Thinking About Jumping To N Gauge

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cannonball, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I've been thinking about dumping most of my O27 stuff and going to N gauge models. I've also gotten an HO set for my daughter for Christmas but the thought has crossed my mind to take it back and get her an N gauge set as well. It just seems like we could do so much more with N gauge considering the limited space we have. (Building O27 layouts on a 3x6 door is rather confining.)

    Any tips to "downsizing" so to speak?
    How easy is Flextrack to use as far as doing layouts? Can it be cut to length if need be?
    How tight of a radius can I get with N scale track before I have to worry about derailments?
  2. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Yeah, I imagine an O27 layout in 3x6 would limit your options quite a bit.

    N is a whole different animal. You can "downsize" most HO layouts to roughly half (HO=1:87, N=1:160) but it won't be exact. If you're limited to just 3x6, there are tons of N scale trackplans to fit that size, or also door layouts.

    Flextrack can be cut to size, yes. It's more difficult than sectional track, but for obvious reasons, there isn't as much soldering. Minimum radius opinions vary, but generally 9 3/4" or 11" are about as small as you can comfortably go.
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Thanks. :)
    I have found a few track layouts that fit with the current gauges I'm working with and are at least moderately interesting. I think I may do a couple of permant doorway layouts for the O27 and HO then get rid of whatever extra stuff I have laying around. (I actually have enough O27 track to fill a basement if I had one) Then I can start on an N gauge project that will really rock.
  4. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    N Scale can fit in alot of places to where HO Scale can not. It is the perfect size if you are limited to space and is good if you are just starting out. You can also add much more to the layout than you can with HO. That is what I think anyways. Have Fun.:wave:
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    There's another thread in the archives today, titled NS or brass track? There is a lot of discussion about flex track etc. You might want to look at it. I have to agree with others that N scale is a good limited space scale. Hope the god of HO scale doesn't strike me down for that comment. Heresy
  6. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line New Member

    Do it. I jumped from HO to N a couple months ago. I felt betrayed by HO (has to do with radius curves and running long equipment...). The more people in N scale, the bigger the market and the more manufacturers will release stuff...we all win.
  7. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    For my N scale empire, I use a minimum radius of 11", however, at the club, the newer (longer) equipment looks better on 19" minimum radius. HO suggested minimum is 18".

    If I were starting over, I would take an HO track plan and copy it directly to N scale. That way, the 18" radius curves would allow you to run longer cars and bigger steam and deisel locomotives.

    The nice thing about N scale is that you can have more room for scenery and buildings. The layout looks more realistic and less like a spaghetti track.
  8. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    I have to agree with you on that Will. Alot more scenery can be added.:D
  9. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    man, your jumping from O to N?, i kinda did that, but i jumped from HO, to 0/0-27 TO save space, as ho takes 4 feet to turn around, and my old lionels takes just over 2 feet to turn, now i had just jumpd from 0 to N. but im keeping my 0 stuff going to run them on a shelf around a room or to, or 3, or
  10. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I was planning on jumping from N to HO for my next layout, but I decided to stick with N. You can do a lot more in N-scale in smaller spaces (ie: a bedroom) than HO, and I already have a bunch on N-scale buildings, rolling stock, etc I can recycle :)

    Power to the N! :D
  11. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line New Member

    The only drawback to N for me is that I need to whip out my tweezers and reading glasses to do any detail work...I tried adding on grabirons to an Athearn F59PHI...not an easy task!
  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I don't plan on getting too detailed. I like to run the trains not build 'em.
    Making fancy scenery doesn't do it for me like setting up a track, running a train (or two or three) through it's paces and playing with the controls.
  13. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Cannonball: If you are, as you say, primarily interested in running trains as opposed to getting into layout building, I would suggest going with Kato Unitrack. It's sectional, with roadbed and can be disassembled for storage. It can also be nailed down for a more permanent situation and even have ballast added if thats your pleasure. It doesn't sound like you are too concerned about getting into the nitty gritty of model railroading at this time.
  14. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Actually, I've thought long and hard about getting one of these layout kits just to make a simple scene layout.
    REALLY pricey though.
  15. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Yep, you gotta pay for somebody else's time and labor. You could go a long ways toward building your own for that price.
  16. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Those are kits, actually. They just have all the stuff needed to make a predesigned layout.
    (Although, I'm sure somebody's time labor went into designing the thing.)
    I don't think I've seen anything prebuilt.... I would have probably bought it already. :D ;)
    I dunno. I'd like to have a nice layout. I just don't want to spend hours upon hours making it when the trains could be running. I don't want to pay several hundred dollars on one either. (There's that I want what I want when I want it and I want it now personality coming out again. :oops: )
  17. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Cannonball: Do what ya gotta do. People here on The Gauge have offered you good common sense answers to most of your questions. Its up to you to make decisions that fit your budget and personality.
  18. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Don't forget that the price only includes the bench, track and scenery. You'll have to add the price of some controller ( DC or DCC ) + the locomotives, rolling stock, buildings, cars, people etc..
    And you'll loose the satisfaction of saying to yourself: "It's just a small layout but I did it myself"
    But as Jim Krause mentione: Do what ya gotta do.
  19. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    You're both equally right.
    These kits are way beyond my budget at this point anyway.

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