Narrow Gauge Modeling?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Drew1125, Jan 29, 2001.

  1. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Anyone here doing any HO narrow gauge modeling? This is my new passion, though I haven't actually started any construction yet. Just doing some research, primarily on some Appalachian RR's.

    [This message has been edited by Charlie (edited 01-28-2001).]
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Charlie, welcome to the gauge. I model in HO and have a logging layout. Never tried narrow gauge, must be fun using HO loco body and everything else, but using N size track. Can't really say it N-scale track rather 9mm track width. [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by shamus (edited 01-29-2001).]
  3. BobMcD

    BobMcD Member


    Another way is to use HOn3 track, which is now commercially available in the US. There are cars, brass and plastic locomotives, and lots of pieces for this scale and gauge.

    The Walthers catalog is one source. Naturally, there isn't as much selection of commercial stuff as in HO standard gauge, so one has an opportunity to do more scratchbuilding, but it's not required. Narrow gauge railroads tended to be pretty individualistic, and prototype standards were a bit more informal, so you can really cut loose and still have a believable model.

    Lots of folks like narrow gauge because you get to fit more railroad in a given space (small radius curves and shorter rolling stock help), without having to go to tweezers and magnifying glass, because you're still modeling in HO or whatever scale.

    Let us know how it goes.

  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback guys! I will keep you posted as best I can. This is a whole new adventure for me. It's kinda like being 8 years old again!
    I'm wanting to keep this as simple as possible, as far as size, & construction go. In the past, I'd been known to get way ahead of myself with things, erecting massive pieces of benchwork, laying some track, & not getting much further than that.
    I've gotten a book by a British modeler named Iain Rice. I really like his "diorama" style approach to layout building. By doing things this way, I can build an entire phase of the layout before moving on to the next. I'm really not the kind of guy who can build a 20x30 ft. layout. 2x6 or 2x8 is really more my style. Sadly, it's taken me many years to gain this wisdom.
    Thanks again - Be talkin to ya!
  5. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    I know this is the HO forum, but perhaps this will fit. We have started a ON30 narrow gauge modular group in L.V. Your mentioning of a building style in the book leaning toward dioramas prompted my post. What we have done with the modular group that is different is that each module has in addition to its own length, (4 ft.or multiples of 4) a 1 ft. section with only track, painted plain white.This section acts as a separation or buffer between modules allowing each to be a complete scene in itself, without the problem of clashing of themes or having to designate what each module builder must model. it also allows totally random assembly.

    L V Dave
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    The reason I posted here is because I model in HO scale - 3 ft. gauge. (HOn3)
    On30 should be OK here too, because hey - it runs on HO track.
    The diorama approach appealed to me because I've been building static dioramas for a few years in the absense of a working layout. This is an aspect of modeling that I found I really enjoy. (necessity IS the mother of invention) With dioramas, you're confined to modeling a scene, detail by detail. The scene is "framed" in a way that is more like art to me, more visually satisfying than the "construction zone" look of some of my previous layouts. I've decided that I want to try to transfer this approach to a working layout.
    My criteria are these -
    Point to point operation with shallow, around the walls benchwork (12 to 24 in. deep)
    Each element or scene framed with curved, painted backdrop, & lighting with valance.
    Lightweight construction, & portability.
    Some type of flexible staging potential.
    High level of detail, & overall craftsmanship.
    A finished room to build in, not the basement workshop.
  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    OK - I was warned by a fellow modeler that it was nearly impossible to get HOn3 products through Walther's, & i'm discovering this to be true. Everything I've ordered - turnout kits, locomotive, & rolling stock - has had to be back ordered. I've never experienced this when ordering anything standard gauge (HO or N) through Walther's.
    I guess I'm going to have to search the web some more.
    Anybody know of any HOn3 suppliers online? The only thing I've managed to find so far is some real pricey brass. [​IMG]
  8. fastmail98

    fastmail98 New Member

    Good Morning!
    Narrow gauge modeling isn't an obscure end of our's just in a different location. To track down suppliers, buy Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette magazine. The HOn3 models that I've built are: LaBelle, Rio Grande Models, Grandt Line, Taurus, Quality Craft (Gloor Craft), Rail Line, and a Roundhouse Shay. Flex track, pre-assembled turnouts, detail parts, etc. are all available...but not at Walthers. Narrow gauge modeling is a different field all together and has its own suppliers, magazines, organizations, etc. Check the NMRA website for more info or email me directly. I'd be glad to help. Just now building in Sn3...HOn3 is a bit small for my middle-aged sight. Good luck!

Share This Page