One thing, am i correct in thinking that 00 & H0 use the same tracks, but 00 models are not 100% true scale to tracks, wheras H0 are?
I seem to think i've read this somewhere.
Depends. There is British OO, and American OO. Prior to WWII, American OO (Where the track gauge was exact 4' 8-1/2" in 1:76 scale) was popular here. Lionel offered OO scale like this, as did Scale-Craft. Those cars, straight up, would not work on HO scale trackage. To boot, Lionel made two and three rail OO. A three rail car (Where both running rails were ground current) would short a 2 rail system.
Back then, some modelers interchanged OO and HO cars with trucks to match their trackage. Prior to the second world war, it was unclear what scale would be standard after the conflict, and many manufacturers made BOTH. Picard Novelty Co., made HO and OO wooden carbodies (As well as O Scale), that you put the approprate trucks on for your needs.
Now, British OO scale, runs on HO scale track. The reason, supposedly, is when HO scale was introduced in 1936, there was great difficulty fitting a motor in an HO scale (1:87) body, but they could do it in a 1:76 body. So basically, you will have a hard time interchanging British and American OO.
I collect and operate vintage HO trains myself. Most of my fleet is made prior to 1950. Back then, cars usually were either cast, or paper and wood. Locomotives were always cast metal- I got a lot of cast steam engines, a Walthers prewar HH600 switcher made of printers lead, a zinc H-16-44 'Baby Trainmaster', and ten cast lead F3s and FTs.
Much of my 150 square foot tabletop is not complete yet- rather than buy cheap plastic buildings, I opt to go the old style way, and hand build them out of balsa, basswood, and cardstock. I even have cars from 1936-1937 running, fully operational.
Even the couplers between cars and engines are authentic vintage HO- Mantua Metal Products, back then, made a loop coupler out of brass, somewhat similar to the Hornby couplers in Britian, though they do work somwhat different. Many old cars simply are not designed for knuckle couplers, popular after the mid-1950s.
Will have to get pics of some of my equipment and the better parts of my railroad.
Without Trains America Stops