Tinkerbell scale refers to live steam models under 1 inch scale. The term Tinkerbell may also be applied to those that participate in live steam construction and operation in these smaller scales.
Tidbits from Chaski
- So what the heck is "Tinkerbell scale"? Over 50 years around steam and I have never heard of it? 4-3/4"? 3.5"?
- Tinkerbell is anything you can still pick up! Mostly refers to 3/4" scale, 3 1/2" gauge I believe.
- Anything into which Tinkerbell can fit in the cab
- Anything that's not hernia gauge!
- That 3/4 inch scale Northern in the background of Ed's Dinky is MLS' Jim Turnbull built. It is now back in the family with fellow Tinkerbell Jim Legget.
The Live Steamer, September-October 1951
Times and tastes change with the passing years. Some 20 years ago (around 1931) in the hobby it was 2-1/2 inch gauge that got a lot of popularity. Then the 3-1/2 inch gauge came into first place and more or less made the 2-1/2 inch size obsolete, though there still are numbers of builders in this size. More recently there is a trend to 1 inch scale 4-3/4 inch gauge, with even some going into 7-1/4 inch gauge, etc. and where this trend will lead nobody knows. Some men feel that the 2-1/2 inch gauge size should not take a backseat as it seems to. For those with a desire to have a big wheelbase modern type loco without the heavy weight problem it is in 3-1/2 inch gauge, or for limited lathe size capacity, the 2-1/2 inch gauge has a lot in its favor. While it isn't likely that 3-1/2 inch gauge will become any less popular, let's consider the merits of 2-1/2 inch gauge and keep it also as a vital part of popular live steam interest.