Tuesday, June 30, 2009


If you thought Z gauge (1:220 scale) was small, then think again - the new small is here, in the form of the Japanese T gauge, made to the remarkable, almost nano-size 1:450 scale. T actually stands for ‘Three’ as it’s the distance (‘gauge’) between the rails in millimetres.

T gauge is roughly half the size of Z, and manufacturer KK Eishindo has really thought the tiny new world out in detail, as you can see from the video. Apart from the trains and track, the range of items available includes people (a six-foot human scales out at about 4 mm high) plus animals, buildings and vehicles, trees and even a set of bicycles.

At present there is just one type of train available, a Type 103 Electro Motive Unit (EMU), available in four shades, representing different Japanese rail lines. A small controller is powered by three AA batteries. The tiny electric motors are similar to the ones that make mobile phones vibrate, though we’re betting that model rail is a new one to the motor maker.

This is real table-top stuff, and is absolutely ideal for Japan’s apartment dwellers, indeed anyone with a space problem. Instead of giving up the loft or a spare room, you can fit a basic oval of track on - get this - a sheet of A3 paper. For people with more ambition and space, there are quite a few 1:450 scale model ships available, which would make a dockside scene an interesting possibility.

You can see the T gauge range here.