OO or N Gauge?

Discussion in 'Modelling, Simulations & Games' started by Hornby Hombre, 16 Oct 2018.

  1. Hornby Hombre

    Hornby Hombre Member

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    My brother and I used to have a Hornby 00 set as kids. My girlfriend bought me the Hornby Gloucester Pullman set last Xmas. We have limited space in our 1 bed bungalow (2 humans, 1 large dog, 1 cat, 1 Bearded Dragon and a Gecko) and have just found space for me to do a permanent setup on a converted paste table (W 560 mm L 1780). I would like both shunting possibilities and a loop of track to run trains round. I also have Dyspraxia which means means both my hand eye co-ordination and motor skills (both fine and gross) are poor. I am willing to compromise on the layout if needs be but don't really want to. Which would be better FOR ME 00 or N Gauge?
     
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  3. Spartacus

    Spartacus Member

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    Well, although N gauge quality has significantly improved over the last decade or two it can still be a bit fiddly due to size, but I'd say in that size of board you'll struggle to do much in OO, it's the width that would be the trouble. My suggest would be to try a few potential track layouts out on the board in OO as you have the track, but if you can't do anything you're satisfied with it might be time to think about N.
     
  4. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    I've had to think about exactly the same issues - like you, I had a fair bit of OO when I was a kid in the eighties. As far as I can tell, the things you need to think about are:

    Space - N gauge allows you to run very long trains in much smaller spaces, and as has been mentioned, you won't get far in OO in the space you have, which is a major incentive to consider N.

    Availability of stock - it's improved in recent years, but N still has a smaller range of models in it than OO. Do you have a particular era/location you'd like to model? It may be that you're itching to own a model that's only available in OO, so that might be a deal-breaker. There's also FAR more secondhand stuff available in OO.

    Quality - Older N gauge models were pretty dreadful, and not as good as their OO counterparts, but I'd say that's much less of an issue now, and not worth worrying about if you're buying new.

    Durability - N is undoubtedly less robust and easier to break, but both scales can be fiddly and tricky - an issue to consider with your dyspraxia, but I very rarely broke anything in OO, even when I was five and extremely clumsy.

    DCC - if you want to go digital, it's generally easier to install chips in OO locos, although DCC in N is perfectly possible and plenty of people do it.

    Price - more or less the same for many models in OO and N, but some N gauge models can be more expensive, and as I said, rather less is available on the secondhand market. Maybe an issue if you're on a budget. As someone used to the somewhat cruder Hornby models of the seventies and eighties, I find the cost of modern models in both scales somewhat horrifying.

    If I were you, I'd say the space issue is about the biggest, and that would veer me towards N. I've got a garage, so when I finally get around to clearing the space, I suspect I'll go for OO.
     
  5. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Established Member

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    I can't speak for your hand/eye coordination as it might affect your decision, but on more general terms - in any given amount of space you get four times the (scale) area working in N vs. OO. It means you can have 4x as much "layout" - make your curves more realistically shallow, and so on. In my opinion, therefore, you can achieve a greater realism.
     
  6. Hornby Hombre

    Hornby Hombre Member

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    Thanks all for your comments. All the stuff in OO gauge is stuff my partners bought and a few bits I've bought second hand so haven't sentimental attachment except the Xmas present. The loco's, carriages and rolling stock I'd probably keep and display (Especially my 08 Electric Diesel) as I love trains not just modelling. The sentimentality I suppose comes from having Hornby as a kid (Hence Hornby Hombre - Hornby Man.) Maybe if I change I should change my username to 'Hornby Traitor' lol.
     
  7. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    One thing to ponder in the future - do you have an accessible loft space? If so, fitting a power supply plus some baseboards would make space for a larger layout.
     
  8. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C Established Member

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    Have a look at the book Building Micro-Layouts: Design Tips, Techniques and Project Plans. Some really good ideas for small scale layout plans in there which would let you model 00 in your 6 x 2ft space.

    Certainly if you want to include a lot of shunting, N Gauge wagons are often prone to jumping off points and can be a pain to rerail with dexterity issues.
     
  9. trash80

    trash80 Member

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    As a compromise why not try narrow gauge? 009 is 00 sized stock but with N gauge track. I have a HO9 layout and can have a loop and plenty of shunting, though wouldn't have the size to do it in 00. Obviously you won't be able to model BR for example.
     

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