Topics

What got you in to HOn3?


Craig Linn
 

Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


Climax@...
 

Craig:
What got me in the NG.  Well several things.  First of all it is still HO so all the HO scenery, structuers, people, vehicles and  stuff were still useable, in fact I could do both HO and HOn3 on the same railroad, kind of like switch hitter.  On my last RR I did both and actually had an interchange of dual gauge for interest.  On my current RR I run my HO on a completely level layout with a double main line and switches off to several interest points.  The HOn3 on the other had goes loop to loop and varies in height by about a foot.  I can use tighter turns, which allows me a loop to climb through going from the lower FSM ore tipple, past the mining districts, past Electro, behind a huge mine and stamp mill, and on to Mule Pass where a town exists, engine facilities, another mine, cattle yards, and the entrance to the stamp mill tipple is for the HOn3 to deliver ore from the mining district.  The loops can provide me continuous operation, or I can mix in with the several (5) NCE plug in stations to follow trains around the layout.  I agree with you that Blackstone really bought HOn3 into the world of reliability.  It is not for the budget minded person but the detail and operation is exceptional.  I would rather have only one or two running locomotives than a feet of engine house queens just sitting there.  Up until Blackstone came out with reliable DCC motive power I was strictly a DC person and had accumulated 40 brass Narrow gauge models, of which everyone is a display case queen now.  they range from Shays, Climax, Heisler, Dunkirk, to the C series, K series, and PFM articulated's.  The Blackstone rolling stock works great, looks great, is equipped with the proper couplers but still costs a mint per car.  Not everyone can afford a fleet of cars, so either kit or scratch building is an option.  My recommendation is to a newbee is to buy a reliable Blackstone either C or K series locomotive and start building cars, then when able maybe add a Blackstone car.  
I personally like doing scenery, building buildings with the micro light LEDs adn sound.  When I look at what people model I see some layouts with track that covers everything and no scenery.  To me that just isn't right.  I like to make since, take a car from point A to point B is good too, and its operations, a lot of people like that.  Nothing wrong with any aspect of that either.  Some folks like the electrical.  The nice part of Model Railroading is that it is so vast.  Some people can do benchwork, some can do track, some like constructing structures, some are into backdrop painting, some electrical, some into building cars, engines, or scenes.  No matter what a person should enjoy what they do and not consider it a job or push too hard as mistakes will happen and need to be corrected. It is a hobby which can be worked on continuously, part time, seasonal, even put away for periods time and when the mood strikes you take it back out again.  One thing I have done over the years on the bottom of my structures is I write the date I built it.  I have some building that go back into the mid 1960's and you can see the progress in quality.  I sometimes rework some structures and as an example I have a BIS Wirey & Sons set of structures I had on an NMRA Contest module with a FSM copy with full interior of Jacob's Fuel bunker I built back in 1989.  Recently I removed the structures and am updating them with the Micro LED's, about 4 to 6 per structure and mounting them on the new layout.  I am a packrat and never throw out old structures as they can be reworked or combined with something else, like in real life.  
The hobby evolves, can be enjoyed alone or with friends but the most important thing is to remember to stop and smell the roses, in other words don't make it a job, make it enjoyable.
Dave

  -----Original Message----- 
From: Craig Linn
Sent: Jan 16, 2021 11:21 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: [HOn3] What got you in to HOn3?

Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


Eric Schrowang
 

Hi Craig,
So I got into narrow gauge because I grew up around On3. My grandfather and father were  On3 modelers and as a young boy I had the privilege of getting to know folks like Don Brown of San Juan Engineering , Lee Snover, Charlie Brommer of CHB. Men like this influenced my love of narrow gauge but I have always had a soft place in my heart for HO scale, also my wallet. 
The availability of HO Scale and HOn3 gauge equipment I feel is what has kept me coming back to HOn3, O scale is great, but the cost of equipment is so much higher. 
 If I had one thing to watch for in HOn3 it is converting older locos to DCC. Sometimes it is difficult to find a place to hide decoders even though electronics have gotten so much smaller than they were even 25 years ago.

Thank You
Eric Schrowang

On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 11:21 AM Craig Linn <drgw346@...> wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


jczul36
 

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
Craig, What got me into HOn3 was Lonnie Shay, Paul Scholes, and Jim Vail.  Their craftsmanship and scenery appealed to me because it was so realistic. 





2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
My main interest in Hon3 is the ratio of scenery to railroad.  HO Standard gauge requires larger mountains to dwarf the loco’s.  Larger buildings also eat up realestate quickly, making it more difficult to obtain a good realistic scenery to railroad ratio.  Narrow gauge buildings and small towns are easier to condense, making them look realistic even though small.  


3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?
Turn of the Century layouts with Diamond and congdon stack….My Favorite!

jc 





Don Bergman
 

What got me into Narrow Gauge,   It's just cute!   There's more, see below.
1- Playing with Roy Rogers  Miniatures and Marx trains as a kid. 
2- Deciding to change to an "Adult" Hobby in 11th grade in 1961, purchased an HO set and started on a 4x8.  
3. Graduated from College in 1967 and my present to myself was a trip west (Never been west of Chicago) to the National Parks in Colorado , Utah, and Wyoming.  Traveled through Alamosa and Durango, (Did not know Chama existed!!  🙁 )   Thats really CUTE.  and the Mountain background was inspiring.
4. Took another look in 1970. Rode the Silverton.
5. Got home and borrowed a copy of Beebe and Cleggs "Narrow Gauge in the Rockies.  Gravitated to the RGS.  Loved the Bridges.
6. Switched to HOn3 in 1972 when we purchased our first house and started over.
7. First trip to Ridgway-Durango 1976.  Rode the C&TSRR

Don Bergman

Here's a handout from a presentation in 2017.
I might add to the list, an advantage of modeling:  NEVER bored when cocooned at home during a pandemic.



Modeling the Prototype 

 

By Don Bergman  2017 Grand Rapids NMRA Grand Rapids Division  Convention 

 

A prototype model layout is one that incorporates not only the rolling stock, but the track plan, topography including elevation, rock strata and color, structures, vegetation, operating practices and anything else that contributes to the “look and feel” of the target subject. It rejects the term “loosely based.” It’s modeling the subject as more it was, not as you might have wished.” 

There are always some “freelancing” compromises to accommodate the necessary restraints of compression, time, space and resources.       Learning from the prototype by Anthony Thompson, pg 5 

 

Both the prototype modeler and the freelancer’s goals are the same, creating a believable model.  The prototype modeler has the challenge of reducing the prototype down to the space available through selective compression, while the freelancer has the challenge of filling up the space available combining ideas from multiple sources or imagination, both require about the same amount of planning time.  The Prototype modeler has the advantage in creating a believable model since his is based on a real railroad. 

 

Getting started….   Decisions… Things to consider… 

  1. Funds & Space & Time available 
  2. Scale: 71/2” F, G, O, HO, N, TT, other 
  3. Standard vs Narrow Gauge  
  4. Prototype vs free lance 
  5. Pick a prototype   100’s of choices  

    Consider resources available, both research and modeling 

    RTR rolling stock with structure kits available or is scratch building necessary 
  6. Pick an era 
  7. Minimalist or rivet counter 
  8. A set piece or built for operation 
  9. Whatever moves you.  But most important… 
  10. HAVE FUN    

     

    Aspects of Prototypical Modeling 
  1. Track Plans:  No need to “invent” a un-prototypical plan for yards, towns, curves, spurs, sidings. 
  2. Structures: need to pick and choose and compress as needed. 
  3. Scenery:  includes, topography, vegetation and rock strata and color. 
  4. Operation:  Prototypical operations possible with a prototypical track plan.  
  5. Engineering easier:  Copy the Prototype, not another model and you have no worries. 
  6. Era and Include the small details that relate to the era, colors, clothing styles, signs, etc. 
  7. Extras:  Use prototypical forms, paper work, freight cars carry specific loads. 
  8. Research:  Prototypical modelers are detectives, historians. Digging into the past. 
  9. Group Support:  Seek support from others modeling your prototype  
  10. Friendships that can and do last a lifetime

Some Planning Objectives 

  1. Space Money and Time 
  2. •Prototypical grades between towns. 
  3. •Prototypical distances between towns. 
  4. •Favorite scenes take priority. 
  5. •One track per scene. 
  6. •Tunnels 
  7. •No separation between train and operator. 
  8. •Staging 
  9. Long Mainline run 

10. All track with in reach of aisles.  

11. No duck-under  (NEVER!). 

12. Minimum Aisle width 36”+-. 

13. Room for ? operators 

14. One or multiple levels  A helix? 

15. Operations?   sidings/spurs 

16. DC  or DCC 

      17. Mainline minimum radius, turnouts #. 

                 













 

Why model narrow Gauge?  The advantages of narrow gauge modeling 

 

 

 1) Our Limited Modeling SpaceIf the modeling goal is to create a believable scene, NG is easier to do in our limited space.  Many aspects of the NG make the track seem longer: smaller equipment, shorter trains, shorter passing sidings, single track, steep grades and sharp radius curves, ran at slower speeds, did not use a lot of track, structures smaller, engine terminals were smaller. Short trains do not dominate the scenery.  Lower clearance needed and tracks can be closer.  Turnouts of the same number take less space. It is easier to make a believable model in limited space.  There are many scales and gauges to choose from.  On2 can be modeled in the space needed for HO.  No need to see the two ends of a train in different towns, or in different scenery areas. 

 

2)  Grand Scenery: NG ran through all sorts of terrain: mountains, deserts, plains, forests, sea ports, cities and  dirt street 2 building towns.  Easier and more logical to build up taking advantage of the vertical space on the room.  NG often went places where SG would not or could not go.  If you love mountains, tunnels, waterfalls, tall timber bridges, funky little rural towns think NG.  The immutable laws of physics favor narrow gauges for those locations. 

 

3) Wild Track Arrangements - the Georgetown Loop, Chattanooga Loop, Ophir Loop, Anderson loop, Gallagher loop, Red Mountain Town, Corckscrew Gulch, the Blackhills where four levels of track cross over each other, Trout Creek pass where the standard gauge crossed over the narrow gauge. We often place 2 - 3 tracks in a scene to gain length, on the narrow gauge 2 tracks in one scene is often prototypical.  The Uintah RR had 7% grades on 18” radius for HO. 

 

4) Casual Timetable Operations.  Fall stock rush clogged the main. Double and triple heading were common on narrow gauge even on short heavily loaded trains.  No need for complicated signaling. In operation, handling an engine should require skill by the engineer.  A small layout, or at least steep grades and sharp curves offer the chance to load the engine to the point where coupler slack must be used to get it started and runs need to be taken at hills. 

 

5) It’s Cute: Narrow gauge has an attractive combination of features: colorful and unusual equipment Great deal of character, personality and individuality in narrow gauge equipment.  Many kits and scratch building make it unique.  Narrow gauge, with its built-in character, personality and individuality avoids the sameness of a diesel hauled modern train.  NG roads possessed Pullmans, diners, sleepers, diesels, electrics, mallets, rotary snow plows, unique M of W equipment, etc. 

  

6) NG Cost is Dropping. Now there is much r-t-r equipment available in most of the scales that runs as well as SG.  While narrow gauge modeling is more expensive in some respects, it is now cheaper than it was a few years ago when all you could get were brass engines.  Don’t need 10 engines and 200 cars to create a prototypical scene.  The r-t-r locos in On3, On30, HOn3 with sound are all cheaper than most of the unpainted brass in those scales. 


7)  Research: Doing narrow gauge you will gain renewed enthusiasm for seeking out info. The history of most narrow gauge lines have been extensively documented unlike many SG short lines. Every line has its colorful unique stories.  Though just about every state had a narrow gauge line, if you happen to pick a line to model out of state, it provides an excuse to escape the mountains or ocean. 

 

But remember, SG or NG, basement sized layout or a bedroom switching layout, minimalist or rivet counter, prototype or freelanced, or whatever you enjoy doing, the goal is to simply enjoy the ride and have fun. 




_._,_._,_


duncan
 

Hi, Craig,

    You might want to get a copy of the 2009 HOIn3 Annual.  I wrote the lead article.  It was about why HOn3 was perhaps the best scale/gauge combination for modeling narrow gauge railroads.  As has been pointed out by several respondents so far, a question about why HOn3 was chosen often includes, or involves, why narrow gauge is chosen.  While closely related they are two slightly different topics.  In addition to the article above, I also gave clinics about every year at Caboose Hobbies, when I worked there, on the topic of Narrow Gauge and why it was such a good choice to model in.

    To directly answer your questions: What got me into HOn3 was the fact I love history.  So, my first HO modeling was of period railroads - wooden cars with truss rods and turnbuckles, false front buildings, fluted domes, diamond stacks, short trains, steep grades, small towns and the like.While in college I had heard about narrow gauge and decided to check it out a bit more.  i bought a LaBell combine and built it.  I instantly liked the looks and proportion of the model.  My girl friend, now my wife - a girl from Denver, gave me a copy of Narrow Gauge in the Rockies (also mentioned by another responder).  I read through it and was fascinated by the history - the Elephant Corral in Denver, the story of the elephants helping a stranded circus train over the mountains, the Face on the Barroom Floor and so much more.  That got me into narrow gauge.  It fit what I was already interested in - period railroading.  And since I was already doing HO modeling, it was natural to check out HOn3.  As I looked at HOn3 and the other narrow gauges I slowly began to realize there was more of everything in HO scale.  That pretty much sealed the deal on HOn3.

    I think the most important of the many things I love about HOn3 is the size.  As I say in the article it is small enough to get lots of railroad in a give space, yet large enough to be very highly detailed and operate very well.  Model railroaders of all stripes have to deal with limited space.  This usually causes steep grades and sharp radius curves.  HO narrow gauge uses those necessities to advantage.  We use sharp radius curves and steep grades to replicate the Georgetown Loop, the climb to Alpine Tunnel, the climb up Windy Point, the curve around Chattanooga Loop, the yard in Red Mountain, or at Como, the trackage between the mines in Leadville and so on.  We use that imposed space and size restriction to our advantage in modeling the prototype locations we choose.  We can probably get  two sites into our railroads where the space limitations would limit larger scales to just one. 

    Maybe a couple of things to watch out for in HOn3.  One is the equipment.  Be careful of used equipment  Used equipment has often been modified in some way and may not perform as you would expect.  It may have been used a lot and have some operational problems.  As mentioned earlier by you, clearances are a critical factor here.  A narrow gauge K-37 has the clearance requirement of a standard gauge HO 2-8-0, because they were built from such engines.  So, the clearances on the layout need to be larger if you are running that class of locos.  Also snow plows and some maintenance equipment will require larger clearances. 

    Secondly, would be to realize modeling narrow gauge is often going to require building things.  A friend moved to HOn3 from N scale, because as he was getting older he was finding it hard to see things and switching to a larger scale helped with that.  He chose HO narrow gauge because it was closer to his usual N scale.  But, after he was well into building a layout he began to realize the need to build rolling stock kits, structure kits, detail items and so on.  He was used to just taking the structure out of the box and placing it on the layout.  Same with the cars.  He was not used to having to build things.  As a matter of fact he said he had never really built any kind of model, prior to his entry into HOn3.  So, realize narrow gauge modeling will require building things.  There are a lot of r-t-r rolling stock models out there now, as well as some structure models.  And they are a great help in getting a layout up and running with equipment and some structures. But, stamp mills, specific depots, mills, and other railroad specific structures will take either building a kit, scratch building, or kit bashing.  Same for cars.  You can't find a r-t-r model of a DSP&P Charcoal car, a Tiffany reefer, or a 4000 series box car, let alone an HOn3 Pullman Palace Sleeper!

    Others have pointed out many of the other advantages of modeling in HOn3, but these are my answers to your questions.  Hope they are of some help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Duncan Harvey

   

On 1/16/2021 9:21 AM, Craig Linn wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


duncan
 

Hi, Craig,

    You might want to get a copy of the 2009 HOIn3 Annual.  I wrote the lead article.  It was about why HOn3 was perhaps the best scale/gauge combination for modeling narrow gauge railroads. As has been pointed out by several respondents so far, a question about why HOn3 was chosen often includes, or involves, why narrow gauge is chosen.  While closely related they are two slightly different topics.  In addition to the article above, I also gave clinics about every year at Caboose Hobbies, when I worked there, on the topic of Narrow Gauge and why it was such a good choice to model in.

    To directly answer your questions: What got me into HOn3 was the fact I love history.  So, my first HO modeling was of period railroads - wooden cars with truss rods and turnbuckles, false front buildings, fluted domes, diamond stacks, short trains, steep grades, small towns and the like.While in college I had heard about narrow gauge and decided to check it out a bit more.  i bought a LaBell combine and built it.  I instantly liked the looks and proportion of the model.  My girl friend, now my wife - a girl from Denver, gave me a copy of Narrow Gauge in the Rockies (also mentioned by another responder).  I read through it and was fascinated by the history - the Elephant Corral in Denver, the story of the elephants helping a stranded circus train over the mountains, the Face on the Barroom Floor and so much more.  That got me into narrow gauge.  It fit what I was already interested in - period railroading.  And since I was already doing HO modeling, it was natural to check out HOn3.  As I looked at HOn3 and the other narrow gauges I slowly began to realize there was more of everything in HO scale.  That pretty much sealed the deal on HOn3.

    I think the most important of the many things I love about HOn3 is the size.  As I say in the article it is small enough to get lots of railroad in a give space, yet large enough to be very highly detailed and operate very well.  Model railroaders of all stripes have to deal with limited space.  This usually causes steep grades and sharp radius curves.  HO narrow gauge uses those necessities to advantage.  We use sharp radius curves and steep grades to replicate the Georgetown Loop, the climb to Alpine Tunnel, the climb up Windy Point, the curve around Chattanooga Loop, the yard in Red Mountain, or at Como, the trackage between the mines in Leadville and so on.  We use that imposed space and size restriction to our advantage in modeling the prototype locations we choose.  We can probably get  two sites into our railroads where the space limitations would limit larger scales to just one.

    Maybe a couple of things to watch out for in HOn3.  One is the equipment.  Be careful of used equipment  Used equipment has often been modified in some way and may not perform as you would expect.  It may have been used a lot and have some operational problems.  As mentioned earlier by you, clearances are a critical factor here.  A narrow gauge K-37 has the clearance requirement of a standard gauge HO 2-8-0, because they were built from such engines.  So, the clearances on the layout need to be larger if you are running that class of locos.  Also snow plows and some maintenance equipment will require larger clearances.

    Secondly, would be to realize modeling narrow gauge is often going to require building things.  A friend moved to HOn3 from N scale, because as he was getting older he was finding it hard to see things and switching to a larger scale helped with that.  He chose HO narrow gauge because it was closer to his usual N scale. But, after he was well into building a layout he began to realize the need to build rolling stock kits, structure kits, detail items and so on.  He was used to just taking the structure out of the box and placing it on the layout.  Same with the cars.  He was not used to having to build things.  As a matter of fact he said he had never really built any kind of model, prior to his entry into HOn3.  So, realize narrow gauge modeling will require building things.  There are a lot of r-t-r rolling stock models out there now, as well as some structure models.  And they are a great help in getting a layout up and running with equipment and some structures. But, stamp mills, specific depots, mills, and other railroad specific structures will take either building a kit, scratch building, or kit bashing.  Same for cars.  You can't find a r-t-r model of a DSP&P Charcoal car, a Tiffany reefer, or a 4000 series box car, let alone an HOn3 Pullman Palace Sleeper!

    Others have pointed out many of the other advantages of modeling in HOn3, but these are my answers to your questions. Hope they are of some help!

    Duncan Harvey


claneon30
 

Lo rez should you wish to consult it Craig.





Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual
chrislaneon30@earthlink.net

On Jan 16, 2021, at 3:24 PM, duncan <train3guy@comcast.net> wrote:

Hi, Craig,

You might want to get a copy of the 2009 HOIn3 Annual. I wrote the lead article. It was about why HOn3 was perhaps the best scale/gauge combination for modeling narrow gauge railroads. As has been pointed out by several respondents so far, a question about why HOn3 was chosen often includes, or involves, why narrow gauge is chosen. While closely related they are two slightly different topics. In addition to the article above, I also gave clinics about every year at Caboose Hobbies, when I worked there, on the topic of Narrow Gauge and why it was such a good choice to model in.

To directly answer your questions: What got me into HOn3 was the fact I love history. So, my first HO modeling was of period railroads - wooden cars with truss rods and turnbuckles, false front buildings, fluted domes, diamond stacks, short trains, steep grades, small towns and the like.While in college I had heard about narrow gauge and decided to check it out a bit more. i bought a LaBell combine and built it. I instantly liked the looks and proportion of the model. My girl friend, now my wife - a girl from Denver, gave me a copy of Narrow Gauge in the Rockies (also mentioned by another responder). I read through it and was fascinated by the history - the Elephant Corral in Denver, the story of the elephants helping a stranded circus train over the mountains, the Face on the Barroom Floor and so much more. That got me into narrow gauge. It fit what I was already interested in - period railroading. And since I was already doing HO modeling, it was natural to check out HOn3. As I looked at HOn3 and the other narrow gauges I slowly began to realize there was more of everything in HO scale. That pretty much sealed the deal on HOn3.

I think the most important of the many things I love about HOn3 is the size. As I say in the article it is small enough to get lots of railroad in a give space, yet large enough to be very highly detailed and operate very well. Model railroaders of all stripes have to deal with limited space. This usually causes steep grades and sharp radius curves. HO narrow gauge uses those necessities to advantage. We use sharp radius curves and steep grades to replicate the Georgetown Loop, the climb to Alpine Tunnel, the climb up Windy Point, the curve around Chattanooga Loop, the yard in Red Mountain, or at Como, the trackage between the mines in Leadville and so on. We use that imposed space and size restriction to our advantage in modeling the prototype locations we choose. We can probably get two sites into our railroads where the space limitations would limit larger scales to just one.

Maybe a couple of things to watch out for in HOn3. One is the equipment. Be careful of used equipment Used equipment has often been modified in some way and may not perform as you would expect. It may have been used a lot and have some operational problems. As mentioned earlier by you, clearances are a critical factor here. A narrow gauge K-37 has the clearance requirement of a standard gauge HO 2-8-0, because they were built from such engines. So, the clearances on the layout need to be larger if you are running that class of locos. Also snow plows and some maintenance equipment will require larger clearances.

Secondly, would be to realize modeling narrow gauge is often going to require building things. A friend moved to HOn3 from N scale, because as he was getting older he was finding it hard to see things and switching to a larger scale helped with that. He chose HO narrow gauge because it was closer to his usual N scale. But, after he was well into building a layout he began to realize the need to build rolling stock kits, structure kits, detail items and so on. He was used to just taking the structure out of the box and placing it on the layout. Same with the cars. He was not used to having to build things. As a matter of fact he said he had never really built any kind of model, prior to his entry into HOn3. So, realize narrow gauge modeling will require building things. There are a lot of r-t-r rolling stock models out there now, as well as some structure models. And they are a great help in getting a layout up and running with equipment and some structures. But, stamp mills, specific depots, mills, and other railroad specific structures will take either building a kit, scratch building, or kit bashing. Same for cars. You can't find a r-t-r model of a DSP&P Charcoal car, a Tiffany reefer, or a 4000 series box car, let alone an HOn3 Pullman Palace Sleeper!

Others have pointed out many of the other advantages of modeling in HOn3, but these are my answers to your questions. Hope they are of some help!

Duncan Harvey








gnorwood6 gnorwood6
 

What got me into HOn3?
Finding a copy of "Narrow Gauge in the Rockies" by Beebe and Clegg.
It was all so interesting until I got to the last chapter on the RGS. That was it!
At the time an HOn3 K27 was $75. Could not afford that but a United SP #9 for $25 was OK. So in 1964 I started scratch building SP cars in HOn3.
By the mid 1970's I could afford the price for Westside K27 and a start was made on my RGS layout and a large increase in the amount of rolling stock.
The SP equipment was sold off. By a chance in the 1990's I managed to buy back some of my old SP freight cars. Now I have 5 SP HOn3 locos and 40 plus freight cars. Looks a bit odd to see SP #9 and a sting of SP cars popping out of the snowshed at Lizard Head.

Thanks to the covid19 lockdown and retirement I have continued building structures for Keeler on the SP and more freight cars.  
After 57 years my interest in HOn3 has not diminished. I just like narrow gauge trains.
Gary 



------ Original Message ------
From: "Craig Linn" <drgw346@...>
To: HOn3@groups.io
Sent: Sunday, 17 Jan, 2021 At 3:21 AM
Subject: [HOn3] What got you in to HOn3?

Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn       


Craig Linn
 

Thanks Chris for the file.  And thanks to everyone who has answered so far.  I think this will really help my presentation go a bit further (and to some area’s that I didn’t think of…so thank you.)

Keep em coming!

Craig



On Jan 16, 2021, at 5:22 PM, claneon30 <chrislaneon30@...> wrote:

Lo rez should you wish to consult it Craig.





Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual
chrislaneon30@...



On Jan 16, 2021, at 3:24 PM, duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:

Hi, Craig,

   You might want to get a copy of the 2009 HOIn3 Annual.  I wrote the lead article.  It was about why HOn3 was perhaps the best scale/gauge combination for modeling narrow gauge railroads. As has been pointed out by several respondents so far, a question about why HOn3 was chosen often includes, or involves, why narrow gauge is chosen.  While closely related they are two slightly different topics.  In addition to the article above, I also gave clinics about every year at Caboose Hobbies, when I worked there, on the topic of Narrow Gauge and why it was such a good choice to model in.

   To directly answer your questions: What got me into HOn3 was the fact I love history.  So, my first HO modeling was of period railroads - wooden cars with truss rods and turnbuckles, false front buildings, fluted domes, diamond stacks, short trains, steep grades, small towns and the like.While in college I had heard about narrow gauge and decided to check it out a bit more.  i bought a LaBell combine and built it.  I instantly liked the looks and proportion of the model.  My girl friend, now my wife - a girl from Denver, gave me a copy of Narrow Gauge in the Rockies (also mentioned by another responder).  I read through it and was fascinated by the history - the Elephant Corral in Denver, the story of the elephants helping a stranded circus train over the mountains, the Face on the Barroom Floor and so much more.  That got me into narrow gauge.  It fit what I was already interested in - period railroading.  And since I was already doing HO modeling, it was natural to check out HOn3.  As I looked at HOn3 and the other narrow gauges I slowly began to realize there was more of everything in HO scale.  That pretty much sealed the deal on HOn3.

   I think the most important of the many things I love about HOn3 is the size.  As I say in the article it is small enough to get lots of railroad in a give space, yet large enough to be very highly detailed and operate very well.  Model railroaders of all stripes have to deal with limited space.  This usually causes steep grades and sharp radius curves.  HO narrow gauge uses those necessities to advantage.  We use sharp radius curves and steep grades to replicate the Georgetown Loop, the climb to Alpine Tunnel, the climb up Windy Point, the curve around Chattanooga Loop, the yard in Red Mountain, or at Como, the trackage between the mines in Leadville and so on.  We use that imposed space and size restriction to our advantage in modeling the prototype locations we choose.  We can probably get  two sites into our railroads where the space limitations would limit larger scales to just one.

   Maybe a couple of things to watch out for in HOn3.  One is the equipment.  Be careful of used equipment  Used equipment has often been modified in some way and may not perform as you would expect.  It may have been used a lot and have some operational problems.  As mentioned earlier by you, clearances are a critical factor here.  A narrow gauge K-37 has the clearance requirement of a standard gauge HO 2-8-0, because they were built from such engines.  So, the clearances on the layout need to be larger if you are running that class of locos.  Also snow plows and some maintenance equipment will require larger clearances.

   Secondly, would be to realize modeling narrow gauge is often going to require building things.  A friend moved to HOn3 from N scale, because as he was getting older he was finding it hard to see things and switching to a larger scale helped with that.  He chose HO narrow gauge because it was closer to his usual N scale. But, after he was well into building a layout he began to realize the need to build rolling stock kits, structure kits, detail items and so on.  He was used to just taking the structure out of the box and placing it on the layout.  Same with the cars.  He was not used to having to build things.  As a matter of fact he said he had never really built any kind of model, prior to his entry into HOn3.  So, realize narrow gauge modeling will require building things.  There are a lot of r-t-r rolling stock models out there now, as well as some structure models.  And they are a great help in getting a layout up and running with equipment and some structures. But, stamp mills, specific depots, mills, and other railroad specific structures will take either building a kit, scratch building, or kit bashing. Same for cars.  You can't find a r-t-r model of a DSP&P Charcoal car, a Tiffany reefer, or a 4000 series box car, let alone an HOn3 Pullman Palace Sleeper!

   Others have pointed out many of the other advantages of modeling in HOn3, but these are my answers to your questions. Hope they are of some help!

   Duncan Harvey














<Harvey PG 8-10.pdf>


Ric Case
 

Craig when I first started back in the early 70s , I was planning a eastern logging and coal mine using western second hand equipment bought and shipped east as the railroad was able to find equipment for sale out West. 
Then Bobby Hall brought out the EBT locomotive s. 
I started researching the EBT, 
I was hooked! 30 years and still working on my railroad! 
This railroad is a build everything from scratch, there are no locomotives available for the new comers like the western railroad’s. 
If you’re lucky EBay can provide you a loco every once in a while. 
I purchased 18 Blackstone locos to use, not prototype but it’s my railroad. 
Have fun is the best thing I can suggest to anyone who is interested in building a railroad of any 
Prototype. Just be careful when you decide on how much railroad you have room for, I choose to fill up an 1750 ft basement. Been working on it for 28 yrs. and will probably never finish it completely. 
It’s a labor of love and I will have many more years hopefully to try to finish it . Lots of structures still to build! 
Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton Ohio 
1-513-375-7694

On Jan 17, 2021, at 9:48 AM, Craig Linn <drgw346@...> wrote:

Thanks Chris for the file.  And thanks to everyone who has answered so far.  I think this will really help my presentation go a bit further (and to some area’s that I didn’t think of…so thank you.)

Keep em coming!

Craig



On Jan 16, 2021, at 5:22 PM, claneon30 <chrislaneon30@...> wrote:

Lo rez should you wish to consult it Craig.





Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual
chrislaneon30@...



On Jan 16, 2021, at 3:24 PM, duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:

Hi, Craig,

   You might want to get a copy of the 2009 HOIn3 Annual.  I wrote the lead article.  It was about why HOn3 was perhaps the best scale/gauge combination for modeling narrow gauge railroads. As has been pointed out by several respondents so far, a question about why HOn3 was chosen often includes, or involves, why narrow gauge is chosen.  While closely related they are two slightly different topics.  In addition to the article above, I also gave clinics about every year at Caboose Hobbies, when I worked there, on the topic of Narrow Gauge and why it was such a good choice to model in.

   To directly answer your questions: What got me into HOn3 was the fact I love history.  So, my first HO modeling was of period railroads - wooden cars with truss rods and turnbuckles, false front buildings, fluted domes, diamond stacks, short trains, steep grades, small towns and the like.While in college I had heard about narrow gauge and decided to check it out a bit more.  i bought a LaBell combine and built it.  I instantly liked the looks and proportion of the model.  My girl friend, now my wife - a girl from Denver, gave me a copy of Narrow Gauge in the Rockies (also mentioned by another responder).  I read through it and was fascinated by the history - the Elephant Corral in Denver, the story of the elephants helping a stranded circus train over the mountains, the Face on the Barroom Floor and so much more.  That got me into narrow gauge.  It fit what I was already interested in - period railroading.  And since I was already doing HO modeling, it was natural to check out HOn3.  As I looked at HOn3 and the other narrow gauges I slowly began to realize there was more of everything in HO scale.  That pretty much sealed the deal on HOn3.

   I think the most important of the many things I love about HOn3 is the size.  As I say in the article it is small enough to get lots of railroad in a give space, yet large enough to be very highly detailed and operate very well.  Model railroaders of all stripes have to deal with limited space.  This usually causes steep grades and sharp radius curves.  HO narrow gauge uses those necessities to advantage.  We use sharp radius curves and steep grades to replicate the Georgetown Loop, the climb to Alpine Tunnel, the climb up Windy Point, the curve around Chattanooga Loop, the yard in Red Mountain, or at Como, the trackage between the mines in Leadville and so on.  We use that imposed space and size restriction to our advantage in modeling the prototype locations we choose.  We can probably get  two sites into our railroads where the space limitations would limit larger scales to just one.

   Maybe a couple of things to watch out for in HOn3.  One is the equipment.  Be careful of used equipment  Used equipment has often been modified in some way and may not perform as you would expect.  It may have been used a lot and have some operational problems.  As mentioned earlier by you, clearances are a critical factor here.  A narrow gauge K-37 has the clearance requirement of a standard gauge HO 2-8-0, because they were built from such engines.  So, the clearances on the layout need to be larger if you are running that class of locos.  Also snow plows and some maintenance equipment will require larger clearances.

   Secondly, would be to realize modeling narrow gauge is often going to require building things.  A friend moved to HOn3 from N scale, because as he was getting older he was finding it hard to see things and switching to a larger scale helped with that.  He chose HO narrow gauge because it was closer to his usual N scale. But, after he was well into building a layout he began to realize the need to build rolling stock kits, structure kits, detail items and so on.  He was used to just taking the structure out of the box and placing it on the layout.  Same with the cars.  He was not used to having to build things.  As a matter of fact he said he had never really built any kind of model, prior to his entry into HOn3.  So, realize narrow gauge modeling will require building things.  There are a lot of r-t-r rolling stock models out there now, as well as some structure models.  And they are a great help in getting a layout up and running with equipment and some structures. But, stamp mills, specific depots, mills, and other railroad specific structures will take either building a kit, scratch building, or kit bashing. Same for cars.  You can't find a r-t-r model of a DSP&P Charcoal car, a Tiffany reefer, or a 4000 series box car, let alone an HOn3 Pullman Palace Sleeper!

   Others have pointed out many of the other advantages of modeling in HOn3, but these are my answers to your questions. Hope they are of some help!

   Duncan Harvey














<Harvey PG 8-10.pdf>


Jim Overman
 

We had a summer home in Santa Fe and one day made a day trip to Chama.  That was it, the rail yard was the inspiration.  Then I met the folks from Blackstone as I was wandering aroung the yard.  They were taking pictures of the cars so their models were accurate. After riding the C&TSRR experiencing the ride like it was back then and the spectacular scenery I was hooked.  Since that first ride about 17 years ago, we've now ridden the C&TSRR 9 times and the Durango-Silverton train 5 times.  It's always a great experience and I am now modeling it.


Robert Bennett
 

Good Evening All,

For me, this is an interesting question. While most of my recent modeling activities have been focused on the Maine Two Footers in On30, my first thirty or so years of "serious" model railroading was in HOn3. After starting with a Christmas gift Herkimer set (does anyone remember those?), I experimented in modeling for fifteen years or so, through college, with mostly HO. I scratched some E.L.Moore-based structures and had the typical ping pong table layout in the basement. I joined the Maine National Guard in 1971 and after BCT and OJT at Ft. Dix, I got home by the Spring of '72. A new hobby shop had just opened in Bar Mills, ME, and I went down one weekend. I was poking around when, BAM!, I saw this cute little red caboose sitting in an open box on a shelf. It was a built-up LaBelle D&RGW kit done by a fellow modeler in Brunswick, ME. I snapped it up and was hooked on narrow gauge. I have been in the hobby for sixty years more or less now and narrow gauge modeling is still mostly my thing. My 100 or so magazine articles over the years have focused on a lot of subjects, but the those based on two and three foot gauge models have been the most fun to research and write, and the resulting models have seen the most use on a couple of layouts. As I wrote in the latest HOn3 Annual, I am starting to build an operating Colorado-based module, using leftover HOn3 locos and rolling stock and structures from my previous full layout. Narrow gauge lines were, and are, special with interesting histories, unique histories and fascinating stories and scenery. I have a pretty extensive library and as several have mentioned, Beebe and Clegg's books were and are a great incentive too. I still have that first "buggy" and as my real first incentive to replicate the slim gauges, it will always have a home with me.

Stay well everyone and keep modeling.

Best,  Bob Bennett


Mike Conder
 

So I gotta add my story.

Grew up modeling airplanes in styrene, kitbashing most of the kits I bought.  My dad was doing HO coal from Ky area but I was never really interested in that.

Got interested in the history of mining, milling and smelting technology when working my first real job as an engineer at an Arizona copper mine.  The engineering library had a bunch of technical books dating back to the early 1900's.  About that time I ran across a Gazette at a hobby shop in Tucson (looking for an airplane model to build) that had Tom Yorke's article on staining plaster.  First hook, another Gazette a year later was a second hook!  Final two hooks were the "Frienda Mine" ( or something like that) on the cover of RMC and the discovery of old company pics dating back to the early 1900's of mines & railroads.  Sold!  But also because the only people in the world also interested in old mines, mills and smelters are narrow gauge guys.

First model was an MDC outside frame 2-8-0 kit that I bought with funds from selling an inherited Pennsy K-4 kit (that I sold for a DEEP discount because I didn't know its value.  Firat car was a scratch passenger car with curved (no bullnose) roof.  Eventually got NMRA Merit Awards on both.  And the fun continues!

And I'm still in HOn3 because the Arizona mining area I model had 8 outside frame locos (about the size of C-21's and two were same design as the C-25) and there was NO WAY I could afford to cut up brass locos in any other scale to build these!

Mike Conder

On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 5:54 PM Robert Bennett <ngbobme@...> wrote:
Good Evening All,

For me, this is an interesting question. While most of my recent modeling activities have been focused on the Maine Two Footers in On30, my first thirty or so years of "serious" model railroading was in HOn3. After starting with a Christmas gift Herkimer set (does anyone remember those?), I experimented in modeling for fifteen years or so, through college, with mostly HO. I scratched some E.L.Moore-based structures and had the typical ping pong table layout in the basement. I joined the Maine National Guard in 1971 and after BCT and OJT at Ft. Dix, I got home by the Spring of '72. A new hobby shop had just opened in Bar Mills, ME, and I went down one weekend. I was poking around when, BAM!, I saw this cute little red caboose sitting in an open box on a shelf. It was a built-up LaBelle D&RGW kit done by a fellow modeler in Brunswick, ME. I snapped it up and was hooked on narrow gauge. I have been in the hobby for sixty years more or less now and narrow gauge modeling is still mostly my thing. My 100 or so magazine articles over the years have focused on a lot of subjects, but the those based on two and three foot gauge models have been the most fun to research and write, and the resulting models have seen the most use on a couple of layouts. As I wrote in the latest HOn3 Annual, I am starting to build an operating Colorado-based module, using leftover HOn3 locos and rolling stock and structures from my previous full layout. Narrow gauge lines were, and are, special with interesting histories, unique histories and fascinating stories and scenery. I have a pretty extensive library and as several have mentioned, Beebe and Clegg's books were and are a great incentive too. I still have that first "buggy" and as my real first incentive to replicate the slim gauges, it will always have a home with me.

Stay well everyone and keep modeling.

Best,  Bob Bennett


Russ Norris
 

This whole discussion has been a trip down memory lane.  Like many of you I started as a boy with Lionel trains under the Christmas tree.  But ham radio led me in a different direction, and the trains were boxed up and given away when I went to MIT.  (Many years later a cousin found some of them in his attic and returned them, but that is another story.)  After college and seminary and graduate studies in France, I ended up back in the States looking for a call to a church, and ended up as a Lutheran pastor in a small town in south central Pennsylvania called Mount Union, which happened to be the northern terminus of the East Broad Top narrow gauge railroad.  It also happened to be the town where my future wife grew up.  I discovered the EBT at a winter spectacular in the mid-1970s and immediately fell in love with both the railroad and my future wife.  I am still with both of them.

Just down the block from the parsonage, my good friend and colleague, the Presbyterian minister,was a fellow train buff, but he liked collecting Lionel trains which he ran on the floor of a spare bedroom in the manse.  I was bitten for a second time by the model train bug and promptly ran out and bought an HO Blue Comet pacific locomotive, followed by a heavy 0-8-0 switcher.  I didn't have a model railroad, I just liked the looks of them. I began tinkering with "improvements" to my little collection of HO locomotives, including adding a brass Elesco feedwater heater to the 0-8-0 along with a pilot truck to convert it into a massive consolidation.  Eventually I invested in a couple of 4x8 sheets of plywood and built a small layout on sawbucks in the parsonage basement. 

That primitive layout was the first incarnation of what I eventually named the Blacklog Valley Railroad, after a nearby mountain.  Eventually there were 4 more layouts as we moved from one ministry to another,, where I experimented with things like spline benchwork and staging yards.  In 2006, when I retired and we moved to Cape Cod, I started work on a new layout  I liked HO scale, as it allowed me to fit in a lot of railroad in a limited space.  But shortly before retirement, I acquired a brass HOn3 model of EBT #18, the last and largest of the road's 2-8-2s.  The idea occurred to me to build my latest (and possibly last) model railroad in HO and HOn3.  The HO section would continue a 40 year series of layouts based on my fictional Blacklog Valley, and the HOn3 would allow me to build a compressed version of the East Broad Top.  The new layout would include a dual gauge yard like the one in Mount Union, along with other iconic scenes from the narrow gauge of the East.  I loved HOn3 because it was (as a previous writer has said) CUTE!  And it allowed me to continue my historical interest in this little coal hauler in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

Over the last 15 years the railroad has grown to fill a bump out room in the attic that measures 20 x 20 feet.  I have now reproduced a small version of Mount Union, a complete model of the shops at Orbisonia/Rockhill, and the town of Robertsdale at the southern end of the EBT where the coal mines were located.  Now approaching 79 years of age, however, I find that HOn3 -- which I dearly love -- is becoming more difficult because of declining eyesight and fine scale motor skills, especially when it comes to installing Soundtraxx decoders in those tiny Hallmark brass engines.  I have thought about changing to a larger scale -- maybe On30 -- but I have so much time and effort invested in all those structures, engines and cars, that I just don't have the energy to start over again.  One of the advantages of HOn3 is that tiny defects in my modeling skills are hard for me to see, so everything looks perfect from my point of view.  😁

Russ Norris MMR


On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 7:54 PM Robert Bennett <ngbobme@...> wrote:
Good Evening All,

For me, this is an interesting question. While most of my recent modeling activities have been focused on the Maine Two Footers in On30, my first thirty or so years of "serious" model railroading was in HOn3. After starting with a Christmas gift Herkimer set (does anyone remember those?), I experimented in modeling for fifteen years or so, through college, with mostly HO. I scratched some E.L.Moore-based structures and had the typical ping pong table layout in the basement. I joined the Maine National Guard in 1971 and after BCT and OJT at Ft. Dix, I got home by the Spring of '72. A new hobby shop had just opened in Bar Mills, ME, and I went down one weekend. I was poking around when, BAM!, I saw this cute little red caboose sitting in an open box on a shelf. It was a built-up LaBelle D&RGW kit done by a fellow modeler in Brunswick, ME. I snapped it up and was hooked on narrow gauge. I have been in the hobby for sixty years more or less now and narrow gauge modeling is still mostly my thing. My 100 or so magazine articles over the years have focused on a lot of subjects, but the those based on two and three foot gauge models have been the most fun to research and write, and the resulting models have seen the most use on a couple of layouts. As I wrote in the latest HOn3 Annual, I am starting to build an operating Colorado-based module, using leftover HOn3 locos and rolling stock and structures from my previous full layout. Narrow gauge lines were, and are, special with interesting histories, unique histories and fascinating stories and scenery. I have a pretty extensive library and as several have mentioned, Beebe and Clegg's books were and are a great incentive too. I still have that first "buggy" and as my real first incentive to replicate the slim gauges, it will always have a home with me.

Stay well everyone and keep modeling.

Best,  Bob Bennett


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Dale Buxton
 

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3

How I came to HOn3 sort of happened before I was born.
Two branches of my family settled in Silver Plume, CO in the 1870's. The C&S tracks ended up going right through my paternal great grandparents back yard in Silver Plume. One of my distant relatives was a carman on the Argentine Central. A great grandmother on the other side of the family worked at the lunch pavilion at the wye in Silver Plume. Finally, My mothers father was a trainman for the D&SL and later the D&RGW. So my awareness of trains and of the narrow gauge was with me as some of my earliest memories without really knowing what the 3ft. gauge was.

Some of my earliest memories of childhood toys are of trains. My mother's father loved to work on the RR's and I think he did his best to make sure I loved that life too.

When I was in my teens, Mal Ferrell's "Silver San Juan" was published, and I guess that was the final catalyst that set me on the path of HOn3 modeling. When I was very young my dad had an American Flyer S gauge that he let me play with. He said it was mine but we know the real truth about that. But, he discovered that HO scale took up less space for more trains in the same space that the S scale was taking up. So we switched to HO scale. So when I got the HOn3 bug, I was only changing gauges not scales.

2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
HO is a scenery scale and I really like creating life-like scenery. Having 3ft. gauge trains running through big scenery is a way for me to recreate a bygone era that I never really saw but I wish I could have.

3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?
I would say that has got to be over-weighted rolling stock. Our little engines don't have much pulling power to begin with and too much weight in the cars will greatly detract from their performance.    

Dale Buxton  


On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 9:21 AM Craig Linn <drgw346@...> wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


Mick Moignard
 

My start in Hon3 was in the late 1970s. I was still at that point living with my parents in Solihull (part of the Birmingham, UK conurbation).  I'd fiddled with modelling the Highland Railway in LMS days in OO scale, bit has always had a narrow gauge interest,and in the mid-70s drifted into 009, but the main issue with 009 at the time was that it didn't run well, if it ran at all. I was also much more interested in main-line narrow gauge, but most 009 at the time was biased towards industrial railways.  I toyed with Irish 3' gauge in 4mm on 12mm track, which had some commercial support at the time, but didn't really fancy everything made from whitemetal. I had an aversion to whitemetal then which I still have now, especially using it for structural as opposed to detail parts.  My LHS at the time, Bob;s Models in Small Heath, which, because of the interests of some of the staff, sold some US models and kits and a few bits in Hon3.  This was what I'd been looking for, and still is; though to be honest I'm not really sure why even now.  I've never looked back, though there was a foray for a few years onto On30 with an exhibition layout over here in the UK., built and operated with some friends.  Over the years I've worked on and reworked upwards of 100 brass Hon3 locos, most now with DCC sound, most of which are in daily layout use on mine and other layouts, and built, scratch, kits and reworked brass somewhere around 400 items of rolling stock. I've been having fun, and still do.  

Mick
______________________________________________________________________
Mick Moignard
Specialising in DCC Sound
p: +44 7774 652504
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The week may start M,T but it always ends up WTF!


Joe Schroeder
 

Craig,

Mine was simple....in my teens I enjoyed building wood rolling stock kits since my teens; LaBelle, Ambroid, Northeastern...In 1980, the military moved me fronm Washington, DC to Califorinia, and I got to visit the Colorado Railroad Museum, Durango, and Laws, CA.  Then I found a Tomalco HOn3 idler flat kit (I started small)...then a boxcar....then a gondola....I admired the work written up in NG&SL Gazzette....Love the craftsmanship.

Joe Schroeder


Jim Marlett
 

I guess mine is the same old story. Always interested in train from as early as I can remember. Then I forgot all about model railroads from about high school until I was in the Army. I was stationed in Colorado Springs and being poor as church mice, for entertainment my wife and I would drive the roads in the mountains behind the Springs. I remarked that they looked like abandoned railroad grades. My wife bought a little booklet on the railroads of Cripple Creek that confirmed I was right. Next thing you know I’m showing up at the local hobby shop, Lemle’s Roundhouse. I still was doing standard gauge until visiting Chama (1971) and riding the Silverton train. The hook was set and after getting out of the Army I converted the little switching layout to narrow gauge and started my narrow gauge empire (that’s a joke) back in Kansas. We spent many summer vacations camping along the Rio Grande Southern when our kids were growing up and if that doesn’t stoke the narrow gauge fires, nothing will. I’ve had many hiatuses through the years as kids and other interests displaced model railroading, but when I retired and moved to a different house, I began working in earnest again.

The thing I like about HOn3 is it has some of the advantages of N scale while still being HO scale and short trains are the norm. I also like mountain scenery.

The things to look out for are the same as for any scale and gauge, except that you are likely to become a zealot for narrow gauge.

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


captaindavekrembs
 

Here in Northern Wisconsin we had the Thunder Lake RR narrow gauge. We have engine #5 and the business coach at the Rhinelnder Museum.

On Monday, January 18, 2021, 10:14:34 AM CST, Jim Marlett <jmarlett@...> wrote:


I guess mine is the same old story. Always interested in train from as early as I can remember. Then I forgot all about model railroads from about high school until I was in the Army. I was stationed in Colorado Springs and being poor as church mice, for entertainment my wife and I would drive the roads in the mountains behind the Springs. I remarked that they looked like abandoned railroad grades. My wife bought a little booklet on the railroads of Cripple Creek that confirmed I was right. Next thing you know I’m showing up at the local hobby shop, Lemle’s Roundhouse. I still was doing standard gauge until visiting Chama (1971) and riding the Silverton train. The hook was set and after getting out of the Army I converted the little switching layout to narrow gauge and started my narrow gauge empire (that’s a joke) back in Kansas. We spent many summer vacations camping along the Rio Grande Southern when our kids were growing up and if that doesn’t stoke the narrow gauge fires, nothing will. I’ve had many hiatuses through the years as kids and other interests displaced model railroading, but when I retired and moved to a different house, I began working in earnest again.

The thing I like about HOn3 is it has some of the advantages of N scale while still being HO scale and short trains are the norm.  I also like mountain scenery.

The things to look out for are the same as for any scale and gauge, except that you are likely to become a zealot for narrow gauge.

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/