Not the best time to buy a beginners set?

I've seen lots of cheap junk sets out for sale for the holidays.
Anyone offer suggestions as to sets or at least companies to check out
for a decent starter set? From what I've seen they usually come with a circle or oval layout.
Looking for a scale with the cars around 6 inches long or so. What scale would that be?
gotta shop soon. Hope you can help.
thx - Craig
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/9/2009 8:31 PM Musicman59 spake thus:

HO. 40' boxcar ~= 5-1/2".
--
I am a Canadian who was born and raised in The Netherlands. I live on
Planet Earth on a spot of land called Canada. We have noisy neighbours.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bah! Nobody plays with those large and clunky H0 trains! :-) N scale passenger cars are about 6" long and you have cute little trains to play with. You can have almost twice as much model railroading in half the space!
Here is a sample of available sets: http://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/CTGY/NonHO I would go with Atlas sets.
Peteski
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, and as an extra added benefit the N scale trains only run half as well as the HO versions; which is wonderful if you like static displays! }:-P
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Yes, and as an extra added benefit the N scale trains only run half as well as the HO versions; which is wonderful if you like static displays! }:-P
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
And HO only run half as well as the O versions ...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I should point out that even in O-scale a typical British steam era open wagon or van (boxcar) is about 5" long.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

True, but the number of them found in Arizona before 1900 was something less than zero...
~ Pete
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

True, but the number of them found in Arizona before 1900 was something less than zero...
~ Pete
-------------------------------------------------------------------- What about the Magma Arizona?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've read a few articles on the Magma, and don't recall anything about them operating any "typical British steam era open wagon or vans".
They *did* paint their loco's smokeboxes copper instead of silver, though, and I always thought it looked interesting!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I've read a few articles on the Magma, and don't recall anything about them operating any "typical British steam era open wagon or vans".
They *did* paint their loco's smokeboxes copper instead of silver, though, and I always thought it looked interesting!
========================================================They did have small rolling stock, which is the point ...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

=================================>
Well, yes, but the OP is talking about an "Old West" layout, and *everything* back then was small, even compared to 1900-era rolling stock.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Smashing!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Dec 2009 01:10:19 -0800 (PST), Peter W. wrote:

Double Bah!! And along with oversized railings and grabs and couplers, you get monstrously oversized rail - except for the few nearly blind devotees* who hand lay code 40 N scale track, even the best common practice (Code 55) scales out to something like 175 pound rail, even worse than Code 100 in HO - even the Pennsylvania didn't use rail that heavy! - and the more common (especially in train sets) Code 80 looks absolutely toy like.
The only N scale layouts I've seen that didn't scream toy train had Code 55 track buried in ballast to hde as much of the rail as possible.
* "Stop that - you'll go blind!" "Can't I just do it until I need glasses?"
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Dec 2009 10:21:27 -0800, Steve Caple wrote:

Yes, and all that trouble you get for the same price as HO ! Free included!
--
Groet, salut, Wim.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

can someone please translate this side discussion on scale size to this newbie? It appears that people have certain positions on the proper scale one should own. :-) that said, for me, just hitting the half century mark, the smaller trains will most likely soon become fuzzy to see and will soon gather dust. thought if I went a larger size, say 6 inches or larger, I could have some fun with this hobby.
so, are there inherent problems with the smaller scales? what are they? dust, derailments, etc ?
thx much all - Craig
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Musicman59 wrote:

Craig, part of your choice depends on your interests. HO scale (1/8 inch to the foot approximately) is the most popular scale, and has more overall variety of items available. True, you can get more layout in a given space in N scale, but if you enjoy building kits (buildings, railroad cars, etc.) HO scale is a better choice. Operating your trains like a real railroad also is better in HO scale, simply because you can see the markings on the cars. O gauge or scale is 1/4" to the foot, takes a lot more room than HO, and given your 6" preference, is probably too big. I personally model in HO scale (am 66, have worn glasses much of my life and bifocals for the last 15+ years), and find it to be "right" for me. Yes, I sometimes have to use magnifying lenses when working on building details or assembling cars (most manufacturers these days have ready to run cars available), but the combination of size and detail allows me to have a decent sized layout and enjoy the aspects of the hobby I want to enjoy.
As mentioned in another response earlier, Athearn, Atlas, Walthers all make good starter sets - if you have a local hobby shop where you can go in and look at the various scales and ask questions, by all means do so. Too, check if there's a local club you could visit, and talk with members, check out what they're doing. Another possibility - check out the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA.org) to see if you can find local clubs, or to see if there is an NMRA meet in your area in the next few months.
If in the Phoenix AZ area, check out www.arizonarails.com and get in touch either with the webmaster or club president - we'll be happy to help you out.
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

thx much for the advice. Been building styrene models since 1964. Your comments about building kits makes me think I might want to go a smaller size. This would be diversion from building, not a side hobby to that. I would much rather buy off the shelf buildings, etc. than have to build them up. I'm in the hole around 200 model kits so it would be nice to have something already built and painted for a change, Then I could at least modify the kits to what I desire. I have a long family history of my family in Texas and Arizona so I am a bit partial to trains running in the southwest during the mid-late 1800's. Much to work with in that theme?
Best - Craig
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Musicman59 wrote:

(Big snip)

HO scale probably has the most to choose from in the late 1800s era, though you'll have to look around quite a bit, and you'll probably find few already built buildings and railroad cars available. A possibility I hadn't thought of earlier would be to check out product availability online at either www.walthers.com or www.horizonhobby.com/trains and check out the Roundhouse Store - Roundhouse put out a lot of old-time cars and locomotives over the years. Too, train swap meets can be a good source of locomotives and already built buildings at bargain prices, though you often have to wade through a lot of junk to find the gems.
HTH
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes and seeing the front end of a train rolling into a town before the back end has left the other town is really prototypical and goodoperational NOT.
I am a half century myself and although I agree with Matt that its much easier with the eyes and handwork for H0 , operations and having your trains rolling through what at least seems a vast landscape is much nicer in Normal-scale ;-)
So Craig if you want layout with long trains going through wide curves ten itsN-scale you want, if you like looking at your trains in tight curves and 5 coal hoppers is what you call a coal train thenH0 is your scale.
Oh I saw someone here posted something about better running on H0 then N, if you stick to Kato ,Atlas and an ocasional Proto/LifeLike you'll find N-scale runs at least just as well as H0.
greetz Jan using Atlas code 55
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Dec 10, 3:24pm, "Jan \( Bouli \) Van Gerwen"

Hint: Five to seven car wayfreights or three car passenger trains are not unprototypical.
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.