Recently I’ve been thinking about a relatively close relation of Z scale, Nn3. N scale narrow gauge, or Nn3, in practice is generally N scale model railroading on Z scale track. The models are N scale; the track is Z gauge, or 6.5mm. As I go along, I’m sure I’ll be corrected on some of my Nn3 terminology, but you have to start somewhere.
Many Nn3 modelers hand lay their track, but many use Z scale track right out of the box, the track gauge of 6.5mm works for both scales. I’ve long enjoyed much of the narrow gauge modeling out there, so I thought, let’s have a closer look and maybe try my hand at some Nn3 modeling!
With some of the particularly tight curves now produced by Rokuhan, we have a major track maker in Z looking at the Nn3 side of the aisle too. Rokuhan has some track plans designated as Nn3 on their website, make sense for them… they’re making the 6.5mm track, why not have it sell to a wider market?
A very well-know British Nn3 layout by Mark Fielder
Some of my interest in Nn3 comes from my appreciation of small layouts and it seems to me that Nn3 lends itself well to small scene-based layouts. There’s also some terrific British Nn3 modeling out there I’d like to explore. I like building and running small layouts in Z scale and since many Nn3 locomotives actually run on Marklin Z scale chassis, something I’m very familiar with, I should be comfortable with some of the more basic Nn3 locos.
In the past I’ve been asked to create some of my own original accessories for both N scale as well as for HO. I think I’ll be working in both of these scales in the future, and starting in the N and Nn3 world is too tempting to pass up.
Over the years I’ve spoken with lots of Z scalers and was actually surprised at how many model in multiple scales, it looks like I’ll be joining the multi-scale club now, and I’m really looking forward to the work. We may be adding new scale sections here at Ztrains.com but first things first, let’s see what Nn3 is all about with some starter projects.