Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

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Mountain
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Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Mountain » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:56 pm

No doubt we all have great advice to add in here. Smaller scales are popular for their space saving reasons. Larger scales are loved either by the detail one can add or because their chunkyness and their visual size are appealing. But what about the cost of choosing any of the different scales and gauges? Yes, true. It all depends how much of it we buy. 0 gauge is popular because though its expensive, most modellers just buy one or two locomotives, a few wagons and they are happy... Most modellers also dont have the space to buy much more! :lol: But overall they can enjoy their layouts and actually spend a little less all in (If they are careful) then many 00 gauge modellers do in the same space. It all depends on ones preferences.

To me though I have to say that serious budget modelling is either to be had in 00 gauge and concentrating on cheapest secondhand models or in 7mm narrow gauge employing cheaply obtained 00 gauge parts. I'm rather glad I've found 7mm narrow gauge as if I didn't I'd not likely be modelling, as I'd sit there watching lovely new 00 gauge models I could no longer afford and would feel left out.

How about you guys? Any thoughts on budgeting ideas? Have you set a challenge to build a model railway with out spending more then a certain amount of money?

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Chops
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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Chops » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:59 pm

A useful perspective.
I don't care what they say. I believe in Nessie.

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Mountain
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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Mountain » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:56 pm

Thanks Chops.

My thoughts go towards the many who would love to try modelling but are put off by the high prices of new models, and they may not know of the alternatives.
It is natural that the manufacturers are not going to promote the budget possibilities within the hobby as they need to make money. That leaves us to show how it can be done, as it would be a great shame if people thought that they couldn't afford to join us in this great hobby we have.

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Emettman
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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Emettman » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:37 pm

Mountain wrote:... if people thought that they couldn't afford to join us in this great hobby we have.


There's an odd touch of Catch-22 here, because while there are definitely a range of cheap ways of pursuing the hobby, they are most open to those who already have a degree of modelling and "bodging" experience.

Buying cheaper second-hand locos, stock, track can save a fortune, IF you know what you're doing, and have some skills to fix problems that might be present. If not, the second-hand way in can give disappointing experiences.

There are some "Christmas Train Set" sets that offer remarkable value for money and appreciable potential. Others are junk.
The Playmobil G scale (plastic track) version
Faller "Hit train" and "Playtrain" on 32mm have great potential.
(Look at car boot sales for the broken Playmobil or Sylvanian families houses...)

Many possibilities, but mostly away from the mainstream track-powered OO.

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Mountain
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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Mountain » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:47 pm

I've actually been amazed at the quality of some of the cheap kiddy battery operated trainsets. I made this from one set. The whole set didn't cost much. (I seem to recall less then £10 but it may have been £15 in some places). I commandeered one of the wagon bodies and gave the chassis in the set a Triang caboose body instead. I removed the USA based fine detailed lettering as I wanted it to look non USA and a bit bashed about. I made a pair of sub chassis onto it, and made some central buffer type couplings with the drop bars. The set it came from was then given to a kiddie who enjoyed it.
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Bigmet
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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Bigmet » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:08 am

Mountain wrote:...Any thoughts on budgeting ideas? Have you set a challenge to build a model railway with out spending more then a certain amount of money?

I expect most of us have a budget. Mine was set some years ago when a small group of friends realised that 'boys night out' could be diverted into getting on with model railways, which were a frequent topic of conversation while we were down the pub. So the money that would have gone on pushing up the value of brewery shares and expanding our waistlines, instead gets spent on model railway; and we socialise around each others layouts.

If you stick to a modelling subject, a relatively small budget goes a long way over the years. I am still running models from my first time around, coming up fifty years old now. I didn't have much money as a teenager, but good models mostly from kits, with some scratchbuilding, remain good models.

Emettman wrote:There's an odd touch of Catch-22 here, because while there are definitely a range of cheap ways of pursuing the hobby, they are most open to those who already have a degree of modelling and "bodging" experience.

Buying cheaper second-hand locos, stock, track can save a fortune, IF you know what you're doing, and have some skills to fix problems that might be present. If not, the second-hand way in can give disappointing experiences...

Yes that goes with the general fall off in interest in the mechanical/technical hobbies unfortunately. This is going to be a challenge for the future of the RTR based hobby in particular, as making a layout work reliably does require a little physical engineering aptitude.

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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Richard Lee » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:49 am

When I started with model railways, I had a quick look and a think. Although coaches in N gauge seemed significantly cheaper than OO, there wasn't a huge difference in price of locomotives and wagons. I got the feeling that with N I would probably choose to run longer trains. I got the impression that running small tank locomotives on branch line work was probably more viable in OO than N.

When Dapol first produced their O gauge Terrier, I (like others, I am sure) did briefly consider dropping OO in favour of O. However, suitable coaches seemed very expensive (if available). I don't think that I could have fitted a branch line terminus to fiddle yard layout in the space I had available. There is a lot to be said for O gauge, though. Finescale O seems closer to a 7mm EM standard than a larger OO.

I did consider 009 but there wasn't much ready to run at the time, and although there were space benefits there were no cost benefits, in fact, the reverse.

Having said that, with OO the danger is that you end up buying more than you need to run the layout. I know that from personal experience.

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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby BrightonMan » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:34 am

My layout is being built in a very small box room so I did consider changing from 00 to N gauge to fit more railway in, and also assuming it would be cheaper (I am on a tight budget). But after checking prices it seems that N is just as expensive as 00, which considering the size difference is a bit odd (especially with buildings, accessories etc), so I'm sticking with 00...better for my old eyes anyway!

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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Emettman » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:32 pm

BrightonMan wrote:My layout is being built in a very small box room.,.,., , so I'm sticking with 00...better for my old eyes anyway!


This is where OO9 can score.
There are expensive ways of getting into this but some much cheaper ones too, for example marrying economical 3D printed bodies to compact economical Kato chassis (OK, preferably the 8 wheel version, which will probably mean tram locos.)
And still 4mm /ft for the buildings and people.


Chris.
Last edited by Emettman on Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mountain
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Re: Best Scales and Gauges for Budget Modellers...

Postby Mountain » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:10 pm

If you dont mind making things and want a bit of fun my layout is just 7ft x2ft and is in 7mm narrow gauge (0-16.5) and uses the same track width.as 00. Peco make 0-16.5 track so you dont have to make your own like I did.
Smallbrook studio make locl body kits which normally fit the cheap Hornby shunters and they make coach and waggon kits, as do Peco, Slimlines and a few others.
I must say that I enjoying myself modelling in this scale. Due to the sharp curves I stick to little 0-4-0 shunters and shorter stock. I am building an 0-6-0 but I've had to do a little adaptive work to assist it round the right corners.
It is an ideal scale and gauge for budget modellers who want a large scale in a small space, however it does need basic kit building skills. Nothing too complicated with Smallbrook Studio kits and Peco coach kits. (I've not tried Peco waggons yet, nor have I tried Slimrails). I also scratchbuild waggons to save costs and are slowly converting my stock to home made couplings made from drawing pins and paper clips.

It is also possible to fit an oval of track in 00 gauge in a tight space using flexible track if one keeps to little 0-4-0 shunters and shorter 4 wheel stock. It has been done many times. Yes, it is a compromise but if it means you can have some fun why not? :D
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