Advice and help plz

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
Fruitgums
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Advice and help plz

Postby Fruitgums » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:17 pm

Hi there, first post \o/

Have been away from the hobby for some 35 years as a 00 fan, however the space I have for a layout is a little on the small side for 00 scale at 2.4m by 3.5m, my sons old bedroom, but appears ideal for N scale. I wish to create a two deck layout using a helix, with a Terminus station, a fully working large yard, an industrial area and a second station to complete the mainline all in DCC, as I said on two decks.

Here are my questions:
35 years ago N scale was a headache because so many cars would derail over switches and sometimes for no apparent reason, and frankly that kinda destroys the fun my grand kids will have playing trains. Of course the fun I get is purely in the scratch building and scenery creation, definitely not playing with trains, :] erm maybe a little :)

Does N scale still have these issues?
Is there a work around?
Is there anything else I should consider?

Feel free to chuck heaps of advice at me, I'm a sponge.

Thanks

Fruity

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Mountain
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby Mountain » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:34 pm

I have only made a single little layout in N gauge which was a basic oval using Peco set track. I didn't get too many issues with things leaving the track as far as I can remember. The issues I had were the need to keep the track and wheels clean, which seemed to be so much extra work thein it is in 00. 00 is enough work in itself at times.
I tried N gauge about 25 years ago. I then gave the little layout to a friend. Not sure where it is now as sadly he passed away.

Wagons jumping tracks... Some issues maybe because they are simply too light weight. Other issues are the wheels back to back or trueness, and the track itself.

Bigmet
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby Bigmet » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:13 pm

There is now some better UK N gauge product, but you will have to buy new. The old Graham Farish from Poole, Minitrix etc. available s/h, forget it. Two main makers in the UK market at present: 'Farish by Bachmann' and Dapol. For track, Peco, ideally from their streamline ranges.

I would suggest getting along to a good model shop and taking a look, or even better a good sized exhibition. You had better not look at the current OO product, or your eyes may pop out of your head. Matters have improved mightily since the mid 1980s.Oh, what the heck take a look at this. This is an average current standard model...

https://www.hattons.co.uk/312312/Hatton ... etail.aspx

Fruitgums
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby Fruitgums » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:54 am

If I understood you correctly, don't touch Graham Farish from Poole or Minitrix, I'm not sure what you mean by "available s/h", but I'm to forget it?

So Bachmann' and Dapol for rolling stock and Engines?
Peco streamline code 55 is my plan so I'm on track there, (pun intended)

I plan on going to the Norfolk and Suffolk Narrow Gauge Modellers ‑ "Running Day" on the 11th of may which will be the first time I have been to any kind of show for 25 odd years, should be fun as long as they don't expect me to run far, anything over 25 yards and I'll need to sit down :)

Thanks for the advice and help, I feel more assured now that N scale could work out for me.

Fruity

heda
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby heda » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:07 pm

I agree with Bigmet, I've recently switched from N to OO, not because N gave me any problem but I enjoy the modeling so need to build another layout so I'm working on something my grandson (and me) can play with.
For track yes Peco code 55, Locomotives Bachman or Dapol, I bought a few older secondhand loco's when I was starting out and was never really happy with them but the new ones I bought ran perfectly.
I had a variety of rolling stock and didn't have any issues with any of it, including kit built peco wagons, although I would recommend fitting metal wheels.
Dave

mahoganydog
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby mahoganydog » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:45 pm

Fruitgums wrote:If I understood you correctly, don't touch Graham Farish from Poole or Minitrix, I'm not sure what you mean by "available s/h", but I'm to forget it?


Poole era Farish was alright but the newest models are fast heading for twenty years old; the diesels I would avoid, they had awful problems with splitting gears. The steam locos were fine if well maintained but many weren't and there is a minefield here because they were made in multiple versions and the early ones weren't very good.

Many will say they weren't reliable... you had to ensure the pickups were clean or you would get problems especially if you used insulfrog points. Electrofrog solved that problem even if they do take a little more work to use.

Minitrix were just poor from the outset, they could run well but some of the chassis designs had issues that when they got a little wear they became problematic. They were also extremely primitive even compared to Farish of the same era.

Jim
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End2end
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby End2end » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:19 pm

Hi Fruitgums. I know nothing of N gauge.
Just a .. welcome to the forum. :)
Thanks
End2end
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Mountain
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby Mountain » Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:09 pm

I had problems with H0e due to the need to clean track and wheels. The mechanisms were brilliant but it was more about the small size which I found a little limiting. I found N gauge to be the same. They can all certainly run well with cleaning though, though obviously some designs will work better the others.The H0e I bought was jolly expensive for its size. Fortunately N gauge, being more popular, is slightly cheaper.

b308
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby b308 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:55 am

I've never found the older N gauge stuff any more or less prone to derailments than any other gauge. Derailments tend to be caused by poor tracklaying or trying to go too fast for the track used (full speed round 9" curves or through 9" radius points for instance).

Track laid correctly on decent baseboards and even older N gauge stock will behave. I'd be wary about some older n stuff such as Arnold or Ibretren because of pizza-cutter flanges but I still use Minitrix and older Farish chassis with no issues.

abenn
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby abenn » Thu May 02, 2019 9:35 pm

I moved from OO to N-gauge a few years back and, using Peco code 55 flexible track and electrofrog points and crossings I've never had a derail since I corrected the gauge of the front bogie on one of my Dapol locos. One key to reliable running is, of course, to have a good solid base for the track; mine is fixed directly to 12mm plywood. I have two levels, accessed by 1-in-40 inclines.

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Mountain
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby Mountain » Thu May 02, 2019 10:47 pm

Well done. Get it right and N gauge trains look really impressive. I hve to admit that the only real downside to N gauge, and 00 gauge to some extent, are the look of the couplings. I don't mind the look of large wheel flanges as those are less visible.

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Vigo
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Re: Advice and help plz

Postby Vigo » Wed May 08, 2019 9:46 am

It's been a hell of a long time since I posted on here (about 4 years) but I lurk in the shadows and someone has asked a question and might as well have the benefit of my knowledge/experiences.

I've been a devotee of N gauge for over 45 years and I've made and run many different layouts from simple roundy tail chasers to fairly complex prototypes in that time. I've had a wide variety of rolling stock from many different manufacturers - new, second hand, vintage and scratchbuilt and in all that time I think the only real issue I've had has been weight - or lack thereof, especially with wagons. That's the thing with N, it looks pretty and some of the modern stuff is jaw droppingly detailed but they're simply not heavy enough and if you don't take care nasty things WILL happen. Sure you can add a bit of weight here and there but then maybe some of your locos won't do what they're supposed to do - ie work, particularly on inclines. Also there seems to be a thing for close coupling coaches nowadays. I don't like these, I think it's a novelty done purely for cosmetic reasons but that's just my opinion. I've had a fair few of them and I've found them to be pretty to look at but very unpredictable on curves and problematic at the best of times. My advice, stick to fixed length couplings on coaches and you won't go far wrong. You can easily hide unsightly gaps and couplings between carriages with gangway bellows (dirt cheap off Ebay). Just make sure your curves are gentle and regular.

Regarding locos, you get what you pay for. A good quality modern manufacture model will probably set you back 3 figures but for that you get guaranteed reliability, amazing detail that's extremely fragile and no 'pizza cutter' wheels but in my experience, good old pizza cutters don't derail anywhere like as often as modern 'low profile' wheels. Your money, your choice but if I was in your position I'd be looking at 2nd hand Chinese built Graham Farish models. I've found them to be generally amongst the best around and usually a lot cheaper than brand new ones. If manic detail isn't really your thing then maybe look at something like Union Mills locos. They're not particularly expensive (they crop up on Ebay from time to time for about £70-80) and not ridiculously over-detailed either but they're unbelievably reliable and I swear the one I have could pull a caravan... Similarly some of the older Minitrix models will go forever if you treat them right. I have two that are over 40 years old and still going strong.
Lima? Well...hmmm. Let's just say the jury's out. Some of them are OK-ish but they seem to stretch the reality envelope somewhat and have a different definition of the words scale and model to the rest of the world but if you're not bothered about that, they're cheap. Nuff said.

I think the thing with 'modern' loco models is that they're mostly made from plastic and I think their primary aim is to look the part rather than act the part whereas some/most of the older ones are more utility being made from metal and hence they're somewhat heavier. To my mind that's a good thing for something so small.


Final thought on things with wheels: If you want to go 'All In' then forget the mortgage and buy Kato or Fleischmann, you won't regret it. The dog's doodahs.


A quick word about helices seeing as you specifically mentioned them. Unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing then you'd be best avoiding them like the plague. I'm on my 4th attempt now and I've almost got it right this time. The next one will probably be even more almost right... :roll:
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