Ok, in the realm of things most people don’t realize about me is that I know a fair amount about model trains. My Dad was (and still is) really into model trains. We mostly had HO when I was growing up. Later on as he wound up traveling more for work, he started collecting N and Z scale as well because he could fit those in his briefcase and set them up on hotel room tables to amuse himself.
This weekend, The Geek Husband What Rules and I took the Nephew to a model train store. They have the whole set up with multiple trains, lights, a steam engine, little mechanized hot air balloons that rise and dip from the ceiling, and sound effects. They have an HO display and an N display. They also have a ginormous selection of O and Lionel scale. Those are much bigger. HO scale is a little smaller than, say, Matchbox car scale. N is about a third that size and Z is even smaller.
If you see train displays in malls and such, they’re usually Lionel scale. But for collectors, HO is pretty popular.
So, while we watched the nephew watch the train display, the GHWR and I traded off keeping an eye on him and wandering around looking at things. The GHWR found some terrain supplies for his rediscovered love of terrain building, and I started thinking about collecting trains again.
I will likely go with N or Z scale, because we don’t have a lot of space. I’ll likely have to give up my roll-top secretary (desk) in order to make a space for it, and I think that I want to do a Halloween/spooky themed display.
This is where shit gets difficult.
See, HO has a TON of holiday themed sets from several different manufacturers. N, not so much. Lots of Christmas sets, but finding spooky N-scale is kind of a challenge.
BUT, what I can do is find fairly cheap unpainted cars, or banged up not particularly valuable cars and paint and distress them to create my haunted train. Also, this means the GHWR gets to help me build the terrain and paint the cars, so it’s a joint project.
We really don’t have a lot of those. We share a lot of interests, but when it comes to our handicrafts, we don’t DO a lot of the same things. RPGs, comics and music are about it. And even those aren’t perfect Venn diagram circles. But this is a thing we can do together. I can sketch out what I want, and he can model and paint to his little heart’s content.
So, yeah, this sounds like a thing we can do together, and we can take the nephew on scouting missions to various train stores. I will likely find things online and have the local train shop order them. Because, support local business. I promise pictures if/when we do put it together.
We did have a great time with the nephew this weekend. Watching his face light up watching the trains just made me so very happy. In the end we bought him a die cast HO scale antique fire truck, and then lunch.
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