HOn3 vs. HOn30; who's best???

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by jon-monon, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    So, what are the pro's and cons of HOn3 compared to HOn30? Anyone running one and wish you had started with the other?

    I'm getting excited about narrow gauge and want to start building and collecting some rolliong stock and loco's. From what I gather, HOn3 has more off the shelf items like trucks and stuff available, but HOn30 might be better to scratch and bash because of all the N scale parts available.

    Any thot's, my narrow gagued friends???

    Any other tips for beginners? Fav web sites? Etc.?

    jon(narrow gauged newby)
  2. BDC

    BDC Member

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    HOn3 runs on a scale 3' track that you have to hand-lay because no one makes it. HOn30 runs on a scale 30" track (N scale track) that can be found almost anywhere. HOn3 is the prototypically correct gauge, but since HOn30 is really N-scale track, it's a whole lot easier to find and build.
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Jon,
    My last post on the "On30 conspiracy" thread might give you some insight, at least to where I'm at with narrow gauge. In either case, HOn3, or HOn30, you'll have plenty of scratch building, and kitbashing to do. Where "parts" are concerned, there are probably more parts available in HO than N. Grandt Line has an extensive line of HOn3 detail parts. A lot of standard gauge parts are usable on narrow gauge equipment. Model Die Casting (Roundhouse) has quite a few standard gauge kits, that can be cut down to narrow gauge proportions, and make good looking, relatively inexpensive rolling stock. I believe it was Errol (kettlestack), in a reply to an older post, who mentioned the use of N scale couplers for HOn3 equipment. If you go back far enough, I've posted pictures of modified MDC HOn3 engine kits. The magazine, Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette, is a good source of narrow gauge information. It would be easier to find a prototype in 3' gauge, but either is fine for freelancing.
    Pete
  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member

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    Hi Jon, Hon3 probably has the most to offer in the way of loco's rolling stock and building kits suitable to the "theme" of narrow gauge. Hon30 has only just a little available in the area of Locos and rolling stock so if you're not inclined to scratch build or modify things you may become somewhat disenchanted with it.

    As far as track goes, yes N scale track is the same dimensions but its sorta out of proportion to the the rest of Hon30 (ie: rail height, tie spacing & etc) so again unless you want to hand lay track and scratch build turnouts you may be somewhat limited when it comes to track work. There are far more track items available in HOn3.

    In my opinion the "up and coming" thing in Narrow Gauge is On30. Everthing is built in a scale of 1/4 inch to the foot which is extremly easy to work with, plus it takes really no more space than an HO layout would and more and more equipment is becoming available that can be easily modified.

    I'll sit in the corner now and let some of the other guys who are into On30 elaborate more on its advantages.:D :D :D
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

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    Both Shinahora and Model Engineering make a full line of HOn3 track work in Code 70 and Code 55. including flextrack and turnouts. Sure you didn't mean Hon30????:confused: Ooooops!:D :D :D :D
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Actually there are other's and a couple of the makers do dual gauge for HO/HOn3 (Shinahara Track and BK Enterprises), which is one attraction to HOn3 in my view. I'm planning a dual gauge layout. They don't have to connect, but that might be kewl. ;)

    jon

    1st place "dual" search
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    A lot of that seems to have changed, too:

    hon3 engines

    I'm assuming some of these are plastic, since they are under 100 clams.

    Have a great weekend, guys!

    jon
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

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    Jon, I was right impressed with the link that you posted for 1st Place Hobbies....their HOn3 prices are very reasonable. Have you or anyone else had any experience with ordering from them????
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Vic, I have ordered once from them and will order again. There was one item that was packaged wrong from the vendor, a $2 detail part. They are working with the vendor and I told them not to worry about it. Great prices across th e board. They can be beat on certain items by trainworld and such. They beat most others by having a usable and searchable site.

    Russ (and others) thanks for the tips and links. I'm actually thinking about doing both gauges :D It will be quite a while before I lay track so I have some time to play with building stuff.

    jon
  10. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

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    Narrow Gauge HO Scale...

    No-one here has mentioned this, so perhaps I shall. I have heard MANY times that people who are thinking of narrow gauge HO should look at smaller HO scale equipment, using standard HO gauge track...have a look at Shamus' layout.
    To paraphrase Monty Python, "Nudge,nudge,wink,wink...say no more!":D

    Ready-to-run 2-8-0s and 4-6-0s are available from Model Power. These are about the same size as the MDC HOn3 engines...and I've heard that they run well. They're inexpensive to boot. Short cars and trains, along with tighter curves and steeper grades could create the narrow gauge "feel" without having to actually run narrow gauge equipment. If I had tried that.......oh, well. [​IMG]


    My brief foray into HOn3 ended in frustration and disappointment. Then again, I very well could have tried something too difficult for my newbie-ish ability level.

    Personally, I LOVE the On30 stuff. How can you beat inexpensive, beautifully running off-the-shelf R-T-R narrow gauge?? Even I could probably scratchbuild in O scale.[​IMG]
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Re: Narrow Gauge HO Scale...

    "In my mind, I'm already there"
    --Kramer

    I am already working that way, Plymouth MDT's and other industrials in the works, ore cars, some short flat cars, etc. I hope to augment the collection with some narrow gauge to add some spice. Don't know why I am drawn to such critters...

    So then, my decision is made (for now), we'll go with an HO/HOn3/HOn30 layout :) Everyone can be happy , 'cept for On30 guys :D :D :D I'm not saying On30 isn't in my crystall ball. I still think it's very cool, and it has some attractive benefits. Perhaps after we have all the HO stuff running happilly down the silver rail...

    jon
  12. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

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    Dang it Jon,
    Your thread has invoked all the replies that screams at me to get off my butt and start using up my drawerfull of HOn3 stuff!
    This is something that I've been putting off for almost 18 yrs now.
    The charm of narrowgauge overwhelms me at times and even today Vic's thread elsewhere on his conversion of MDC passenger cars has really reached me! :)

    I was looking forward to starting to use up my N gauge stuff and now am in a real quandary! You have no idea how frustrated I am in having to make the decision. Maybe a compromise... HOn3 dioramas and an N layout? Shamus's layout also brought back all the feeling of nostalgia for backwoods RRoading even if he does model it in HO.

    I think I need therapy!!!:D :D :D

    Errol
  13. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

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    Why not all 3?

    Why not have an HO layout with an interchange with an HOn3 line? Backwoods meets mainline interchange.

    Then in one corner of the layout you could have an amusment park running an N scale miniature railroad for the kiddies.

    The best of all 3...
  14. Vic

    Vic Active Member

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    Hi Errol, Obviously you got "bitten" by the HON3 bug some time ago:D It usually does not take so long for the "fever" to develop but it appears to "Dr. Vic" that you now have a full blown case of "narrow gaugeitis" for which there is no cure:D :D :D The only way to releive your "suffering" is to start an HON3 layout.:D As the symptoms re-occur further "relief" can be obtained by acquiring more HON3 equiptment:D :D :D
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Ron, that's close to what I have in mind: I picture a dogbone main layout with fairly large loops at both ends, through and or around mountains, with HOn3 on one end and HOn30 on the other. I have about 6ft X 24ft to work with. I can add or subtract a couple of feet from the 6 here and there, so I will probably try to keep the radii close to 3 ft on the main line. I don't know if they will actually interchange, but the dual gauge track is interesting :rolleyes:

    Dr. Vic, I don't feel so well. Everytime I think about NG I feel them swirlies in me belly. And I can't concentrate. I keep seeing the close encounters mountain, but it's got rails! Wifey smacked me when I started drawing tracks in the smashid spuds at the eatery. I think Ron's getting sick too. I cun tell, he's startin' to think like me'ins with the multi gauge layout and all. What kin I do? :confused:

    jon
  16. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

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    "narrow gaugeitis"

    I got the fever!
  17. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

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    Narrow Gaugeitis...

    Do not despair, sir. With work, one can learn to live with this. As mentioned, occaisional (okay...regular) "fixes" are needed, but with proper lifestyle management (quality train-room time?), there's no reason you can't lead a full and productive life.:p




    ....Just be sure to post pictures!:D
  18. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

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    Errol,
    I got roped into On30, and dabbled in N, and I'm perfectly insane. Join the club.
    Pete (at the Nantahala Midland)
  19. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

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    Tyson,
    I just found medication for NarrowGauge itis, it limits the degree of insanity to a fair extent. Ya gotta build something!!

    While in a state of insanity I started on my 18 yr old D&RGW passenger car kit by E&B Valley Railroad Co. 7 hrs later, (and a slight degree of crosseyedness from having to drill out turnbuckles) it is 80% complete and looks so good I think I'm calm enough now to make progress on other HOn3 stuff.
    I'm a long way from reaching Pete's (aka Sumpter) standards but I'll get there (with the help of a wee drop of the embalming fluid).
    Pics will be forthcoming.

    Catt, I'm now aboard the band wagon.
    Vic, I'm getting up courage to convert the MDC cars.
    Jon, thank you for this thread, I owe you one sir ! :)

    Errol
  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Glad I could help stir the coals, but it was probably the answers from the experts that got the fire going again :)

    I just got back from the hobby shop, and saw an HO industrial switcher for a fair price. I think I'll go back for it in a bit for the planned "Standard HO but looks NG-like" part of the layout (short and stocky). :D :D :D

    jon