Hi, after a few decades I am thinking about restarting railway
modelling, possibly in N.
I have been looking on the web (can't get to a model shop for several
weeks yet) at the Farish starter sets
370025 (freelance 0-6-0 + wagons)
or 370 076 Jinty 0-6-0 Passenger Set
(and possibly buy a few wagons extra just for fun ! )
The main idea being to get a feel for the size of things, ( ie. would
it all be a bit too small and fiddly for my eyesight !) before I start
getting really serious,, !!
My main question is --
does anyone have advice on, or have a link to a review of, those ?
The price of that first one seems very low compared to their price for
other locos, is it just a toy ? would I be horridly disappointed ? or
is it one of their normal range repackaged into a starter set ?
Second question : am I right to think that these simple circles/ovals
can be extended in future with peco track ?
Most UK N is poor value. The running is adequate rather than good. The
price is quite high compared to OO, which reflects the lower sales volumes.
UK N is getting better slowly; the newest diesel models are now decent (ie.
almost as good as Japanese and US models), and some of the more recent
coaching and freight items are excellent (though some have silly howlers of
mistakes*, and one or two of the most recent are still dreadful). But much
of the stuff on sale is still well below par.
OO represents better value for money; a number of locos run really well
straight from box, detail is excellent, price better. Unless space is
heavily restricted, I would suggest OO for anyone wanting to use "out of
( So having now annoyed the N gauge users, onto the specifics).
Mechanically, I think its the same parts underneath.
However, the passenger version appears to be a genuine livery, whereas the
freight starter is a "made up by someone" livery. The Jinty also looks a
lot better in black (!), and its a fairly decent representation above the
footplate of the prototype. As small steam locos go, the Jinty isn't too
bad, though the gearing is too fast; lower gears would make it much more
From the photos, it looks like the passenger set includes the newer Mk1
Suburban coaches. These are excellent models; better than many others in the
In either case, you need a better controller than the one supplied.
Suggest Gaugemaster as a brand which make sensibly priced controllers.
Longer term if you stick with the model trains, go for DCC (digital
Yes, though you may find the curves are unreasonably tight.
(* eg. the Dapol Gresley's with the bogies in the wrong places. Yes, it
can be corrected without too much work, but given what they cost, and the
evident effort which has gone into the body mouldings and interiors, I'd
expect basic underframe measurements to be correct. )
Thanks Nigel, all noted.
Yes, I thought so too !
So it looks like the passenger set wins the vote :)
I'll just have to economise on the beer.
I had hoped that there might be someone here with hands-on experience
to report of the freelance one though :(
That was going to be a question for later !
ie. is the Jinty DCC friendly ? or is it too small/tight ??
PS, been looking round your 2mm site, interesting but I think that is
a little advanced for me yetawhile :)
Errr, yes !
I thought that that was what I was implying ! Hence my request
" anyone have advice on, or have a link to a review of, those ? "
Sorry for confusion.
Knowing _what_ to buy on the web is quite a problem, given the sad
state of pictures and descriptions on the average web site, ( your
link is a good example of what is bad in that respect ! , but thanks
for it anyways ;) )
Have you played with either of those two candidates that I am
Will the freelance green thing self destruct after a few hours, or
will it be a fair candidate for hacking/bashing/chassis-donating if I
later decide to stay with Ngauge/scale ?
Maybe I'll buy it anyways (it wont break the bank) and if worst comes
to worst it can carry the salt and pepper pots round the table next
Xmas :-!),,, and I'd then be able to send a pizza pic to Carl Arendt !
Thought you were looking at web but waiting to go to a shop.
You have to look around. often google for pics or go to Bach Farish website.
Yes, but not these actual sets
The freelance is basically the black loco painted differently. The quality
will be similar so you get the usual Bachmann Farish guarantee.
I have both types of model from Farish days. The Bach-Farish should be
Have fun in N Gauge
Can be done; there are no UK RTR locos in N which are too small for a DCC
chip. (If stuck on size, CT Electronik make one of the smallest). Biggest
problem is the Farish chassis design, which requires isolating the brush
gear from the chassis block. There are kits/parts to achive this.
Depends on your approach to model making.
If you like making fine items, its the way to go. The kits, jigs and parts
make it surprisingly simple if you have a mental approach which suits fine
If you want fine track work, then its massively better than N in appearance.
There are people who will build track at prices which are not that much more
than buying Peco N turnouts.
But, if you want to run steam locos, you have to build your own mechanisms,
which is quite slow.
However, if running trains from a box is your thing, 2mm is not the easiest
Yes, sry, I see the confusion now, (text was never my best language :)
Yep, done that, been there and lots of other sites too, no
descriptions (other than the typical cat.no. & 1-liner much the same
on all the sites, except the price)
So then I came up with a crafty plan ,,,
,, I'd ask all you knowledgable peeps here !!
BachFarish is almost (but not quite) as bad as the Peco site for lack
of effort :(
need to make more effort at describing their products over-above
simple lists :(
I suppose one is being encouraged to buy their catalogue, but it
doesn't inspire confidence that the cat. would be any better :(
Thanks for your description, if you still have them, and not thrown
them in the bin, then that gives me hope & confidence in the new
(newer?) ones as well.
I do remember the less than perfect reputation of GF from days of
But here is another reason for asking for advice from you lot ! --,
nowhere have I found any pointer to which models are _newly_tooled_BF
and which are _old_GF_ :(
Do you rkn there is space in them to fit a dcc decoder ?
Thanks , I'll try ;-)
Once I've sorted these pesky manufacturers and purveyors out, LOL !
and dont mind me and all my damnfool questions :) , hope I'm not
boring you all !
Here is another example/question :
On the Peco site and elsewhere there is a description of two types of
track, one with concrete sleepers and one with wooden, SL-300 &
Ok so far,,
,, except that I can't see any mention anywhere of what sleepers the
points have !`
There are insulfrogs and electrofrogs and large and small and
allsorts, but no mention of alternate types of sleepers.
Am I thick, blind or what have I missed !? ** Oh, btw, here is an amusing one, you say google round for pics.
well there is one site (which shall remain nameless to save their
blushes) which shows a nice portrait of a fine loco sitting on some
nice track in all its glory,,, with its back wheels already de-railed
! hahaaa !! One wonders if one has to pay extra for that 'feature' LOL
In Great Britain, plain track can have either wood, concrete or steel
sleepers; points and crossings only have wooden sleepers. (Strictly
speaking, sleepers are - more or less - a standard size and use of the word
"sleeper" is incorrect when talking about anything other than plain track.
The correct term for the lumps of wood that hold the rails apart on points
and crossings is "timbers" - which can be of variable length depending on
where in the point or crossing they are going to be situated).
Hope this helps,
Thanks, yes it did, very much. It had been bothering me for days !
So, I'd best apologise to Mr Peco then ;-))
pssst, can you guess from this that I've not been on a railway since
before Dr Beeching.
Did concrete pre- or post- date him ? I dont remember them under the
trains I used to ride, (*) but have of course seen them more recently
from the roadside !
I didnt know there were steel ones as well !
* thinking of small branch line, steam outline, BR.,ex-LMS (or maybe
ex-LNER which also figured in my youth. )
Now theres the difference, PECO catalogue is full of information, not a
glossy like many others.. Has good descriptions about their products as well
as good drawings with dimensions. Also includes fair bit of general
information about different scales etc.
Well worth the money.
I think all the Farish steam locos, and the 08, use the same basic chassis,
so the problem is common to them all (they used to be all based on the same
The bogie diesels and multiple units vary. Some have the brush gear earthed
through the chassis block, so have the same problems (possibly doubled, as
both brushes need isolation). The most recent bogie diesels use more
conventional motors, so problem gone away.
However, the only Farish diesel mech I have running has a replacement
Mashima motor in it, so the problem has long gone !
Dapol N seem to use a conventional small can motor, so just cut wires to
insert the DCC chip.
Looks quite a tidy solution.
Not sure how many alternatives exist. The N gauge Yahoo group or the UK DCC
Yahoo Group would know for sure.
One option is DIY; if you drill out the brush hole, then insert a plastic
top-hat (lathe helps in making them) to insulate the brush, and fit a wire
to the top-hat, the problem is solved.
I cannot be sure when the first concrete sleepers were used, but definitely
pre-Beeching and may even have been used experimentally pre-Nationalisation.
After World War II supplies of the normal wood - I think it was Baltic
Pine - were less than abundant and it was not long thereafter that concrete
sleepers became more common. Steel sleepers were used in some tropical
countries, as they were more resistant to termites etc, but not often used
in the UK until the serious track-relaying of quite long lenmgths of the
Settle-Carlisle line over the last five or six years.
As always, hope this is useful and always ready to be corrected by somebody
more in the know!
No problem, I have two :) a 6ft with 12" swing ( I think!) in gap bed
and a (little smaller !) Myford, which latter will shortly be used in
the construction of a NG. (16mmscale - 32mmgauge) live steam job for
the garden railway.
The freelance loco can be converted into a number of former Welsh tank
engines, there are kits available for this but I cannot remember the maker.
Its an old farish engine so not up to the standard of newer models.