First attempt - need guidance

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by eddie, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. eddie

    eddie New Member

    This is my first attempt at a model rr - 0 scale. Two questions-
    1. It seems the easiest way to start is with plywood on legs - I have mth real tracks- any suggestions on placing the track - should I also use something beneath the tracks to quiet the noise?
    2. If I use widths of say a maximum of 36" board- is this too wide if it's against a wall? What about access to trains in a tunnel when it's against a wall?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts from you! Thanks
  2. rfmicro

    rfmicro Member

    There are lots of things you can do. The first is to grab a piece of paper, a pencil and a tape measure. Measure your room dimensions and place them on that sheet of paper. Next decide how best to utilize the space you have that meets your layout design requirements. Will the layout be mounted on the wall in a shelf design, stand free-form on saw horses or 4' X 8' table(s) with existing legs ? Perhaps you might need to incorporate parts from all three to some degree.

    The maximum reach of a person is about two feet, or so. So anything larger/wider needs access from both sides. IF you plan to have others run trains on your layout then you need to accommodate sufficient walk-a-round space (read real estate) so they canj move freely. Multi-level layout designs will take more thought as to how you will transition between levels.

    Other decisions that you will need to make are the height of the layout as some folks prefer looking at the layout standing up and at eye level. Many select 48" as the compromise solution. Will this be a permanently fixed layout, mobile (castors) or some of each. The track layout will also be a major factor in your layout design. Do you have an idea on what kind of buildings, scenery, homes, or industry you will use and where.

    The insulation material will be adequate to absorb any track noise over running the layout on plywood alone. A second or third 4' X 8' insulation boasrd can be used for scenery, mountains, lakes, streams, and so forth.

    I am being long winded here. NRMA has a web-site for RR newcomers and they are quited thorough.

    Good Luck,
  3. R. MARTIN

    R. MARTIN Member

    Eddie, I think that before you rush in you should research model railroading. This is a very big hobby that can be entered and enjoyed at a lot of levels. Much of what is out in the marketplace I refer to as simple "electric training". At this level there is very little consideration to the true modeling end of the hobby. Just simplistic replicas that travel in a circle. At the higher end of this food chain is detailed modeling in hopes of creating detailed, exact models. Prices increase with quality. Time increases with detail. O scale is great for really getting detailed results. Good Luck to you.
  4. rfmicro

    rfmicro Member

    Getting back to your original questions.......

    Yes, using plywood for your layout is more than adequate. half-inch Birch/Maple plywood is used by those interested in lowering weight of the module/layout. 3/4" plywood is most common usually becasue someone saw it on another layout. If you will have more than one layout module or you desire to expand your layout, then the use of levelers should be considered on the bottom of the legs to insure a height match. Usually an inch or more travel of the leveler is more than adequate depending on the flooring type. Some folks have used 2" x 2" upto 2" x 4" lumber for legs. Your should insure the wood is true (no bends).

    The placement of mountains is a layout design function. Some folks will place such scenery on an outward edge of the layout keeping the side of the mountain open for access. This is especially relevant for Helix designs. If you have a derailment inside a piece of scenery, then you will need some means of access to the cars and perhaps the track. You should always lay and test your track prior to the installation of any scenery that will prevent later access to that area. Bottom line is I would not have any scenery that hides tarck and cars without full acess.

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Re: width

    36" width is about the maximum - and you will probably need to use a stool to reach to the abck, depending on your sleeve size ;) and height. 24" to 30" is a better range for most people, especially if you need to work on the space (scenery, etc) after it is built/installed.

  6. R. MARTIN

    R. MARTIN Member

    You could always consider L-girder construction method. That way you can have a more 3-D effect when planning your scenery.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I model in ho scale, so I never considered this as an alternative for me, but the O scale layout of the Citrus Empire Model Railroad Club that used to be under the grandstands of the race track at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds was way to big to reach the center, let alone reaching across. What that club did was to make all of the highways and roads on the layout into walkways. If there was a problem anywhere on the layout, a member could put a portable step stool up to the bench work and climb on, and walk along the roads to reach any point of the layout. Ho is just too small to use anything like that, but it works in o scale.
  8. eddie

    eddie New Member

    thanks - a question about foam board

    Can I use foam board (blue, home depot) instead of plywood as a table? Anyone try it?
  9. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    I have an O scale layout with tutorials. It is On30 but still Oscale none the less. They are all free and should help. Enjoy :)

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