6 Reasons to Choose N Scale

September 08, 2021

6 Reasons to Choose N Scale

If you are a beginner who wants to start collecting or building your dream model train layout , you have likely already discovered the different train scale sizes and need to decide which one to use – that or you are someone who wants to get back into the hobby, but it has been years since you last touched a model train, and you don't know where to start. 

Either way, you are probably looking for the best-quality choice that fits your budget and space. In this post, we will discuss six reasons to choose N Scale trains to help you make an appropriate decision.


What Is N Scale?

Before we dive in, you may wonder – or need a refresher on – what N scale is. N scale is a model train scale that ranges from a 1:148 to 1:160 ratio, making it the second-smallest size available. Train models are sized proportionately to a real train. So if you take the model and enlarge it 148 or 160 times, you would have a near-exact replica of an actual train.

N scale is sometimes confused with the N gauge. The gauge refers to the distance between the rails, which is approximately 9 mm. N scale trains are what ride on N gauge or N scale tracks.

Now, let’s go over those six reasons we promised.


1. Compact

Black and red steam locomotive models sit at rest next to each other at a station

One reason why N train scale sizes are the second most popular is because of their small size. If you live in an apartment or have limited room to work with, then you want to take advantage of the space that you have available.

N scale trains and tracks are compact enough for you to run longer railways and trains in a small enclosure. That means you can add additional railways, figures, and trains with a more realistic length on your layout. You can also make tighter turns with the tracks, which are harder to do with a larger size.

However, if space is not an issue, then you can run even longer cars and railways, which leads us to the following reason.


2. Perfect for Complex Builds

Those who thrive on complex builds or dioramas will find this train scale size perfect for their needs. That is because it has a more compact size, as mentioned previously. For new hobbyists, when we talk about complex builds, we’re talking about creating long tracks that wind around mountains, forests, fields, and other landscapes as well as settlements or other structures like bridges and roads.

Even though you can still build beautiful layouts using a larger scale, it is more challenging to create complex dioramas. That’s why we prefer N scale here.


3. Detailed

A diorama of a weathered model steam train crosses a bridge toward a rocky outcrop full of fake vegetation

Despite its small size, N scale models are well detailed for those with an artistic eye. They will easily blend in with your scenes. You will also have more room to enhance and add greater detail to not only your trains but sceneries and towns as well.


4. Upgradable

If you ever need or want to upgrade parts to your train models, N scale will allow you to do that. For example, you can upgrade your N scale trains to include speakers for fun train sound effects. Sometimes, you may wish to add an extra part to your model, such as a snowplow for your winter landscape. Perhaps you need to make a repair or replace a damaged part with your models. Maybe you want to paint your models to make them look more rustic, weathered, or fit for the environment of your layout. Whatever your needs are, N scale has room for it all.


5. Wide Selection of N Scale Models

If you worry about your options for N scale models, there is a wide variety of models available. From steam, electric, and diesel locomotives to bridges and buildings, you will have everything you need to get started.


6. Affordable

What about the cost? You may worry whether or not you have the budget for this type of size. Well, rest assured that affordability is another good reason to go with N scale. If you are looking for N scale tracks, trains, or figurines, there are plenty of affordable options at your disposal.


Final Thoughts 

We hope this article has helped you understand the advantages of using N scale models as you begin or renew your hobby. We also hope it has given you the clarity you need as you investigate your options. Whether you want to use it for building a lush green diorama or use it as a simple decoration, N scale can satisfy your needs.

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