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My trains are all 3 rail 0 and 0-27 gauge.  Have a layout of 19 ft 8 ft whitch includes a 4 x4 ft middle section.  Have completed a lot of mountainous scenery but when looking at size of 0 gauge buildings I am finding it difficult to fit in.  Has anyone run into this problem?  Would it look ok to use H0 scale buildings or has anyone scratch built structures somewhere in between 0 scale and HO? I need help.  Thanks ahead of time.

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@Cookster posted:

My trains are all 3 rail 0 and 0-27 gauge.  Have a layout of 19 ft 8 ft whitch includes a 4 x4 ft middle section.  Have completed a lot of mountainous scenery but when looking at size of 0 gauge buildings I am finding it difficult to fit in.  Has anyone run into this problem?  Would it look ok to use H0 scale buildings or has anyone scratch built structures somewhere in between 0 scale and HO? I need help.  Thanks ahead of time.

Well, welcome to the classic O-scale modelers dilemma: not enough space to properly model prototype landscaping!

First off, no, I wouldn't suggest using HO or similar scale buildings generally with O gauge track and rolling stock (essentially running O scale trains on an HO layout!), unless you're going for a "Land of Gigantic Trains" vibe. I *have* seen S, HO and even N scale accessories used strategically to create a sort of forced perspective to expand the apparent size of the layout and visually extend it into the backdrops.

The more common tricks used with O scale layouts is to use condensation to shrink the prototype distances between the features as they are depicted on the layout, and the use of limited examples to suggest a more expansive expanse, such as forests or warehouses, again with the help of blending with appropriate backdrops. That way, more room can be used for the actual trains!

Here's a very minor example: after deciding I really needed a tunnel on my already-built layout, I added a thin-walled structure over the outermost two tracks, which I topped with a rocky ridge and several vignettes, all designed to blend and be extended into the roll-down backdrop, which in turn suggested an open sky and a mountain setting for the whole layout:

backdrop

The real trick is to squeeze everything in while not seeming to do so, at least not as much as you actually are. Good luck!

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Most things I scratch build are scaled down in the sense that they may not be as long, wide and high as they should be.

. . . and, frankly, IME most of the commercially available "O scale" buildings and accessories take exactly the same dimensional liberties as you do, Alan, and probably the vast majority of your fellow scratch builders as well, so FWIW you're following a well-worn path to simulating rather than attempting to meticulously replicate reality!

Depending on what you are trying to create with buildings on your layout, there are many choices of buildings which look good and can be grouped together. I am modeling some townships in the northeast and I used many Ameri town buildings grouped together in a small space for a number of scenes. Korber Factories look great and they seem to fit well becaus eof their footprint. Other manufactures I have used are Downtown Deco, Woodland Scenics, Plasticville along with scratch building a few to fit a specific area.I include some illustrations.bldg 1bldg 2 

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Plasticville is your friend!  And so are "traditional" -size trains like RailKing, LionChief Plus, and good-old Postwar.  If all  you have is 19' x 8', leave the O72 and scale stuff in the store!  Sharper curves will let you build a layout with more varied operation that will hold your interest longer, and you'll probably save money too.  My $.02.

Last edited by Ted S

Steve,

I had an o scale fellow ask me to build a scale water tower. I told him it was about 100 feet high and that would be 25 inches tall. He said that is what I want. When he got it he called me and said it is way too tall. Obviously, everything he had that was true scale was not.

Well, I hope his check cleared, Alan, since IMHO that doofus obviously had only himself to blame. Two minutes with a tape measure on his layout would have identified the issue in time for you to make any needed 'correction' . . .

Yeah, I've seen similar requests for "scale" models of, say, the Empire State building, which, in 1:48 O scale, would have to be over 26 feet tall to 'true scale' model its 1,250 foot base height (sans antenna). IMHO modelling involves much more than just arithmetically scaling down prototypes based on a formula, and sometimes taking advantage of tricks of the eye or quirks of human perception is more practical (and fun!) than just plugging figures into a calculator and plodding forward.

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