Newbie here. HO Scale or N Scale?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by luigi, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. luigi

    luigi New Member

    :wave: Hello. I am new to the gauge,and this hobby. My dad used to set up an HO Scale setup for me when I was a kid, and well I,ve gotten the bug.
    I guess this is probably a tough question to ask, but I'm having a hard time trying to decide wether to set up an n scale or HO scale. Can someone please note some pros and cons to the two of them. I'm pretty much starting from scratch,and have not purchased either setups yet. I have visited this site quite often and really like it. Many of you have some awesome layouts,and are an inspiration to get this fire started.:thumb:
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:

    I prefer HO and do most of my model work in that scale. However, for an operations oriented layout in the available space, N is hard to beat. Couple that with an N scale layout that was given to me last year and I now have two scales in my house.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    a few questions for you:

    1) How much space do you have?

    2) what time frame/era do you think you enjoy most?

    3) Do you like to scratchbuild/detail/kitbash?

    If I was modeling diesel era, and had less than about 10x10' space, I think I would go with N scale. If you are more interested in steam engines, there is definitely much less available in N, especially for smaller steamers.

  4. luigi

    luigi New Member

    Well, space is not a huge issue for me. I have a partially undevelopment basement right now. I was thinking about 2x 4'x8' sheets of plywood together shaped to form an L, or maybe a u shaped design.
    As far as era goes I prefer the 50's and 60's. I thought about doing mountain scene with small town. I don't mind kit bashing. I'm just thinknig that I can fit more in N scale on this platform than I would be able to in HO Scale. Thanks.
  5. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    I started in HO relized I didnt have enuf room to do all the stuff I wanted to so I sold all that and turned to N with the help of the N scaler at the club. I am a RTR type but ocasionally bash some buildings together you can get a lot more stuff in a N scale layout but there is a lot more varity in HO so both have pro's and cons.. hope I helped!!
  6. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    if you like more detail and less track and buildins in such go with HO scale.if you like big size differences in scenery or like lots of track and operations,go with N scale.i model in HO but i have a 10 by 10 room which is plenty of space,but if you have small spaces go with N.but make sure you have a magnifying glass and good hands if you model in N
  7. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    For HO a good beginning would be a 4' x 8' and for N a small L- Shaped shelf layout in one corner of the room.

    I think that what was said above by the other members was all correct- the main thing is to get started doing something, to have fun and to be prepared to make mistakes.
  8. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I was thining of doing my next (now current) layout in HO, but I stuck with n-scale because of the size.

    I'm doing a 10x14' L shaped shelf layout and I can do so much more in N scale. I can run 7-8' trains and still have the space for sidings to have two of them meet each other. With HO, I wouldn't have been able to close to that.

    I love the details and variety you can get with HO, but the size of N-scale wins everytime for me.
  9. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Just an idea for N Gauge- not to scale.

    Here is an idea that I came up with useing MS Paint- I'm @ work so can't do something properly. Try and download design sofware like Xtrack Cad or 3rd PlanIt to let you see what actually can be done in a certain space.

    The layout is a simple design for a N scale shelf layout, it is not to scale but rather just to give an idea. To save money all you need to do is buy points and flex track- in my opinion don't waste time with sectional track.

    Attached Files:

  10. luigi

    luigi New Member

    Thanx for the replies and ideas.I do want to try sidings and switches, etc, I'll just have to do a little more homework on that stuff. As well, I really like mountains and small towns/ghost towns,so I think I'll play around with some plans and see what unfolds. Thanx again for the tips and ideas.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Just remember that your maximum reach (depending on how long your arms are) will be between 30-36 inches. You can use a full size 4 x 8 only if you have acess aon both sides. If part of it has to be against the wall, you need to cut it down to 24-30 inches wide to reach the back.
  12. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    If you have the space don't hesitate for 1 second and go the HO scale way, your eyesight will thank you when you'll get older :)
    I started to appreciate N scale because for me it was N scale or a smalll HO switching scale on a hollow core door or ... nothing at all .

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