Why N guage .....

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Rawman, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. Rawman

    Rawman New Member

    Hello Everyone, Just found this site. [ terrific ]

    I am now in my early 40s and I am thinking about
    getting back to the "N" guage hobby. I left the hobby
    around 1975. [ some break Hu! ]

    Well, quick question. Why do some prefer n guage over the others? I have learned of the z guage a few months ago.
    [ unreal ]

    I myself like compact things. Is the main reason
    you can fit more in less room or are there other neat reasons.


    PS. Rory, I share my name with you so I will use my nickname
  2. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member

    N is better than the other guages, because you can pack a lot on a board for a reasonable price. In the space of making a small HO ovel or an O scale circle, you can have a rather elaberate layout. Z scale although significantly smaller than N has a bad selection and is very expensive. N-scale and HO also have large buildings, such as grain elevators, steel mills, paper mills, cement companies, etc. that other scales don't have.
  3. BDC

    BDC Member

    I originally started out in HO with my father about 20 years ago. We never got beyond the plywood board with toy-store quality structures and Tyco trains running around in a big loop.
    When I decided to get back into railroading, I decided to go with N for a number of reasons. Size: The layout I am working on now is smaller than the board my father and I built but it has more space for buildings, more track (scale track) and is more realistic. (Although that's more a function of model trains getting better in recent years.) Cost: The cost for a locomotive in N scale (comparing MSRP instead of sale price) is less than it is for HO. The cost of minaturized technology has finally been reduced to almost nothing and now you are paying for raw material and labor alone. Assistance: It is now much easier to get help with your layout (like through this board) then it was the first time we tried to build. Again, technology has changed this for all scales, but now their is a lot more i-N-fo out there.
    I never really even considered Z scale. The only real supplier for American equipment is Microtrains. Everything else is European. Also Z is much more expensive (like N was 20 years ago).
    Interestingly, my father has returned to O-scale, where he started as a child. I, for one, am determined not to make that a family tradition.:p Just my $.02 minus taxes.
  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I agree with the other posts. There an old saying: If you want to build railroad models go with HO, if you want to model a railroad go with N-Scale.You can build a short line or branchline in N-Scale in the space that you could only do a switching layout in HO. Varity and cost when compared to HO is no longer a factor. And the quality of todays products take a backseat to NO scale.It used to be N was looked at as a runners scale that you couldn't do serious modeling in. Just look at some of the pictures in this forum and you will see that is no longer true. If I moved and had more space I would still stay with N-Scale and put more distance between towns.:)
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Rawman! Welcome to The Gauge!
    I can't add too much to what's already been said.
    My opinion is that every scale has its pros, & its cons.
    It depends a lot on individual tastes.
    If you want to have something with a lot of scope...panoramic scenery, long trains, & broad curves...then N scale is a great choice. For a good example of what I'm talking about, check out some of Tyson Rayles' photos in this forum! (& BTW...if you haven't been acquainted with N scale since 1975, you are in for a VERY pleasant surprise in the quality, & availability of products these days!)
    If, on the other hand. you're into super-detailing locomotives, rolling stock, structures, etc...then you may get more satisfaction out of one of the larger scales. For some great examples of HO modeling, check out some of the pics posted by Shamus, & Woodie.
    My current layout is in N scale. It measures a whopping 13x60...
    INCHES, that is! :D I've really been enjoying it...I've been puttering with it since June. I still have a soft spot for HO though...As my kids are moving out, (slowly, but surely) & my eyesight gets a little worse, I think there may be a larger scale in my future! ;)
  6. nmtexman

    nmtexman Member

    I, too, started out in HO. I even had a nice HO layout running in my trainroom on a 30' x 3' area. Then a friend of mine gave me a heap of N-Scale. Oh, in the neighborhood of 60 engines and 500 cars or so. I almost built a little N-Scale layout on the opposite wall of my train room, but then decided (since I had much more N-Scale than HO) just to tear down the HO and put in the N. What I did notice, however, is that N-Scale is less forgiving of track laying problems than HO. Now I have about 30 N-Scale engines I like to run, mainly BNSF/ATSF, and about 150 cars of M-T couplered rolling stock. It's much lighter to carry around, and I like the idea of 3 track N-Track over 2 track HO-Track. I guess I'm stuck for life on N-Scale.


  7. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Goodness... I guess anything I say at this point would be redundant. What you see here, though, is that many people are excited and even passionate about what has been happening in N-scale over the past few years. Like many, I had an HO layout when I was a kid. When I recently came back into the hobby, I intended to go HO, but was surprised to see how much is now available in N (and that the quality has improved dramatically). And since I didn't have much room for a layout, N became the natural choice.

    I used to think that if I ever had a large amount of space that I might go with HO exclusively. But after attending a train show recently, I became convinced that even with a large room I'd like to stay with N. Now if only my eyes would cooperate... Sometime in the next few years I want to build an HO layout around the perimeter of my son's room.

    I think it would be cool, though, to build a Z-scale layout. Maybe one of those suitcase things...

    Nice to me another Rory, BTW. We are few and far between, especially in East Texas! I've only ever met one other in person...

  8. Rawman

    Rawman New Member

    Thanks all for your great advice folks. I am going to soak
    up much of the info in this forum and get reaquainted
    with the hobby. Might as well dive back in the right way.

    Rory, it would be fun to find out the approximate number
    of Rory's in the USA. [ my guess a thousand at most ]

    All The Best!

    The Rawman
  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I'm relatively new to this site also, and haven't found anything better yet. Welcome aboard!
    When I found some HO scale decals that were too small, even with an optivisor, I figured I won't be going any smaller.
    I have heard the comment that HOn3 is wide gauge N scale, and in some respects, there are similarities.
    Welcome back to the hobby, hope you find information, and inspiration here.
  10. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hello Rawman and welcome to the gauge.
    It really is only a matter of what scale you wish to model, N-scale or H0. I have modelled in both and found that with a little bit of effort, there is very little difference in modelling quality. Here is a photo of (Top two) N-scale and H0 at the bottom. Just needs a little bit more time to construct in N-scale for the overall picture.

    Attached Files:

  11. billk

    billk Active Member

    Rawman, take what Shamus says with a grain of salt. It's like if Superman said it's no harder to lift a full-scale locomotive than an N-scale version!
    :D :D :D :D
    Bill K
  12. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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