Thursday, 1 November 2007

To P4 or not to P4?

I thought I'd well and truly done and dusted the 'gauge debate' and settled on 00-SF as my gauge of choice, but with the passing of time I'm starting to get little questions popping into my head like, "Maybe you should just bite the bullet and build the track to P4..."!

The reasons for such thoughts, I think, are:
  • This is quite clearly a long-term project and not something that'll be finished within a couple of years. In which case, I don't want to get 5 or even 10 years down the line, with a beautifully detailed layout but the nagging feeling that I could have gone that one step further.
  • When you start out on a project like this you have a lot of things to learn and a lot of skills to pick up. When I started the thought of having to rewheel RTR stock or possibly do a bit of work on chassis' etc. seemed beyond me and not something I wanted to have to worry about. But as time goes on and skill levels increase, what seems within your grasp changes and what once seemed impossibly complex and out of reach begins to seem less so.
  • Recent products like this P4 drop-in wheelset for the Bachmann 57xx from Ultrascale make the process of rewheeling sound a lot less daunting.
  • It's not as if I have a huge fleet of locos and rolling stock to rewheel anyway. I could easily just start with one loco and a few wagons and gradually expand this as my confidence and skills increase.
Really, it's just having the confidence to take that plunge and do it...!

1 comment:

  1. [Apologies if ths is a duplicate post but 24 hours after I first posted this commen, the original has not appeared. So here it is, possibly, again]

    Hi Matt,

    If I can add my 2 cents worth...

    There is a learning curve with P4 but doesn't part of the appeal of modelling involve learning new skills and techniques?

    And I strongly believe the benefits of P4 are well worth the extra (but far from overwhelming) effort involved. There's something absolutely delicious about the movement of a compensated loco - it seems to have a mass that defies its size. And there is nothing quite like a finely detailed, weathered wagon with accurately profiled wheels sitting on utterly convincing trackwork.

    I'm not saying that anyone can't make a realistic model using a less precise gauge. But, from my perspective, if someone is already willing to invest extra effort in a model in order to to make it as realistic as possible (and from your models to date I'd say realism is very important to you) then why not go that little step further? The extra effort required with P4 is really minimal.

    Go for it!!