After deciding what to model, I had another great idea. So I thought… I was going to switch to HO Scale. Now, most of you know what scales are, but for those that don’t, let me cover it briefly. HO Scale uses the proportion of 1:87. That means everything is 87 times smaller than the real thing. In the model railroad world, that is pretty big. There are larger scales, but the hobby is dominated by HO scale and I wanted to be in that crowd. I had been an N-Scale railroader all my life. The proportion here is 1:160. Again, everything is 160 times smaller than real life. I had a very sizable investment in N-Scale, heck I had even been president of the New Mexico RailRunNers, our local N-Scale club. But I wanted to be an HO-Scale guy. The detail you can get in HO is amazing. Add to that it’s easier on the eyes!
So it was off to the Hobby Shop and e-bay. I was able to find some great deals on Providence & Worcester locomotives and I snapped them up. I loved it, this was the start of something big(ger) for me! Yes, I threw a bunch of money at e-bay and everywhere else. Then it hit me again. Actually, Mike hit me, Mike being Mike Bandini, the second employee of the P&W CC Sub and VP of operations. He was thinking about going to N-Scale. Being new to the hobby, I was explaining the difference in scales to him and I kept realizing that for what I wanted to do, HO was too big. Then I went to the shed out in the backyard and dug out my N-Scale stuff. WOW. I forgot how much I had on hand. I had a ton of unbuilt structures too.
I soon realized that switching to HO was going to be cost prohibitive and very limiting, given the room I had to play with. Another major factor in this decision was my DCC system. For Christmas this year, my wife got me a great Digitrax Zephyr system and a highfalutin handheld throttle. My fear with N-Scale was that I would not be able to update my 15 year old locomotives to the latest and greatest DCC system. Then I did more research and found out it was really easy to modify the older locomotives. Granted, they all had to be done by hand with wiring, soldering and frame milling, but I am a graduate of the USAF high reliability soldering course and I do have the equipment needed to modify the frames. A few nights later and most of my loco fleet was modified for DCC. There went the last vestige of my switch to HO. I put all the stuff I just got from e-bay back onto e-bay and took the hit in the wallet that comes with a bad decision.
(A bad decision for me, mind you, I’m not dogging HO scale at all, it just doesn’t make sense for me to switch.)
I have also e-bay’d more than a few new N-Scale P&W items, but the real gem was finding Wig-Wag trains right here in my own town. A whole store dedicated to N-Scale. How can you beat that. I am on a mission now to make them wealthy by buying everything from them :)
So, I’m done flirting with HOs and I’m on to making a plan for my model railroad.