A reader writes:
I like the O style trains - Really liked Aristo.. now out of business. Used to have an extensive Hornby 00 set in Rhodesia.
Now want to set up a garden system.
Where can I get garden sets that look like old large trains like the 20th Class Garrett?
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I'm sorry to take so long to get back to you. I'm officially six weeks behind on this kind of inquiry because I get so snowed under with train questions as Christmas approaches.
I can't find anything like the 20th class in any of the 45mm offerings. Accucraft made a live steam Garrett, but it's a model of a much smaller engine, and not recommended as your first live steam engine.
African locomotive in general seem to follow European designs versus US designs, so I would look at the Euro lines by LGB and Piko and other Euro (or formerly Euro) companies to see if anything gets you the general look you want. The Largest US-inspired locomotives were made by AristoCraft (USRA 2-8-8-2, 1:29), USA Trains (Big Boy, I think, 1:29), and MTH (Challenger, 1:32). MTH liquidated most of their 1:32 line, and Aristo is out of business, but you can still find their products on eBay.
Again, if I wanted the general look of African trains, though, I'd probably start with a Euro design.
You don't say where you are today. If you're in Europe, check out Bachmann's UK site; they sell a lot of different products:http://www.bachmann.co.uk/
Hope this gives you some ideas; best of luck.