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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My previous hobby of RC planes has folded (as the nearest airfield is now 3 hours drive) so I need a new method of squandering time and money
. Model rail appeals as it is suitable for wet and/or Winter days, but I am not a 'modeller' so will be buying in most of the rolling stock etc. Rather than leaping in with both feet I am researching what I can first, but expert advice is helpful (again the nearest Club is 3 hours + away). A couple of questions (may be wrong sub forum):

- My baseboard space will be 10' x 3' - accessible from long side and one end. I could go a little wider but my arm length doesn't reach 4'. Is this width going to be a major constraint in OO/HO given I was hoping for a double oval +. The alternative is N gauge but would prefer not to.

- My initial idea is to go with a British period setup (to have more fun with the scenery
. I will go straight to DCC if possible to save money later. Should I standardise on Hornby or Bachmann - thinking cost, quality, DCC system....? I will be mainly buying from Amazon (Hornby from UK or Bachmann from US). In terms of shipping the US is probably easier. Appreciate this is a personal preference (which I don't have yet).

Any other advice appreciated - I am a blank slate
.

Regards
 

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Welcome Kiwibarge.

Firstly 10' x 3' is perfect for a simple shunting layout but not for a double track oval in 00/H0 as even the smallest track requires 29" diameter & the next size up #2 requires 35" diameter and that is the smallest that some Bachmann & Hornby locos will traverse .

Note that even with 35" diameter curves, long coaches look slightly ridiculous - one modeller in the US only uses 36" radius curves - I assume he has more room.

That is where N scale stands out with diameters from 18" then upwards to 21" and nearly 24" diameter. These figures for both scales, are Peco Setrack

Secondly. DCC is the way I would go as it allows a multitude of things that DC can only dream about - of course it is dearer.
 

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In depth idiot
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Hi, and welcome. If you want a continuous run then you need more space. Do you have garden shed / outbuilding / converted garage
possibilities? I would hope that what with the far North of New Zealand being pretty temperate in climate this might be possible?

If you go UK OO, then you have arrived at a very interesting moment. There's Bachmann and Hornby with extensive ranges, and
relatively little overlap between them. There's then quite a range of 'others': Heljan are well established, Dapol, Oxford Rail, Kernow
Hattons, Rails of Sheffield, Rapido, Olivias, Accurascale. Dependent on your interests, it could be any of these that are offering 'the very
thing' that you want.

From currently active RTR OO manufacturers I have locos from Bachmann, Dapol, Heljan, Hornby, Oxford Rail and Rapido on the layout
(and an eye on product announced by Accurascale and Rails of Sheffield) and it all works well together. Likewise rolling stock, mostly
Bachmann and Hornby, a little from Oxford Rail and Dapol. The general fitting of the NEM coupler pocket on current product makes
fitting compatible couplers simple. Couplers are something of a low spot in UK model railway. There isn't a standard! Each manufacturer
makes a version of the miniature tension lock, and they may look alike but are not necessarily fully compatible if reliability is a real
consideration for you.

Track, don't look at UK set track, it's appalling. Peco's Streamline ranges are much more the thing. Yes, it takes some acquisition of
skill to use a flexitrack system, but what you get is vastly better: points choices, and superior in appearance and operational reliability.

DCC, I wouldn't touch Bachmann or Hornby, and I live in the UK where both have offices! Simple fact is that the better products
come from the specialist DCC manufacturers, and I would look for whichever has at least an agent in NZ, from among Digitrax, NCE,
Lenz, etc.. It's an open standard system, and while your selected control system comes from one manufacturer, you can run decoders
from any maker.

You might, given your background in aeromodelling, want to look at what is emerging in radio control for model railway. I have zero
advice to offer, but it is pretty clear that various options are now emerging, and may have appeal.

And now a don't! Don't buy nice looking older second hand locos, however tempting the price. With a few exceptions everything made in
RTR OO before the move to Chinese manufacture is dross, you really have to know which are the gems lurking in a vast dunghill. There
is a very simple way to filter off this stuff: if it hasn't got an NEM coupler pocket, just walk away...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So if I understand you, I need a minimum of 35in so if I increased the depth to say 3' 3" or worst case 3' 6" I would be ok? Yes I will go DCC. I don't want to be limited to a simple shunting layout as I suspect I would get bored eventually.

Regards
 

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Welcome to the model railway scene.

Regarding 'standardising on Hornby or Bachmann' the two are freely interchangeable, and give you a wide range of locos and rolling stock to pick from for your use.

Best wishes for your efforts.

John Webb
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks 34c good help

So use PECo track (I will get their Catalogue), no problem mixing/matching Hornby/Bachmann rolling stock and buy probably a US DCC controller. Is there any compatibility issue involved with buying say Hornby fitted DCC kit and using a US controller. You have lost me slightly on couplers (other than loosely knowing what they are) but will get there :).

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As an aside. We had our first rain for 2 1/2 months yesterday - rumours we were seen dancing naked on the lawn are not true. Temp up in the low 30's, but that is now falling. I may have to put air con in the workshop where my setup will be competing with the garden machinery and my wife's floral art workshop!
 

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Good idea buy the Peco catalogue and the set track plans book, this is still useful

Generally the standard radius are R1 =371mm
R2 = 432
R3 = 505
R4 = 572

So if you take this then a half loop in R3 needs 1.01m plus the extra width which is 20 mm (10 either side) and you need a bit of swing space too so say another 10 each side. Now if R3 is the outer then the minimum end width of your plank is 1.05m so you are looking at 42 inches and this is the minimum to be effective. You can inside in a sort of a dog bone shape might help a bit to get reach and access.

If you have the space Streamline is great, I use this but you will never get a tight curve using this it is great for long sweeping realistic curves, for a train set on a plank it will be too difficult.

Points, the minimum radius of the set track points is R2 = 432mm and ALL Hornby locos will tackle this, big Heljans will come off the track some Bachmann locos will dislike it too so again much better to use Streamline electrofrog but you do not have the space. As the curves tighten up coaches will cut the chord and end sweep more so the physical separation needs to be greater - and you do not have the space for other than set track.

R1 is for very small locos such as the Peckett but Hornby Railroad range will tackle this radius including the Railroad 9F just goes to show what you can do if you try!

From this you will see that - you never have enough space!

The UK outline of locos is good, UK stuff is pretty reasonably priced compared to continental and it is hugely better than it was before,

The quintessential loco for UK is the Hornby Black 5 - did everything and last used by BR on 12 August 1968 (the day after steam officially ended) - it shunted Preston yard 45212 the Hornby model os a 'good 'un' will take tight corner, has flexible axles and is pretty robust.

 

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Good idea buy the Peco catalogue and the set track plans book, this is still useful

Generally the standard radius are R1 =371mm
R2 = 432
R3 = 505
R4 = 572

So if you take this then a half loop in R3 needs 1.01m plus the extra width which is 20 mm (10 either side) and you need a bit of swing space too so say another 10 each side. Now if R3 is the outer then the minimum end width of your plank is 1.05m so you are looking at 42 inches and this is the minimum to be effective. You can inside in a sort of a dog bone shape might help a bit to get reach and access.

If you have the space Streamline is great, I use this but you will never get a tight curve using this it is great for long sweeping realistic curves, for a train set on a plank it will be too difficult.

Points, the minimum radius of the set track points is R2 = 432mm and ALL Hornby locos will tackle this, big Heljans will come off the track some Bachmann locos will dislike it too so again much better to use Streamline electrofrog but you do not have the space. As the curves tighten up coaches will cut the chord and end sweep more so the physical separation needs to be greater - and you do not have the space for other than set track.

R1 is for very small locos such as the Peckett but Hornby Railroad range will tackle this radius including the Railroad 9F just goes to show what you can do if you try!

From this you will see that - you never have enough space!

The UK outline of locos is good, UK stuff is pretty reasonably priced compared to continental and it is hugely better than it was before,

The quintessential loco for UK is the Hornby Black 5 - did everything and last used by BR on 12 August 1968 (the day after steam officially ended) - it shunted Preston yard 45212 the Hornby model os a 'good 'un' will take tight corner, has flexible axles and is pretty robust.

 

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Welcome from Salisbury [UK one].

As another approach, I have trains that have been some relevance to the family, holidays [Eurostar], work [HST and South West Trains], days out to Minehead and the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway lines, Tank Transports in Egypt, [Father's wartime location] and the Longmoor Military Railway, where there were several trains to drive etc. Just fun.

Julian
 

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Hi mate,
Another thing is that you could try and contact 'bjrangi' who posted many times on this forum. Pretty sure he is North Island, but he did some truly lovely things with British 00, and he would surely be able to give you advice on sourcing material and the best dealers to use.
Search for some of his previous posts and see if you can pm him. He hasn't posted for a while but he's a good bloke.
As the others have said 3' is a bit tight for 00, you would be limited to R1 and R2 curves, and unfortunately, this would look rubbish. However, 10' x 3' would be a pretty decent sized layout in N-gauge, but if you are like me, fat fingers and failing eyesight will be your enemy here.
In 00 you might also need to consider 2 levels too. The top level for scenics and lower level for storage yards, with a spiral at either end. Here you just need to be careful of getting the gradients right - you could also hide all the curves from the scenics. If you could say, pinch an extra foot or so at either end of the area, you may be able to manage. I'm just across the ditch from you, in NSW.
Cheers,
6991
 

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hmm, Er...well Hattons will send by DHL so you get it less 20% vat, cheaper with the postage than we can buy in Blighty.No new Bachmann stock as they fell out

forget spirals they need R3 (in OO) as well so no advantage for you either

study the Peco set track book before you throw money away as this tells you exactly what you need
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As suggested, looking at a dogbone. If you can visualise it - base board set against a wall, outline measurement 9' along the wall and 3' 10" deep. Three 'blocks', each end would be 3' 10" deep by say 3' long, middle block would 3' long x 2.5 deep to help with access.

Could I fit a reasonable double oval on that with say a side spur?

6991 shouldn't you be out fighting fires/floods/cane toads :) I spent a year in Bandiana, dreadful beer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Having done rough diagram with R2/R3 I am sadly coming to the conclusion that N gauge may be the way ahead :-( if I want the flexibility to expand/mod layout etc downstream. Can I assume that the OO comments would still apply ie interchangeability of Hornby/Bachmann, use of DCC. Is there a good availability of good quality N gauge rolling stock, track etc (appreciate there migjt be less choice than O0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Sol. Did a quick internet trawl and N gauge is fairly constrained compared to OO/HO. I will go away and play with plans to see if OO will work (albeit constrained). My negotiations with my wife to have the Conservatory failed :).

Thanks for all the help - I will use the dub forums for next lot of questions.
 

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You could try OO9 which is OO in scale but runs on N size track and there is a lot of OO9 models out there and very nice they are, maybe worth a look at?
 
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