First the apologies and excuses:
- This group (and indeed the model railroad community at large) seems mostly male. Please don't flame me for being female. Blame my father.
- I'm not new at usegroups, just at railroads. Your FAQ is no longer available on the websites listed and I haven't seen anyone post these types of questions in a while (quick scan that I gave the newsgroup).
- If I get on your nerves, just pass my posting by or filter me out, but please don't flame me. I'm just trying to learn as you all were once.
On to the explanation:
I want a coffee table model railroad. I have wanted one for 20 years. I KNEW someone else out there had to have the same thought, but I haven't seen any tables I could buy (except with ready made train sets and they are way out of my price range.)
I have found a local woodworker who will make my table for a decent price. It will be approximately 24" by 44". 5" deep for the layout.
I am not planning for any mountains (obviously) or tunnels. I want a steam-engine, old-time-prairie-village looking layout. I only want it to go around the track. I'm not interested in sidings, switiching, or any of the more realistic facilities for trains. My people will be plastic and they don't mind never having a bathroom stop.
And finally to the questions:
- Is 24" wide enough for an N Scale layout?
- If I go with 24" will I be limited to a simple oval? Figure 8? Kidney bean shape? Any variety at all?
- It seems that Z Scale is smaller than N Scale, but also more expensive. Is that right?
- I'm not bad at wiring, but I am new to trains. Should I buy a kit as a starter, knowing all electrical components have been dealt with, or start from scratch and read up on my own electronics?
- Are there specific internet retailers you recommend? I live in a very small town and have little access to retail shopping of this kind.
- Is there anything in particular I should tell my woodworker - other than the fact that the layout must be accessable somehow, and the wiring must be mounted uner the table?
Thank you for your patience, forgiveness, and tolerance. I appreciate it!