New Modeller - Oh Oh !!!

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cheetah20, May 15, 2007.

  1. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Newbee be gentle...
    I mean REALLLLLLLL new......

    Wanted to say hello from Western Canada as I embark in the model train world........but a lil scared to get started.

    Been reading books, on the net and forums...
    collecting and saving ideas and pictures....YES...."N" scale all the way!!

    my thoughts/ideas are..... (with a space approx. 3' x 8')
    -country-side scene with the typical mountains in the background and some water...maybe a stream going thru it.
    -adding trees, billboards, animals....
    (all interchangeable as the season changes)
    -a play field I can also change.....from football, to baseball and hockey
    **I would change enough on the area to accomodate the 'season'
    ...the moment !!!!!

    ~~I'm sure this may change a lil as I get more ideas.

    BUT to decide on a designed track is my first step...would help..........

    do most people add the styrofoam to the plywood?
    Does this work better?

    you'll probably see alot of questions by me..
    hopefully not to embarassing for me or painful for you.

    Baby Steps Bill !!!!
    thanx for far !!:mrgreen:
  2. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Welcome! Nscale is great and gives you some options due to its size and amount of "stuff" you can fit on the layout within a relatively small layout area. Just in Vancuver last week - what a great city.

    You may want to buy a book or two on nscale track plans (or check them out on line) and decide on a general shape idea that might fit your desire or that you can modify to suit your needs. There were some great threads on track planning on this site (I hope the links still work during this server changeover). Search for them and check them out as there were some great ideas/tips/knowledge offered by many members.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi Cheetah.
    Changing the seasons is an appropriate idea. With the styrofoam it will be a lot easier than it would with plaster. Remember that you don't have to change from a summer to winter version of the same scene, as long as the footprint matches.
    Support for styrofoam layouts is still in the experimental stages. Some people like a solid plywood base under it; others like the lightness of no wood. I built a 4x8 for my wife's Lionel layout using 2" foam with wood supports every 16". You need some way to make the styrofoam stay straight. In N there shouldn't be any problems with the foam not supporting the trains.
    I did one layout where I used Homasote as a track bed and hung the scenery from that.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

  5. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Hey guys....(Herc Driver and 60103) ...thanx for the welcome and help.
    You too 'grewsome' and your layouts....
    thats me a better idea (3' x 8')

    I'm sure we'll see you again on here.........
    I KNOW you'll see me

    last note..... (for now that is)
    what should I purchase after I get my plywood(layout)?
    -(flex) tracks 9mm ??
  6. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    one other note guys.....on my size available to me ....
    I have 24" max on the left going across 8' in length with the right side having 40" max ...can we work with this?
    ( hear the max bend in a N scale track is 22"-will this work on the left? )
  7. berraf

    berraf Member

    Welcome to the forum and welcome to the wonderful world of model railroading :)
    You have something really awesome ahead: planning for your layout!
    Wish you all the best :)
  8. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Hi Cheeta20

    Welcome to one of the best forums you'll ever be on!

    I suggest you download a layout design software program, Xtrack Cad for example, as these will help you immediately see what fits and what doesn't.

    I love the idea of you changing scenes! As a matter of interest some people buy rollingstock for two eras. They then build scenes that have odds and ends that can be added or removed- a bridge for instance- depending on the era they are busy operating in.

    Enjoy the your stay with the Gauge.
  9. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member


    Although smaller radius curves exist, many people like to use at least 11 inch radius track (when using sectional track that is) which will fit in the 24 inch space you have on the left side of the area you have.

    I would be a little more concerned about the 40 inch width on the right side of the space-- might be a bit difficult to reach over if it can only be accessed from one side. Reaching into the center from either side would be OK. You can get a 19 inch radius curve in there-- HO Scale sized!

    My only other advice to you is never forget Rule #1: It's Your Railroad.

  10. woodone

    woodone Member

    Welcome to the Gauge- YES! we have a new N gauger:-D . You will find many friends and lots of good ideas here on the Gauge. Hope to see some photos of your layout.
  11. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Not sure what you mean..I'm lost .....:cry:
    I was told that a N scale track (9mm)..has a maximum radius curve (bend) at one end of 22" ......
    as far as the right side of my 40" ..or so...why the concern there IF I have roomat the left side?
    sorry...New guy remember?
  12. joesho

    joesho Member

    hi cheetah,were abouts do you live??i live in surrey,im an HOer, but thinking of converting to N scale. welcome!
  13. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    looking for a locomotion.....diesel or engine?? what to choose?
    want an old fashion-like loco (Wild Wild West) not sure what its
    also..thinking of going in bells n whistles...ok lights!!
    NOT too expensive.......
    Any help would be great.....
  14. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Hey buds....
    on the island - Victoria !!!!
  15. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    Now I'm a little lost by someone telling you that N Scale has a maximum bend of 22 inches. That's simply not true.

    There are several different ways to make curves with track. There is sectional track-- pieces that are put together. There is also flexible track which can be curved to any size you'd like (within reason). And then there's handlaying... no, let's not go there just yet.

    I'll stick with the sectional track. There are several brands: Atlas, Kato, Bachmann and Life-Like.

    Atlas has been around the longest and is just the track, it does not come with the pre-formed simulated roadbed. They offer three different radius sizes: 9 3/4 inch, 11 inch and 19 inch.

    Kato Unitrack has the simulated roadbed included-- it's part of the "piece of track". I don't use it so I'm not as familiar with it but I know that there are several different radius sizes available, several of which are more than 11 inches.

    Bachmann ("EZ-Track") and Life-Like ("Power-Loc") have similar, less expensive types of integrated track and roadbed but there is not as much variety as with Kato and neither is generally considered to be as good. I believe that Bachmann only goes up to 11 inch radius so perhaps you are being "limited" to that brand by whoever is telling you only that size is available in N Scale.

    I hope I didn't confuse things even more.

    My comment about the 40 inch side of the layout was not how large a curve you could fit in, but whether you, the modeler, could physically reach over that large of a space. Generally speaking, you try to limit the amount that you can reach over safely. This number doesn't change regardless of the scale because we're talking about real inches here. For example, I can comfortably reach into a layout about 28 to 30 inches. Anything more than that and I risk damaging something on the layout by leaning (or falling) into it.

    None of this is an issue at all if you can reach the 40 inch side of the layout from either the front or the back:

    open space
    40 inches wide |
    open space

    Does that make sense? I'm not sure how else to explain it other than to say that you need to be able to reach any part of your layout.
  16. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    That too I am deciding how to put up the board for access as I add stuff...NOT concerned about either end...I will get to it!

    The 22 " max was for the flex track to bend at one end..make sense?
  17. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    "umtrr-author" - heres the size of what I am talking about
    Left side depth (24")..Width of whole board (96"+)...Right side depth (40")
    = front will be angled, of course
  18. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    I'm not sure what your 22" max reference is saying. Flex track by definition is just that. It has an almost infinite number of radii for your curve. Imagine just nudging the tip of a fishing rod. That is way more than a 22" radius. You can shape a 30" section of flex track into a curve as small as about 6" but you will not run too many trains on it. The person that you are getting your information from "might" be saying that to make your trains LOOK GOOD many N-scalers suggest that a 22" radius curve is what they use as a minimum on their layouts. I use that as my standard and deviate where necessary down to a 15" radius in a couple of locations.
  19. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    oooh ok thanx "davidstrains" slowly getting it lol
  20. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    cheetah---George's post above is right on with info about sectional track. What you might want to do is visit a hobby store and take a look at the tracks that we are talking about. Then see if they have a book on basic trackwork or track plans. You will find much information in there on the kinds of track and what you can do with them.

    And you will find a lot if information here on the Gauge also. Here is a photo of my yard, it is all flex track except for the turnouts. Most of the radii into the turnouts are more than 22".

    Attached Files:

Share This Page