What exactly is S-Scale?

Nowhere Man Oct 10, 2001

  1. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man TrainBoard Member

    14
    0
    17
    I'm curious as to how big S-Scale track is. Larger or smaller than HO? Smaller than G? And how popular is this scale?

    Thanks.
     
  2. slimjim

    slimjim Passed away January 2006 In Memoriam

    788
    1
    24
    S scale, bigger than HO, smaller than O scale and a lot smaller than G scale.

    S Scale:

    3/16" = 1 foot
    Proportion: 1:64
    Track Gauge: 0.875 (22.2mm)
     
  3. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man TrainBoard Member

    14
    0
    17
    Hmm, interesting. Thank you for the info. That's about the only scale I haven't really become familiar with.
     
  4. slimjim

    slimjim Passed away January 2006 In Memoriam

    788
    1
    24
    Most of "S" is Tin Plate. There are a few folks running scale. I am into narrow side of it, Sn3.
     
  5. yankinoz

    yankinoz TrainBoard Member

    1,014
    0
    28
    If I am not mistaken, the gauge of Sn3 track is the same as HO - or at least close. I know of a few layouts that were HO standard gauge and then converted to Sn3 wihtout haveing to make major changes to the track plan.
     
  6. slimjim

    slimjim Passed away January 2006 In Memoriam

    788
    1
    24
    Not quite. On my test track, I have it set up for HO, HOn3 and Sn3. You can lay a code 70 rail inside of normal HO trackage (three rail style) with room to spare.

    You are right on converting a HO layout to Sn3 if you had 32" minimum radius. 36"+ looks a lot better. Just pull the old track and lay the new stuff. A 6 1/2' Sn3 tie is only 0.10" longer than a 8' HO tie. The turnouts are a little shorter than HO ones of the same #.

    Track Gauge HO:
    0.649" or 16.5mm

    Track Gauge Sn3:
    9/16", 0.5625 or 14.2875mm


    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by yankinoz:
    If I am not mistaken, the gauge of Sn3 track is the same as HO - or at least close. I know of a few layouts that were HO standard gauge and then converted to Sn3 wihtout haveing to make major changes to the track plan.<hr></blockquote>
     
  7. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Guest

    0
    0
    0
    S gauge is smaller than O to be sure but no much.

    The Gilbert Company began production of their 3/4 size American Flyer trains to compete with Lionel after WW2 for the post war market. Prior to the war they made standard O ga. tin for the most part.

    They advertised "realism" and marketed the new gauge in only 2 rails and called it "S Gauge", Why "S", I dont know.

    Their accessories were of a size that fit in well with Lionels and Marx, who also came out with 3/4 size trains but were still 0gauge (027) in size. These were tin with excellent lithography.

    The American Flyer stuff had great detail and quality while it didn't out sale Lionel it sure gave them a run for their money, especially on the west coast where Lionel didn't market heavily and AF did.

    S gauge is seeing a resurgence in popularity with several companies manufacturing trains and track for it.
     
  8. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

    1,355
    1
    32
    For more information about S scale, try this link;

    http://www.trainweb.com/crocon/

    It has a lot of info and links. The most modern engine we have in plastic, is the soon to be released SD60 and SD60M from American Models. There have been a fair amount of brass offered in standard gauge over the years. Lionel is still offering a few tinplate trains each year. There are some kits for steam engines made in pewter and brass being offered and American Models also offers two soon to be three cast steam engines. I'll let someone else tell about the current offerings in Sn3. Also there are a fair number of laser building kits now available. The modeler who is short on time can get a nice railroad up and running with what is available ready to run. A vast improvement over 20 years ago.

    Greg Elems
     
  9. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Guest

    0
    0
    0
    Am I in err here? Is S scale other than S ga.? I thought we were speaking of American Flyer, is that not so?

    Brass kits and narroe gauge in S has me wondering now.

    Gil, an old hi railer :^)
     
  10. slimjim

    slimjim Passed away January 2006 In Memoriam

    788
    1
    24
    Hi Gil,

    Ah, the old scale/gauge question. This is the quote for the S scale header.

    S Scale
    Modeling Forums: S Scale (Including American Flyer) 1:64


    Gauge, in "S", refers to Tin Plate, High Rail or American Flyer. Some people use the term Toy. I will not use that here.

    Scale, in "S", refers to 1/64" = 1 foot, therefore the scale meaning.

    The majority of people in "S" are Tin Plate or High Rail therefore S Gauge.

    S scale, of all the scales thru "O", are a minority.

    Sn3 scale, should be $n3, requires a lot of money or a lot of skill and some money. Parts and pieces are usually very high detail and quality therefore cost money. A lot of people in Sn3 started in HO, went to HOn3 then Sn3 because of the detail and better running qualities but smaller than On3. Read, more bang for the buck.

    Now that I have you totally confused :eek: I will close.

    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gil Finn:
    Am I in err here? Is S scale other than S ga.? I thought we were speaking of American Flyer, is that not so?

    Brass kits and narroe gauge in S has me wondering now.

    Gil, an old hi railer :^)
    <hr></blockquote>
     
  11. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Guest

    0
    0
    0
    I know about scale and gauge, but that S was anything but what the Gilbert folks intended is new to me. In this narrow gauge application is it AC or DC?
    I recently came by an engine shell that was on an old AF engine that had been converted to some other scale or gauge, now I "think" I understand what that was all about.

    Thanks for the enlightenment ....I think. :D

    [ 25 October 2001: Message edited by: Gil Finn

    [ 26 October 2001: Message edited by: Gil Finn ]</p>
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,979
    17,485
    653
    Greg-

    Did I miss something here? Just visited this site. All that I saw was Amtrak information.

    I'm not modeling in S scale. But have always been curious about it. Had both Lionel and American Flyer during my youth.

    If I ever switched to S, which health may eventually force upon me, the prototype era of my interest is the late 1960's. Any modeling I'd do would be scale. Not tinplate. Could you post a few links to manufacturers of diesels, freight cars, etc., that would fit my favored time frame?

    Thanks-

    BoxcabE50
     
  13. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

    1,355
    1
    32
    Hi BoxcabE50,

    Here is the full link:

    http://trainweb.com/crocon/ssuppliers.html

    I just went to it and it does work. Since your into the 60's, there is a good selection to choose from. American Models and S Helper Service Showcase Line have a good amount of ready to run equipment. If you want some kits, there are a couple of manufacturers that offer those also. After you have had a look at the web page and have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Greg Elems
    gelems@earthlink.net
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,979
    17,485
    653
    Greg-

    I did find several sites that are interesting. Some good links off the NASG site.

    Just wondering, my interests being that of modeling in scale, but on a decidedly NON-brass budget, :( how close are most of the DC powered available diesels? I'm neither "proto", nor a scratch builder. Maybe a factory accurate paint scheme, add a few details, Kadee couplers. Some basic stuff... Are the wheelsets reasonable? The shell proportions and wheelbase decent?

    As I'd mentioned in the previous post, my interest era is in the late 1960's. Any hints of appropriate equipment what might be on the horizon? Especially Milw and NP stuff! :D

    [​IMG] Thanks-

    BoxcabE50
     
  15. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

    1,355
    1
    32
    My take on the current S scale is this. American Models makes good engines. They seem to run well right out of the box. They can be bought scale dc and have the correct wheels. AM takes some shortcuts sometimes but they aren't so bad you can't live with them. The latest AM model I bought was the SD60. Nice shell and the trucks were good. The problem with it is, it is a big engine and the couplers are talgo style. It is going to be a bear to body mount Kadees on it. AM's engines up to this point have been as good as say an HO Athearn. I have several GP's and a few F's and really like them. As for AM's paint jobs, they are good also. Putting Kadee's on them was relatively easy.

    Now the SHS show case line, is the Kato of S. Great looking, scaled to the nth degree and paint jobs that are excellent. If you want a switcher, go with them. Their F3's are great looking. Their cars are tops too. They do come with tin-plate wheels and AF style couplers. SHS includes scale wheels and they aren't hard to change out. Kadee's mount fairly easy and the cars are close to NMRA weight standards.

    Another source is Pacific Rail Shops. These are kits and are excellent. They are the IM of S. I plan on adding weights to them as I assemble them. I really like their ACF center flow hopper and 50' box cars.

    Between AM and SHS you should have a good 60's layout. AM cars need dressing up and are cheaper than SHS. SHS cars are different models and will force the AM detailing. I don't find that to be a problem.

    I didn't mean to be so long winded, but you did ask. ;)

    Any more questions, fire away.....

    Greg Elems

    [ 01 April 2002, 18:30: Message edited by: Greg Elems ]
     
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,979
    17,485
    653
    Fear not!!! This is EXACTLY what I wanted to know. No product bashing. Simply an honest assessment. [​IMG]

    I would certainly change out wheels. I would want to be able to body mount couplers. I love Lionel and AF tinplate. But in this instance, I'm after a much more prototypical appearance.

    If you have more to offer, please do so. I'm listening!!! :D

    Thanks!

    BoxcabE50
     
  17. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

    1,355
    1
    32
    So far, S scales short comings has been track. AM offers track and switches. I have not seen it or held it in my hot hands. It is the same size as the AF tinplate. Where it moves up in looks, are the solid rail and multiple ties much like HO snap track. The switches look ok, on the web. If you are not mixing AF and scale then I would shy away from it. SHS has a smaller rail size on it's track but it has the road bed attached, much like the Bachmann ez track. SHS has switches also. I haven't taken a close look at them, mainly due to the track on cast roadbed.

    There are two brands of flex out there that are made with code 100 ns rail. Tomalco and Shinahara, both in 39" lengths. Shinahara also makes two sizes of switches that match their track. We have a pair of the #6's and they appear to be closer to #5's.

    Bill's Train Shop has switch kits that have received favorable comments. Personally that is where I'm leaning. BK will build you switch kits or what ever you need. BK has a time lag to go with it. Nice kits though. There is another switch making company and I have to find my link to their web page to make sure I have it right. Again, favorable comments but I haven't seen the product.

    Don't know if this will help or not.

    Greg Elems
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,979
    17,485
    653
    I recognize the name Tomalco. Seems to me they've been around a while?

    As far as track goes, it would be nice to have at least about a #8 switch. For rail size, I'd want to emulate the prototype in a range of 100# to 115#.

    Quote: Don't know if this will help or not.

    Sure does. Fills in some gaps for me. Any other interesting links or thoughts appreciated! :D

    BoxcabE50
     
  19. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

    1,355
    1
    32
    There are #8 switches from shinaharra. They are code 100. The switch kits from BTS

    www.btsrr.com

    have several sizes and even some curved kits.

    Greg Elems
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,979
    17,485
    653
    Greg-

    I've been looking through my disks all week. Am wondering if you can point me to a good source.... Thought that I'd saved a chart found some time ago, that converted scale rail size (height) to equate with prototype rail weight.
    Does this sound familiar to you?

    Thanks!

    BoxcabE50
     

Share This Page