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Mixing Kadee coupler scales

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:11 am
by Will Vale
Hi folks,

I'm building some wagons for the base of my crane at the moment and wanted to replicate the look of the modern tunnelling equipment I've been ogling lately. These all have really big knuckle couplers - they look like they're maybe standard gauge equipment?

I thought I'd fit Kadees from a larger scale - my model is 1:35 on 16.5mm gauge, and the HO/On30 couplers look much too weedy - but are S or O gauge couplers going to give me operational problems?

One thing I wondered about was the trip pins - I might have to mount the couplers quite high or bend the pins to get clearance above the track, will they still work?



Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:16 am
by Dallas_M

Hi Will --

I built this car for 1:35 scale on 16.5 mm track (even though it's shown with a G scale figure here!)

It has Kadee On3 couplers (the pins have been bent to make some levers).

The "S" and "On3" couplers are the same. One thing to note though is that the coupler boxes are fairly large. You might also consider the S scale couplers from Showcase Line -- the knuckle is the same, they mate with Kadee's, but the coupler box is much more compact:

Look for the #01295 couplers -- and, happily, they come pre-assembled! :D \

(don't get any of the American Flyer compatible ones; those are huge)


Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:51 am
by Will Vale
Thanks Dallas, those look like a better size than the HO ones. My prototype has quite long shanks (the coupler attachment is recessed and the knuckles protrude) which is a cool detail but might be hard to replicate. I can't find the link for the picture I'm working from, sadly :(


Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:43 am
by Dallas_M
Hi Will --

The Showcase Line couplers have a rather short shank ...


The Kadee couplers can be modified to give the appearance of a longer shank as shown above. I didn't modify the coupler (knuckle) parts, but shortened the front of the coupler box .... this allows more of the shank to show and also allows a bit more swing.

Speaking of which, if you use the On3 / S scale size couplers, you may need a bit more radius than you're used to with Gn15. Not sure what the limit is, but definitely gonna require larger radius than you can use with the littler HO couplers.

Have fun!

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:17 am
by Adrian
G'day Will

Just one thing that you should know about Kadees, if you don't already, is that they do not like to uncouple on a curve.
My 'Inglenook' layout, 'Ladysmith Sidings' in its original form had an uncoupler on a curve and dispite twice easing that curve to almost straight now I still have trouble.


Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:30 am
by Will Vale
Adrian wrote:they do not like to uncouple on a curve.

I've been bitten by the uncoupling on a curve before with my On30 stuff. It doesn't have to be much of a curve to cause chaos, does it?

I'm afraid I ended up chickening out and using no. 148 couplers for my 1:35 wagon since I can at least get them locally. The knuckles are smaller than I would like, but the gear boxes are about right, so it's a bearable compromise.

I just hope I don't change my mind at some point in the future and decide to switch them all for the larger scale ones :(


Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:52 pm
by Gavin Sowry
:? I have 'S' scale Kadees on my American S scale equipment. They are, in fact, ordinary HO couplers with a different trip pin (and I think Kadee have said as much).