need help with roads, ect.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by eeyore65, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. eeyore65

    eeyore65 New Member

    I got this HO train set a few weeks ago , last time i had a train was about 25 years ago when i was a kid and i lost interest in that one soon after i got it. That's not going to happen this time !!
    It's called the "City Express" 2 train set made by Life-Like.
    When it arrived i was so excited i went to Home Depot and got a 5/8" x 49" x 97" MDF board ( very heavy ) , first mistake , and took over , or uh , set it up on the dining room table.
    The set comes with grass paper so thats the first thing i put down. Now i have what you call the golf course look. Second mistake.
    Then i layed out the track according to the advertising picture and nailed it to the board , Too noisy. Third mistake.
    Next i got some 3mm thick black foam sheets , made by Woodland Scenics to use as roads. Well when i lay the foam down next to plastic base for the buildings the road is higher than the base. Forth mistake.
    So , what i need to know is what can i do to fix mistakes #'s 2,3 and 4 ? ( I'm going to keep the board ).

    I plan on building a small town with a park in the center inside the small track and a small construction site or something in the remaining area inside the large track.

    P.S. I also need a inexpensive 1940's era fire truck for my fire house , 1/87 scale. Maybe i could get away with 1/64.


    Attached Files:

  2. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi eeore!
    Welcome to the Gauge, & welcome to a really fun hobby!

    It sounds like you're off to a good start with the train set!
    Buyt before you start doing a lot of nailing, cutting, glueing, etc...go to a local hobby shop, or check out some on-line sources, like...
    Look for some how-to books on things loke benchwork, wiring, scenery, etc...
    There are some books with titles like "HO Eailroading - From Set To Scenery", that provide the beginer with an overview of all the aspects of model railroading they need to get something started.

    Good Luck, & keep us posted on your progress!
  3. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Welcome to the Gauge.
    I can suggest a few things for mistakes 2 and 4. Maybe someone can help with three.
    The grass mat is a good base for scenery. Get some Woodlands Sceneics Medium and Course turf material. Spread some white glue down and then spread the turf. Get a couple of shades of green and mix them. Some fine turf would be good for lawns, such as in the park you plan.
    #4 I would take some of that foam sheet you are using for the streets and glue it to the bottom of the base of your structures. This would raise the base to the same height as the road. I do the same thing with cork road bed, to get the structure up to the right height.
    Enjoy! And good luck.
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi and welcome to the gauge, looks like you are off to a flying start, as mentioned above, Walthers is a very good place to find what you want.

  5. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Eeyore,
    Welcome, it looks like your doing good. You realize you want to change things BEFORE you finish it. Most of us finish something then decide it doesn't work. Since you mentioned Home Depot, I would suggest looking into the foam insulation board, I have bought it there. I would use this on top of your board, you can then paint on your roads or carve into the foam and inset the roads you already bought. The foam board will quiet the trains, put the roads on the same level as the buildings, and you can carve impressions such as ditches, rivers etc. into it or stack up more foam and make a mountain. The grass mat will over time, start to fade and shed all over. The foam can be painted with latex paints. Choose some earth colors from the mix matched paints at HD and while the paint is still wet sprinkle some ground foam over it. Steve
  6. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Mistakes? Only 3? HUH!! An Amatuer!! I attained professional status ages ago, and I passed with flying colours with a grade of 100%!!! 100% mistakes I made! Well, not quite, but so numerous, I lost count ages ago.

    Umm.... perhaps, with the building, perhaps rasie them a little, and a bit of realism by putting stumps under them for foundations. DUnno. Maybe use matchsticks, or some sort of square plastic?

    Good luck!:)
  7. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hey Woodie,
    Glad to see/hear/otherwise electronically communicate??/have you back!!:D :D Folks been askin' about you!!
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi eeyore, And welcome aboard...I've been sitting here "cussing a cat" trying to come up with a solution to the noise problem.

    Looks like the problem might be threefold. First part is the board itself, the second is the track which seems to have some kind of built in roadbed that is hollow and the third part is the track nails.

    The board we can do nothing about but I think we can deaden the sound but you are going to have to remove everything and if you want to continue with the grass paper you'll have to get another roll of it. This may be a bit "work intensive":D

    I would just leave the grass paper down. Once its glued its a pain to get up. Get a sheet of that blue styrofoam insulation 3/4-1 inch thick and cut it to fit the board (cover it) and then glue it down with white glue. Now recover it with the new grass paper if you want to continue with that. Its not expensive and your LHS should have it.

    Now its time to put the track back down.....the fun part!:) Don't hammer the track nails thru the foam and into the wood. Use shorter nails if you have to but using pliers dip the nail in white glue and then just push it thru the holes in the track and into the foam. When the glue sets they will hold just fine. You just want to snug the nail head up flush to the track/roadbed...don't force it down tight. Don't want the nails to touch or go into the board. What we are doing is damping the vibrations and keeping them from being amplified by the board and the roadbed.

    To keep those trestles from being "wobbly" coat the bottoms of them with some white glue and then install them just like you did the track. Let everything sit for about 24 hrs before you run the trains. Like the others have said you can shim up the buildings to make the level on the roadways match.....Hope this helped:)
  9. eeyore65

    eeyore65 New Member

    Thanks to all who replied , great ideas. Actually the instructions said to use foam board and i ignored it , i will go get a sheet.
    I have been reading here and there on the net and have learned several advantages to using foam board.
    Vic , i'm glad you brought up the solution on securing the trestles , i forgot to metion that one.
    I think i may go with sand paper for the roads , seveal colors to choose from and easy to apply.

    Thanks again
  10. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Thanks Vic, you said exactly what I was trying to get at. Unfortunately, my hands don't always type what I'm trying to say! Hey Eeyore, for your roads just paint whatever color you want for road color and while the paint is still wet sprinkle some fine sand over it. This method gives a nice texture for a road.

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