HO or N?

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#1
I am a beginner model railroader(?), and I was wanting to know: Should I go with N or HO scale? I have a (give or take) 7 x 4 space right now, I am not employed (haven't graduated yet), but size is not a problem. I would like to know the pros and cons of each. Thanks for all help in advance, mynameinc.
 
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Trucklover

BNSF SD70MAC's
#2
First off, welcome to the forums :D

I would say that it is completely up to you. a 7x4 space would be better for an N scale layout, but if you plan to expand in the future, you do HO.

I myself an am HO'er, but ive done work in N as well for a Steel Mill. Im quit young (19) as im assuming you are since you said you have not graduated yet. There are a couple things to think about:

**Will you be able to take this with you when you move out? (im assuming you havnt moved out of your parents house yet cuz neither have i lol)

**Can you work in N scale? Its a small scale, and not everyone can handle the small parts and such of building and maintaining an N scale layout. N scale is fun tho i have to admit, and you can really get a LARGE empire in a small space if you try hard lol

**Will you be getting a job? Both scales require alot of money lol. HO scale you can pick up some cheap stuff, but alot of it will be older equipment from the 70-90's. Both N and HO are about the same prices for stuff. There certainly is a little more available for us HO'ers then there is for N scalers


Really its all a matter of personal choice and the space you have available for a practical and operating layout. You dont wanna cram to much into a small space, in other words, you dont want a spaghetti bowl of tracks.... For one thats just way to much money in track and turnouts, and two, it wont look so good

Era of modeling also plays a role, do you have in mind what you want to model? Steam ere, early diesels, or modern? What road names do you want to have? I model BNSF, UP and a little CSX, as well as CNW, BN, and SP (all owned by BNSF or UP now)

I hope this gave you a little to think about... :)
 
#3
**Yes, after law school (may move out after pre-law) I should be able to take this out.
**I could probably work in 1:160.
**Yes, I should have a regular source of income soon.
Steam era, and I would prefer locomotives with New York Central, Baltimore & Ohio, Pennsylvania Railroad, or Southern Pacific flags.
 

stlgevo51

N scale modeler
#4
I model N, since I like the small size (I can work with small parts) and for a small layout you can get more into that area. Unfortunately, like Josh said, there is much more to chose in HO. Regarding steam locomotives, the N scale lineup is weak. Not many quality products have been produced, but Kato just released a Southern Pacific GS-4 Daylight.
 

stlgevo51

N scale modeler
#6
HO scale has most steam locomotives. While N has a good collection, it doesn't have the amount like HO. Most locomotives you saw on that page were excellent quality. Here's what I would say about the manufacturers of steam locomotives.
Kato- small selection, great quality,
Walthers (Lifelike)- excellent quality
Athern- Mostly great quality
Model Power- Big selection, OK quality
Bachmann- big selection. Bachmann has two lines of locomotives, the regular Bachmann line and Spectrum. The regular line has cheaper locomotives but aren't too good of quality. Spectrum line is more expensive and good quality
Con Cor- older locomotives but still good quality
There are a few others that aren't big enough to list.

On your compatibility question the answer is yes. However, you have to make sure that the cars have the type of couplers. Micro-trains, in N scale, makes a great line of couplers. Most other types will work with these, but some don't. If you need me to clarify anything I will be glad to!:)
 
#10
Could you clarify about the couplers?
On your compatibility question the answer is yes. However, you have to make sure that the cars have the type of couplers. Micro-trains, in N scale, makes a great line of couplers. Most other types will work with these, but some don't. If you need me to clarify anything I will be glad to!:)
 

stlgevo51

N scale modeler
#11
http://www.nscaledivision.com/information_on_couplers.htm
Look at this site. It shows the two main types of couplers in N scale, the Rapido and the knuckle. I will say that you will want to go knuckle. However, Not all knuckle couplers are compatible. For instance, I've had problems coupling a train with a Kato coupler to a train with a micro trains coupler. But most are compatable, so there isn't too much to worry about, and the site above will show you some differences between the companies. I will say that micro trains has the most complete line of couplers, with many types of couplers, as well as many accessories, including the magnematic system shown here. http://www.micro-trains.com/magne-matic.php.
 

TaeOH

or just Tom...
#12
Tom, what railroad are you modeling?
West Coast is what my layout will be, so it will be more Freelance than a specific railroad. This is because I want to run the Daylight, Super Chief and Zephyr passenger trains. I also will run a mix bag of Freight, centered mostly in BNSF, but I like Union Pacific and Rio Grande too.

After I start laying the track, probably sometime this summer, I may hone my focus. I just started out at the beginning of this year and so far only have 3 engines and one passenger train. My engines are a BNSF SD40-2, Santa Fe F7A and the GS-4, all Kato. I also bought and lighted the 10 - car Morning Daylight passenger set. I just added some Bethgon Coalporters to my mix bag of rolling stock. Most of it has been converted to Micro Train Couplers (I left the GS-4 and Daylight Passenger cars alone).
 
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UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
#13
If I was a young guy with no history of model railroading, I would choose N scale. The smaller size shouldn't be an issue for younger eyes and not having any investment, as I did, in both HO scale equipment and knowledge, makes the choice much easier. The selection and quality of N scale products have improved tremendously over the past five years and I expect both scale to be near parity in the next five years. I'm more a scenry person than an operations person so N scale has a lot of appeal. You can produce a real empire in a relatively small space and the trains become part of the scenery rather dominating it. You can't go wrong with either scale if space is not an issue but N scale has a lot of advantages for young guy just starting out in the hobby.
 
#14
I am dabbling in N scale myself altho I am for the most part and HO modeller. I have to agree with UP2CSX tho, there is a very wide variety of products in N scale and if I didn't have the investment in HO that I did when I started I probably would have gone with N scale. The beauty of N scale is that you can have a decent size layout with really great scenery in a fairly small space.

I think an important question to ask is what type of layout do you want? Do you want to model long trains and mainline action or a branch line with lots of switching. If its the first then N scale is a must, but if its the second you could go with both N or HO. A good place to start would be to read the design primer at http://macrodyn.com/ldsig/wiki/index.php?title=Category:primer.
 
#16
Welcome to the "N"ormal scale :D:rolleyes::cool: by the way if you need anything like engines, rolling stock, kits I may even have a power pack floating around let me know I just came into a new large collection, yes Jim I picked up a new one last week again:rolleyes:
 
#17
I've seen HO v. N on here several times. In my opinion N is too small and HO is too big. N scale prohibits the detail work and ease of use afforded by HO but HO is too big for near prototypical length trains. It would be nice if a new scale were developed that was 65-75% the size of HO. This would provide the handling quality of HO with the greater train length of N.

Just my $0.02.
 
#18
I've seen HO v. N on here several times. In my opinion N is too small and HO is too big. N scale prohibits the detail work and ease of use afforded by HO but HO is too big for near prototypical length trains. It would be nice if a new scale were developed that was 65-75% the size of HO. This would provide the handling quality of HO with the greater train length of N.

Just my $0.02.
If you want to see detail in N scale go check out some of my pics in white metal kits :rolleyes: here's my two and I'll rasie you two:D LOL Ok I'll raise you six cent LOL

 
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#19
Nice work. Very nice.

What i meant to say was that N scale was limited in the detail that I can give it. My hands and fingers are way too big to be working on stuff that small.
 
#20
hey Jet, Thank you for your kind words I knew what you meant but someone's gotta mess with your mind:D:D LOL oh I'll rasie you six more cent :cool: oh and your so right about lonnnnnnngggggggg trains in N scale on my home layout I can run about 55 on the outer most main,when I run with my club I run about 100 with 6 units all powered
 
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