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"HONGZ" stands for HO scale, N scale, G scale, and Z scale.

Post your non-O scale stuff here!

Like many people in the O gauge world, my areas of interest tend to be driven by nostalgia for the trains that I had when I was young.  Of course, the prime example of this is my interest in O gauge windup trains, which goes back to my first trainset - a Marx #526 with a mechanical 401 locomotive.  But what does that have to do with this post in the HONGZ forum?

My parents bought me an N scale trainset sometime in the mid 1970's, a Bachmann set with a little 0-6-0 steamer.  This was the era of the black & yellow plastic boxes that held locomotives and rolling stock, as well as the white & green packaging for accessories.  I "modeled" in N scale for many years, acquiring various brands of trains, but the old Bachmann trains were the starting point.  I eventually got rid of most of my N scale.

Fast forward a few decades.  While digging around in a closet, I ran across a box that had a few "Old Timer" Bachmann N scale trains in it... those came out later, and I had bought a few pieces just because I loved the look of them.  I thought it might be fun to build a micro-layout with a simple circle of track so I could run them once in a while, but I needed track.  So, I went on everyone's favorite online auction site to look for the old 9" radius track... and that was a mistake.

Yes, I found the track.  And trains.  And buildings.  I bought some track first, a couple of vintage blister packs with 9" radius, 45 degree curved sections and 9" straight tracks like I remember from my early days of N scale.  There was also a later blister pack of rerailer sections.  Of course, what I discovered is that the early 45 degree curves aren't very consistent, and the resulting circle of track looked more like a tomato!  I bought some slightly later vintage Bachmann 9-3/4" radius, 30 degree curves that are much more consistent.

Vintage Bachmann Track

Of course, the problem is that vintage Bachmann trains are available on the internet, too.  It didn't take long before a few vintage Bachmann pieces arrive at the house, in all their black & yellow boxed glory.  But, they still need somewhere to run.

So, I took a scrap piece of 1/2" MDF and cut it into a section that is almost 2' square except for the round section at the front - that was already part of the scrap piece, but will work fine for the micro-layout.  I covered it with Woodland Scenics grass mat - another leftover that was hanging round the scrap box.  Staple down a little cork roadbed and nail down the circle of track... and we have the start of a layout:


And that's as far as I've got.  I am thinking about putting a backdrop down the middle to split it into two scenes, and use vintage Bachmann buildings on one side, and old west style buildings on the other.  When I run the old-timers, I can look at it from the old west side (been watching too much Gunsmoke lately, so I'll probably call it Dodge).  When I run the newer equipment, I can view it from the 1970's vintage Bachmann building side.  Neither side will be fine-scale modeling; it will be merely good-enough to showcase the trains and buildings... similar to the toy train look of my O gauge windup layout, but in N scale.

I suspect progress on this will be very slow - but that's OK.  I'll try to update this thread if/when there is any substantial progress.

U36B Paced

PS: For anyone interested in Bachmann/N scale history, here are a few interesting sites:



Images (3)
  • Vintage Bachmann Track
  • 2023-01-02_Layout
  • U36B Paced
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As a young teenager, I too was given a Bachmann N-Scale set for Christmas. I had a bunch on those black and yellow boxes with various cars. Although the engines I had weren't very good runners, I enjoyed them non-the-less. When I got into the O Gauge scene, mainly due to my older and starting to fail eyes, I sold everything I had. Except one set I still cherish today. That's a Rivarossi Chessie Safety Express Boxed set. It has never been run, and probably never will. Unless some one offers me the correct $ for it. Ahhh, the memories of childhood.

Last edited by Jayhawk500

I didn't have a chance to hook up power and take a video, but I did get the backdrop installed on the layout.  I used 11/16" thick MDF cut to fit and glued sky blue poster board to it:


I bought some old-west style buildings from Outland for one side of the layout.  They are neat little buildings, just need some painting to spruce them up.  I think they will look nice with the Bachmann Old-Timer trains.  I set them in place temporarily to get a few pictures with the 4-4-0:



Scenery isn't my strong point, but I'll try to get a few trees and such on the little layout as it progresses.  I plan on using trees to hide the opening where the track passes through the divider on the "modern" side, and maybe attempt a mountain with a tunnel portal on the old west side.

Now comes the fun part of shopping for the vintage Bachmann buildings to go on the modern side of the layout.

Again, this little project is a very low priority, just something to enjoy in the house during the cold winter evenings...



Images (4)
  • 2023-01-11_Layout-3
  • 2023-01-11_Layout-1
  • 2023-01-11_Layout-2
  • 2023-01-11_Layout-4
Last edited by WindupGuy

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