Moving from 00 to N

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
Jkelly
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Moving from 00 to N

Postby Jkelly » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:05 pm

Hello all,
I am now going to rebuild my current 8x4ft 00 gauge model railway. It lies on an old kitchen table and I'm no longer getting much fun out of it so the decision has been made to start afresh.
I will have at most 10x5ft to work with in the garage. However, I feel that in order to create a realistic model railway in such space trading down to N gauge may be better. My bucket list is as follows (a lot I know!): Turntable, overall roof, viaduct+valley, two stations and an operating well. I won't fit all that with 00 and have it look realistic.
However, swapping to N gauge would require me to sell everything I have currently and learn how to work with a new scale. I'm only 16 so onset budget would be at most 200 euros with whatever my current collection is worth. I am however quite patient so doing a layout in stages wouldn't daunt me.
My questions about N gauge are as follows: How frustrating is it to work with something so small? Is it much more difficult to assemble kits? Does the miniature size of the models look 'unrealistic? (I've only ever worked with 00). Is the fact that you can squeeze more in compensate for the more expensive equipment etc?
Next time I'll be in town I'm going to purchase a Metcalfe card kit for N gauge to see how I find working in the scale.
If anyone has made the transition from 00 to N I'd be interested to hear how you found it. Sorry for that long, rambling question but thanks for any advice,
Jonathan

heda
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby heda » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:59 pm

I'm just doing the opposite moving from n to OO. The reasons for me is that i'm starting to find n a bit to fiddly and I have a grandson that I will want to play trains with in a couple of years so OO is better suited
To answer your questions you shouldn't find the size frustrating although you will need patience. In my opinion it looks quite realistic although you can't get the same fine detail, at normal viewing distance it looks fine, check out some of the layouts in the 'layouts under construction' thread.
It might be of interest that someone on here is planning on selling their n gauge.collection, see the General model railway forum.
Dave

Byegad
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:56 pm

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Byegad » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:35 pm

I'm in my late 60s, have arthritic hands and find N gauge is easily doable. I've been in N since 1974 [or 5, memory fails me] and can strip and rebuild any N gauge item I've got, and I have a LOT!

OO users frequently tell me N is too fiddly.

fourtytwo
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Location: Norfolk (Bodecia's country) UK

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby fourtytwo » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:13 pm

Hi Jonathan, I too model in steam (turntable) and moved from OO to N over 30 years ago and still kick myself for selling all my OO, apart from anything else some of it was like heirlooms! Anyway down to the nitty gritty. N is soooo much more fussy about track cleanliness and being perfectly flat than OO ever was, steam multiplies all the problems as usually you are dealing with just an 060 chassis with very little in the way of extra pickups on some loco's (I have long since been adding tender pickups where possible). Turntables are a real problem, trying to get a working one is one problem but also the slightest rail misalignment in two dimensions causes derailments. Controllers are another problem, generally I have found PWM & Feedback controllers that worked well in OO are deadly in N, the motors are very much smaller and the harsh PWM causes wheel pitting exacerbating the pickup problems. OTH if you like long trains and plenty of them its brilliant, just expect to fully clean the track and all loco wheels at least every couple of days. Another tip is avoid plastic wheeled stock, this tends to attract dirt through some magic mechanism, I re-wheeled all mine to metal. So just go into it with your eyes wide open, fiddly nahhhh Ohh and lastly dont bury to much track in tunnels, remember you have to be able to clean it :) Some say of course DCC is some kind of magic wand that fixes all this at great cost, having seen lots of DCC layouts I don't believe it! Keep up the railway modelling and enthusiasm......

Roger
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

abenn
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:03 am

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby abenn » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:45 pm

I converted from 00 to N-gauge a few years back, so that I could get more-realistic train lengths and track curves within my limited table area. I also switched at the same time from analogue DC control to DCC and, contrary to fourtytwo's experience, I've found it to be an eye-opener! In particular, I've found my engines run much more smoothly and reliably than they did with analogue, and one of my best runners is a Dapol 0-6-0 tank engine. DCC also simplifies the track electrics, for there's no need to have switched isolated sidings. It is important to have a power feed to each length of rail though, to ensure that power and command signals can get to the locos reliably. If startup cost is an issue, you can buy DCC-ready locos and run them with your existing analogue controller(s), subject to the caveats mentioned in earlier posts.

As for realism, the current models look good to me! And, even at my age, putting N-gauge kits together is not too much of a problem provided I have a good magnifier and good light.

Jkelly
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Jkelly » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:30 pm

Hello everyone, thanks for all your advice! I really appreciate it. I have just finished building my N gauge kit and I am very impressed. I didn't find it too fiddly at all, if anything I found the small size of the building rather pleasing. I think Ill try another kit or two and then make the change. I am going to wait untill April 12th to buy the track etc. as I'm Irish so the potential fall of the sterling rate would benefit me financially (for the short term anyway!)
I am also considering switching to DC for 2 reasons - Firstly, it means I can buy second hand trains cheaper online rather than DCC which is more expensive and B). Despite the fact that the wiring would be a mess, the chance of having a large control panel with four knobs etc. Etc. is attractive.
I'll keep you posted!

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Bigmet » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:34 pm

fourtytwo wrote:...down to the nitty gritty. N is soooo much more fussy about track cleanliness and being perfectly flat than OO ever was, steam multiplies all the problems as usually you are dealing with just an 060 chassis with very little in the way of extra pickups on some loco's (I have long since been adding tender pickups where possible)...

This is exactly the advice that lies behind what I would suggest. You have to work to a higher standard in N, to get the operating performance easily obtained from OO. It doesn't matter what other people can achieve or suggest is easy: it is whether your skills are up to the job, and there is only one way to find out.

So the thing to do before committing, is to first try it out and see how it works for you. Nothing more depressing than realising that to have a working model railway, you are going to have to buy OO to replace what you traded away...

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railsquid
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Location: Tokyo

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby railsquid » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:13 am

The above is sound advice.

Myself, I came to N gauge accidentally and started out with a very cheap starter set and some Kato track, and was blown away at how well it worked compared to my 1970s/1980s OO stuff.

I have no idea what modern OO is like, I assumed it has improved a bit since then.

Personally I've found N gauge surprisingly reliable, even though I don't constantly clean the track. However most of my stock is long-wheelbase non-steam, and my layout is in a climatically stable indoors room.Not sure how things would go with UK outline steam in a garage. Also be aware British N gauge and inclines don't really go well together

Jkelly wrote:I am going to wait untill April 12th to buy the track etc. as I'm Irish so the potential fall of the sterling rate would benefit me financially (for the short term anyway!)


Ah, but you might get whacked on some shiny new import duty if you're unlucky.

Bigmet
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Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Bigmet » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:21 am

railsquid wrote:...I have no idea what modern OO is like, I assume it has improved a bit since then (1970s)...

Slightly improved, for example: https://www.hattons.co.uk/NewsDetail.aspx?id=288

All production of OO in volume is in China, and several organisations - such as the retailer Hattons - are now actively competing with established manufacturers, by contracting directly with Chinese manufacturing outfits. All the mechanism technique is long proven from HO practise so it runs and pulls really well. This has put a huge dent in the kit and scratch building hobby, once absolutely necessary to get good OO locos and stock. Good OO now comes ready to run, though some still yearn for the old days of the open frame motor with a simple worm drive directly on axle, and bodies with no easily damaged detail. (The huge weakness, the set track is still based on the Roco tooling dating back to the 1950s that Triang-Hornby bought and branded as System 6 in the late 1960s! You may imagine how far it lags behind current HO set track systems. Peco fortunately offer much better in OO in a flexitrack based system.)

Back to N. Kato track has quite a following in the UK, and especially so for those looking outside the UK for their modelling subject, and specialist retailers focussing on N carry it.

Although UK N is on the same improvement track, the market is too small and generally resists paying Kato prices to have high class mechanisms. One boutique producer made a go of it some years ago, in collaboration with Kato, at a price: some start ups are now probing whether they can repeat this trick.

Jkelly
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Jkelly » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:03 pm

After searching around the Hattons website etc. I feel that N gauge in general is not as well catered for than 00 gauge but it is still plenty. I don't mind cleaning track regularly. I bought a guide to N gauge modelling from Peco and was inspired by some of the models shown (my favourite has to be Gransmoor Castle by Manchester MRS (it was built in the 70s! - if it can be done with poor propriety models, than it can certainly be done now!)
I have sent a list of my collection to Hattons to get a quote.
Thanks for the continuous advice!

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Mountain
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Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Mountain » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:46 pm

I would be interested to know what they offer you for your 00 collection. It is a case of if the price offered is good, then one would sell to them but if the price is too low then it is better to sell privately.

heda
Posts: 556
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby heda » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:12 pm

I would say you will get a lot more selling privately, try on here first.
Dave

Jkelly
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Jkelly » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:30 pm

Yes hattons has just gotten back to me with a disappointing price. £340 (€400) for the following:
1). Hornby R3119 Princess Coronation Class Duchess of Abercorn no.6234 DCC Fitted In original box. Loco in absolutely perfect condition running and cosmetically perfect, box shows sign of age, a little tattered at the ends but structurally sound
2). Hornby Railroad 4-4-0 Compound DCC Fitted. Unfortunately, the paintwork has several scuffs after the dog got at it, but the train runs absolutely fine. No traction tires. Box in mint condition-original box. In LMS black 1072 R3276
3). Hornby M7 4-4-0 DCC fitted. Runs and looks perfect. In original box, again showing signs of age at the ends, but otherwise the box is perfect. No. 111 in olive green. R2625X
4). Hornby Railroad Jinty 0-6-0 DCC Fitted from Somerset Belle Train Set. In perfect condition both running and cosmetically. No.24. In blue livery.
5). Unboxed Hornby Railroad 9f No.92221. DCC ready. Runs and looks perfect. Strong puller.
6). Triang D49 in need of TLC. Poor runner. In Makeshift box. I bought it at a charity shop with three coaches (listed below) “Yorkshire” No.62700
7). Hornby 0-4-0 From the Lakelander Set. Runs and Looks perfect. In LMS maroon. Side Tank

2 x Railroad LMS Maroon coaches both in mint condition boxed R4388 mint box
1 x Railroad SR coach in mint condition in mint box R4743 No.5505 mint box
1 x Hornby SR Maunsell coach super detailed in mint condition and the box is in mint condition as well. R4339A 6 Compartment Brake ‘2802’
3 x GWR lima coaches in original boxes, which are in a tsttered condition condition
2 x Bachmann Maroon BR coaches' Midland region. One is in mint condition, the other has bogie issues (trouble negotiating curves) but both are perfect aesthetically.

Buildings are a mix of Metcalfe kits and Skaledale.
Skaledale: Wash and Dry launderette unboxed mint condition
Ye Old Tea Shop boxed mint box in good condition low relief
Andrew James Butchers x 2. One is mint but the other is missing a back window. I have one box which is again showing signs of age but fine. R9767
The Corner Shop with very minor grey paint spillage to the front bottom. Otherwise it is mint
Spire restaurant. Again some minor paint spillage from when I was painting the road.
2 x Redbrick cottages in almost mint condition, again minor grey paint spillage to front bottom. R8622
2 x Stonework cottages same condition as above (R9722) Bay
Herbert Lenz – Optician (I bought this model 6 years ago and I only realized the pun in its name a WEEK AGO, but anyway) Mint condition unboxed
The Kings Arms Pub Absolutely Mint condition, never used, boxed, box in Mint condition too
LMS Water Tower unboxed mint condition, a very nice structure
Single Stone Tunnel boxed mint never used R8509 still wrapped in its box (price tag still attached to the box)
St. Marys Church unboxed but absolutely mint condition like new
An unboxed barn. Mint condition like new
Curved Platforms 2nd Radius R8642 boxed absolutely mint condition like new RRP €18.99 never used
Rail over river bridge single track never used mint unboxed
Hornby Track pins never opened unused packet in mint condition
Blue brick cottage unboxed good condition but minor paint spillage to front Hornby Skaledale - R8753 - small stone cottage


Overall I wasnt expecting a great price as they do have to make a profit, that is a price difference which I can make if I sell privately. Once everything is uploaded to eBay I will let everyone know here if they are interested in buying.

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Moving from 00 to N

Postby Mountain » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:24 pm

Put them in the for sale section on this. I will also put a few things up soon. We can generate some interest. :) The more for sale the more come to look.... :)
I need to take a few more photos. Certain items I thought had sold have not. (I also had some difficulty a few weeks before Christmas as I found I had no hope to post things as I was grabbed to assemble bicycles with no chance of time off). Eventually after my 00 gauge collections sell I will have time and space to concentrate in 7mm narrow gauge).


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