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Author Topic: G Scale VS On30  (Read 15616 times)
OscarG

What a MUG!


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« on: July 10, 2011, 05:41:24 AM »

I joined yesterday hoping to find out if the engine I have is a true "G' scale or a On30. I can't find anything specific, so I thought I would ask. Here is what I have:

Bachmann Spectrum 36 Ton-2 Truck Shay. ( Item No. 81197, according to BM, it don't exist  Huh?)

But it does. I have the original packaging, and shipping boxes. The box with the picture calls it a "G" Scale.
Searching on the internet I have found similar 2 Truck Shays in the On30 listings, as well as this site.
However they are listed with 14 Ton, not 36 Ton. A bit confusing  Cry

I bought it because I liked it and I had it on display. Now that I have time I want to add rolling stock. More track, maintain the scale, etc.  Smiley I want to do some Railroading!  Shocked

So which is it? Can an expert "train" minded person lend some advice?
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Machinest for 25 years. Woodworker for over 35 years. Retired 5 years.
Brand new to Model Railroading! Very interested in establishing a Garden Railroad. I have a Bachmann Spectrum 36 Ton-2 Truck Shay, painted unlettered. All suggestions are most welcomed, before I lay any track! 7/9/11
Chuck N

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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 07:27:30 AM »

Oscar:

A "G" Shay will be over a foot long and will run on track that is 45 mm between the rails.  An "On30" shay will be on the order of 6 inches long and runs on HO track.  "HO" track is about an inch between the rails.  One is really large and the other is really small.

Chuck

Looking at the Bachmann catalog on30 engines stock numbers begin with 2 and G numbers start with 8 or 9.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 07:32:48 AM by Chuck N » Logged
Jerrys HO
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 07:30:56 AM »

Oscar,
If it helps there is one listed on www.liveauctioneers.com. It is a G scale hope the pic helps. Lot #1098 on this site.
Jerry
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Chuck N

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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2011, 07:35:05 AM »

Oscar:

A "G" Shay will be over a foot long and will run on track that is 45 mm between the rails.  An "On30" shay will be on the order of 6 inches long and runs on HO track.  "HO" track is about an inch between the rails.  One is really large and the other is really small.

Chuck

Looking at the Bachmann catalog on30 engines stock numbers begin with 2 and G numbers start with 8 or 9.

The 36 ton shays (G) are out of production and haven't been made for many years.  That is probably why you can't find it in a current Bachmann catalog.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 08:44:44 AM »

Oscar, I assure you it does exist. My Bachmann historical database shows your G Scale two truck shay 81197 was in the catalog in 1998 with the modern cab with the modern headlights the rear headlight was on the cab roof and it had added features over the 1996 shays. This 1998 version was based on a Pardee & Curtin Lumber co prptotype shay which is pictured in the catalog. 81197 was on page 114 and was listed, but not pictured., 81196 was pictured and painted as P&C no 11.  Yours was painted but not lettered. Not sure where you looked or who you talked to but they were mistaken.  Here is a listing of the 811xx series of 36 ton Shays.

81198   ETL Co   5   1996    Shay, 2 truck, Ely Thomas
81196   P&CL Co   11   1998       Shay, 2 truck, Pardee & Curtin
81199   None        None   1996       Shay, 2 truck, unlettered, early
81197   None      None    1998   Shay, 2 truck, unlettered, modern

Your G Scale Shay is a real beauty and was almost an instant sellout when it hit the street.  Back then everyone had to have one. It was a real feeding frenzy.

There were some problems with the plastic parts in the gearbox and the trucks were upgrsded ion the 2004 shay releases.  Bachmann stilll sells replacement trucks for the early shays. 

Best of luck with your G Scale shay!!!!

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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
JerryB

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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 11:55:48 AM »

Oscar:

Welcome.

In addition to the good information you received above, you should know that your Shay is actually 1:20.3 scale. The NMRA designates 1:20.3 as 'F scale' (rather than 'G scale'). The fact that your Shay is a very early one is the reason that 'G scale' is on the box. The designations for scales have changed over the years.

Your 1:20.3 scale Shay runs on 45mm (1.77") gauge track which is the correct scale track gauge for 3' narrow gauge models. The full designation for the scale of your Shay is Fn3, where the small 'n' means narrow gauge and the '3' means 3 foot gauge. That means it is a 1:20.3 scale model of a prototype that ran on 3' narrow gauge track.

You mentioned that you want to ". . . maintain the scale." G scale models are 1:22.5 scale, slightly smaller than the scale of your Shay. The term 'G scale' is also (incorrectly) used to describe models at numerous scales including 1:24, 1:29 and 1:32. Some folks are willing to accept these and larger scale differences: Many of us strive to operate accurate scale trains.

In order to have models that are the same scale as your Shay, you need to look for Fn3 or 1:20.3 scale. Bachmann makes a great line of Fn3 models that are the correct and accurate scale to match your Shay. You can find several other manufacturers of correct scale models by Googling "1:20.3 model trains." There are also manufacturers of buildings and accessories in the 1:20.3 scale.

You have a very nice engine, but I would suggest you seriously consider replacing the trucks with the 'new' metal ones. It is really easy and will definitely lengthen the life of your Shay should you or someone decide to operate it. You never know how long the replacement trucks will be available.

Hope this helps.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
NMRA Life Member #3370
Member: Bay Area Electric Railway Association
Member: Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources
JerryB

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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 09:40:56 PM »


Oscar, I assure you it does exist. My Bachmann historical database shows your G Scale two truck shay 81197 . . . <snip>

<snip>Your G Scale Shay is a real beauty . . . <snip>

There were some problems with the plastic parts in the gearbox and the trucks were upgrsded ion the 2004 shay releases.  Bachmann stilll sells replacement trucks for the early shays. 

Best of luck with your G Scale shay!!!!


Bill:

I just received a PM from Oscar regarding the Shay's scale size and the name of the scale: "G" or F?" Your use of the term "G scale" for a 1:20.32, Fn3 scale model is a little confusing. We all know that Oscar's Shay is 1:20.3 or F or Fn3 scale, but many newcomers don't. Smiley

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
NMRA Life Member #3370
Member: Bay Area Electric Railway Association
Member: Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 10:05:28 PM »

here is the PM I sent to Oscar:

Oscar,  Your Shay is 1:20.3 which is the same as Fn3  Read on:
The G Gauge or G Scale often used interchangeably refers to a cross section of many different manufacturers lines of trains which all run on the same size track(45mm wide).
Bachmann G Scale trains come in two sizes.   One is 1:22.5 and the other is 1:20.3.  !:20.3 is also called Fn3.   The Bachmann line of G Scale Trains comes in the Big Hauler line (sometimes also called the "Standard" line) which is what the 1:22.5 scale is, and the Spectrum line which is what the 1:20.3 or Fn3 scale  is called.  No matter both operate on the same size track.

I know it is very confusing to new modelers getting involved in G Scale for the first time.  It is so confusing I some times get crazy myself trying to explain it.

It even gets worse, G Scale trains made by the USA Trains company are 1:32 scale and G Scale Trains made by the Aristo Craft  company are 1:29th scale, except for their Classics line (formerly Delton Trains) which is 1:22.5.  Even at that all sizes run on the same width track.  It is the track size that allows all four of these sizes to be called G Scale Trains, which is why many of the 1:20.3 scale modellers like to call 1:20.3 Fn3 instead even tho they are one and the same.   There are many other brands AMS, LGB, PIKO Lionel, and others who make G Scale trains, again all run on the same size track, but maybe of different sizes, which I won't go into at this time.

The Bachmann Spectrum line is very expensive due to the high level of detail while the Big hauler Line (Standard line) has less detail and are much more reasonably priced. 

THE MAJOR ISSUES

Couplers, and what look good together are to me the major issues for new modelers.

All these different Brands have their own style of coupler so often do not run well together.  There is no agreed upon standard between manufacturers.

To me the major issue is what looks OK together.   This is a very personal issue, There are the purists sometimes called rivet counters.  To them everything must be perfect to scale right down to the last rivet. Then there are the ones who mix sizes or just run whatever looks good to them and who have little on no concern if some part of a locomotive of freight car are not perfect reproductions of the prototype.

Recommend that for starters you stick with Bachmann and look into the measurements of a 1:20.3 Box car and a 1:22. Box car to see which size and price matter to you.  I run my Shay with the cheaper Big Hauler cars and especially like the skeleton log cars and the eight wheel caboose.  Look at the Bachmann on line catalog to get some ideas.

Get a copy of Garden railways magazine, or even better see if there is a GScale Train Club in your area. Even if it is a long way away try to go to at least one meeting  and you will learn a lot.  I learn the most from the quiet guys rather than the big mouth types who often see things only one way.


After awhile you will learn all this and feel more comfortable with it.  I spent so much time on this reply, I am going to post it in case other new G Scalers are also confused. 

Enjoy your new adventure!!!
Bill

Rivet counters please accept this as my best effort to explain a totally confusing state of the hobby generally referred to a G Scale Trains to a new guy.  I enjoy my rivet counter friends very much and my reference to rivet counters is done with respect. 

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 10:43:01 PM »

Jerry,
I didn't want to cause confusion or offense, In my area Fn3 is a never used term to describe 1:20.3, Everyone here refers to Bachmann Spectrum  products as 1:20.3 rather than F or Fn3.   Even the Bachamnn catalog makes no reference to Fn3 or F for their Large Scale Spectrum products.  So if Oscar accepted that his loco was F or Fn3 and went to the catalog he would not find any F or Fn3 products but he would find Large Scale 1:20.3.   I have found over the years that more folks are confused when I refer to Bachmann as Fn3 as opposed  to 1:20.3.  I really don't know of any industry wide standard accepted by all manufacturers as to what the various scales of G Scale(or gauge) should be called, thus adding to the confusion.  Should Aristo stuff be called E scale and USAT H scale because they are different? ?it is not my call. I do not use Fn3 to Document Bachmann products because Bachmann itself does not use Fn3.  The NMRA I believe uses it but the NMRA definitions are primarlily for NMRA folks which are a small minority in G scale.  Manufacturers do not all accept NMRA definitions. Some like Bachmann do allow for polarity changes for NMRA or Large Scale standard for some but not all locos,but I did not want to get into all that with Oscar since things are so confusing to new modelers as it is.
Bill

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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
armorsmith


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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 11:53:44 PM »

Hey Bill,

Maybe for future reference you might consider, as I have when trying to explain our chosen hobby, referring to our scale as 'Large Scale'. Due to the many different scale/gauge combinations 45mm track represents, I find it easier to stop using the 'G' Scale designation.  Or at least define 'G' Scale as 'Generic Scale'.

I can't find it offhand, but somewhere I have a link to a web site with a great breakdown of scale vs gauge and designations for Large Scale.  If I can find it, I will post it here.

My Tuppence worth.

Bob C.
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 12:50:57 AM »

My kids think "G" stands for Giant scale becuase next to the others it's Giant.  Cheesy

NM-Jeff

Anyone know where "G" came from?
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steamrusty

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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2011, 03:03:08 AM »

Hey NarrowMinded,
"G" = Garden and was born by LBG "Lehmann's Gartenbahn". So most people say. It was the first manufacturer of trains who run outdoors.
In the meantime many manufacturers steped on the train with all kind of different scales. All run on 45mm track but remember: scale 1 ist standart gauge 1:32 (1435mm), 1:22,5 (1000mm), 1:20,3 (914mm/3'). This are the true scales to the track.
All other sizes are out off scale to the track an will be called "G" - here in Germany.
steamrusty
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2011, 12:46:31 PM »

Bob C,
I was looking for that site too, I wanted to refer it to Oscar.  If you find please post it and I will do the same if I find it.  Large Scale is a good way to refer to it and I often do.  If someone else asks if something is G Scale I usuallly reply using G scale.   In the historical database I keep I use the term Large Scale because that is what Bachmann calls it.

Jeff   
I like that one, My grand kids call it HUGE  so I was thinking  of suggesting we call it H scale Grin


steamrusty

I was in Germany for seven years many  many years ago and bought a LGB set when they first came out.  Back then LGB was called Lehmann Gross Bahn,  Gross translating to Big or Large and Bahn translating to Train.   So in US english we called it Lehmann Big Trains. 

Since many used the trains outdoors The term Garden was often substituted for G Scale then Garden Railways  Magazine popularized the Garden name. Looks like that happened in Germany as well.   

Ain't confusion fun!

As far as it goes with me personally it usually doesn't matter to me what things are called if I at least understand what is meant 
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2011, 02:09:52 PM »

Hopefully Oscar is still following this. 

Here is one size comparison post on My Large Scale.Com it has quite a few pictures, not sure it is the one Bob may have mentioned earlier


http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/aff/23/aft/90316/afv/topic/Default.aspx#92103 

Hope this helps those who want to compare size. 

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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
OscarG

What a MUG!


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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2011, 03:59:21 PM »

Hey guys I was just over at the website that Bill posted and was looking at the pictures.
WOW and WOw!!  Shocked

What a difference! I very certainly was not at all aware of the size difference. These pictures were eye opening. Thanks Bill.
There's a picture of what appears to be a LARGE Loco (Fn3) hauling two G Scale coaches. There is a large difference. To my eyes, anyway.

At this point I need to decide if I want to continue with Fn3 (no contest, I do) or switch to G. After all this will not be a cheap FUN hobby. That is to say if I want to continue with 1:20.3.
I did some price checking and Spectrum is pricey! Then there is Aristocraft, they are very pricey.
Unless I am mistaken these are my only real options to stck with 1:20.3. Besides Ebay, or Live Auctions, Craigslist, etc.
I think as long as I don't get Brass or Stainless Steele track, that will be cheap. The way I will power my trains is undecided as yet, but since no track is laid either, I have time. Lord willing.

Thank you all for the awesome posts that I have been reading eagerly!

I will continue with my quest, happy RRing!

Oscar
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Machinest for 25 years. Woodworker for over 35 years. Retired 5 years.
Brand new to Model Railroading! Very interested in establishing a Garden Railroad. I have a Bachmann Spectrum 36 Ton-2 Truck Shay, painted unlettered. All suggestions are most welcomed, before I lay any track! 7/9/11
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