Returning to Train Modeling

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cogent, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Cogent

    Cogent New Member

    Hello Everyone!

    When I was a child, my two brothers and I built a 4'x8' N-Scale layout. We got about 50% done before we ended up tearing the thing down because of a move. I've always wanted to get back into the hobby but didn't find the motivation to do so.

    Now with three boys, aged 9 months, 2 years, and 4 years, I have found my motivation. They all love trains! :D

    Several weeks ago the whole family went down to our local hobby store and picked up a Bachmann Explorer train set with EZ-Track. This was to be our family train set. I still have the old engines from my youth packed away... somewhere, but until I find them, we needed something.

    So now I am slowly gathering items and materials for a layout. I went to the local lumber store and picked up a scrap piece of 5/8" plywood (30" x 48") for a few dollars. On Monday I picked up some 1"x2" fir boards to make the base more sturdy. I also picked up some extruded foam. Then last night, I measured, cut, glued, and nailed the base together (pictures posted soon).

    Now comes the part that I will be asking all of you for help with. I have to mash all that foam, primer, paint, and material together to make a layout worthy of "playtime" with the boys. Yes, I'm looking at you TrainNut. :) Your post covering your son's little circle set is my inspiration.

    So, this layout is for my boys. It won't be super detailed but should look decent. It needs to be sturdy and easily serviced and repaired. I would like to have a bridge and a tunnel. I am thinking of having a moutain on one corner with water running down it to form a river so I can have a bridge. Obviously, the tunnel would go through this mountain. And inspired from TrainNut, there will be wide roads for plenty of toy cars. :D

    Thanks for your help.

    EDIT: Inserted photo
  2. Cogent

    Cogent New Member

    First question. Is there a recommended primer for extruded foam? I purchased a water based latex primer (the cheapest available).
    I also bought joint compound for plaster since I thought I remembered someone mentioning in as something that works well.
    Lastly, I picked up 1 gallon of some mismatch brown paint at my local "everything" store for $5. I figure it would work well for painting over the primer. Dirt in Western Oregon is dark brown so it should work well.

    Any tips, or links for tutorials, on making extruded foam stone and rock?
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    cogent hi . I found this series of working with foam and I am going to try it when I get that far. Its 9 videos about nine minutes long each. There are many ways of doing it and I am picking up tips from all the good members in here. here is the link on youtube
    thanks Roger
  4. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    you can also make rock walls out of old ceiling tile,as long s ther not asbestos :D .and a good site for tutorials is it has an entire begginers section for this very thing.hope this helps.--josh
  5. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Welcome to the Gauge! Hope you enjoy your stay in this madhouse heresign1 .

    You want a stream from a moutain,a bridge to go over the stream, and a tunnel to go through the moutain? Well, here's my idea: you have the moutain ocupying one corner so you can make a tunnel over a turn part at the corner. You can have the stream go off the dege somewhere else and use a bridge for that. If you can, try expanding to a 4X8, you can fit a good little bit of HO scale on there, so think of how much N scale could be done!
  6. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    Here is a kit from Woodland Scenics that is a powerful motivator (lousy track plan) for a 4 by 8 but you can use it on anything smaller. It has everything you need to build the layout scenically including a mountain, grass, trees, road, etc. Even glue, a great instruction booklet that is many many pages long.

    Once you have this kit, all that will be left to purchase is the structures. I took this from the woodland scenics web site, under the heading of scenery kits:

    Mountain Valley Scenery Kit®
    Brings your train set to life!
    Finish a 4x8-foot layout as shown
    Use our track plan or yours
    Add to your existing layout
    The Mountain Valley Scenery Kit is great for modelers who have their track nailed on a 4x8-foot piece of plywood and would like to add scenery and build a tunnel. It is designed for HO scale, but easily adapts to N and O scales. It includes all materials, instructions and patterns needed to add trees, grass, weeds, rocks, mountains, a tunnel, ballast and more. Over 24 products are included...even paint and glue! Step-by-step instructions make this kit easy. Train set, track, buildings and vehicles not included.
    Price: $84.98

    Check out their web site, the price might look steep but is cheaper than if your purchased everything seperately.
  7. Cogent

    Cogent New Member

    Here is my first photo (added to the original thread as well).


    That is my 2 year old son in the photo. He is currently the most interested in the train. My oldest son just wants to run it as fast as it can go.
  8. Cogent

    Cogent New Member

    I got the Extruded foam glued down tonight. My 2 year old helped. I'll post a photo soon.
  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Hello and welome. You're off to a good start. Yep, latex paint is the stuff to use on foam.You can even mix some real dried dirt into it for texture if you like. Try an experiment on a small piece of scrap foam. Actually you could skip the primer and go directly with the color coat if you want.

Share This Page