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Why not "O"?

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:11 PM

BRAKIE

 

 
cuyama
We've been through this many times. It's still not accurate, no matter where you heard it. "Industrial" railroads have a specific meaning in the real world -- and it's not any generic switching area worked by a Class 1, Regional, or Shortline.

 

Industrial Switching: A service performed by a railroad for delivering or picking up cars at industries.

Layout: What a model railroader builds to operate his models on.

 

To this point, Genessee and Wyoming has an entirely separate business unit with a different name for indstrial switching.  Different POC than other customers and everything.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:25 PM

7j43k
I have heard that the term "tinplate" was based on the use by Lionel, among others, of steel rail that was tinplated to lessen rust. Thus I would think you would be using such track.  While 0-72 makes a pretty nice big circle at about 36" radius, regular Lionel 0 was 15 1/2 in radius.

Except Joe323 explicitly stated 3rail scale..so no, he would probably need O72 (or larger, yes I think it goes to O128 now).  

Examples of scale locomotives that wont run on O27 or O31 curves

3Rail NYC Hudson (O36 or O54)

NYC Hudson with PT-2,3 or 4 tender O72

NYC Niagara PT-5 tender O72

B&A A-1 Berkshire O54

NYC Mohawks (all- O54, Lionel one you can lie to and run around O48 at very slow speeds, ive seen it done)

P&LE A-2 Berkshire O54

USRA 0-8-0 (O31 or O36)

NYC USRA 2-8-2 (O36 little fuzzy on this one)

F3 ABA set (O36 or O54 little fuzzy)

E8 ABA set (O54 also fuzzy may have been O72)

So... Space not covered..

Time...probably same as HO to be honest

Money...well lets not turn this into one of those threads, but scale stuff is comparable to new production HO brass (read that as you will spend approximately the same amount acquiring the locomotives as you would if pre-ordered new brass).   Freight cars and passenger cars are about the same, except you cant buy singles from MTH.. though shalt only buy 5 car sets or 2 car expansion packs with dining car or single dome cars that NYC never owned....freight cars are also leaning that way, you can buy only 6 car sets unless your dealer is willing to break up a set for you.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:29 PM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

Another comment that came up in this thread was the not-so-nice and not very realistic look of O gauge three rails. I have to agree that most are, not very attractive, but there is one I like a lot. MTH ScaleTrax has a small cross-section centre rail and it is black. I have shown with and without ballast. I also like the look in ballast (this is processed shale from Walton, NS). And, this O-72 turnout is a marvelous piece of model railroad technology!

 

 

I would have to agree with you except...track pans...

Also IMO, RCS is a better product, when I was in O, RCS was all I used.  Made in US of A, pretty much never goes out of stock, and they are pretty nice people.

Wood ties and machined points.

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Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 11:42 PM

IRONROOSTER,
Regarding the ratio of scales in the hobby, you're right in that no one survey is going to be capable of doing a 100% accurate poll.  Any poll will be biased either for or against certain scales depending on who runs it.  So lets look at certain things or events that embrace the entire spectrum of the hobby like train shows, items for sale, or clubs.

For example, take this year's Springfield Show.  Certainly the largest train show in the country and all scales are represented therein (even Lego).  There were at least 28 layouts.  HO was, by far, the dominant scale with 14 HO layouts (50%).  O had 6, N = 2, G = 4 and S = 1 (plus one Lego).  And it's not just the number of layouts, it is the size of them.

Looking at the show diagram (http://www.railroadhobbyshow.com/files/files/ARS%202018%20Floor%20Plan.v4.1.FINAL(2).pdf), and doing some quick and dirty math, I get a total of 4620 linear feet of layouts (the circumfrence of all the layouts combined).  Of these, 2568' are HO.  Doing the math, I get 55%.

Or look at the Walthers catalogs for each scale (pre-2017 when they combined things).  The HO catalog was typically 1000+ pages.  The Large Scale (O, S, G, etc.) catalog was less than 400 pages.  The N & Z catalog was also less than 400 pages, I believe.  If it's 1800 total Walthers pages, HO would be around 55% of the market.

Another measure of popularity are clubs.  I can't speak for the entire nation, but here in Southern New England (MA, CT & RI - population 11+million) there are at least 32 different club layouts/groups (some clubs do multiple scales).  Of these 32 layouts, 19 of them are HO scale, which is 59%.

Sorry, but HO is clearly the dominant scale.  While the exact percentage is debatable (why would you think it's less than 50%?), the clear advantage of HO is indisputable.

 

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:00 AM

Paul3
For example, take this year's Springfield Show. Certainly the largest train show in the country and all scales are represented therein (even Lego). There were at least 28 layouts. HO was, by far, the dominant scale with 14 HO layouts (50%). O had 6, N = 2, G = 4 and S = 1 (plus one Lego). And it's not just the number of layouts, it is the size of them.

But there is no Z layout and yet some number of folks are in Z - at least enough that there's a magazine for it.  This is another example of anecdotal evidence. It's interesting and indicative that HO is a popular scale. However, if you went to the York show I suspect that you would have a very different set of numbers.

Paul3
Sorry, but HO is clearly the dominant scale.

But is it dominant? or just the most popular. 

Paul3
the clear advantage of HO is indisputable.

By this do you mean it's the best scale to be in?  That's really a subjective determination each of us makes based on our own desires of what we want out of the hobby. 

Paul

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:11 AM

Doughless
 
richhotrain

Space, cost, and availability are the three principal reasons for the lack of widespread popularity of O scale.

Rich

Agreed.  Just too big, not just a space thing.  The locos and rolling stock are wonderful.  The detail is exquisite and the sound can begin to sound less tinny than HO onboard sound, so the equipment is great.

But everything has to be bigger, and better detailed.  How about hills, mountains, and trees; and people.  How much more detailed would all of this have to be?

 

Space, cost and availability are not issues for many of us in my opinion. I snapped a picture of part of my basement, entirely devoted to model trains. There is a lot more basement not showing behind the camera and behind the wall on the right. All of the homes in my neighbourhood have basements this size or bigger - our home is smaller than most here. There is plenty of room for a great O scale layout, plus HO and N layouts too ( both of the latter in progress in the picture). Cost and availability can be minimized by building my own structures, rail cars, etc. My layouts don't depend on manufacturers making stuff I want or need, I do that. And, adding detail is not work, it's the most fun part of the entire hobby for me.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:32 AM

Also in my basement, behind the picture of some of my layout areas, room for a structure/scenery construction center, and a very large hardcopy model railroad library. There is a lot of room for all aspects of my hobby in my basement. Oh, almost forgot, plenty of storage space under all the layout surfaces for piles of family stuff.

 

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 5:30 AM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder
 
Doughless 
richhotrain

Space, cost, and availability are the three principal reasons for the lack of widespread popularity of O scale.

Rich

Agreed.  Just too big, not just a space thing.  The locos and rolling stock are wonderful.  The detail is exquisite and the sound can begin to sound less tinny than HO onboard sound, so the equipment is great.

But everything has to be bigger, and better detailed.  How about hills, mountains, and trees; and people.  How much more detailed would all of this have to be? 

Space, cost and availability are not issues for many of us in my opinion. I snapped a picture of part of my basement, entirely devoted to model trains. 

Scratch, you are totally missing the point.

It's not that most modelers don't have space to put up some kind of layout. It is that the space that is available could hold so much more if the scale were HO or N than O. For what space you devote to O, you could double the amount of "layout" for HO.

As for cost, you just spent $10,000 on O scale stuff and "a lot more than that on HO over the last two years". Very few modelers on this forum can afford to spend $20,000 plus over a 2 year period on their model railroad. And, once again, it is not the aggregate cost but the cost per item. Everything in O costs more than a comparable HO item, be it a loco, rolling stock, whatever.

As far as availability, you did reinforce my point. O scale structures are not readily available so you will have to build your own.

For those reasons, there isn't more interest in O scale. 

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Posted by Water Level Route on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 5:55 AM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

Not apples and oranges at all.  Here are four used O gauge cars, three of them I repaired and modified, for the same price as one new CN covered hopper. This more than offsets the locomotive price differences for the same number of cars in both scales .

 

 

You really can't compare used versus new.  Too many variables at play.  Again, you have to compare similar new items.  A quick search of a popular online supplier will yield an Atlas O Trainman (Less detailed, less expensive Atlas line) Dash 8-40CW TMCC equipped for $365.99.  The Atlas HO Master Line Gold (More detailed, more expensive line) Dash 8-40CW Loksound Equipped is $189.99.  Makes it pretty black and white for me.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 6:38 AM

Dominant, popular, best, or pick another word.  Or just look at the numbers and forget words.

Yes, the statistics are somewhat moving targets and if you look at other countries where space is more limited, I would expect smaller scales to be significantly higher in numbers.  But in the US, country-wide, polls and figures listed in magazines seem to put HO approximately in the 55-65+ range.

Of course, everyone is free to choose what works best for them, which is the great thing about the hobby.  As a general rule, whatever has the highest numbers seems to have more choices available, probably because manufacturers are more likely to sell models in higher numbers and recoup their investments.

It would be interesting if MR magazine could cite their numbers from over the years from their data gathered.  The best one can do is to amalgomate all the data and provide an average within frames of time.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:21 AM

richhotrain

Scratch, you are totally missing the point.

 

It's not that most modelers don't have space to put up some kind of layout. It is that the space that is available could hold so much more if the scale were HO or N than O. For what space you devote to O, you could double the amount of "layout" for HO.

 

 

My point is that many modellers want more, just like you have stated. But in my opinion quantity is far less attractive than less with quality and hand crafted structures and scenery. I am not impressed by sprawling layouts of made-in-China plastic buildings. I also don't like the toy-like accessories that Lionel produces. If I buy a kit it is for the purpose of completely kit bashing it into something else that I will feel is a job well done.

Example, Elevated Warehouse O-Scale Kit No. 484 by American Model Builders, Inc. First bonus, it's made in the USA, second bonus, it's not plastic, third bonus, it was very affordable as a kit someone bought and never used.

I am taking apart every single strip and reassembling my way except the floor, which will become a subfloor and never be seen. Adding lots of my own materials including the sandstone finish on the outside walls, a shale roof, and real glass windows. I can build over 100 of these warehouses and fit them comfortably in my designated O-scale areas, but of course, I only need one.

 

 

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Posted by The Gnome on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:45 AM

This is an interesting discussion.  I built several structures from scratch and enjoyed the process, but i could never do that in HO scale. HO structures are just too tiny for my fumble fingers.

On the other hand, HO track seems better for a small layout than O gauge.  My layout is six by seven and that seems like enough.  Besides, other things need to happen in the basement than just my stuff.  “Its not the size that counts.”

The obvious compromise is ON30.  HO track, O structures.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 8:08 AM

The Gnome
HO structures are just too tiny for my fumble fingers.

I never considered HO structures or building to be "tiny".  "Too small" might be a better term when addressing a general group of people who may be modeling everything from Z to G and above, since words mean things.

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Posted by The Gnome on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 8:16 AM

No offense meant. “Tiny” is not a perjorative; it just means quite small.  This is in comparison to O, which we might say is quite big. The relative sizes seem much different when i am trying to scratch build.

i would not say “too small” or “too big” because that sounds judgemental.  My observation was pragmatic, not judgemental.

i will try to remember not to use the word Tiny.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 8:49 AM

No offense taken.  Just pointing out that "tiny" isn't how most would describe HO structures; the term could be misunderstood unless qualified.  You know how people are, especially model railroaders, so I've learned over the years.  You gotta talk like a lawyer or you get hammered!  Black EyeClown

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Posted by The Gnome on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 9:29 AM

The Mayor of Gnomeville says Have a good day!

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 10:34 AM

Tiny:  a 2-56 screw

Tiny:  a 00-90 screw after you've been working with 2-56 screws awhile

 

Ed

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Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:46 PM

IRONROOSTER,
York is a collector-only TCA show.  Naturally, you're not going to find much in HO, N or Z there.  It's like pointing out there aren't any airplanes at an auto show.

OTOH, Springfield is not a tinplate collector show or a Scale-only show.  It is a all-trains show.  I have seen a T-Scale (1/450th) layout there in the past.  Heck, they have live steamers in 7.5" gauge every year (just not on a layout) and even a real two foot gauge steamer from the Boothbay museum running in the parking lot.  If it is a train, it is welcome at Springfield.

Springfield has a nationwide appeal, most every major manufacturer is there, and 20,000+ people come through the door every year.  There are 9 acres of display space in use, and HO is clearly the most numerous scale at the show.  I've been to every Springfield show since 1991, and always HO has been clearly the dominant scale there without question.

Please note that I did not post an opinion on what is the "best" scale.  It is the best scale for me because I want to model entire trains for a certain railroad and yet still have the ability to easily detail and handle equipment.  HO allows me to do what I want.  It won't be the best scale for everyone else, but it is clearly the best scale for the majority of model railroaders in North America.

HO is both the most popular and the most dominant.  What scale do you think is more popular or even close to HO?  And shouldn't there be more non-HO clubs if HO wasn't as dominant as it is?

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 4:21 PM

Paul3
What scale do you think is more popular or even close to HO?

Paul, N Scale would be a close second and there are several   N Scale clubs plus two N Scale weekends a year with 100%  N dealers and N Scale display layouts.

This year's N Scale national convention is at Salt Lake..

Larry

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Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 10:44 PM

I dunno how close N-scale is, Brakie.  Certainly the amount of product, number of clubs, and presence at large train shows isn't that close to HO.  Not that I'm saying it isn't popular.  Clearly, N-scale is the #2 scale in North America (and more popular in Japan), but it still is perhaps half as popular as HO.

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Posted by Bubbytrains on Friday, June 15, 2018 4:51 PM

Coincidentally, Jim Kelly, in his N Scale Insight column in this month's MR, says, "Modelers in HO outnumber those in N by about five to one."

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, June 15, 2018 8:00 PM

I am wondering here...

.

How are we ranking all this? It seems all we are counting is number of modelers. That might not matter so much to all cases with manufacturers.

.

Think about this... If no more HO was ever produced, would that drastically drop the number of HO modelers? I doubt it. There has been so much manufactured, and as the hoarders (and there were TONS of them) leave the hobby, lots of quality HO product is available to be had.

.

The HO product that is produces now is to fill needs, and improve where there is a large enough market. For Scale Trains to sell any SD-40s, they had to make every other SD-40 obsolete. That is a high bar to maintain. Lord knows, plenty of SD-40s have already been manufactured.

.

N scalers, though lower in number, might buy a lot more product. When I was in N scale I purchased scores of undecorated Kato locomotives. GP-30s, GP-35s, SD-40s, SD-7s, and many more.

.

I only need about 30 locomotives to run my planned HO layout, and I already own 90% of them.

.

I would bet N scalers buy more locomotives than HO scalers.

.

Now, to stay on topic... back to O scale. If someone makes a good O scale 2 rail GP-7 that is better than anything else, it is a fair bet that nearly all O scalers will want one. That makes the market that much better. If they make the same locomotive in HO scale, well... I already have all the GPs I need (4).

.

So while the markets may differ by percentage of active modelers, I would be much more interested in knowing which scale makes the best choice to introduce a new model into.

.

I'll bet O, whether it is 3rd, 4th, or 5th place, is still a viable market that could grow.

.

Maybe I am way off base.

.

-Kevin

.

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Posted by challenger3980 on Friday, June 15, 2018 9:07 PM

Kevin, you make some very valid points.

Another thing with O Gauge, is that while it is true, there isn't as much selection, but from the manufacturers veiw point, there is a LOT less competition for what is produced.

 There is ocassionally some overlap in models offered, but for the most part there isn't too much of the same thing produced by multiple manufacturers simultaneously , and often when it does happen, it is in different "Niche" markets, say Lionel doing a Scale 3 Rail GP 30, while at the same time, MTH may be offering a semi-scale GP 30, most likely in mostly different road names.

I won't say that duplicate models are NEVER made by multiple MFGRs simultaneously, but it is much less common to compete with identical models as it is in HO.

Doug 

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Posted by Paul3 on Saturday, June 16, 2018 12:27 AM

Kevin,
Well, I'm ranking HO as the #1 scale by number of modelers and the amount of product being produced right now.  New HO stuff comes out all the time.  Heck, not only that, but entirely new HO companies are being created pretty consistently: Moloco, Tangent, ExactRail, ScaleTrains, Spring Mills Depot, etc., are all relatively new companies.  And just this month, Arrowhead Models just started up.  It's not all the decades old manufacturers in HO like Atlas, Athearn, Bowser, and Walthers.

There have been many models (and paint jobs) yet to be done in HO scale, and many others that were done long ago and are out of date.  Modelers want accurate models and appear willing to update their collection with new models, so there's enough business to keep the HO manufacturers going for quite some time.

It may be that N-scalers individually buy more engines and cars than HO-scalers, just like it's logical that HO-scalers buy more than O-scalers, and that O-scalers buy more than G-scalers, etc.  But having individual modelers in a smaller scale purchase more models than those in a larger scale doesn't mean that there are more overall sales in the smaller scale.  It isn't the amount of models the average modeler buys alone that's important, it's the total number of modelers times the average number of models purchased.

IOW, you could have N-scalers averaging twice the number of models vs. HO modelers.  However, 20,000 N-scalers buying 100 models each compared to 100,000 HO-scalers buying 50 models each would mean that HO would still out sell N by more than double.

If N scalers really did purchase more locos overall than HO scalers, then why aren't there more N-scale locos for sale than HO locos?  Because there's no way companies wouldn't follow up on that.  I mean, they have house payments to make, too.

If you think O (or N) is the best scale to introduce a new model into, you would be...incorrect.  They are both very profitable scales, don't get me wrong, but there's a reason why HO has the largest Walthers catalog and why historical associactions generally just offer HO products.  The NHRHTA, for example, has only ever offered HO models in the past 50 years or so even though most of the Board of Directors have historically been O-scalers out of the Stamford Club (a scale O-scale club that's been around since the 1930's).

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, June 16, 2018 5:26 AM

Paul,The following  companies offer  N Scale ExactRail, ScaleTrains, Spring Mills Depot,Fox Valley, Rapido, Scale Trains,Broadway Limited and Wheels Of Time.

The last track I had  N Scale was right after HO in popularity. I don't pay any attention to those surveys because a lot of  N Scalers don't buy MR but,reads N Scale and N Scale Railroading magazines.

There's always something new coming out in N Scale.

If one wishes to learn about  N Scale one should visit  one of the  N Scale forums instead of asking questions about  N on a HO forum since the majority of the HO guys has no real clue when it comes to  N Scale..

Larry

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Saturday, June 16, 2018 8:17 AM

Paul3

IRONROOSTER,
Regarding the ratio of scales in the hobby, you're right in that no one survey is going to be capable of doing a 100% accurate poll.  Any poll will be biased either for or against certain scales depending on who runs it.  So lets look at certain things or events that embrace the entire spectrum of the hobby like train shows, items for sale, or clubs.

For example, take this year's Springfield Show.  Certainly the largest train show in the country and all scales are represented therein (even Lego).  There were at least 28 layouts.  HO was, by far, the dominant scale with 14 HO layouts (50%).  O had 6, N = 2, G = 4 and S = 1 (plus one Lego).  And it's not just the number of layouts, it is the size of them.

Looking at the show diagram (http://www.railroadhobbyshow.com/files/files/ARS%202018%20Floor%20Plan.v4.1.FINAL(2).pdf), and doing some quick and dirty math, I get a total of 4620 linear feet of layouts (the circumfrence of all the layouts combined).  Of these, 2568' are HO.  Doing the math, I get 55%.

Or look at the Walthers catalogs for each scale (pre-2017 when they combined things).  The HO catalog was typically 1000+ pages.  The Large Scale (O, S, G, etc.) catalog was less than 400 pages.  The N & Z catalog was also less than 400 pages, I believe.  If it's 1800 total Walthers pages, HO would be around 55% of the market.

Another measure of popularity are clubs.  I can't speak for the entire nation, but here in Southern New England (MA, CT & RI - population 11+million) there are at least 32 different club layouts/groups (some clubs do multiple scales).  Of these 32 layouts, 19 of them are HO scale, which is 59%.

Sorry, but HO is clearly the dominant scale.  While the exact percentage is debatable (why would you think it's less than 50%?), the clear advantage of HO is indisputable.

 

 



I was about to say, "How can Springfield be the largest show!? I thought Amherst was?!" Then... I opened your link and felt a bit like a fool. Stick out tongue

Also in regard's to ExactRail's N-Scale product list here it is for example's sake: https://trainlife.com/collections/n-scale-products/exactrail Now you'll notice TrainLife which is ExactRail's retail store does not carry O Scale... no comment there. 

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Posted by Eilif on Sunday, June 17, 2018 5:48 PM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

Not apples and oranges at all.  Here are four used O gauge cars, three of them I repaired and modified, for the same price as one new CN covered hopper. This more than offsets the locomotive price differences for the same number of cars in both scales .

 

 

 

This isn't really a fair comparison.  If price is a driving factor (as it is for me) the price of used HO is by far the lowest in the hobby.  

If you really want to do O scale, you can of course drastically reduce your costs by buying used, repairing, etc, but doing the same in HO is even cheaper still.

This is not to say that HO is necessarily the "best" scale, but it definitely has the cheapest prices and the widest selection of cheap used stuff. 

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Posted by The Gnome on Monday, June 18, 2018 8:25 AM

Last week I suggested that On30 is the obvious compromise because it takes advantage of HO track while still running larger trains.  I am a newbie so the forum let me get away with that opinion.  Over the last few months I purchased an Ho starter set, ordered an On30 Porter, set up the layout, made several O scale structures from scratch, bashed an Ho box car to make it into a narrow On30 high sided gondola, acquired an On30 Trolley, set up a separate line for it, etc.. 

The Mogul arrived and also an On30 flat car.  The plan was working fine until then.

The Mogul derails at the small bumps in the track.  The tender and the flat car are more difficult to set on the rails than the Porter or the Ho cars. Too wide.  Can't see under them.

The penny finally dropped.  The new cars are larger than the Ho cars and the little Porter.  That is why they do not run as well.  Hmm.  The flaw in the On30 concept has presented itself.

Well, the Porter loco pulling a bashed tall gondola and two regular Ho gondolas still chugs like a champ and my trolley is great.  I will not get any points for realism, but heck, my layout is a gnome village.  Realism is not a goal.

 https://youtu.be/voS6dePOx3c

 

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 5,737 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, June 18, 2018 8:52 AM

SeeYou190
It seems all we are counting is number of modelers. That might not matter so much to all cases with manufacturers.

I don't think the manufactures look at it that way.  They look at models sold and base their production on it.

Think about this... If no more HO was ever produced, would that drastically drop the number of HO modelers? I doubt it. There has been so much manufactured, and as the hoarders (and there were TONS of them) leave the hobby, lots of quality HO product is available to be had.

I'm not sure how this matters in the ratio argument.  I point out all the time to folks who are complaining about the cost of new models, that there are lots of cheaper options on the secondary market - forgetting the nutty priced models on Ebay.  At train shows you can indeed find a lot of good deals.

The HO product that is produces now is to fill needs, and improve where there is a large enough market. For Scale Trains to sell any SD-40s, they had to make every other SD-40 obsolete. That is a high bar to maintain. Lord knows, plenty of SD-40s have already been manufactured.

Yes, but there have been many complaining for years that a really good "top notch" SD40-2 was still needed.  ST stepped in to fill that need.  More evidence however that HO is popular and has about a 2/3rds market share.

There were already SD40-2's from Bachman, Athearn, Broadway, Intermountain and KATO (miss any) and yet ST stepped in and offered an even better one.  Is there demand in N-scale enough for that kind of selection?

N scalers, though lower in number, might buy a lot more product. When I was in N scale I purchased scores of undecorated Kato locomotives. GP-30s, GP-35s, SD-40s, SD-7s, and many more.

I don't know if there is any evidence to support the idea that, across the board, N-scalers purchase more product than HO modelers.  Just because they are roughly half the size doesn't mean they actually buy more because they can fit more in a given space.  HO modelers seem to, based on my anecotal observations, often have very large collections with enginens exceeding 100, 200 and even more than 300, and rolling stock (freight cars and the rest) in the 400-600+ range.

I only need about 30 locomotives to run my planned HO layout, and I already own 90% of them.

But are you representative of HO modelers?  There are people buying all those runs of HO engines out there in numbers.  I don't "need" as many as I have, but I would hazard I am like many HO modelers with "way more" than I will ever need or run.

I would bet N scalers buy more locomotives than HO scalers.

.

.

- Keven

Based on what?  What is the evidence that you would make this bet?  Size?  Again, sales figures may put your bet in doubt.

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 2,705 posts
Posted by Doughless on Monday, June 18, 2018 9:03 AM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

 

 
Doughless
 
richhotrain

Space, cost, and availability are the three principal reasons for the lack of widespread popularity of O scale.

Rich

Agreed.  Just too big, not just a space thing.  The locos and rolling stock are wonderful.  The detail is exquisite and the sound can begin to sound less tinny than HO onboard sound, so the equipment is great.

But everything has to be bigger, and better detailed.  How about hills, mountains, and trees; and people.  How much more detailed would all of this have to be?

 

 

 

Space, cost and availability are not issues for many of us in my opinion. I snapped a picture of part of my basement, entirely devoted to model trains. There is a lot more basement not showing behind the camera and behind the wall on the right. All of the homes in my neighbourhood have basements this size or bigger - our home is smaller than most here. There is plenty of room for a great O scale layout, plus HO and N layouts too ( both of the latter in progress in the picture). Cost and availability can be minimized by building my own structures, rail cars, etc. My layouts don't depend on manufacturers making stuff I want or need, I do that. And, adding detail is not work, it's the most fun part of the entire hobby for me.

 

 

My twist on the space issue is not the lack of it, its the fact that all of the scenery items are simply too big for my liking.  I like details, and the bigger the items, the more detail that's required, IMO.

Building industries that dwarf HO scale equipment takes long enough in terms of time and tedium as it is, but twice the scale means twice the details and twice the tedium to get it to look right.

I don't want to spend that much time on details.  Others may like it, or might not care about it.

 

- Douglas

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