General Talk

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by John Sneed, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. John Sneed

    John Sneed Member

    I'am almost readly to start on my layout now. I have my table made 4'x8', a track plan about ready,but one thing i can't decide on,what scale. I had planed on HO, but like to run long trains and N scale seems the way to go.I don't nimble fingers any more, I wear glasses,so I'am not sure I can work on that small of scale. I haven't bought any track or rolling stock yet, but I've got to maaaaaake up my mind on what to do. So, I need some input on what scale.Keeping in mind what my lack of knowledge doing a layout is, and my lack of physical handecap is, Iwould like to hear the pros and cons of each scale.That may help me make up my mind on the way to go on this. Thanks for any ideas John
  2. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Well, as you said, you can do a lot in a small space with N-scale, but HO scale has a lot more equipment available (especially steam engines).

    Take a look at Fantastic Layout Books Online on Atlas' web site:

    They list a number of layouts that can fit in 4x8.

    The Mineral Range Route is a nice N-scale layout that lets you run long trains and is pretty simple to build and operate. Here is a link directly to its page:

    If I were you, I'd get ahold of one of these layout books from Atlas or Kalmbach. They'll tell you how to build it, wire it and operate it.

    Good luck! Have fun!

  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hello John,
    I would personally go with H0 if you need glasses like I do. Anyway, if you want to have a really good looking H0 in 8' by 4', then I would suggest a shortline/mining/logging line. I can help with a plan for 8by4 if needed. On the other hand, if you really must have long trains, then N-scale is the way to go in such a small space.
    Here's a track plan for an 8by4 in H0, (It's a logging layout)


    Attached Files:

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  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Hey John, Welcome to the gauge! For the record I wear glasses and I'm no spring chicken, but I don't have any problem with N-Scale. As long as your glasses are the correct prescription and you have decent lighting you shouldn't have any problems. The Model mags are full of nice N-Scale layouts built by people in their 60's and 70's ! For really tiny stuff like putting together KD couplers you can use a jewelers visor (available thru Micro-Mark and other places for under $30). However I buy my couplers already put together to avoid that. Whatever scale you choose, when you settle on that scale you may want to rethink your track plan. You might also want to consider other options beside the island style 4X8. Good Luck:D
  5. John Sneed

    John Sneed Member

    Frist, thanks for the input on my problem. Next, thanks to ypu Shamus for your layput plan. aaaaaaaaaai'am thinking more along the the line of a folded dogbone with a 5or6 rail yard inbeteen the 2 loops. I'ed love to see what you could do with something like that.Finly the choce of HO or N. i think I've come down on the side of N.scale. It gives me more room to run around in and still have room to expand if I want to. I can do more with the yard too. ie, turntable, engine house, repair house, ect.Next ,I have to order a catalog and look to see what i want. Again' thanks. John PS this is a great place o get help.I'am sure I'll be asking for more in the future.
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi John!
    I think you will be happy with your choice of N scale. The giveaway is the fact that you say you like long trains. This just isn't feasible with an HO 4x8. In HO scale, a 12 car train is practically chasing its tail on a 4x8 table!
    You can go N scale on that very same table, & suddenly those 18" radius curves, which are pretty sharp in HO, are now broad sweeping curves, that even very long equipment looks good on.
    As far as the knuckle couplers go, Atlas, Kato, & Micro-Trains all make equipment that come with couplers already on them.
    Also, (this is just my opinion) one of the beauties of N scale is that it doesn't require a lot of super-detail work, simply because you can't see it! Chances are, neither can anyone else.
    Don't get me wrong...I've modeled in both scales, & I love them both. But if you want long trains, & big scenery in small spaces, N scale is the only way to go!

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