beginner's small coffee table layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by zimaaron, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. zimaaron

    zimaaron New Member

    Hello all,
    I am very new to model railroading, and I've been reading all I can, so thanks for all the great posts. I plan on building a 2.5x4.5 foot coffee table layout , that will have collapsible legs to fit in my dorm room. It will be a simple oval within a larger loop, with the larger loop having a passing lane and a spur. I hope to make a little lake, river, and mountain with tunnel. The general scene will be pretty much in a foresty area with some cabins and lots of trees. I was wondering if anyone had some general tips on what type of track (flextrack or sectional as well as what brand and code #) or what type of turnouts to use as well as easy ways to build a mountain tunnel(will carved styrofoam work?). I was also wondering if people had tips on how to build the table, how to work the covering so i can easily work, while ensuring plenty of protection to he layout as well(are their votes on whether plexiglass or real glass is better?) Finally, any tips to save some $$ would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any tips regarding my questions or anything else you all have to offer.

  2. dr_hemlock2

    dr_hemlock2 New Member


    this is interesting to me perhaps you can share a little bit of knowledge and start a build log as i would like to do this soon.
  3. rekline

    rekline Member

    Hi zimaaron,

    Here is a post for a someone who builds coffee table/end table n/z scale layouts, he also sells the plans for them, if your interested in building your own, Saw one at a local train show and it was really cool, Thinking about building one myself but the boss would kill me, maybe an endtable sometime. Make a great conversation piece in the living room.

    Coffee Table Railroads by Bakatronics

    There was also someone on here who built one that was just a lookdown I think, but I haven't found that thread yet. That was also really cool.

    Good luck and would love to see some pics when working on it.
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

  5. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Welcome to the Zealot ( formerly The Gauge ) N scale forum.
    2.5' X 4.5' is a good size for an small N scale layout. Mine is even smaller: 25" by 36"

    Imho , the best link for small N scale layouts is at
    Mike's Small Trackplans Page
    I hope you'll find something interesting there.

    My layout uses Atlas code 80 sectional track. The advantage is that they are available at any hobby store.
    If you are good at soldering I would suggest using Peco flextrack and turnouts. Their turnouts are excellent. I just started to build a 23" by 11" micro switching layout so I could practice laying Peco flextrack and making a sectorplate.

    I used very cheap materials for the hill: paperwads covered with Woodland Scenics plaster cloth and Sculptamold ( some kind of papier maché ).
    A lot of people use home insulation extruded styrene ( the blue or pink stuff ) for the hills. I don't know if regular styrene used for making cups and for packaging is suitable.
    I'm not good at carpentry so I can't be of any help about building the coffe table.

  6. dr_hemlock2

    dr_hemlock2 New Member

    thanks for the help

    will check site out and as this is just a planning stage it might take me a while but i am going to do it.

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