Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Having recently dipped my toe into 32mm gauge railways (in 16mm scale, so representing 2' gauge) I've also been involved in designing some new products for a scale/gauge combination referred to as OO6.5. As you can probably guess that just like OO9 is OO scale modelling (i.e. 4mm scale) on 9mm gauge track, OO6.5 is OO scale modelling on 6.5mm gauge track. While not an exact match this is used to represent railways running on 18" gauge track; sometimes referred to as minimum gauge railways. The reason we use 6.5mm gauge is because there is ready-to-run track available from Busch, although they use it to model 60cm gauge railways in HOf scale, which is 3.5mm to the foot modelling. If you weren't confused by scales and gauges before I'm sure you are now!

The wagon I've designed is 1 plank transfer wagon as used on the Royal Arsenal Railway. Now I only know of one photo of this wagon which appears in the Mark Smithers' book. Fortunately it appears to be simply a cut down version of the Sand Hutton wagon that I've been working on for what feels like years now (hopefully some news on these next year) and so I had some idea of size etc. Obviously with the difference in gauge I've had to produce a new underframe as well. Note that this doesn't entirely mirror the prototype in order to provide mountings for the magnetic couplings.

I don't actually have any OO6.5 track (not sure I'll actually try modelling in the gauge either if I'm honest) so I've not actually seen the models in the flesh yet, but never fear they have been test printed by James Hilton who does model in the scale and has also released some other models. You can see what he made of the test prints over on his blog.

You can find the full range of OO6.5 gauge models produced by various Narrow Planet designers on the website under the 6point5 brand. Hopefully there will be more to come in this new interesting gauge next year as well (hint: I'm working on something else).

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Big Reveal

Having hinted at some modelling in a new scale for the last couple of weeks, the time has finally come for the big reveal. So without further ado we have a 16mm Hudson Skip locomotive that runs on 32mm gauge track.

The loco is built from a kit from I P Engineering that consists mostly of laser cut plywood, although the skip itself is an injection moulded piece. You should also be able to spot the hand brake wheel and clutch pedal from previous posts, plus two gear levers and some extra rivets (possibly more on those in a later post) that I've added to the basic model. All these bits were modelled on a drawing of a similar loco in issue 9 of Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling REVIEW.

Unlike any other locomotive model I've built before this one is battery powered rather than being powered through the track. It's also why the skip looks over full as that's the smallest mound I could make and still hide the batteries and on/off and direction switches.

One of the advantages of battery power is that I don't need expensive track to run the loco on. In fact I can use track that is also made from lasercut plywood, specifically the Ezee range of track also from I P Engineering.

As I mentioned in an earlier post the aim of this little bit of modelling was to give me something I could do in the lounge after the little one was in bed but also to see how much I liked 16mm as a scale to work in without spending a lot of money. I think I've achieved that as (barring paints, glue, etc.) the loco, driving figure and track has cost me just £80 and I've had a lot of fun, and enjoyed scratch building details in this larger scale. Which just leaves the question.... will I be doing more 16mm scale modelling? At the moment I'm not sure. I don't have the space inside the house for much more than that temporary oval of track and I've not thought about modelling in the garden..... yet.

Friday, December 8, 2017


My work to turn Skarloey back into a representation of Tallylyn still isn't finished, and now I've got a model of Rheneas which will need to become Dolgoch at some future point. As if I didn't have enough projects on the go already given the amount of modelling time I currently have.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Sense of Scale

As the last few posts have hinted at I'm having some fun experimenting with 16mm scale modelling. I've started with something cheap to see if I like the scale or not; 16mm scale modelling can get expensive very very quickly if you are not careful. Playing with the parts of the locomotive I'm building still often doesn't really tell you much about the size of things relative to what I'm used to, other than it's bigger. Looking at models of people certainly gives you some sense of the difference in scale though, and really brings home just how much bigger 16mm scale really is.

In this photo we have seated figures in, from left to right, 4mm, 7mm, and 16mm to the foot scales; and yes I know the poor 7mm chap is missing his arms! 4mm is my usual modelling scale having grown up modelling in OO and more recently in OO9, although I've been slowly moving up to 7mm scale with the Clayton battery electric loco etc.

So what do I think about 16mm to the foot? Well it's most definitely a lot bigger than I'm used to, but just as with the jump from 4mm to 7mm I like the possibilities it opens up for adding more details. Although looking at that painted figure I might have to adapt some of my techniques as I'm not sure they all translate well from 4mm and 7mm up to the much bigger scale.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Changing Gear

I'm still not ready for the big reveal of what I've been working on in the evenings, but to go with the brake wheel we now have..... a clutch peddle.