautiful beast:
Image20181101_151556 by Pink Nosed Penguin, on Flickr

which allowed me to get a few photos of a steam train in dramatic mountain scenery:
Image20181101_150229 by Pink Nosed Penguin, on Flickr
Image20181101_151000 by Pink Nosed Penguin, on Flickr

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Mountain
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Mountain » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:50 pm

Excellent photos. Looks like you had a lovely time.

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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:01 pm

Wouldn't class myself as a NG modeller, although I did have a quick dabble a few years ago. Perhaps I should have another go:

14-06-30-01.jpg

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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:01 pm

Dave wrote:Wouldn't class myself as a NG modeller, although I did have a quick dabble a few years ago. Perhaps I should have another go:


Looks excellent - definitely have another go :D

Is that home-made track? And in what scale?

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Mountain
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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Mountain » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:21 pm

Dave wrote:Wouldn't class myself as a NG modeller, although I did have a quick dabble a few years ago. Perhaps I should have another go:

14-06-30-01.jpg


Very nice indeed!

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Re: How Did You Become A Narrow Gauge Modeller?

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:36 pm

PinkNosedPenguin wrote:Is that home-made track? And in what scale?


Yes I built the track, it’s 16.2 mm gauge with the scenics at 7mm


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