Education requested

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Mountain Man, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Recently in a trackplan book, i came across the comment that an Nscalers often made the mistake of thinking that either an Nscale layout would fit in half the space required by the same HO plan, or that twice as much N could be put into a given HO space. At first I thought I got it, but the more I thought about, the more I realized I was missing something fundamental.

    I grasp that other considerations exist beyond mere footprint itself, but what essential point am I not getting? I have this feeling that it's probably critical at some point, so I am seeking to further my understanding.
  2. robhink

    robhink New Member

    The biggest issue is the people, people don't scale down in relation to scale so if the plan would have a 3 ft aisle on the HO plan it would still need that 3 ft Aisle on the N scale plan.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    This is just a general rule. As Rob pointed out, aisleways don't scale because we (the operators) don't scale. This genral rule only applies to table-top layouts. In other words, a 4x8 HO layout will roughly fit in a 2x4 space in N scale. That isn't exactly true, because N scale is slightly larger than half the size as HO, so the "N scale 4x8" layout would need to be something like 30"x60".

    i probably just confused you.

    I really don't think converting an HO scale plan to N scale is very wise in most cases. I think it is better to look at the space you have available, and possibly adapt other trackplan ideas into the space that you have.

    For example, almost all HO scale 4x8s seem cramped. Likewise, a 30"x60" N-scale layout would seem cramped. In this case, one could still build the N-scale layout on the 4x8 using the same trackplan as the HO scale layout, and have twice as long of a mainline, twice as long of sidings, twice as broad of curves, and things will look much less cramped.

    One advantage to N scale is you can build the same thing in less space. But the bigger advantage of N scale (in my opinion) is that in the same space, you can have more realistic curves, distances, elevation changes...

  4. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Thanks for clearing that up. :cool:

    The book does have one very useful feature - it carries a table of comparable length for mainline ruins in the major scales, and a scale of comparable grades as well.
  5. In isn't Half-HO

    HO *is* 'half-O'

    N is 54% of HO.

    the statement about isles is also true.

    I estimate a 4x8 in HO is about 2.5x4.5 in N.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Squirrel has a good point - it's not a strict factor of 1/2 or 2, because Nscale is 54%, not 50% of HO.

    Another thing to consider when "scaling" published plans is the common sizes of sectional track. HO tabletops commonly use 18" and 22" radius if built with sectional track. I believe that the common one for N are 9 3/4" and 11". While 11 is half of 22, 9 3/4 is not half of 18.

  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    In fact, Atlas and others offer a wide range of curve radii tracks for N-scale, and I'm a 19-30th century guy, so small locos and short rolling stock. I figure 10' radius will be pretty much the standard since much of the grade is through mountainous and otherwise rugged terrain, just as it was for the real railroads it will be modeled after.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    An ho layout running 19th century rolling stock might run as small as 15 inch radius, since the shorter cars and locomotives of that era would work fine on much smaller radius. If you are running a 10 inch radius and starting with an ho track plan that is drawn for an 18 inch radius, you will need to figure slightly more than 50% more layout because your true diameter of all circles will be 20 inches (doubled would be 40 inches) whereas the true diameter for all circles on the ho plan would be 36 inches. If you were to build your layout with n scale flex track instead of sectional track, your models would probably handle a 9 inch radius easily and maybe even a 7 or 8 inch radius. In that case, you could easily make your n scale table 1/2 the size of a similar plan in ho. What has also been often suggested is to take a plan in ho and instead of shrinking it in half for n, you just stretch it enough to fill the same space in n scale as it was in ho. This approach often leaves more space for scenery, and less compromises in general for the entire railroad.
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    HO is half of British O (1/43.5) which predates American O (1/48 ).

    (I can't beleive how often I have to explain this. If only scales made sense...)

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