newbie's first 8x4 layout. suggestions?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by unnamed, May 22, 2005.

  1. unnamed

    unnamed New Member

    Well off we go. I started laying down some basic ballast and terrain (needs major finetuning) but for right now i need to get the base cover to stick so i can add details without the whole thing shifting. Like layers of paint pretty much. Anyhow, the hinges will be covered with buildings, so will the wires, i will have 2 loops, one for the ascend another for the decend (out of view to the right) and i might put some towns in them or something. That is the least of my concerns.

    I've simplified the depot by removing the sidings (i don't ming reversing) and also have eliminated the station siding (it will simply stay on the main line). I've also located the perfect modern platform to put on it but that is later.

    I think i will do it section at a time starting left and moving on. It will still be predominantly desert like as i want to cut down on the scenery else i'll never finish it.

    I am moving in a month so then i will mount the whole base somewhere for good. Right now i have to open the hinges and slide the pieces apart and it is ready for travel.

    Train makes it up the hill with the traction tires removed (why on earth would i keep those) just fine. I'll eventually get an amtrak service running and simulate some southwestern line. DMU is there for novely purposes because i like this particular model [​IMG]

    This is addicting!

  2. unnamed

    unnamed New Member

    I've been somewhat busy :D


    now that i've moved i can actually ground it. Where all the clutter of tools is, will be the mountain + some more rail.

    I figured i would do the basic scenery first and then ballast it... works better i would say.

    no, the light colored grass is not show through wood..
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Some constructive advice:

    -Those tracks are pretty close to the edge. Not too safe. :D
    -Does that loop on the elevated line have a level crossing? Why would a railroad build something like that? Why not use the loop to drop to table level, then climb back up?
    -Everything looks too regular. All the straight tracks parallel the table edges.

    All isn't gloom. Your likely move may have prevented you from making a really bad mistake. You said "if i wasn't moving in 2 months i wouldn't even be going through this and would simply ground it on a nice 200lbs piece of 3" wood." Nobody does that. You can get a solid structure with less weight and expense by using other boards to frame and brace the sheets. In fact, if you know how to build the required track supports and scenery, the sheet becomes unnecessary.
  4. unnamed

    unnamed New Member

    tried to maximize running area.. the carpet is soft :oops: i haven't gotten a derrailment under normal conditions yet though.

    the left is the climb loop (which i just redid to compensate for joint separation :( ). the right one is not in place yet but it has been mapped out. it might merge with the mountain

    yep. i wanted a med to high speed route for shinkansen and the likes.

    well i've looked at foam but decided against it. when i was picking the wood at home depot i saw some really nice pieces but they weighted too much to be feasible.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I don't follow. Why do high-speed trains need such a rigid-looking route? Broader curves on the corners, probably, with easements, and there's no reason for all the straights to parallel the edges. It looks toylike.
    What I was trying to say is: You shouldn't build a layout on just a flat sheet of wood. At least frame and brace it - important in your case, because you have to move the layout so it must be sturdy. More advanced layout builders don't use the sheet at all - just the frame. But I'm not the best carpenter to tell you this. Read a book on model railroad benchwork.
  6. unnamed

    unnamed New Member

    It is not big enough for decent curves. Personally i find the curves toy like, like a little ready to run set you snap up. Once it is complete, the straightways will not be as apparent as they are now.

    Besides, i had to push them to the corners to make room for the loops and depot (which can be expanded).

    I do not have the locale to create a frame or any elaborate wood work. It is flat and that is what really is important. I will not move in the near future so i might add some more more edge details but it is unlikely. :)
  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Why is being flat important? (Elsewhere than under the track, that is.) I can understand acceptable, but important?
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Triplex,In my case I have no need for hills or grades.. :eek: You see I prefer urban switching or industrial switching layouts so flat is very important in some cases for those of us that prefer switching layouts... :D
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Well, since it appears he does want elevations...
  10. unnamed

    unnamed New Member

    but not on the track. hence the viaducts. any elevations will be simply scenery. speaking of which, i bought some supplies so i can proceed with the ballasting tonight.
  11. zedob

    zedob Member

    I agree with Triplex (nice handle, BTW) on support. Plywood by itself is asking for it. Temporary or not, unless it's supported by a table that's just a tad bit smaller than the plywood.

    In your case I can see using a flat sheet, especially if you are testing out plans. If you are planning on using those risers, a flat surface is easier to work with.

    You know, if you want to go flat and light and are planning to move, this would be a perfect use for two hollow core acordian doors. They'd be plenty strong enough and cheap for "insta-bench".

    If you leave them hinged together, with the hidges on the bottom. Use short insert tracks at the joint to join the opposing mainline. When you need to move it, you remove the short joiner track, tell your buddy you'll buy him a beer, fold it down and walk out the door. Dum DEE Do...:cool:

    You'd need to add a shim to act as a stop, so the doors would open up to flat and not any farther. Add a few bolt latches to lock it in place when it is at flat. Place it on a couple of sawhorses and you'd be good to go.

    Good thing is, if ya brush up against a door jamb, you'll only take out one half of the layout as opposed to the whole thing if it is left on a big sheet, :eek: .

    The only problem I see is the length (80").
  12. unnamed

    unnamed New Member

    the 3/4 is thick enough to stand by itself while still not weighting close to a hummer. It has no reason to fail.... if this fails, then the roof of every house in the country must too.

    it is on a table.

    it has supports on the bottom now. at multiple locations.

    i am not testing a layout, everything is nailed down so far. this is final.

    no way you can really get all the joints together with an acordion style base. you can use modules (foam) with ez track nicely, but i do not want this type of track, nor do i want foam.

    this is not a show layout. this is not a club layout. the only rules i have to abide by are that the trains run and don't crash.

    i moved already so no more need to disassemble it. i shot my friends favors with the furniture [​IMG] at least for a year. nothing beats hauling stuff for 8 hours in 95 degree heat with 92% humidity.

    i actually do have joiner tracks and custom grinded pieces of track (for when convential sizes were either too short or long by a hair). even if the entire layout is to separate by some force, only a few 2" rails will need to be replaced. [​IMG] aka the mainline is shielded from base separation issues, which are near impossible at this point.

    i just finished the viaducts. the up and down loops work flawlessly and they are not even levied properly yet. i am waiting on a few more girders from tower since all the LHSs only stock 2 units at any given time [​IMG] .

    my tester kato climbs it with no traction tires without slipping. hasn't derrailed yet.

    yes i will have a lake/pond, station, town and some hills. i can add 2 additional train depot lines if the need arises and if i go DCC (which i certainly want to do).

    now i need to read up on plaster so i can play with it this coming weekend (or earlier if i have time).

  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    i pesonaly would have use viaduct like Micro engineering's. they look way more realistic. i'm not sure if they make N scale though. you should add som sort of bottom to the track so it doen't look like floating ties and rail.
  14. zedob

    zedob Member

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