What to do?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by CAS, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    Hey everyone,

    I'm starting to get crazy about my choice of what gauge to model in.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I originally thought of going with n scale. [​IMG]

    I was going to build a smaller version of track plan from Bruce Chubbs Sunset Valley RR. About 20'x12' in size. A island type layout. I have the room in my basement.
    Era 1960 to present.
    ICG theme. Change the names of the towns and some track to prototype.
    I was thinking about working on 5' or 10' sections at a time.
    Was about to draw the n scale plans of the layout in n scale.

    Right now, i'm in somewhat good health for a 43 yr. old male. Bad knees, and a bad ankle. Big long fingers, and strong hands.

    I don't have much money invested in n scale yet, about $200.00 so far. Mostly structures and some rolling stock i purchased off e-bay.

    I then purchased some vehicles from walthers on-line catalog, when i received them, it was like how am i gonna put this together and detail them?
    Then i looked at the rolling stock, and wondered how i was gonna be able to handle detailing and weathering these [​IMG] . And i want to change all my trucks and couplers to MT.

    I know there are advantages and disadvantages in both N and HO scale. You can fit alot more into a n scale layout, in which i like. The prices aren't that much of a difference. It will be easy to detail and weather in HO scale, i'm thinking. Alot more items to buy in HO, but it seems like n scale is somewhat catching up with there items.

    I think i am leaning in the direction of n scale, but then HO keeps creeping back into my head.

    So confused, what shall i do [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] ? I know its really all up to me to choose what scale i want. But if i can get some input from my freindly modelers here at the gauge, i would greatly appreciate it.

  2. 2slim

    2slim Member

    I know from personal experience that it's easier to detail in HO because there is more available parts, even if you scratchbuild it seems to be easier to find materials which are closer to HO scale. But there is a lot to be said for the ability to put a lot of railroad in a small space with N scale. If you like steam you might want to go HO as there are not a lot of N scale steamers available. It's largely going to be a personal choice Cliff, maybe by visiting some clubs or doing a layout tour you can make a better decision.

  3. Harpo

    Harpo Member

    Sometimes it seems as though there are just so incredibly many choices and options in this hobby, almost too many. Over the months I have also dithered over N, HO, even Z gauge. I also read Classic Toy Trains regularly, and can fully understand the attraction of O tinplate as well as scale. Sometimes I think if I had just a little more space, S would be ideal. To see the variety of products in N and even HO today as opposed to 20 and 30 years ago positively boggles the mind. The overall quality of low end stuff today as compared to then....sheesh! Who remembers the Athearn rubber band drive diesels? Disparage them not...they brought a lot of people into the hobby. (They also brought a whole new level of meaning into 'pulse power') As for me.. I'm 62, the eyes aren't quite so good anymore, I've got to be a little more careful with sharp objects, etc., etc., but when I look at my meager N gauge 6'8" door RR, and the right of way starting to take place, you know what? I'ts gonna work!. I'd have to have a 24foot room to do the same thing in O. I don't think you will go wrong regardless of gauge you pick, so long as it remains a fun obsession (emphasis on fun). I know when I finally stopped dithering over gauge, then the next major dither began...track planning. (Actually they were both pretty intertwined.) Even my wife, extremely supportive, finally reached her limit..'will you PLEASE build SOMETHING, ANYTHING!!!!' Do I regret going with N? Not really. In some ways I'd prefer HO, it being a little easier to work with because of size. But because of available space, and time, I'm quite tickled with N, and would probably make the same choice again. Anyway, I hope all this nattering helps....regardless of gauge, I think by the time you start on benchwork with a vengeance, or begin putting down roadbed, it will cease to be a question. The theoretical has a way of retreating in the face of reality. (I'll just bet someone really wise said that, once.)

  4. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I too briefly faced the "choice" when I first started. I'm also about your same age, in reasonable shape and have big hands. Once I really thought about it, HO became an easy choice and I've never looked back. Lots of guys defer to N scale due to layout size limitations. With 20'x12' to work with, you have plenty of room, even at HO. At this point in my layout, I'm not sure when I'll get it done. If I was using N scale, I know I would never finish it. How's your eyesight? I find detailing HO hard enough. If you want to build your own structures, as opposed to using ready-made, buy and kitbash an N-scale kit. With big hands, it can be tough. I'm also doing early steamers and there is a much larger selection in HO.
    Just my $0.02 worth.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    One thing I did when I was faced with the same decision as you was to invest in an HO "set", and worked with it for a while. It appeared big to me relative to the space I had so I did the same with an N scale set. I didn't have the kind of space you have, so once I was satisfied that my eyes, hands and temperment were good enough to work with N scale, and after seeing pictures here at the Gauge by some of the masters like Drew, Jim Marksberry and Tyson Rayles, just to name a few, I was convinced that was the scale I wanted to work in. The driving force was the fact that I could get four times the amount in the same space as HO, as well as the fact that there is a lot available in N scale today.

    If you have room for a 12' x 20' layout, that's a good size, even for HO. It would be massive for N scale, bigger than many clubs. In N you would only need 6' x 10' for the same layout.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    One aspect not mentioned is that N scale per item costs about the same as HO, but you need 4 times as many to fill the same space. (Unless you can control yourself and model wide open spaces!)
    And you can impose other limits on your modelling. One fellow in our club decided to model one class of diesel (BR Deltic or class 55) and, when last heard of, was building in 7.5" gauge to go with his HO and O (and N?) models.
  7. Zman

    Zman Member

    I couldn't decide either so I decided not to decide. I'm building an n scale railroad, a z scale switching yard, and I joined an HO scale railroad club - that's got a 10,000 square-foot layout.
  8. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    Hey Zman, the best of three worlds ehhh:D :D :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: have a good one..steve
  9. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    It's no easier detailing in HO -- you just have to do more of it! :) In many respects N is easier in this respect as you don't have to do as much to make things look pretty good. I don't agree about the space thing -- once you have some reasonable amount of space, whatever it is, you'll get a ton more in N than in HO. I've converted some outbuildings into train rooms, and now have lots of space in two rooms, about 30x20', and a (future!) plan to extend into more space. Sure it'll take me longer in N, but the pike will be vast -- in HO I've probably only got enough room for what I'd now consider a small layout in terms of features and track length...


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