Backdrops/Edging for Freestanding Layout

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Bob Collins, Nov 19, 2001.

  1. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I am trying to think my way throught this process, even thought I am not quite ready to get started. Some days you could read that as dragging my feet getting started, but really I am just a bit confused about at least a particular part of all of this.

    I have a freestanding layout. The layout is 21' X 10'. The closest wall (unfinished concrete) is about two feet away on the 10' side and another wall is about four feet away on the 21' side. I am assuming that at some point I will finish those walls to give the whole area a more "completed" look.

    My real question is about the edge of the layout itself. As it stands now there is no edge to serve as backdrop or for protection of the rolling stock which actually will come within a few inches when completed.

    What do the rest of you do who also have freestanding layouts? Do you just attach enough edge to protect your rolling stock from running off the layout? Do you build it higher on one side that on the others? I have given some thought to building it up to a couple of inched higher than the raodbed where the track comes within a few inches of the edge. I think it would be fairly easy to incorporate the edge into the scenery along that part. Around the rest of the layout I was thinking that just an inch or so of a raised edge would provide a way to incorporate the edge more easily into the scenery. Would you agree?

    I hate to build a continuous edge the same height all the way around as I think it will reduce the opportunities to view the action in a number of places. I have given some thought to placing a tunnel or two where the track comes close to the edge, but again, you build it up to a point where you reduce the view. Besides, after reading George's comments on tunnels I've pretty well decided I really don't want to mess with them. If I model midwest USA there aren't any/many tunnels anyway:D

    I am open to any and all suggestions. I am about to the point where I am going to have to make some decisions withion a couple of weeks (assuming I get anything done between now and then!)

  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Bob, Consider using clear plexiglass attached to your fascia. It won't block your view and will keep equipment off the floor. It only needs to be high enough to keep trains on the layout, an inch or two above rail height.

  3. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Thanks Gary. That will work very well along the side where I plan to put my control panels and where I think will be the best viewing site. I had originally thought that by building the layout as a freestanding one I could make it easy to view operations from just about anywhere. I've pretty much decide that won't be the case at a couple of places, particularly on one end. Even though you will be able to walk completely around the layout you won't be able to see much if you stop at a couple of places. The other side of the viewing situation is that by deciding not to incorporate tunnels on the layout I will actually be increasing the opportunities for seeing operations.

    Thanks again, I really like the idea of plexiglass. I suppose one needs to be careful to place it so it won't be getting scratched on either side.


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