BEGINNERS GUIDE: Choosing a model railway scale

Choosing a gauge to model can present a challenge. However, as RICHARD HALL explores, the ever-increasing ranges across multiple scales each provide their own strengths and benefits.

WITH AN ever-increasing pool of ready-to-run products in a growing number of scales, the choice of a scale and gauge in which to model UK railways has never been greater in the hobby; each scale presents distinct strengths and drawbacks, many of which are pertinent for both beginners in the hobby and for more advanced railway modellers alike.

The terms ‘scale’ and ‘gauge’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but are not the same. Scale pertains to the overall modelling size: for model railways, scale is often given as a ratio (1:76 in ‘OO’ gauge referring to the scale being 76 times smaller than reality) but also as a proportion of millimetres to feet in each scale size. For example, 4mm being modelled in 1:76 is directly proportional to one scale foot.

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