Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Dockside Chat
Reload this Page >

Model train scale size for my kid ?

Notices

Model train scale size for my kid ?

Old 12-01-2019, 07:33 AM
  #1  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,932
Received 1,102 Likes on 592 Posts
Default Model train scale size for my kid ?

My boy is 4.5 years old. He has always been into trains and now its time to build a “real” elect train board up. I guess the fundamental piece of this puzzle is the scale size? I want something that easy enough for him to operate and place on the rails. I would like something that is expandable as I would like to add features over time. Any suggestions will be appreciated as I basically know nothing at this point. Also the plan is to keep it to a 4x8 sheet of ply.
Old 12-01-2019, 07:54 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,011
Likes: 0
Received 101 Likes on 69 Posts
Default

At 4 1/2 he needs something to stand up to his handling. I would start with “O” scale. If he stays with it, then switch to “HO” in the future. BYW, “HO” is the most popular by far, something like 75% of the market.
Old 12-01-2019, 08:00 AM
  #3  
4/0
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: OIB
Posts: 1,931
Likes: 0
Received 392 Likes on 194 Posts
Default

My kids are out of the house now. But I started with Lionel trains. Big variety, pretty durable. O gauge.
It was a Big deal setting up the train under the tree every year.

Polar Express Train Sets: Find The Polar Express at Lionel

.
Old 12-01-2019, 08:05 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 737
Received 226 Likes on 144 Posts
Default

“O” scale to start with. He can go to HO later if he likes.
Old 12-01-2019, 08:20 AM
  #5  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 107
Likes: 0
Received 144 Likes on 61 Posts
Default

As said above, O gauge is a great way to get going, but its quite large, will take up a lot of space! HO or half O is by far the most used as space is always a concern, my stuff is all OO as it's from the UK,
there a re quite a few model railway forums out there, just a heads up though, dont call them toy trains!!! They get angry!! Lol













Last edited by Darrenmb; 12-01-2019 at 08:33 AM.
Old 12-01-2019, 08:35 AM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 107
Likes: 0
Received 144 Likes on 61 Posts
Default

That was some of my stuff, and if you go HO, you arent limited to trains!!! Check this one out..

Its fan driven
Old 12-01-2019, 08:43 AM
  #7  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,932
Received 1,102 Likes on 592 Posts
Default

Ok great start. I was going back and forth between HO and O. We have a large playroom and the plan is to use a 4x8 ply layout that we can move around and leave up all year. My wife has a tradition size Christmas village deal - does O scale work decent with that? My kid has pretty good hand coordination so I think he’ll be able to get them on the rails if he derails it ( likely lol ). Can you make a pretty cool layout on a 4x8 with O scale?
Old 12-01-2019, 08:48 AM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 107
Likes: 0
Received 144 Likes on 61 Posts
Default

I have never run O, but used to have an OO, (just a tiny bit larger then HO) layout on a 4x8 and and outgrew the space pretty quickly.. I think (please note the word think as I dont know for sure) that all you can pretty much do on a 4x8 with O gauge would ba an oval and maybe a siding,
good luck whatever you decide to do, it's fantastic to hear people are still interested in this hobby!!
Old 12-01-2019, 09:01 AM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: De
Posts: 2,507
Likes: 0
Received 598 Likes on 305 Posts
Default

Been adding to my set.
Have to tear it all down and build a platform now

Bought some of this off a THTer.

O Gauge for the OP.




Old 12-01-2019, 09:02 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,194
Received 481 Likes on 302 Posts
Default

I would stay with one gauge. I had O, but......

O gauge trains 1/48 scale are beautiful, but very large. You will be very limited in space and will be dissapointed in the layouts you can get on a 4x8. You will likewise be limited in the number of cars you can fit or pull on that layout. Locomotive, tender 4 cars and a caboose barely fit. You will need a ton of space if you really want to build on this. Also more expensive.

HO is 1/87 scale, smaller, you will be able to do a lot more in terms of cars, layouts and accessories.

Look up track layouts for the different gauges and see what you can do on a 4x8 and you will see what I mean.
Old 12-01-2019, 09:13 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NJ & MV
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 0
Received 1,960 Likes on 1,064 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Darrenmb View Post
I have never run O, but used to have an OO, (just a tiny bit larger then HO) layout on a 4x8 and and outgrew the space pretty quickly.. I think (please note the word think as I dont know for sure) that all you can pretty much do on a 4x8 with O gauge would ba an oval and maybe a siding,
good luck whatever you decide to do, it's fantastic to hear people are still interested in this hobby!!
I “think” you are wrong... This layout has a figure 8 with a reversing loop and a siding and an automatic point to point. Oh and an operating draw bridge, water feature, wharf, plate girder bridge,... all on a 3’ x 8’




Last edited by aubv; 12-01-2019 at 09:24 AM.
Old 12-01-2019, 09:15 AM
  #12  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 107
Likes: 0
Received 144 Likes on 61 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by aubv View Post
I “think” you are wrong... 3 x 8‘ w/figure 8 with a reversing loop and a siding and a automatic point to point. Oh and an operating draw bridge...

I stand corrected.. lol
Old 12-01-2019, 09:17 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,837
Received 380 Likes on 201 Posts
Default

I have a bunch of my dad’s prewar O gauge trains and need to get them up and running instead of sitting on a shelf for display. Your kid? We had mostly HO as kids, if I remember correctly they have a re-railer track that you simply push the train over to get them back on track. Made life easy when dealing with younger brothers.
Old 12-01-2019, 09:19 AM
  #14  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 107
Likes: 0
Received 144 Likes on 61 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by louiefl View Post
I have a bunch of my dad’s prewar O gauge trains and need to get them up and running instead of sitting on a shelf for display. Your kid? We had mostly HO as kids, if I remember correctly they have a re-railer track that you simply push the train over to get them back on track. Made life easy when dealing with younger brothers.
yup, works great when you get old too...

Hidden on back side of under tree layout
Old 12-01-2019, 09:27 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NJ & MV
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 0
Received 1,960 Likes on 1,064 Posts
Default

HO trains are much more finicky and the wiring is far more complicated if you want to change directions, etc..

if any one is look for HO or O gauge stuff send me a PM.
Old 12-01-2019, 10:04 AM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 6,168
Received 1,112 Likes on 530 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by aubv View Post
HO trains are much more finicky and the wiring is far more complicated if you want to change directions, etc...
Snicker.

It's difficult to fit anything interesting in 4x8 in HO much less O scale. You mostly end up with a NASCAR track going round and round. Which is boring after 5 minutes. I would suggest to consider the possibility of cutting 4x8 in half lengthwise and make a 10ft x 8ft L shaped shelf switching layout. It will be much more interesting and maintainable in the long run. In HO scale. My $0.02.
Old 12-01-2019, 10:16 AM
  #17  
THT Sponsor
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: BOEmarine.com
Posts: 17,574
Likes: 0
Received 187 Likes on 123 Posts
Default

Here is our O Scale layout we set up in our store on a 4x8 sheet. As you can see this is about all you can fit on a 4x8. Its plenty though to get your feet wet and see if you like it.

Old 12-01-2019, 11:16 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NJ & MV
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 0
Received 1,960 Likes on 1,064 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
Snicker.

It's difficult to fit anything interesting in 4x8 in HO much less O scale. You mostly end up with a NASCAR track going round and round. Which is boring after 5 minutes. I would suggest to consider the possibility of cutting 4x8 in half lengthwise and make a 10ft x 8ft L shaped shelf switching layout. It will be much more interesting and maintainable in the long run. In HO scale. My $0.02.
Snicker... Most adults don’t want that much less a 4-1/2YO!

Many kids are happy putting a Pokémon or LEGO figure, etc. in a gondola and watching it go around.

A decent track plan that allows trains to reverse and “disappear” and an automatic point to point would be a great start. This can be part a larger master plan.
While bigger is usually better, you can build to big, making the whole thing a “project”.

Another huge advantage of O scale is the operation accessories...

Last edited by aubv; 12-01-2019 at 11:28 AM.
Old 12-01-2019, 12:03 PM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,932
Received 1,102 Likes on 592 Posts
Default

I think when you are stepping up from push trains anything will be captivating for him. That being said he has a low attention span like his old man so I am going to tread lightly into this whole deal..

So it appears the general consensus is to go with O scale and if he gets into we move towards HO. Sound about right?

YachtJim that is a nice 4x8 setup
Old 12-01-2019, 12:08 PM
  #20  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,932
Received 1,102 Likes on 592 Posts
Default

Stick with the Lionel brand?

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.