Is N-Scale the New "Big Dog"?

Maxwell Plant Mar 19, 2000

  1. Danimal

    Danimal TrainBoard Member

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    My LL gp20s really run well, I was very impressed. If LL continues in this direction we may have our n-scale Athearn!
     
  2. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have 4 GP20's on my roster and I found them to be excellent. For half the price of Kato and Atlas they are certainly good value. Life Like may just keep Atlas and Kato on their toes. I'm looking forward to seeing what Life Like will be offering next after the E6. For the price of 1 Kato locomotive I can buy 2 Life like which helps populate a roster. You can see my GP20's at my website http://members.optusnet.com.au/~pcassar/index


    [This message has been edited by Colonel (edited 23 March 2000).]
     
  3. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

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    My main reason for moving to N scale is to be able to create massive scenery that makes scale model railroading a little more like the real thing. I find that the lack of fine detail doesn't degrade from the hobby as N can be somewhat forgiving. Good track laying is a challenge though. If I had the space and money then O scale would be my choice. N scale is satisfies my needs for now.

    [/B][/QUOTE]
     
  4. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Is N-Scale the new 'Big Dog'?

    NO. It isn't, and probably will never be in Australia or the US, at least. But Europe, it is getting closer and in Asia, particularly, Japan, N has the greater share of the market due to space constrictions. Colonel mentioned it in his post - 'with the cost of property worldwide it is certainly easier finding space for a nice sized N scale layout.'
    For most, the dream of a huge home with abundant space for a layout is just that - a dream. Sure, we can go into debt to the eyeballs to get the home, but then there's little left to indulge in our hobby. But with N, you can get closer to making the compromise.
    I've been modelling in N for over 20 years. The last 15 years have seen a quantum leap in locomotive and rolling stock availablility and quality. Yes, limited production runs stir the ire of many, but anyone who has had the fortune to read any of George Johnson's (deLuxe Innovations) replies, amongst others, to the N-List regarding supply and demand, and production concerns, will have a better idea of what the manufacturers have to deal with when planning in advance.
    N has come a long way and now is in the forefront of releasing new models. Whether loco, rolingstock, or structure, great models have bcome available recently that has stirred the collective annoyance of the scale crowds.
    Righteous indignation? Maybe, but 'they' have had the good times for a long time and now the shoe is on the other foot. N currently is a more dynamic market and I feel will remain so. We, as a collective, are more vigourous in our efforts to create and produce. The number of N specific forums out there is noticeable and the members more vocal - it could be said we are more passionate about our scale. It has been the also-ran for a long time, and is considered in some circles as merely a 'toy'. Well, the toy has gotten a little serious, huh?
    So, is N-Scale the new 'Big Dog'? Nah... it doesn't need to be. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog.

    Apologies for the long-windedness... soap box is back in the closet :)
     
  5. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

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    "To be the Big Dog, you have to get from under the porch..." {Big Dob Clothing Inc.} I think the "Size Matters" argument is squelched here. Like you said, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the fight in the dog!" To me, that makes N THE BIG DOG! And I think you're wrong, N will eclipes HO in % popularity in the US, it's just a matter of when. [​IMG]

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    MAX-RAILROADER
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am sure that N scale is not yet anywhere near HO in % terms, here in the UK yet, but is increasing all the time. Due, I am sure to the improvements in quality of available equipment over a relatively short time. A few years ago I would not have considered N scale, but now it is the ideal scale for anyone with limited space, and the running qualities are superb.

    Perhaps it is the relative 'newness' that is causing N scale posts to outstrip HO, but we are catching up [​IMG]


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    Alan

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
    http://eurogallery.homestead.com
     
  7. StickyMonk

    StickyMonk Staff Member

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    if i were to start out in model railroading now i would concider N scale but i still think i would have chosen HO as my main scale as getting a collection of N scale items would be very hard as everything is limited run, i have been doing n for a few years now and i still have not yet seen a Kato GP38-2 for sale, dont have that prob in HO, until the manufactures stop doing limited runs people will be put off...

    just my thourghts [​IMG]

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    wheres all the C636's????
    http://www.stickymonk.com
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  8. Chris McDaniel

    Chris McDaniel TrainBoard Member

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    I agree with StickyMonk on this one. Limited runs of good quality models is a big problem in N. I understand the business logic behind limited runs, but I don't have to like it as a modeler. About 90 percent of my models are N and the rest HO and O. There are models available in plastic or resin in the larger scales that I won't see in N for years (if ever).

    The strength of the larger scales is the availablility of quite a variety and number of good equipment and kits like Westerfield or Red Caboose. Although I see limited run fever in the larger scales as well.

    The strength of N scale, right now, seems to be modern (post 1980) equipment. Also, I think N scalers, through N-Trak/module meets, have done a great job in showcasing model railroading to the general public.

    One weakness of N scale is good quality steam (non-brass). There are plenty of nice kits and RTR freight and passenger rolling stock for the 1920s and 1930s, but just try to find a nice light Pacific or light Mike to pull those trains. Yep, there's Kato's heavy Mike and some articulated's out there, but we need some more of the common workhorses from the first half of the 1900s (0-6-0s, 2-8-0s (coming), 2-6-0s, etc.)

    I'll keep supporting N manufacturers when they produce good models (particularly for southeastern US railroads). But, I'll keep my fingers in the larger scale pot as well.

    Look Ahead, Look South
     
  9. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm not saying it will not happen, or when if it does, but I can't see N in the forseeable future eclipsing HO as the major scale. It's still too esorteric. And that is what I like about N.
    It doesn't need to be the big dog - I'm more than happy to see it be the smart dog. [​IMG]

    Gary.
     
  10. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  11. zinker55

    zinker55 TrainBoard Member

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    Issues Max you have plenty of Issues <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Maxwell Plant:
    "To be the Big Dog, you have to get from under the porch..." {Big Dob Clothing Inc.} I think the "Size Matters" argument is squelched here. Like you said, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the fight in the dog!" To me, that makes N THE BIG DOG! And I think you're wrong, N will eclipes HO in % popularity in the US, it's just a matter of when. [​IMG]

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  12. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  13. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    hi, Colonel, I was wondering when I'd get a bite. [​IMG]
    No, not a politician. Maybe a Cat.1 liasion officer? (Don't let that get out!)

    esoteric = intended for or understood by only a particular group.

    Maybe not the best term for describing where N is but we should all get the drift.

    Gary.

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    Gary A. Rose
    http://www.pnc.com.au/~audiosat/ - The Unofficial TC&W page
    N to the Nth degree!
     
  14. Designdog

    Designdog TrainBoard Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SD75I:
    First of all "N Scale Rules! It is on the rise not only with variety but with detail also. I have been collecting for about 10 years now and have a over a century worth of engines. I still think we need one more manufacturer that is KATO/Atlas quality. Why do we have to wait for things until the manufacturer is ready to give it to us? As me and others thought, Atlas was going to do a SD70 series and now that it doesn't fit on the SD60 frame it at least for now will not be done. The last HO engine they ran with the cantanary? Is there that many modelers that would by that? A SD70 series would sell out in a heartbeat? And KATO? Why can't we have a Santa Fe unit now? Why do we have to wait until they are ready? I personally would buy 4? I know I gripe about these small things, but overall N Scale has a great variety of rolling stock. Anybody buy any alan curtis spine cars? Are they hard to put together? Thanks all and God Bless!

    Dave
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    N scale has grown tremendously in the last 20 years. I started out in HO, went to N in the early 70s when N scale locos were pathetic and the "dead frog" Atlas turnouts were even worse, making me push locos thru the turnouts. But now we have better locos, better turnouts and lots of modern equipment. The only thing we still don't have are well performing steam locomotives with high quality motors and gearing. N scale will never rule until we have a greater choice in the "steam" department. Most N scalers have given up and gone to all modern diesel layouts and that's where we're stuck.
     
    hoosiersojer likes this.
  15. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Reynard Wellman:
    N scale has grown tremendously in the last 20 years. I started out in HO, went to N in the early 70s when N scale locos were pathetic and the "dead frog" Atlas turnouts were even worse, making me push locos thru the turnouts. But now we have better locos, better turnouts and lots of modern equipment. The only thing we still don't have are well performing steam locomotives with high quality motors and gearing. N scale will never rule until we have a greater choice in the "steam" department. Most N scalers have given up and gone to all modern diesel layouts and that's where we're stuck.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    From the stand point of modeling N in the 70's, I feel your pain. But as far as feeling "stuck" in the modern era, I don't by any means. I would love to see you steam fans get a great running loco that didn't cost an arm and a leg. But it wouldn't make me "back-date", no way! I love the glory days of railroading, but to me, the glory days are not what's happening now and that's what I model. Lack of equipment is the only thing that's holding us back. It doesn't matter if it's steam, electric, or diesel-electric, we aren't getting enought. I may barf if I see one more E or F unit released. [​IMG] I know many are screeming for ALCO's and Modern diesel-electrics, what's holding them up? Appathy and a lack of listening to the customer. [​IMG] That's a hell of a way to run a business...It's the same kind of thinking that almost put K-Mart out or business, but they learned. Maybe Atlas, Kato and everyone else will finally learn too. "If you build it, they will come."



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    RAILROADING-TO-THE-MAX!
    Brent Tidaback
     
  16. Designdog

    Designdog TrainBoard Member

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    As a designer of N and Z scale products I have experienced more than pain in researching and developing good products for our customers. Before getting into this business I was just a consumer of these items and had no way of measuring the problems and expense of bringing new products to market. It is easy to look at a picture of a great looking Train Master or a narrow gauge Mikado and say "Why don't they make this?" but man, it really takes a long time and a big pile of money to machine all the dies, molds, develop the gear sets and chassis, set up the paint stations, transfer printing stations, packaging etc. It for this reason that many manufacturers resort to building just one or two engines and then are forever offering the same thing in different paint schemes.

    As the decades roll by you will see many gaps filled in the loco department and some of the items will perform very well while others will eventually only serve as a filler for a diorama (ie some plastic 4-4-0 Americans I know). I don't complain about the price of a well performing quality locomotive, in fact I cherish them. They are quite an accomplishment and are well worth the wait and the expense.
    --Rey
     
  17. StickyMonk

    StickyMonk Staff Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Maxwell Plant:


    I may barf if I see one more E or F unit released.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    you think N-scale has enough F and E's you should take a look at HO....

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    wheres all the C636's????
    stickymonk.com
    Matts Photo gallery
     

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