Completely new to the hobby

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EskimoCrocodile
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Completely new to the hobby

#1

Post by EskimoCrocodile » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:48 pm

Hello! My name's Sarah, I'm from Swansea.

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with the absolute basics. I've never really been into model trains, but recently my autistic nephew (14) has shown real interest, and I'd love to be able to create one with him.

I was looking at buying a large dining table to use as the base, but apart from that, and some lovely crayon drawings by him, I am at an absolute blank about where and how to start.

Any info you could give about sizes of train (gauge?) or suitable track would be very much appreciated.

Thanks guys!

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IanS
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#2

Post by IanS » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:40 pm

Welcome to the great forum.

Autism is a very broad term used to describe many different abilities (or lack thereof).

6ft by 3ft or better 4ft would be a reasonable starting point if you just want trains running round a track. If he wishes to make models to go on the lineside (for example stations) then other options open up.

If you have somewhere permanent you can place an old table then it could be, in my opinion, a starting point. However, you maybe should consider placing a board on the table raised a few centimetres (between 2cm and 3cm) so that wiring can go underneath and out of sight. Start small and simple. He may lose interest very quickly so investing heavily at the start may not be the best idea. I would suggest a low cost ready to run set from Hornby - new and without DCC (others may differ in their view) to test the waters. Talk to him about whether he wants passenger trains, steam trains, goods trains - all are available but try to get something he is interested in.

Goods trains lend themselves to both end to end and round and round setups. Look on youtube at the many examples of layouts that are simple.

Above all enjoy yourself and he will enjoy himself!

EskimoCrocodile
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#3

Post by EskimoCrocodile » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:00 am

Thank you!

My nephew doesn't have fleeting interests, so anything he loves tends to be something we can invest in.

He definitely wants a station. Maybe a few.

I didn't even realise you need an electronic aspect to the build. Would a Pi work?

But from the bare minimum when talking about buying, what should I be looking out for? I have the scenery down (I'm a Warhammer player), but need a general idea the size of train and track.

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IanS
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#4

Post by IanS » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:13 am

EskimoCrocodile wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:00 am
Thank you!

My nephew doesn't have fleeting interests, so anything he loves tends to be something we can invest in.

He definitely wants a station. Maybe a few.

I didn't even realise you need an electronic aspect to the build. Would a Pi work?

But from the bare minimum when talking about buying, what should I be looking out for? I have the scenery down (I'm a Warhammer player), but need a general idea the size of train and track.
You don't need electronics at all - a simple power supply (included in most train packs which include track) will suffice at the start.

00 Gauge size - from Hornby or other manufacturers is a good start. An interest in trains is a broad brief. Is it the trains he sees locally, or has something on TV sparked the interest?

I would advise against going to the likes of E-bay or GumTree until you know a bit more and definitely avoid second hand track.

Starting out, I'd suggest a simple oval of track with 2 sidings. This will mean two points for branching off either into the centre or to the edge (or both). Look on Budget Model Railways for ideas. (YouTube channel). Most of all talk to your nephew about what he wants.

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bulleidboy
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#5

Post by bulleidboy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:56 am

Hi Sarah

I think IanS has covered most starting options. I think that most Hornby Train Sets come with a Trackmat - this is a large sheet of stiff paper with a picture of track and buildings, and you get a basic "get you started" track layout with the set, but then you can then add "Track Packs" to finish the layout off. I think the largest Trackmat was about 6x4 with a double track and sidings - you will find them on ebay. You can paste/glue the Trackmat to your board. BB
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#6

Post by Bandit Mick » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:10 pm

Welcome to the friendly and knowledgeable forum. Good advice has been given to you by members so not much to add. It's a great hobby but be warned - highly addictive!
PS My wife comes from Pontarddulais.

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Mr Bones
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#7

Post by Mr Bones » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:33 pm

Welcome to the forum Sarah. Friendly helpful bunch here. Love your username 'EskimoCrocodile' :D I'm sure there's a story there somewhere.

For what it's worth I started with a a Hornby train set that was a gift a few years back. I expanded it to an 8' x 4' baseboard and then into a 16' x 10' shed. So as others have said beware it can be addictive. Bizarre thing is I know nothing about trains :shock:
And the Lord said unto John “Come forth and receive eternal life”, but John came fifth and won a toaster!

Ron S
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#8

Post by Ron S » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:50 pm

Sarah, as mentioned earlier Hornby Trakmat is possibly the way to go
https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/hornby-trakmat.html
https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/catalogsea ... ?q=trakmat

and you could contact Hornby & ask which train sets have Trakmat included
https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/contact
Ron

NCE DCC, 00 scale, very loosely based on GWR

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teedoubleudee
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#9

Post by teedoubleudee » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:55 am

Hi Sara, dont go buying a trackmat on ots own. I have a couple somewhere I dont need, just PM if you want them FOC
Most people are shocked when they find out how bad I am as an electrician

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IanS
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Re: Completely new to the hobby

#10

Post by IanS » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:03 am

Here's a Tube video showing one of the trackmats populated with trains and scenery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51EfVEnAPlo

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