Originally Posted by peddler32
Thanks for letting me join. I just retired and am looking for my third hobby to keep me busy and happy. The first two are genealogy and hopefully senior softball.
I think I have talked to too many people and can't get past the scale decision. I have a large finished basement but do not want to use all of it as a friend does with his O Scale (beautiful layout).
I built an HO layout 20 years ago and that was great until my cat swatted my fave locomotive. I have always liked N-Scale due to size, long trains and smaller space required along with less benchwork (not my strong suit). In fact, all my modeling skills have been idle that long.
My big concern with N-Scale is working on it for myself and my grandkids aged 7&8. I am a young 66 with cataract repaired eyes and only a little arthritis in my hands. What do you think?
Welcome to the forum! You have some experience in the three most popular scales First O-scale, then HO-scale, and most recently N-scale. With that experience, you should be able to choose the scale that you like best, unless your wife is also involved, in which case she will tell you which scale to like best!
I have gone the same route. I started with Marx and Lionel O-gage as a child. Had an HO-scale layout as a teenager, and Have been in N-scale for the past forty years. I'm 71 years old and have some arthritis and need eyeglasses for both reading/ working on trains, and distance (bifocals)
I prefer N-scale partially because I do not have the large space available that you do. (California homes typically don't have basements
) I also had 11 years of fun as a member of an N-scale club.
Any scale is a good scale, as long as it's one that you like. Your 7&8 year old grandkids are old enough to handle N-scale easily. At their ages, they probably have excellent eyesight, and manual dexterity, too. That brings us to you, and possibly your wife, if she shares your enthusiasm for model trains. (My own patient wife has tolerated my obsession with trains for 38 years, but shows no interest in them herself.)
If you are seriously worried about whether or not you can still work with N-scale, buy one of Intermountain's beautifully detailed boxcar kits in N-scale, and another one in HO-scale. (If O-scale is a serious contender for your affections, Intermountain makes the same kits in O-scale too.)
Building these cars will give you some up-to-date, hands-on experience in handling the small parts of each scale. If, as I suspect, you find that you can work just fine with any of these scale models, then it becomes simply a matter of your own preference. And that's exactly as it should be!
For many years, particularly as a member of the N-scale club, I've had to deal with folks who thought HO-scale was god's gift to "serious model railroaders," And "N-gage" (or any other scale ) was just silly. Granted these characters were nut jobs, but it has made me a bit defensive about my favorite scale.
So I tend to promote it. For instance all the structures in my response to the post above this one by RichardS-VA are all N-scale and largely/entirely scratchbuilt, by me. So if anyone tries to tell you that "You can't do that in N-gage" feel free to refer them to my posts.
The simple truth is you can do whatever you want in any scale. However just because N is my favorite scale, that doesn't mean it has to be yours. (Though from your post, I suspect you may be leaning in that direction.
The files below are some I've written to help new modelers. Look through them if you like. They may help you get started on a new hobby.
Choosing a Scale.pdf
WHERE DO I START rev 4.pdf
1 How to build a better first layout.pdf
2 How to build a better first layout.pdf
3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf
5 How to build a better first layout.pdf
6 How to build a better first layout.pdf
All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf
Tips for handling small parts.pdf
MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf
Model Railroad Terminology 3.pdf
Paintbrush Pine Trees.pdf
Introductory letter for switch machine.pdf
Assembly instructions for switch machine..pdf