Hi all!! I'm new here and a total noob.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by cboath, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. cboath

    cboath New Member

    I just picked up my first engine last night and some track. I am really itching to start building my scenery and stuff. I just have some questions. I went back and looked in some threads people starte about being new and where to start, but couldn't find what I needed. I don't even know what to search for with the search tool.

    My questions(for now) are:

    1. What is the best way to fasten the corkboard to the plywood?
    2. What is the best way to fasten the track to the corkboard?
    3. What do the numbers mean when you see # - # - #?
    4. How do you manage turns with the corkboard?

    Links to previous threads would be great.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Hey, cboath, and welcome.
    Here are (some) answers:
    1. white glue, temporarily held in place with pins, works surprisingly well
    2. ditto
    3. I have no idea
    4. It's flexible - no worries

    Also, I would not presume the use of plywood. The pink (sometimes blue) sheets of extruded foam (insulation board) that you can get at a home center works great. It comes in 4'x8' sheets in a variety of thicknesses. It's light, and it is dimensionally stable under conditions of changing humidity, which is important because so is your track.

    Take the time to figure out how to use the search tool. It is your friend! :) Have fun!!
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi cboath,

    Welcome to The Gauge...!

    There are a number of long running threads about starting (and continuing) a layout. Most though start with a track plan. Do you have one or want one? I am guessing that you maybe have a trainset and are looking to get an oval (or whatever) up and running?

    Here are some answers to your questions:

    1) The cork strips are sometimes referred to as "roadbed". The shape and bevelled edge profile are supposed to model the prototype practice of maintaining the ballast (gravel) that the ties and rails are carried on.

    I use latex caulking to glue it down. Spread a very thin layer, and pin the cork in place with mamp pins until it is dry (few hours). Others use white or yellow glue. The yellow is waterproof when dry, so it is immune to water based scenery techniques.

    2) Again latex caulk for me. Some people nail it down through the little provided (or drilled). Be careful when doing this that you don't drive the nails too far and bend the ties out of shape. Drive the nail only until it just touches the tie.

    3) The numbers, like 4-6-2, are the Whyte method of classifying steam locomotives. The first number is the number of wheels on the lead or pilot truck, the second is the number of driving wheels, and the last is the number on the trailing truck. Steam locomotives also have names which can vary somewhat by railroad, and also railroad specific classifications, like "J-2".

    A 4-6-2 by the way is often called a "Pacific".

    4) The cork comes in strips that are cut most of the way through. The two halves should be separated and then placed so the vertical edges meet, and the bevels slope down to the outside. The easiest way to install the cork is to draw the centreline of the track, and then affix one half of the cork with the vertical edge against the line. Once it is set, the other half can be placed by butting it up against the first.

    To make curves, the cork is flexible enough to simply be bent around - again do half at a time. To do turnouts/switches, you will need to get out an Xacto knife or boxcutter and cut the cork to fit.

    Hope that helps!

  4. cboath

    cboath New Member

    That helps a TON. Thanks for the replies. And your link to "The Academy" is also what I was lookin for. Somehow I missed that on the main page.
  5. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Hi I'm new too, and let me tell you .. these folks here at the gauge are awesome!!! They have an incredible collective knowledge and they help you avoid most if not all of the common noob pitfalls :).

    I've setup a small layout, and i want to be able to move my track design around so i haven't glued my cork down to the roadbed yet. I've opted to use #17x5/8 inch wire nails to fasten the cork to the foam. Then i use atlas rail spikes to fasten the track to the cork.

    this image:

    ans this image:
    Show what i mean.

    I also would suggest you use this software to help you out designing your first layout:

    It is easy to use (not uber powerful but easy :).) and will help you get an understanding of what resources you need before you get started. It is allot of work to lay down track the right way only to find out it won't connect, hahahaha.

    The foam baord can be had at most home depot or lowes for about 8$ per sheet for 1" and 12$ per sheet for 2" thick pieces. Use liquid "nails project" to secure it to the plywood if you want to, if you want to secure foam board to foambaord use a polyurathane based adhesive usually in the paint isles.

    The other suggestion i would have for you is take a look for the track maintenance threads, and the wiring threads. They will help you understand how to design your layout and your work area for hours of easy trouble free run time.

    I read what i just wrote and it may sound like i've been doing this a while, i haven't i've been model rr'ing for about 6 weeks now. I've been lurking and reading posts on the board every day and night for those 6 weeks (i even got them to get it through the web filter at work). Learn the thread search tool. It will help when you want an instant answer ... and that will invariablybe needed when the glue you just put down is still wet and you need the answer to reposition whatever you are doing :). hahahaha.

    Here are some threads i find usefull to bookmark:

    Then there is the nrma site:

    Lots of info, i'm a bit of a geek tooth1 i admit it, but it has helped me to use the forum to create my setup i have pictured on my family photo gallery: http://www.skyersfamily.com/gallery/v/Trains
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    cboath...you left out the most important details ;-)...

    What type of locomotive?

    Also, what type of track and how much of it?
    examples: Atlas code 83 flex track vs. Bachmann EZ-track.

    What type of scenery are you interested in...Nebraska, Colorado, or Arizona...flat or rocky...trees or no trees?

    A little bit more about the #-#-#...
    generally speaking, locomotives that are 0-x-x are used for switching...2-x-x are for freight...and 4-x-x are for passengers. Andrew mention a 4-6-2, which was a very popular passenger locomotive from 1910-1950...especially from world war I through the great depression. Other popular passenger locomotives were 4-6-0s (ten wheelers), 4-4-0s (americans), 4-6-4s (hudsons), and 4-8-4s(northerns). The freight counterpart to the pacific was the 2-8-2 mikado. It also had a similar period of popularity. Other examples of classic freight engines: 2-8-0s (consolidation...most numerous type of locomotives), 2-8-4s (berkshires), 2-10-2s (santa fe), 2-10-4s (texas), and articulates such as 2-8-8-2s, 2-6-6-2s, (mallets) and 2-6-6-6s (Allghanies) & 2-8-8-4s (Yellowstones). The only common switch engines were: 0-6-0 & 0-8-0.

    Some engines were dual services such as many 4-6-0s, 2-8-0s, 4-4-0s, 4-6-6-4s, and 4-8-2s.

    The early deseils for pulling passengers were EMD E-units and their competitor Alco PAs. For mainline freight, the EMDs F-units were very popular. These were mainline engines. Alco RS (road switchers) and EMD GPs (general purpose or jeeps) were multi role desiels that handled mainline, branchline, and switching roles. EMD SDs were also popular heavy freight engines...they were (and are) 12 axle GPs.

    Most modern desiels are EMD (electro-motor-division of GM) or GE. Dash 8 and SD-90 are modern designs. The modern passenger desiels as AMD-103s.

    2-8-0 = RS or GP. 4-6-4/4-6-2 = E or PA. 0-6-0/0-8-0 = SW. 2-8-8-2 = SD. 2-8-4/2-8-2/2-10-2/2-10-4 = F or GP or SD
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The other use of #'s in railroading is to designate the size of the frog in a switch which determines how big or small the radius of the diverging track will be in a switch. The bigger the number the more gentle the curve.
  8. cboath

    cboath New Member

    I am using the Atlas code 83 flex track. The hobby shop I went to had a "starter Kit" that was just the track. I have that and an engine and a power supply. The engine is an Atlas DCC ready Santa Fe look alike. I really want to do the DCC stuff eventually.

    I am thinking Colorado for now. I have been there twiced and loved it. So I guess rocky and am looking forward to making rivers with rapids and stuff, and REALLY looking forward to building bridges and stuff.
  9. hey nkp you forgot the biggest steam engine of them all, the 4-8-8-4 Union Pacific Big Boy!

    Mine in a turn (HO gauge):

    A real one in transit, see humans for size comparison:

    And a full-length shot of an HO gauge one (NOT mine, mine is custom detailed and weathered):
  10. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    What is a noob?
  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    its "leet speak" for being new at something.

    there are 2 uses.

    in reality, its supposed to be some one who is really bad at an online video game but doesn't want to admit it (for example a noob might demand (often in a snotty tone) a powerful weapon, but has no idea how to use it and gets killed by something weaker). its really supposed to be a kind of an insult in most cases

    the other word for noob is Newb, which is probably more appropriate here for it is just someone who is just new, and is trying to learn the tricks of the trade, in which there is nothing wrong with being.

    most people say just noob, so its interchanged

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