What size do you recommend?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by RaymondO, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. RaymondO

    RaymondO New Member

    Greetings all.
    I joined today and am a complete beginner, so any advice would be great.
    I am planning to build a layout roughly 8feet x 4 feet (2440mm x 1220mm approx} Can I do this in two 4 x 4 sections joined and can I join them so they can be dismantled and stored without too much trouble. At the moment I only have a good selection of Fleischmann track and rolling stock. Any tips on controllers etc?
    Manythanks, Raymond :wave:
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    G'day Raymond, and welcome. :) :wave:

    I'd personally go with the whole 4 x 8 in one piece. It ain't that big, really.

    And especially if you landscape etc, and have some yards in the middle. You will have so many gapped tracks (at the join) that it will be a nightmare to align them all up to prevent derailments (and then hook power across to them as well). Some do "modularise" their layout, but usually only have one or two tracks to align at each join, (and connect power) of huge display layouts.

    I'm not a Flysh... Flichs..... Fish... Fliecsh yeah them..... person, so I cannot comment on that bit.

    As for controllers? Depends on if you intend to have one mainline or two, and how many locos you want to control at once, I suppose. But something to think of, is whether you want a rotary speed control, (that goes from fast/forward to fast/reverse at either extreme (much better for switching and working in your yards) or a slide speed control with directional switch, or whether you want your controller fixed in one position, or be able to "hand hold" it as you move around your layout etc.
  3. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    I built a 4x8 in two 4x4 sections years ago for my kids using a 1x4 frame with a plywood and homosote top and was very pleased with my ability to move it and store it. If it may need to be stored, the 4x4 sections are great. Of course today you might well use foam for the top, but that depends upon what you have there.

    As to controllers, I'm afraid that I can't help much since I don't know what is available to you... :)
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Raymond, if you're running Fleischmann HO, it should operate with any standard OO gauge 12V DC power pack. See your local modelshop (there used to be a good one down Leith Walk...)
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Raymond.

    By careful placement of the track and low profile scenery, a 4x8 can easily be made to break down to two 4x4s. Going to any of the many modular layout websites out there will guide you in the basics on alignment, carpentry and wiring.

    Try these guys for starters >>> http://www.fcsme.org/
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Going with 2 4x4 layouts to save storage space is not difficult. You just need to be careful in designing your layout so that you don't have a lot of tracks crossing the joint. If you make an oval with spurs for switching, make sure none of the spurs cross the joint.
  7. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    I am going to have to agree that 2 4x4's is the way to go. After building a 4x8 slotcar setup this summer for a diversion,i'll say that it would be a bulky bugger to store had i not built it in a shed and hinged to foldup against a wall.
    Keep the 4x4's light by using foam anywhere you can get away with it. Woodland scenics has a very lightweight system that eliminates alot of hassles figuring out grades etc.Terrain for trains they call it. If i were building portable,its the way i would go for sure!!
    Fortunately i am building a permanent layout set in a spare bedroom in a house i'll likely die in barring tragedy ;)
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I posted this at another thread on the gauge, but one of the other members of the modular club I belong to brought a portable time saver layout to one of the meetings for anyone to play with who wanted to try some switching. It was made with 4x4s for the perimiter framing, and 1x2s for cross members every 12 inches or so. He used a luan door skin for the top, and laid the roadbed and track right on the luan without any other support. With the cross members at 12 inch centers the luan is extremely stiff and at the same time very light weight for transport.
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Is there any possibility that you'll be moving the layout? Either changing houses or going to shows? 4x4 is a large size for carrying down steps and is large for putting in most cars. (maybe you have a truck or lorry available...) 2x4 is a carryable size and convenient for working on.
  10. Alan B

    Alan B Member

    If you have room for a 4x8 you have at least an 8' x 10' space. This is perfect for an around the walls type. See http://www.wwvrailway.com/

    You can build in two foot wide sections that vary from two to four feet in length. These are easy to move and store.
  11. RaymondO

    RaymondO New Member

    Many thanks to all who replied to my question on an 8' v 4' layout for N gauge.

    Great bunch.

    Roll on!

  12. JeffGerow

    JeffGerow Member

    You may want to consider using your 4x8' board in two 4x4' pieces as the "ends" (or "blobs" as John Armstrong called them) -- the curved circles that turn the trains around. Then you could connect them with some around the wall track on a much smaller shelf which would extend the distance the trains must travel "between stops" -- or just set it up to expand the "center" at a future date.
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    And Happy Birthday!

Share This Page