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Author Topic: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?  (Read 2473 times)

Offline Carmine

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Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« on: April 24, 2019, 10:55:55 AM »
I'm sorry if this question has already been asked and/or is obvious to those who have more experience with Railway modelling than I do, but I wanted to know what scale of buildings and other scenic models available for this area of modelling work best with 28mm minis?

My father-in-law and son are enthusiasts in this area, and as such, I get the chance to visit many model railway exhibitions and have begun to come across some genuine bargains on trader's stalls that have made their way onto the table-top.

I thought most of these were O gauge, but online research turns up HO and OO gauge, and now I'm confused!

Offline tom q vaxy

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 11:11:16 AM »
0 scale is 1: 48. 48 scale inches to 1 "real" inch - or 1/4" to the foot. if your mini is 28 mm, he would be less than 5' tall in 0 scale.

S scale is 1: 64. 64 scale inches to 1 "real" inch - or .397 mm to the foot. if your mini is 28 mm, he would be 6' tall in S scale.


this is why LEDO & Matchbox cars work well (1:64 scale approximately).


the other dodge is selective compression. 0 scale building and change the door to S scale.


this may help:  http://raskcycle.com/techtip/webdoc11.html

Offline Westfalia Chris

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 11:13:37 AM »
It's an old quandary, mainly based on the issue that 28mm is more of a size, whereas the railway gauges are more or less all closely linked to actual scales.

These days, the scale range most commonly associated with 28mm is from 1/48 to 1/56. For most historicals, this provides a somewhat pleasing impression that the scale items "look right" next to the differently-proportioned wargames figurines.

O Gauge, depending on which interpretation you're talking about, usually ranges from 1/43.5 to 1/50. The anglophone O Gauge, AFAIK, is more towards the smaller scale, whereas continental/German O Gauge is mostly 1/43 or 1/43.5.

OO Gauge is commonly associated with 1/76 scale, close enough to both 20mm and 1/72 to work.

HO Gauge, or "Half O", is 1/87.

Generally, if you are talking about skirmish gaming, e.g. Gangsters, Cowboys, Aliens vs. 50s GIs, you should aim for the larger scale due to the higher level of interaction.

If you are using battalion rules, where a unit is defined more by the area of its bases rather than the size/scale of the figures (e.g. classic Warhammer, WHAB, Impetus and the like), smaller scales of buildings may actually look better since they are not to scale with the regiments, anyway.

Personally, with modern 28s, I don't think anything smaller than 1/60 looks good, with some minor exceptions. If you have older 25mm, or "True 25" figures, such as made by RAFM and Ral Partha back in the 1970s and 1980s, then 1/76 scale buildings could work if the game isn't a highly-interactive skirmish that requires something like "True Line of Sight" or similar shenanigans.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 11:16:06 AM by Westfalia Chris »

Offline sukhe_bator

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 11:28:43 AM »
HO scale is 1:87 or (3.5 mm to 1 foot) while OO scale is 1:76.2 or (4 mm to 1 foot). This is really designed for 20mm figures. True 25mm scale should be 4mm to the foot, but scale creep over the years has made them closer to 30mm and much bulkier. Most commercially available model railway buildings will therefore appear underscale compared with most wargaming equivalents. I used model railway scenics many years ago and added extra height by adding footings to buildings etc. which only works when using buildings as static scenery. Thus you will sometimes find 1:76 scale buildings work better as scenery for 15mm 1:100 (3mm to 1 foot or 1:120) while others can stand for 20-25mm. The issue becomes more challenging when modelling and using interiors in skirmish games...  The scratchbuilt timber framed building I made here is designed for use with 25mm medievals, but the proportions etc are based around 4mm to the foot. With medieval buildings doors were deliberately undersized for security in any event and 2 foot widths by 5 foot heights were quite common. I've added stone footings to raise the eaves a tad. When you look down at the table the underscale is not that apparent.
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Offline has.been

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 12:48:41 PM »
As '28mm' seem to vary wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer,
I recommend taking along one figure from the maker of your choice.
Hold it next to the building model, best next to the door I think, &
see if you think it looks right.
Real buildings often seem weird along side one and another.
 I have often seen what I would take to be a
'15mm' (looking) house next to an 'heroic 28mm' one, but we
wargamers would not accept that on the tabletop.

Offline Carmine

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2019, 03:12:44 PM »
Thanks for all the advice, should be useful to take a mini along with me in future!

Offline tin shed gamer

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2019, 04:07:45 PM »
 I've mixed HO railway card buildings with 28mm scratch builds and commercial mdf builds.
For me the simplest way to translate HO is to acknowledge a little scale compression then draw the eye away from issue with a couple of simple rules . first being doors .
Enlarge to 28mm scale but keep the top of the door at the same height as it was in HO.( this keeps everything in proportion).  The way to obtain the height of a 28mm door is to raise the whole building up .This I hide with an edge of stone around the base of each building.
If you then copy this stone skirt onto your actual 28mm buildings(without raising the 28mm building) then the continuity draws your eye away from the original scale.
Also repaint/cover any ho brick or roof tile pattern to help with the scale crossover( its really worth doing as just seeing the ho pattern as you work makes you wonder if you haven't gone horribly wrong. So it will kill the whole illusion)
What it means is you can have a row of terrace houses for 7 in ho card( admittedly 4) with the same foot print as a 30 three house terrace in mdf.
I do have a 'wip' of my 1930's board over on pulp with a few more pictures that show it a little better.
Mark.

Offline Carmine

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2019, 04:35:50 PM »
I've mixed HO railway card buildings with 28mm scratch builds and commercial mdf builds.
For me the simplest way to translate HO is to acknowledge a little scale compression then draw the eye away from issue with a couple of simple rules . first being doors .
Enlarge to 28mm scale but keep the top of the door at the same height as it was in HO.( this keeps everything in proportion).  The way to obtain the height of a 28mm door is to raise the whole building up .This I hide with an edge of stone around the base of each building.
If you then copy this stone skirt onto your actual 28mm buildings(without raising the 28mm building) then the continuity draws your eye away from the original scale.
Also repaint/cover any ho brick or roof tile pattern to help with the scale crossover( its really worth doing as just seeing the ho pattern as you work makes you wonder if you haven't gone horribly wrong. So it will kill the whole illusion)
What it means is you can have a row of terrace houses for 7 in ho card( admittedly 4) with the same foot print as a 30 three house terrace in mdf.
I do have a 'wip' of my 1930's board over on pulp with a few more pictures that show it a little better.
Mark.

Looks good.

Offline Paul Richardson

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2019, 02:05:33 PM »
An aside. '00' isn't really a scale. 'HO' or 'half 0' is 3.5mm / ft and was was invented on the continent to allow model railways to be built in the smaller houses which appeared post WW2. An English firm, Basset-Lowke, tried to introduce British outline models but the railways in Britain are built to a small loading gauge and the motors which were then available would not fit inside British outline locomotives built at 3.5mm/ ft. So their advisor, Henry Greenly came up with a compromise, 00, which is at a scale of 4mm / ft but which runs on H0 - size track. So 00 runs on track which is 16.5mm between the rail centres while at 4mm / ft the distance between the rail centres should be 18.83mm.

Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 07:34:34 AM »
O Gauge, depending on which interpretation you're talking about, usually ranges from 1/43.5 to 1/50. The anglophone O Gauge, AFAIK, is more towards the smaller scale, whereas continental/German O Gauge is mostly 1/43 or 1/43.5.
O Gauge is 32mm track at  7mm to the foot (https://www.gauge0guild.com), US O Scale is quarter scale and as you say German O Gauge can vary.
Lenz is 1/45.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 08:13:06 AM by Ultravanillasmurf »

Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2019, 07:52:24 AM »
An aside. '00' isn't really a scale. 'HO' or 'half 0' is 3.5mm / ft and was was invented on the continent to allow model railways to be built in the smaller houses which appeared post WW2. An English firm, Basset-Lowke, tried to introduce British outline models but the railways in Britain are built to a small loading gauge and the motors which were then available would not fit inside British outline locomotives built at 3.5mm/ ft. So their advisor, Henry Greenly came up with a compromise, 00, which is at a scale of 4mm / ft but which runs on H0 - size track. So 00 runs on track which is 16.5mm between the rail centres while at 4mm / ft the distance between the rail centres should be 18.83mm.
That is why it should always be called "OO Gauge" (and the same for "N Gauge").

Just to add to the confusion, Japan has a OO Scale (1/80) due to their "standard" gauge being UK Narrow gauge 3' 6").

Pendon is to OO Scale.(4mm to the foot) but is not OO Gauge.
https://pendonmuseum.com
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 08:05:22 AM by Ultravanillasmurf »

Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Railway Buildings for 28mm Wargaming - HO, O or OO Scale?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2019, 08:03:24 AM »
The S Scale society recommends some wargaming figures for use.
http://www.s-scale.org.uk/figures.htm#Commercial
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 08:07:52 AM by Ultravanillasmurf »