What is 1/2 scale.  I am looking at an engine, probably narrow gauge and the box says 1/2 scale

Thank you

Original Post
daylight posted:

What is 1/2 scale.  I am looking at an engine, probably narrow gauge and the box says 1/2 scale

Thank you

Maybe it is a typo. I would think that "1/2 scale" would be really big, as in "half the size of the real thing". For example "1/4 scale", or 3 inch scale live steam, is REALLY big, with 15" gauge track.

daylight posted:

s-l16002Hot Water, here is a picture of the box and the engine?  Might say 1/2" scale


Yes, it does show "1/2" scale", and NOT "1/2 scale". So,,,,,,,,is this a "1/2' scale" live steam model? Might be. A long time, late, friend of mine modeled in HO, and 1" scale live steam (he was an accomplished Machinist and made all three of his 1" scale live steam models in his basement). 

Now the big question is,,,,,,,,,,what gauge track does that model operate on???

1/2” scale would be 1/24, 1 Gauge. The box is labelled “Precision Scale Co” which suggests that it could well be a 1 Gauge, or 1/24 scale, 32mm gauge model of a D&RGW K27 2-8-2, probably made by Samhongsa in the 1980s or 1990s and imported by PSC.

More details would be helpful?  

1:48, O scale, sometimes referred to as quarter scale, is one-quarter of an inch to one foot

Half scale is one-half of an inch to one foot, which is 1:24 - twice as large as O scale



I think I will disagree with that.  One quarter scale would give you a model of a 40 foot boxcar that is ten feet long.  One Quarter Inch scale is used (incorrectly) for O Scale, and really means 1/4" = 1'0".

I agree with bob2     That " means Inch or inches.    Without that, 1/4 scaLE models would run on track over 1 foot wide and 1/2 scale models would run on track over 2 feet wide based on 4 feet 8 1/2 inches for full size.    1/2 scale models would be on the size range of at least for trucks and mechanical components of Maine 2 ft narrow gauge.    

0 scale, as in Zero scale is what we now call O scale. HO scale stands for "half zero", half the size of zero scale.  Guage 1 is of course bigger than zero. Put 1/2 gauge in the middle of 0 and gauge 1 size wise. Sounds about right if you're carrying the thing around in a wooden box. What does it measure between the wheels?


Now see you were talking 1/2" = 1 ft. which would be twice the size of O scale. Gauge 1 is described as 1/32. Gauge is 1.75 " 

Last edited by Simon Winter

What?  By that logic, you would call it 0/1 scale or 1/0 scale.  If it is half inch to the foot, then at least find some way to separate it from half scale, which, for railroads, is truly huge.

We do see airplanes measured that way.  A 3/4 scale Mustang is a thing of beauty, and carries the same number of pilots as the real thing.

The box has a label, and the label appears to describe a 1 Gauge, 1/2” = 1’ scale brass model, electric powered, made in 1990, probably by Samhongsa (the same people who made the Williams brass models, a well-known name in the field). 

Don’t know the actual track gauge but as the original prototype was 3’ gauge, I’d guess that it is O Gauge = 32mm? That would be about 2’6” in 1 Scale, comparable to On16.5 ... most large scale models in the 1 Gauge / G Gauge / 1:20.3 range run on 32mm or 45mm gauge track, whatever their nominal scale. 



Images (1)

Neat catalog.  I had no idea so much stuff was available!  Some day I shall get those SP caboose trucks and finish my 1:29 Harriman 0-6-0.

owner confirmed above suggested number; its1:24 scale and will run on one gauge track (lgb,etc). Made by Samhongsa


thanx to all

I believe most of the alphabet gauges like S, G, O, HO were made by manufactures in the model train industry.

If 1/48 is marked on box of a plastic model company product it is saying the model picture depicting it is a 1/48 =1' model.

A set of blueprints mary read. drawing is in 1/48 =1'

Another example. The Titanic.  Titanic models were mostly done in 1/8 =110' the main model used in the movie came out to be roughly 44' long or 881' in real life. I think that is right, maybe a little off I am in to the third beer.

Last edited by John Pignatelli JR.

Half Scale, to me would be something built 1/2 the size of the prototype.  1/2" scale would be built where 1/2" = 1'-0", as large scale, otherwise known as G scale is made to by LGB.  The other makers of large scale, Aristocraft, USA Trains, MTH Gauge 1 and Hartland are more or less, 1:29, 1:29, 1:32 and 1:29, respectively.  

John got the scale and ratio tangled up.

For O Scale the ratio is 1/48.  "48 to the foot" is accurate, but confusing.  1/4" = 1'0" is the correct way to state the scale.

1/48 = 1' is mixing a ratio with a dimension.  Ratios are not dimensioned.  Note that 1/4" divided by 12" will give you 1/48.

B Smith posted:

I chose a gauge of 5 feet in order to thwart a possible invasion from Canada.

What will you do if Russia drives their trains across the Bering Strait and invades your railroad?   

Never though about it until now.  If we modeled the Russian railroads our track gauge would be correct.   

Often wondered what a “Little Joe” would look like painted in Stalin era Soviet railroad colors/paint scheme.



B Smith posted:

I chose a gauge of 5 feet in order to thwart a possible invasion from Canada.

5' (5' 2.5" to be precise) is actually very close to the gauge still in use by a few traction and trolley operations in the US.

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653

Link copied to your clipboard.