What's your problem?!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by csxengineer, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    Attention getting headline!

    Actually, I mean, What is the biggest problem with your layout? (besides time, space or money).

    Is it you don't like your track plan, or theme, derailments, scenery, etc?

    Mine is that I rush on track work, then have too many derailments, especially on switches.
  2. stormfather

    stormfather Member

    Trackwork. I hate laying track. I lose interest when it comes to laying track, its more of a job than a hobby. But once it's done and I can get back to scenery, I'm happy. Right now, I'm putting off trackwork on my new layout. At least it lets me devote tons of time to getting the mountainsides just right...
  3. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Besides lack of space for larger radius curves being a problem, my current 4x8 pike is showing its age and I would love to start something better. The turnouts I initially used were not of very good quality, but replacing them seems silly when the layout itself is not something I'm happy with anymore.
  4. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I hate building benchwork. That's why I've used the same bench (bolted to the walls and has 4 outer supports) for the past 11 years as I've gone through 2 complete rebuilds and am now working on the 3rd. The original bench had 2 outer supports. I added 2 more when I added the extension a few years ago.
  5. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

    Rural scenery. I can do city scenery fairly well but for some reason I just can't get the knack of doing open spaces.

  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    This curve that I've ripped out. It dipped just slightly under my minimum radius, and caused my steel underframe Grandt Line cars to derail. If I add weights to the cars, the wheels will be knocked out of the trucks. It also would cause my 0-4-0t to jump the tracks. Fortunately, my moguls, geese, and wooden freight cars didn't have a problem. It is now being replaced with a curved trestle of a slightly greater radius.
  7. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    access to hidden yard. Not that I cant get to the yard that is easy to do. but the access tracks to it are hard to get to. I can no longer crawl do to a stroke and it is necessary to get at the tracks going to hidden yard. I have had several other modelers look at my delima and it can't be fixed without major rebuild of entire layout. I like it to much to do that. It is my dream layout. And to start over at this time seems stupid, so I live with it. Anyone building a layout or planning one keep this in mind. I didn't plan on having a stroke and becoming disabled, but it happened. Now I wish some things were done differently on my layout.
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Is it possible that you could use an office chair to duck and roll under your layout?

    If nothing else, make friends with some local kids to duck under the layout It's only child labor if you pay them :twisted:
  9. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Office chair wont fit. I live in a rural area and only kid near is next door. He is 16 and he is a red blooded American boy. Do you think he would be interested in an old man and his trains or cars and red blooded American girls?
  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    It was worth the try...perhaps you can hang a bikini team poster there, tell him, and maybe he'll help out while he's there :twisted:

    Is there a chance that you could form a local club, to get operators to help out?
  11. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I have operating sessions and they all said they would help, about 8 guys. Only one has so far. It is not a major concern. I have 2 nephews who can and do help some and I usually don't have any trouble there. If I have a derailment I can grab anyone who happens by to get it for me and that is rare. I was just making the comment that if I were to do it again it would be different.
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I can relate to your last comment. In 2005, I was rushed when I first designed and laid the track for my first layout, which is 4x6. Ever since, I've been solving (fairly successfully) the errors in my track work -- mostly uneven roadbed, especially around switches, or poorly joined flex-track. My layout board is also hopelessly warped and that, of course, causes problems. I'm not sure what can be done now to correct it and I don't have much space for elaborate, heavy-duty benchwork (it's basically a sheet of plywood with a very weak frame under it).

    I just recently started building a very small 3x4 HO layout using 15"R curves. I can still run most of my stock on it. I have one 4-6-0 and one long Pacific that can't cope with the tight curves -- everything else seems to run OK, even my CNR Hudson and my other (shorter) Pacifics.

    At any rate, the 3x4 layout is upstaging the larger one because its trackwork in laid on a very flat surface. I hardly ever have derailments on it. Also, the scenery is looking really good as well. I think my trackwork and scenery skills are much better now than they were in 2005 when I started on the larger layout.

    So my question is: Do I scrap the first layout and expand the newer one? It's a tough decision as I've spent a fair bit of time and money on the first one.

  13. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    As far as the old layout goes, If it is troublesome ,I would scrap it if it were me. I am going to paste a little note I like to send to beginners if I may
    Welcome to the hobby that can be as big or small, High tech or low tech as you want it to be. . The track with plastic ballast attached to it is not interchangeable between manufacturers. Wait I should say I understand it to be that way. I don't use it myself. All other HO track is interchangeable. I have been in this hobby for 50 years + -. But I have been a serious modeler for last 15 years, my sons grew up and left. Then they came back later. In my opinion get a 4x8 sheet of plywood first, build a small simple layout not too much on scenery but do some to learn from it. run it for a while. After about 6 months of running tear it apart and start over making the changes and improvements you have discovered. run it for a while, and do it again. By doing this you will learn what you like and don't like inexpensively and without wasting a lot of what no one has enough of, time. This way when you decide to build a layout you will have some experience and already made many of the mistakes beginners make knowing you are not keeping it.
    back to track. I use all flextrack with a few, very few exceptions. I use code 100 but if I were starting over I would use code 83. also get Peco switches / turnouts. I am slowly replacing all of mine with Peco. Much better quality, little more money but well worth it.Enough for now feel free to PM me any time. Oh yeah find someone who is in the hobby and ask questions and ask for help.I think you will find that most MRRers are good guys.
    When using flex track off set or stagger the joints. I like at least 12 inches between them. this will make you connections smooth and usualy trouble free, there are always exceptions. when you do this you will need to either cut the spikes and cleats off of the ties at the jointor or remove a couple of ties. I would suggest soldering the joints only after you are sure that it is your final layout as it is not much fun to unsolder it.

    I hope this helps you some. Flextrack takes patience. All of track laying takes time and thought to do it correctly.
  14. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Les. These are excellent points. I've generally tried to follow the principal of running trains on a layout before finalizing the main scenery and ballasting.

    Even still, I've run into ongoing problems on this layout because of uneven roadbed/surfaces and the warping problem. (I think the warping might be getting worse -- due to limited space, I often have to store the layout on its side, laying it against a wall, when our basement is needed by visitors. Maybe this worsens the problem?)

    I seem to solve the problems only to have them return later, especially after the layout has been stored away for awhile. Still weighing my options and thinking about this!

    Thanks again.

  15. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Before I say this I must say I never tried it. My nephew loves MRRing. He didn't have room for even a 4x8 layout. I thought of an idea for him but he moved before we got to try it. Get a 4x8 sheet 0f 3/4" plywood. use 2x6 to make a side board around it on the top. It must be solid/sturdy. get some heavy duty hinges mount them to the top of 2x6 on one of the 8' sides. put at least 2 legs on opposite side mounted with hinges so they will fold under the table. Now attach the hinges that are on the side board to a wall. Now you can have table attached to a wall with legs to support it. It can be folde up out of the way when space is needed. any scenery/buildings must be below the top of the sideboards. Like I said I never did this. It was only an Idea. If You don't understand my description, let me know I will try a drawing.
  16. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    My problem? I don't have a tabletop yet. All I can do is a floor layout, which my parents(I'm sixteen, I'll be seventeen on January 21st) see as an obstruction first, and a train line second. :( Once we get the garage cleared and the table knocked together tracklaying will be easy. I use mainly Bachmann E-Z track, although I bought some Atlas 15" radius curves for a carriage siding (The layout's outer radius is 18".)

Share This Page