WS Grand Valley Set

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jers2709, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    I'm currently stationed in Guam and don't have a lot of space for building a layout (plus shipping it back to the states). I was wondering if anyone has built Grand Valley and what the thought of it.


  2. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

    I don't know of anyone but those kits look like the have the potential to become a huge mess. I guess if you're not in a hurry and you pay attention, it will probably turn out fine.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I've used the Subterrain risers on an N scale layout, and they're easy to work with. But in looking at these kits, I don't know. This is just my opinion, but I think they're awfully pricey for what you get. Yes, the foam subterrain is cool, and no carpentry required, but really - $500 for some foam and WS scenery products?

    When it comes time to ship it home, will you be able to take it intact? 4x8 seems awfully large to be shipping... and I don't think the foam will be robust enough to stand moving.

    I don't know what material's available to you locally in Guam, so maybe you'll need to go this route, but I'd look at doing it the old-fashioned way with wooden benchwork.

    My final thought is that the track plans for these WS layouts are kind of lame as well... you can do better on your own, with a little effort and a lot less money.
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    How do you figure they're going to be any messier than an ordinary layout?
  5. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    I'm looking for something simple just to use my trains, right now I have a shelf full of Amtrak, NJ Transit and Conrail collecting dust. If I don't build a layout here in Guam, I was thinking I should start building/weathering buildings and rolling stock. Maybe start building the Conrail Office Car Special using M R Snell's instructions.

  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I'm not knocking the idea of your building a layout... I think it's a great idea. I'm just not sure the WS kits are the way to go - especially in your situation.

    If you've got room for a 4x8, maybe if you built 2 4x4 modules you could bolt together and take apart - or 4 2x4 modules? Then when it comes time to ship it home, you can break it down without breaking it up... which is what I think will happen if you try to take the WS foam layout apart.
  7. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    I still have 2 years left out here and a layout would kill some time, but I don't want to waste time and material on something I'll probally not be able to take with me. Thats why I was leading towards the WS but still open to getting set up for the big layout.
  8. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

    Logistic wise, and getiing it straight.
  9. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    I built the N scale learning set, and its difficult if you don't have all the WS tools.
  10. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    I think I'm going to start working on the buildings and rolling stock for my stateside layout. $500 is alot to be investing in a 4x8 that would most likely stay in Guam. Thanks for everyone's input.
  11. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

    You're between a rock and a hard place, but two years is alot of time to plan. If there isn't much to spend your money on in Guam, think of everything you can accomplish when you get back. I know military contract shipping. Best to build something that can be crated up.
  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    To scratch the building/running itch, what about a shelf layout? If you've got room for a 4x8, you've surely got room for an 8' shelf, or 2 2x4' modules. Those would be easy to crate up for shipping home. And it wouldn't tie up a lot of your sheckels the way the GV set would.

    Just a thought.
  13. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    I wouldn't mind doing a shelf layout, I'm still trying to learn the prototype operating right now. I have the good old oval of EZ track that came with my Amtrak set I got off of Ebay for running right now, I'm just torn with building a layout now, or try to build up some stuff now for a basement lay out when I get back. The joys of moving every 2 years.
  14. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    That's what happens when you use the lowest bidder
  15. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    The wife gave the approval for a 2x4 diorama. The only condition is that she gets to make the trees. Not a bad compromise.
  16. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    I may be a little late. Served many years and many moves myself - 2 of them were overseas to Alaska. 4x8s are trouble to move, the overseas crates are not quite 8ft on the inside.

    However, on one of my moves, the spare bedroom was just too small to fit a 4x8. I ended up cutting the layout down to 4x6ft to fit the room. When it came time to move, I ran out of time to crate it myself. The mover suggested using a mattress carton split to accommodate the width. Worked like a champ! Twin mattress carton has inside dimensions of 39" x 75" x 8". Two cartons with a side cut out and taped together (one partially inside the other) can take a 48" or more width. Two more taped togther can increase space to 16" thickness, and provide pretty good protection, especially if your scenery is higher than the track. A 4x6 gives room for a small layout with a continuous run, and will fit in just about all bedrooms.

    just my experiences
  17. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Do a search for micro layouts. Try this addy first -

    When I was in an apartment, I built a 14"x5' Timesaver switching layout as a place to run trains, but mostly as an opportunity to learn/practice hand-laying track and some new-to-me scenery techniques. I could work on the floor in the living room while my wife sewed or scrapbooked and watched television (she's the real multi-tasker in the family!) so it was a nice way to model without holing up in the basement (which was storage, more than usable modeling space).

    I found a 2'x2' 'project board' (precut plywood) that's 3/4" thick, I think, and framed the back and part of the sides with 1"x2" from the cull bin at Home Depot, then painted on several layers of acrylic varnish to smooth the surface. This became an excellent portable workbench for small projects. Tony Koester wrote in an MR once about the 4 square foot rule - regardless of the size of your workspace, only 4 square feet will actually be usable for the hands-on modeling. The rest just becomes storage and clutter, inevitably. SO I limited myself to that space to begin with and it's been quite useful ever since.

    What scale are you modeling in?
  18. Jers2709

    Jers2709 New Member

    Modeling in modern era HO

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