Besides building dioramas and military models, one of my interests are model railroading. I’ve modelled in H0, N and even 1:35, but now I’d like to try O scale for the first time.
O scale unfortunately differs from country to country. In continental Europe O is written with a zero, 0, and is usually 1:45 scale. In Britain, where model stardards always seem to differ from what the rest of the world uses, thay have decided to use 1:43 as the scale. This is interesting enough exactly double the size of H0 or half-zero scale, 1:87, which isn’t used much in Britain but in the rest of the world!
In the US, the normal scale for O is 1:48, which fortunately fits with the large and growing range of miniatures from a number of compagnies, especially Japanese Tamiya.
For my use of the scale, I’ve decided use models both in 1:45 and 1:48 in order to have the largest choice of models available. As for figures, I’ll use any scale that seems to fit, acknowleding the huge difference in human scale. 🙂
The US soldier above from Tamiya is for instance only 33 mm tall, making him only 158 cm tall in 1:1 including boots and helmet!
The small locomotive above is made by the German company Fleischmann in their now unfortunately discontinued range Magic Train. The Magic Train range consisted of a number of 0e or On30 models primarily intended for children. There were only two type of locomotives available and very few types of railroad cars, but the models are quite inexpensive.
The detailing on especially the cars is pretty low, but I think they made a good job with the small locomotive, Deutsche Reichsbahn BR 99 4605. Marking the locomotive Deutsche Reichsbahn sets the time for the model between 1920, when the Germans Länderbahns was made into a single railroad compagny and 1949, when the railroad, then split between the four zones of occupation in Germany, was formally dissolved.
The rods and pistons seem quite detailed for a locomotive that is supposed to be thrown around by youngsters. 🙂
An ugle detail, however, is the rods with springs that go to the surface of the tracks to pick up the power to the motor. It seems that both the wheelsets pick up the current as well, so I think they can safely be removed.
The markings on the locomotive are crisp and easy to read and give us some geographical hints to the origin of the locomotive. Below the number Rbd. Stettin can be read, which refers to Reichbahnsdirektion Stettin, the railroad division covering much of Pomerania.
At the bottom another name can be read, Putbus, which is a town on the island of Rügen in northern Germany, that even today has a narrow gauge line running with steam locomotives!
According to this interesting site, the locomotive is actually a model of an Austrian prototype, so I guess it’s best used as a generic small locomotive.
Note the fine texture of the side of the locomotive, which with a proper weathering could look a lot like real steel.
The little locomotive is quite easy to take apart. The roof and the rear end can simply be pulled right of.
Underneath the locomotive a screw can be loosend, allowing for the removal of the boiler, which is filled with metal to add weight and traction to the little steamer.
This only leaves the frame and the motor behind. The motor is quite small, but seems to have a fair amount of pulling power and allows the engine to go extremely fast. My guess is that the prototype never went faster than about 20 km/h, so I’ll have to be careful with the throttle. 🙂
The reason I took the locomotive apart was to see how difficult it might be to install a decoder. Seeing how the engine and its light is mounted it does seem to pose a problem, since the frame probably is used to conduct the power.
Have you tried installing a decoder, or seen it done anywhere? Please leave a comment… 🙂
I am very fond of my new little locomotive that the postman brought with him a couple of days ago from Addie-Modell in Germany. Even though the production has been discontinued the cars and locomotives can still be found found here and there.
I paid 78€ for the steamer and I think it’s great value for the money. I am really looking forward to weathering it and making a diorama for it and its cars when I’ve finished the monastery diorama sometime soon.