N-Scale Modeler Trying to Get Started

Pennsy_thru_Philly Sep 5, 2011

  1. Pennsy_thru_Philly

    Pennsy_thru_Philly New Member

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    Hello Folks,

    I'm getting back into the hobby after a long, long time. I modeled N-scale back in the 1970s as a teen and have been away from the hobby since the 80s after I got married, got busy in other things, and my interest waned. Now I'm itching to get back, seeking to build a hollow-core door layout.

    Being away for eons and with the many changes in the hobby, I'll probably be pestering you for some help. I'd sure appreciate any assistance you can offer.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  2. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome aboard. One of the first things you might want to consider is what type of track you might want to use, with some of the most popular options being Atlas code 55 flextrack (beautiful), Peco code 55 flextrack (less beautiful but more tolerant of older rolling stock having large flanges), and Kato Unitrack (even less beautiful, but perhaps the easiest type with which to get reliable trackwork). Atlas code 80 sectional track and code 80 flex track, just as you may remember from the 1970s, is still available as well, but I would rate the previous 3 choices ahead of it. There have been multiple discussion threads here on the merits of different N scale track systems.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome to TrainBoard!

    The hollow core door ("HCD") is a very popular way to go. There have been many posts about such in our N Scale Forum, Layout Planning Forum and we also have an HCD Society Group area here as well. Check them out and I am certain you'll find many, many ideas!
     
  4. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

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    Bring it on, Brian! That's what we're here for. And welcome aboard! :)
     
  5. Pennsy_thru_Philly

    Pennsy_thru_Philly New Member

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    Thanks Carl. I already have some Atlas code 80 track and turnouts. From what you're saying here, I would think mixing code 55 with what I already have, if possible, will not look very good. Given that money's tight and I already have the code 80 track, I think I'll stick with that. I saw in an email a product called "Rusty Rails" which can give rails a more realistic look. That product can be found at http://www.joesmodeltrains.com/Rusty Rails Painter.htm. Just getting started, I want to get down to the real important stuff first.
     
  6. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome aboard! I would agree about track, mainly a personal choice. For me the Atlas Code 55 works great and looks great. I use Kato track for the T-Trak modules as that is the standard and it is very reliable track as well.
     
  7. PW&NJ

    PW&NJ TrainBoard Member

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    I'm in the same boat as you, Brian. My budget for trains is approximately -$1/month, so I need to make do with what I've got, which happens to be old Atlas code 80 track and a bunch of old locos/cars. I've got a box of buildings (houses, businesses and industries) and will probably rely heavily on printed cardstock buildings to get what I need done. My original plan was to build a HCD layout, but time/money/etc. limitations make that impossible for the time being, so I've scaled back my plans in favor of a smaller N-trak module (2x4 NYC harbor terminal layout with N-trak passing over top on elevated tracks). Thanks to the generosity of a fellow TrainBoarder, I now have all but 2 small switches necessary to build the layout. And I've got most of the lumber necessary, too. I'm even building my own engines, special rolling stock, and other structures in my spare (yeah right!) time.

    Anyway, there's LOTS of things you can do with Code 80 rails to make them look more realistic looking. Painting and/or coloring them with a marker, painting the ties, using a good ballast mixture, burying them in the dirt. Lots of options! And there are loads of great tips here on TB on how to build your set in a very frugal way.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you've got planned! :)
     
  8. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    I also have a lot of Atlas code 80 track installed, largely because when I restarted in N scale back in 2004 I followed old habits. I have found that Peco code 80 turnouts work great, and that the Atlas code 80 turnouts not as reliable to use, and since turnouts can be a major cause of derailments, I have transitioned mostly to using Peco code 80 turnouts in those parts of my layout that use Atlas code 80 track.
     
  9. MVW

    MVW E-Mail Bounces

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    Hey Brian,

    Welcome aboard. Sounds like we have a lot in common, including being new trainboard members.

    I switched from HO to N a little more than a year ago, and my first HCD layout is up and running (and a lot of fun). Eventually, if everything goes according to plan, this original HCD will be a module incorporated into a much larger layout. I'm envisioning 14 HCD/modules in the final product (someday).

    Not much wrong with the Code 80. It's certainly not as attractive as the Code 55, but there was a supply problem with the Code 55 when I made the switch to N, so I went with the 80. Painting and ballasting will do a lot to improve the appearance of the Code 80.

    Good luck!

    Jim
     
  10. Pennsy_thru_Philly

    Pennsy_thru_Philly New Member

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    Thanks all! I appreciate the input from everyone. It's great to see that you are all willing to share info to make the hobby better for those who need help. I'll be sure to do the same once I get grounded in the hobby again.
     
  11. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Hi. There you are. I found your post.
    I visited Phillie in July, took some pictures, have some modeling ideas to share. was about to put them up when a STORM came. I figured Phillie people might be too busy with storm stuff for my train ramblings.
    Are things settled down enough I could post some stuff without offending disaster victims?

    One of my crazy ideas is a Layout Design Element featuring the "Rocky" stairs at the Philoadelphia Museum of Art.
    The town is Phillie but I don't think the RR is PRR...
    [​IMG]
     

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