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This question is directed at my Lionel # 6-18043  C & O "Chessie"  4-6-4 streamlined yellow/silver #490 Hudson.  There is nice detail (not really a distinctive point on a streamlined steam engine).  Basic dimensions seem to line up.  In the close coupled position the overall length is almost spot on.

I do realize that the engineer is frozen in position, the boiler is stone cold and there is electricity driving it's wheels but I am thinking Lionel must have had something else in mind...

What is Semi about Lionel's rendition of their Scale #490 ?

I have downsized locomotive models but this one does not seem to be downsized?  What am I missing?

Last edited by Tom Tee
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my Opinion is that something is either a scale model, or it is not a scale model.    The term "semi-scale" can mean whatever the speaker/company wants it to be.      And scale in my opinion  does not mean how many rails.    It can be scale proportioned and 3 rail and it can be something that is not scale and made for 3 rail.

The Lionel L1 #490 uses what was in the 90's a "standard" Lionel Hudson frame which is based on a NYC J1 Hudson. The actual 490 has 74" drivers whereas the J1has 79" drivers. The overall length of just the engine of the L1 is shorter than the J1. Because of the compromises Lionel took with using their existing Hudson frame, the 490 is not quite scale. However, until 3RD Rail produces their version of the L1(hopefully around the end of the year) the Lionel version is the about as "scale" as you can get.

Ken

I have come to the same opinion that prrjim shared, as well as (I think) Rich Melvin: It's either scale or it isn't.

Obviously, even sincere efforts to produce a "scale" model can err in some minor detail the mfg'er got wrong, but typically, with a scale model, there is typically nothing obviously "incorrect". (Typically very minor discrepancies with nothing major that shouts at you.)

However, to me, IF the model has a swiveling pilot where the prototype did not, or has truck mounted couplers, when the prototype didn't, and other such concessions, that model is "semi-scale" regardless how the mfg'er wants to market it.

This doesn't mean I want to  wrangle about it or argue, just that's the way I see it now. I'm fine with those that choose to see it differently. Besides, should I ever see a need to do so, I would use diesel engines with swiveling pilots and be happy, and wouldn't think a thing about truck mounted couplers.

BUT the question was asked, so I offered yet another opinion.

Andre

I feel the need to release some steam...

...following the above line of thought, almost every single aspect of our efforts here are NOT SCALE.

Very few folks here run on 5' 8 1/2" track gauge.    NON SCALE

Most folk here run in circles,   NOT SCALE

Almost no one here has live steam or internal combustion model locomotive power.   NOT SCALE

No one here has the wide curves run in real life.  NOT SCALE  ( I have 0144" curves and IMO my 80' cars look stupid when compared to main line photos) 

Who here has genuine prototypical catenary?   NOT SCALE

How many of us use prototypical air brakes.   NOT SCALE

Who here dumps their ash after each run?   NOT SCALE

How many of us allow refueling time, sand replenishment?  If not then  NOT SCALE

There are dozens of aspects that any one of us "violates".  So what?  I violate them all.

This is a hobby,   aka, supposedly, fun.

I have been rather beset when I go to model RR open houses and hear folks complement the host then turn around and talk about how XYZ is wrong or not properly done.

I am having a ton of fun building a rather  large  involved operating railroad with many fun features but am somewhat reluctant to have visitors and give opportunity to host negativity.

I may be wrong and or jaded but I am having a ball with my "non scale"  0 scale RR.

What a fine discussion. Tom tee is on point, nothing is scale. To me semiscale and scale engines and cars usually do not look good together, so I pull one or the other off my layout depending on what I feel like running.  After that it is a matter of detailing.

Regarding Tom's  sweeping curve comment, I just rode amtrak thru the cascades from Portland to Chemult Oregon. There were some pretty tight curves and lots of squealing as we wound through those mountains climbing 4000 feet. I am sure there was a lot of overhang on the passenger cars. Based on the angle I saw between cars, it did not appear to be much different than my passenger cars on my sweeping 072 curves. No comparison of course with the long straight runs and sweeping curves seen in the Midwest.   Needless to say nothing is happening on my layout this week.

@dkdkrd posted:

Semi-scale...Hmmmmm

Probably in the same realm of etymological allegory as, say, semi-pregnant?

Exactly! You beat me to it.

Every model is built to SOME scale. And I mean ALL models - trains, boats, cars, aircraft, structures, people - you name it. They are all built to some scaled-down dimension of the real thing.

The term "semi-scale" has never made any sense to me whatsoever. As dkdkrd said, it's like being "semi-pregnant." There is no such thing.

Every model ever made was built to some scaled-down size of the real thing.

Rich, my outlook on semi scale is it that it is much closer to actual scale than traditional PW stock.   In reality I call Scale stuff "pretty much scale".   Hard to find anything that is dead on and you can run it trouble free it on your layout.

Watch it or I may suggest a Semi-Scale forum

Words seem to achieve acceptance through use by the speaker and understanding by the listener.  It's all a gradual,  organic development of communication.   Words and expressions from just a century ago can need translation.

If you want to say scale is limited to dimensions only then think of  wheel tread, rivet heads, grab  bars, rail gauge,  step treads,  coupler size, tanker couplers, flange size, guard rail gap, frog dimensions, track joints, rail shape, spiral easements or not, super elevation or not, truss bridge sizes, box car door rails,  turn out numbers (#5,6 &7.5 are trolley sizes), grades, switch machines, etc, etc.  It's usually all NOT SCALE.  If all this was scale sized a layout would be in constant chaos.

In any event I love my Sunset scale brass locos, my die cast  engines, my smoke and sound PS-2&3 engines,  My 2 and 3 rail Lionel engines,  couple of odd ball pieces, any car with steel wheels, DC, AC or battery RC.   and my child hood 726 Lionel.   It's all good.

Nothing happier than going downstairs and running my recent stuff and  my 1950's stuff.  I let the 3 rail trains run from town to town on their own while operating the 2 rail  peddler freights and commuter service while dodging the name trains.

The only scale which really affects my life  is the one which records my calorie intake.

It's all good...enjoy!

@Tom Tee posted:

This question is directed at my Lionel # 6-18043  C & O "Chessie"  4-6-4 streamlined yellow/silver #490 Hudson.  There is nice detail (not really a distinctive point on a streamlined steam engine).  Basic dimensions seem to line up.  In the close coupled position the overall length is almost spot on.

I do realize that the engineer is frozen in position, the boiler is stone cold and there is electricity driving it's wheels but I am thinking Lionel must have had something else in mind...

What is Semi about Lionel's rendition of their Scale #490 ?

I have downsized locomotive models but this one does not seem to be downsized?  What am I missing?

Tom...this clearly should not be in the 3-rail scale forum so we moved it to the Lionel General Topics forum.

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