One of the true joys of using Proto48 standards is the ability to have scale width flange ways at switch points, frogs, guard rails and grade crossings or street trackage.
It may seem like a small thing but these finer tolerances create a tremendous level or realism to the scene.
Above and below, comparing the model to actual track shows how the scale width of the flange ways adds greatly to the atmosphere of the scene.
As we know, track and wheels are an integrated system, where all aspects work together. Modifying one part impacts the rest. Wheels with scale dimensions require flange ways that are properly sized. Given the oversized standards most of us are used to, scale flange ways look impossible for a wheel to navigate, yet they work just fine. I’ve handlaid track to finescale dimensions in HO and quarter-inch scales and in my experience, it isn’t any harder than regular track work even though many people struggle with the finer tolerances. There is a bit more filing to do and the fit needs extra care. However, it’s all possible for a modeler with average skills and the determination to keep after it. Proto48 makes the job simpler by virtue of the fine cast frogs, guardrails and switch points that are available from Right-O-Way products. However, at the end of the day, you know what gives you enjoyment in this craft better than I do, so make your choices accordingly.
It’s true that such standards aren’t for every taste, as we each bring different sensibilities and goals to the craft. I’ve always wanted to model track to this degree. I view the work as an end in itself and get genuine pleasure from the effort and the finished product. That’s me however, your experience will be different for certain.
Related items that may be of interest.
(Please note my supplies are very limited as of May 1, 2023. Once the current print run is gone, it will not be repeated in print form.)
This ebook looks at the differences in track for different eras.
The go -to resource of supplies for modeling track in quarter-inch legacy scale and Proto48.
Disclosure note. The two books are my own and available on this site. Right-O-Wy also carries copies of Detailing Track for sale. I have no other affiliation with ROW beyond being a satisfied customer. I list them here as I can recommend their products wholeheartedly.