question about "N" gauge in general

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by csiguy, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. csiguy

    csiguy Member

    hi all

    i have always been fascinated with N gauge, even though i model Ho gauge. the question i have for you folks is, that do you find N gauge is more or just as expensive as N gauge and is the product availability as plentiful as it is with Ho gauge.

  2. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Cheaper than HO because of smaller size; however, "exoense" is entirely relative. Some people just spend a ton of money no matter what scale they work in.

    Availability is somewhat less, as HO is more popular; however, as prices rise, N-scale is gaining fast

    The biggest advantage is for those of us who are "space challenged" and need to get more into a smaller space than would be possible in larger scales. In that area alone, N-scale is hard to beat.
  3. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Yup. Primary reason I went to N-Gauge.

    I'd love to an HO layout for the gigantic amount of stuff HO has that N doesn't have and for the superb detail HO models get, but don't have the space sadly for the kind of layout I would. Maybe one day the wife will let me confiscate. sign1

    I too find some individual items to be a little less than HO Scale, while some items are just as much or maybe even more. It varies between manufacturers and the particular items.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    The availability of anything N scale compared to HO, probably in the 60% range. Recognition in say, Model Railroader, about 20%. Ability to do more with less space, 400%, and that's why I model N scale. The only disappointment is that I can't get the details that I would like at that scale, even with magnifying lamps and nimble fingers.
  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Smaller scales only tend to cost more because people are temped to cram more into the same space. Building a more complex layout in a smaller scale will ultimately lead to more expenses because it takes more "stuff" to fill that space. That's why I've always advocated much simpler layouts than most beginners want.

    As for product availability, there are plenty of models offered in N scale for the casual collector to choose from. The issue of availability only arises when prototype modelers need a particular model for their project.
  6. Packers#1

    Packers#1 Ultimate Packers Fan

    Well, to be honest, since there's two modular structure suppkliers (Walthers and DPM), you can make any structure, and atlas has a ton of different diesels. I find it's a little cheaper. Really, the only thing lacking is a great supply of steamers, but model power has a good deal avalable, atlas has a few, etc.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    You just hit the nail squarely somplace - I'm an early steam guy. :sad:
  8. Packers#1

    Packers#1 Ultimate Packers Fan

    That's bad for you. I'm an any diesel guy, so I love Atlas.
  9. darkcurves

    darkcurves Member

    I started with HO starter set but eventually chose N scale because of space issue. N scale is slightly cheaper compared to HO scale, but not by too much. I live very far from USA so shipping for N scale is wayyyyyy cheaper compared to HO scale.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    My take is that N scale is nearly as expensive as HO, piece by piece. There may be a saving on material, but the cost of dies is close to the same, and the work assembling them is equivalent. And the fixed cost is spread over fewer units.
    Cost for a layout? N is about 1/2 the size of HO (Keeping the arithmetic simple) so a given layout takes 1/4 the space of HO. However, a given space (say, a 4'x8' table) takes 4 times the equipment of HO. If you can restrain yourself to putting in the HO trackplan, you only need twice as much stuff.

  11. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The cost per hour for N (a different metric than cost per layout) is probably a lot higher due to lack of kits. In HO, you can reduce your cost per hour substantially by buying readily available kits for your rolling stock (they are still available!). The more complex can take several evenings to several weeks to assemble, decal, and weather. So even if a Labelle car kit costs $20 to buy, plus another $10 for trucks, couplers, extra details, and decals, the cost per hour is down around $3 or less per hour.

    You may be able to buy 3 RTR cars in N for the same $30, but they will cost you $10 per hour or more for your modeling time. With a $40/month model railroading budget, I run out of $ before I run out of time if I buy RTR.

    The "downside" for me (if it is one) is that I will have substantially less rolling stock than the next guy. Given that 20-30 cars is the maximum my layouts will handle, kit building comes out better again.

    When it comes to structures, N and HO are both fairly equal for $$/hour from what I can see. N structure kits cost less, but have less detail and therefore take less time to assemble. However, a given space will absorb more N structures than HO.

    my thoughts, your choices
  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Yeah, it's a tough job...but someone has to help keep steam modelling alive.
  13. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    I haven't looked at...

    ...prices to determine my attraction to N Scale. I was just thrilled when my dad bought a set of Postage Stamp Trains when they came out. The normal expanded HO figure 8 at Christmas became an empire with three trains running different routes and the fun was throwing the switches for the trains to diverge. Basically "operate" trains in the same space we watched a train go round and round.

    I am fortunate in that Atlas and others have produced a few of my favorite locos and schemes- Pennsylvania, PC, and READING.

    And that's the short version.

  14. csiguy

    csiguy Member

    thanks all for the info about n N gauge. it was very interesting and informative. someday when the funds get better i may venture out and get into some N gauge modeling. im always looking and wanting to try differant aspects of the hobby.

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