Best books for beginners?

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by aslan, May 18, 2006.

  1. aslan

    aslan Member

    Sorry if this is a newby question, but what do you guys recommend? (HO or N) I have been reading here as much as possible and looking through various magazines. Magazines vs. books vs. internet??
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    They're over 30 years old and out of print but I couldn't think of better ones to cut your teeth on for the basics;

    Linn Westcott's "HO Primer"

    Russ Larson's "N Scale Primer"

    Bill McClanahan's "Scenery for Model Railroads"

    Linn Westcott's "HO Railroad that Grows"

    And any Model Railroader magazine from the mid 60s to the early 80s. Each of these can be found on ebay for the price of new books.

    There is something to be said for learning this hobby from the ground up, before everything was made for you. While true that many technologies are outdated, most all the new models, circuits and systems are easier for me to understand having known and been there during their development. Maybe I'm a bit nostalgic but, there isn't a problem you can encounter now that wasn't more carefully detailed back then and in a way that your average layman can understand.

    Hope that helps.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Do you have a hobby shop near you? N scale is fine for adults if your eyesight is good enough to model in it. Robin did amazing things in n scale before he passed away. If n scale seems too small for you to model comfortably, then go with ho. The best advice is to go to a hobby shop and check out both sizes to see what you can model comfortably. If you don't have a hobby shop nearby, mail order an inexpensive n scale and ho scale freight car to see which would be more comfortable to work with.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    When I am casting about for ideas, I like to sort through the local train shop's back issues section. They have MR, RMC, and other good magazines from the 1950's to the 2000's (sometimes even ones that are only a few months old). Most are $0.50 each, so you can get a whole year's worth for less than the price of the current issue. Best years for MR is 1980's and 1990's, in my opinion.

    Many of the Kalmbach books are simply reprints of articles from old issues of the mag itself. The only think to remember is that the DCC info (if any) will be out of date!

    As for the Internet, The Gauge is one of the best (if I do say so myself ;)). There are some other good resources though. Do a search for "links" or look for resources - some of the forums have specific links highlighted.

    Welcome to The Gauge!

  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Aslan, I don't know if you're anywhere near my location, but if you are, send me a pm regarding this topic.


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