1:32 Finescale Group

Welcome to 1:32 Finescale

G1MRA began as an alliance of Toy Trains, Model Engineering and Railway Modelling to keep Gauge 1 afloat in hard times. In setting its standards for the broadest possible membership, G1MRA made pragmatic choices: 

– the original 1:32 Scale to coexist with 10mm:1ft,

– flangeways to take all wheels (except crude tinplate pressings).

Today’s Standard track was designed for the toys of a century ago

Since then, Toy Trains have given way to Model Railways, all scales have improved appearance, and smaller cameras brought crueller close-ups. Those enthusiasts drawn to Gauge 1 for its potential for detail are often perplexed by our multiple scales and standards.

Though G1MRA has always lauded top-quality models and published finer standards, its rôle rightly remains an over-arching alliance across all kinds of Gauge 1. It is down to those who are passionate about realism to band together and champion the very best. 

So here we are, starting with the bedrock issue of getting Proportions right.


What unites this Group is the simple strategy of modelling the whole railway (including track components, track geometry, locomotives and rolling stock) all to the same scale, namely the ratio of Gauge 1 track to full-sized Standard Gauge.


We have shades of opinion among us about going for ‘Finescale’ as well, in the specific sense of accurately scaled track and wheels. 

On the one hand, 1:32 Scale on G1MRA’s Standard track has the advantage of consistency in ‘telephoto view’ while allowing sociable inter-running. Avoidable compromises can be minimised, while its unavoidable ones are less obvious on large engines seen from a distance.

On the other hand, Finescale track and wheels look better than Standard close-up, run better than Standard, and avoid the stress of trying to distort small engines around the large flanges and narrow back-to-back of Standard wheels. 

Although there is no question that it works, Finescale is presently a minority taste. As it’s not compatible with Standard, it involves much scratch building or re-machining. Until it reaches a critical mass, most fine-scalers will need their own layouts, though G1MRA has offered to modify exhibition tracks to showcase Finescale trains direct to the public.

(Not all products made to 1:32 Scale or labelled ‘Finescale’ are necessarily Finescale in this sense. Sometimes, ’Finescale’ merely implies ‘quality’.)


Contact Point – for 1:32 and Finescale within G1MRA

Showcasing High Fidelity – online, in print, at events.


Nobody should become disillusioned with Gauge 1 simply for lack of information. We aim to help all enthusiasts find whichever scale and standard best suit them – ideally before they commit big money. 

What delights you most? Live-steam, awesome detail, evocative atmosphere? A detailed scale layout, a garden line, running at exhibitions? Consider partner, job, animals, children, mobility, space, vandals. Do you relish solitary research and scratch building, or relaxation in company? Would ‘perfection’ simply take too long for your young family or twilight years? Or would you prize a few totally convincing wagons more highly than a long rake across the lawn?

British 1:32 Scale Rolling Stock

Even though 1:32 is dominant worldwide, including the majority of ready-to-run British locomotives, most British rolling stock kits and parts are still 10mm Scale to match kit- and home-built locomotives. And of the few rolling stock items available in 1:32 Scale, by no means all are high-realism. This Group hopes to help improve quality as well as availability, and to assist scratch-builders with information. We’ll also consider making key components available. 

(Many kits with 1:32 Scale etches come with 10mm Scale castings. Even when the difference is barely the thickness of paint, it’s as well to know.)

Improvements to Standard Track and Wheels

Wherever Tinplate Compatibility is no longer needed, Standard track can be improved in both appearance and running quality. Similarly, Standard wheels can be refined while still being able to share Standard track. Such improvements benefit both 1:32 and 10mm.

(Standard wheels drop down into Standard flangeways, wearing away point-work until it causes derailments.)


Mark Wood has an excellent survey of the pros and cons of many scales and standards:


G1MRA’s long-lived Standard track and wheels are well known and widely used. Less well known are three relevant alternative standards, also published by G1MRA at www.g1mra.com:

ScaleOne32 Standard

Near-scale, comparable with ScaleFour and ScaleSeven in the smaller scales.

G1MRA Fine Standard

Big improvements to appearance and running without going quite as far as ScaleOne32. Fine Standard wheels are commercially available and can be adapted for either ScaleOne32 or Standard track (though not both at once).

Tolerances within G1MRA Standard

Improvements in appearance and running, but without compromising compatibility with ready-to-run track and stock. (These are well hidden and need interpretation.) 

There’s another dozen or so Gauge 1 wheel-rail standards around the world. For the avoidance of doubt, G-Scale and G-Gauge (standing for Gross-Bahn), though well thought-out and reliable, are just too ‘gross’ for this particular Group!


Simon Castens on building an outdoor railway that looks ‘right’:  http://titfield.co.uk/one32mod/Modindex.htm

Facebook ScaleOne32 Page: https://www.facebook.com/ScaleOne32-361386847262319/ 

FORUMS – may contain nuts

G1RF: A Gauge 1 only forum with some blog-like build and modification sequences, some being extraordinary detailing projects: http://g1rf.myfastforum.org/

WESTERN THUNDER: A ‘larger-scales’ all-finescale forum with a 1/32 section – mix of inspiration, builds, practical information and discussion: http://www.westernthunder.co.uk/index.php?forums/g1-32.28/

G1-RLYS: A Gauge 1 only email group: https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/g1-rlys/info with little relevant discussion but some inspiring Photo Albums, such as:

http://tinyurl.com/odhaf4m    http://tinyurl.com/ydcosebp     http://tinyurl.com/yal7kw8t     http://tinyurl.com/yc6u7m7b    http://tinyurl.com/q282pqd    http://tinyurl.com/yctqgayy    http://tinyurl.com/mx9w8vw     http://tinyurl.com/ybesmz7r     

GROUP WEBSITE https://sites.google.com/view/132finescale/ Note this site is currently under construction

Contact: David Halfpenny at 1.32.finescale@gmail.com


All opinions are those of individuals, not the Group, the Association or its Officers.

Courtesy is essential. Product assessment must be constructive, honest, and without malice.

Personal information will be handled with respect. 

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