Ho model train basic guide

HO Model Train

One train enthusiast might want a model train that runs through a garden outside.  Another train enthusiast might have extensive space for spreading out a large set of train tracks and someone else might have a smaller space but wants to fill it with a couple of different train tracks.  To fulfill all of these different needs, model train makers have made several different sizes of trains.  

The most popular size of the large scale trains is size O.  The scale for O is 1/48th.  Meaning it is one 48th the size of a regular sized train.  The gauge for O is 1 ¼ inches.  Many of these larger sized trains are used outdoors in gardens.  Of course this does not fill the needs of everyone in the train world.

The HO gauge is half the size of the larger O scale.  HO stands for “Half of O”.  The HO scale is 1/87.  HO trains use the standard size track gauge of 16.5mm.  HO scale is a popular size to use in layouts.  They are small enough to be able to use creative scenery with well-designed track plans in a reasonable amount of space.  But they are also large enough to be able to accommodate a great deal of detail in finer models.  They are also large enough for children to handle without the risk of small parts or tiny components being damaged.  With the HO scale being able to provide the balance between the detail of larger scales and the lower space requirements of smaller scales, it is a highly sought after railroad line by train hobbyists compared to other scales.


HO scale model trains first appeared in the UK during the 1930’s.  They were introduced as an alternative to OO scale.  But OO scale was already established in the UK and therefore HO scale had a hard time making any real commercial headway.  Luckily, the hobbyists of the United States high demand of a realistic based toy during the late 1950’s allowed the HO scale model trains to really take off throughout the 1960’s and continued right up to today.  More then two thirds of train lovers have ranked HO scale as their favorite train scale.  
Due to the popularity of the HO scale, a huge array of locomotives, sets, accessories and rolling stock are made by many different companies.  Train lovers can find a large array of HO scale train sets with ready-to-run trains and modular track, craftsman grade kits, supplies for building models from scratch, and even high detailed limited-edition locomotive models made of brass.  Hobbyists will even go to the lengths of seeking out not only local hobby shop supplies, but look to global suppliers and foreign manufacturers to find that exact piece to complete their layout.

So if you have dreams of seeing a vast landscape with rolling hills or a small town and all of the things you think the towns people of your landscape will enjoy, the HO scale model trains are for you.  Awe your friends with watching your magnificent locomotive chugging down the track, winding through the hills and through a tunnel.  The HO scale model trains can make all of your dreams come true.

Jonah V. Zennith is a model train enthusiast and expert writer. For more information on successful model train guides visit http://www.modeltrainpros.com

Article from articlesbase.com

Five Basic Steps For Building Model Railroads

Selecting the hobby of building model railroads is one of the better choices that anyone can make for use of their time. Make no mistake about it, this is not a hobby that is only for the retired with plenty of time on their hands. In fact, model railroading has risen over the years to such a high level of popularity, that people from all walks of life, gender and age, have and are committing themselves to this amazing hobby.

Not only does this hobby provide it’s participants with an outlet to demonstrate their creative talents, it can potentially let you immerse yourself in a past era, rich with historical fact. Model railroading is a hobby that can also bring families together, with each member sharing in the planning and building of their model railroad layouts. With all of the various aspects involved in becoming a model railroader, time becomes something that most enthusiast tend to lose track of while working with this unique hobby, and considering all of the difficult challenges that we face in our day to day life, the therapeutic value this hobby offers is indispensable.


In starting out with model railroading, it is best as it is with any new venture to outline what it’s basic requirements are, and the following steps should help you:

1. The first and most important issue to consider the finances you have available to commit to this venture. Model railroading is not without it’s expense, and can become rather pricey. The good news is that you can begin very modestly and at any level, and gradually add to your train collection and layout as you can afford to.

2. After determining what your initial start up costs will be, the next step is to decide on what scale and gauge you’d like to use. If your new to building model railroads, the question of scale and gauge can be made a little easier by simply knowing exactly what these two terms mean.

Scale: The easiest way to describe scale is the comparable difference in size of the model train in relationship to the corresponding full size prototype. For example, the HO model train is 1/60th the size of it’s real life counterpart.

Gauge: Simply put, gauge is the distance or measurement between the two outside rails of track when referring to model trains. The measurement is taken from the center of the two outside rails when dealing with toy model trains.

3. The next step in the process is to actually choose which model scale train you’ll be adding to your railroad, and you have several to choose from. Your choice will involve the consideration of a number of factors, most of which are related to budget and the amount of space you have available for your layout.

4. Now it’s time to decide on the theme of your railroad, and this will require a little research. You may want to build a contemporary setting or you may decide to reach back in time and choose a historically rich era in railroading.

5. With all of the previously described choices made, the next step is to begin building your model railroad, and this will include constructing your bench work, dealing with all of the electrical aspects related to running your railroad, and finally the creation of your scenery.

Elliot Davenport is a model train enthusiast who is dedicated to helping others learn about this amazing hobby. If you would like more information about building model railroads you can visit his website at: http://www.modeltraintipsandadvice.com

Article from articlesbase.com

Basic steam locomotive weathering for model railroaders

In this how-to video from Model Railroader magazine, MR associate editor Cody Grivno shows you his method for weathering steam locomotive models. Cody uses a variety of basic and advanced weathering techniques including airbrushing, drybrushing, and paint washes. Whether you model in HO, N, O, or another scale, watch the video and learn easy ways to make the steam locomotives on your model train layout look more realistic.