Sunday, July 19, 2015

OO8: 4mm Scale, 2ft Gauge Track

One of the problems of modelling in OO9 (9mm gauge track in 4mm scale) is that often the track isn't really to scale. 9mm track at 4mm to the foot is 2' 3" but narrow gauge railways varied quite widely in their choice of track gauge. In Britain possibly the most common gauge was 2 ft meaning that 9mm track is 1mm too wide.

The bridge I'm building for my entry to this years Dave Brewer challenge carried a 2ft gauge railway and given I'm aiming for the smallest entry category (to make it easier to transport on the train) I thought it made sense to produce track to the correct gauge so I give you my first attempt at OO8 track (8mm gauge track modelled at 4mm to the foot).

As you can see this combines the numerous experiments I've been blogging about recently (here, here, and here) to produce a short test piece. Producing actual track using rail spikes in this scale is exceedingly time consuming. I've probably spent about 10 hours producing this small piece, although by the end of that I'd got a system going that means producing more will be quicker but not by much. On the plus side the track is to scale and an accurate representation of the real track I'm modelling right down to the number and placement of rail spikes. The spikes look a bit too big in the photos and they probably are, but in real life they blend in quite well.

I'm really happy with how the track has turned out, although it has meant that the number of hours I thought I'd need to build the diorama for the challenge has increased quite substantially. I should still have enough time though so I'm not worried.... yet.


  1. This is as near perfect as I have seen.

  2. Looks good, although the sleepers seem a little short (or is that just me?).
    Are you now going to be joining the narrow gauge finescale fringe and adapting 2FS standards to 8mm gauge?

    1. I measured the sleepers from photographs so I think they are long enough although I agree they look a little short. I think one reason they look so short is that the spikes are a little large so they hide some of the sleeper outside the rail. I might make them a little longer on the actual model.

      For now I've no plans to do more than this static diorama in 8mm gauge, although I guess I'd never say never!

      Mark steps away from the computer and wonders off to look at how hard it would be to resize the chassis for the Hudson-Hunslet to run on 8mm gauge track

  3. I think this looks great and, if a job's worth doing and all that. I always feel that 009 is something of a compromise and is one of the things that has stopped me from going any further with it. This is encouraging. The sleepers do look a little short, but perhaps the particular prototype you have chosen is like that. On the line near to me, the Rhiwbach tramway, rails were spiked onto a mixture of sleepers and with a great variety of spikes. I've some quite small ones in my collection, and there is a whopper of a spike still in place on one part of the line. I must say that I think the colouring is spot-on.

  4. When you say 'enough time' do you mean in life in general or towards the specific target? How come you have more hours in the day than the rest of us?