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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I have been really interested in model railroading for a few years but am only now attempting to take the first steps to getting into the hobby. I'm from Australia, where HO Scale dominates. I would like to model with this scale. Do you have any suggestions as to exactly how a beginner should start out? Right now I have about $100 that I would like to spend to make at least a start in the hobby. Naturally I will have more finances as I progress more and more. Is buying a book a good first move? If so, can you recommend a good book that I could purchase? Also, do you think a shelf or table layout is better for a beginner? I don't have much space and think that spending a lot of money on a table layout for my first attempt could be quite risky. One more question: how exactly did all you experienced model railroaders decide on a layout? I don't have a motivation to model a specific railway and think that is probably too much for a first timer like me.
Thanks a lot guys:)
Theshiz
 

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Hey Shiz...Welcome! I was in the same boat as you about two months ago. Go cheap and get soe trains running. Put that first $100 into your platform and get up and running. Since space is limited, that will be up to you. I went with a 4x8 platform, got my old trains out of the basement and went from there. You can start buying as you go. My opinion, get the book later. Get some trains running and take it from there. Hopefully you can find someone local who is selling an old collection. Hope it works out for you. Keep us posted!!
 

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Welcome to the forum, Shiz! If I can offer some advice to go along with rambo's:

Rules of Successful Model Railroading
1. Have fun with it.
2. If what you're doing stops being fun, stop doing it.
3. It's your railroad. The only opinion about it that matters is your own.

Applying those rules...as Rambo said, throw away the book uniless you're interested in the book. My only inhibiting suggestion would be this: since you don't have a specific layout in mind, select a tentative era and locale and try to stick with it. It's fun to do the "That's cool, I'll buy it!" but you could end up with a lot of cars that aren't a good mix. By that, I mean the passenger car you bought on impulse may not fit with the ore train you eventually decided to focus on as part of your bauxite-mining display. However, apply rule #3 to any advice, including mine.

You'll eventually get a feel for what you want. There is no need to try to model a "real" location---most who do are constantly struggling with how to shrink the real world down to their scale. Instead, think about questions like this: urban or rural? desert, mountains, oceanside...what terrain would be fun to build? winter or summer, fall? towns or farmland or way out nowhere? livestock or dinosaurs?

The point is...just decide what would be fun to do, and do it. If that means a city overrun with dinosaurs or endless mountains and tunnels that go nowhere....so what? It's your world!

Best of luck, and just build what's fun and interesting to you.
 

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I don't have a specific railroad that I was looking to model either... so basically, my layout is being created out of things that do mean something to me... for instance, one of my close friends owns a moving co that I am modeling and putting a yard in for... many other things like that as well. To me, it isn't about being exact to a specific rail or location... its about making it fun for me.

in other words, I agree with reckers
 

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Shiz,

Welcome aboard!! How are things "down under"?:D

I started in January, with some HO track, some rolling stock and no locomotives.

Now I'm running N, HO and O scale. Nothing fancy, just a couple of ovals to run trains...

Have fun and POST PICS!!!!!!:D:thumbsup:

Cheers, Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for the replies guys. To imatt88, things down here are fanatastic!:laugh:

I think that the general consensus about just running some trains to start off with is probably a good way to go. I have two questions though:

1. Do you think perhaps creating a very basic layout and then perhaps expanding it as I go is a good idea? I am quite a beginner in terms of electronics and wiring, and I fear that I may have problems there if I do it this way.

2. Currently I have 2 loops of track that my grandfather bought about 10 years ago. This train set runs on DC and I am quire bored of the limitations of this in terms of ease of use and flexibility with wiring. I am looking to perhaps buy a totally new DCC device, which would probably mean me starting with a totally new layout. Do you think I should buy track first or the power pack? Does anyone know where I can get a power pack that is quite cheap yet capable of handling the basics (model railway accessories are quite expensive down under).

Thanks:)
Shiva
 

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Welcome Aboard!

Hey Shiz,
Welcome to the Forum and where Down Under are you! I spent 2 great years at US Navcomm Station Harold E. Holt near Exmouth Western Australia. Beautiful country, fantastic people.....and the Sheila's OMG! I never knew Beer could be served in a giant oil can(Fosters Lager) along with Emu Export and Swan Lager(they probably don't exist anymore!:laugh: Anyway go with what you like and check out some shelf or table plans to get an idea of what YOU want. Its a fun hobby and you can impress your friends,neighbors and family with what you do. Do you have kids? Either way they can give you some solid advice.....something about "Seen through a childs eye"!:D So let us know what you are doing along the way. You have certainly found the best place to share your work and pick up tips. Yes, if you don't feel right about it start simple with a chance to expand. If you go with a new DCC system then you better take your time and check on wiring ideas(do you have a local hobby shop that can answer your questions(of course the guys on the forum can help also) that is if you don't feel confident. What shape is the track that your Grandad gave you(take that into consideration) As for power pack it all depends on DC/DCC and where you go with it. You can pick up a decent pack on Ebay for the interim while you think about what you want...$15-40 and there are some good ones out there. So Shiz, I hope this helps,keep us posted and good luck mate!:thumbsup: Hey isn't Shiva the Goddess of Destruction!:)
 

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Shiz,

I'll echo MacD's comments on the Sheila's down under. I spent a bit of time living in Fremantle/Perth and definitely left a little corner of my heart there years and years ago!

I'm clueless about DCC, but was reading a bit last night in regards to a recent "Confused" thread here on the forum. I stumbled on a few good weblinks that offer some clear basic explanations as to how the architecture/design of the system works. Maybe have a read:

http://www.loystoys.com/info/how-dcc-works.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Command_Control#How_DCC_works

http://www.dccwiki.com/Main_Page

Good luck!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey guys!
To MacDaddy55 and tjcruiser, I am on the opposite end of Australia im afraid, up in Queensland! And yes, you are right, my actual name is Shiva, nice pick up! Unfortunately I have no model shops close to me (close enough that I can just go whenever I want). However, I am planning on making a visit to one in the near future once I have an absolutely clear idea in my head as to what to do. I am leaning towards perhaps buying the powerpack first. Thanks for the Ebay advice and the info about DCC guys.

I'll let you guys know how it goes:)
Shiz
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MacDaddy55,
you mentioned being able to obtain a cheap powerpack for 15 - 40 dollars. Could you please please perhaps show me where I could find items for this price on Ebay? If you were simply making an approximation then don;t worry but if there was a specific product you were mentioning can you please give me a link? It would be much appreciated.
Thank you:)
shiz
 
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