Friday, February 19, 2010

Cheux cheux part deux

For you non French speakers, that's Choo Choo part Two.
As you can see from the photo below, N scale is tiny (that is a quarter inside the rail on the locomotive) but not as tiny as Z scale. Obviously, I picked up an engine (loco for you model train enthusiasts) and a couple of pieces of rolling stock (train cars for you non model train enthusiasts).
My two new pieces of "rolling stock", a 75 ton coal hauler and a caboose. Both fall within the era of the middle 1950's or earlier which is the era that I have chosen for my layout.
I also picked up some pier supports for my bridges. Yep, that's a switch under the bridge. Not real convenient to get at but it works for the layout. It is a combo manual/electric switch and can be controlled by a remote switch controller box.
Duh, switch controller boxes as you might expect. There are eight of them shown here because I have eight switches in my layout. The blue thing in the middle is the activator switch/button. It is a switch that can be pushed left or right (corresponding to the switch direction) and a button because to activate the switch, you must push down on the blue switch like a button to activate it, but only for 1 second.
This photo hopefully will give you a little perspective and a little scale. That is a standard screwdriver lying on the table between the two little cars. The power/speed controller is to the right of them just going out of the photo.
That is where I am at present on my new found enjoyable hobby. Getting ready to do some elevation supports where you see cardboard etc. Hoping to make gradual elevation changes and then to start doing some landscaping and making scale buildings.
Stay tuned for continued progress! I am getting excited about the whole thing. I actually can run the little train around the layout and work the switches and put cars on the sidings etc. Soon, I will be getting the bumpers for the ends of the sidings and picking up more "rolling stock".
Have a little fun when you can and if you don't have one, start a new hobby today!

Friday, February 12, 2010

All Aboard?

When I moved to NW Pa. this is what the area around my house looked like.
And below is what it looks like now.
I really am trying NOT to complain, but after all, I am a Florida boy. Seems like it has snowed everyday since Thanksgiving. Here it is the 12th of February and it is snowing still.
One could get cabin fever. I think that is why hobbies were invented. However, whittling duck figurines or tying dry fishing lures are not for me. No offense to those who find the whittling and tying fascinating and rewarding. Just not my cup of tea that's all.Notice that the deer are almost up to their bellies in snow.
All aboard! Got off of my behind and started doing what I was talking about. Model Railroading 101. Thought that I knew something about model trains etc. Wow was I on the short end of the information on that subject. Since I last touched a model train (of any kind-except the one that ran under the Christmas Tree this last Christmas, O gauge with 3 rails) preferably HO scale (at least that is what I was thinking, how dumb!) the industry, the hobby, and the technology has changed dramatically! And did I mention that it has changed a lot too?
Well, after getting over the shock of it all, I actually started making inquiries at a place called "@ The Bank" where it turns out is the location of Tom's Train Terminal. Cute huh? So I got hooked again but this time on N scale trains. There are many different scales. The 3 most common are: O , HO and N. I chose N scale over HO, mainly because I can't locate my HO set. I know I packed it back in the mid 90's for one of 6 subsequent household moves. It disappeared somewhere in the middle of all those moves.
The great thing about N scale is that you can have a fairly impressive layout in a small (relatively speaking of course) area. I happen to have an "office" which I have claimed for myself [thanks Jude! =8-) ]Above, token photos of my present layout in progress. It is about 38 inches deep and 74 inches long. It has 8 switches, 3 re-railers, and two bridge sections and lots of track! ( the cardboard pieces under the track just before the bridge will be replaced with a hill and landscaping.)
So, to sum it up, O scale cars are about a foot long, HO cars are about 6 inches long, and N cars are about 3 inches long. That means you can get the same type of layout in N scale in about 1/4th the area as O scale.
More later.