Newbie,, Help needed

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by tonphil1960, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    Hi all, Newbie here, (see General forum,,,,)

    I ran a simple layout when I was a kid. I have not touched a train in about 30 years. I want to go with N as I have no room for something bigger and with N you get more bang for the buck I think. When I had my layout it was all brass track sections, simple wiring and switches,,cars from the set, a few extras that we other words a whole different world. From what I have seen High Tech has gotten into model railroading too. I am a modeler and X mechanic so building is not a problem. I just don't know where to start.. I was thinking about just building and collecting rolling stock and Loco's, Or do I want to build and run a specific road, don't know which yet though. I have no idea how to go about gathering my materials and researching the road to even get a start going. Help.

    Thanks Tony ^_^
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Since your a modeller(from General Talk) I'm guessing, painting and detailing isn't a problem.If thats the case, maybe freelancing might be what you're looking for. Freelancing allows you to come up with your own paint schemes for your loco's, what kind of equipment you want to run. If you have a favorite road, even freelancing a "sub-division" might be a good choice. This lets you run your favorite railroad's paint schemes, but make up towns and industry along the line. You could even have it come to your hometown, even if trains never even ran there.
    These are just a couple of suggestions.
  3. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    Go to a model railroad show, check stuff out, get a sense of what appeals to you. Likewise, head over to the library, pick up Model Railroader and back issues, again, to get a sense of what appeals to you. Also, recognize that model railroading is more of a communal activity than scale modelling, which tends to be far more solitary a pursuit than MRR. As a result, you can get hooked in with a club, or two, work on other folks layouts, do operating sessions, etc.
  4. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member


    Thanks guys, Yes the freelancing sounds good to me, I can probably make a fairly accurate road too.. There is a club right up the street, I am going to check it out as soon as I can. I hear there is a big show in Freeport LI next weekend too.

    Thanks Tony
  5. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    One of the downsides to N is the limited number of some types of motive power. Make sure you can get what you want before you commit. ;)
    I researched various roads on the internet before settling on my choice of the WM. It fit the period, locale and available locos well enough that I can model it with some accuracy. A bonus is that the locos in my time period were all painted black, which makes custom painting pretty idiot proof. :D
    If you can handle the itty-bitty decals, Microscale makes fantastic ones. With a little painting and a set of these, my custom locos and rolling stock are simply superior to any pre-made stuff I've bought.
    Use the internet to research. I'd say pick a region, find all the railroads that have/do operate there and then decide if any of them appeal to you. I actually found it more fun to model something that was not just down the road for me as I enjoy the research aspect of it.
  6. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    OK, thanks

    Thanks, I checked out your club link.looking good.

    I love research myself, as I said in my first post I am an armor modeler 1/35 WW2, the research is intense sometimes but I really enjoy it.
    I want to move onto MRR as it will be building a moving, living diorama. I have been train enthusiast for many years just never got into it deeply till now.

    I am starting my road research now, I am leaning towards the Erie Lacawanna, and am hoping by changing power and rolling stock I can model the previous and present road operators too. I have no problem with repainting any power or rolling stock, but it would be nice to have enough off the shelf equipment to get started. I guess the smaller roads are not concentrated on by the manufacturers.

    Thanks Tony
  7. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Hey Tony,
    I am newly into MRR and N scale also. How did you begin your road research? I am not sure how to start. I know that I want to run Steam engines, and I would like to model something from Northern California.
    edited to add:
    I also want to model high mountain stuff - but don't want to go as old as 1880's
  8. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member


    Hey Five,
    I am doing it all on the Net until I pick a road that is definate and then I'll build a library.. on that road. Just do a few searches and you will come up with way more info than you think.
    It's just a matter now for me to start taking notes on the key data that I need and to design a layout. there are so many layouts on the web it's incredible, I will just start with one of them and either design something similiar to meet my road specs or just modfiy a layout to meet the needs of my road

    regards Tony
  9. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    Here's a good link I've used to find those fallen flag railroads. There's a lot of variety out there if you're willing to look for it.

    Tony, the E-L is an interesting road. I think you'll be in a similar situation as myself...there is stuff available, but not in great quantity. I bought a lot of older/used rolling stock, as some of what I needed has been discontinued. Not really a problem if you replace the trucks/couplers. Locos I've tried to buy new, and am now buying undecorated where I can to paint/decal to my road name. My luck with used locos has been very sporadic (that, and I've been buying inexpensive locos, which I also don't recommend). One was so bad I made it a dummy, but that's okay as I need some duplicates for MU running.
  10. tonphil1960

    tonphil1960 Member

    Thanks Dave, for the link I'll check it out.

    Yes I know I have looked into the road and the equipment available. There are a few loco's out there and I don't mind painting and decaling, but the decals are far and few between from I see. The good thing is I can run previous and later equipment if I want since they did use the same road within 25 years of each other. I am almost dead set on this road for now, as it is a local road for me. I will decide for sure before I start construction.

    Thanks Tony

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