Sn3

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NP2626

Active Member
#1
Where I to start over again today, I would model in Sn3 and I would model the Rio Grande Southern. When they were suggesting Scales in this Scale Specific Discussion forum, I feel it is unfortunate that S Scale was overlooked. American Flyer S Scale was fairly popular back in the 50s and 60s. I think there are quite a few Sn3 modelers out there. PBL is a business catering to the Sn3 modeler. Sn3 is a builders scale, similar to how HO used to be.
 
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Espeefan

Active Member
#2
It is a nice scale, and easier to do detail work in, but you see mostly brass and craftsman level kits offered. Not much for beginners in Sn3. Most of those I know who model in that scale are experienced craftsman level modelers who started out in the more mainstream scales. I'd probably do things differently too if I were starting over. Maybe traction, or HOn3, but those didn't get the space in modeling magazines when I started out. They were (and still are) niches in the hobby.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#3
Espeefan, I would agree that Sn3 is a craftsman gauge; however, S gauge certainly is not, it is a toy train set. Whether either is a "niche" in this hobby, I don't think is up to you to decide! Even if they are, what difference does that make? They are legitimate portions of the hobby! I guess I didn't read the small print, I didn't know that only scales and products pertaining to stuff a beginner can get involved with was supposed to be discussed here on the Model Railroad Forum! As far as costs of Sn3 Brass locos, I find their prices comparable to HO brass plus a bit more.

I am not understanding where you are coming from!
 
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Espeefan

Active Member
#4
Well then let me clarify:

First you said: "Where I to start over again today, I would model in Sn3 and I would model the Rio Grande Southern" Did you mean as a beginner, or are you considering jumping to Sn3? There is a difference. I took you to mean if you were getting into the hobby today as a beginner, you'd choose Sn3. Sn3 isn't a great scale for newbies. Most newbies acquire their skills in the more mainstream scales like HO, N, or even O. How many newbies do you know who buy brass, or craftsman kits? Modelers of anything generally need to sharpen basic skills first then do the complicated stuff, or they risk frustration, being overwhelmed, intimidated, and we lose them. Some modelers work their way up the learning curve and eventually specialize and move into narrow gauge. Most Sn3 modelers I know were at one point HO or HOn3 guys who wanted to compensate for aging eyes and fingers. Oh and S isn't just a toy train scale, while it is a niche scale. That isn't my opinion, it comes from two places: the numbers of modelers, i.e. who participates in what scale, and S scale modelers themselves. Read all about it here: http://sscale.org/getting-started-in-s/

You can discuss anything you want here. If you took my post to say you shouldn't discuss Sn3 here you added 2 + 2 and got 175. All I meant to say was that it's a nice scale but not really suitable for beginners. That help clear things up?
 

NP2626

Active Member
#5
Yes, you completely miss understood what I was saying and I guess I wasn't clear enough in what I said. There was no reference in anything I said about beginners; or, as a beginner I would start with Sn3! I was saying: Where I to start over, I would model in Sn3. I would bring all my experience in what I have done in this hobby to this date with me to model in Sn3. Forgive me for not being absolutely clear, so someone couldn't misinterpret what I said!

You gave the conversation a "From the beginners point of view", not me.

The reality is, I was only commenting that I felt S scale should be included in this portion of the Model Railroad Forums!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
#6
Espeefan,

This is one of those situations where Internet Forums fail. You assumed you knew what I was talking about and posed your assumption in your response in the next post. Then I responded, not really understanding where you where coming from. Your next point in the thread, finally asks the right question: or are you considering jumping to Sn3? and then you go on to further your assumption of what you thought I meant. I have clarified my point and further explained where I am coming from. Lets end this discussion before we end up getting our noses bent out of shape. Remember the old adage, When you assume, you make an ass-u-me. To answer your question, am I considering jumping to Sn3, no I am not; but, I am as interested in it, as I am in Narrow Gauge.

Best wishes to you!
 
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Espeefan

Active Member
#7
Mark, my nose won't get bent out of shape. I was just participating in a discussion. There was no intent to attack your opinion/viewpoint, I was just offering my $.02, and what I knew about Sn3, and S in general. I haven't talked with any S modelers on here, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I was wondering if the thread would draw some.

if I were to start over today I'd probably go with traction. You can get a lot of railroad into a small space, and still have all the same stuff as a class 1 railroad, just on a smaller scale. That isn't going to happen either, but it is fun to think about.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#8
I want to take back ownership of this thread and thought I would add a great series of videos on Sn3 and also of my particular interest, the Rio Grand Southern. Bill Scobie has a marvelous Rio Grande Southern layout up in Canada. A fellow who shoots many videos on YouTube named Chris shot Bill's layout in a many part series. In fact, the truth is I have no idea how many videos are in the series on Bill's Rio Grande Southern layout shot by Chris, who goes by the handle CNLVN. I have found all of CNLVN's videos to have been very well done! If you subscribe to his YouTube site, he will email you when a new video comes out. Here is the URL to Bill Scobie's first video, you are in for a treat! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvuhJqMNJqc
 

NP2626

Active Member
#9
I think that Sn3 has much going for it. The models are bigger and therefore a bit easier to detail. Fast Tracks makes jigs for building turnouts. If you've watched any of the videos on Bill Scobie's Rio Grande Southern, it has to have gotten your heart pumping!

However, I am firmly ensconced in my HO layout. In 2015 the wife and I rode on the Durango and Silverton. When I got back, I actually started designing an Sn3 track plan and looking at websites catering to Sn3. After a few weeks of looking into Sn3, I realized that my HO Northern Pacific layout for all practical purposes was very similar to a narrow gauge layout with mountains, bridges and tunnels and I began to realize how long I'd been working on it and at 66 and not knowing how long I'm going to continue to be able to, practicality won out and I dropped the idea. However, I am interested in Narrow Gauge, Sn3 and the Rio Grande Southern.
 
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#10
I haven't talked with any S modelers on here, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I was wondering if the thread would draw some.
I don't know of any S modelers on here either. One of my face to face friends does Sn3 because he is modeling the Boulder Northwestern. He points out that even though the locomotives are only available in brass, he can have all 12 of them and have a complete roster for less cost than most modelers spend on there fleets of 10s or 100s of locos.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#11
I agree, in the grand scheme of things, Sn3 is probably not well represented here on the Model Railroad Forums. On other Forums I visit, there are participants who do model in Sn3. It is certainly not a large percentage of people, by any means. In fact, I think it might be likely that since it is a craftsman's scale and the amount of people interested in actually building models isn't very high anymore, this fact likely contributes to its' not being a very popular scale.

It was maybe not a worth while endeavor to start this thread explaining my interest in Sn3 and in narrow gauge railroading. It was started just under a month ago and other than two other people showing any interests at all, response has been slim and far between. However, I didn't expect there to be overwhelming interest in Sn3. I did hope that others would express there interest in other scales; or, the idea of starting over with something new. I got my start in model railroading with a Gilbert S Gauge American Flyer set. If I were to change, this might be considered returning to my roots. At this older age, bigger models seems like a good idea, to me. However, as I have stated, I'm not changing scales while being this invested in HO, what I have now.
 
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NP2626

Active Member
#12
I have found that there is an actual magazine devoted to Sn3, which is published twice a year. It is entitled Sn3 Modeler and published by Heimburger House Publishing Company. Heimburger House has devoted more than 50 years to S scale and Sn3! Heimburger House. Mr. Heimburger has also published many books on Narrow Gauge and Rail Roading. Even if you are not a narrow gauge person, Heimburger will have something of interest for you <www.hiemburgerhouse.com>. Although I am still modeling in HO, I find anything published on Nrrow Gauge to be worth my while as these modelers are pretty much model builders as the RTR craze has yet to effect these folks!
 
#13
Chris Lyons who produces videos like the Rio Grand Southern that NP2626 posted and Lyons who used to have his own layout the Lyon Valley Northern and he and Mike Hammer have done a variety of videos on subjects filmed on Chris' or others layouts. Chris dismantled his great railroad and I don't know if he plans to rebuild a layout either in his existing or new home.

Chris's layout and other videos should still be on the web. Worth watching.

I would consider S American Flyer train sets to be toy trains and Scale S and Sn3 models scale modeling no different than HO or N scales.

Thanks.

Greg
 
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#15
I would consider S American Flyer train sets to be toy trains and Scale S and Sn3 models scale modeling no different than HO or N scales.
I have a different take on that. I agree they can be considered toy trains as far as level of detail is concerned, but they are still scale trains. A 40' box car is 40 scale feet long unlike most Marx O-gauge and Lionel stuff. I think more like American Flyer is the AHM or Model Power of S-scale. Can't compare American Flyer to Tyco since it is so durable and runs so well.
 
#17
My comment regarding American Flyer S scale as being "toy train" may date me since I'm referring to the American Flyer train sets my friends had in the 1950's that I remember very well. I know of several S scale layouts that are "scale models" in any modeler's perspective.

I can't forgot to mention Badgerland S Gaugers in the Milwaukee area who have members who model in S scale and their organization dates to their start in 1975 and they have a great web site that features some great layouts.



Iron Horseman, I totally agree that S scale is truly scale modeling.

Thanks.

Greg
 

wombat457

Active Member
Staff member
#18
Interesting to read some of the comments here, one could be led to think that if it isn't HO, or perhaps N scale to a lesser degree, it isn't model railroading or interesting enough to speak about.

Personally, I don't care what scale you "play with" it is still model railroading and that's what counts. All the same things apply, just on a different scale and or level. To be completely honest, HO is getting boring so it is nice to see someone delving into one of the less "commercially promoted" scales so kudos to you Mark.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#19
Thank you Tony! Brooks Stover's S Scale layout has been featured many times in magazines. He is an extraordinary modeler. One faced with having to modify and scratch build most of the things on his layout. This is one of the features that attracts me to Sn3. As a child of the 50s, I was exposed to building things; forts, models, pigeon coops, tree houses, HO Scale Layouts, etc. It is this building things with my own hands that gives me the greatest satisfaction in this hobby! To simply buy an assembled model does absolutely nothing for me and as I have said many times, if it wasn't for the building aspect of this hobby, I would find another hobby to be involved with.
 

wombat457

Active Member
Staff member
#20
Mark,

Have to admit, the build is the thing that makes it so interesting for me as well, e it the layout itself or all of the things that go on it.
 



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