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HOn30 modular layout


Kanpai Keith

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I want to do a single line sort of more rural line for one and 2 car trains like this. Have the track wander around in a sort of Fremo style with a few set places for track to end up at and make them longer and narrower than the usual Ttrak format. Need to sit down and do some playing with the track planning software.

 

jeff

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tossedman

I'd like to do the same sort of thing Jeff. A rural line with a mix of passenger and freight. I'm thinking of doing that on our shelf layout. I may just play with track rather than on a computer. My whole work life seems to be on a computer so this would be a nice change of pace.

 

Todd

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Todd,

 

yep exactly my thought. Nice book shelf display as dioramas. Smaller height box as well to help make things feel lighter than Ttrak. Stations with passing sidings so you can also switch up trains and running direction quickly. Could even do a reversing circuit with Diode wired sidings with slip switches and automate the handoffs easily.

 

I like having the track in center and back more and just out in front now and then and let the scenery dominate. Ttrak with tracks up front mist of the time tends to make even great scenery sort to take the back seat, literally and figuratively. We now have Ttrak flip modules that move the tracks to the back so you can have a run of modules with scene out front and tracks behind so trains have a bit where they can disappear or step back for a while.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Tony Galiani

I took a look at that video then checked out his blog.  His concept for those modular units is really useful - he uses artist's panels available from art supply stores that are relatively inexpensive - much less expensive than the T-Trak modules available from some suppliers.  And they are available in a variety of styles and sizes. 

 

I have been thinking of doing something based on the Shimabara Railway but am not sure I want to go all in on a full layout as time is a challenge for me.  I could at least do a diorama with one of these panels and add more if I wish (as he demonstrates in the video and Jeff and others have already proposed as a concept).  I realize that building small modules is not that hard but with these panels being so inexpensive (relatively speaking), the time savings (at least for me) make them really attractive.  So much so that I might actually get out of the house this weekend and run to an art supply store to check some out.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

Edited by Tony Galiani
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Interesting! Never thought about wood canvases for module boxes! I’ve only seen a few and they were quite klunky built, but his are gorgeous with fingerjoint corners, I wondered if he was a big time woodworker as doing jointed corners is a pain if you are not well set up for it and practiced! Will be interesting to see what you find at the art store. Dick blicks has some deep ones at 1 5/8” high, which is just right height for something like this visually. At $10-20 each it’s pretty reasonable and prebuilt! Curious to see what the framing on the blicks panels looks like
 

https://www.dickblick.com/products/american-easel-wood-painting-panels/
 

rex art 2” panels are on sale cheap in larger packs and are very solidly built (they use dimensional framing so may be a little heavy).

 

https://www.rexart.com/cradled-wood-panels-extra-deep.html

 

only downside is you need to cut track to fit to the module but not a problem if you are flex tracking. The centering pins are good if you’re not using unitrack as it keeps track ends from getting bashed up, unijoiners are great and don’t really need pins, but other tracks I would use pins. We used them on the bigger JRM modules as we don’t want the stress of two larger modules if it gets bumped into to go al into the track joints. Cleaver of him using the banana plugs as the pins to provide a track power connection.

 

thanks for digging that out, I had wondered how he made is nice modules, but was too lazy to dig it out. Will be interesting to see what you find!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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H0e with Fremo standards is getting more and more popular in Europe, so y'all may want to make some modules. World Kougei has opened preorders on locomotives of Kurobe Gorge Railway in H0e, but prices are high as.

Edited by Jaco3011
Commented on wrong topic xD
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Tony Galiani

Found a number of different types of panels - lots of different sizes (mostly squares) with different surfaces:  Gesso (smooth, medium or coarse) and Birch.    The birch was the most pricey.  At the art supply store there were only a few rectangular panels.  It looks as if the options at Dick Blick or Rex Art might be more useful and their pricing was better.

 

I think these might be very useful though for a layout I would want to spend more time watching the video to learn the planning techniques if I wanted to do anything similar to Waldbahner.  It would be easy enough to string a bunch of these together for something simple however.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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Interesting. Gesso is a great starting surface for scenery, I use it instead of the usual flat interior latex paint most folks use as the gesso had a nice grit to it and is meant to be a good starting surface for stuff to grip to! It tints with tempra powders pretty well. It’s also nice and thick to fill in sanded/cut foam and such. Goes on sale at the craft stores and a gallon goes a long way and it’s in a nice pour bottle that seals well.

 

I expect online will be more inexpensive. Sadly most art supply places left are on the pricier side (our local chain is a big ouch!) Good economical chains like pearl art are no more pretty much (I was very sad they day they closed) and this is stuff a bit above craft stores. Also brick and mortar can’t usually have the range a single online warehouse can have.

 

It’s really is a simple way to get going. Only work is mounting the pegs or banana plugs but that’s just a little careful drilling and making a template to follow (and making sure you keep the template oriented properly).

 

if I didn’t have a shop I’d use these! They would even work for Ttrak, just have to place or cut track to fit and have all sizes in pairs to make sure things are even (and a club or an event willing to be flexible, some won’t budge on sizes even if there is room, just ain’t standard!).

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

 

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Jaco3011
On 2/28/2021 at 11:13 PM, cteno4 said:

Only work is mounting the pegs or banana plugs but that’s just a little careful drilling and making a template to follow (and making sure you keep the template oriented properly).


That would be the most problematic part for me. I probably couldn't keep everything aligned while doing it manually.

It sounds like good solution for Z scale tho.

 

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Scale makes no difference for using aligning pins in modules. Same for Z or O scale. They are great as they do the alignment so track is spot on (the narrow gauge Ho guy doesn’t even use rail joiners) and take all the strain of modules getting knocked around is taken up by the pins not intermodule track joints potentially.

 

all you do is to make a template that you place on the end of the modules (making sure to mirror the template over on mating ends) and drill two holes. Then put pins into two opposing holes (this let’s you flip them around and work interchangeably if needed).

 

banana plugs are just cool as they act as alignment/stress pins and take the power connections as well!

 

drilling is the trick. If you can drill the alignment pins on the module boards on a drill press before assembly you can get everything spot on by just clamping a jig on the drill press so the wood pieces go in the same position each time. On prebuilt modules you can just make a template out of a thick piece of wood (like 35mm or more) that is the same size as your modules end. Then drill your two pin template holes in the block of wood (usually best centered vertically and evenly spaced in from the sides) on a drill press do they are nice perpendicular holes. Now you can clamp that block onto the end of the module and just use a hand drill to drill thru the template holes and thru your module ends. The long holes in thick template will get your drill bit nicely aligned perpendicularly.

 

if you don’t have a drill press you can buy an attachment for your hand drill that will let you do a nice perpendicular hole for your template. The attachment is a bit unwieldy to use to drill the holes on the module, but it can make nice perpendicular holes in your template and the template can then get your drill perpendicular for the module holes

 

jeff

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Forgot to mention if you are doing modular rather than sectional, you can make a template that then aligns up with your alignment pin system that can ten be used to make a guide for your track placement so it’s exactly the same on all your modules relative to your alignment pins. Another neat thing the alignment pins get you.

 

jeff

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