Convince me

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by coachC, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. coachC

    coachC Member

    I've been armchairing it for a while now and will continue to for a little longer. I've been planning on doing a modern logging layout in N scale but recently have been leaning toward HO. I only have room for a 4x8 with a 9 x1.5 shelf extension. I want to start fairly small. The reasons I've been leaning toward HO is the amount of detail (larger and easier handling), the availability of HO scale, easier DCC installation, sound, lighting, and I like the challenge of making a somewhat realistic layout in a small space. However, I'm still leaning toward N scale and I need someone over here on the HO side to convince me to plunge into HO scale. I'm close, I just need a little push. Give me some more reasons to go HO!! Thanks.
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    You are right, you can get better detail in HO than in N, plus there is much more available to you in HO. But, I was just looking at an amazing layout in Z scale, and now N scale doesn't look that difficult to me.

    There is one great advantage to N scale, that is you can fit four times as much in the same space. It it nice to have all that room to do what you want in a 4 x 8. But I have seen some nice HO layouts in that space too, so no taking anything away from those that can do it.

    About the only lack of detail I regret having in N scale is the figures. It's possible to get nice detail in scenery and structures, but not in people or animals. But viewing at a decent range, that detail is lost anyway.

    The other thing that N scale requires is nimble fingers and decent eyesight. I use a magnifying lamp frequently when building structures, and I'm used to working with small parts so that's not a problem. As far as DCC installation goes, I can't help there, I'm DC right now, but I do know a lot of N scalers that have no problems installing decoders.

    You choice, but I thought I'd give you my insight on N scale.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I would have tried to convince you that HO was the way to go, for all the reasons you list, until I saw this:

    Friday Night Group - look for the October 3 entry "Summer in N scale".

    It's the annual raffle layout (to support the local children's hospital) built by a bunch of (mostly) HO scale guys. But they dove right into an Nscale coffee table layout. The detail is incredible, although it is admittedly not built for "hands-on" operation.

    But in making your decision, I suggest you should think about what you like about the hobby - do you want lots of scenery for your models (Nscale), or would you rather put time and effort into fewer, but superdetailed structures and rolling stock (HO scale)? Do you like operations (easier in HO, but not impossible in N)? etc, etc...

  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I was thinking of the future when I went to ho. I don't want to sell everything and start over because it's to small to see anymore.

  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I favor HO because it is small enough for a decent layout in a moderate space, yet it is large enough to tinker with.
  6. HO, all the way. I believe that there are a lot more steam locos out in HO than in N, probably due to the increased difficulty of getting the bars that small!
  7. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I like HO because my sausage fingers can fit inside (most) of the cabs and install LEDs and such not. Some folks at my club have N scale and, yes, they are nice for space, but you had better buy them finished. One fellow in the club snapped the main board when he was trying to install a DCC.

    Have you seen all you can do with a 4x8? There is a great book out there, "101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders" that was published back in 1956 and they are still putting that book out. I mean, its 51 years old right now and it's still a viable resource. Yes, you can fit more onto a 4x8 with N scale, but sometimes more isn't always better.

    That's my say, anyway.
  8. coachC

    coachC Member

    Thanks everyone for all of the replies. The main thing for me is making the layout look "real" and the challenge of doing that in a small place in HO is drawing me closer and closer to that scale. Sound is also an important aspect. I would go with a shelf layout but operations are not my thing. I wouldn't mind having a little operation to tinker with, though. Detailed scense and slow moving trains with great sound is what I'm looking for. The sound aspect is a recent "want" that has become important to me.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Have you considered a narrow gauge HO scale (HOn30 or HOn3)? That might be a balance between the two.

    And your space (4x8 + 1.5x9) sounds like it could be good for a logging or quarrying operation - some sort of industry or town (or both) on the 4x8 plus a branch line to the woods or quarry.

  10. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    N scale is great if you want to model 'big time' operations, 2-3-4 engines pulling 40-50 cars. If you're doing a logging line, you might find operating / switching etc. to be easier to do with HO - although the running quality of N has increase lately in the last decade or so. Still, "big time" prototypes work better with smaller scales, "shortline" type railroads are better with larger scales IMHO.
  11. coachC

    coachC Member

    I am a disel guy. I like all the old logging layouts, but I want to do a modern one, realistic or not.
  12. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I have just started my first serious layout, (I'm 15). Ho is what I have and I like it because there is alot of selection and you can fit quite a bit in a fairly small space, (there are tons of plans for HO layouts in 4x8:thumb:). But whatever the size you choose, it doesnt matter. That might be the best part of the hobby, it can be so unique and anything goes, it is all up to you, but........... I will still have to stick with HO.
  13. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I've basically gone with HO, for all the good reasons above. I inherited a large model train collection from my Dad. He actually had small amounts of O, S, N, TT and HO, but mostly HO. I sold or traded in the other scales and simply focussed on HO (keeping it simple, sticking to one scale).

    Personally, I think TT is the ideal scale (a compromise between N and HO) and I can't figure out why it never took off in North America.

    In any case, I'd strongly vote for HO. I only have room for a 4x6 HO layout and it's been keeping me quite busy for 3 years.

    All the best!


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