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When building a model train one of the very first decisions you have to make is how big is it going to be, and what scale are you going to use for the train itself. There really is no wrong answer to this question, it just depends on where you are putting your train and how much room you have to work with. Many collectors who have trains outdoors or dedicate entire rooms to their trains enjoy using a bigger scale for their layouts. However the average collector and hobbies will set up their layout inside, and as such prefer to use a smaller scale in the layout they create.
The HO scale for model trains is one of the most popular scales used around the world. This is due to the fact that it is the perfect size to use indoors and is easy to work with for your average person who wants to build a hobby train. The HO scale seems to have the right balance between size and functionality. Its popularity also means that you can easily find may accessories to go with your train layout that are also based on this scale.
This hugely popular scale first showed up in the UK around 1930. However the scale didnt really pick up in popularity until the 1950s when people in North America started to enjoy the hobby of building model trains. Since then it has remained one of the most popular scales in use and is easy to find at any hobby store.
With its popularity rising many companies around the world began making scaled accessories. Train builders were able to find ready to use trains, craftsman grade kits, materials and equipments for building models, limited edition locomotives and modular tracks all in their favorite scale. Many train enthusiasts are known to order pieces for their trains from around the world.
HO scale models are half the size of the popular O scale, which is why it is called HO. The O scale is one of the most popular in the larger scale train categories. The O scale models are 1/48th or one 48th the standard size of a real train, and a gauge of 1 inches. O scale models are extremely popular for outdoor use because of its large size. The HO scale is a far better alternative for indoor layouts.
The HO scale models are 1/87. It also uses the 16.5mm track gauge, also known as the standard size gauge. If you are concentrating more on landscape and scenery then using HO scale is advised. The smaller size of the HO scale leaves room on your layout for a very detailed scene to be built around your track. One of the potential drawbacks of this smaller scale is its durability, especially if children or pets are in your home. However The scale is big enough for children to play with and is not easily damaged. Many families that build a train as a project together will use the HO scale and consider it the perfect size.
Jamie Passman has been a hobby train enthusiast for many years. If you would like more information on how to get started building your own hobby train, then visit My Hobby Train and learn how to begin building the train layout of your dreams.