How do you get started?

How do you get started?

Postby Robert22 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:41 pm

Howdy,

I'm new on the boards-and new to this scale and am still deciding what time period I would like to model, and actually, where would be the best place to start. I'm set on something in Germany.

What time period did you decide to model, and why?
Now that you've been collecting for a while, what do you think is the best way to get into this scale? sets? piece by piece? buy used?

Thanks for your time! :smile:
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:21 pm

There is no single best way to get into the hobby. I started out myself with a box of Tri-Ang locomotives and cars, I bought a BTTB set for the track, got hooked on modeling European trains, and then lucked out on an HP Auction, which got me into North American TT modeling. How I got into TT may not work out for you, then again, it might.

There are different strokes for different folks, and TT scale is no exception.
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:46 pm

I was "brought up" on the only model trains available in Bulgaria in the 80's - East German TT scale - specifically Berliner TT Bahnen products.

So you might say I'm predisposed to TT and German prototypes. Since starting this site I've grown a big interest in American trains. I don't have a specific era or place of interest but lean towards era 4/5/6 German passenger trains just because I like them and American freight trains of the same eras (because you don't see much passenger traffic in the US).

The American stuff is mostly from Gold Coast Railroad co, self made via rapid prototyping and a few pieces that have recently started popping up from different places.

The German stuff is bought new from http://www.eurotrainhobby.com and new and used from Ebay Germany.

Sets or piece by piece? Whatever you fancy.
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby Arseny » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:26 am

As for me: I live in Russia so it is a little bit easier for me to collect TT... ;)

When I was 7 years old, my father presented me the TT-scale BTTB startset. And I started... 8-)
I even had a sort of layout on the old dinner table...
Later, when I was 15-16 years old, I removed it and put in the storeroom...
But in 2008 I visited the railway exhibition and somewhy decided to resume my old hobby... So I am here! :smile:

I like steam locomotives, so I have a very few diesels and absolutely do not have electric locomotives.
So I am modelling Era 3 (1945-1970), because there are no pure Ruusian steam locomotives in TT and there are no automobiles suitable for the 1930s or 1920s.

I like American steam locomotives, so I collect Russian and American stuff, and German too... a little... :)
But I do not know a lot about the American railways yet, so I am only at the beginning of my way...

Also I have a lot of TT-scale automobiles of 1940s-1960s in my collection, mostly Russian, and American and German and Czech too.

I do not have the layout yet, but I am working on it... But the progress is slow. :oops:

I am not a great scratchbuilder, so I prefer ready-to-run models.
Of course piece-by-piece, because there are not a great amount of sets in TT (as I know).
But if you want to start - I am sure the startset is a good idea...
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby dileTTante » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:53 am

In your case, Robert, the obvious starting point is your liking for the E95. I'm not an expert at all on this but research indicated the available models were for late era II or era III. Myself I chose era III because it allows steam, diesel and electrics all at once, and is post war. No steam in modern times. I bought a couple Tillig starter sets because at the time I didn't know what wagons ran with what locomotives. The first set or two I bought out of ignorance also put me into eastern Germany instead of west, so I've stuck with that. Research shows the rail system there to be rather seedy looking compared to the west, so that sort of thing might be a consideration depending on your attitudes about modeling.

If you pursue electric locomotives then you ought to commit yourself to setting up overhead wire. That seemed too difficult for me so I passed on buying electric locomotives such as the Krokodil, which I regret not getting. For that reason I may also pass up buying the excellent E95. If your liking for the locomotives is the main factor, then maybe modeling exactitude doesn't matter and you could set up a stretch of generic electrified track and run whatever you like. If you like electrics so much then you might want to concentrate on a modern era, and you might even find yourself moving your layout to Switzerland and running their electrics through the mountains.

At the time I bought my models hardly any N. American models were available in TT, and Tillig was dominant, so that landed me in German railways, and I've grown to appreciate the smaller colourful trains in contrast to N. American rail. Not having seen Europe I had to research at the library and in model magazines to learn what things looked like there. Fortunately with the internet now you can journey all through Europe by videos and find information on all sorts of locos and wagons. I think choosing a particular theme --whether something very specialized in N. America, such as what Marquette is doing, or some rather narrow choice (such as narrow gauge, or electrics, etc) in Europe -- educates and enriches as one learns about differnt times, locations, and cultures. You're in a fortunate location since Vancouver area is very multicultural and you can find many things brought directly from Europe. The public library has a few excellent books about European motive power, for instance. I photocopied tons of stuff and became familiar with different locomotive types. At the train show there were several copies of some Eisenbahn magazine which I had to resist buying. Years ago in a model train shop I found a second hand wonderful book of photos taken by Japanese photographers of the last BR 01s running in East Germany. All sorts of entertainment awaits you.

Actually, I have a stack of Contintal Modeller magazine from the 90s which you can have free if you want.
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby Marquette » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:03 am

Well... how did I get started?

Christmas 1979 - I spent the year in Hungary with my grandparents, and got a BTTB set for Christmas. It got lost over the years, and when I was 9, back in Canada, I got an HO scale train set, and went from there. In the early 1990s, I got a BTTB-Zeuke T-Set on a whim, remembering the BTTB set I had got in 1979, and got into TT again; my interest had almost always been in European proto, so no issue (except that my preference would've been for Hungarian, Slovakian or Yugoslavian proto...). Later I drifted away from TT - to Yugoslavian proto in HO, then to Chinese proto in HO (while I was living/working in China), then to Japanese N... and then back to TT, and with North American proto, in 2006. And here I am now.

I model the early 1950s, as I like early diesels and electrics (they heyday of electrics in North America having been the 1920s to 1950s-1960s), and steam is cool too, the freight cars were all nifty back then, and the railways seemd proud of what they were - something that seems to be really lacking nowadays, in my perception.

Since NA proto is so sparse in TT, I've been doing things bit by bit to build my fleet, just started work on two modular layout sections. I'm not afraid of scratchbuilding, even if I'm not so good at it... :)
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby BTTB Fan » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:43 am

Similar to other's stories, I had a BTTB set growing up in Ukraine, then "grew out of it", and got back into TT scale a couple of years ago. I am not very concerned with time or prototype realism, and eras III and early IV, set in Germany, appeal to me dues to the variery of pieces you can run on the layout without obvious "visual clashes".

With respect to how to best get going on buying the track, locos, and rolling stock, that really depends on your personal preferences, specifically, whether you are comfortable with fixing/tuning pieces, whether you are concerned about non-prototypical distance between cars in absence of close coupling, your budget, "quantity vs. quality", etc. I like BTTB stuff (you may have guessed from my forum handle) because it's cheap, runs OK, and I enjoy minor tweaks like adding LED lights and replacing a motor here and there. Modern locos are, of course, quite superior, and if you like a specific prototype that is available as a modern model , and you can afford it, by all means, that's the way to go. One thing I would strongly suggest is - don't bother with the old U-profile track, it's not worth the trouble.
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:30 pm

If you plan on doing east German modeling, this site has a TON of pics http://www.gerdboehmer-berlinereisenbah ... erien.html

I also use http://www.bahnbilder.de/ for pics and it's not specific to German prototypes.

This is a database of most tt models made throught the years http://as.rumia.edu.pl/tt/kat/

For all three of the above sites you will need a translator. I use Google's Chrome browser which translates foreign sites to English automatically - you can download it free here: http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/la ... _medium=ha

Also, look though the links section on this site for other useful sites.
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby Robert22 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:42 pm

These responses have been exactly the kind of information I've been looking for! I'm looking at the E95, simply because I like it, and I'm also looking at starting with the BR 110.3 (I imagine it hauled both cargo and passengers), the less I spend on an engine, the more likely I could get some track going on right away and maybe a car or two. Preferably, I'd like to find something in the $90-$140, but that seems unlikely. By the way, does anyone have any information as to why almost every single Engine on Euro Train Hobby is sold out? Do they have a month when they typically restock? By the way, are all these trains DCC, or am I just missing the DCC section?

Wish list... :P

http://www.eurotrainhobby.com/product_i ... ts_id/4618

http://www.eurotrainhobby.com/product_i ... ts_id/8300

http://www.eurotrainhobby.com/product_i ... ts_id/3607

Is the Piko PK-47200 any good? I've been hard pressed to find any pictures of it online (the model).
http://www.eurorailhobbies.com/erh_deta ... k=PK-47200

(Oh! Thanks for the magazine offer! Depending on how much time I get to dedicate to this-I'll get back to you :thumbup: )
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Re: How do you get started?

Postby BTTB Fan » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:56 pm

ConducTTor posted recently regarding the ETH situation with TT scale stock. In a nutshell, George (ETH owner) is kept in business by HO, he carries TT as a public service (he is originally from Tbilisi, Georgia, ex-USSR, so I gyuess he has an emotional attachment to the scale). Carrying TT stock for him would be "dead money". He orders from Tillig regularly (again, presumably, mostly HO), so, he can get the locos you are looking for, if they are in stock at Tillig, in a few weeks. You can always e-mail him and ask when his next order is going to happen.

As for DCC, pretty much all the TT scale models are sold as DC, with no decoders installed. The exceptions are locos that are part of DCC starter sets and "upscale" DCC/sound versions. It's always a good idea to check loco specs for the decoder. In the last few years the standard was 6-pin NEM651, but some still require soldering, and the newer models started to come out with PluX12 and other connectors.
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