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Mixing HO and N scale To Add Distance?

Gerry asks readers:

“I have a small 30inch wide x 16inch deep space quite a bit behind my HO track that I want to bring into use independently of my main layout. It could be used for staging or some yard ops… very limited. I can access it easily from the side. Your thoughts on using N scale trains and structures to give the sense of that area being further away. I presume others have done this type of thing?”

6 Responses to Mixing HO and N scale To Add Distance?

  • Jim Johnstonsays:

    I’ve seen this done and I really think it needs a lot of depth to bring it off right.

  • Herveysays:

    Gerry,
    It is fairly common to do that for a forced perception of depth. My advise would be to search the topic on line and don’t have the HO scale immediately adjacent to the N scale. Allow some room usually using progressively smaller trees as you get further away from the HO helps fool the eye and no straight lines from front to back.
    Good luck.

  • Nigelsays:

    I’ll probably get shot down in flames for what I’m about to say! The beauty of a model railway is its recreation of the world in miniature. It is a tiny three dimensional world and we can look at it from any angle and immerse ourselves in that little world.

    The problem with forced perspective is that the viewpoint for the layout is immediately limited. From the ‘sweet spot’ it looks fantastic but from any other angle, the effect is quickly lost and it just becomes a mismatched collection of different scales.

    Taking the concept to its extreme, there was a small ‘layout’ (I use the term loosely) doing the exhibition rounds a few years ago. It was, I recall, Dutch themed and the modeller had distorted the buildings (i.e. the front of a building was a different scale its back) and the effect of depth was absolutely amazing from the sweet spot – from any other viewing position it was just a collection of wonky buildings and a train!

    As you’ve probably worked out by now, I’m not a fan. But in the end, it’s down to what you want to achieve from your modelling.

  • Delusays:

    As they say…it’s your railroad! Gerry offered a good suggestion about graduating the scale with trees and such, rather than having HO right next to N. We put in a mountain in a far back corner and put up smaller trees and N scale bears, deer, etc. on the top. Worked well. We did use an N scale track and steam train in our carnival section as a “ride on” for carnival-goers. Set up benches in some open cars and have sitting people/children in them. Looks great.

  • phil johnsonsays:

    I’ve used N scale steeples and roofs on hill backsides that have worked

  • J E Wilsonsays:

    I guess that I need to add a little here since my layout is HO/HOn3 dual gauge track around the whole perimiter with switches off the main line to HOn3 only thru the interion. I also used N gauge track on a high mountain area using HOE or HOn 2 1/2 for distance and it blends and matches perfect. I have a smaller section of N gauge track for N gauge trains in a farther back location and looks great. I am also in the process of adding a 2′ x 16″ area even further back with Z scale. As far as I am concerned, being “My World”, it looks fantastic from any position, and fun when they are all running. My layout is in a 11 x 11′ room. Buy a building and place it on the layout and if you like the looks, just remember that you are building “your World” in your own image. If you like it, just get er done, and most of all have fun and enjoy the Hobby.

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