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Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?

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Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?  

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  1. 1. Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?

    • Absolutely yes!
      36
    • Maybe, if it was cost neutral?
      24
    • No way!
      16


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9 minutes ago, Mike 84C said:

If I had started with no 16.5 gauge locos and stock. It would be far to expensive to convert, sadly.

Pretty much, unless there was some kind of buy back scheme and cost effective conversion services for locos and rolling stock, it's not really worth it. Path dependency has to be taken into account.

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I certainly would, as the extra realism is a real enhancement. 

Now, everything I personally own is 00 gauge, but almost all is convertible to 21mm. Thus, if 21mm RTR track was available, I could be persuaded to change - cost permitting. If I was starting out, however, I would not think twice about it.

Dare we dream that IRM is pondering the issue over a bowl of soup?

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Absolutely love the idea. And would definitely try it for small shunting layout where only a few rolling stock items might need to be converted. 

Would have a concern about the viability of converting all my MM and coaching and goods wagon stock to run on 21mm. Converting rolling stock especially locos seems to require specialist tools and specialist skills. Not for the feint hearted. Perhaps if there were replacement 21mm bogies manufactured for popular rolling stock (eg MM Cravens, Commonwealth bogies, etc), and replacement wheel sets for MM locos these could be more easily swapped in without need of specialist tools. MM locos seem quite a specialist conversion. For it to be viable to convert my existing layout I'd need flexitrack, medium L&R points, and L&R curved points as well as crossings and slips (tall order), wooden sleeper patterns and colour.

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The ‘sweet spot’ for doing this was probably 15 years ago when the Murphy stuff came out and made RTR Irish stuff a true possibility. In an ideal world, the range would have included track and a small selection of rolling stock as well as locos which were 21mm by default and 16.5 by conversion. Rather as Hornby Dublo initiated its 3 rail track and stock in the 30s.
 

Many Irish modellers could have started then with 21 mm from the outset, simply plug and play. However, that would have been a huge commercial risk, and I can see why it didn’t happen- those first 141s were a huge gamble in themselves. Much of the subsequent rolling stock production has taken 16.5 as a convenient starting place eg the first Provincial Wagons. The current boom in Irish modelling has rested a great deal on 16.5 underpinnings.

I also suspect that many of the Irish locos and stock have been purchased by overseas fans as one-off consists to run occasionally on their HO/OO systems, and wonder just how many single-minded Irish modellers there may actually be, who would plunge into 21mm entirely. 

Although I am a big fan of true 5’3” track - and model it myself - I suspect that the legacy issues of stock conversion etc mean that 21mm may not be taken up by many. 

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I enquired about this several years ago at IRM. I got a firm no because if the intricacies involved in creating the track and the points and there was some discussion about prototypical crossings. 
I have been planning a larger layout and was procrastinating about narrow gauge versus 21mm. No sign of 21mm track and finally resigned to having to stick to 16.5 even though I have one or two steams locos guaged to 21mm.

I need a lot of track and cannot see myself building it AND converting the stock. The latter I would do if I had flexitrack, a long express point and a shorter points for yards.

So design is going to have to wait to see the outcome of this. I do agree with the sentiments above regarding stock being available as 21mm with conversion possible to 16.5 as needed.

This would be a huge leap forward for Irish modeling looking to the future and finally get us away from a half century old attachment to diminutive early steam locos and primitive motors.

As for legacy stock issues, I know this is a concern for me too, but the bigger picture moving forward a decade is likely to be improved replacement Irish outline stock in 21mm

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Bound to happen ,i've been modelling 21mm for years so someones bound to bring out ready to run.Proof i've just finished a couple of old Centre Models industrials(EM gauge),a Hunslet 16"saddle tank and a Kerr Stuart Victory,and surprise surprise both have just been announced in 4mm by a couple of manufacturers,Andy.

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Since UK stock should run on 18,83mm track, which does it look worse on, 16,5mm or 21mm?

I reckon that if 21mm RTR track were to be released, it would probably take several years to catch on. I'm hoping to build two large layouts over the next few years, and would definitely go 21mm if the wheelsets were available, and say medium left points and medium right points.

I don't think we could expect a manufacturer to release a full range all in one go. Flexible tracks, a left point and a right point and we could do a lot with that.

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The biggest PITB would be regauging steam engines. My fleet so far 3 Woolich's 850, Bandon tank , GSWR 0-6-0t, J15, NCC Jinty, and a couple in gestation. Plus five diesels and about 50 items of rolling stock!  Just looking at that list suggests I need to build some real estate pronto!

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This question comes at the right time for me! I hope to start building my layout in l2021. It will be based on a single line MGWR station with passing loop, and some other stuff as well. So it is opportune for me to consider this question whether the simplicity of layout and quantity of trackwork I require makes 21mm a better prospect. I joined the EM and P4 societies to be better informed of what would be involved. Over the years I have a amassed a healthy collection of MM locos, Irish coach and wagon stock etc. Having weighed up all of the pros and cons, I am of the view currently that the tasks of (a) converting all of my rolling stock, and (b) scratchbuilding all of the 21mm trackwork is a bridge too far for me and the nearest I will get to it will be to run current stock on Peco Code 75 bullhead trackwork and points (or similar) with some clever track weathering to give the illusion of a wider track gauge. 

I should have added that yes I would love to model in 21mm if the trackwork was available off the shelf, and the rolling stock conversion could be managed without too much difficulty! 

Edited by fishplate7
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1 hour ago, NIR said:

It's a bit odd though, all the drooling over the detail on a 121, the lights are wrong, I want a driver inside, but the most glaring inaccuracy is just accepted with a shrug, can't be bothered.

I think it’s what Coleridge called ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’.......

 

 

 

7 minutes ago, murphaph said:

I wonder is there also am opportunity to sell 21mm track into the Indian market. I believe they also model in 1:76 and with a 5'6" gauge they'd ideally have 22mm in 4mm scale but no such track exists. I wonder would they be happy to enough with 21mm.

I wonder if any Brazilian or Australian modellers have tackled it - they have 5’3” too.....

8ECA24BC-2325-4485-8136-8CDFFC5AEEC8.jpeg

Edited by Galteemore
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I think it would be challenging enough developing a 4mm Irish rtr broad gauge track system without going down the rabbit hole of Australian, South American, Indian, Iberian broad gauge.

The biggest challenge would be in developing a 'Universal" broad gauge track system that would allow a continuous run layout to be built in a similar space to the same layout in OO, without having to significantly distort the scale of the model.

The track and wheel standards cannot be considered in isolation otherwise a manufacturer cannot achieve reliable running. 

It may be necessary to reduce the track gauge below 21mm to achieve sufficient running clearance on curved track when using NMRA 110 wheels to avoid having to increase the width of locos and stock.

From experience 30" radius was the practical limit for 21mm main line diesels and bogie stock using EM profile wheels which have a narrower tyre width than the NMRA110 wheels used as standard with modern rtr rolling stock.

In practice it was sometimes challenging fitting EM profile wheels to locos and stock that were designed and built for use on 21mm gauge track, it would be extremely difficult to design or manufacture a 21mm gauge steam outline loco with NMRA 110 wheels capable of running around a curve without having to increase the width of the body, and or move out splashers or outside cylinders if fitted.

 

 

 

 

 

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Indeed, John - you alluded to this matter of radius.

It would have to be accepted by a modeller who is tight for space, that the minimum radius would have to be slightly larger.

A agree with all points raised above - it seems fair to say that there seems to be a broad consensus that for people starting out its an option, but not to convert. I have ten Murphy diesels and two Silverfox. I know the former are easy to convert - not sure about the SF ones - anyone know?

Rolling stock - I've quite a mixture, and while I know for a fact that some are convertible, that's by no means any guarantee that the rest (majority) of them are. So as far as I would be concerned, personally, things stay as they are - albeit there is absolutely no doubt that 21mm looks WAAY better. The point made above about someone maybe making a fuss about a missing bolt on a Murphy loco, while it's running on unrealistically "narrow gauge" track not raising anyone's eyebrow - is a very valid one indeed.

Regarding Brazil, I have a sometime interest in the railways of there, plus Argentina and the very fascinating Paraguayan system. It had occurred to me at times to toy with the idea of a generic Brazilian or South American shunting layout, either broad gauge or metre (I like the erstwhile Mogiana Railway). From my observations in a number of locations in all three countries, the only difference I see is that sleepers tend to be more closely spaced - certainly, it looks that way on the ground. I did a thorough exploration of two stations in Argentina the last time I was there, and that's what it looked like. Having said that, the commercial success of selling broad gauge track to those markets, or Oz, or India, would depend on RTR stuff in those countries to run on it!

As others note above, THEY tend to use H0 track too, and for India, with a 5'6" gauge, that looks even LESS realistic. I considered buying a static model handmade BBCIR 4.6.0 one time, but though built to 00 scale, it just looked plain ridiculous "narrow-gauged" to American H0 track.

I know for a fact that many modellers in Brazil (OK, both of them!) tend to favour the metre gauge lines there (including the Mogiana system), because there is one Brazilian manufacturer who do RTR stuff, and at least two of their models are as close as makes little difference to 3'6" gauge locos running in South Africa (34 class), Indonesia (CC201) and metre-gauge India.

Interesting thread!

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Any rewheeling exercise is daunting it depends on the end result and just getting on with it,one of my current projects is rewheeling the majority of of my Donegal stock from 9 mm wheels to 10.5mm using 8mm spoked lowac wheels and shortening the axles,with about 20 coaches and 70 wagons its taking a bit of time but visually well worth it.Andy.

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_Clearing_House

Railway Clearing House

 

‘The RCH went on to set technical standards for various items, such as goods wagons, to promote standardisation across the rail network. If a wagon was described as an RCH wagon, this meant it had been built to comply with RCH standards.’


 

Edited by Galteemore
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6 hours ago, murphaph said:

a few "end on" pics would be great

Perhaps, these may help?

1299849841_458-HeadOn.thumb.jpg.fcdc9d584472e5381689cf1b6f950405.jpg

458 Class

 

 

894713566_CoveredWagonEndView.thumb.jpg.9810aed047df1d9bd1057c110ede56cb.jpg

DSER 13'6" Covered Wagon

 

 

2040547913_TrainFromFront-Painted2.thumb.jpg.0da57ce1c8a807fa870e33f28926ac41.jpg

Armoured Train

 

 

92963368_GoodsBrake-EndView.thumb.jpg.21566641a2ee5c7dd76cf285a193d765.jpg

DSER Goods Brake

 

 

1638777138_BallastwagonEndon.thumb.jpg.bd6c7fa632a3c48e5c4449bf431bde34.jpg

Latest to the Yard - DW&WR Ballast Wagon

 

Happy New Year to you all.

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I voted maybe, but it would be a very big maybe. A small shunting layout with a few items of rolling stock might be possible, but to convert the whole fleet of up to 500 bogies (if IRM keep bringing out stuff that I just have to buy!), it would be expensive and time consuming, no matter how easy it was to do. Of course it could be done, but with most of my fleet still lacking DCC chips, weathering etc, there are other priorities. 

I do think that 21mm looks great.

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