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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'Day everybody!! :)

Well, I have decided to get into this great hobby,and like many newbies, I have questions, lot's of questions!!

I guess the first one should be, What is a good set to start off with,that I can add to later as I progress?

I have chosen to go with the HO scale and room is not a problem, So I know I can expand quite a bit ( I have a 6mtr X 6mtr garage, plenty of room :))

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated also!!

Cheers Paul!! :):)
 

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Welcome to the forum.


As one who's been in the hobby for many years, I tend to shy away from sets as they were notoriously bad for many years. Walthers puts together a good one now as I'm sure a few others. The Canadian modelers have the President's Choice series that comes from one of their retailers every year that looks great. Just take your time, do a bit of planning first, you can always add on to a layout later. Too much, too fast usually winds up in a dusty half finished mess we oldtimers refer to as a Plywood Pacific Railroad.

Again, welcome.
 

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Welcome, welcome. Personally I think that sets are a good way to get started, but be willing to pay for quality. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a set with tracks that don't fit together well and parts that don't work, that'll turn you off from the hobby quickly. So take it with a grain of salt if the set is difficult to keep working properly, and just upgrade as you go.

My suggestion would be to get one of the model railroad magazines, and peruse a few issues first. There is usually great information and you can get a good idea which brands are better quality and will work for what you want. I don't know what magazines you have down there, or what it would cost to subscribe to one from here, but you can start here: http://www.trains.com/mrr/
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for the great advise and the warm welcome!! :)
Much Appreciated!!

No sooner had I ask you the question, my Partner showed up with a set for me she got at our local hobby store, :thumbsup:
It's a HO Gauge Life-Like Rail Charger set:





Rather small I thought,But can't look a gift horse in the mouth!!

Not a lot of track with it (36" Circle), so i went and got a little extra and put it all together, and I must say I am rather impressed with it, runs very smoothly and goes really well!! :)

I spent the weekend looking on the net and reading as much as I could about this hobby, So I thought I might as well have a go at starting some sort of layout,

I bought a 4ft X 8ft board and layed a few peices of track around the place,
Hmmm!! Got a long way to go!! :eek:hwell::eek:hwell:





So, now I am patiently looking at all kinds of layouts and looking for more track, lots more track!!

Any or all suggestion more than welcome!!

Question: Now that I have got this set, What make or kinds of trains can I run on it??

Cheers Paul :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oops!! Forgot to ask,

I read somewhere that you should cover the whole board with grass matting material before doing any building, What are your thoughts on this??
 

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Question: Now that I have got this set, What make or kinds of trains can I run on it??
It looks like you are off to a great start Paul... All trains are compatible with all tracks, so you can go out and buy any make or model of HO train you want :cool:

On the other hand though, only track from the same manufacturer is compatible, so you will need to keep buying Life-Like track as you expand your layout...
 

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Oops!! Forgot to ask,

I read somewhere that you should cover the whole board with grass matting material before doing any building, What are your thoughts on this??
Looks like a good starter set. I have a "life like" set with EZ-track type track that I've put around the Christmas tree every year for the past 10 years. Even with no maintenance and rough handling it still runs well.

As far as covering the board with grass, it really depends on what you are intending to do. The hills, grass and all on-grade stuff should be done prior to track laying, but since you don't have a final layout, that doesn't really apply. Work with it, figure out your final layout, draw it on the table, then remove the track and do the grass.
 

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There you go...

Two suggestions:

1. Bring the track on from the sides and end a couple inches. The combination of gravity and floor are known to be hazardous to trains...:D

2. Grass mat is OK if you want simple scenery to run trains. I have it on my N scale layout. However, for real drama, ground foam, sifted real dirt, etc, on a realistically sculpted base is really not that hard to pull off, even for a beginner.



Even a toy can look like a million bucks on some scenery...



The curves you are currently running will meet the needs of most locos and cars made. Even the beast in the first photo was designed by Rivarossi to go around 18" radius curves like yours---wiping out anything within 2" of the track while doing it to boot. On a 4x8 layout 22-24" radius is possible, 20" is good but 18" leaves you more room for track and scenery.
 

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Paper grass is always quick and easy. HO being smaller than O, it may interfere with track, if the track is not secured. Painting a shade of green or brown is an option.
The paper gives a removal base to build on. If you keep your layout flat, you can go with paper.
I'm no scenery expert, but it involves foam, gluing, sprinkling, and painting.

Decide on a track plan first. Smokey has this dilema too! When you think about it your layout will have little grass when done. Track, roads, river,mountains, bridges, and buildings.

Just some thoughts. Have fun.
Bob

The experts beat me to it.:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again everybody for your very informative replies!! :)

Much Appreciated!!

Firstly, can anybody shed some light on this for me, Is this a quality loco and a good price or not worth looking at??

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=360071721826&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=023

Secondly, been busy all week working on my layout and this is what I've come up with so far:







I know it's hard to see where I'm going with it, But just imagine the "Top Track" cut into a mountain with tunnels from the rear right hand corner, across the back and down part of the other side, coming into a hilly area with the bottom track running flat on the board, around a small township and shunting area!!

Do ya think it will all work??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I went out and got me a real train today, a lot better than the cheap Life-Like one!!!



And I think I've finally got some sort of layout figured out, at the moment it's one level, Not sure if I will raise any part of it yet!!!

Went to a train swap meet and picked up a heap of track and other bits & pieces!!!





 

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willsbrook - nice new engine you have there. I'm a bit behind you when it comes to getting into trains - I'm in the
info gathering stage. I think you have a nice track so far.
Don't be shy about commenting on things you found out/problems you had to overcome!
-tw
 

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New to trains

With your large space, think of the letter "E". A turnaround on each tip should be about 21 inch radius for larger engines and cars. The 3 parallel legs of the "E" could be necked down to 20 inches or so. The main stem of the "E" could be about 18 inches in width. This would give you plenty of room to work on the layout if the "E" was butted on three sides to the wall. At any point, you should be no further than 2 feet from any place on your layout to work. Many of my friends use this letter "E" when they have a square space available. Others who have a 2:1 or so area. use the "dogbone layout. This is a turn around on each end and necked down in the middle to 2 feet or so. This type of layout is usuallu butted against a wall, thus the dogbone design for easy access. Many other layouts are availabe in different magazines.
 
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