Welp, I'm finally going to do it. In the past I have modeled HO, and have even completed a layout. But this was like 15 years ago. So here is the deal. I have been allocated space by the powers that be (wife) and have an area of about 10'6" x 10'6". It would be around the walls and 2 feet deep. I can build one three walls and on one of the walls can even extend it another six feet for staging, but the maximum width of this would be 9 inches. My dilemma is the age old question of HO or N. If I build HO, it would be an industrial layout, lots of switching, small trains and nothing larger than a GP-60. If I build N, well...the space avialable would allow me the opportunity for some mainline modelling and include things like passenger service, etc... I would be modeling early to mid 90's either way. Than I have to consider costs. It would actually be cheaper in the long run to model HO, as I wouldn't need the amount of rollingstock and locomotives for the layout...if I do N, I would probably have to double the number so the layout wouldn't look like an abandoned line.
There are other things as well...I have some N equipment laying around (I bought my first KATO SD-70 a few months ago, Bombardier commuter cars, etc). But, just a few weeks ago I bought 3 Athearn Genesis 50' boxcars in HO on a whim. I am impressed by both the quality and detail on both scales. When I brought home the blue foam I bought today (see other thread), I placed some HO scale track and set the cars on it to see how it would look. I did the same in N to see if I would be inspired. I wasn't because, in my case, both offer advantages (see above). I can't make up my mind. Ugh...
Then there is the trackplan issue. With HO, I can do some slamming and jamming and knock out a fairly realistic trackplan for an industrial layout. I've never designed anything for mainline running, which I would do for N. I've sat down and tried to do something in N, but I get the equivalent of writers block on this issue. I've read the books, looked at track-plans, tried to do things based on real areas, and can't come up with anything.
The other advantage of doing N scale is I could do things like signaling, dispatch, run schedules, etc... With HO, it would basically be modeling locals. I actually would like to model the mainline thing, but am nervous about going with N because I've never done N before.
So, in summary...I like HO because I am familiar with it, I know I can do a layout in HO. I like the N scale stuff that is out there, but am nervous because I have never really done anything in N. N scale would allow me to do stuff that I have always wanted to do (mainline running, signals, etc..), but am unimaginitive when it comes to track planning.
Now the question is what do I do. Do I want to stay with something familiar or try a new challenge? I don't know...what would you do? My wife wants me to make up my mind. I will be sitting on the couch...both of the latest Walthers catalogs spread out (The HO and the N/Z ones) and will sigh...and she goes "What?" and I go "I just can't make up my mind" and then she goes "ARGH!!!". :)
Thanks for letting me ramble, as that is pretty much what I did.
-John*You are nothing until you have flown a Douglas, Lockheed, Grumman or North American*