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Thread: In Praise of 'N'!

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    Default In Praise of 'N'!

    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?


    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/05/24...lway-modelling

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    Love the British modeling! Some beautiful and inspiring results.

    I agree with your premise. In just about every significant comparison to the larger scales, N scale can hold its own. And in a few facets, such as track-to-scenery ratio, it excels.

    But, yes, N scale has one somewhat significant flaw -- couplers.

    Whether it's Rapido-style (dead giveaway as to scale in the first of your photos), slinky effect issues, out-of-scale knuckle couplers, or so-called scale couplers that aren't really practical and weren't designed to work in universal swap-outs, N scale's great "gotta make a compromise here" aspect is couplers.

    Unlike our HO brethren, who have operating scale (or very close to scale) couplers available, after nearly 55 years of commercially viable N scale, we still have to choose between appearance or practicality.

    Granted, we have it better than British steam-era and early diesel N scale modelers. For them, attempting to use three-link, Instanter or screw-link couplers is the fast track to frustration and acute myopia! Hence the Rapido or knuckle coupler compromise.

    If the coupler issue was somehow resolved so that we too had an operating to-scale coupler head with spring whiskers for a centering action, and no slinky effect, that would be a major step forward.

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    I love 'N' above all others. But ...

    1. Not for children. I grew up with Lionel and got my kids Tyco HO, both scales that a child can play with. Not too detailed, so they were sturdy for the occasional high-speed exit from a turn . N scale is just too small for children and too delicate (except for the earliest ones which were just toys).

    2. Very limited motive power, especially steam, both in type and road name. Royal Hudson? HO yes, N no. Milwaukee Road S2 4-8-4? HO yes, N no. Lehigh Valley 'Asa Parker'? HO yes, N no. etc. etc. etc.

    But I wouldn't change scales anyway

    Dave

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    I agree about the couplers, especially for those who like to do ops. The European trains use either the Rapido couplers, bar couplings, or Fleischmann Profi couplers. The Profi couplings are an improvement, but do not always work with the geometry of some cars or Loks.

    With my European trains, though, I haven't seen much "Slinky" effect.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Quote Originally Posted by 56Pontiac View Post
    I love 'N' above all others. But ...

    1. Not for children. I grew up with Lionel and got my kids Tyco HO, both scales that a child can play with. Not too detailed, so they were sturdy for the occasional high-speed exit from a turn . N scale is just too small for children and too delicate (except for the earliest ones which were just toys).
    It really depends on the type of N scale we're talking about. I have no problem with my 4 year old niece playing with a Tomix Thomas set (with the Anna and Clarabelle cars) running on DC on a loop of Kato Unitrack. In fact, I bought that setup just for her to play with (she can watch my grown-up layout but not touch). And the cheap pre-1990s Bachmann/Model Power/Life Like train set cars and rolling stock I also have no problem with a kid playing those. But yes, hands off my BLMA/Scale Trains/ExactRail/etc

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Those are wonderful photos, I used to live a few miles from Wickwar and this looks amazing! As for kids and N, I think it depends on the kid, I started in N in 1978 when I was 9 as we had a very small house and have never looked back.

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    Here are my observations on N.

    - My wife likes HO and kind of wishes we had room for that. In some ways I can agree, but I doubt that it will ever happen.
    - To me, N looks a little more realistic by nature...HO forces super-detailing or it looks junky and toy-like.
    - You can 'get away' with more in N scale, and it's a good thing, too...because you have to compromise more as well.
    - Couplers suck.
    - I once read somewhere that O is for people who want to model the locomotive, HO is for people who want to model the train, and N is for people who want to model the whole damned line.
    - I love having a huge empire in a small space.
    - The learning curve is trickier in N scale but the payoff is bigger.

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