N Scale Vs HO Scale

OCDiver Aug 31, 2022

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    Yep, I've tried to find all of UP's Diesel Engines that they had from the 30's to mid '70's. I've found that they had about 75 different type diesels in that time period. I've been able to find and accumulate right at 50 of them. A few are Shapeways or others shells only that will fit on other frames or modified frames. Don't have all of them completed but have them.

    Out of the 25 I don't have I've been able to find some as 3D printed shells and haven't purchased them at this point. A number of the 25 were also built only for UP and for a number of those only 1 or 2 were built so manufactures aren't interested in that market. Some are available, such as Scale Trains Big Blow turbines but I haven't spent the money on one of those yet and maybe won't as I've picked up almost all at reasonable cost via eBay.

    I haven't checked on how many of the ones I have that are available in HO but bet the number might not be more and maybe the same or less if some haven't been done that can be 3D printed. In N it is getting more and more common to find obscure locos that someone has taken the time to model that can be 3D printing.

    Modeling UP has also been an advantage for me due to the popularity of that road name. Still it boils down to what one likes. Like HO or another scale then go that way or if you think N is for you go that way. We are lucky to have so many options,

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  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    I also think the wide availability of Unitrack in N Scale boosts N scale's (US) market share A LOT!

    While we can argue about its appearance, it's hard to deny that Unitrack's quality, variety, simplicity of use, and bank-vault reliability are a tremendous asset to both new and experienced modelers in N scale.

    And while Unitrack is available in HO, it can't match the variety and availability, especially at local hobby shops, of N. Without the attached roadbed, track sections are much harder to keep connected unless/until they are nailed/glued down to a solid base. The availability and variety of viaduct and bridge sections, graduated pier sets, etc. easily adds a wonderful third dimension to layouts.

    How many kids (okay, who am I fooling: adults too!) had as much or more fun experimenting with new track layouts as they did running the trains on them?! The standard curve radii and straight length increments make for endless iterations of temporary layouts that just work, without ever gluing anything down.

    Add to that the availability of powered unijoiners and Y/extension cables means track power can be easily and reliably provided even in curves, almost anywhere on a layout, without soldering!

    The ubiquity of N scale Unitrack also helps facilitate modular layout standards (based on unitrack standard lengths and radii) and the clubs built around them. So even those that do not have room for the layout of their dreams can participate in, and contribute to, clubs' modular layouts and shows.

    It's interesting that another Japanese manufacturer (Tomix) has their own high-quality N scale track with attached roadbed. But it is not well marketed in the US, so despite some of it's unique features (curved turnouts!) has not reached the market share in the US that Kato's Unitrack commands.
    DeaconKC, Pfunk and MetraMan01 like this.
  3. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

    I have a home layout in progress, but also do NTRAK, and one thing I've learned is there is such a thing as too much detail. Scenery I do on my home layout would be destroyed in a very short time on an NTRAK module. The same can be said of detailed cars and locos.........we find all sorts of detail parts every time we tear down a layout. Sometimes we know who they belong to and what car/loco they came from, sometimes not. The important thing for me is "enough detail", and all the N scale "out of the box" stuff meets that criteria. If I'm afraid to run something for fear of damage, I don't want it. In that respect HO is better, since all the details are a little more robust, but I never feel "handicapped" by N scale.
    DeaconKC, BigJake and MetraMan01 like this.
  4. Daves_Trains

    Daves_Trains TrainBoard Member

    Don't let size be the judge. I have seen some fantastic modeling in Z on this forum. I have experienced O, HO and now N scale and each has its pluses and minuses. HO has the greatest availability in all areas but N scale seems to be growing. As many have said you need to look at what your interests are and the space available. I am currently working on N scale modules so I can have more in a limited space. I have been able to scratch build structures and paint figures in both scales although N is a little more challenging.

    Colton Station HO.jpg Colton Station N 4.jpg
  5. Todd Hackett

    Todd Hackett TrainBoard Member

    Like many of you, I started down the N scale road when my space was to small and trains would chase their tails. At 2ft viewing, the lack of detail was not noticeable. A few years into N I found that what was available was lacking unless you spent big $$$. About that time DCC entered the picture so sold all the N stuff and changed to HO. Also at that time I had much more space so that worked. Fast forward to the here and now. I found some of that old N scale stuff hiding away. Got it out and was amazed how tiny it looked up close and personal. Given my fat fingers and skinny eyes I am still glad I made the switch to HO. I can see in the future that even with HO I will have to start wearing my OptiVisor more and more to do the small stuff. Yes, there are multiple sets of reading glasses everywhere.

    In any event, it gets back to what YOU want for a MRR, given space and time.

    DeaconKC likes this.
  6. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    The same here. The N scale doesn't have what I want without being expensive and impossible to work on. :oops:

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