So what exactly are G scale trains? They’re one of the biggest scales of trains on the market today!
They run at 1:22.5 ratio to a full train and have a track gauge of nearly 2 inches!
They’re so big that a lot of people have to build them outside, which is why they’re commonly referred to as Garden Scale trains. In reality, the G comes from the German word “gros” meaning big.
What are G scale trains?
G scale trains were originally introduced by a company called Lehman Gross Bahn in Germany in the late 60’s.
To build a G scale layout, the first you have to do is work out the kind of setting you to want to create. For most people, this means that you’re going to be putting it outside in some way, like in your garden. This means that on top of thinking with different accessories and buildings you can add to your scene, you might also like to think about interacting with the landscape in some way. Run it through your flower beds, build small hills out of the ground etc. Stuff like this can really help to add a wow factor on a limited budget!
How to set up your G scale scene
The better you design your scenes and settings and the more details you use in your work the more your train model becomes life-like and realistic. Even if you don’t come up with an amazing setting people will still enjoy seeing a huge train model on a railway anyway, so don’t stress.
You also need to make sure that there is a level of cohesiveness with your trains, your landscape and your scenery. For example, if you place a very old G scale train in a neighbourhood with a modern context, the contrast could be interest and still makes sense. But a brand new bullet train in a wild west setting makes zero sense and will break the immersion.
Apart from that, you also need to make sure that your garden scale train operates perfectly at all times. If you need to fix a problem you shouldn’t hesitate! This can be things like if you end up with some dirt from your garden blocking the track, or if other natural elements have caused a problem.
Something else you need to consider while making your train layout is to make sure that the scenery, especially the buildings and figures, are sturdy. You don’t want anything fallen apart while you’re showing off your model, or even worse, having something falling and damaging your pride and joy train!
What is G Scale and Gauge?
The distance between the rails is called a gauge whether on real railways or on a toy train, but a scale is the actual size of the train itself. Scale trains are built to illustrate a real train, although sometimes the gauge will be standard or narrow depending on the model of the train.
G scale trains are built at a 1:22.5 ratio of a model train to the real thing. This means that the model train is 22.5 times smaller than the real thing. Even though it doesn’t sound like it, that means the model trains are actually really big. In comparison, the most popular model HO, is built at 1:87 so they’re tiny in comparison.
In G scale production, manufacturers focus on how the train model operates because they’re often used in outdoor settings and aren’t on a flat track like you usually find.
The standard gauge in G scale trains is 1.772 inches or 45 mm across, as is proportionate to a ratio of 1:22.5.
What should you build your G scale layout with?
The material that you can use in your craft is aluminium, plastic, cardboard, paper, wood steel or damn near anything else you can think of. Because you’re primarily building your G scale train outdoors, you want to use materials that are going to stand the test of time and anything the weather can throw at it. That’s why we’d recommend using wood or metal as a base material for your tracks.
You must carefully use outdoor strength glue to fasten the joints together to make sure they stay that way. You can also use either screws or nails depending on your design or your choice of material.
When you are building a G scale train model you need to realize that because the model is big, the details will be more visible. That means that you need to take greater care when putting everything together or it’ll be really noticeable if you make any mistakes.
What voltage to use in G scale trains
If you’re building G scale train models, you can use 16 volts at maximum throttle. To run your G scale model you can use between 10 and 18 volt to operate your train. This is the voltage used in most trains and is also suitable for your G scale model.
So, the voltage varies from zero which is when the train is not moving and 16 at its maximum speed. There are many more electrical components that you need to consider while you are designing your model. If you forget about the wires you will have problems with the design later on and may have to remove parts of your track to put them in. Lighting both in your train and around your track can be especially eye-catching and look amazing!. But remember that you need to provide supplies for outdoor areas, especially if it rains or snows! So set your electronics up accordingly.
You need to think before you start the production about how you’ll use power to operate your train. So, you need to place all your power supplies, cords and everything else that is necessary for this layout in a safe, dry space.
G scale train manufacturers
- Train World: They offer a very wide range of G scale trains. You can go through the products one by one and choose a ready to run a model. The products are also budget friendly for those who have limitations. great quality and reasonable costs make this manufacturer a very good option for someone who has started a train modelling hobby.
- LGB: Lehmann Gross Bahn cut their teeth making products that are based on 1:22.5 scale. They offer many different model trains with different scales but the dominant one is G scale. Most of the products are based on European prototypes as well as a range of US products. If you are going to start your model train hobby this company is great for you because they offer journals, experiences, clubs and many other starting points.
- Euro Rail Hobbies: This is one of the most popular and largest manufacturers to ever produce G scale train models. They also offer products for traditional indoor layouts.
This includes scenery, models, locomotives and building materials.
- Reynaulds: They offer G scale model trains with the best quality among manufacturers in the world. You can find nearly any item you need whether it’s the G scale locomotives themselves or items for the layout. If you are a new hobby train modeller and you want to make your first G scale train layout, this company is one of your best options.
Which manufacturer to choose
You can find different products from different manufacturers and mix them all together in your model to make something amazing. You don’t have to work with only one manufacturer.
Make a list of the things you want to buy to make sure you don’t miss anything. Make sure you check with different companies for generic items to see who has the best and most cost-friendly. The best choice is when you purchase good quality that is also budget friendly. If you don’t have a budget limitation then you can just focus on the best quality.
Why G scale is great for outdoor use
The best reason to use G Scale for outdoor use is its size. That goes without saying. But because of this, it also means that manufacturers have spent the last 50+ years with G scale in mind for outdoor use. So they’ve had plenty of time to make not only the locomotives but also all the tracks, scenery and supplies weatherproof and ready to go.
If you own a lot of scale model trains, the scale you are going to use will be according to the space you can provide for them. So if you’ve got a nice outdoor area that you think will work, it would be a great time to start thinking about a G scale model train layout!
Check out our post here to learn more about other scales of model trains!
Or this one if you wan’t to jump straight into the best brands of model trains!
Peter has been building model trains for longer than he can remember. An avid fan of HO and O scale this blog is a creative outlet to allow him to dive further into other scales and aspects of the model train community and hobby.