How to Start in N Gauge! - Kato Starter Set Review

Posted by Adam Nye on 30th May 2022

How to Start in N Gauge! - Kato Starter Set Review

Kato starter sets come in very unique, bright, colorful boxes. They are very good looking boxes you can see the units in the front through a little see-through panel which is a great design and allows the customer to get the first glimpse of the high quality of the models inside the box. On the front of the box we also see a large image of the unit, various sentences in Japanese, with some English translation. The front of the box also shows the loop of track and the controller that comes within. On the rear of the box we see a variety of alternate Kato sets and track packs that you can use to further expand your layout in the future. Kato seem to put a lot more effort into the sleek, modern designs of their boxes in comparison to other manufacturer, a good sign that shows Kato produce brilliant products.

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Within the box, we get eight pieces of curved track, four long straights, a level crossing, two small straights and the piece of track that connects via a wire to the controller. Unitrack is a very easy to put together products, you simply clip them together and can easily create a substantial loop of track without any issues joining the track together. The level crossing requires ramps to be attached, and this is again, a very simple process of clipping them together.

We then have the controller, which is an excellent bit of equipment, with a realistic throttle and a reverser switch that realistically emulates a real life train, and allows the user to really feel as if they are in control of the train themselves. The controller is amazingly high quality and is one of the best reasons to purchase a Kato starter set.

Also included in the set is a re-railer to allow you to easily get the train onto the track, which is a great help as due to N Scales being so small it can be difficult to put the models on the track. There is also a set of detail parts if you want to add further decoration to the Kiha 58 DMU that Comes with the set.

The unit that comes with the starter set is a Japanese Kiha 58 3-Car Diesel Multiple Unit. These units are now being phased out by Japanese railways, so now is an appropriate time to pick one of these models up! The unit is brilliantly detailed, with well moulded underframes, well made bodies, and even chairs on the interior of the train. the livery application is perfect with no errors, and the differences between the standard class and first class (middle coach) are accurately done, with slightly different windows, and a green band across the side of the coach that denotes first class. There are well presented air conditioning units along the  rooves of the coaches, with the leading car containing the motor having slightly different units on the top as in real lift. The model runs very smoothly on the Kato unitrack, and responds well to the Kato controller - this model even comes with minute lights at the front of each cab car!