View Full Version : Thnking of N scale!
12-27-2008, 06:46 PM
I want to get into model railroading and want an HO someday(i posted in that forum).After reconsidering(for now) for space reasons i'm thinking N.I haven't looked at N at all in over 10 years,and it seams much better now.I have space in our living room for about a 3x5 layout,or smaller.How would that size be?Also,i know kits aren't recomended much but i can't spend a fortune as of now.Any "decent" N scale kits?
12-27-2008, 07:19 PM
The hidden cost in "kits' is that they are never exactly what you want. So either you end up designing your layout around your kit, and eventually tear it down to get what you want. (the expensive way). Or the kit engine, etc. becomes a shelf queen when you buy what you wanted all along.
It's better to take the time to plan what you want and buy only what fits your plan. AS you build you buy in stages so you don't spend a lot all at once. what you end up with is paying for exactly what you wanted with no waste.
See my beginner's guide below.
12-27-2008, 08:16 PM
Any brands better than others?what about prices-power units,engine...???
12-27-2008, 09:59 PM
Any brands better than others?what about prices-power units,engine...???
Depends on what, where & when you are modeling. The answer might be Athern, Atlas, or Bachman Spectrum. But any of those might be a waste of money for you. You need to do a little homework.
12-27-2008, 11:08 PM
As a general rule of thumb, Atlas makes real good diesels, and so does Kato and Intermountain. Bachmann Spectrum (not the regular line stuff so much, but they're working on that) and Athearn make good steamers, as does Kato (with the traction tire upgrade).
Thing is, they all cover different eras for the most part, so Chip is right, you have some questions to answer before you're ready to buy loco's.
When you think of a layout, what are you thinking of?
Hills and pastures, desert, city scenes and urban RRing, or mountains?
What timeframe o you like? The latest modern equipment, or do you like the 19th century? Something in between?
It all makes a difference, so it's important to get some of this cemented before you spend hard earned dollars, ya know?
12-28-2008, 12:02 AM
I'd like to start with a diesel.I plan on making a 1950's setting.I like the snub nose bulldog looking engines,and want to pull freight cars.ANY help would be great!
12-28-2008, 01:00 AM
Sounds like you want an F unit. If we're talking about trains sets, there's only one in N scale that comes with an F unit, the Kato Starter set at http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/product_p/kat-106-0016.htm. This is top quality, well detailed trains set and the price reflects it. Look at the other N scale train sets ModelTrainStuff and see if there are any you like. All the ones sold there are medium to excellent quality. That will at least give you an idea of price range. Bachmann offer one diesel set and Atlas offers three. Atlas is better quality overall than Bachmann and, once again, the price reflects that. The Athearn sets are all steam but they are also good quality. There is an advantage to buying a good quality train set since you do get all the components at a substantial discount over buying each piece separately.
12-28-2008, 01:53 PM
Is that a kit i would add things to or replace things???It looks nice.
12-28-2008, 03:26 PM
The Kato track is high quality but is expensive. It lacks the flexibility of flex track, so after you get bored of the basic loop that comes with the set, you might want to change to a more traditional track manufacturer.
12-28-2008, 09:24 PM
Yes, the trains sets are just starters to get you up and running a loop so you can watch the train go around. If you really get involved with the hobby, the train set will be, by far, the least expensive part. You'll be buying switches, extra track, roadbed, ballast, construction material for the layout itself, structures, ground cover, trees, lights, an unbelievable amount of detail parts.....the list goes on and on. It's not a cheap hobby.
12-29-2008, 07:17 PM
I got a cheap Bachmann set with an engine I liked. Stuck the track up on a shelf.Bought some Atlas track.
Made a neat little 2x4 foot oval with a siding and yard.
01-01-2009, 02:35 AM
You can fit any HO scale 4'x8' track plan comfortably into a 3'x5' space using N gauge. Remember that N scale IS NOT 1/2 the size of HO, so 4'x8' HO does not translate to a 2'x4' N gauge layout. I say this because there is much more information and track plans on building 4'x8' HO scale layouts than N scale.
01-03-2009, 03:20 PM
.............. It's not a cheap hobby.
It can be very inexpensive, depending on how one starts and the pace one wants to take. An engine and several cars (8-10), some siding and mainline track with some Fiddlers Green paper 'buildings' and one can set up model RRding rather rapidily. Then, as one progresses, start 'real' scenery, switch out paper buildings for plastic kits or wooden kits, make your layout more permanent, perfect your wiring skills, etc. I am now doing this in N scale and also in TT and the satisfaction part is great. Layout base is 2" builders board with layers of same on top for scenery of rolling hills under/overpasses, etc.
At least it allows one to experiment before going 'all out' with a permanent layout. As soon as I figure out this photo to forum procedure, I'll post pictures.
01-03-2009, 03:35 PM
Indeed, you can start out very cheaply and, if you're good at modeling, you can scratchbuilt to help keep costs down. However, if you really get into the hobby, you'll soon find you need some space over there, maybe a bigger yard, a roundhouse and turntable...then more engines and rolling stock, plus that plywood looks pretty bare, so hills, trees, ground cover. Next comes streetlights, building lighting, track and grade crossing signals and those cool animated billboards. Yes, you can still do some of these for not much money but, once the bug has bit, you will be spending way more money than you ever thought. You can stretch it out but, in the end, your wallet will still be a lot thinner. :)
01-03-2009, 09:17 PM
A layout is kinda like having kids!
"You really can't afford them, they eat you out and home, and cause worry! But you love them dearly!!!!! the train that is!;-)"
A layout is like a Boat! A hole in the water in which you dump money into! But a boat can get you to more sweet fishing spots! But your trains don't leave ya smelling like bait and fish!
01-20-2009, 01:14 AM
I love the era of the ;ate 40's and early 50's because you can use the F units with steam since both were common place during that time. You can't go wrong with Atlas in my book. As for steam I like Bachman. With their warranty if I have any troubles it's fixed or replaced. You can't beat it.
01-23-2009, 06:13 AM
I'm sure this has all been answered before but, well i was starting an O gauge layout and have recently been laid off so i have recently been thinking of not leaving the hobby but looking into N scale or maybe HO "which i do have a lot of" Ive got a good size platform already made up its about 12foot by 8 foot and i know with N i could make lots but with HO im not sure, would anybody who knows about this stuff be willing to lend me a little bit of a helping hand?
01-23-2009, 06:27 AM
Can I make a suggestion? If you've just been laid off, I would suspend all work on any layout until you're employed again. I know that you already have some of the things you'll need but you know you'll need more. Given the depth of this recession/depression, getting a new job may be a long way off. If you have no other family depending on you, that's one thing. If you do have a family, money will be tight and, whether they say it or not, they will resent any amount of money spent on a layout. Use the money to take them out to dinner and a movie occasionally to keep everyone's spirits up until things improve.
01-23-2009, 06:29 AM
well im am only 19 "sorry didn't say that before" so basically no i don't really have anybody depending on me as of right now, and of course im out there every day looking for a new job.. so is there anybody out there that would wanna chat about these N scales and what all they can do?
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