Have Some Questions...

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Damn Hook, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. Damn Hook

    Damn Hook New Member

    Hey everyone! :wave: My name is Joah. I have always loved trains and always thought about a layout. But, just lately have I really been looking around at things. I have plans now to build one as soon as we get a new house. That won't be for atleast 4-5 months, hopefully. There just isnt enough room here to do anything.

    I was thinking about an outside layout, until I saw how much everything costs lol.. Living in Indiana, winter sucks. And, just having a storm would worry me. So, I have decided on an inside layout. If there isnt a big enough game room in the new house, or an extra room, I will just use the garage. I want a pretty large one. My friend John is going to help me with it. He thought it would be pretty fun to do after I started telling him what I had found. And also all the really cool pictures here!

    Now, I think I understand some of the Scale sizes. But, I just wanted to make sure. Is the HO size where I could use my Hotwheels cars? I want to have the right Scale for them. I have over 2000 Hotwheels & Matchbox cars, so that would save me alot of money not having to buy the cars, trucks and things.

    Also the rails and ties. I don't like the look of the plasic ones. I wanted to know if they come premade with Wood Ties, or do you have to hand make them? I never really liked the way it looked sitting up on something, is it a must to set the Track on something, or could I just lay the Track on the surface I am building on?

    I plan on buying buildings and such until I can start on my layout. So I can have a good amount of things collected when that time comes. I do plan on using real concrete, rocks, and other things in my layout. :D I found alot of great links looking around on here, so if there is anything else that might not have been posted, I'd love to see them! :)

    Thanks for any Info you guys can give, Joah.

    EDIT: I am planing on doing this time era, btw.

    EDIT 2: LOL... I forgot to ask about the best way to power everything.. That is another thing I don't understand. Although, I don't expect someone to type it all out, maybe just a link to a good site. Thanks.
  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Welcome aboard Joah! Hot wheels are larger than HO scale and may be closer to S scale.
    That's a large collection of cars you have!

    Here's a link to the National Model Railroaders Association with intro information:


    What's the significance of your screen name?
  3. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Hi Joah: You have an answer on the Hotwheels cars so I won't go into that. It seems that there is someone who sells readymade track with wood ties but I don't remember where I saw them advertised. Much more expensive than plastic ties.
    About the real concrete and rocks. There are some real items that just don't look good on a reduced scale. Rocks can be used in stream beds to good effect if you select them carefully. Real water is another thing that doesn't work well on smaller scale layouts and it must be changed or added all the time.
    I would suggest doing some planning on paper before you buy a bunch of buildings. Otherwise you may end up with buildings that don't fit into your layout when you start working on it. Planning is important. Welcome aboard and enjoy the hobby.
  4. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Yes, welcome Joah! :wave: Enjoy the gauge as much as possible, it's a great resource!

    I agree that 1:64 would be closer to most of your hotwheels, but S is hard to find, at least for me, and I haven't seen any shops in my area carry S scale. I would probably go with HO for the availblity of merchandise.

    As for buying before you build, I suggest you make a "Wishlist" of what you want. go to www.walthers.com to shop around the world of model railroading, and remember, enjoy this greatest of hobbies! :)
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I just noticed your other question about what to power the railroad with. 12 volt DC is the old standby and works well. It does limit what you can do in the way of train movement if you are running more than one train. By that, I mean that you must provide what are called "blocks", electrically isolated sections of track that one train can run on in a certain direction while another train on another "block " travels in its own block. Two trains will go the same direction on a block but you can't reverse one. DCC, the newer system allows you to operate more than one train on the same track even in opposite directions. (Crash). DCC (digital command & control) uses a 12 volt DC power supply but the control functions are digital signals through the rails to a decoder in the locomotive. You might want to talk to someone at your local hobby shop and tell them what you have planned and then decide which way to go. One last suggestion. Try to find a MR club in your area. They will be glad to assist you with getting started.
  6. Damn Hook

    Damn Hook New Member

    Thanks for the welcome everyone. There is a place here that sells nothing but model stuff. I planed on going there and talking to the guy that owns it and seeing what he has, and could order. I did plan on making a detailed plan on what I want before buying anything. I don't have enough money to waste lol.. Ohh, and with the Rocks and Water... I guess I can try out the real water, and if it don't turn out right, I will work on the fake stuff. But, with the Rocks, I wanted to just smash them up to small pieces so they fit the scale. It will be more work than it would be to just buy them. But, atleast it would be free. I am all for trying the free first.

    May I ask what a MR Club is? I'll check out those websites too.. Thanks for all the Info! I might just go with the HO Scale if it is easier to find everything for. I do want a challenge in the way I build, but not in finding the things to use. :)

    And for my Sceen Name, a friend of mine and I always mess around online making up stupid names to call each other.. And that came to mind and he said I should make it my Screen Name on AOL. Sence then it has just stuck. sign1

  7. kirkendale

    kirkendale Member

    Dear Dam Hook less the n
    Welcome to The Gauge.
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi Joah, welcome to the Gauge and to the hobby!! :wave:

    I think, since you are just starting, that you should get some hands-on experience before you build a big layout by building a diorama, a smallish scene featuring some of the things you want on your bigger layout.

    That way you will learn what does and doesn't work, in terms of rocks, water, and other scenery material. You will get to try out different kinds of track for a small price, and it will give you something to do while you're waiting for that bigger house.

    Good luck and have fun!!!

  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:
  10. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    frist pic a scale .as for power i would go dcc right from the start save you alot of pain later in wiring. as for where to start pick you scale and what time frame you want to do. like the old steam. or the newer stuff you see to day. the next thing you would pick is where is you train world is going to be a small town leading in to the mountians or the flat lands. with rivers and long straight track . then pick your side stops for thecars your going to pull do you want a coal yard a seet mill, dry goods ect. do you plan on doing a yard to have a switch or cars and then you will need to plan that. but if you know what scale year where and what your going to pull you you could start getting the locos and rolling stock for your layout. if you can you could start to get your track also and that is where you need your time their is alot of track in diff code sizes and alot of people who uses diff sizes so you would want good track. (good track = good running better looking ). if you have the space do a 2 foot bye 2 foot layout get some track and you track bed and balast a small bridge for some water and make a small hill runing into a cliff along the track this will get you used to laying and working on diff things if you heav a plan and would post it the guys here can help you with it
  11. Damn Hook

    Damn Hook New Member

    Yeah, thanks everyone. I'll see if I can work out a little bit of space around here for that. We're in a 1000sq ft house. And there isnt 1 extra room here lol.. And I have the garage as a Pool Table room & parking for my car, and it's only a 2 car. You guys would laugh if you saw how close it was pulling in & out with the car. I think if i can fit one of my dressers in the closet I could fit the layout here in my room. I will keep you guys updated on how everything is going. And thanks again.. Joah

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