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Why are items for O gauge so expensive? It seems that you won't get much change from £500 for a ready-to-run tank loco, a small tender loco is about twice that, and an express loco about twice that again. Of course, much more raw material is used in the construction of them, but I would have thought this was a small percentage of the total cost. The other costs surely can't be that much higher than for OO gauge.

I realise that the market for O gauge is much smaller than for OO but does this alone account for the difference?
 

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I also found the cost a little over the top even for kits, as I only paid 15 pounds for a used shunter as a little side project to have a break from my oo layout
 

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there is far more work involved in building an o gauge loco than there is 4mm. in 4 mm you are basically assembling parts. in 7mm each and evry part needs to be finished by hand before it can be assembled.

i would say there was about 5 times the ammount of work involved in 7mm.

also the tools need to be far more substancial. and thus more expensive.

Peter
 

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You can model in O gauge relatively cheaply: Narrow gauge 0n30. not much more than 00. A word of warning: this is American 0 gauge at a scale of 1/4" = 1 ' which works out just over 6mm to the foot! Runs on 00 track as well.
 

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O gauge always has been more 'costly' than the smaller scales........look at the differnce in price of loco driver wheelsets?

I don't think 'size' is really the issue here, as gauge 1 rtr is much the same price...how big d'you wanna go?

Another anomaly is the price differential between N gauge and HO or OO...????

so, with the new Heljan #37 coming in at around £400, for a super-detailed O gauge loco, that ain't too bad, compared to some items for OO.....10000/10001, for example?

a lotta loco for the money?

still, when a simple OO[EM] 0-6-0 loco kit comes out between £100 and £150 after all the add-ons have been added on [motor, gearbox, wheelsets, etc]...which then has to be built, the whole issue is expensive..regardless of scale.

I assume your talking stuff like Martin Finney kits, etc, for O gauge???
 

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QUOTE You can model in O gauge relatively cheaply: Narrow gauge 0n30. not much more than 00.

not really a fair comparison.......and not O GAUGE........merely either 7mm SCALE, or 1/4 inch/foot.............this is a bit like saying one can fit OO gauge into a tiny space, by modelling OOn2 using 9mm track gauge....
 

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It's all a matter of scale, in every sense. The materials cost is generally a relatively small part of it, but the biggest factor is the production numbers and the corresponding component costs. The 0 scale market is very much smaller than 00 and H0, so production runs will be correspondingly smaller. If I can order a thousand identical small parts I can get a reasonable price, but if it's less than a hundred or so of a bought out part, then it becomes expensive. Special tooling is much harder to amortise over small production runs, so there's the choice of high tooling costs or extra skilled labour to build the model, either of which is eventually paid for by the customer. Plus there's the fact that there are many niche manufacturers who supply a limited area of interest with small product quantities.

If you think 00 scale modellers are fussy people, speak to a few 0 scalers! They are very demanding, which is why there is so much very high quality 0 scale scratch building done. Even the American tinplate market has to have products that will match their own special tastes. The would-be manufacturer's best strategy is to focus on a niche and make sure that it's big enough to pay the bills, and a good strategy for the modeller with a tight budget is to find out what markets the bigger manufacturers are targeting, and stay with them.
 

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I think I read in a magazine that the cost of a model railway stays roughly the same per square foot whatever the scale .For example to fill a square foot with 00 scale cost roughly the same as a square foot in 0 gauge..O scale is four times bigger in area than 00 and usually costs about 4 times as much .I may of course be talking rubbish .
 

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It depends what you want to model. If your happy with 3 rail O gauge for example. You could go for American outline by Lionel, MTH or Williams by Bachmann. The first two produce ready to run sets just like Hornby do in OO. There is a large market in the US for these so the prices are reasonable. A small 0-6-0 tank loco can be had for under $100. Its possible to build a nice O gauge layout for a reasonable amount.
Also a large amount of second hand equipment is available which can help keep costs down.
Lionel and MTH have both started making British outline locos. Lionel's GWR Hall is a bargain (around £200 with coaches). MTH has gone straight in with a top of the line LMS Duchess this is a hefty £950 but it has full sound, smoke, and command control.

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies. I have several times toyed with the idea of O gauge especially now that I can afford it. I like the fact that its scale gauge ratio is much more accurate then OO although not perfect. I realise that EM or P4 could achieve the same but I don't have the skill for those. I can make platforms, buildings, and scenery but not rolling stock; certainly not engines. Perhaps, when I have finished my current OO layout in the garage and it begins to lose its novelty value, I will fell like taking the plunge into O gauge, however that is at least a couple of years in the future. I won't have the space for an oval layout which I prefer, so it will require some compromises.

Cheers, Robert.

P.S. I wouldn't dream of using 3 rail as I would want as much realism as possible, and narrow gauge has never appealed to me.
 

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O gauge has the advantage of ''presence''.........bulk, weight, inertia......stock weights, for example, can be much more realistically aligned to the prototype than is the case with, say, 4mm scale.....what does change, IMHO, with scale, are the dynamics of the vehicles.

O gauge stock truly trundles along....loco drivers really crush the dirt off rails.....

but...I have never sat at ease with the idea of large PLASTIC O gauge locos.....dunno why, maybe its psychological.......besides, we ALL know REAL engines only had 4 wheels....and REAL track only has 3 sleepers per length.......

didn't have you down as a man with an interest in big keys, tho', Robert....
 

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Dear Robert,

I was faced with the same dilemma when I set out in 0 Gauge, after seeing several O Gauge layouts at an exhibition. I am also interested in Light Railways which means small locos and easy to build wagons and vans.

I realised that though I am not very good at scratchbuilding I might be able to get away with using card for the wagons and vans and plastikard for the locos in the scale. I did have to buy wheels, axleguards buffers etc but these cost a lot less than buying even a kit in the scale.

The decision proved to be the right one, here's a pic of one of the first wagons I made, the drawing was stuck to card and shellaced, the planking lines are 2 scalpel cuts and peel out the strip, the strapping is paper and the rivets are blobs of glue.



I use Mecanorma rub on transfer sheets for the lettering (don't know if these or anything like them are still available)

Jim
 

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Excellent modelling


David
 

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oh excellent....real railway modelling in the traditional style........thanks for that, jimread.....I admit at first glance, I thought it was a Slaters wagon.....meant as a compliment, btw...You also prove that, in O gauge, building stuff yourself CAN work out really cost-effective compared to kit prices or RTR.....

unlike the situation in 4mm scale, where rtr and kit prices are so relatively low, building oneself really isn't worth it anymore.
 

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Thanks David and thanks Alistair,

Having said that about the wagons, this was the first loco I made a Manning Wardle Class L ST. The body is from plastikard, the chassis is two bits of brass hand drilled, I filed the con rods from some nickel silver and the odds and ends came from various model shops and by post after receiving lists, no www when I made this.

Here's a rather cruel pic of it showing all the faults and the lack of detail, it does run superbly though, I use a 3 transistor pulsed, feedback controller and the motor has got a flywheel.



Jim
 

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I love it!

How about of these little fellas?



David
 

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just look at the sleepering?

like Peco streamline with the webs cut, and sleepers spaced out a bit.....[ a trick suggested previously, somewhere....to alleviate the 'crowded' look of peco's sleepers]

I mentioned in another thread regarding royal Naval dockyard railways, a book I first saw referenced by Iain Rice....about the Devonport Dockyard RAilway.

these are still roughly in existance, although much reduced...[google earthed Devonport this afternoon..still saw two yellow diesel shunters..small, probably 4 wheelers]

I bought the book the other week, out of curiosity..thanks to the OP who originally queried these things, to which I researched and replied.......Devonport not being far from where I spent some of my early childhood....plus a parental link....................

a quite curious railway system, full of no.1 curves, setrack points, turntables galore [a couple still visible on google earth!!].....a tunnel which was too low.. and some very curious, 'scratchbuilt ' stock...........including the last diesels, which actually replaced some more modern counterparts..that's the MoD for you......let us hope they don't find a wharehouse full of un-used Brown Bess muskets?

Anyhow, I digress as usual...the 'goods' stock was very interesting...apparently the Dockyard Engineers bught in redundant mainline goods wagons....ripped the bodies off and built their own replacements on the chassis...this done to permit passage through the aforementioned low tunnel 'tween dockyards.

For the modeller, this is an ideal prototype-for-everything-and-anything?

so, build your own generic design of wagon on a proprietary chassis [the older the better]..and it wont be far adrift from an SNSO wagon possibly seen at Devonport?

what prompted this epistle?

the livery of jimread's lovely little saddle tanker!
 

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Dear David and Alistair,

This is the pivotal point of cheap O Gauge using parts from other scales RTR and S/H parts, if your interest lies away from all the main line stuff then this can be achieved quite simply.

That VB loco body David could be made from card and some Hornby wheels would suffice although they may even be a bit too large :)

The colour schemes Alistair as you rightly say can be as you like it, a book that mentions this is The Chronicles of Boulting's Siding, their accountant used to paint and line out their overhauled locos.

Here's one from that book it was called Bristol, dimensions mostly guessed from the little line drawing in the book. Plastikard body, Hornby wheels with every other spoke cut out, silver steel to extend the axles, driven by a S/H Plessey motor.



Jim
 

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I remember the RM featured a lovely light railway, the "Abbey Road & Barton Bendish Light Railway" which showed how less was more when it came to O gauge - anyone else see that (1970s?)?

60134
 
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