HO Scale is the most widely used scale for model railways in the world. The National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) states that the HO Scale ratio is 3.5 mm for every 1-foot or real dimension. HO Scale is obtained from the mathematic certainty that the 1.87 scale ratio is half of the O scale. In hobby model railway collecting, HO Scale is used for track widths, train sizes, building dimensions, scenery, and rolling stock through the majority of model train railway manufactures in the world. After World War 1 attempts were made to introduce suitable model railway accessories that would be more affordable to manufacture. By the early 1920’s tabletop railways were being introduced in HO Scale for interested collectors. Due to the Great Depression, HO Scale trains were gaining popularity because of the smaller features and affordability compared to the larger already established OO Scale. People were attracted to the accessibility to create more details and a wider mile scale with the smaller HO Scale.
Currently, HO Scale is the most popular size for model railroad enthusiasts, collectors, and hobbyists. Through a wide variety of manufactures the HO Scale buildings that are available range from gas station kits, general stores, and industrial silos to train station platforms, locomotives, and freight cars. The availability and quantity of sets, figures, and buildings is extremely extensive making this hobby enjoyable for many to acquire. Typically, HO Scale sets and trains are powered by Direct Current Voltage and even with newer sets by sending Digital Command Control to decoders to activate the features available with each particular piece. The largest supplier of HO Scale model railroad supplier is through the WM. K. Walthers catalog. The catalog has over 1000 pages of products in HO Scale that features three styles of varieties for model railroad items.
Ready-to-run models are completely functional from the box they are shipped in. Typically the manufacturer installs the key features, and from time to time specific details are included and need to be attached or installed by the purchaser. The simpler styles of HO Scale models are the Shake-the-box kits that include basic assembly for the items acquired. Interestingly, the name was derived from a long running joke that you could shake the box that the set was shipped in and it would build itself. On the other spectrum, Craftsman kits require an advanced skill of assembly and can even include over a hundred different parts to install for completion. Along with these three main styles of assembly are individual items that are made available through multiple manufacturers. Collectors will purchase individual HO Scale products to complete certain models by scratch or by combining them with other commercial sets that may already have.
Many people young and old are seeking HO Scale buildings and sets for their collection. Even automobiles, military vehicles, soldiers, and national parks are made to HO Scale. Hobbyists, collectors, and toy enthusiasts alike are making models in HO Scale to create life like vistas of popular destinations. From Union Station in Los Angeles, to old train stations from the Wild West. The interest in collecting model trains is always been popular and the niche for HO Scale will continue to be in the forefront of this steamrolling hobby.