baseboard suggestions

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by PennCentralFan, May 31, 2006.

  1. The guy at the hobby shop suggested that I use a foam board. I've read some previous threads about types of foamboard.

    Can any of you guys suggest a baseboard. The pros and cons of getting some plywood from the lumber yard vs. a foamboard. I'd like a 3'x4' or so layout on N-scale, but I'm intrigued about the idea of using a foamboard I'm using bachmann e-z track like in my previous post I asked about securing it to a board.

    The guy at the shop said foamboard would be lighter and easier to work with and take around if i wanted to.

    Those of you who have foamboard can you be specific about what type you have and how you would secure the track (bachmann e-z track) to it.

    I'm going to model a small midwestern town with a factory or something using Penn Central stock.
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    What is it about that idea that just seems to appeal to me? :D :thumb:

    As for a base, I used plywood but would be very interested (were I to ever build another layout) to try the foam. It is lighter and I love the way you can carve scenic contours into it. No saw dust!!!! :) I hope those who used foam respond with their comments.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've used bits of foam, and I watched a layout constructed with foam. I forgot: I used foam for my wife's Lionel layout.
    There are a few types of foamboard. Craft and stationery stores sell a thin (1/4") board with paper on each side. This can be used to make layouts but needs bracing and damages easily. Building supply stores in the colder areas sell extruded styrofoam in 1" and 2" thicknesses (or more). Glue 2 sheets of this together and your 3x4 layout is practically self supporting. It's not messy to cut as long as you avoid a saw - knives or hot wire. I'm not sure about the track, but there are all sorts of suggestions floating around the-gauge -- glue guns, caulk, glue. Nails and screws won't work. A temprary fix uses pins.
    Plywood has a little problem that the glue between the plies is harder than the wood and more powerful than a spike.
  4. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    My Pensacola and Gulf layout is built largely out of blue foam. Since I live in the South, the 2" foam is hard to come by so I use 2 or 3 layers of 1/2" foam over a wood frame. I use Kato Unitrack which I have attached with double-stick tape.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Check out the modular building tips at - follow the DCC/Modular link.

  6. johnny b

    johnny b Member

    I would think The pink ( or blue) foam board would work great. I didn't think of it when I started and by the time I saw pics of people using it , it was to late. Home Depot , Lowes , 84 Lumber all carry the stuff and it comea in thicknesses from 1/2" to 2". It is very easy to work with . Cut , shape etc. and quite rigid and strong. Track ballast can be glued down and held in place with pins until dry. You could likely get away with 1" board but if you can get 2" I would go with that. Wish I would have noticed it sooner.
  7. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I used 2" foam as my base. The benchwork in 1x3" wood cross braced every 12-16". With 2x2 legs and 1x3" kick-board all around
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I'm starting my 1st layout right now ( soldering and painting track ) . I use a piece of hollow core interior door and on top of it a 1" pink extruded styrofoam. This way I can cut a lake or a river in the styrofoam.

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