Need help for very small n scale layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ho_scale_rail, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the absolute smallest n scale layout that i could build. If it is possible i would like to do something more that just a single loop. I am wanting to build a layout really bad but i dont have the room to put it. thanks
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,590
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't want to turn the tables on you, but I gotta ask, how much room to you have to allot for a layout? That's got to be your starting point.
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    The absolute smallest would be 20" X 20". This would give you just a touch of board outside an 18" diameter circle. The smallest pre-curved track is 9-3/4" radius, but you could form flex track to a 9" radius. anything smaller would just about eliminate any loco except a 4 wheel diesel, or 0-4-0 swticher.
    You could go 20" X whatever space you have, or larger.
    Pete
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can go smaller, if you do away with the need to have continuous running (or any running at all...!).

    You could build a diorama or scene that could be incorporated into some future layout - a station, scene, crossing, small industry, etc, etc, etc.

    While I am building modules for my (future) layout, I am also building structures and rolling stock that will (eventually) have a home on some module or other...

    Andrew
  5. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, using tiny switchers and cars and flex track, you can get to about 6-7 inch radius. 15 inch x whatever (larger than 15 in), but again choice of rolling stock is very limited. If you can get 20 inches as sumpter pointed out, you can use most (but not the largest or long passenger cars) N locomotives and cars.

    Be forewarned: laying consistent curves at very small radii with flex track is not as easy as the larger curves. Using sectional track is often easier.

    yours in tracking
  6. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    what could i do with a 22"x42" space?
  7. johnny b

    johnny b Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would think you could at least get a nice up and over figure eight type set up.
  8. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Considering some people build N scale layouts in coffee tables.....20"x 42" would make a nice one.
    I'm sure someone here with track planning program can come up with a real nice one.
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,135
    Likes Received:
    0
    The smallest N scale layouts I've seen were built in a shoebox and on a hat brim.
    I never saw the ones that were built in the guitar and banjo cases.
  10. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for the help guys.
  11. skipgear

    skipgear Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Check the replies to your same question on Trainboard.
  12. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok, i checked on train board and they had given me alot of useful information. I am definitaly going to build the little layout now. Does anyone know of any websites with some small trackplans on it?
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok thanks, i'll check those out. I am probaby going to draw up my own plan but i wanted to look at some to get some ideas.
  15. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    i have one other question. Why would i be limited to 9-3/4'' radius track, wouldn't 10" radius track work? I may be misunderstanding something but i thought that a full circle of 10'' radius track would have an outside diameter of 20". If i am wrong could someone explain it to me. thanks
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    Radius is measured to track centre, so you have to allow a bit more space for the outside rail and other half of the ties...! ;)

    Also, 9 3/4" radius is readily available in sectional track. This can be easier to work with when trying to get "smaller" radii, rather than trying to lay flex track in a consistent, smooth curve.

    Andrew
  17. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    so is 9-3/4" radius the absolute largest i can use?
  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are limited to 20" wide, then yes 9 3/4" radius (19 1/2" diameter) is the biggest you can fit and not have the track hang over the edge.

    9 3/4" radius in Nscale seems to be fairly standard as a minimum, much like 18" radius in HO scale.

    If you wanted to try even smaller, you would have to go to something narrow gauge, like Nn30 (30 Nscale inch track gauge), or Nn3 (36 Nscale inches). One of those (I can't remember which) basically uses Zscale track for narrow gauge Nscale locos. You might be able to get down to a ~6" radius (12" diameter, requiring a ~14" board).

    Andrew
  19. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,837
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been out of N scale for awhile now, but when I was in, 9 3/4" radius was the "Standard" for N scale curved sectional track. Same as 18" was the standard for HO. Now they have 22" and 24" curved sectional track for HO, so...I'm assuming they opened up the radius for N scale sectional track also.
    But...You know what they say about assuming......
  20. ho_scale_rail

    ho_scale_rail Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok thanks for all the help, so if i use 9-3/4" radius track will that limit what i can run?