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Recommendations for getting started...

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Recommendations for getting started...
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 1:18 AM
I am just getting started with Model Railroads after going to a show at the local convention center.

I have been lurking and reading back posts, but I still am not to sure how to get started. I'd like to try prototype modeling and have picked out two possibilities.

I have found out some of the engines used on the line as well as some of the rolling stock, but can't find too much information on them.

What I REALLY need is a primer on engines. I can't understand some of the threads because I don't have enought knowledge about engines.

My questions are, Where do I start reading to learn about engines and rolling stock and how do I get started on my first prototype model? Are pretty much ALL types of engines that were in production available to purchase in HO or N scale? (I am still agonizing over deciding to go with N or HO!)

Any lessons you learned from some of YOUR first layouts would be GREATLY appreciated!
  • Member since
    October 2012
  • 527 posts
Posted by eastcoast on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 1:57 AM
Goto the General discussion forum and read some replies about starting new layouts.
Some others have posted the same question and have gotten very intelligent responses from the group.
My layout experience started out with LOTS OF READING and studying what I wanted to do with it. I model free-lance but dip into Amtrak and CSX. There are many good books and resources everywhere you go. I have built an ever growing library of resource books and articles that I clipped about my interest. That is the best thing to do, and then
refer back to them when need to during the construction of your layout.
Kalmbach Publishing has ENDLESS books about all types of locomotives and how they work. Good luck.
ken_ecr
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,300 posts
Posted by Sperandeo on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 3:13 PM
Hi Jim,

For primers on locomotives, the first question is steam or diesel. For steam, try the
"Guide to North American Steam Locomotives," compiled by George Drury. For diesels, see "Diesel Locomotives: The First Fifty Years," by Jerry Pinkepank, and "Field Guide to Modern Diesel Locomotives," by Greg McDonnell.

For drawings and details along with photos, there are the "MODEL RAILROADER Cyclopedia Vol. 1: Steam Locomotives," by Linn Westcott, and the "MODEL RAILROADER Cyclopedia Vol. 2: Diesel Locomotives," compiled by Bob Hayden.

All of these are Kalmbach books availalble in hobby shops and in the "Shopping" section of this Web site. They won't teach you everyting there is to know about locomotives – that takes a lot more than five books – but they'll get you off to a very strong start.

Best wishes,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

  • Member since
    October 2012
  • 527 posts
Posted by eastcoast on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 11:32 PM
Hi Andy.
I have these books, excellent reading.
Cover to Cover. Love them.
Ken_ecr
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 1:50 PM
Hi Jim,

To answer your second question, it is myunderstanding that the available models do not represent all versions of the prototype that ever were. HO is ahead of N in terms of variety, but N is catching up. Also, not everything in one scale is available in the other. However, there is scratch-building and/or superdetailing!

As for HO vs N - think about how much room you have, and what you want to do. HO requires about 4x as much space as the same layout in N. HO is easier for operations where you will be coupling and uncoupling frequently. N is better for "railfanning" - watching trains closer to prototypical length run through scenery. HO may or may not be better for scratch-building and kitbashing - depends how good your eyes and coordination are (or will be in the future).

Good luck!

Andrew

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