Newbie Questions re starting yet another hobby.....

been doing plastic models since 1965, just tinkering around with slot cars for a year, still have yet to learn to play the drums and guitars
I bought last year, basically a hopeless hobbyist. the wife said no to the motorcycle.
thought trains would be a logical next step. I was thinking of going strictly HO due to space limiations. Any layout would have to be the size of a standard interior door. Open to suggestions as to the "better" scale though.
I know Kalmbach publishers have a book on basic layout construction, but is there a better book, etc to buy for a potential entrant to this hobby to see if it is really something I want to deal with?
Is there a FAQ to this group?
I've always had an interest in the Old West, but google searches, etc have yet to come up with any trains from that period, the 1850-1890's roughly. Is anything done in this time period? next point of interest is 1900-50's.
thx all for any help you can offer.
Craig
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Well, she probably wants to keep you in one piece for a while longer, apparently. :-)
Model railroading is a _vast_ hobby, and you have an advantage in having some notion of where you want to start. But I suggest you go slow at first, until you find out more about waht's available and what can be done.

a) think N scale. 3'x7' is a little tight for HO (4'x8' is the usual starter size).
b) when looking at "space for a layout", the space around a train table must be included. Allowing a minimum of 2ft all round, you'll need 7'x11' for a door sized layout. I assume you're looking at a spare room, and wish to set up a train table in it. Consider a round-the-wwall shelf lauyout instead. More space for trains, and more space for people inside the layout.

Actually, they publsih several books. :-) One of their books on building a complete layout might be better, as it will show what all is involved. You don't have to follow the track plan, etc, you can design your own.

If you mean, FAQs about model railroading, no.

For the Old West, there's more narrow gauge materail available than stnadrda gauge. Actually, by the 1880s/90s, heavyweight cars and fairly large engines (4-6-0, 4-6-2, 4-4-2, 2-8-0 etc) were quite common. Balloon stacks and colourful liveries were a thing of the past.
For your second choice, there is am immense amount of material vailable. although the emphasis is shifting to 1960s and later. Buy a Walthers catalog - a lot easier to leaf through than staring at a screen.
I suggest you buy magazines for a few months, to get a feel for what's available, and (more importantly IMO) the many ways model railroading is done. Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman are the most widely read. The former is focussed more on building and operating a layout, the latter more on building models.
And I strongly urge you to look for train shows and model railroad clubs in your area, etc. There's nothing like seeing what ther people have done to get an idea of what you might like to do. Model railroading is huge hobby.
Come back in a week or two, you'll have more focussed questions by then. Or not. :-)
Have fun!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you did extra detailing / special paint on the plastic models to make them more accurate representations of the prototype, you may want to do the same in model railroading. While this can be done in N scale, it is easier in HO or larger scales. Since you express interest in late 1800's and early 1900's in the old West, let me suggest you consider On30 modeling. These are large O scale (1:48 size) model that run on regular HO track, which scales out to be 30" gauge narrow gauge in 1:48 scale. Many models are available representing Colorado narrow gauge (the real RRs were 36" gauge, but 30" is close enough) prototypes - take a look at the Bachmann website at http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/index.html As for small layouts, I highly recommend Carl Arendt's site at http://www.carendt.com / for ideas for small layouts. Geezer

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11 Jan 2006 13:09:07 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

HO would be the better scale, but for the space, you need to either settle for a switching puzzle laout, or go to N, assuming you have the eyes for it. Another N drawback is the outsized rail - code 80 is humongous, and even Code 55 is about like Code 100 or worse in HO. Since you won't have to excuse any outsized wheel flanges, you can go with Code 70 in an HO switching layout, and that can look pretty good as industrial trackage.
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Craig wrote: *** Is there a FAQ to this group? *** ----------------------------------------------------------- Here ya' go:
http://www.canit.se/%7Egriffon/modrail/faq/rmr-faq.html
Good luck with your railroad!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire http://www.billsrailroad.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Craig wrote: *** I know Kalmbach publishers have a book on basic layout construction, but is there a better book, etc to buy for a potential entrant to this hobby to see if it is really something I want to deal with?*** --------------------------------------------------- Here are two popular books:
"Basic Model Railroading: Getting Started in the Hobby"
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
"N Scale Model Railroad That Grows":
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
There are a number of other good books on my bookstore pages:
http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore
Manyt of these books are up to 32% off list and include free shipping on orders over $25.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,100 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.