Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2x4 - The N Scale 4x8?

I've started messing around with N Scale lately and it seems that lots of guys like to scale down a 4x8 HO track plan to 2x4 for their N Scale layout. It sounds like a great idea - N Scale is about half the size of HO, so just make the table half size and go for it, right? The only problem is 2x4 is just a bit too cramped. The N Scale equivalent to 18" radius track isn't 9", it's about 9-3/4". That means the curves will push your track closer to the edges (relatively) than the "equivalent" 4x8 HO layout, and your straight sections will be shorter since the curves take up more space. Instead of scaling down to 2x4, you should scale down to 27" x 54" if you're using the Code 80 9" radius curved sections. An even better idea is to make the layout 30" x 60" and use their Code 55 track with 11.25" curves. The broader curves will look a lot better (they're the equivalent of 21" radius in HO scale), the Code 55 rail is a lot closer to scale than Code 80, and you'll still end up with a nice, compact layout. Of course the best idea would be to make the N Scale layout 4x8 and just adjust the track spacing...

2x4 N Scale Layout

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