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Author Topic: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?  (Read 6387 times)

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Offline ACA

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #90 on: April 06, 2018, 05:51:50 PM »

Hello all,

I have been reading the responses to this thread with interest.

In terms of a "golden age" to me the question seems simple:  If you had to choose, and on the basis of models alone (ie not real railway, your own life/age etc), would you rather be an N gauge enthusiast in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or present?

For sure I would pick the present.

Cheers

Ben A.

I totally agree with this, modern image modeller are better catered for than ever before, there are some amazing steam locomotives and big four coaches now available and in the near future new models of pre grouping locomotives. Compared to what was available just ten years ago these are riches indeed. Yes there are gaps in N gauge no Atlantic's for a start compared with 00 but n gauge is a niche market in comparison due to 00 being more child friendly it is more likely to be the scale you start with and possibly stick with over time.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 08:23:51 PM by Newportnobby, Reason: Quotation and response separated »

Offline Western Exile

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #91 on: April 06, 2018, 06:59:39 PM »

Hello all,

I have been reading the responses to this thread with interest.

In terms of a "golden age" to me the question seems simple:  If you had to choose, and on the basis of models alone (ie not real railway, your own life/age etc), would you rather be an N gauge enthusiast in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or present?

For sure I would pick the present.

Cheers

Ben A.

I agree. It was largely due to seeing a picture of a Farish 47 in a Peco catalogue a few years ago that got me back into the hobby. To start with, I didn’t believe it was N gauge as it looked so much better than the Minitrix and Graham Farish versions that I knew from years ago (and don’t mention the Lima Deltic  :-\) in that it actually looked like a 47.
There is an enormous range available today even including wagon types that barely reached double figures in the real world. No, I like things just the way they are today, thanks very much.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 07:00:55 PM by Western Exile »

Offline ohlavache

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #92 on: April 09, 2018, 10:03:39 AM »
I agree: it's much better to play N gauge in the 2010s than ever.
The quality has much improved, many new suppliers appeared for both rolling stock and scenery.

But for the very first time, I decided not to buy some items I’d like to have because of the price going so high. This is true for Graham Farish and some of their recent announcements; it is also true for some continental suppliers such as Minitrix.
So I guess we are at a turning point in N gauge history.

We still have some years in front of us with more industrial superb models, such as the RGP1 from REE Modčles, the BB 4200 from Hobby 66, all those lovely novelties from Revolution Trains and DJ Models, etc.
But they will be less and less affordable.
So here is my guess:
•   3D printing will become key. We still miss coloured, highly detailed and robust 3D printing, but they will come. We are at the very beginning.
•   How to control your model trains has started to change. Even if you stay on the DC/analogue side as I, you have innovations such as these ones from Kato (www.1999.co.jp/eng/10530450 and www.1999.co.jp/eng/10303938) or that one from Rokuhan (www.rokuhan.com/english/news/2017/08/e-train-controller-2introduction-of-more-useful-functions-for-e-train-controller.html). They are appealing.

So, I would say we are at the top of the current era but this era is about to move on to 3D printing and new ways of controlling our trains.
My guess as Madam Irma, fortune-teller…  :dunce:


These locos and wagons are looking for a new home! (updated on 23 August 2018 - new items!)

Wanted items (only in their original box):
- Union Mills, 0-6-0 3F steam locomotive in LMS crimson (N gauge)
- Graham Farish 374-132, Mk1 GUV in BR blue ‘express parcels’ (N gauge)

Online Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #93 on: April 09, 2018, 10:28:20 AM »
Even though I'm getting on and me eyesight ain't what it was, N is my gauge, and always will be.

The new models are fantastic (and yes, I know... I've promised pics of Revolution's incredible Class B tankers on my layout.... coming!), so yes, I think I'm happy with N 2018.

00 models look like toys to me.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline tgv_obsessed

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #94 on: April 12, 2018, 11:48:38 PM »
If you model as near to possible to prototype, don't mix  it up too much, run your trains at scale speed, have the skills in tracklaying and wiring required for peco 55, and have plenty of time on your hands, then this could be golden age.

If however, you like to play with your toy trains in a different way- say have them hurtle round multiple set track  ovals with tight radii, with some plastic platforms, then it is probably not a golden age.

I you are somewhere in the middle, then the guild of the age probably depends on how guilded ones pocket is.

I think this is probably true for OO too.
running in is so you get used to the noise, oops, to bed the gears down properly

Offline 47 years N

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2018, 03:37:49 PM »
I have recently divested myself of all recently built British (Chinese) N gauge due to the extreme annoyance that their running qualities (or lack of them) provoked in me. Frequent uncoupling of expensive MK1 coaches, Wrong height of MK2 coaches, expensive locomotives that are not whisper quiet and also uncouple (due to the holy grail of close coupling spoiled by bad engineering and finish on the NEM sockets). I don't see why I should fettle and fight with these shortcomings. Yes I have 282mm minimum radius curves but we don't all have the space for huge curves. The closer to scale that N gauge becomes the more likely that rolling stock derails and fine details break off.
My solution?  Poole design Farish steamers and Minitrix MK1s. I am surprised at how damn good they look from normal viewing distances. After many years modelling N and OO I think that as well as colour DETAIL also does not scale well. Minitrix coach windows are deeply recessed but they don't look like grampa's jelly jar glasses the way that new Farish coaches do. I too was on the "more detailed is better" buying spree but not any more. If I was designing the new Graham Farish MK1&2fs I would have set the buffers to fully retracted position and kept the lovely reliable sprung elsie couplers as short as possible. Never mind NEM!  Shorter couplers and automatic couplers are easily fitted the the old style coupler boxes. Kato buckeyes and Micro Trains for example.
I have Japanese and German trains that are far superior to modern British stuff. One exception that was quickly sold on. An Arnold carriage now made in China that had the dreaded droopy nem coupler. I rest my case

Offline ACA

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #96 on: November 05, 2018, 05:22:53 PM »
If you like Graham Farish Poole era locomotives then give Union Mills a try if you haven't already, the latest City of Truro is a very smooth runner.

Online dannyboy

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #97 on: November 05, 2018, 06:16:14 PM »
I tend to agree with @47 years N. The majority of my engines are either GF or Dapol, but the nicest runners I have are Kato. I realise that they may not be as detailed as some of the latest GF/Dapol, but I am not knowledgeable enough to say that any particular engine is not a faithful reproduction of the original. To me, if it looks right, it is right.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline austinbob

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #98 on: November 05, 2018, 06:39:04 PM »
As I've posted before, its not necessarily the detail of locos that counts but 'does this loco feel like the prototype?'
For most of us we view our locos and stock 2 or 3 feet away. You can't really see the detail at that distance.
I just want to see my locos, in my minds eye, as the real thing.
 :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Offline grumbeast

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #99 on: November 05, 2018, 07:53:42 PM »
I'll jump in here, and I have to say we are undoubtedly in a golden age.  I've been lucky enough to have been using N gauge since 1978 (thanks to awesome parents!) with a Lima class 31 and some Mk1s.  There is no comparison to what I had then with some of the stuff I have now.  I know there are sometimes some QC issues but the vast majority of my newer locomotives run beautifully and quietly.  Cost is going to be an ongoing issue, but I'd rather save a little longer and get something better, we cant have quality and low costs given the low volumes

Offline Steven B

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #100 on: November 06, 2018, 11:05:30 AM »
Shorter couplers and automatic couplers are easily fitted the the old style coupler boxes. Kato buckeyes and Micro Trains for example.

Which Micro Trains couplings have you found that fit an older sprung Farish pocket? I'd always believed that the spring means that you'd loose the remote uncoupling feature of the Micro-Trains coupler.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 11:08:09 AM by Steven B »

Offline Les1952

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #101 on: November 11, 2018, 06:56:46 PM »
Reading through all this brings to mind a quote- from whom I can't remember, but...


"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be"

I can still remember the seven GF J94s I had of which only one could be persuaded to run reliably at any time, the dreaded General Purpose Tank, LMS Compounds that limped or with tender pickups so tight the loco slipped running light engine, and the first GF 8-coupled loco that used a lengthened J94 chassis with no pickups on the front pair of wheels.  I can also remember the Lima 4F and Deltic- the only models of either that were available.

I can also remember putting Lima snd Minitrix Mark1 coaches behind a Lima deltic and wondering if we should have introduced double-deck stock.

Split gears on Farish locos aren't a Chinese invention.  They predate Chinese production by many years.  Who also had a Minitrix 2MT 2-6-0 that slipped with one coach in tow?

I would say 95% of my current locos run reliably at any given time despite them regularly getting hammered at exhibitions - I never got to 50% with the old Poole stuff.

One last point for people running Poole locos - survival of the fittest means the lemons went in the spares box years ago.  Don't think your brilliant runner is typical of the breed. 


Les  (modelling in N since the seventies)

Offline NinOz

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #102 on: November 11, 2018, 11:36:06 PM »
I can still remember the seven GF J94s I had of which only one could be persuaded to run reliably at any time, the dreaded General Purpose Tank, LMS Compounds that limped or with tender pickups so tight the loco slipped running light engine, and the first GF 8-coupled loco that used a lengthened J94 chassis with no pickups on the front pair of wheels.  I can also remember the Lima 4F and Deltic- the only models of either that were available.
The good old days.  I remember that the first thing I did with any new loco with tender pickup was to adjust the pickups so the wheels rotated when pushed along the track.  Otherwise the loco would drag the tender around with the tender wheels locked in place or intermitantly rotating.  Diesels also benefitted from cleaning, lubricating and adjusting pickups.  Kaboom, went any warranty in first couple of hours of ownership.
Never had a Deltic but two of the attrocious 4F models (were they all made to 2.5mm scale?).


I can also remember putting Lima and Minitrix Mark1 coaches behind a Lima deltic and wondering if we should have introduced double-deck stock.
Got rid of my Lima and Minitrix wagons and coaches at the first opportunity

Split gears on Farish locos aren't a Chinese invention.  They predate Chinese production by many years.  Who also had a Minitrix 2MT 2-6-0 that slipped with one coach in tow?
Still replacing gears on my Poole Farish stuff.  The 2MT, barely moved itself along but marginally better if every nook and cranny was filled with lead.  Worked fine if you slung a big bit of lead sheet over the boiler.  Somehow that seemed to interfer with the scale look though.

I would say 95% of my current locos run reliably at any given time despite them regularly getting hammered at exhibitions - I never got to 50% with the old Poole stuff.
Had better luck than 50%, most were ok after a bit of fettling.  Never liked the brass geared stuff, always sounded like ball bearings in a can.  Every tender had pickups retro-fitted when Farish went miserly and produced tenders without any.
Thanks Les, for bringing back nightmares to the fore. :(

The good old days? :smiley-laughing:    No thanks! :thumbsdown:

CFJ
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 06:34:53 AM by NinOz »
To be called pompous and arrogant - hell of a come down.
I tried so hard to be snobbish and haughty.

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #103 on: November 12, 2018, 05:11:36 AM »
I have a drawer full of stuffed Poole Farish locomotives. Split gears, probably, and probably easy to fix, but haven't gotten that dreaded round tuit  :D
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Gyppy101

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #104 on: November 12, 2018, 03:36:12 PM »
I, too, began modelling in N Gauge in the 1970's and starting with a Lima 31 then a Deltic.  I soon progressed to a Minitrix 2MT and Britannia plus Farish GP tank and later Class 47.  There is just no comparison.  All my Farish diesels needed to be converted to 5-pole motors to improve running  and, yes, the Minitrix 2MT wouldn't pull more than two coaches on a good day!  We live in a definite "Golden Era" by comparison despite the increase in prices.  Just look a the wide range of choice in locos and stock.  I'd had hate to go back to the "good old days".  Now I have locos I could only dream about in the 1970's and as far as quality is concerned, the vast majority of my locos and stock perform well ... Farish and Dapol!

 

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