Since there is a link between the Iron Kingdoms and steam locomotives, I often read posts on the Privateer Press forums about model railroading. Most of the time the questions deal with scale and cost of materials. Most of the time the other people responding are correct. However, not always. Please refer to this link which helps describe the scales.I have been involved in model railroading since before I was ten. So I have a little information that I can supply about the right size of model railroad models that work with WARMACHINE and HORDES miniatures.∞Take a few minutes and watch this video: Introduction by Michael Gross. Also, be aware of this website as it offers excellent information.∞
The Big Question: SO WHAT?!
First, please understand that model railroading is a hobby all on its own. It has folks who are passionate about their hobby in the same way you love playing WARMACHINE or HORDES. So understand that model railroad models are relative to war game miniatures. They are Big Boy Toys and can easily get expensive. Second, wrap your head around the idea that model railroaders and their hobby shops are an awesome resource for the miniature wargamer. These guys tend to be good at making terrain and scenery. So they can offer tips and tricks that you don’t know or understand yet. Also, model railroad hobby shops have a great supply of tools and materials you’ll need for WARMACHINE and HORDES. So make friends with the local model railroad geeks. You might find out that they like miniature wargaming as much as you do. So find your local hobby shop, and start networking! Click this link for even more information.
What is the difference between gauge and scale?
Gauge refers to the distance between the inside edges of the running, or outside, rails on a piece of track. The most popular gauge of track in the toy train hobby is O (pronounced “oh”), which measures 1.25 inches between the running rails. Scale refers to the ratio of a miniature train’s measurements compared to the dimensions of a full-sized, or prototype, train. For example, an O scale train has a 1:48 proportion to the real thing, meaning that 1 inch on the surface of the model equals 48 inches on the surface of the prototype train. Toy train manufacturers generally have not made trains that are completely to scale because doing so might increase production costs and leave the trains unable to negotiate the sharp curves on typical layouts. Increasingly, however, firms are making trains that deserve to be called scale models. Article about Scales and Gauges.
Keep in mind that S Scale and O Scale are a little easier to find (especially on eBay) and less expensive. S and O both work just fine with WARMACHINE and HORDES models in size ratios. (Although the Black 13th might work better with OO scale models … because they are so damn tiny.) G scale is big and although it is idealistically the best to use with WARMACHINE and HORDES best the Iron Kingdom locomotives are B-I-G … BIG! … the price is much higher and availability of G scale models can be tough depending on where you live.
What should I look for in buying a model train?
Modelers should consider these elements: realism, running capabilities, and level of detail. Beyond that, you’d use the same considerations as deciding whether to buy a $1,000, a $50, or a $5 watch. Obviously, there should be more inherent quality and value in an expensive locomotive, but the mid-priced version is often an attractive and well-equipped alternative. It’s the inexplicably cheap one that warrants caution. Check out eBay. And if you just want to buy a little toy train that you can hack up, convert, and paint for playing WARMACHINE scenarios then check out your local DOLLAR STORE, DOLLAR TREE, K-MART, AND WAL-MART. Especially at Christmas time they tend to carry plastic toy trains that are an excellent scale, and right price for miniature wargamers.
What types of track are there?
Besides the obvious size differences between O and S gauge toy trains, O gauge track comes in a variety of measurements that allow hobbyists to create circles of track with different diameters and so operate trains of varying lengths and sizes. O-27 track means you can build a circle of track with a 27-inch diameter. Shorter locomotives with a few cars run best on this track. O-31, O-42, and O-54 track can be used on most average-sized layouts, while O-72 track creates the largest curves for longer locomotives and trains. Operators seeking realistic track can select from GarGraves (available in rigid sectional or “flexible” versions), the 21st Century Track system by Atlas O, and the Rite-Trax system from MTH (a modular system with pre-formed plastic roadbed).
Where can I buy this stuff online?
Well, again, I encourage you to find local sources of model railroad supplies. You probably have a local hobby shop in your area that maybe doesn’t carry Privateer Press stuff, but does stock model railroading supplies. Go there. Introduce yourself. Meet people, and support your local hobby shop.
But beyond that, you can always check out eBay as mentioned before. Then you can shop around on the following website that I often shop:
In any case, there are a couple of fun scenarios out there for WARMACHINE using model trains. Find whichever type of model train is right for you, and have some fun with it. Convert it, kitbash it, and paint it up. When you get your model done, please come into the Privateer Press forums and post the finish product. I’d love to see it.
Have a good one!