Newbie here. HO Scale or N Scale?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by luigi, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. luigi

    luigi New Member

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    :wave: Hello. I am new to the gauge,and this hobby. My dad used to set up an HO Scale setup for me when I was a kid, and well I,ve gotten the bug.
    I guess this is probably a tough question to ask, but I'm having a hard time trying to decide wether to set up an n scale or HO scale. Can someone please note some pros and cons to the two of them. I'm pretty much starting from scratch,and have not purchased either setups yet. I have visited this site quite often and really like it. Many of you have some awesome layouts,and are an inspiration to get this fire started.:thumb:
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:

    I prefer HO and do most of my model work in that scale. However, for an operations oriented layout in the available space, N is hard to beat. Couple that with an N scale layout that was given to me last year and I now have two scales in my house.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    a few questions for you:

    1) How much space do you have?

    2) what time frame/era do you think you enjoy most?

    3) Do you like to scratchbuild/detail/kitbash?

    If I was modeling diesel era, and had less than about 10x10' space, I think I would go with N scale. If you are more interested in steam engines, there is definitely much less available in N, especially for smaller steamers.

    kevin
  4. luigi

    luigi New Member

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    Well, space is not a huge issue for me. I have a partially undevelopment basement right now. I was thinking about 2x 4'x8' sheets of plywood together shaped to form an L, or maybe a u shaped design.
    As far as era goes I prefer the 50's and 60's. I thought about doing mountain scene with small town. I don't mind kit bashing. I'm just thinknig that I can fit more in N scale on this platform than I would be able to in HO Scale. Thanks.
  5. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

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    I started in HO relized I didnt have enuf room to do all the stuff I wanted to so I sold all that and turned to N with the help of the N scaler at the club. I am a RTR type but ocasionally bash some buildings together you can get a lot more stuff in a N scale layout but there is a lot more varity in HO so both have pro's and cons.. hope I helped!!
  6. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

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    if you like more detail and less track and buildins in such go with HO scale.if you like big size differences in scenery or like lots of track and operations,go with N scale.i model in HO but i have a 10 by 10 room which is plenty of space,but if you have small spaces go with N.but make sure you have a magnifying glass and good hands if you model in N
    --josh
  7. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    For HO a good beginning would be a 4' x 8' and for N a small L- Shaped shelf layout in one corner of the room.

    I think that what was said above by the other members was all correct- the main thing is to get started doing something, to have fun and to be prepared to make mistakes.
  8. nolatron

    nolatron Member

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    I was thining of doing my next (now current) layout in HO, but I stuck with n-scale because of the size.

    I'm doing a 10x14' L shaped shelf layout and I can do so much more in N scale. I can run 7-8' trains and still have the space for sidings to have two of them meet each other. With HO, I wouldn't have been able to close to that.

    I love the details and variety you can get with HO, but the size of N-scale wins everytime for me.
  9. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    Just an idea for N Gauge- not to scale.

    Here is an idea that I came up with useing MS Paint- I'm @ work so can't do something properly. Try and download design sofware like Xtrack Cad or 3rd PlanIt to let you see what actually can be done in a certain space.

    The layout is a simple design for a N scale shelf layout, it is not to scale but rather just to give an idea. To save money all you need to do is buy points and flex track- in my opinion don't waste time with sectional track.

    Attached Files:

  10. luigi

    luigi New Member

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    Thanx for the replies and ideas.I do want to try sidings and switches, etc, I'll just have to do a little more homework on that stuff. As well, I really like mountains and small towns/ghost towns,so I think I'll play around with some plans and see what unfolds. Thanx again for the tips and ideas.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Just remember that your maximum reach (depending on how long your arms are) will be between 30-36 inches. You can use a full size 4 x 8 only if you have acess aon both sides. If part of it has to be against the wall, you need to cut it down to 24-30 inches wide to reach the back.
  12. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

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    If you have the space don't hesitate for 1 second and go the HO scale way, your eyesight will thank you when you'll get older :)
    I started to appreciate N scale because for me it was N scale or a smalll HO switching scale on a hollow core door or ... nothing at all .