Consider Switching To HO Scale Model Trains Before Its Too Late
When starting a brand new model railroad layout you must choose the scale that’s right for you. During my discussions with many enthusiasts who made the switch to the HO scale reported that not only did they save a lot of money, but also said they now have much better flexibility during the construction process.
For those of you that are considering switching from the bigger O scale or the smaller N scale need to make a decision quickly. The more days that pass will result in you becoming increasingly attached to your current scale and money spent during this period of time will be money that will not be available once you decide the HO scale is the one for you . Consider the following scenario:
You go to a model railroad museum where you see many different layouts. One layout in particular sparks an interest for a project that you decide you want to begin as soon as possible. In your haste you choose a random scale, lets say the O scale. Several months down the line after a considerable amount of money has been spent you encounter two significant problems with your project. Firstly you find that you cannot physically fit the track layout and scenery in the amount of space you have available. Secondly you are beginning to run out of funds for your different components such as locomotives, carriages and scenery.
At this point you do some research and discover that the HO scale allows more track, trains and landscape to be squeezed into a certain amount of space when compared with the O scale. You also discover that all the different components cost less, which would have been the difference between you finishing of your project.
To avoid such a scenario read on to find out the advantages of the HO scale against the other popular options and if choosing it will really improve your model railroading experience.
The HO scale is more practical and than the O Scale
Initially there were 4 scales known as scale 1, scale 2, scale 3 and scale 4. However these were too big for mainstream model railroading to take off. So a smaller one was conceived, which was scale 0. However the zero became confused by the letter O and that is the version that stuck. The HO scale (1:87) is half the size of the O scale (1:43.5) and therefore stands for “Half of O”.
This size difference means that you can fit much more layout components in a HO scale set up. In turn this will reduce the chances of running out of space which is a nightmare for any model railroad builder. Typically the O scale is used in gardens because of its robustness. This attribute also makes the O scale children friendly. If your layout is in your garden and played with by kids then the O scale might actually be a better fit for you.
Many of the more popular manufacturers produce most of their model trains using the HO standard. Therefore there is more choice and cheaper prices when locating HO layout components such as rolling stock, locomotives and landscape features. Cheaper prices also means you can buy more trains and scenery, which can result in a much richer overall design. Typically people view the HO scale as for modeling and the O scale as a toy.
The N scale is smaller but paradoxically takes up more space
The N scale (1:148) is one of the smallest mainstream sizes. The small size is actually a problem for many model railroad builders for a couple of reasons. Firstly fiddling around with such small components is problematic for a lot of builders due to shaking hands and it requires a greater level of skill. Secondly when you do customize a locomotive to a high level of quality people will actually tend to miss a lot of the impressive features. This can be very frustrating since everyone likes their work to be noticed. A knock on effect of the details being missed is that the level of realism is not the same as an equivalent layout being constructed in the HO scale.
One would think that because the N scale is smaller you will need less space to construct the same layout. This is actually not true, when you go through the motions you will tend to find that you will need more components (to get a desirable level of realism) which ends up taking more space.
What to do if your heavily invested in a scale but want to switch to HO
If you have decided that you want to make the switch to the HO scale but have already spent a ton of money on a different scale then selling of your current models is the way to go. The money you get will help you kick start your HO scale purchases. Before searching for a venue to sell of your goods do the following:
1. Clean all your trains, track and scenery. Nobody will appreciate buying a set of dirty model trains.
2. Next inspect all your items for any damage and repair to the best of your ability. Any damage greatly reduces the price.
3. Find any boxes and instruction manuals that came with your train models. This significantly increases the price you can sell for.
4. Take many pictures, this will increase the sales price because it will allow people to see what they are buying clearly.
5. Do some research at places like Amazon and eBay to find out what your stuff is actually worth.
The number 1 place on the Internet to sell used items in a very quick and safe manner is eBay. Another place you can check out is Craigslist.
Decided that you would rather not change?
Now that you have read the advantages of the HO scale and the disadvantages of the others you can make a more informed decision on which scale is the best for you. Sometimes you cannot really know until you have a go at building a layout and fining out what attributes of the different scales is important for you.
You must gather as much information about this great hobby of ours as you possibly can, as it will only lead to richer, better and more sophisticated model railway layouts in the future.