Model Railway Forum banner

Hi from Far North of NZ

12894 Views 55 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  kristopher1805
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

See less See more
41 - 56 of 56 Posts
You can use German HO with Peco OO which is HO anyway as long as it is code 100, I have done this in an earlier model railway as I liked some points they produced, in fact even if you go code 100 Peco but later want to go code 75 then Peco produce a connection piece that allows this to be done.
Rail joiners for code 100 all types I have as yet come across - you can use Peco, rail joiners for code 75 are smaller however.

Link didn't work but found it thanks. My previous search didn't pick it up.
Hi 6991

Did a back of a *** packet estimate . My possible layout is £350 for basic track in PECO ex UK, Roco is 600 +/- euros (with 15% Rainer discount) so outside my planned budget and not justified for a newbie. Certainly the Roco looks nice (and is easy to use in SCARM) but another day. I expected a torrent of comment on my choice of the Roco Z21 as my DCC system

Thanks for the help.
See less See more
Z21 is future proof how I see it, just use the iPad version, it also is very expandable so a good choice I think certainly would not swap out mine.
Another thought - if you choose a Peco set track layout then Osbournes of Bideford Devon will sell the track at a bit of a discount so you might save a bit
Hi Kiwi.

But if you just did DC analog and scrapped the bells and whistles DCC (plus both control and associated increased DCC locomotive costs) what would the Roco track cost look like then ?

I actually don't think DCC is for beginners. You have already stated your layout spatial limitations you could do something really nice with simple DC, you are not going to want 3 or 4 trains going all ways. Now, you might be really flash on computers and all that, but what is it going to gain in this case? Now, you can say "OK, Boomer" or whatever but close your eyes and think....

A single track mainline oval - marshalling yard at the back for assembling trains, a scenic foreground, a simple station with a passing loop/s, goods yard with shunting possibilities (local industry?) and all the control at your fingertips....think about it....more than enough for a first layout.


PS : 20% + 15% = 35% discount
PPS : If you are intent on modelling British Railways era - sort of 'last 20 years of steam' - right at this moment there are lots of bargain options for Southern Region and Eastern Region prototypes ...
See less See more
QUOTE (6991 @ 2 Apr 2020, 23:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I actually don't think DCC is for beginners.
Disagree vehemently. Politely, but vehemently nevertheless.

Converse opinion

DCC is ideal for adult entry into the model railway, and a must for future scope in 2020 on. There's just no valid logical reason not to go DCC if starting afresh unhampered by any need for legacy compatibility, other than perhaps the simplest train set 'roundy' as a Christmas present for junior who'll likely discard it either A. as soon as the novelty wears off, or B. when he's hitting teen years to discovers girls, pop music etc with preferred play value.

If it comes down to an "I can't afford it" budget argument, then I'd more than reasonably argue that if one genuinely can't afford DCC, the brutal truth is one can't really afford model railway at all and should find a less expensive hobby. I know what I've spent and how expensive it is today when compared with other hobbies or interests, which has very little to do with cost of analogue vs digital operation.

I know that if I'd had to put up with the encumbrances of setting up a layout and analogue operation, no way would I have entered the hobby. Fortunately I wasn't faced with that obstacle even back in 2009.

Pretty much everyone wanting to proceed beyond the Christmas gift train set oval into model railroading in 2020 with a double oval, shunting bypass loop and siding will have the capability to comfortably have up to three locos operating at the same time and will want DCC if they measure twice to buy once.
See less See more
If I was going to stick to DC I would take up fishing :) :).

Nope - somethings are now definite it will be Roco Z21 DCC with Peco track (thanks for pointing me at Osborns) on a 2700 x 1400 board.

Joking aside, money is not a restricting factor but if I am spending thousands I would rather 'stretch' it out over a few years. I am bound to make mistakes and change my ambitions/priorities and that way less will be wasted (or I won't notice it so much) :).

Waiting now on a load of How To books from Hattons before going firm on a layout. I will close this thread and raise my queries in the other sub forums.


Ps K surprised at your endorsement of the Z21 given your thread on it :)
As I said its a future proof system, some of the small suppliers will struggle to survive and it is ready to go, the downloads will improve over the next few years as well, but there is a good point here, if you are seeing a model layout as a sort of test - do `I like this? then maybe it is a 'not yet' situation as a decent Gasugemaster controller for DC is quite cheap so maybe delay the investment but if you are planning a steady expansion of your layout and making it a principle hobby then - Go for it!

In regards to my views well I do not give up easy and persist also once I switched to the iPad it was so much better, these systems are not however fast unless you happen to be on the correct page just have to allow for this, also the suppliers of the decoders have improved, a few years back there were a lot of badge engineered ones and I had a heap of trouble but now as I honed in on a select group of suppliers then the reliability has improved greatly and such that in one case I have had no failures at all.
See less See more
Well don't keep us in suspense which decoders :). I will be using Android but I think the Z21 software has improved since your early tribulations.
I think I said before

8 pin Direct = DCC Concepts nano direct - fits everything so far
21 pin direct = Bachmann (DCC Concepts as reserve but the Bachmann is easier to source from local shops)
18 pin = Bachmann
6 pin = Bachmann
4 pin = not found any but should be Hornby only applies to my Peckett
Hard wire - ESU V4

Trams and OO9 = analogue

In addition I have two sound locos but do not use this facility.

As to the failures pretty much everything else although some are good.
See less See more
Yes, as far as I am aware, all set track points are insulfrog.

The smallest electro-frog points that I am aware of are the smallest Peco Streamline ones. Unfortunately, the Peco Steamline points don't match any curved pieces of sectional track (such as Peco Set Track, Hornby or Bachmann Branchline). If you use Peco code 100 Streamline small points with set track you would have to be careful designing your track plan.
Hello, late to the party.

I have; and am trying to reinstate a temporary layout on an old table-tennis table (approx. 130cm x 230cm). I say "old" because it as actually almost cabinet-made from real, solid wood framing and I suspect it's from the late 60's or early 70's. It folds in half and has foldable legs. Obviously it can't take permanent fixtures, but that isn't important to me right now. I have covered it in felt to minimise damage from derailments.

Another option that we southern hemisphere folk don't see anything of is FREMO. Here's the Fremo Europe website
Even though I am using marklin's three-rail system, I am seriously considering this as a layout option.

One benefit I can see is that the modules can combine the idea of a 'shelf layout' in a practical setting. For me, it would create the opportunity to build achievable modelling without the pressure of having to complete one huge layout over time - and maybe never completing it. Manageable chunks.

Just food for thought. Good luck with your projects!
See less See more
QUOTE (Adrian @ 23 May 2021, 23:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Another option that we southern hemisphere folk don't see anything of is FREMO...
Even though I am using marklin's three-rail system, I am seriously considering this as a layout option...
Nothing else for it, you will have to start the ball rolling. Do a version with Marklin and you could call it 'THREMO'... (Or has that already been done?)
Hey Kiwibarge it is now a year on - so what did you do/go for whatever.
Another year has gone by and we are on radio silence so do let us know how you are getting on.
41 - 56 of 56 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.