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Thread: What's you're defining moment for becoming an N scale lifer?

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    Default What's you're defining moment for becoming an N scale lifer?

    In the recent thread started by @BigJake called "Model Railroader Editor quote on N scale (supportive!)"

    @conrailandrew posted this:
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...583#post566583



    It brought back a good memory for me and I replied with this:

    I remember when KATO first released the GP38/38-2 and it listed for $49.95!!!!
    The Atlas GP9's at the time were only $20.00 and the RS-3's were...... $34.95 I think? (I was still digging through couches for coins at that point)
    "W
    hy do they cost so much? How much better can these be than the RS-3's?" I asked Harold.
    After I asking (I can still see the smirk on face to this day) he happily took one out and ran it on the test loop for me.
    My whole world changed at that moment!


    So I thought it might be kinda fun to hear from you what your "Defining moment" was to become an N scale lifer?

    I've always been into trains.
    When I real young, I use to hangout with my father at his cabinet shop which was very close to the CB&Q and Rock Island mainline. Every time I heard the rumble of a passing train, I'd run out the front door to watch them roll past! At some point dad made me a wooden steam locomotive and I would use a handful of Knape & Vogt KV255 shelf standards

    laid out on the floor for tracks, going as far as screwing chunks of scrap wood to them for ties.

    Later he actually bought some Lionel trains for me. When those wore out he built me an HO figure eight on a 4x8.
    In 1975 with some money I got for Christmas I bought a HO Tyco starter set with a Rock Island Sharknose to add to the figure eight layout.
    In my 9th grade year (1978) I met a friend who had an N scale layout "WOW!!! Just think what I could build on my 4x8?"
    And so it began....with a Bachmann starter set.
    But it wasn't till I seen that first KATO GP38/38-2 at Harolds Train Cellar that I knew that I was going to become an N Scale lifer.

    So what was your Defining moment?
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    N scale for life??? The day you see another scale you fall in love with, but decide you have too much invested in N to switch! ha ha
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

    "People saw wood and say nothing, but railroad men saw trains and say things that are better left unprinted."--Charles De Lano Hine

    Down with UP

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    Started in N as a teen, and have never been tempted by any other scale.
    I’ve not seen a benefit (to me) of modeling in any other scale.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    I've dabbled in HOn30 and HOn3, built a nice British 00 scale layout, toyed with On30, and had a couple HO layouts.

    But N scale has always been the undeniable draw since I was a young teen. Can't explain it, really. I suppose it's a bit like how some artists do their best work with oils, some with watercolors, others with acrylics, or charcoal, or ink. N scale is my best medium.

    Add: My first train set in 1967 was N scale. First loves never quite get out of your blood!
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 2nd Sep 2019 at 04:17 PM.

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    Interesting thread idea!
    For me, that moment was getting to actually work in other scales. While in college, I ran my own side business of working on DCC installs and building layouts locally in scales from Z to G, also helped my younger brother build an HO layout. N scale just feels right to me. Z scale intrigues me, but it's way too expensive for me and just isn't as available. HO scale and larger just feels clunky to me personally. I like how Bryan and Paul put it, sums it up very well. There just isn't really any draw to other scales like N has. Larger scales just don't seem to have the right proportion, and smaller just isn't as practical.

    Andrew
    Last edited by conrailandrew; 2nd Sep 2019 at 03:55 PM.

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    When did I become an 'N-scale Lifer'?

    When I found that by being 'creative' and 'thinking outside the square', it was possible to create the sorts of railway scenes I had both worked in as a railway professional and could see around me, AND which could be used to recreate the sorts of small railways which were at one time used in the local hard-rock gold mining industry.

    Not to say that I haven't 'dabbled' in other scales, but 'N' will always be my favourite.

    Thanks for asking.
    Komata "TVR - serving the Northern Taranaki . . . "

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    When I started dismantling that 4x12' HO scale layout that had been gathering dust for several years and replacing it with a 4x8' N pike.

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

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    As a kid, I loved making worlds in miniature and always dreamt of having a railway running through them to bring them to life. My family was very poor and if I wanted something, I had to make it as I had no means to buy it. I used to go into the local model shop and dream. Oneday, when I was thirteen I saw a pear of second hand N scale trix F units in Canadian Pacific livery. This was the first time I had ever seen N scale and my mind just exploded imagining all the scenes I could build for them to run through I had to have them. I started knocking on peoples doors asking for any work possible to see if I could raise the $5. to make them mine. Slowly the money triceled in and every week I would anxiously visit the model shop to see if they had been sold ? Anxious times indeed as the shop keeper would not reserve them for me. It took almost the whole summer holidays doing odd jobs until that special day when I ran to the shop waving my hard earned cash. 'Joy apon joys' they became mine. It was another eight months before I had earned enough to buy an old Triang controller and a circle of track and could finally watch them go round and round. That day back in 1982 has always stayed with me. And the F units ? Much battered but greatly loved, have stayed with me too
    IMG_9669 (2).jpg
    Thanks, Tom

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    Just want to add, those old F's have never skipped a beat and run beautifully to this day. And amazingly, can creep one tie at a time. Not bad for the mid sixties !!
    Thanks, Tom

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    After a bad divorce and a move across the country, I realized I missed my HO layout but didn't have enough room for another one, hence, I discovered the expanse saving benefits of N-scale and I never looked back....
    My WEBSITE:
    http://djsroknrol.comxa.com/layout.htm

    Remember, there's no place like ~

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    I was given a Lionel train set for Christmas when I was 2 years old got tired of it and gave it to my nephew when I was 7 years old and then one day shortly after I discovered HO scale.
    I built an HO layout with the help of my father and that kept getting larger until it filled the basement, then my father passed away and I got involved in other things, sold the layout, buildings rolling stock and locos for $50.00 in 1965.
    I discovered N-Scale in 1973 and still am going with it and never looked back, built 3 layouts and can say that N has improved in leaps and bounds since DCC came to be.
    I still use Atlas Track as was used on my HO layout and have a mix of wood craftsman buildings and quite a few plastic ones my latest layout is modular takes up an area of 27 ft. X 24 ft., my work involves travel and we gave up the home we had and the layout is in storage until we find the right home for the wife and I and the layout.
    Boilerman

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    Great story, @tomcook! Yes indeed, Minitrix was a stalwart. ...

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    I would have to say that my defining moment was when I left college to go to work full-time. Before college, I had an old worn out Lionel set, and my lawn mowing money was spent on HO. Had a 4x8 HO layout that slid under the bed.

    After college, I joined a local modular club where I was living. They had both HO and N module groups at the time. Since I was living in a apartment, the fact that I could build an HO scale layout in a quarter of the space using N, I switched. Still have some HO and O though.

    - Gary

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    I guess my "defining" moment was about 20 years ago when I first started my website (basically just a bare bones list of N scale locomotives). Shortly thereafter, Model Railroader magazine published a regurgitated copy of my list and mentioned my website in the process, which I thought was pretty darned cool

    So, at that point I was pretty much stuck in N scale forever. I mean, even if I wanted to switch, who would let me??

    -Mark

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    Interesting stories gentlemen. Thanks for sharing. I guess it's just in my DN(scale)A. My profile sums it up. I've had N scale train since the late 60'. The interest in model trains and more came from my older brothers. My first set was a Santa Fe passenger made by Lima. The Loco did not have a light. I eventually moved up to a Bachmann freight set and the diesel had a light. Talk about advancement. Many years later around 1990, I stumbled across some Bachmann steam loco at a mall train exhibition and my young son and I were hooked again. The interest did not go beyond running the trains and collecting them on and off. Until 2000-2001 I got an Atlas Commander and two Atlas DCC loco. The interest became a winter pass time because I got a boat for long summer fun. I always love to fish. Then in 2013 it hit me again, mostly because of the advancements and increase competition (and I sold my boat two year prior). Yeah, the bar was raised. Most of my equipment is Digitrax, TCS, Kato, Atlas, MTL products and have a few Athearn and Fox Valley products. I also have 6 scenery-less T Trak modules that I take to shows to promote the hobby. I have yet to build a permanent layout because life just won't allow me. One day that will change, but for now my stuff stays NIB. Oh, and the defining moment was when I purchased my Kato SD40 in Santa Fe blue war bonnet. Still run smooth!
    "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -- Benjamin Franklin

    Mario

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    I grew up with a dad that collected post war Lionel, he gave me a lot of it. My brother had a box of old 70's N Scale....I took it over. I looked at my friend's TYCO GP20 and felt that N was more realistic....my true lock into N was the Kato U30C and Atlas U25B...
    Modeling the Pacific Electric Playa Desnuda Branch in N Scale

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    Christmas present from my parents of a N scale train set back when I was 10 or so. Bachmann set with a steam set, didn't stick to steam very long, grew up watching them beautiful diesel engines of CPRail. I've been collecting in Nscale since. It's perfect size in my current place of living for amount of room it takes up, and don't see changing scales for any reason, even if I had a bigger place.
    Kevin M.

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    I went into an lhs to look at some N scale cars, when a couple of old HO scalers asked me why I was looking at that small sh-t. I thought, "how immature". When they started whispering and giggling, it sealed the deal for me and never looked at another scale.
    Charter member of CAMRRA.

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    12/24/1962



    Doug
    Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
    www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    So, at that point I was pretty much stuck in N scale forever. I mean, even if I wanted to switch, who would let me??

    -Mark
    You wouldn't be able to. It's like you are in the Mob. You can't leave because you know too much!

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