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A matter of scale.... OO/HO

2094 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  34C
Just wondering if there are any trains/locomotives available in both OO and HO?

I understand the difference between them and don't really care which one is 'better' as it were. But curious if anyone sells the same model in both? Being UK based and already owning OO models, it is the obvious choice. Although I think the engineer in me does feel a little irked as the mismatch of gauge and scale with OO. But HO seems to be rare here to buy without importing and paying high shipping and fees.

On the flip side of this thought process. Are there any non UK trains easily available in OO? I quite like some of the US classic 4-4-0 Steam locos and some of their modern diesel electrics. But mismatching scales on a layout or even a display grates at me a little.... :D

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@The Hatt:

There have been a few forays by manufacturers into British HO over the years, most noticeably, Lima in the 1970's (which weren't very good, although I think they did a TGV in OO and HO or was that the Electrostar ?), Rivarossi (LMS Royal Scot ?) and Fleischmann (Warship, Bullied coaches).

Although there is a British HO group today, as a standard, it has never been popular and OO has always 'ruled the roost'.

To be perfectly honest, it isn't worth even considering British HO since British OO is so well supported.

If track gauge is an issue to you, there are the options of EM and P4, both of which you will be up for large scale conversions for, although it is easier with EM. My father built a P4 layout ( It was a huge amount of work, even for someone who is a professional permanent way engineer! The problem with P4 right now is that supplies of track parts have basically dried up. P4 Track Company sold out to C&L (IIRC) who seem to be intent on driving the business into the ground. Result is that my father has a layout that he can't complete due to parts supply drying up. Numerous P4 Track Company plastic sleepers are suffering gauge narrowing (plastic is unstable in our Sydney/Brisbane climate) which means that layout has basically failed. It is being dismantled in Feb and replaced with Ashburton - Model Railways On-Line. In my opinion, P4 is a non-starter and is only suitable for ironing-board layouts and nothing more. It isn't sustainable on larger layouts, especially for one-man constructions.

For EM, you basically need to be an EMGS member otherwise you can't get parts. Some may find this acceptable, some may not. EM certainly looks a lot better than OO without the hassle of P4, but I always figured that if you are concerned about accuracy, why stop with a 'halfway' measure (EM) which is still incorrect ? Why not go the whole way to P4 ? A conundrum.

Personally, I'd recommend staying with British OO. I built Ashprington Road - Model Railways On-Line using Peco Code 75 and it has been extremely reliable. Bullhead wasn't available at the time, but I'd consider it today.
Code 100 is a bit 'long in the tooth' for serious modellers, but it is the only standard used in the toy trainset world.

Another option is why bother with 4mm scale at all when we have such superb offerings in the 7mm space these days ?! (See In O gauge, you don't need so much stock to make a scene because each vehicle is a scene in its own right.

Finally for some ideas buy the Peco catalog and the setrack plans book to get an idea of what you might like, it'll help you understand possibilities even if you want a bespoke railway.
I would respectfully suggest that if someone is concerned about the discrepancies of OO vs HO and accuracy thereof, that a Peco SetTrack catalogue would be the last thing on their consideration list!
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As I remember it, Exactoscale made some kind of co-op deal with C&L but following the change in ownership, rescinded the arrangement and took back control. They did mail order briefly but now the only way to get hold of parts is via the appropriate finescale society as described in this webpage -

What that link doesn't tell you is that the P4 Track Company/C&L/Exactoscale product range once consisted of a massive range of turnout kits and parts, including crossing, switch blade and other rail parts as well as sleeper bases and plastic chairs.
With the exception of Exactoscale chairs, none of this is available now and when you do order the chairs, they take several months to be delivered.
The result of this is that it isn't currently possible to get the parts necessary to build P4 track, which, in my opinion, makes P4 a dead-end before one can even start.

I believe the intention was to increase the selection of components, but this is all being undertaken by volunteer effort; and I would imagine that the present epidemic has only added to the inevitable obstacles to progress.
It may well have been the intention to increase the selection of components, but the result has been the exact opposite.
And these problems pre-date COVID by a few years.
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