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 Established 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 Established 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.
     
  10. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    If you are doing a layout up there,get a loft conversion.
    Insulate the roof area itself,rather than the loft floor.It's a proper pain in summer otherwise.

    It gets way too hot and makes the track warp.
    Agreed, for a 00 gauge set up of any decent size it's probably the only suitable place in the house to put it.

    Depending on the age of your house,you might be limited by obstacles like gable/cross beams or water tanks.
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2018
  11. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I’ve always modelled in 00. I’ve dipped my toe in the water with N a couple of times over the years but not really got on with it.
    In this last year though I’ve helped my best friend exhibit and operate his N gauge layout at a couple of shows (it’s only small but will hopefully appear in Railway Modeller towards the end of next year). This has finally convinced me to throw caution to the wind and build my next project in N.
    I’m going to eBay my 00 stock over the next few months and start collecting new N gauge locos and coaches.
    I’ve decided to stick to what N is good at - long prototypical trains, a sense of the trains running through the scenery and as little fiddling around with tiny wagons as possible.
    Quite looking forward to the challenge actually.
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2018
  12. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Good point, if you want to do lots of shunting in yards, running round at terminus stations etc., N is a nightmare, and OO is much more robust and user friendly.
     
  13. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    That weekend I kept finding that when I re-railed a truck with one finger I’d lift my hand away and the truck would still be stuck to my finger. :lol:
     
  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Haha! Truly the "hand of God" striking there. It's a shame TT gauge was never a success in this country, and that Tri-Ang discontinued it. It was a really nice size, big enough to be easy to handle but small enough to squeeze in a bit extra.

    There's a vintage TT layout that appears at exhibitions every now and again, it's very nice.
     
  15. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Absolutely.
    TT would’ve been a perfect gauge for the modellers in the UK really.
    What gauges we have in the UK instead though is:

    N - Quite fiddly but improving rapidly, some of the models look extremely good, especially the new Dapol class 50 (I’m planning to get one myself).
    My friends son has a newish Dapol class 33. Pictured here:
    0194564C-4795-40D2-9D15-A35978676E9C.jpeg

    Better proportioned than the Heljan 00 gauge 33 I reckon. Shows the quality being achieved now. It’s absolutely tiny!

    00 - It’s a nice scale to work with and it feels so familiar, there’s so much stuff available, but it’s comprised by its track width. I think the rails are set at a scale 4’1” maybe?
    This in a way has become increasingly noticeable as the quality of available models has improved over the last 15 years.
    It just doesn’t look quite right to me, having a perfect model locomotive with excellent detailing/weathering/surrounding scenery etc while they’re sitting on basically narrow gauge track.
    (I know this is pedantic)

    To the Op - Whatever you go for there has to be a compromise one way or another.
    It’ll be enjoyable whatever you try though, and the stuff available in all scales these days is of a much better quality than it used to be.
    Please let us know what you’ve decided and why you’ve decided it if you can though.
     

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    Last edited: 21 Nov 2018
  16. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Nice snowy layout there - as you say the quality of "N" gauge has come along a lot in recent years. But I have my "00" in the roof!
     
  17. SCH117X

    SCH117X Member

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    Never keen on lofts - too hot, too cold and questionable roof structures making conversions expensive in any property built in the last 20 odd years as the roof structure was designed to support the roof not people and a layout. I had a end to end 15ft + 4ft fiddle yard OO layout that between exhibitions spent its time in store with the ability usually only to work on one of the 3 5ft long scenic boards. Then those Christmas floods in 2015 seriously damaged the building in which it was stored, albeit the layout was okay as it was two floors up . In the meantime a dodgy knee and a food allergy that had emerged made me think the whole thing over again; the food allergy would no doubt cause problems with many exhibitions knowing the limited range of food available at most and the knee could cause problems getting the layout down (and back up) the relatively steep staircase.
    So having said I could not take the layout home I started working out the available space and a nominally 9ft square space was available in a bedroom - the layout was largely only 16" wide on two boards - the third widened out to 2ft and remarkably I discovered the first and third boards would fit without affecting the use of the bedroom provided they were positioned high enough up the wall:D. A new curved board replaced the second, not that big a loss as a point was becoming troublesome, and a further curved board after the third board brought the tracks to the edge of the window - a removable section being made to fit across the window and beyond there is currently a narrow wooden framework awaiting a 3ft elevator to act as the fiddle yard, with a short board beyond for locos to removed from, without affecting normal use of the room:idea:. Unfortunately having ordered the elevator for delivery by last Christmas the latest date I had was October but still no sign of it:frown:
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2018
  18. J-Rod

    J-Rod Member

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    I've never really fancied doing N, as it would basically mean starting over! I've recently (within the last 2 years) started building a layout in the loft (much to the chagrin of the inlaws, who both work for The Railway and find people like me/us weird.. but then again, I wouldn't want to take work home with me either). Thankfully, the loft in my gaff is big enough to do a decent sized 00 layout without too much compromise on train length, plus I can reuse a bunch of things from when I was a kid and give them a second life, especially now that I have a small son of my own.

    My only gripe about modelling now, is that if you're not savvy, you can spend a king's ransom on stuff! I get that it's become a bit of a niche hobby, with the kids not being all that interested any more... but who can blame them, when even a coach is often £30+ when brand new?
    Then again, you can still find some decent deals on eBay if you're quick (hence why I've ended up with probably a few too many Mk2 D/E/Fs...)

    Anyway, a few pics of the work in progress that is 1988 In Trains (well, anywhere between 1979 and 1995 in reality...and develops by a little bit every night presently)

    IMG_1801.JPG IMG_1800.JPG IMG_1798.JPG cutting.jpg Railway churchB.jpg IMG_1774.JPG
     
  19. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Looks great. Thanks for posting the photos J-Rod.
     
  20. J-Rod

    J-Rod Member

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    Cheers man, at least the nightly asphyxiation from spray glue and paint is paying off! :)
     
  21. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Yes I was looking at your collection of glue and ballast in one of the photos and feeling like I wanted to have a go myself. :lol:
     
  22. J-Rod

    J-Rod Member

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    Be my guest, just behind where I took those shots from is a whole bunch of track, polystyrene and cheap filler! Mind you, half of the fun is actually making the scenery for me, so when it's all done not sure what I'll do. Maybe run some trains round in a big circle...

    Is that your layout up there? If so, kudos on doing winter. That's a serious commitment, what with all the snow! What made you decide to do that?
     
  23. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Not mine no. It’s my best friends that I’ve helped exhibit a couple of times.
    He calls me the Points Whisperer because I manage to keep it all running properly.
    Scenery is my thing too. Love it.
     
  24. J-Rod

    J-Rod Member

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    No wonder he does as I bet that's a task in itself, if it's an exhibition layout! Looks lovely though. Next time you see him, ask him why he chose that time of year? I'd bet money it was a childhood memory of some sort. You always wind up modelling your youth!
     
  25. SCH117X

    SCH117X Member

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    You can also get some things cheap from the various on line retailers in sales - Hattons current Sale of the Century has some significant reductions in it (and some not so and cheaper elsewhere) https://www.hattons.co.uk/NewsDetail.aspx?id=375. It has been going on for close to 2 months so some items have sold out.
     
  26. J-Rod

    J-Rod Member

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    oh why did you have to send me there...?!!?! I'm now thinking 'Xmas present for self'

    However, you're right; those prices are a bit more achievable - many of those can be saved up for by your average 9/10 y/o. I remember when I was 7, I desperately wanted a Hornby Princess (the blue one, 'Lady Patricia') and I - quite rightly - wasn't allowed it as it was something like £60 in 1991. Ended up buying one when I was 31... 1991 edition, everything. Could have got the latest one, which is a tad more detailed... but wouldn't have been the same!

    eBay is always my destination of choice - so many near to mint models on there, probably bought for layouts that just never happen and then get sold off (makes you wonder just how many of these things actually get used vs just sit in boxes for years). Just got to shop about a bit. It's still not quite the same as 'going to the model shop in town' though... Thankfully King's Lynn has a decent shop which also has a bargain bucket, so if The Lad does develop an interest, he can start there!
     
  27. bearhugger

    bearhugger Member

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    I went with a digital N gauge starter set and bought a baseboard that could fit on the dining room table but be tucked away fairly easily as space is a bit of an issue at the moment. The main downside is being careful with buildings etc when putting the baseboard away.
     

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