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Old 13th May 2012, 15:55   #1
CuriousCoot
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Default I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

Well, new is kind of a relative term. Relatives of mine ain't a lot OLDER than I am so in that respect nope, I'm ain't new. Bit tarnished maybe and certainly dinged up a bit. But the motor is in tip top condition and while there's snow on the roof, my fire box is blazing away!

So, I decided after a lifetime of daydreaming that it's time! And I rearranged my house to provide about a 5x5 area I can dedicate to this model RR fascination. I am going to go N Scale unless anybody can dissuade me from this scale for a beginner.

I have done some modelling over the years. (No not in front of the camera!) I've done quite a bit of scenery creation, but for miniature war-gaming. I think the last time I had anything to do with plaster was after that little mishap with the neighbor's cat and my front steps. Didn't do a lot of detailing on that one though. Not after the looks I got over the nice little tree scenic I made on my knee out of boredom. Doctor was not amused.

So, being an Old-timer Newbie I know there is a world of learning I need to do before I pick up track one so please, anybody, point me towards what ever you can think a daydreaming curious old coot needs to start getting started.

Thanks.
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Old 13th May 2012, 19:40   #2
Made in Italy
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

First of all welcome, then if you'll give us an idea of your projects everyone here will be happy to help you.
Franco
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Old 14th May 2012, 03:49   #3
BR60103
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

Welcome.
N scale is a good a place to start as any, but it probably doesn't match any of the leftover wargaming.
5x5 is a reasonable size. Just be careful what you put in the middle -- things over 2 feet away get awkward to work with.
You need a reasonable hobby shop, preferably one that sells lots of trains. Look for a couple of books -- titles like Building a N gauge Railway -- and check for one written in the last 10 years, if possible.
Try not to buy too much stuff. We all say it because we all did it and we (think we) know better now.
Ask questions. Even basic ones like what track should I buy. You'll find that there are between 3 and 20 ways to do anything in model railroading and they all work for someone but not everyone.
Let us know what you want to model. We'll all have opinions about that, too.
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Old 14th May 2012, 16:03   #4
CuriousCoot
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Made in Italy View Post
First of all welcome, then if you'll give us an idea of your projects everyone here will be happy to help you.
Franco
Hi Franco. Thanks for the welcome! I'm finding a warmer than normal welcome from just about everybody I encounter in this new endeavour.

My project is going to be a 3x5 L shaled layout as it stands now. But that *IS* open to change as I learn more. I guess my FIRST decision should be whether I want to concentrate on the display and modelling or if I want functiopnality of an operating railroad model as well. I'd think the second choice would be what era to model in. I LOVE the steam era of the 1880's - the 1940's but I'm not seeing a lot of stuff made building wise for the earlier part of that time frame.

Gosh, beyond that I gotta learn wiring and SO Many other things.... This COULD end up being a great learning experience as well as a good hobby!

Bruce Kingsbury
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Old 14th May 2012, 16:04   #5
CuriousCoot
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

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Originally Posted by BR60103 View Post
Welcome.
N scale is a good a place to start as any, but it probably doesn't match any of the leftover wargaming.
5x5 is a reasonable size. Just be careful what you put in the middle -- things over 2 feet away get awkward to work with.
You need a reasonable hobby shop, preferably one that sells lots of trains. Look for a couple of books -- titles like Building a N gauge Railway -- and check for one written in the last 10 years, if possible.
Try not to buy too much stuff. We all say it because we all did it and we (think we) know better now.
Ask questions. Even basic ones like what track should I buy. You'll find that there are between 3 and 20 ways to do anything in model railroading and they all work for someone but not everyone.
Let us know what you want to model. We'll all have opinions about that, too.
I am initially planning a 5x5 L shape with 3' legs on the L. I'm hoping that will work.
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Old 14th May 2012, 16:29   #6
RW James
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

Let me add my welcome...

I model HO, but I have modified a few small N scale locomotives into HO narrow gauge (30" gauge in HO, 27" in OO). One of the reasons you won't much older steam in N scale is because they are so small. That is, the motors have to be smaller and the gearing is more difficult to get them to run at scale speeds. I'm not saying it can't be done - just more difficult and expensive. I think you would be better of with later 20th century steam, perhaps mixed with some early diesels.

Which brings me to my nest question - where do you live - and where do you intend to model? I live in the US and model both British and US. It makes a difference regarding your choices.
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Old 15th May 2012, 20:30   #7
CuriousCoot
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

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Originally Posted by RW James View Post
Let me add my welcome...

I model HO, but I have modified a few small N scale locomotives into HO narrow gauge (30" gauge in HO, 27" in OO). One of the reasons you won't much older steam in N scale is because they are so small. That is, the motors have to be smaller and the gearing is more difficult to get them to run at scale speeds. I'm not saying it can't be done - just more difficult and expensive. I think you would be better of with later 20th century steam, perhaps mixed with some early diesels.

Which brings me to my nest question - where do you live - and where do you intend to model? I live in the US and model both British and US. It makes a difference regarding your choices.
I live in Western South Carolina and it will be here that I do a layout. Your point about the actual size and the detail necessary to make a steam engine look good is something I mightr never have realized. Thank you. Looking at some of the later larger steam engines I see where those will look more realistic than the early smaller Steamies.

Thank you for your help. ALL of you, thank you very much.
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Old 16th May 2012, 02:51   #8
BR60103
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

Getting into small N scale locos you encounter an extra problem: dust. Even in HO scale locos can stop dead because of small bits of grit on the track. When N first came out (ca 1962) one of the magazines printed a layout plan and suggested that it should be covered and sealed to protect it.
When you have a small loco with only 4 drivers picking up current, a bit of dirt that lifts one driver will often list the other driver on that side and current is interrupted. This is due to rigid frames holding all the axles in one plane.
It can be overcome with a lot of attention to rail cleaning.
But that's one reason that N doesn't have abundant small lokies.
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Old 17th May 2012, 00:18   #9
CuriousCoot
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

Thanks David. As I read, I remembered hearing that from years past. I have always admired model trains in HO and N scale so after kind of ignoring this hobby for a decade or two I am seeing so many changes! Interesting though that some of the same cautions come up again too. Believe me, I am depending on your reminders so please don't hesitate to shoot them my way. I am a sponge!
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Old 17th May 2012, 02:21   #10
BR60103
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Default Re: I guess this is the place for a new guy huh?

I just noticed an ad today for new 4-4-0s in N.
The last one I had was over 30 years ago, so I'm quite out of date!
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