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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have built a table top for my grandson Hudson's train layout. Now I've been a model railroader for a heck of a long time, and , like everyone else, I've learned as I went along. I also managed to forget a lot over the same years. Possibly from "pre-senile dementia" but possibly as a mercy too. These basic, beginner's layouts are hard work!
For instance, I haven't used sectional track in many, many, years. I've had a bunch of leftover Atlas code 80 N-scale track lying around in boxes for years, so I decided to use that on his little, first layout.

Well, I wasn't at it long before I thought, "Gee, I miss the convenience of flex track!" When setting up N-scale sectional track you have to come up with a pair of rail joiners every five inches. (every nine inches for you HO types) They also need to be code 80 rail joiners. The code 55 ones I've been using for years don't fit. Well, you can FORCE them on, and they do make a comendebly firm joint, but you would have to do this forcing act every five inches, twice!

Sectional curves are absolute too. You can't just move it over a little bit to line things up.

I also used some Atlas "Snap Switch" turnouts I had lying around. They are not my favorite, as readers of this forum may have heard a few dozen times, 😄 but they were available, and I can fix them up to work well. Some weird old codger on this forum wrote a file called "Improving Atlas Turnouts" hummm, maybe I'll give that a try. :cautious:
However, Atlas Snap Switches have that unique geometry, with one straight route, and one curved route. Well it wasn't long before I started creating reverse curves with those #@$*&^% things and soon had quite a "snake trail" going through the kid's yard.

I'm off to the train store today to get a couple of used DC power packs, some cork roadbed, a bunch of ground throws, and some used, "bargain box," Atlas LEFT HAND turnouts. It seems my leftover snap switches were nearly all righties, and naturally I needed lefties just about everywhere I turned. Per Murphy's Law.

Finally, the kid's little 6' x 3' layout doesn't have the length of mainline needed for a reasonable grade, and naturally he wants the track to pass over itself. Sorry kid, that's not going to happen.
He also wants "A City" in the middle of the basic oval. A CITY no less! An N-scale city would fill a bowling alley, but 5-year old newbies don't know that. Still, he's awfully cute and "Papa" will do his best for him.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Are you getting any feelings of having returned to your early modeling days?...Like maybe YOU are starting over? It probably would do many of us good to spend some time back at our own beginning roots.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are you getting any feelings of having returned to your early modeling days?...Like maybe YOU are starting over? It probably would do many of us good to spend some time back at our own beginning roots.
Fire21;

Yes, it did bring back some memories, and also made me realize how far things have progressed to where we are now.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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I have built a table top for my grandson Hudson's train layout. Now I've been a model railroader for a heck of a long time, and , like everyone else, I've learned as I went along. I also managed to forget a lot over the same years. Possibly from "pre-senile dementia" but possibly as a mercy too. These basic, beginner's layouts are hard work!
For instance, I haven't used sectional track in many, many, years. I've had a bunch of leftover Atlas code 80 N-scale track lying around in boxes for years, so I decided to use that on his little, first layout.

Well, I wasn't at it long before I thought, "Gee, I miss the convenience of flex track!" When setting up N-scale sectional track you have to come up with a pair of rail joiners every five inches. (every nine inches for you HO types) They also need to be code 80 rail joiners. The code 55 ones I've been using for years don't fit. Well, you can FORCE them on, and they do make a comendebly firm joint, but you would have to do this forcing act every five inches, twice!

Sectional curves are absolute too. You can't just move it over a little bit to line things up.

I also used some Atlas "Snap Switch" turnouts I had lying around. They are not my favorite, as readers of this forum may have heard a few dozen times, 😄 but they were available, and I can fix them up to work well. Some weird old codger on this forum wrote a file called "Improving Atlas Turnouts" hummm, maybe I'll give that a try. :cautious:
However, Atlas Snap Switches have that unique geometry, with one straight route, and one curved route. Well it wasn't long before I started creating reverse curves with those #@$*&^% things and soon had quite a "snake trail" going through the kid's yard.

I'm off to the train store today to get a couple of used DC power packs, some cork roadbed, a bunch of ground throws, and some used, "bargain box," Atlas LEFT HAND turnouts. It seems my leftover snap switches were nearly all righties, and naturally I needed lefties just about everywhere I turned. Per Murphy's Law.

Finally, the kid's little 6' x 3' layout doesn't have the length of mainline needed for a reasonable grade, and naturally he wants the track to pass over itself. Sorry kid, that's not going to happen.
He also wants "A City" in the middle of the basic oval. A CITY no less! An N-scale city would fill a bowling alley, but 5-year old newbies don't know that. Still, he's awfully cute and "Papa" will do his best for him.

Traction Fan 🙂
That’s awesome that he enjoys trains! I think you should find him a 4-6-4 so he has a Hudson for his layout! If you do or if I can find one at a reasonable price at the next train show I’ll grab it for you to give him! The next train show is supposed to be in September and there is usually a TON of deals to be gotten with n scale because around here it’s a lot of o gauge and ho scale modelers. N scalers get really good deals from those vendors. I’ve seen the cars go for as low as 50 cents a pop
 

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Sounds like a blast! Does he find N scale a tad fiddly at some points?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
That’s awesome that he enjoys trains! I think you should find him a 4-6-4 so he has a Hudson for his layout! If you do or if I can find one at a reasonable price at the next train show I’ll grab it for you to give him! The next train show is supposed to be in September and there is usually a TON of deals to be gotten with n scale because around here it’s a lot of o gauge and ho scale modelers. N scalers get really good deals from those vendors. I’ve seen the cars go for as low as 50 cents a pop
Jscullans;

I'm way ahead of you there. He already has a 4-6-4 Hudson (near N-scale) push toy originally made as a christmas tree ornament. Meanwhile, "Papa" has a ConCor Hudson (made by Kato) that will be going his way soon. Also, "enjoys trains is an understatement. Asked, teasingly, by my wife, "Hudson you don't really like that train do you?" His response "Yes Grams, I LOVE IT!" The little guy has been absolutely daffy about trains much of his very young life. One exception was when his parents took him to a train exhibition at the local Amtrak station. They had a full size, working, steam locomotive which he loved, until the engineer blew the steam whistle very close to him. That scared him back into my daughter's arms, and he didn't go near that steam locomotive again!
He also has what he calls a "ding ding" hanging on his bedroom wall. A "ding ding" is the crossbuck sign with flashing red lights and a bell that goes........ well you get the idea.
I made the ding ding for my grandson, and it has a button he can push to make the red lights come on, and the bell go ding ding.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like a blast! Does he find N scale a tad fiddly at some points?
Oops! Sorry guys, I accidentally put my reply to Jscullans after The USRA guy's post.



USRA Guy;

No, my 5-year old grandson has no problem handling N-scale trains. We older folk sometimes forget what our capabilities were, back when we were that young. Like other young children, Hudson has eyesight that would make eagles jealous. Little kids see, hear, and take in absolutely everything that goes on around them! They're still young enough to have brains like sponges that soak up information voraciously.
His small hands have excellent dexterity, and he's short enough to see the table at a much better angle than his 6'-6" Papa. I did include some rerailer track sections and one of those plastic ramps that make it easier to put the cars on the track initially. These will help, but judging how he surprised me by putting together sections of N-scale snap track, and moving rail joiners around as needed, he isn't likely to have problems putting cars on the track by hand.

Can scale trains be "a tad fiddly?" Yup, they can. I found O-scale trains fiddly when I was Hudson's age. I found those "tiny HO-scale trains" fiddly when I first encountered them, and I found N-scale trains fiddly when I first used them 40 some odd years ago, but I haven't found them fiddly for many, many, years now.

The whole notion that N-scale somehow requires the hand skills of a brain surgeon, that every track joint needs to be microscopically perfect, that you can't do "whatever" in N-scale, etc. Blah, Blah, Blah, ad infinitum, is 99.9 % pure bullfeathers.
I've spent decades as an N-scaler trying to dispel this nonsense. Yes,there are going to be a few cases where some individuals really do have such severe eyesight, and/or manual dexterity, issues that handling N-scale is going to be difficult for them. However for every person who actually has such medical problems, there are about a hundred who think they do, or guess that they might. This is far more a matter of perception (usually preconceived) than fact.
The actual facts are that nearly* anything that can be done in one scale can be done in another, and that just about anybody can do whatever they want in any scale. Most of us simply pick our favorite scale, and that's fine.
But speculation about "How terribly difficult" some other scale must be to work with, is pointless, and, in my opinion, harmful. My feeling about scales is that; They're all good. Pick the one you like best, and let others do the same.

Good Luck & Have Fun;


Traction Fan 🙂

* I say "nearly" because I haven't yet figured out how to ride on an O, HO, or N-scale locomotive like those lives steam guys do! 😄
 

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I didn't mean to suggest that there is anything wrong with N scale, sorry if it sounded that way, I just thought that maybe Hudson (being a little younger) might have struggled a little to get the wheels on the tracks. Seems I was wrong though😆
 

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Didn’t concor make the blue goose in n scale along with the pioneer zephyr? I almost went with n scale due to the amount of room I have but I decided against it because of the variety of equipment available in ho scale and parts are bigger and easier to handle
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I didn't mean to suggest that there is anything wrong with N scale, sorry if it sounded that way, I just thought that maybe Hudson (being a little younger) might have struggled a little to get the wheels on the tracks. Seems I was wrong though😆
USRA Guy;

My bad, not yours. I've been defending my favorite scale against criticism so long that I sometimes get carried away!
You asked a simple question "Does Hudson have trouble with the small size of N-scale?" No, at least not so far. He has shown a remarkable grasp of how the track goes together. Frankly it surprised me.
Hudson has already shown extraordinary mechanical ability, for his very young age. My wife Sherry, ("Grams" to Hudson) was having trouble assembling a tent. This 5-year old kid quickly straightened her out!
He had a motorized toy car that had stopped working. His mom wasn't sure that it could be fixed. Hudson promptly turned the car upside down and pointed out each of the screws that needed to be removed to access the mechanism. He's five!
He explained that "Papa" could fix it." Papa is a retired service tech who spent a good part of his life fixing things. Unfortunately I couldn't fix this car, he had stripped the gears.

Remember the old joke about the series of pet turtles that kept getting blisters on their feet?
The dad kept returning turtles until he saw his son "playing" with one. The boy would violently rub the turtle across the floor while saying "Rummmmm!, Rummmmm! , Rummmm! " (remember toys with friction motors?) I suspect the gears of Hudson's car may have suffered a similar fate.😄

Traction Fan 🙂
 
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