Sometimes it’s best to not go the whole hog.

If you go onto the websites of the fantastic finescale groups out there, whether it’s the 2mm society, the EM gauge society, Scaleforum etc, you’ll find a thousand reasons to take that extra step towards modelling perfection.

I’ve dabbled in P4, and even a cheeky bit of 2mm, I liked it. I enjoyed that extra challenge, the track looked ace in P4 and the way the wheels sat on the track just looked so good. The argument for EM against P4 or vice versa isn’t something I plan on wadding into, as I’ve never touched EM, but there is something in the even finer deviancy of P4 that really got my inner geek going.

So this next thing? Is it P4? Well no. With all these awesome reasons why it should be why am I not doing it?

I think finescale modelling, especially when starting out, can depend a lot on how much of a social modeller you are. Ifyou’re making your life modelling project like Jim then it has to be perfect, it has to be P4. However if your just thinking about it and belong to a club modelling in EM or OO, you probably won’t want to be going P4 if you are going to help provide stock unless your time and money resources are the envy of most.

Take me for example, I don’t have a lot of room, but I know Chris and Chris has a lot of room. His room is filled with OO, so if I buy P4 I cannot run it on Chris’ giant roundy roundy. And I don’t have a lot of money so my next layout will need to borrow some of Chris’ stock for exhibitions, but as he models in OO, I couldn’t borrow them if it’s P4 or EM.

If all your friends are doing EM, you don’t want to be doing P4 or OO. It also usually turns out that modelling friends are also into the same things, so Chris’ next OO layout will probably need some of my stock.

But even after that you think ‘Well I’m going maverick’ and crack on in your own scale doing your own thing there are some other factors. One thing that struck me was how much I had to plan buying things. I like to get a model and get it running ASAP (I’m still a kid like that). In P4 you never have that option. I brought a random class 20 off eBay and I couldn’t run it unless I went up to Chris’ and some of the lead times from the P4 cottage industry can be a killjoy.

So I’m going ‘Finescale’ OO for the reasons above, its not what I saw myself doing, but logically it’s a compromise to be made in order to achieve what I want in the budget and timescale I have.

One day 18.83mm scale will be mine, but currently P4 isn’t ready for me and I’m not ready for it.



Some OO gauge earlier on a P4 templot print out.


3 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s best to not go the whole hog.

  1. I don’t think there’s any shame in opting for any of the 4mm options, or need to defend a particular choice. All equally valid horses for courses as the cliche says. My personal optimum would really be finescale OO, if I’m honest. However I scrape by in EM by the skin of my teeth.

  2. I think, maybe, a lot of people over look a finescale approach to OO. I know I used to. I’ve mentioned before right back at the beginning how today’s models really show up OO RTR track, I think it’s time a company did something about it. Jamie is EM a proper ball ache then?

  3. Sorry, entered a response then it failed to submit, leaving your question hanging…

    No, I wouldn’t class it a ball ache. Just I enjoy the cosmetic, artistic side of the hobby and find dealing with the mechanics and engineering side of it a chore. I could avoid all that by working in OO finescale. But I do think I’d always be wondering about going that extra step and trying EM – so I’m glad I’ve given it a bash.

    EM is a middle way – a pragmatic compromise that lets me get the wider track gauge without the full-on complexity of working to the tolerances demanded by P4. EM allows me to be sloppy and inept!

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