The start of my O gauge UK collection

1065 views
25 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
The start of my O gauge UK collection
Posted by emdmike on Thursday, August 01, 2019 10:35 AM

I am starting to build a small UK tinplate collection with a focus toward modern "scaleplate" as they call it.  These two reissue Bassett Lowke/Corgi items are the first pieces.  A BR brake can(caboose) and a Southern Railway freight wagon.  The brake can even has a working tail light powered with a battery pack w/switch.  I am working on aquiring one of the reissue live steam moguls in LMS Crimson Lake colors.  The plan is for live steam/clockwork operation on Atlas O track.  I will pick up one of the reissue electric models from BL/Corgi to convert to onboard battery power.  I am consideing adding a loop of O gauge to my gauge one raised garden line as well.     Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 9,847 posts
Posted by lionelsoni on Thursday, August 01, 2019 12:02 PM

Do you think you will have to make any modification to run British 33-millimeter-gauge models on American 31.75-millimeter track?

 

Bob Nelson

  • Member since
    April, 2005
  • From: South Carolina
  • 9,521 posts
Posted by rtraincollector on Thursday, August 01, 2019 7:01 PM

Looking good

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

http://rtssite.shutterfly.com/

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,748 posts
Posted by M636C on Thursday, August 01, 2019 9:26 PM

lionelsoni

Do you think you will have to make any modification to run British 33-millimeter-gauge models on American 31.75-millimeter track?

 

I was under the impression that the gauge of O was the same although the British models have a more accurate scale of 1:43.5 rather than 1:48 in the USA or !:45 in Europe.

My recollection is that British O uses 32mm gauge, not 33 mm.

For tinplate models, a miminal difference of 0.25mm should not affect running.

Peter

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Friday, August 02, 2019 12:26 AM

I have had several pieces of both Hornby and Bassett Lowke in the past with no problems on Lionel tubular or other track.  In fact, the Brits commonly use Atlas O and Gargraves for thier "scaleplate" layouts as the newer stuff from Bassett Lowke and Ace Trains do not like rounded tubular rail that well.  But Lionel Fastrack, Gargraves, Atlas O ect are perfect.  I plan to use either Atlas O or Gargraves.  Just haven't decided yet.  Need to get down to Mr Muffins and compare prices between the two.   My plan is to collect most all of the reissue Bassett Lowke items done by Corgi/Hornby.     Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 02, 2019 8:53 AM

M636C

 

 
lionelsoni

Do you think you will have to make any modification to run British 33-millimeter-gauge models on American 31.75-millimeter track?

 

 

I was under the impression that the gauge of O was the same although the British models have a more accurate scale of 1:43.5 rather than 1:48 in the USA or !:45 in Europe.

My recollection is that British O uses 32mm gauge, not 33 mm.

For tinplate models, a miminal difference of 0.25mm should not affect running.

Peter

 

Peter, you're correct, O Gauge is O Gauge no matter what country it's from, and has been ever since the Germans came up with it over 100 years ago.

You're also correct about the different scale dimensions.  

Glad to see you on this site!

Wayne

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Friday, August 02, 2019 9:04 AM

Correct Wayne, same for gauge 1, 2 and 3.  Although the later ones mostly disappeared after the war.  What we call O gauge is actually Zero gauge as Markin did all the gauges with numbers not letters.   The Brits just do things a bit different, with 00 trains that run on HO track with a slightly different scale of 1:76 instead of our HO 1:87 for example.  Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 9,847 posts
Posted by lionelsoni on Friday, August 02, 2019 4:51 PM

I was thinking of the 33-millimeter British "scaleseven" variant of O gauge, which may be an unlikely possibility for these models.

While there may not be much likelihood of a problem in this case, there are a number of interpretations of O gauge:

o  The 33 millimeters of scaleseven, used with ~1/43.5 scale in the UK

o  32 millimeters, used with 1/43.5 scale in the UK and France and with 1/45 scale elsewhere

o  1.25 inches (31.75 millimeters), used with 1/48 scale in the US

o  ~1.177 inches used with 1/48 scale in the US--"Q gauge" or "proto48"

Bob Nelson

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,869 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, August 02, 2019 6:22 PM

A Bekh loco compared with a Marx clockwork looks like S gauge:

Same pair with a Flyer 3195:

3195 vs. scale caboose:

I think early prewar O designs were closer in size to the European toys that dominated before WW1.

My Hornby:

And yes, that coach with the red roof IS fitted with a latch coupler!  Laugh  I like to run those coaches with my Marx CV:

But yeah, they're a bit on the small side for the width of the track.

 

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Saturday, August 03, 2019 12:17 AM

Great pictures Penny!!!  I think many in the USA do not know that in real life, trains in the UK are smaller in size on the same gauge track as the USA.  The loading gauge(clearances under bridges and so forth) are much lower and narrower over there.  Watch a few videos on Amazon Prime Video or Youtube and you can see the stone roadway overpasses and how much tighter the spaces are.  Many of those overpasses date back to the early steam era and remain the same to this very day.  That said, to me the clean and colorful UK steam locomotives are just beautiful, especially in tinplate/scaleplate.  Hopefully over the coming months I can aquire a few of the Bassett Lowke reissues trains thru ebay and my UK sources.     Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 03, 2019 8:11 AM

British steam locomotives are a lot like classic British aircraft, think of the Spitfire and the Mosquito.  Clean and graceful looking.

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 1,156 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Saturday, August 03, 2019 10:17 AM

I always liked that Hogwart's Express from Lionel.

The engine looks Great Western- ish...

Mike, I am not familiar with the LMS crimson Lake paint scheme, do you have a picture ? I know LMS had some maroon engines , which were strikingly beautiful.

Paul

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Saturday, August 03, 2019 11:19 AM

Thats because it IS a GWR engine, Hogwarts Castle is really Kinlet Hall.  Lionel also did that model in 2 different GWR Hall class models.  The Shakespere Express as Kinlet Hall and another set with the wireless controler as Albert Hall.  I would like to find all of those myself as being can motored, they should take to onboard battery conversion very easilly.   The LMS Crimson Lake is the Maroon scheme, just the proper name for the color.   LMS also used black with and without lining, but the Crimson Lake is the most beautiful IMHO! Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 1,156 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Saturday, August 03, 2019 4:28 PM

Well, there you go ! 

Crimson Lake it is !

When you see pictures in books, maybe the hue is not exact due to limitations in film/ printing technology. All I know is that it's a beautiful paint scheme !

Great choice !

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Sunday, August 04, 2019 10:21 AM

Just as many steam era colors vary in older pictures due to age of the material.  Same for UK locomotives.  So colors are open to interpertation and argument just as we do the same over shades of various USA railroad colors. LMS Crimson Lake and GWR lined green with the copper capped chimneys are my weakness.  My gauge one tinplate steamer is a GWR Court class 4-6-0, those locomotives led to the Hall class(like Lionel has done in O gauge) and the great Castle Class locomotives.   The Southern Crescent green paint scheme in the USA was derived from the colors used in the UK after the president of that railroad visited the UK.  Try watching some videos on youtube of the restored Royal Scot in LMS Crimson or the Princess class.  Those are just stunningly beautiful locomotives.    Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 1,156 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:08 AM

You are correct. As with interpretation of what is the correct shade of Brunswick Green, or Tuscan Red on the Pennsylvania. Sometimes manufacturers have trouble replicating the Espee Daylight colors as well.

Paul

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Sunday, August 04, 2019 9:55 PM

I think in todays information age, the language barrier between the USA importers and the Asian factories is one of the huge issues.  And then you have to factor in each persons on idea on what xyz color really is.  Its a never ending argument and only a time machine will solve the problem once and for all.  Then one could go back and see that color in person, not in a faded early color photograph.  I do think the Brits were a bit better at preservation and knowing what the proper colors were.  So that failing falls on the model companies.  Now I just need to get my gauge one live steamer sold(Aster Reno 4-4-0) as I have a mint in the box LMS Stainer Mogul in Crimson Lake located stateside.  That will save me a bit of $$.  Freeing up funds for a passenger consist, a tinplate station and track.  Still debating between Gargraves with prebent sectional curves or Atlas O.

 

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 05, 2019 8:54 AM

Proper railroad colors?  Well the only way to know for sure, especially for units far back in the time stream is just painstaking, frustrating, heartbreaking research, and in the business world where "time is money" sometimes you just have to go for it with the information you have.

I've got some Atlantic Coast Line stuff from three manufacturers, Williams, Atlas, and MTH, and the ACL purple doesn't match on all three makes.  Ah, so what?  I just say it's faded due to exposure to Florida sunshine! 

Color photography?  Well most times you can trust it but sometimes you can't.  Lens types on the cameras being used, the color film stock used, and lighting can all effect the end result. 

It was a color film freak-out that was responsible for the legendary red and black Santa Fe "Warbonnet" unit pictured in a Lionel catalog, and the ongoing head-banging over what "Russia Iron" really looked like.

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,748 posts
Posted by M636C on Monday, August 05, 2019 9:20 AM

emdmike

I think in todays information age, the language barrier between the USA importers and the Asian factories is one of the huge issues.  And then you have to factor in each persons on idea on what xyz color really is.  Its a never ending argument and only a time machine will solve the problem once and for all.  Then one could go back and see that color in person, not in a faded early color photograph.  I do think the Brits were a bit better at preservation and knowing what the proper colors were.  So that failing falls on the model companies.  Now I just need to get my gauge one live steamer sold(Aster Reno 4-4-0) as I have a mint in the box LMS Stainer Mogul in Crimson Lake located stateside.  That will save me a bit of $$.  Freeing up funds for a passenger consist, a tinplate station and track.  Still debating between Gargraves with prebent sectional curves or Atlas O.

For passenger and goods (freight) vehicles, you could look at recent scale models on sale in the UK now. These are often reasonably priced.

The English retailer Hattons list a lot of British scale O gauge.

Dapol and the Danish company Heljan make good models of goods and passenger vehicles. The models of British Railways standard coaches in Maroon are in exactly the same colour as LMS Crimson and are generally better models.

Lionel's Hogwarts coaches are not very good, being short by one window.

The coaches used in the Hogwarts movies are BR standard cars in maroon. I think they changed the logos, a circular decal on the lower side.

The Lionel "Hall" is a scale model, however. So you should run it with scale coaches. They are available in brown and cream, colours used by BR in the early 1960s which match the former GWR colours.

Dapol make a really nice set of small British steam and diesel locomotives, but there is very little room for batteries inside. They come as two rail DC or DCC.

Peter

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Monday, August 05, 2019 9:26 AM

Well said Flintlock, well said.  Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 05, 2019 12:29 PM

Thanks Mike!

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Monday, August 05, 2019 12:58 PM

Your very welcome.  My O gauge portion of the railway will be coarse scale O as I will be running a few of the Corgi/Bassett Lowke reissues, or atleast that is the plan.  If I find one of the GWR versions of the Lionel Hall class, I might pick it up.  But the O gauge is going to focus more on the LMS and the gauge one will be the GWR.    Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 05, 2019 4:02 PM

As far as getting colors wrong though, I don't think anyone will beat Lionel's Jersey Central Fairbanks-Morse "Trainmaster" from the 50's, you know, the orange one with the blue accents?  There NEVER was a JC "Trainmaster" with a paint scheme like that!  There WAS a  JC 1500 HP F-M switcher that was blue with orange striping.

How did Lionel get it so wrong?  Who knows?

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Friday, August 09, 2019 1:31 PM

Added a few items to my UK collection today, all from my favorite UK based dealer.  I picked up this Bassett Lowke LMS "Hughs Crab" live steam mogul with a hidious paint job(I will refurbish its paint or have it done for me).  I also got a 3 car LMS passenger set and a tank car set both from ACE trains.   Several companies are reproducing classic tinplate/scaleplate UK trains these days.  ACE Trains, Darstaed, WJV vintage all are putting out some nice coarse scale O trains in the classic UK tinplate style!     Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 09, 2019 3:52 PM

I don't know man, that Mogul looks pretty nice to me, I'd leave it alone.

On the other hand, I'm just seeing a photo, you've got it in front of you, so do what you think is right.

  • Member since
    November, 2012
  • 815 posts
Posted by emdmike on Saturday, August 10, 2019 12:23 AM

All the gold emblishments need to go, the cab needs painted maroon to match the boiler and the tender needs stripped and redone, it has horrible runs in the paint from a bad repaint by a past owner.  Land Rover Damask Red is a good match for the LMS Crimson Lake paint and decals are available. I will redo her to match the Crab mogul at the Severn Valley heritage railway in the UK.  The mogul was priced to reflect it needs a refurbishment paint wise.   Once she is steam proven, I will figure out how to strip and degrease the model, then mask and respray.  Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month