• Scale Headache - HO or N to fill spare bedroom?

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by Baked_Beans
 
Gday.. I have a spare bedroom and want to start a railway , problem is decideing between HO & N , i like the detail in HO but want 3 trains running at once and a yard to store others. Has anybody gone from HO to N and still been happy with the detail of buildings and trains ? also i want a variety of track height , mountains tunnels and such. Anybody near port macquarie nsw australia willing to let me view their layout ?
  by Komachi
 
Mr. Beans,

(Why do I suddenly have the image of Rowan Atkinson blissfully operating a layout in my head?) How big is your spare bedroom? Are we talking 3 x 2 meters? Bigger? Smaller? The size of your space and alotted layout area will determine how much layout you can squeeze into a given area.

My layout room (a shared space in the basement) is about 11 feet by 13 feet (3.3m x 3.9m*) which would allow me to build a fairly decent model railroad layout in there. However, since I'm currenly living with my parents, my available space is 2.5 feet x 12 feet (75cm x 360cm), which limits me to a small HO scale switching (shunting) layout. I could do more in N, but I have bad eyesight (I wear trifocals), so HO is as small as I can go.

Now, you mentioned a few features you'd like to have on your layout, like mountains and varying track height, and that's fairly easy to do on a layout, regardless of size. Three trains running at once is a tad more difficult in HO, unless you a.) ran shorter trains or b.) built a double-decked layout. N guage will allow you to do more with less space.

That's just my input, I could give you more advice if I knew more about what you'd like to do. Do you plan to model railroads here in the U.S., Austrailia, Japan, Germany, U.K. ...? Are you going to have small manifest freights or long coal or iron ore drags? Do you plan on having any passenger trains? Just currious.

Well, keep us up on the progress of your layout and hopefully you can acomplish what you're setting out to do. And don't be affraid to ask questions, there are a few of us who have "been there, done that" and are willing to give our advice on whatever problems you might be facing.


* I think my math is right. f (f=feet)x 12 (12 inches to the foot) x 2.5 (2.5 cm per inch), then move the decmil over two places (as there are 100 cm per meter).

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Sounds like if you want to run bigger trains and have longer runs, you will most likely want to go with N scale.

If you can- order a couple lengths of N scale flex track and a couple of cheap boxcars. Set them up on the floor. Get some large sheets of paper. sketch some track plans. Then try to do the same thing with HO... I draw plans and I draw plans... but until I actually have the real track and trains to see the size relationships, it all "fits!"

have any hobby shops near you? I must admit I dont know a lot about Australia at all, or how hard it is to get hobby supplies. Thinking of an American themed railroad? or a Continental or Australian themed railway?

But look what I found--- other model railroaders in Australia... maybe these guys can point you to someone in your area where you could see their model railway in action!

http://www.istnet.net.au/~wamrc/links.html

-otto-

  by Baked_Beans
 
Thanks for the replies Komachi & Otto .... I reckon it looks like i will have to go N scale but i will research at bit more first .
Dont think i will model any particular line , but will try to base it on outback australia during the good old steam days , i have a bit of luck in the fact that where i work we have 3 working steam locos , not big but the biggest one tends to damage the tracks. Also the whole place is full of buildings & machinery from the early 1900's and earlier. An old logging town for tourists. Ive allways done modeling but new to trains so detail is more important to me then specific facts on what train ran on which line , so long as it looks good and i have fun with it.

P.S
Nice usefull site you have here.
  by Komachi
 
A steam-era layout? Sounds interesting. About what time period are you considerng, turn of the (20th) century or around the time of dieselization? Just currious to know.

I must say, I'm not up on Ausie steam power, were there domestic locomotive builders, or was it mostly import? When were steam engines phased out? (Not an odd question... the U.S. phased steam out in the early 60s, while steam was active on Japan's non-electrified lines until 1973!)

My personal interests in Ausie railroading lies in the Pilbara region, as the iron ore operations there are similar to those in my home state of Minnesota. I am also fascinated with the "Pilbara cabs" and other modifications made to the ALCo. and GE units working in the region. In fact, I'd really like to build a couple O guage CM40-8M(L) (rebuilt from ALCo./MLW C-636/M-636 locomotives) and a couple of the Dash 7 and Dash 8 GE rebuilds as well (would make interesting "conversation pieces" to add to my layout room).

Anyway, keep us up to date on the progress of your layout, I'd love to see how it turns out.