Decisions and Dilemmas...

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by bobaloo000, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. bobaloo000

    bobaloo000 New Member

    Not sure where to post this, so I thought I'd give the on30 folks first crack.

    Here's my dilemma. Having received an on30 Hawthorne set for Christmas I decided to give model rr'ing a try. So far I'm doing OK, and I'm picking up on some of the terminology. My problem is that I have discovered that there is just not enough on30 loco's, rolling stock, etc., to make a good model.

    I know most of you modelers are going for a certain time period but that is not where I want to go. I want to create a model that encompasses all different types of loco's from multiple eras. I envision my model being more of a fantasy world then anything specific. I'll be honest; I just like playing with the trains.

    That does not mean that I have no interest in doing this right, I'm not just slapping together plywood and laying track. I have dived into scenery building and wiring and the thought of building something truly spectacular in my large empty basement is getting me excited. Hey, I know it won't happen overnight, I have very little free time, but it doesn't hurt to dream.

    So, back to my dilemma, I'm setting up the on30 on a 4x8 layout in what I'm calling Christmas County. The CCRR will consist of one passenger train and one freight (as yet not purchased). Sounds good so far, but, as I looked to expand this with additional layouts and join them together I have a problem. As mentioned, not enough variation in on30.

    So where do I go? I can isolate my on30 layout (which I'm building for my kids anyway) around a corner in the basement and then start with another scale, but which to choose. I like the size of on30, O scale except for the 2-6-0 loco which seems to be HO. I have an old Lionel set from my dad (it's 40 years old) so I could go O, but I'm not happy about the track, though wiring seems to be easier. HO seems to have good variety, but, I'm not sure I like the size, though if I want to switch to on30 at a later date I can reuse the track. N seems too small to me but I could be convinced, but it would take a lot of convincing. Of course I could always stay with on30, but it seems unlikely.

    So what do you say modelers, what scale would you recommend, and why?

    Would love to hear from you.
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    This is an innocent but loaded question!!! :D :D :rolleyes:

    I think this forum is about split on N and HO, plus some O and G.

    N gives you the capability for much longer and more prototypical trains!

    HO offers wider selection of available models, especially in steam
    locomotives, and offers sound decoders.

    G for outdoors can't be beat!

    O has always been a popular size, needs a lot more space for a
    scale-appearing layout. (almost no layout is ever to true scale
    anyhow because of distances)

    On30 has many fans, seems to be more suited to the free-lancer
    or to the fantasy layout. I think it's a good scale for scratch building.

    No one should try to convince you, it's a truly personal choice, depending
    on what you want your railroad to be!! :) :) :) It's your hobby ...

    Personally, if the selection were better, I would have gone with S (1/64th)
    but it wasn't, and I didn't :rolleyes:
    What a big help I am, huh?? :D :D Be sure to look at Z scale, it is too cool!!
  3. sams

    sams Member

    yes...this is a "loaded" question ;)
    since its your layout, you should go with what you like and feel comfortable with...
    think long term, and weight the different factors of each scale to see which you like the most.
    cid has given a good "low-down" of the different scales...
    n...larger layout, good selection, good detail for selection, better detail
    o...o.k. selection, great detail, but need lots of space.
    the narrow selection as there are fewer modelers doing these
    for me...i'm doing n-scale as i want a larger layout with longer trains (more prototypical) in the space that i have available.
    oh, also, having more than one layout is o.k....many do that...
    i'm considering "dabbling" in HOn3 or Nn3.
    and also, i'm looking into maybe a very small, simple HO just to test and improve my scratchbuilding and detailing skills.
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to the Gauge Bobaloo000. Cid has provided you with the info you asked for now comes time for the difficult choice. HO offers the best range of locos and rolling stock at affordable prices. Any other Gauge you choose doesn't have the variety and is usually more expensive. This is tough for me to admit as I am an ardent N and Nn3 user.
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    If you are interested in a wide variety of railroading, HO will give you the widest possible options in terms of era and style without breaking the bank. Often people will find one era/locale that appeals most, but generally a fun way to find that era/locale is to play around with different equipment until you find your favorite.

    The On30 equipment is On30--the 2-6-0 seems small because narrow-gauge equipment was physically smaller than standard-gauge. But yes, narrow gauge does limit one's choices in terms of time settings and geography (narrow gauge was only used in certain places, and mostly abandoned before the diesel era) and rolling stock (unless you like to scratchbuild!)
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

  7. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    Take a look at the Bachmann site. There is a whole section on On30. The selection is not as good as Ho of course, but they have several different types of locos and cars. If you are modeling say 1875 to about 1940's then the choice is not too bad, especially if you are modeling branchline, lumber, mining or dockyard. They have the Shays, Climax's, Porters, and the 2-6-0 Mogul. They have some fairly good passenger cars from that era, frieght cars(flat,gondola,tank,ore,cattle) and a trolley or two. I started out Ho and switched to On30. They are much easier to work on(bigger) and scratchbuiling is much easier too.
    Whatever you choose, good luck and welcome to the gauge.
  8. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    There ain't nothing that says you can't run whatever you want too on "Your" track. I 've been guilty of having a Ho CSX diesel help my On30 mogul up the 6% grade. What the heck, it's fun to run trains, even if things don't match.! lol You can always blame it on a Dr. Who style time and space diallation effect.
  9. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    That's what my layout is missing!!!!! A TARDIS....
  10. sams

    sams Member

    now where did that blue police box go?
  11. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    last time I saw it, it was on John Grants model railway!

    He even added a blue flashing LED to the top of it.

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