New N Scale Layout - Should I?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Drew1125, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hey everybody!
    I don't get over to the N/Z forum very often. Lately I've been working on planning & building an HOn3 layout in a spare bedroom, but the other evening, I was straightening up the workshop, & I started looking through some N scale stuff I've picked up here & there. Some structure kits, a couple of diesels, & a few cars.
    Anyway, I had recently put up some new shelves in the workshop, & I'm looking at this emty (60x15 in.) shelf, & looking at the N scale stuff, & thinking hmmm... that might be kinda cool having an N scale switching layout up there on the wall of my workshop. Why have all that stuff in boxes, when it could be used for what it was intended?
    My question is this - Am I completely
    $#@!ing crazy to embark on 2 layouts at the same time? [​IMG]
    Have any of you done this? These are both small layouts I'm talking about here, but am I spreading myself too thin?

    P.S. I don't mean for this to become a war between the scales. Diferent scales are like diferent women, & I love em' all! [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by Charlie (edited 03-16-2001).]
  2. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Nope, I don't think so.
    I'm not building two layouts at home (yet!), but I'm doing N at home and HO a club layout (I just joined last week}...So I'm making 'aquisitions' in both scales. If I ever have a great big place with a couple of big out buildings, ie. barn/garage/shop... well who knows. The 'yard on a shelf' sounds kinda cool...maybe a gravity'hump yard so they don't roll off onto the floor??
  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks Virginian!
    Part of my reasoning too, is that with the narrow gauge layout, almost everything, as far as equipment goes, has to be back ordered, meaning there's going to be some "down time" on the HOn3. I have pretty much everything I need to start an N scale layout right now.
    Also, this will allow me to model two very different geographies,
    & eras. the HOn3 being a remote mountain RR set in the 1930's, & the N scale being an urban industrial line set in the 60's or 70's.
    Don't worry, I'll try to make sure nothing hits the floor (I just checked, & that's an 896' drop in N scale! [​IMG])
  4. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Charlie,I say go for it.I used to have both a Nscale and a HO layout till I decided I wanted one big Nscale layout.

    Catt! NARA#1 & A freelancer for life

    [This message has been edited by Catt! (edited 03-18-2001).]
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Catt!
    I'm gettin' ready to go work on it this morning! (if I can dodge the "honey-do" list) [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by Charlie (edited 03-18-2001).]
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Well, I've started bbuilding a factory complex for the new layout.
    I've been rumaging through the scrap box, & I'm using pieces from a DPM factory, a Walther's coal mine, Walther's gravel facility, Model Power farm house, & Model Power tank filling facility.
    I'm having a blast!
    I love this hobby!
    Thanks for the encouragement guys!

    [This message has been edited by Charlie (edited 03-30-2001).]
  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Well, I've finished the track & wiring for this thing, & I'm very dissapointed with the performance of these Micro-Engineering turnouts. I'm constantly having to adjust them to get better contact. I really liked the way they looked, & thought I was dealing with a quality product... apparently, not so.
    For me, there's no sense in having a layout that doesn't opperate properly.
    I'm not sure what to do next. I think I'm going to tear it up & start over with a whole new batch of turnouts from Peco. They don't look as good as the M.E. track, but I know them to be reliable.
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    One HO layout is enough for me and the bank account!

  9. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I know what you mean Woodie. I'm finding this pretty hard to justify too. I'm still brainstorming.
    I've noticed that whenever I reach the heights of frustration with this hobby, it ALWAYS pertains to electrical contact! [​IMG]
  10. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    Don't let it get you down Charlie, as adversity seems to be the constant companion of most model rails.
    I know where you are coming from in regards to electrical problems as that has been my sore spot for over 27 years in this hobby, And I probably have the worlds greatest population of electrical Gremlins living in my train room. In fact, if there are any model railroaders on this planet who have never had to deal with one of these electrical pests, it is because they have all taken up residence in my train room (and I'm more than ready to give em back to those who want em!).
    There is nothing wrong with having two layouts in two different scales, as many people do it (I'm into N and HO).
    I gave up on Micro Engineering and handlayed N Scale turnouts years ago, and went over to Peco, as they are sturdy, reliable and they work very well (They are the NTrak Standard).
    Keep at that switching layout and keep us informed as to your progress.
    Happy Modeling.

  11. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks for the encouraging words Terry!
    I've used the Peco track before, & shouldn't have strayed away from it. I'll be using it on my HO (I've decided to go standard gauge with that one) layout too.
  12. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Well, starting today on re-doing the trackwork. [​IMG]
    Lord, give me patience.
  13. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Well, the trackwork is done on this little job. I'm kinda glad I re-did it, cause I managed to make a couple of improvements on the trackplan. I worked in a 30 degree crossing, & 2 more spurs. That makes a total of 6 spurs leading to 3 large industries - chemical plant, scrap yard, & a cannery.
    BTW - Thanks again Terry. From adversity comes inspiration!

    [This message has been edited by Charlie (edited 06-03-2001).]
  14. Biggerhammer

    Biggerhammer Member


    I hope you don't hate me for saying that my inspiration is coming from your adversity too!

    I'm planning out an N-scale bookcase layout in my head. No, wait. Layout is in bookcase, plans are in head. I've gotta keep that straight... it's hard enough getting things to fit in a bookcase! :rolleyes:

    A question, though- I'm told that for long (scale 80' Pullman) traincars I should use about an 11" radius for turns. Are there any tricks to reduce that? I can eke 15", maybe 18" deep shelf but I doubt that I can get my wife to give a two-foot deep shelf the nod. This is, after all, going to be in the living room- a room that is only a smidge over nine feet wide. So, are there any tricks I can use to get a long car to go through a tight curve? I can shield the curves from view, if necessary, so looking nonprototypical isn't a major concern, but I would like to get a full loop in there for unsupervised running. It could be like an aquarium, only interesting :)

    Be it necessary I can gin together a current-reversing switch at either end of the mainline, so that the train will trot up to the end, reverse direction and run to the other end, then reverse again. I would prefer a continuous loop though.

    Thank you all for the advice- and for sharing your experiences! You do inspire.
  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Biggerhammer!
    Thanks for the kind words, & for bringing up this thread again. I had almost forgotten about it. Reading back over it, I notice that it's been roughly 5 months since I got the idea for this thing, & it's still coming along. (Did you check out my webpage?)
    About your question...
    If you're going to use an 11" radius loop, that part of your shelf will need to be at least 24" wide. (not the whole shelf, mind you, just enough of it to accomodate the loop) You could possibly go with a 9 3/4" radius (reducing the shelf width by about 4"), but this can get kind of tricky with really long equipment. If you could go with shorter engines & cars, you could feasibly do a continuous run layout on a shelf 20" wide.
    I've really come to appreciate small layouts, & one that can co-exist in a "public" area of the house re-affirms my belief in their advantages.
    If you do this right, & make this layout an accent to the living room, instead of an obstacle, your wife may come to be a believer too. (and she might be sweet-talked out of some more shelf space) ;)
    Anyway, good luck with the project.
    Keep us posted!

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