Building a base for layout.

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crazypotter
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Building a base for layout.

Postby crazypotter » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:37 pm

Hi. As a complete novice with model railway layouts I need a little advice if possible. I am going to attempt to built a layout, perhaps beginning with a basic oval and then extending. I thought of starting with a 6 X 4 base. What would be the best material to use and some general construction tips. Many thanks.( This will be for my grandson so I want to look dead cool and innovative!!.).

Dad-1
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:58 pm

Ohh the dreaded 6'x4' !! Big one piece slabs are always a difficult entity to move around.
Even 6'x3' is a handful and my layout of that size is divided into two equal 3' squares.

For ideas of what things can look like it may be worth looking at St Oval at :-
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=26513

The age of your Grandchildren will also influence what would be most suitable for them.
In reality you face the railway modellers equation of Space-Time-Money. Space comes
first as the other two are more flexible, but learning to live within a fixed accommodation
influences more than anything else.

From that comes scale/gauge. There is much to be said for 'N', being only 2 mm to the foot
offers more diversity of layout designs. With '00' at 4 mm to the foot you really do have to
learn how to compact things.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

crazypotter
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby crazypotter » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:05 pm

Food for thought. Thanks.

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Emettman
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby Emettman » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:59 pm

crazypotter wrote:Hi.



Hello and welcome, crazypotter...

I thought of starting with a 6 X 4 base.


The very Devil's tablecloth!
Having said that, *occasionally* it is the best move. But so often it isn't for several reasons!

No worries.
You have lots of options, and it's a matter of getting close to ideal by matching these to preferred design parameters.

Ideal cost: nothing. This cannot usually be obtained, so some idea of budget is worth considering.
There are some interesting cheap ways to go, but conventional OO is not particularly so.

Grandchildren's ages? (Very likely to increase).
The younger, the more likely to want to watch trains going round and round.
The older, the more likely to want to work the trans: start, stop, shunt, and the more likely to be able to do so.

Are we looking at permanently in place, or something to be put up on special occasions and then taken down?
(or indeed, half and half, which has its advantages.)

How much space is available, if fully or partly permanent? **this to include access and operating space**
A solid 6 x 4 really wants no more than one short side against a wall, so using up about 8 x 8, and given 8 x 8 (or even bit less) something much better can be designed by putting most or all of the access and operating space in the centre.

If removable, portable, how much storage space is available, and where?
"Under the bed" used to be a terrible idea before the advent of big blanket bags, but that has renewed possibilities.
There's a trad- off between having anything more than the track stuck on portable boards, making them bulky and delicate, and keeping them simple but putting out all buildings, signals, trees etc. every session. ( As well as all the trains, which applies to all removable schemes).

In a relatively small set-up little engines with short carriages and goods vehicles look and work better.
The Flying Scotsman loco and three long carriages, very much not so much.
If express passenger trains are a top priority, the best track design for the space available needs some thought.

Your skill levels and available time?
Some interesting and cheaper answers for the baseboards and the trains are more open to those with carpentry and modelling bodging skills.
Quick and simple here is quite possible, but will tend to cost more (and the finished layout will tend to look similar to a lot of other ones.)

Somewhere inside these questions and thoughts sits one of more good options for you.
(Conventional or unconventional: have you considered the garden, if you have one?)

Chris.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Mountain
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:44 pm

You can make a good 6x4 in four sections arranged so you have a central operating well, and all sections are a reasonable size if you ever need to move your layout.

crazypotter
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby crazypotter » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:20 pm

Thank you for your suggestions. I am looking for the base to be portable and stored in the garage when not in use. The idea of an operating well seems like a good move. Theme wise I would like something along the lines of a rural setting, incorporating maybe a village scene and a hilly backdrop. Obviously the bigger the base the better and I would have adequate space for a 6x6. Does this sound feasible bearing in mind I I don't really want an oval track on its own but would like to create some extra curves, straights etc and run maybe 2 or 3 locos.

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Emettman
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby Emettman » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:39 pm

crazypotter wrote:I am looking for the base to be portable and stored in the garage when not in use.


Requirements and possibilities begin to come together.

Also to be used in the garage or moved to say a dining room? The size and location of passageways and doors may put the limit on baseboard size.

A light one-piece baseboard may be your simplest option, with the primary materials being either being spaced plywood girders or layered insulation foam.

Theme wise I would like something along the lines of a rural setting, incorporating maybe a village scene and a hilly backdrop. Obviously the bigger the base the better and I would have adequate space for a 6x6. Does this sound feasible


Yes, feasible in OO, with relatively short trains.

In 6x6 I have a portable exhibition layout in G scale (track gauge 45mm), designed for shunting though it also has a oval to let trains run.
It uses four 4x2 boards but the centre 2x2 space is filled with a large warehouse to hide the oval.

tfq4_opt.jpg
tfq4_opt.jpg (96.44 KiB) Viewed 1235 times


tfq5.jpg
tfq5.jpg (114.46 KiB) Viewed 1235 times



Chris.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

kebang
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby kebang » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:09 am

Can I suggest you visit this site? It is dormant now but all the submissions are still visible. Lots of different ideas for different sizes. If you find something you like and need help to amend it lots of people here (Including me) will be happy to assist you

http://www.freetrackplans.com/Home.php

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Emettman
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby Emettman » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:02 pm

I have had a play with Anyrail, which I can still do when I'm good for little else.

Firstly, a straightforward 6 x 4.
(variant of C J Freezer plan "Binns Road)

cjfbinnsrd.jpg


This will hold three trains: two passenger trains (possibly with one being a diesel railcar or push-pull and one freight train
One or even two extra locos help turn the passenger trains round.
There is just room for 3 x 9" (57ft) coaches.

In use this will need access to both long sides

I took the same idea and re-worked it onto a 5ft circle.
The capacity has increased slightly as the hidden storage loop now has a siding for a whole train,
there is room for two passenger trains to pass, and the good sidings have a headshunt.

5circle.jpg


If the board is made in, say, 3 layers of 1" foam, with an edging of thin plywood and that topped with EVA foam, or similar, it could be wheeled around pretty easily.

Just first thoughts, to see if I am anywhere near the design brief.

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

mumbles
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby mumbles » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:35 am

Two really nice plans but one thing i would think would be a must have for a layout for kids is 2 running loops so 2 trains can run at the same time continuously

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TimberSurf
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby TimberSurf » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:51 am

Emettman wrote:If the board is made in, say, 3 layers of 1" foam, with an edging of thin plywood and that topped with EVA foam, or similar, it could be wheeled around pretty easily.

Chris


I love the idea of being wheeled away instead of being carried! :lol: Just needs some tire tread fixed to the outer edge. :D Add a short length of steel pipe at the center underneath :!: , its the handle to roll it along with and can drop into a hole atop a tripod stand and allow 'rotation' of the layout for ease of access (when displayed in corner of room for example)
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

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Emettman
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby Emettman » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:57 am

mumbles wrote:Two really nice plans but one thing i would think would be a must have for a layout for kids is 2 running loops so 2 trains can run at the same time continuously


This may depend on the age of the kids.
At the younger end I'm sure you'd be right.

Putting double running lines in (I'm using R2 minimum) does eat up space on a small layout, restricting the ability to store and swap extra trains and to provide sidings for shunting.
There was also a preference here for a rural setting with room for buildings: filling the area with track needed to be avoided.
Trade-offs. There's nearly always trade-offs.

One solution is to go to multiple levels, with a high level station covering part of the double oval, but this makes for more complex construction and a significantly greater volume of boards when thinking about storage for a portable layout.

Here I used Hornby (or Peco Setrack) points. Even the smallest electrofrog points take up significantly more room, so that's another trade-off decision.

Choices!

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

mumbles
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby mumbles » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:06 am

I've not grown out of watching 2 trains run yet!!

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Emettman
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby Emettman » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:57 am

mumbles wrote:I've not grown out of watching 2 trains run yet!!

That's why there's choices!

I've got a layout plan by C J Freezer where he had five trains circling, but there wasn't a lot of room to do anything else.
That appeared only in one edition of his plans books.

One could have an entirely separate pair of ovals for a high-level express line mostly on viaduct, and put a small branch line passing underneath.
(There's a good few prototypes for that look.)
There's no RULE that all the tracks have to connect...

Chris.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

crazypotter
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Re: Building a base for layout.

Postby crazypotter » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:02 pm

Thanks to all you guys for the replies. You certainly know your stuff!. Need to have a think on this taking into account your suggestions. As Arnie would say "I'll be back".


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