N Scale or HO Scale?

Colonel Jan 27, 2013

  1. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Today I had lunch with a good friend and fellow modeller, we were discussing my pending new layout and progress of his N scale layout. I was surprised when he suggested whether or not switching to HO would be the way to go.

    I am approaching 50 and am aware of issues around working with N scale. Of course you get more layout for the space however HO provides easier sound in locomotives and DCC conversion. As i am building more of a end to end switching layout maybe HO is an option. I have a lot of N scale rollingstock and locomotives however selling this may help fund the new project.

    How many of you have switched to HO for the fact as you get old eyesight is an issue?
  2. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I wonder who would suggest such a thing?? ;)
  3. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks Gary yes all because of you my modelling world is in a spin :)

    Here is a comparison between a N scale Sd40-2 and a Ho SD40-2

  4. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    If going to HO makes you a happier model railroader, then make the switch.

    BUT...make sure you convert another HO scaler to N scale so as not to upset the balance of the universe. :)
  5. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    Not only the eyes but the fingers as well. I have difficult time handling the smaller parts in N.
  6. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    We all have to deal with various changes as time passes, and the additional possibilities for detailing that can be better seen and appreciated are definately there. I suppose the real question is which one will be more comfortable and satisfying for you - although you'd better stay MP or an eagle will come do his business on your layout!
  7. bigford

    bigford TrainBoard Member

    at 39 i like both and both have there + & -. Nothing looks cooler
    then 3 sd40-2 and 40 or more bethgons rolling down the rails
    But if you cant handle them without breaking something or
    dropping them then go large
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Are you having health issues? Or just anticipating a possibility?
  9. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    I'm lucky, I'm near-sighted.

    O scale is great if you want to model an engine. HO is nice if you want to model a train. N scale is awesome if you want to model a railroad.
  10. paperkite

    paperkite TrainBoard Member

    Yep, I agree ...
  11. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

    I've gone from Z to N to HO and I'm looking at On30. Arthritis in the hands and fingers is probably the main reason. I don't have more than an 10x11 foot bedroom but I find with HO I have enough room. Jim
  12. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    I need reading glasses for close up work. So with the vision issues I find N scale would be ideal for a large layout because I'm always limited to about a 2 foot viewing range. A switching layout might be a hassle in N scale since I'd probably use manual uncoupling.

    In your layout build discussion you mentioned you wanted a switching layout. So why not test out HO and build a sectional track time saver and run it with one loco and a handful of cars in HO. You can get the track down and be running in a day. That way you can keep your N scale collection and see if you actually enjoy running HO scale trains.

    I switched back to HO scale. I do miss my cute N scale stuff ( I kept a few choice items just in case.) but the perspective of watching my trains from 20 feet away is a different experience and I am enjoying it quite a bit now. But I still plot and dream of a N scale layout too.

    Then again, If I were to do a switching layout I might go for O scale. It's just so huge and chunky. So yeah, GO O SCALE! ;)
  13. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

  14. glakedylan

    glakedylan TrainBoard Member

    while i still have all my HO locomotives and rolling stock....enough to enjoy HO scale modeling....I find that when it comes to HO that most things simply cost a lot more than N scale equivalents, from track to locomotives to rolling stock. selling all of my N Scale would only provide some of what $ I would need to have the same HO Scale items.

    so, going larger would be going less in more than just what you can fit in a space.

    something to consider?

    Gary L Lake Dillensnyder
  15. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    some excellent responses, Ken no health issues at this stage however I am now wearing multifocal glasses and I'm not getting younger. The reason I went to N scale was to run long trains and continuous running however as I matured in my modelling I became more interested in detailing locomotives and switching n the layout. I got bored with watching the trains run around the layout and my interest waned.

    However I see some real opportunities with DCC and sound, although you can with N scale as well i am not inclined to try and retrofit to my existing N scale roster. I have over 70 locomotives in N scale and I figure for a HO switching layout I will only require approx 6 to 8 locomotives and not a great deal of rollingstock to switch. I can super detail the locos and have fun with DCC.

    Looks like I have already made my decision hmmm now should i stick with MoPac or consider modelling my own rail here in Sydney :). Thankfully it costs nothing while in the design stages.
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    OK. The above quote gives better direction. With this, I can see how HO would now be a good fit.

    Paul, I am in my early sixties and have also compensated for weakened with glasses. But I expect some day I will be forced from N. My hands are an issue, with major nerve damage due to disease and multiple injuries. But I am leaning more toward something whimsical. Freedom from worry above a prototype. Such as HOn30 or On30. I have experience in both, so.... Or will it be back to where I started, with Post-War Lionel? Isn't it wonderful to have so many possibilities? The hardest part is making a decision, and sticking with it!
  17. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Very true you know for once in a long time I am actually excited to get back into modelling, my N scale layout has pretty much laid dormant for the past 5 years
  18. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    I've been gone from the internet for an hour and you haven't built your layout yet? he he J/k

    i've seen some nice Aussie layouts online. Modern outline would be quite interesting.
  19. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

    Well, I am nearing 51, with tri focals, and really enjoy detailing locomotives, steam specifically. I used to work in HO and switched to N both for the challenge and the ability to have a lot more RR in proportion to space and scenery. And the new stuff coming out is so well detailed and runs so nice, I just can't see dropping out of N in my future.

    However, a friend of mine here has a layout with HO, S and Lionel all running together! And he loves it! So, do the RRing that works for you best and ENJOY it!!!!!
  20. pdx1955

    pdx1955 TrainBoard Member

    I have known only one person who went from N to HO because of eyesight issues - they had serious issues, not just needing bifocals etc. HO may be larger, but a lot of the details that we dont care about in N because they are too small, become needed in HO. So you might end up needing to detail your HO engines more than the N, so the small part thresold and the issues with them stays the same.


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