considering changing from HO to N

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by iis612, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Given the amount of space I have, I am thinking about changing scales. That would mean selling off all of the HO stock I have (and I have quite a bit)
    But, with n scale I could make a huge empire.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated
  2. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    One of the advantages of N scale is the ability to run trains that are protypical length, such as unit trains.

    I've always considered HO to be the minimum scale if you want peopkle to see and appreciate your buildings, people and so forth, and N to be the scale if you want large distances and a chance for viewers to appreciate scenery in general.

    frankly, I am considering the same sort of switch-over that you are.
  3. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    Things I see as advantages to N:
    It is much easier to get a feeling of 'wide open spaces'.
    Longer trains.
    More fits in the same space. Or, even better, the same fits in the same space, and makes it look less crowded. The wide open spaces thing.
    In some cases buildings can look better, since you can model more of the scence and compress less. The detail is clearly not as fine, but the effect from viewing range can be as good.
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I am leaning more and more towards N.
    It is now more a matter of how I am going to liquidate my HO collection, or how much of a stink my wife will raise.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If I hadn't have so much stuff, I had considered switching to N scale quite a few years back. My choice would be for short trains, though, with longer runs and "bigger" scenery. Essentially the same layout that I have now, perhaps with fewer locos and less rolling stock. I'd keep most of the structures about the same size (not the same scale, though ) :lol: :p and simplify the trackwork.

  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I might suggest that you find someone that wants to move to HO, and simply trade straight across. There are some that after a while find it difficult to work in N scale because of eyesight or other physical problems, but I know a lot of N scalers that are older than I am and that's saying a lot.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    N scale does require a bit more dexterity, but the ability to have four times as much in the same amount of space really is worth it. I've mentioned this before in another recent thread, but I build a lot of my structures under a magnifying lamp. Dimensions are a bit more critical, you can't misalign things by much, especially your trackwork. My fingers aren't as nimble as they used to be, but I can still work in N scale, and I don't think I'd ever change.
  7. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    At my new job, I finaly got hands-on an N-scale engine, a C&O F7, and I can see why people like N-scale! I've also been thinking about an N-scale layout, but the Riverside Railroad in HO scale is my main layout. If I could, I'd make a small N scale layout for the SP's Daylight Limited.
  8. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    The advantages of N scale have been spelled out pretty well in the previous responses. Some disadvantages to think about:
    1. Much more limited stock.
    2 Very limited number of DCC ready steam locomotives.
    3. Depending on the era you are modeling, limited number of available vehicles.
    The other disadvantages (such as the need for good track alignment, etc.) can be overcome quite easily.
    In spite of the disadvantages, I feel they are more than offset by the fact that you can fit twice as much in the same space.
    Just make sure you have a good magnifying glass - you will use it a lot!
    I have days when I cuss N scale a lot, but I still love it!
  9. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    All three of these points are true, but all in all three cases the gap is closing, almost daily. The difference from 10 to 15 years ago is incredible. And the quality has made giant leaps, as well. As they say, it's not your father's N scale!

    Optivisor is the first required tool.
  10. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I agree with baldwinjl on all his points. Well spoken.
    But, I'd like to add my own perspective as well. I have both N as well as HO. I model primarily in HO, with a large (by my standards at least) permanent layout. I enjoy building craftsman structures and super detailing my locomotives.
    In N-gauge I tend to be more prototypical, running locos and rolling stock from a very specific time period. I don't super detail anything, and really don't weather my rolling stock. I run my n-gauge stuff only occasionally these days on the dining room table using unitrack.
    My point is; What are you expecting from your modeling? Is it detail like I have in HO, or being able to run more prototypical length trains? Not that you can't detail N-gauge, but I find HO challenging enough.
    I run some pretty long HO trains, but there's no way I could run a prototypical length intermodal stack train. I just don't have that kind of space in HO. N-gauge, in the same space, would be more prototypical.
    I have a lot of n-gauge equipment because I used to belong to an N-gauge club. It was easier transporting n-gauge stock than HO.:mrgreen:
    So the big question is what do you expect out of your modeling?
  11. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    My Little Pony?
    You've nailed that, as well. If you want to do detailing, Nis not the place. In one of Model Railroader's Dream Plan Build series the featured Monroe Stewart's (I think) N scale layout. If I am remembering correctly he is an architect. He pointed out that because of the size of N scale it was easier to erpresent structures because you need less detail, since it isn't seen. So it is definitely a double edged sword. For me, I want to see trains running (someday) through relatively expansive (well as much as can be in 12x14) scenery. So for me, it is N. Still with an optivisor.


    The point is, there is no 'one-size-fits-all'.
  12. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    I know quite a few people moving from Horribly Oversized to Normal are happy with their choices, despite the fact that one has to be more precise.

    But I'll stick with Horibly Oversized thank you very much. Why not try a small N scale layout first like a coffee table to see if you will enjoy it though?
  13. eve_9d9

    eve_9d9 Member

    as someone who started in nscale for the same resasons you want to change (more stuff in a smaller space) Im definitely feeling the limitations of it as far as detailing goes.....nothing ever feels realistic looking enough on my layout, and to get it any better Im just about reduced to using magnifying glasses, and tweezers.....Id have to say n scale in my opinion is not for a beginner, but since youre not a beginner Im sure youd have a better idea what to expect and not hit so many snags as I have, but I agree with madhatter, build a small layout first and see if you like it.....if youre into super detail, you may not...on a side note, Ive noticed that all the catalogs I get, or all the ads I see in mags for cool new locos, everything is always listed just as HO which is kind of a bummer, you see all these great things you cant even use...
  14. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    What is "the amount of space you have"?
  15. countyofficer

    countyofficer New Member

    N scale has come a loonng way!! Detailing is harder to do but most things can be done with a LOT of patience. And of course magnifying glass or good eyes. In some cases detailing looks better because you can skip certain areas because the eye will scan past it , but to try and sell HO to start a N layout is tough, I would definitly try a small layout nothing fancy either. Attached are a couple pics of a piece about 1X3' and what I did in the area.

    I am in the process of moving and this logging camp is all that is left of my layout!!! It will be incorporated into new layout at new house. Which should begn construction in a few weeks.

    Attached Files:

  16. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Roughly 18' X 18'
  17. iis612

    iis612 Member

    That is a cool little layout! The pics don't show much, but there is considerable detail there.
  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That's bigger than I expected you to say. Most people, it seems, aren't as ambitious as you or me, and would be content with that space for HO. But that isn't enough space to handle long trains well. If you want to model a shortline, HO is certainly small enough. To handle heavy mainline action, N is advisable. That's the sort of space I love to plan for, as it isn't a struggle to fit the bare necessities (if many long trains are assumed, the necessities take up much more room than you'd guess at first).
  19. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    I'd hang on to the HO stuff until you are sure that N scale is right for you.
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would echo the advice of others suggesting you start a small n scale layout while keeping the ho stuff until you know for sure you really want to go with n scale.

    I built an ho layout from an atlas track plan book at my previous house in an unusable garage. After moving to my current house, I joined a modular model railroad club and started running trains on our modular set ups. I soon discovered that I did not care if I had a long train or not, but enjoyed switching out industries much more than watching long trains run. When the remodel is done to my house, I will build a small "L" shaped switching layout and won't even have the capability of running trains on any sort of continuous loop. N-sacal looks like it would be tedious to do a lot of switching operations, but I haven't tried it, so I can't say for sure.

    The point being that you want to determine what you enjoy most about the hobby and then see if n scale is the best "fit" for what you want to do.

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