Sunday, January 3, 2016

How Big is a Bee?

Given we are now into 2016 I only have eleven months left to build my entry for the NGRM Online challenge. If you remember my previous post then the challenge is to scratch build a loco and I'd settled on modelling Bee from the Great Laxey Mine Railway.

Before I can make a start on the model I needed to decide on the scale I was going to model in. My gut feeling, given the tiny size of the loco, was to jump up another scale from my previous modelling and work in 16mm to the foot scale. To check out how sensible this looks I scaled the side on drawing I have to 4mm, 7m and 16mm scale.

The driver figure is a 7mm to the foot scale model to help give some idea on size etc. As you can see trying to model in 4mm scale would have been insane. Working in 7mm scale might have worked if I was 3D printing or etching parts but I think it is still too small for a scratch built model. The jump to 16mm scale though gives me lots of space for a nice sized motor (either horizontally or vertically) and should let me go to town on the details etc.

Having settled on a scale I've also been thinking a little about the track I'll need to build to show the model running. The prototype is 19" gauge using 20lb rail. If my maths works then I think that means I need to produce track with a gauge of 25.33mm using PECO code 143 rail, although I've yet to figure out the size of the sleepers that will be required.


  1. The 4mm is jewellery. The larger you go the more accurate you have to be. I can see a lathe on the horizon.

  2. Very exciting! Looking forward to this and reading of your trials and tribulations, before producing a superb model of course!