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grimd0rkNess

Grim’s First Layout - build

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grimd0rkNess

Work is now started!

 

Not sure whether to continue in this thread or switch over to the building forum. 

 

I expanded the base layout with a crossover. I really want to use that secondary piece somehow, but I'm not sure how to incorporate it into the larger layout. Right now, I'm working on figuring out how I'm going to wire everything. I want to leave it largely unattached to the foam base, so that I can build expansion pieces on as I go, but on the other hand, I've got a 4 year old who is very interested in being involved in the process and so I need to figure out how to keep wiring and track under control. 

 

 

Sorry for rambling, I just wanted to provide an update.

 

Brian

layout progress.jpg

 

Moderator Note — the layout planning thread for this layout is here

jeff

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grimd0rkNess

Here is phase 1.5 I guess. I'm mostly set on my track plan, although I definitely want to add a turnout (and possibly eventually a yard) for storing trains that aren't running.

 

I'm kind of stuck, though, in terms of next steps. I know that I want the outer loop area on the front part of the image to be heavily urbanized, but other than buying buildings I don't really know how to achieve that. I also have no idea what I want to do with the rest of the layout. I'd love to get a tram going somewhere in there, because I really want that chicken ramen tram, but I don't know where it would go. 

 

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, since I've never done this before and I'm not even sure how to proceed. 

 

Brian

IMG_1475.JPG

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bill937ca

I'd be careful about going that close to the end. You want to run trains, not have them crash to the floor.

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Kiha66

Perhaps the kato Diotown road plates and structures would work?  I've been using them for my temporary setup and they've worked great.  

photo4970255937730357244.jpg.b7a3acaf5b2762dc3fbfe9a014452857.thumb.jpg.fdd277217aad3c0f988256392a5983f2.jpg

The station plates dont have a lot of buildings, but the other ones are a lot more densely packed.  I'll be getting more as time and money allow.

 

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chadbag
1 hour ago, bill937ca said:

I'd be careful about going that close to the end. You want to run trains, not have them crash to the floor.

 

Yeah, stick up some low barriers if you want to keep the track that close to the edge.  Even if you move it in some, a derailment can still put you on the floor unless you have a barrier or a large buffer zone.   I bought some of the acrylic plate stuff from Home Depot or Lowes and had it cut to 3 or 4 inches high and have it up against my foam bed.

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grimd0rkNess

That's a really good point about the acrylic plate. I'll 100% get some of that

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chadbag
3 hours ago, grimd0rkNess said:

That's a really good point about the acrylic plate. I'll 100% get some of that

 

I don't know what your table is exactly but this is how I did it.  I have a frame with blue foam sheet on it.  (I put a green table cloth on to cover the foam).  My layout is 4x8 so I used 2 foot long sections of acrylic about 3" high.  I drilled two holes for each piece (at a regular distance) in the frame and put pieces of dowel in.  I then slide the acrylic in between the foam and the dowel.  I can easily remove the acrylic as needed to adjust wiring, put something back on the track, take pictures, etc.

 

I also used chipboard to make a backdrop and used the same holes with pieces of dowel to hold that up so that I can have a backdrop board instead of the acrylic sheets if I want.

 

IMG_1051.thumb.jpg.165ac6ad3a48067cb5f29728f891b42e.jpg

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grimd0rkNess

I've been working away on general scenery stuff while I wait for some buildings to come in and I've stumbled on a couple of questions. What do you all use to glue the extruded foam insulation? Do you paint the foam directly or put a layer of something on before you get there? What do you use to attach track to foam? I'm getting close to the point where I want to start attaching the track so I can ballast and I figured that that would be the first step.

 

Edit: What is the general n scale dimensions of roads in Japanese layouts? What I mean is, if I'm trying to plan a neighborhood, how many cm should I leave to become roads between blocks?

Edited by grimd0rkNess

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cteno4

Brian,

 

the extruded polystryene foam can be glued with a thick foam glue you can get at builders supply stores. It’s like a caulk consistency and I’ve only seen in in the big caulking gun tubes. It’s made to glue the foam insulation boards to cement, wood, Sheetrock, whatever inside walls. Cures over night, bit messy sticky stuff. It does not spread well even with a putty knife for big areas so it’s not as easy to work as traditional glues. We built a small mountain out of 2” thick contours with it and it worked well, if a bit messy. I tried a test with a good layer on a corner butt joint and it bonded the joint very well and when the joint was stressed the foam broke not the glue joint, so good enough for making structural elements like frames (I was just curious I’ve not built any structural things with the foam board).

 

you can also use plain old pva glues (ie white Elmer’s or wood working glues) and they work well, but they take a few days to cure as the moisture must evaporate for the pva to cure. Folks usually just use a brush or putty knife and spread a layer and then push the two pieces together and use bamboo skewers stuck thru the layers at various angles while the pieces are pressed together to hold the joint tight, leave the skewers in and cut off exposed bits later. Or you could weigh it down with books on the floor. It can take days to cure though. Folks have also used like 60grit sand paper to rough up the smooth face a little to get a stronger glueing surface. I’ve never tested pva for a corner joint for a more structural element, just glued a few small bits together to make some scenery bits, but folks do the pva on big scenery layers, just the cure time issue. If you are glueing foam to wood the. It will cure faster as the wood will suck up the water (unless water sealed wood with paint or such).

 

You want to use water based acrylic/latex paints as organic solvent based paints can dissolve the polystryene foam. Acrylic paint does not stick super well to the foam so best to glue directly foam to foam. The paint sticks well enough on the smooth extruded surface for scenery purposes and very well  to any exposed rough cell edges.

 

to put the Unitrak or flex track down folks usually use either pva or plain old tub caulking. Both work. Caulking you can scrape up the track with a putty knife (I’m sure a little messy under the track and of course ruin flex track) and pva you can get up by soaking with water around the joints to soften the pva (don’t use the water resistant resin pva wood glues). Folks usually weigh it down to hold in place or you can push pins in along the track sides at angles to hold in place till the pva or caulk cure.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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grimd0rkNess

Thanks for the reply! I was really hoping for something that would dry quickly, but I guess I’ll have to be patient. I think I’m going to get some paint this weekend and cover the foam, so I can stop staring at an all pink alien world 

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bill937ca
2 hours ago, grimd0rkNess said:

Edit: What is the general n scale dimensions of roads in Japanese layouts? What I mean is, if I'm trying to plan a neighborhood, how many cm should I leave to become roads between blocks?

 

In the older areas of Tokyo roads are known to be 4 metres wide which is 13 feet 1.48 inches.  1/150 of 4m is 26.66 mm.

 

A station area video on the Keio Inokashira line.

 

 

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grimd0rkNess

Thanks so much! That’s so small! One of the hardest things for me has been trying to get a sense of the size of n scale structures in context. When i just see a lone building on a website it’s hard to translate that to my layout.

 

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chadbag

I'll be using silicone caulking to glue to the foam and related.  It is what I used to glue the foam to my frame as well.   Does take a while to set.      I have not done it yet, as my foam currently just has a green tablecloth draped on it as I experiment with wiring and plan the actual layout, but I plan on using 5-6mm thick foam board (with the paper facing) on top of the foam and using that as the base layer so that I get a nice flat smooth surface to work on (and can replace bits as needed by just replacing a piece of board).   I am not going for the super detailed / super realistic look so will be using colored paper etc on top of the board for roads etc.   I will have bushes and trees and stuff -- not all paper 🙂

 

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bill937ca

If that is too tight you could use 37mm which is what Tomytec uses for its Moving Bus System.  Of course the that is the same width as their track systems. Tomytec's diorama material road sections also use 37mm.

 

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10384771

Edited by bill937ca

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grimd0rkNess

I wasn't sure whether to post here again or start a new thread, but I'm working on a new version of the previous layout. 

 

I stumbled across the post from the scenery forum about the Kurobe Gorge Railway and it kind of lit my imagination. I really liked the tunnels and steep cliffs with the mix of freight and passenger travel. 

 

I now have an area for the layout that's an "L" shape with roughly 14' (~4.2m) on the long side and 7' (~2.1m) on the short side.

 

I had been thinking that I would have two smallish stations at each end, with a small freight yard, so I could play with having trains wait on sidings for through traffic and such.

 

Once I get the benchwork done, I'll post some pictures and probably ask for opinions on track plans. I want to do stuff with multiple layers of track, as though it was different lines on the same cliff side and I 100% want to model the medieval castle looking power plant on the route. That is too cool and weird to pass up.

 

Brian

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grimd0rkNess

I've run into a bit of a snag in my trackplan and I have a question for those of you who are more knowledgeable than me. Is it possible to run two separate lines into a combined line for a bit, then split them back out? 

 

I have two separately powered lines, but due to space considerations, I need them to share the end of the layout turnaround loop. They'll split back off almost immediately, it's literally just a u-turn that will be shared. 

 

I'm mostly worried about shorts and stuff.

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Jimbo

trains crashing to the floor is not a good thing have lost two of them that way!! Both locomotives done junk,,

Edited by Jimbo

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cteno4

Grim,

 

can you sketch out your rough track plan for this. A reversing loop is going to need its own reversing switch/mech and some isolation of the loop in order to not have it short. Basically the reversing loop is isolated from the incoming track. Direction switches for the incoming and reversing tracks need to be the same direction when you run the train into the loop track and then while the train is on the loop track you reverse the direction of the incoming track so when the train runs back out of the loop the incoming (now outgoing) track will be going the same direction.

 

for using two throttles on this sort of shared track you are most likely going to have to just do simple block wiring to a control panel of the strategic track blocks in the layout. Then at the control panel you and use dpdt switches to Select which throttle you want to power each block (you can also get center off ones that let you leave a block dead to keep a train on it stopped). You then select the appropriate blocks to A throttle to use that throttle to power a route. It’s a bit more complicated than the simple use of the Kato and Tomix power routing points to just use two throttles on a couple of loops and sidings, but not all that hard to wire up.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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grimd0rkNess

This is my kind of crappy rendering of the situation. Line 1, powered by one throttle goes into the curve at the top and Line 2 powered by the other throttle goes in on the bottom. They join for the curve, then  split again after  the curve.

 

They'll both be going the same direction for ease of use.

 

I hope this makes my situation a little clearer.

 

Thanks,

Brian

diagram.jpeg

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nah00

Both line and 2 travel in the same direction, correct? If so it's just a case of isolating the end and connecting it to one of the throttles. If you take out the turnouts is there a way to fit a second track in? I just see this as possibly being tedious to operate and keep track of. 

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grimd0rkNess

I'm dealing with two problems:

 

1) the depth of this section of my layout is too shallow to really double up the track.

 

2) the curve ends right up a couple of inches from the end of the benchwork. I can't expand the length there, because it butts up against a toy unit for my son that can't be moved right now.

 

If I could have double track, I would, I just don't know if I can force the curves to be tight enough to work.

 

Edit: Thanks for the info! That is a big relief, I was worried that it wouldn't work at all.

Edited by grimd0rkNess

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