My girlfriend is extremely kind-hearted and understanding, and she bought me an N-scale locomotive off of eBay to help get me started. As I mentioned in my last post, the model is of a D51 and will be resigned as a Taiwanese DT650. In honor of my girlfriend, I'm going to name this first locomotive the Emma (絵馬号). I doubt that naming locomotives is prototypical (naming entire trains is another matter) but I'm doing it anyway.
In other news I picked up some N scale code 55 and code 80 track made by Atlas. The D51 locomotive fits well on both, but looking at how low the wheel flanges are, and considering that I'm still getting started, I think I'm going to still with code 80 track for now. I found a random picture of a Taiwanese railway station from the colonial period, and the tie spacing looks much closer to what I see on the code 80 track. Plus if you look up what the model rails would represent in terms of real rail sizes, even code 55 rail is much too heavy for what I think was used on the Taiwanese lines. So code 80 it is.
Given that I'm going to be moving around a lot in the next few years, I'm going to stick to making small dioramas to practice my modeling skills. I'm also looking in to making hand-laid track, code 80 of course.
Edit: Actually the locomotive looks pretty good on the code 55 track, and I think it may just be the leading wheels that present a potential problem. Any advice on which to use? I know that there is a lot more selection in code 80.