Reminicing back to 1982 N Scale stuff.

Calzephyr Nov 24, 2018

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    3,617
    265
    57
    I got back into model railroading around this time in 1982. I had been an HO modeler as a kid until 1971... when I went into a long hiatus due to a move from Maryland to Florida. In 1982... recently married and expecting our 1st child... I decided to look check out model trains again. Living in a studio apartment pretty much ruled out anything larger than N scale. I went to the largest hobby shop in South Florida... Orange Blossom Hobbies. To my surprise their was reasonable selection of N scale... the staff recommended a Model Power set with Minitrix F units (Santa Fe) due to reliability.
    To help my wife accept my renewed hobby interest... I bought some hoppers and flat cars... which on Christmas Day... had little jewelry items on them running around a 4' natural pine tree with tiny light and decorations. She loved it... and accepted my new hobby. Most Christmas' thereafter were for the kids... so she didn't have any more trains running around a tree with jewelry. She still got the 'bling' every so often... but not the same effect without the train. She isn't much into the jewelry anymore... so doing another train set up would require G scale or larger (1:1) to give her things she likes (LOL).

    So thinking back to how you got into this hobby.... any interesting stories???



    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  2. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

    2,278
    3,345
    61
    Dad. Trainset on a 4x8 for Christmas. It was a Tyco CB&Q set in silver. Had hours of fun and creative release until joining the Navy. It may have had an influence on my after Navy career choice, working at the Boise Loco shop! When time and space finally allowed, N-scale showed up in Livingston, MT where I was still rewiring locomotives!
     
    Calzephyr and Hardcoaler like this.
  3. SLSF Freak

    SLSF Freak Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    1,047
    313
    35
    My dad has always been into trains from what I can remember. I got into the hobby in the mid-70s when my parents bought me a Tyco bi-centennial set. My dad however was into n-scale. It only took a couple years to realize that to make things more compatible, I should also be in n-scale so I got my first couple n-scale sets. Bachmann Auto-Train and later the Amtrak Metroliner sets. I still have them although they're pretty beat up from rough play.

    As far as "interesting stories" goes - in those early years my dad was stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii. He and a bunch of guys formed a train club that met in an old hangar on Ford Island - Pearl Harbor. So when my dad took me along, we'd take the Ford Island car ferry from the main island which was a neat experience. Drive onto the boat, hang out on deck for 10 minutes then drive over to the hangar. As the ferry coasted across the harbor, you saw the USS Arizona Memorial and the oil on the water's surface leaking from the ship - as well as rusted out remnants/parts of other battleships at long wasted away docks. The hangar itself was fascinating (to me) - as my dad pointed out that all the pock marks on the side of the building were bullet holes from the attack back in 1941. The room inside the hangar lent itself to a huge layout. Since it was early days, I never saw it beyond framework and raw track. The largest layout was H.O. and then there was a kid's table size layout for the n-scalers. As with all military things, the experience lasted as long as my dad's assignment so we were gone before any scenery was laid.

    I do also remember during those years dumping one of my dad's friends PA sets on the floor. We were at my dad's friend's house where he was showing off the layout. They let me have the throttle (which was set with momentum "on" - a new feature back then so I was unfamiliar with how that operated.) So his train was cruising along "at speed" on an unfinished layout when I realized there was a dead-end and drop off to the floor about three feet away from the head of that train. My dad and his friend weren't paying attention to me, they were either talking base stuff or trains behind me. I panicked, shut the knob to zero and of course nothing happened...as I screamed "AAAHHHHhhhh!!" my dad and his friend rushed over to help, but it was too late. Those two PAs and about three passenger cars formed a perfect parabolic ballistic arc from an altitude of about five feet. I thought for sure I was going to get a whoopin' but I think they understood the real mistake was giving a kid the controls to a layout with cliffs off the main. So, they were cool about it. Er, or about as cool as they could be...lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  4. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    3,617
    265
    57
    Wow good stories.

    Interests from our childhood can affect our career path.

    Hawai'ia'N' scale in a WWII aircraft hanger.
    I know... it was HO... but couldn't help to give N scale top billing ;-)

    I can personally relate to the flying diesels. It happened on an unfinished/unprotected curve of my layout... about 5' off the tile floor. I am my own harshest critic on that debacle.



    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
     
  5. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    1,234
    885
    29
    Heck I had been in 9mm modeling 20 years by 1982 and my double deck layout was in storage due to my divorce, then. It's still a sad memory. That layout was brought out of storage and reassembled in 1988 but eventually dismantled and disposed of in 1994. So, specifically, in 1982, my N scale modeling was pretty much at a standstill. Not that I wanted it to be, however.

    Doug
     
    badlandnp likes this.
  6. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    503
    457
    13
    It was probably closer to 85 when I got a box under the tree with a bunch of Atlas Track and a couple of switches.
    The second box had the cars and loco from a Santa Fe YardMaster set, I remember the Silver Southern gondola, the white Lehigh Valley box car especially well.

    Later that week he brought home a piece of plywood covered in green felt and cork and we assembled an oval with passing loop, and a third switch which led to a piece of flex track as a freight siding.
    I had two blocks I could turn off, the inner loop and the siding. And electric switches!
    This was high tech geewhiz stuff to me.

    And a roughly cut piece of styrofoam block with a tunnel thru it for a mountain.
    At some point I got a warehouse with a freight platform for my siding.

    That layout made it all the way down to Argentina where I played with it until I was 15 and came home for a year. When I went back the steamer had quit, my diesel switcher wasn’t as much fun to run, and the layout had to come off the board as my younger brother needed a new base of his bed. .
     
  7. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

    590
    572
    14
    I was 6 years old... Not much going on at my house then involving trains. I didn't have the greatest childhood, and didn't get into model trains until I was in my mid 20s. Not much help to the topic I suppose.
     
  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    4,393
    7,422
    77
    I think I've been infatuated with trains since I could point, starting with wooden trains on the floor, then a battery-powered HO set, then to a Penn Line HO set, then to my brother's Lionel and on to N in 1968 where I've been since.

    My Dad wasn't a railfan or modeler, but was very supportive of it all and built numerous basement train tables over the years.
     
    Calzephyr and WM183 like this.
  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    9,132
    3,467
    138
    First train set was Lionel 3 rail. I remember the loading milk car and a few other things and it was on a sheet of plywood under the bed. Steam was still running in my early years which accounts for my love of steam though out my modeling years. Lived a half mile from where steamers from both the GN and NP were busy with the sugar beet and grain harvests in the fall and passenger service/ mail service was via a gas electric Baggage and mail sections and a coach section. Later on GP 7s and 9s of both roads. After a stint in the military I took up HO scale for awhile and then transitioned to N scale in the very early years when everything was European and if you wanted US style you built it as far as structures went. First N scale steamer was a 0-4-0 and a 0-6-0. The 0-6-0- I almost immediately converted to a 2-6-0 cab forward with a slope back Bachmann tender. Back then there were plentiful detail parts available to be able to do almost anything you wanted.
     
  10. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

    813
    592
    18
    One year for Christmas I got my first .22 rifle. My brother was younger than I, so he got an HO train set. I got into the trains way more than he did, so a couple of years later, the gifts were reversed; he got a .22 and I got a train set. I dabbled off and on with the HO stuff through high school.

    In the Air Force, I needed to downsize, so traded my HO stuff (mostly Tyco) for a bunch of N scale. Still wasn't serious about it, even though in Germany we discovered the wonderful world of European N scale. Greatly expanded the collection, but it mostly stayed in boxes.

    Back in the civilian world, kids growing up, we made a few attempts at layouts, mostly self-sabotaged by my overly ambitious plans. Eventually, things went back into the boxes.

    Several years ago while on Amazon, I stumbled across the Bachmann Plymouth switcher in Bethlehem Steel livery. My father-in-law had retired from there (Sparrow's Point plant in Baltimore) not long before, and my wife grew up as a "company girl". She loved the little switcher, so I bought it, warning her that this was likely a gateway purchase that could get me back into model railroading. LOL She was ok with that.

    And that's where we're at today. After catching up with all the advances over the years, I now have a small, manageable switching layout that I'm working on, and there are a dozen DCC locomotives on the roster (not counting the old DC beasties). My wife still indulges me and my (not quite so overly ambitious) plans.
     
  11. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    3,617
    265
    57
    When I was a kid back in 1971, my HO stuff was an eclectic collection of stuff which was spread across east to west coast. I was mostly interested in some HO scale passenger equipment I had slowly acquired by saving up lunch monies for several months. The road name was Northern Pacific... and the cars were Mainstreeter (butter-knife scheme). When I got back into model railroading in 1982... nary an N scale Northern Pacific locomotive was available... Hence the suggested Santa Fe set was acquired. It took close to a decade before a plastic model of a Northern Pacific locomotive was produced. If I remember correctly... it was Atlas that put out an RS11 in their new "Classic" line from China. Does anyone remember when other NP diesels were released... anything before that Atlas RS11???
     
  12. urbanex12

    urbanex12 TrainBoard Member

    93
    16
    13
    These are great!

    I've loved trains and anything miniature for as long as I can remember. First I had Brio and other train toys, then my parents got me a Lionel set when I was 5 for Christmas. I remember bragging to my friends because the box said "12 and up" and I was only in Kindergarten. My parents got tired of me setting it up in our living room, so my dad built me a 4x8 table that was a foot off the ground to set up my Lionel stuff. It had one of those old fashioned "grass sheets" on it that was just green paper with green-dyed sawdust glued to it. Over the next few years I go a few HO sets and N sets, but I settled on N before I was a teenager and I've been an N scaler ever since.
     
    Calzephyr likes this.
  13. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    3,617
    265
    57
    Actually... you can begin your reminicing when you began to be interested in the hobby. It seems you entered N scale in what we now consider 'the golden age'... at the turn of the millenium. This was when model locomotives were being improved, DCC was becoming more accepted... and knuckle couplers were the standard way to connect locomotives and rolling stock. Even the lowly Bachmann brand became acceptable with quality steam locomotive offerings. At lot to look back at to early 2000 in N scale.

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
     
    WM183 and mtntrainman like this.
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    60,123
    4,673
    650
    Grew up with the post-War tinplate. Lionel, American Flyer, Marx. Loved those and derived great pleasure. By accident received a Bachmann N set for Christmas in 1972. Talk about a complete change in direction! Now, 46 years later.....
     
    Calzephyr likes this.
  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    4,393
    7,422
    77
    From 1968, Arnold Rapido's NP F, in powered and dummy. You had to ask, right? :) [Photo from Trovestar] Arnold also offered NP passenger cars for these units

    [​IMG]
     
    badlandnp and Calzephyr like this.
  16. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    3,617
    265
    57
    I guess it ran okay if it was German manufactured....but...that would be relative to anything that could make a single loop before it croaked. BTW....it doesn't look too bad for 1968 N scale.

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  17. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

    1,028
    63
    29
    Pure brilliance! :)
     
    mtntrainman likes this.
  18. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

    1,028
    63
    29
    This is a fun thread! I started in the hobby in 1974 when I bought my first model railroading magazine N Scale Primer. I still have it and recently began I building the Hoosier Southern featured in it, though I did upgrade all the 9 3/4" radius curves to 11" and all the original 11" to 12 3/8" curves. Much better!
     
    Hardcoaler and Calzephyr like this.
  19. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    3,617
    265
    57
    Good move on using wider curves... makes using six axle diesel and small steam engines more viable.

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
     
    Espeeman likes this.
  20. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    3,617
    265
    57
    Amazing how time few by... 36 years in N scale for me... and seen many good things lately which have subdued the bad things from the early days in this hobby.

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.

Share This Page