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Thread: Starting from scratch, researching, etc.

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    Default Starting from scratch, researching, etc.

    Hi, I'm new to N scale, I grew up with HO scale. I love the steam era, and I'm thinking about modeling something from the wild west or civil war period or post civil war period. I've been Googling track plans, research, etc, but I'm also looking for a community to join because it might be more fun. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on modeling one of these particular time periods. The area I have to build on is a pair of standard 18" hollow closet doors. I have some scenery left over from my HO trains, trees, grass, etc.... will these be out of place for N scale?

    Thank you.

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    Scenery materials won't look out of place in N at all; a lot of the trees that are packaged and sold as HO scale are really better candidates for N. What they sell is usually like a 25 foot tall tree, but if you look at a forest its canopy is likely to be closer to 50 feet or more. As for grass and other foliage, this stuff doesn't really have a scale.

    I won't be much help to you on the era, though, since I model 1971 and you're more interested in 1871. It would be a tough period to model in N, since the selection of ready-to-run is limited, but it should be feasible. You might want to actually do something closer to 1900; there was still frontier at the time, but the stables of steam engines were starting to get a bit more diverse, and there are some decent turn-of-the-century models now in N. If you stick with civil war era, then you're gonna have to use Americans (4-4-0's) almost exclusively, and these would have to be from Bachmann, they have that market kinda cornered. By advancing to 1900, you can run 2-8-0's and heavier 4-6-0's, as well as the Bachmann old timers.

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    Welcome to the Site!


    As far as the era, I would check on how much equipment is available. I think that you can get some moguls (2-6-0) with diamond stacks that would fit the era. I think that there is some turn of the century rolling stock too but I would research the providers to see what is out there before getting too deep into the project.
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    Welcome to the site. Glad you joined us. Good luck with the time period you chose. Hopefully others here can help you more than I.

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    Default Thank you

    Those are good ideas, I basically like anything steam era, and despite the temptation I'm not going to rush into anything this time. this is research phase. Yesterday i started a list of time periods and regions that interest me, mostly south, mid-west or otherwise 'flat' areas as I'm not sure I'm ready to take out too many hills yet. Although since I live in the Northeast, I grew up around Steamtown back when it was in Vermont.

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    As far as Civil War theming goes, I suggest reading a few books. One is "Stealing the General", it has a "track plan" of sorts for one of the major depots that the raiders were held up at during the Andrews Raid. Just something to get ideas flowing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimRacin14 View Post
    As far as Civil War theming goes, I suggest reading a few books. One is "Stealing the General", it has a "track plan" of sorts for one of the major depots that the raiders were held up at during the Andrews Raid. Just something to get ideas flowing.
    An excellent, excellent book, both for the historian and the train buff. I highly recommend it as well.
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    zosimas: FWIW, as noted by others, unles you are heavily into scratch-building, the era you model is, unfortunately, going to be defined by the available 'off the shelf' motive power A quick check of 'Spookshow Trains' on Google (http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/locol...&Submit=Submit), indcates that although 1863 is the earliest year for which a model has been manufactured (An Atlas 2-6-0) and B'mann's 4-4-0 is of 1875-vintage, 1880 seems to be most popular 'real' year for prototype locomotives. However, to complicate matters, Spookshow gives the models concerned a low rating (C's and D's) in respect of reliability, with the first locomotive of the era to gain an 'A' grading being a MDC 2-8-0 of 1889. I would suggest that you check the Spookshow site and make your choices as appropriate. Hope that this helps.
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    Thanks. I've been reading, I finally ended up using a book titled "Vermont's Granite RR's" for a prototype, it's about more than just granite railroads actually. Covers the operations the Montpelier & Wells River RR and Barre & Chelsea RR. So I've began landscaping my layout based on a New England theme around 1930-1945. Something simple, there's some photo's in the book I'm using as inspiration for scenes and trains consists. Going with the small time RR theme as my layout is rather small too. Planning on a creamery and grain/feed store, and rolling stock appropriate for those operations. I'm getting an RPO car, hoping to build a postal pick-up scene, there is a nice photo detailing this in my book.

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