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Darklighter

A Modular Flex Track Floor Layout

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Darklighter

Hi,

 

I decided on building a small modular layout that will be set up on the floor and stored under a bed. I'm going to use Peco Code 55 flex track on 15 cm wide and 4 cm high baseboards made of styrofoam (XPS).

 

Figure 1 shows the track plan. The radii of the curves in the corners are 18" (46 cm), 24" (61 cm) and 30" (76 cm) (I will use Tracksetta templates).

Figure 2 shows storage, figure 3 presents an approach to cut out the necessary styrofoam pieces and figure 4 outlines the connection of the modules.

 

I will keep you posted on my progress.  :cheesy

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cteno4

Darklighter,

 

very interesting approach! will you use rail connectors to line up the modules then with the magnets then to do the major holding or just line up the tracks by hand and the magnets being enough to keep things solid?

 

if you want to pretty it up later you can get paper backed wood veneer pretty cheap that you can glue onto the edges of the foam.

 

keep us posted!

 

jeff

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Webskipper

Nice choice for fine track. Good time to be modeling in N.

 

Code 55 is more prototypical than code 80. Code 80 has taller webbing than code 50. That is, there is more clearance between the sleeper and the crown with code 80.  When you are rolling wheels with wide flanges, they will hit the sleepers on code 50.

 

I know that Kato is in the flexible track business. Whether they make it or Peco or Fleischmann does.

 

Those concrete ties are what I am watching being installed in my nape of the desert.

 

With Kato Unitrack you won't be bothered with contraction and expansion.

 

Foam - I chose the blue foam sheets at lowz for my Ntrak modules.

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Mudkip Orange

I like this "custom floor track" idea.

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Kabutoni

That's a very good idea. When you have no space to spare at all, by all means, this is a great solution!

 

I remembered a website: http://www.jmra.gr.jp/shinohara/shino106.html Could it be you have been inspired by the second layout?

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Darklighter

will you use rail connectors to line up the modules then with the magnets then to do the major holding or just line up the tracks by hand and the magnets being enough to keep things solid?

 

I will try to go without fiddly rail joiners. I'm thinking about soldering (feeder) wires to screws and gluing the magnets on top. That way the magnets would provide the mechanical and electrical connection between modules.

Since the magnets are pretty small (3 x 3 x 3 mm) and strong, I think they will be enough to align the track.

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Darklighter

I remembered a website: http://www.jmra.gr.jp/shinohara/shino106.html Could it be you have been inspired by the second layout?

 

Wow, those layouts and dioramas look fantastic, but the inspiration came from the Popoya modules (the standard which was adopted by Sir Madog for his desktop layout).

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cteno4

could probably make a tongue and grove in your foam joints to easily line the track up as well and the magnets then just hold that firmly together.

 

we talked about doing something like this with viaduct track with very narrow modules so we could have minimal scenery corridor and set them up fast at shows on table tops. sort of a viaduct ttrak but with longer modules like 75cm long and 20cm deep. then make the curves on curved modules/sections. then the idea was a big ttrak ring around that or just a loop going under the viaduct at some point to do local and smaller trains.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Darklighter

I finally started building the first 3 modules:

 

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Precisely cutting the foam is more complicated than I anticipated. I've already cut most of the other parts, too, but the curves will need a lot of rework.

The feeder wires are soldered to roofing nails. I'm currently using only one magnet per contact, which provides enough stability vertically. However, there isn't much stability horizontally, so I might end up using two magnets per contact. The electrical connection seems to be pretty unproblematic.

 

Here is a little video showing my DD51 making a test run:

 

 

The next step will be painting and ballasting the track.

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Kabutoni

That looks really really good. I love the smooth curves! Very inspiring stuff for the future project me and a friend are going to do.

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Bernard

I like the sweeping curve you've designed. What material did you use for the roadbed?

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Darklighter

That's Woodland Scenics Track-Bed. I separated the strips along the center seam and cut off 3 mm along the edge of one of the pieces as the WS Track-Bed is a bit too wide for my taste.

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CaptOblivious

I really dig using magnets to connect the module electrically, that is quite clever!

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ianlaw

Great idea. I always thought running on the floor was a little time consuming and why not glue the track to a thin board. This system saves even more space. Quick set-up, less wear on the track connections and you can add (low) scenery too.

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Darklighter

I've started working on the scenery of the first module. First, I painted the track and shaped the terrain. Then I painted the terrain, covered it with soil and ballasted the track.

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Kabutoni

That is some impressive ballasting going on there! It really starts to look good. I can't wait to start working on a project myself.

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luis_lopes

Nice work.

 

What colour did you use to paint the track? And the ballast?

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Darklighter

I used Polly Scale Roof Brown and a light coat of Polly Scale Grimy Black (this combination is recommended by Lance Mindheim). The ballast ("MobaLit") is from an Austrian model railroad club called "MBC Wilder Kaiser".

 

Last week I built some larger bushes from sea moss/sea foam (equivalent to Scenic Express SuperTrees) and Woodland Scenics fine and coarse turf, and some small bushes from Poly Fiber and turf.

Furthermore, I've started working on the ground cover and built a simple static grass applicator (using a electric fly swatter and a a small sieve).

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Edited by Darklighter

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Webskipper

Looks very good!  The more random, the more natural it looks.

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luis_lopes

Those paints are hard to find here in Portugal... the track looks amazing.

 

How can I convert those paints to Tamiya or Vallejo?

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hectorton

Luis lopes,

 

Check out the attached link for paint conversations. FYI, must view link with IE. The paint conversation lookup table will not work with Mozilla. Regards, Hector.

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luis_lopes

Thanks. I already know that conversion table, to use in my other modelling...

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