I'm new here...and need guidance

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by mkhenson, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. mkhenson

    mkhenson New Member

    Greetings everyone. Glad to be here. This is my first post. I have an 11 yr old son who has become interested in getting his first train. I don't know anything about hobby trains, and knew that after looking thru the forums I could get help here.

    Anyway....here's the question: What scale would be good for an 11 year old. I have looked at HO and N scale. I think either would work in the space that we have at the house. I'm leaning toward N, but just because it is smaller and would be easier to build on in our space. Any thoughts on what kids might prefer would be great. Any advice willl be greatly appreciated.

  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    MKH, my kids were never interested in trains so I can not help you, but I did want to say welcome to The Gauge.

  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Hi MKH! I think either would be fine -- I started with HO with my Dad when I was a kid -- but if you're cramped for space, N might be a tiny bit better. You can model a much larger area or region in N. Hope this helps. Rob
  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I am partial to HO so I am sure my answer is biased.

    I'd go with HO because I think the youngster would prefer something bigger rather than something smaller. It will be a bit easier to handle and the tolerances aren't quite as critical as in N scale.

    Hey MKH, you don't have to use that with us. You can admit that you are just as interested as your son!!!:mrgreen:

    Welcome to The Gauge!!!:wave:
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I think it depends on what aspect he is interested in. If he wants to run long trains in the space available, Nscale might be the best bet.

    If he wants to build models, HO might be easier, since it is a larger scale. And while Nscale kits are more and more available, there is still a better selection in HO, and at more "price points" than N.


  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I started my first layout in N scale when I was but a wee lad. I built a layout (with my dad's help) down the side of my bedroom. Now, I have two sons, one of whom was four when we started this layout...
    He still loves it.
  7. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

  8. elf

    elf Member

    lol i think im one of the only ones that has never learned a scale for anything....i just build...if it looks right together then thats great...if not...it goes with the rest of the collection lol...i usually just give away all the stuff i create just casue its clutter on my shelf or a single intresting thing on someone elses shelf.......go for the train that wont get destroyed as easy ....when i was that age i wondered how many rocks a toy train could hold lol
  9. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    MKH, Greetings - Welcome to the Gauge. For what it's worth, when I was 12, talked my Dad into letting me quit the Xmas LIONELs, and go scale modeling. HO was my choice ( O was too expensive, space and $), and the basement had room for a 5'x8' twice around layout. I don't think N even existed (or was called "OOO"), and HO required some real concentration building cars and buildings from kits, laying track, doing scenery even in 1/87th scale. I learned as I went, doubled the size of the layout by High School, and even hand layed track on the expansion. HO would seem to be a good match for learning all facets of the hobby, consistant with the average kid's manual skills and focus - challenge without excessive frustration - and a viable entry without a lot of expense. Don't worry about DCC and $$$ rolling stock - start with the basics, and see where it goes. My $0.02 - hope it helps! Bob C.
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Holy schnikies!!

    The mods just jumped all over that one eh!!!:roll1:

    Welcome to The Gauge mkh!
  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Another mod chiming in! :) I was 11 when I started with HO scale after seeing a series of articles about building a 4X8 layout in Boy's Life magazine. On the up side the size of the trains was good for my 11 year old hands. Maybe your son is a little more careful and skilled than I was at his age, but I think I'd have been frustrated by N's size, knocking things over and breaking off details, etc. On the other hand, the 4X8 immediately set me off to thinking about a bigger set up because I wanted a longer mainline run and more freight yard space.
  12. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    One of the most popular questions from kids, during our annual MR club open house. "How do you make them crash?'' Seriously, I'd suggest HO scale. A good quality set with limited small details. Atlas makes some good train sets. Unfortunately there are still some older, not so good quality train sets on store shelves. Bachmann has some good and some not so good stuff. Kato has really nice sets but they are pricey. Their sectional track is probably about the best available. Just personal opinions.
  13. mkhenson

    mkhenson New Member

    thanks everyone for your input. My son and I finally made it to the hobby shop and really started to look around. He is just as interested in the scenery and figures as he is the train. We decided that the accessories for N scale were just too small, but we (I mean he of course) could work with HO. We (he) can't wait for Christmas!

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