The great debate
1:148 vs 1:50 vs 1:60 N-scale Models?


Here I have scaled 2 images of a traction engine.

  1. On the left is a 1:148 N Scale (United Kindom).

  2. On the right is a 1:160 N Scale (U.S, Canada, Austrailia & Europe).

The difference when shown on your railway layout is even further reduced when you factor in: distance, orientation, lighting and other background scenery/objects.

Remember the difference between the two is only about 8%...

So the famous question 'does size really matter?'
1:148 Vs 1:160? The great debate...

Here I can show you two of the same model tractors that I scaled at 1:148 and the other scaled at 1:160. I had placed both vehicles passing each other on a road layout. Now depending on which direction you looked at the layout, one could argue either model was the bigger or smaller one. I mixed the models up and placed them down blind to repeat the test various times, with the same guesswork results, it was very hard to notice the difference.


Your go! The photo to my left, both show an N-Scale tractor, now take a guess which of the two is the larger 1:148 scale and which is the smaller 1:160 scale?

With the models just 20mm away from each other it becomes almost impossible to spot, but the model behind is the 1:148 (8% larger) of the two.


Here the models are positioned just 2mm away from each other (the thickness of a matchstick).

Here the difference is now more noticeable.  
What you have to remember is most models aren't positioned on layouts in such a way that it makes it only obvious like this photo demonstrates. 

So where does the 1:150 1/150 scale come into this?
Well that scale lies somewhere between the two, more so towards the 1:148 size. But for this you will have to let your imagination run wild! For this demonstration I have shown on here represents the two largest differences of all three scales. 

Lets repeat the test on a road layout, with background scenery and potential buildings.

The model at the front is the larger of the two models.
again only about 20mm separates the two, but its almost impossible to tell the difference.



Right next to each other the difference is again more obvious.
But with most  N-Gauge N-Scale railway layouts for that matter. Nothing is lined up symmetrically unless its a model of a car sales forecourt full of different scale models of the same design. (An unlikely scenario) As you wouldn't order two of the same models in two different scales?

Having a car in scale 1:148 next to a completely differnt model such as a flatbed truck in scale 1:160, would be nearly impossible to tell they are of two different scales.
(The most likely scenario).



To finish, here I have placed the models together without any distractions. 

So the question, 1/148 vs 1/160? does it really matter?

Well every person has there own preference, but personally after doing this testing for myself. I think it makes zero difference to the effectiveness of your railway layouts.

I hope this has been useful to some of you, if so please share this with your friends, as always:
"A photo speaks a thousand words!"

Kindest regards