Author Topic: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts  (Read 6242 times)

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railbuilderdave

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Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« on: July 18, 2011, 11:44:46 AM »
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Guys,
I'm in my new home now and started working on a layout for the area I get as my train room.  I've been working on some ideas for HO scale layout but it's just not getting me what I wanted in my layout.  So as I work on the layout I'm looking at others for ideas and when looking at what others have done with steel mill layouts in N Scale I'm thinking maybe I can get a good layout in N Scale.  My biggest problems with an N scale layout is the fact I've been purchasing stuff over the years in HO scale and I really like the details you get with HO over N scale.  A few other points about this project as I move along.  I now have glasses that I didn't have when I turned 40 and the room area I have to work with is 13x21'.

I'm thinking that maybe on a layout the details of N is good enough and I can still model HO for doing the detail work I enjoy. 

I would love to hear what others think as most the guys here have more time in the hobby then I do and I'm sure some of you have been down this road yourselves.

Thanks,
Dave
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DKS

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 12:14:04 PM »
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Nothing says you can't model in both scales. A number of RW regulars do; Chris Schmuck works in N and Z, for instance, and Tom Mann dabbles in at least three scales. I tinker in N, Z and T.

So, you could build a functional layout in N to satisfy your desire for running and operation, and perhaps do some dioramas in HO so you get to enjoy the details.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Bremner

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 01:08:45 PM »
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honestly, N is a great choice. IF you build to a HO scale layout level, you will have incredible turns. 22" radius in HO is moderate, in N, it is prototypicle!

John

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 01:44:07 PM »
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Build what you want - not what the masses want you to :)

nscalemike

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 02:39:05 PM »
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I second what John and Bremner both said.  Build what you want first and foremost, if your more comfortable in HO or have more invested in it so far, go for it, you can have a nice HO layout in that amount of space.  But,  like Bremner said,  if you build your HO layout in N scale you'll have so many more options for scenery, train length, turnout size, etc, etc, the overall effect will be much more prototypical.  As far as details go, remember that since N is smaller you need less to look equally realistic.  You can, as demonstrated by several others on here, detail N to amazing standards if you want to take the time and effort!

Good luck on whichever option you choose and keep us all posted on how it goes!

Mike

wm3798

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 03:31:52 PM »
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Pick up the most recent N Scale Magazine and read my column on this very subject.  I go on and on ad nauseum about it...

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 05:19:58 PM »
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As far as details go, remember that since N is smaller you need less to look equally realistic. 


That's a pretty accurate statement.  With N scale, you don't need the shear amount of details that you need in HO in order to get realistic results.

Chris333

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 05:43:07 PM »
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I think details is why I just couldn't model HO scale. It gets worse in O scale, you look at a locomotive under frame and think boy that is a lot of space that needs "something" under there.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 06:17:33 PM »
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If you really have tried to make an HO plan and it's just not working, you are half way to your decision.  I would recommend making an initial investment in some good N scale equipment, get some sectional track (maybe Atlas Tru-track), and just set up an oval with a few spurs and a siding and "live with" N scale for a while.  If you decide it's too hard to see or seems toy-like, then you should re-visit your layout goals in HO.

Keep us posted!
Gary

SAH

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 09:28:38 PM »
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A little bit of detail goes a long way in N scale.  The mind fills in the missing pieces.  And when you can model so much more of the scene . . . . . . . . N is a perfect compromise.

As for the glasses, I got mine in 1st grade.  First N scale set in 1969 not long afterwards.  I've never seriously considered switching to a larger scale.  If necessary you'll adapt model building techniques to compensate for eyesight issues.  The longer you work in N, the bigger it becomes, if you know what I mean.

Steve H

jhn_plsn

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 11:17:53 PM »
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What a nice problem to have. Of course you should do what you want to do, but since you asked I will give my $.02. OK, maybe its only worth $.01. Consider both in the same space with one above the other. You don't need deap shelves to have effective scenery and this way you could have longer trains in N scale and enjoy the details in HO. You could always join a club if that is not appealing.

conrailthomas519

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 01:21:41 PM »
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Model Railroaders Bumper Sticker Rules.
Rule #1 Its YOUR layout.
Rule #2 build the layout in which YOU feel YOU like.
Rule #3 Anybody else can refer to RULE #1.....
    A good friend of mine has this same problem. His space is confined to 9ft X 11 ft.  Because he has so much in both scales, his idea is to build the HO layout  (very limited) as his lower level and then stack a n scale layout above it.
   Maybe this post might be an option to look into.
   
TMM

esa123

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 03:39:59 PM »
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I've had the same problem for a long time. Prior to working on my current project I had settled on was a small HO switching layout that fits under my larger N scale layout. That way I can run N scale "trains" around the room and do prototypical operations but underneath it I have an HO industry and down town area with a few staging tracks for my details fix. I sort of think of the HO layout as an expanded sectional "blow-up" as it has a very similar track arrangement to one of my N scale towns but is a lot larger. This is a very common problem in the hobby. If it's worth anything N scale has shown tremendous improvement with detail and selection over the last few years and I expect that trend to continue (i.e. new athearn cars have individual grab irons and sometime in the near future I predict  we'll have more to scale couplers) so in the end you have to ask yourself: Do I want to model individual train cars or individual trains? Building a single 4ft x2 ft module of each would probably go a long way toward helping you make that decision.

Hope this helps,
Erik

unittrain

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 04:20:57 PM »
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I used to buy HO then started purchasing N about 10 years ago I chose N because it has pretty good detail level and with newer stuff from BLMA and Exactrail among others the detail has rivaled alot of HO stuff. But most of all I chose N because the near scale distances possible in other words you can model a given scene to near actual scale size. Another thing is greater curve radii that get nearer to prototype. Also I'm modeling a large factory along my mainline that is about 3.5 feet long in N, this would take up way to much space in HO and I hate using alot of selective compression. This is just one example but as you can see in N a large factory or trestle whatever will not totally dominate the scene or layout. And last but not least I chose N to be able to have resonable distance between my block signals so they would operate more prototypically. So these are just a few reasons I chose N scale.

Bremner

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Re: Thoughts on N scale VS HO scale layouts
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 04:34:16 PM »
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another agruement for N is that Atlas, Kato, IM and FVR locos are great models, and will last decades. Code 55 track is coming into it's own, and models are getting better and better. The typical N scale modelis of the same quality of HO of a decade ago, and Z is up to N of 10-15 years ago