In Praise of 'N'!

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In Praise of 'N'!

Postby rogerfarnworth » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:49 am

This is a bid to claim that the best scale is 2mm and the best gauge is 'N'!! What is not to like in N gauge?

I guess that some may disagree? ... -modelling

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Re: In Praise of 'N'!

Postby Bigmet » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:58 am

Real difficulty with UK N is that it doesn't have sufficient commercial support, and 'ready to run' (RTR) is pretty much essential in my opinion. I can confidently build and work on 4mm mechanisms, but not 2mm, to make the all essential variety of 0-6-0 types for a steam railway model. Of course there are good N options for Germany, Japan, USA, where the larger market has enabled RTR production to provide better coverage.

(The parOOsia of 4mm RTR starting twenty years ago, when it got the 'mass transplant' of well proven HO technique; this was the game changer for me. Instead of an HO layout (probably UP USA), I could realistically hope to attempt the late BR steam ECML in OO without having to contend with an unfeasible amount of kit building. The loco mechanisms were now quiet, sufficiently powerful and reliable, and the choice of stock expanded rapidly, a process that continues to this day.)

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Re: In Praise of 'N'!

Postby UrbanHermit » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:27 am

In a word, or rather two words, too small. Too fiddly for me. The examples you show, although perfectly wonderful, are not the work of yer average modeller. They are at the top end of the game and show a level of modelling skill that more mortals like me couldn't hope to replicate in OO, let alone N.

Also, the bigger the scale, the more presence the model has, the more impressive. I'm fortunate enough to have enough space for as much as I can handle in OO, but if I had the room and the money I'd be seriously tempted by O. I'd only go for N if I were so strapped for space I had no alternative - in which case I probably wouldn't bother at all.

The only thing that really tempts me about N is the possibility of running full-length trains.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

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Re: In Praise of 'N'!

Postby Byegad » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:45 pm

I've been in N gauge since 1975 or 6. In my time I've stripped and rebuilt locos and other rolling stock. Made coaches and wagons either direct from kits or bashed from kits. My hands are arthritic and I get stiff from too much bending, but I still repair and service my fleet. I understand why others disagree, but for me long trains make my railway fun.

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Re: In Praise of 'N'!

Postby Dave » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:50 pm

UrbanHermit wrote:In a word, or rather two words, too small. Too fiddly for me.

I have to agree, stiffening fingers and deteriorating eyes rule it out

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Re: In Praise of 'N'!

Postby TheDuke71000 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:49 pm

et al,

Indeed N gauge is a great scale, but I would say that few British N gauge modellers know just how great it is !!

In Japan the biggest scale is N gauge, so Japan has the Worlds largest model railway manufacturers. Because there are over 12.5 Million regular N scale customers. This means N gauge in Japan has a bigger following than ALL scales up to Gauge 1 combined, in the WHOLE World.

Japanese N scale models have technical extras the rest of the world can't even dream about. Such as "Illuminated rotating destination blinds" in multiple unit models; Even "seats that reverse direction"; "Clip out quick clean motor bogies"; Frictionless mechanism that require NO lubrication; Virtually all power units have 5 pole skew armature motors with double flywheels; Real life scale working couplings; Automatic self uncoupling in locos. And these were regular accessories 30 years ago !!!!

It must be added that only Japanese outline was given these luxuries. So for example the Kato Eurostar or Kato US outline had little more than then German standards.

And the best news is that these huge ranges cost (in a Japanese shop) about 30-40% of an equivilant British item today.

The Worlds biggest manufacturer is TOMIX, with an annual turnover in BILLIONS of US Dollars, so at least 1000 times financially bigger than Marklin ever was. (90% of all Tomix models are N scale, as OO only has a small following due to the small size of Japanese houses). How do I know all this ? Well many years ago I was the first official European agent for ALL the many Japanese ranges, and of course I had access to all the market research.

The Duke 71000

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Re: In Praise of 'N'!

Postby footplate1947 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:35 pm

N gauge is wonderful scale if you want a layout small enough to fit into small living space. In face back in 1972 when I got married our first place was bed sit id Archway Borth London. And I built an alpine layout. Used mainly Fleischmann locos and rolling stock. I used an H&M Duette controller which would you believe I still have and it is in working order which I use for testing things these days.
Now is N the best? Now that is in the eye of the beholder. Not for me as I am 72 and the old eyes are not as good at doing the fiddly jobs in OO gauge let alone 2mm /ft N gauge. I find N is very novel but too small for my old hands and eyes. But I did enjoy my N layout in 1972 when I was 24.
My vote for which is the best gauge is...................The one you enjoy modelling in.
It worked last time I used it..............John

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Re: In Praise of 'N'!

Postby footplate1947 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:41 pm

Hi Duke,,,,,,,,,I would guess the reason why N is so popular in Japan is the fact that the population is so high relative to the size of Japan, so that means that land is limited and homes tend to be small and expensive. So what people put into their homes is also small. I would guess that is the reason N is so popular in Japan. :)
It worked last time I used it..............John

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