A ? for N scalers

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by NTaghon, May 5, 2007.

  1. NTaghon

    NTaghon New Member

    Howdy. I think this is my first post here. Like many others I have been dropping in and checking it out for quite a bit. All the while quietly suffering the raging debate in my head/heart on the whole n vs. ho bit. So anywho, given the choice how many of you make the move to HO if space permitted? And when I say space permitted more specifically, I COULD build an HO layout and run about 10-12 car trains. Or I COULD take that same space and run 20 car N scale trains. Main interest is operation. Only thing thats really stopping me from being dead set on N is a distinct lack of off track vehicles (semi-trucks, earthmoving equipment and the like). The lesser selection of modern structures is also a bit disheartening. Nothing about the detail level bothers me a bit in N (no rivet counting here). I'm 26 so modern equipment is my poison of choice. The other aspect of my dilemma is my old man has had HO since I was a (real) youngin and thats all I ever new of MR until I figured out that crapidos were a thing of the past and thats when N became a consideration. So how many of you "no choice but N" guys would move to HO if it became an option for you?
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I'm enjoying working with N scale but If I really had the space and the money, I'd go back to O/O27 gauge and skip HO altogether. There isn't that much difference in the space required between O and HO because of HO's track diameters so O would be the winner for me.

    My daughter has an HO set but she likes playing with her battery powered Thomas trains for now. We may end up selling the HO stuff to get her more Thomas since we haven't had it out in over 3 months.

    I think if I really had the space and only had the option of N or HO, I would still stick with N, however. There is just so much moe you can do trackwise than you can with HO.
  3. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    NTaghon, welcome to The Gauge forum. Here you'll meet a bunch of nice helpful and well behaved people.
    To make a reply short: We live in an apartment so I have no choice but N or a small HO switching layout ( my alloted space is a hollow core door ).
    I'm starting to appreciate N scale because I was expected a lot of reliability and track cleaning problems but I realize now that I was too pessimistic.
    Plus, my wife find N scale cute and will help me when I'll start the scenery.
    Minus point: I'm 58 and my eyesight is not what it used to be but I have good magnifying glasses.
  4. Bones

    Bones Member

    In the past I might say I'd jump to HO if I had the space. At the moment (life changes fast), I would stick with N even if I had a warehouse to work with. Of course, I'd run a G scale layout along side it...

    But N scale just gives you those beautiful landscapes and mainline runs. In HO, you have to run around your whole house to achieve what N does in a single room.
  5. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    "Only thing thats really stopping me from being dead set on N is a distinct lack of off track vehicles (semi-trucks, earthmoving equipment and the like). The lesser selection of modern structures is also a bit disheartening."

    theres all kinds of that stuff in N-scale i have 3 pages of cars, trucks, earthmovers, semi's , and farm equipment on my wish list. same with structures. lots out there.
  6. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

    I have kept my 00 (1:76) British equipment to run a small branchline on a lower level beneath my N scale layout. If instead of a spare bedroom I had a full basement (we don't have basements in Louisiana as they'd turn into indoor swimming pools) I'd go with an enormous N layout, but run a larger branchline in 00 underneath!
  7. woodone

    woodone Member

    You should look at the line of goodies that GHQ has. Good looking trucks and some construction equipment. They are first a class kit and must be put together and painted by you.
  8. woodone

    woodone Member

    Opps! Sorry Ozzy,:oops:
    That reply should go to NTaghon. I did not not the quote.
  9. Boilerman

    Boilerman Member

    I started out in HO and was away from Model Railroading for about 10 years and when I came back in 1972 I saw N as a neat small scale and have been with it since.
    I have had medium room size layouts12X13 and large size layouts 15X30.

    No I would not switch back to HO:roll: .

    I like the ability to have broad curves and run multi 20 car trains on my triple main lineballoon6 .
    Plus it offers space for large towns and industrial areas:thumb: .
  10. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    First off, welcome to the Gauge, you picked the rite place to start posting :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    I hear you man, I am in both HO and N scale and for HO, there are PLENTY of choice for trucks and construction equipment (I have TONS of them, trucks to trains is about a ratio of 10:1 right now lol)

    Now for N scale, there are a few trucks out there but for the most part, you gotta buy the same ones and then custom paint and decal to what ever company you want, I do that a lot in HO scale to. I just started N scale so I have not done anything with N scale trucks nor to I have any at this time as I am modeling a Steel Mill in N scale at the moment but you can be sure that there will be plenty of truck traffic on the roads on the Steel Mill Module.

    As for N scale construction equipment, GHQ has lots if nice stuff (GHQ Models Catalog: N Scale Model Railroad Miniatures) and I will definetly be ordering from them when I need N scale construction equipment. They also have some more vehicles and Trucks to. One of my favorites is this:

    It is a Low Boy trailer. Look around on there N scale products. They are not very cheap but they have great products to choose from.

    As for modern buildings, Walthers Cornerstone Series (www.walthers.com -- search page) they have tons of Modern Buildigns and are my #1 and first place I look for a new building in both HO and N scale,
    Nu-Line Structures Buildings and Expantion Packs (Nu-Line Structures - Home) allow you to either buy a warehouse building and assemble it based on the instructions or you can buy expansion packs and make any building you want to fit your needs,
    Rix Products/Pikestuff (Rix Products) they also have many nice small buildings and modern highway bridges
    just to name a few places that have modern type buildings and structures

    Hope this helps.
  11. NTaghon

    NTaghon New Member

    Thanks for all the replies so far. I suppose I am being a little close minded about the availability of some of the things I want in N. It's just that it's so much harder to get your hands on some of the stuff. I like being able to walk into the LHS and having a sea of things to drool over. I guess it might help me keep the reigns on my spending by not being able to do so.

    On a side note I have the room to build this The HOG Heart of Georgia Beginner's Layout
    Only thing I would change we be 2' width vs. 1' regardless of the scale.

    Would you build it as is (HO) or move to N?
  12. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I have the room for HO ,infact this room had a large HO layout that is now a huge N scale layout.Would I go back to HO? Not in this room.I have another room for that.:mrgreen:

    The HOG layout.If I were to build that I would build it in N scale on a HO size platform.I would not settle for anything less than 18" to 24" in width though.

    I also play around with HOn30 and On30 too.:mrgreen:
  13. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    I've got enough space I could have built a decent HO scale layout, but much like what you said yourself, what I can do in HO, I can do twice as much of in N.

    I've had a few catches myself trying to solve some problems in N, like increased difficulty dealing with tiny problems, like a mis-aligned switch. Still, having most of those worked out now, I see no reason to change. The prices are about the same.

    Hmm, I guess it really comes down to a question of what you love best. If it's the trains themselves you love, then I'd say HO. If it's the sight of a train working its way through a landscape of your own construction, you'll want (need?) N-scale.
  14. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Considering the scale ratio and the fact that it works for area, not just length, any given benchwork will hold 3.3 times the layout in N.
  15. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    If I had to take a "do over" I would in fact switch to HO and do urban, specifically Jersey City, New Jersey on the Pennsy.

    It's simply not that feasible yet to do in N Scale; there just aren't the buildings and details available that I envision for such a layout.

    But I don't see a "do over" in my future and I can run my BLI GG-1 in Pennsy on my kids' 4x8 HO layout when I feel the need-- imagining that there is catenary...
  16. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Well, if we're going for precision, then I guess I can put taller buildings on my N-scale layout, so it's more like 6.22 times as much. But that's still only about twice as much track. :rolleyes:
  17. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    Not to start a fight, but I'd agree more with Triplex here. The amount of track you can lay in the same area is more closely related to the area than the length. Though the best looking layouts I've seen take advantage of the space by not laying track in it. Which goes back to the benefit of N scale in allowing a less crowded look in the same space. Or something like that....

  18. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    I think you just inspired me to add a lake, though there's no allowance for one on my current layout.

  19. NTaghon

    NTaghon New Member

    Thanks for the input. I guess my real sticking point is in the choice of scale. Every time I got the LHS dead set to only look at the N stuff that they have. But, inevitably I wander into the HO section and spend all my time drooling over all the stuff that you can get. I guess that should probably answer my question right there. I really do want to like N. It's so easy to paint a picture in your head of what you could do. It just seems like I'd get frustrated with the smallness of it. Not the trains themselves but every other aspect of it. That and I feel like it would be a "fight" the whole way with N. Fighting to find what I wanted, having to mail/special order EVERYTHING. On the flip side of the coin, theres the never ending fight to find space for HO. If only rapidos were still the norm in N.....would make my decision MUCH easier:-D The fact that I want to run modern equipment makes it even tougher. All the big stuff (centerbeams, auto racks and the like) in HO has that "woah, thats huge and cool" feel to it. Also has that "how the hell am I gonna get that on my layout?" feel. Where as in N its more "yeah, just another car in the train". I'm just not sure that having more cars in the train is really gonna add all that much to the enjoyment factor for me either. Ahhh....I think my heads gonna explode. Are hobbies supposed to be this stressful? Every time I see a picture of a real train in a mag I immediately put an N scale picture in my head. Guess I'll just have to keep exploring and see what comes out in the wash.
  20. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    What size is your N scale layout Travellar ?. Mine is a tiny 25" x 36 " and I wanted some water and a hill on it. I couldn't afford a lake or a river ( no room for even a 5" straight bridge ) but at least I have a tiny space for a pond ( it supplies water to the brewery ) and the pond is fed with water by a random stone culvert .

    To NTaghon: why not make a small N scale diorama or a switching puzzle ( Inglewood siding ) to have a feeling of what N scale is about ?

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