N#3: Choices of N-scale Models

A series of write-up on N-scale (Ngage and Njoy in Nscale):

N#3: Choices of N-scale models

In the first two series, I introduced the N-scale model railroading and the attraction that it offers. In this series, I will introduce the vast selections of N-scale models and its manufacturers.

Although Arnold was one of the first to introduce this scale, there are many more who offer N-scale models parallel to their HO-, TT- or G-scale models. At times, you will see the introduction of N-scale models 6 months to 1 year after its bigger brother models; sometimes, only in one scale. It would be safe to say that the N-scale model ranges could compete with HO-scale ranges. As the second most popular model railway scale, N-scale modellers are equally spoilt with choices.

So who are these manufacturers of N-scale models? In alphabetical order (comments based on personal experience with most of these models at time of purchase. Manufacturers could and would have improved over time):

  • Arnold (now part of Hornby International) offers European models (esp. German, French, Spanish, Dutch and Italian) and track accessories.
  • Atlas RR offers good and quality ranges of US models and track accessories. Atlas tracks are one of the best in the market. – Athearn offers good ranges of US models among them Challenger and Big Boy
  • Bachmann USA offers reasonable prices US models though personally I am not happy with their quality.
  • Brawa, in my opinion, is the Bachmann USA equivalent. They offers mainly East German models.
  • Dapol UK offers UK models in 1:148 scale on 9mm gauge. They also offers N-scale knuckle couplers for European NEM sockets.
  • Fleischmann (and ex-Roco) offers good and quality ranges of European models (esp. German and Dutch models) and track accessories. Fleishmann took over Roco N-scale business.
  • Graham Farish (part of Bachmann Europe) offers UK models in 1:148 scale on 9mm gauge.
  • Greenmax offers some Japanese models and building accessories.
  • Kato Japan offers Japanese bullet train models and their reliable Kato Unitrak.
  • Kato USA focuses on non-Japanese models mainly US models such as California Zephyr, Super Chief. The Kato Unitrak can be used with US models.
  • Lilliput (part of Bachmann Europe) offers mainly Swiss models and some German models.
  • Modemo (part of Hasegawa) offers Japanese steam engines and trams from past eras.
  • Minitrix is part of Märklin/Trix offerings in N-scale. To be exact, it is the N-scale brand of Trix, while Märklin focuses on Scale 1, HO and Z scales. Models from Minitrix mainly focuses on German, French and Dutch railways.
  • Peco offers track accessories for various gauges and they are the only one so far to offer concrete sleepers flex tracks. Peco tracks and turnouts are one of the best and most reliable in the market.
  • Piko offers mainly German, French and Swiss models.
  • Tomix offers Japanese models and are popular for their Shinkanshen ranges.

I hope the above introduction gives you a good start into the N-scale model railroad world. Various online shops offer good prices for N-scale models and accessories.

Welcome aboard to the N-scale world!

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