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Thread: New to Nn3? Short overview and a few places to get started.

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    Default New to Nn3? Short overview and a few places to get started.

    What some people tend to misunderstand about Nn3 is that it is not a different scale. It is still N scale. The difference is that the track is a different gauge. The small "n" is for narrow (gauge) while the "3" generally represents a gauge of three foot.

    Many industries and railroads did not have the resources to build a rail line to the wider, more common track gauge of 4', 8.5". A narrower track gauge could allow for less expensive construction, smaller radius curves, lighter bridges, sometimes higher grades and lighter rail. Smaller locomotives and rolling stock meant savings too. 3 foot was common but there could also be 2 foot or 30".
    Mountainous locations, industries with temporary track needs like logging, industries like mining or quarrying, or any number of industries with a need to move heavy loads on site, were all candidates for narrow gauge operations to keep costs lower.

    In Nn3, the common practice is to use Z scale track to represent the 3 foot gauge. (although Z track measures roughly 41 N scale inches) More advanced modelers will hand lay track and turnouts. Marklin, Peco, Micro-Trains, Rokuhan and Atlas have offered Z scale track. Z scale trucks and couplers are also useful for modeling any narrow gauge N scale equipment. Micro-Trains has offered narrow gauge freight cars.

    One roadblock is a lack of ready to run locomotive models. There have been a few Nn3 releases over the years and some high end brass but many Nn3 modelers will convert a N scale locomotive to the narrower gauge or build a kit that uses a Z scale mechanism.

    There is much more to this N scale niche. I have been hoping to spread the word here on Nscale.net. It is always wise to look into what others have done. A few places to start:

    http://www.nn3.org/ - Note: Older site. Many links broken. Main reason is for Republic Locomotive Works (coming under new management as of 2022) and Nn3 handbook
    https://www.showcaseminiatures.net/nn3_scale/ Expanding line of narrow gauge Shay and Climax kits. Much thanks to Walter and Debbie for their dedication to N scale and great service
    https://www.micro-trains.com/index.p...tegory&path=91 - Not offering much new but have in past
    https://aspenmodel.com/Steam-Diesel-...ml?language=en - a bit rich for my budget but I can dream
    https://www.shapeways.com/marketplac...trains?tag=nn3 growing number of Nn3 offerings

    Groups:
    https://groups.io/g/Nn3 - This was the old Yahoo Nn3 Group and includes many of the pioneers of Nn3. Different format, less of a "forum" than a chat group,
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/785874845483688/ - Nn3 the Narrow Gauge Adventure - small following but some talented modelers.

    Republic Locomotive Works - Was a website dedicated to supplying parts, kits and items that supported the narrow gauge modeling community. Elaborate craftsman structure kits, narrow gauge steam and diesel locomotive kits and various detail parts to customize projects were all part of Marshal Thompson's site. He passed away in March 2022 leaving a rich legacy.
    Really hoping someone continues this site and it's offerings.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler - Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life - Web-Folio
    Blog: American Revolutionary War Diorama:https://www.nscale.net/forums/entry....onment-Diorama
    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    Oh my, Republic Locomotive Works had amazing kits and new releases like a superb mill this year. Their kits are finicky and hard to build, but outstanding models you cannot find anywhere else. I hope they do bring them back soon.
    Just another n-scaler.

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    I read somewhere Republic Locomotive Works was acquired by Monroe Models.

    http://www.monroemodels.us/

    That deal on the Nn3 Handbook and a track gauge looks like a bargain!
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by ranulf View Post
    I read somewhere Republic Locomotive Works was acquired by Monroe Models.
    Yes, I actually forgot what company was stepping up. Thanks. The handbook is a great place to start.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler - Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life - Web-Folio
    Blog: American Revolutionary War Diorama:https://www.nscale.net/forums/entry....onment-Diorama
    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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