New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
andm76
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New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:19 pm

I Am about to start building my 1st Model railway and i am not ashamed to admit that i need advice already, I am getting bought as a present the Hornby R1169 Tornado Pullman Express set so i will use the track with the set as the template and buy the expansion packs B&C to construct most of the double oval layout.

I am looking to build the attached layout and was wondering what sort of size base board i should go for to achieve this? its going to be similar to the Hornby Trakmat layouts but ideal would if its practical like to reduce the size if possible as at 6x4ft this is going to be rather cumbersome for the space i have available as this will be portable as i don't have space to permanently mount the layout.

Next point is when i am constructing the scenery would i be best laying the grass then the track ballast on top or should i just grass around and up to the track ballast to provide better grip to the base board as the ballast will grip better to the board. The grass will probably be a basic grass as the base needs to be portable and i believe some of the glue yourself types of grass can be messy

I would really appreciate some advice from members as I really am new to all this and don't wanna make to many fundamental mistakes as if this is a success I would probably look at building another layout too :lol:
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flying scotsman123
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby flying scotsman123 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:12 pm

Hi, welcome to the forum. The layout you've got there is a 6' x 4' layout; if you want that trackplan that's the space it needs. Any tighter curves than that and I'd imagine your tornado wouldn't get round.

As for scenics, will you be using loose ballast and loose grass? This by far looks the best, and whilst it can be a little messy, it's only messy once if you glue it well. I'd pin the track down first, then lay the ballast down and glue it down using a 50/50 mix of PVA and water (you can use weaker on permanent layouts, but if it's portable you want it to be rock hard).

Then do the grass. I'd thoroughly recommend static grass. There's no need to buy £100 applicators, a £10 puffer bottle is fine, although to be honest just sprinkling it on still looks fine, and is what I do. Work on about 10-20cm squared at once, spread PVA on the area then just sprinkle on. For best effect mix a few different shades together. Once you're happy with it spray some watered down PVA or some sprayable glue or even hairspray on top to hold it.
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Emettman
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby Emettman » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:17 pm

Hello and welcome, andm76!

I'm going to take you at your word "...and don't wanna make to many fundamental mistakes " and ask a few key questions to try and make sure you don't.

Was the Tornado set your pick, or someone else's?
And does the layout have to be in OO?

For something that needs to be portable N scale would seem a more obvious choice,
and in OO a train with a smaller loco and shorter carriages would be easier to get comfortable on a 6 x 4, and to get to do more than just run round and round.

Yes, these are "biggie" questions, but they need to be settled really before starting if a false-start is to be avoided.
(That track mat in OO, or some similar design, is what so many people seem to default to. I call it the Devil's tablecloth, because it's a tempting way to start, but rarely a good idea.)

I'm sorry if that comes across as a bit of a hefty welcoming post, but these are some of the "about to start" issues and questions that need thinking about, because they will open the possibilities and restrict them for everything that follows.

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

andm76
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:01 pm

Thanks for your reply they are very much appreciated

Firstly as I mentioned I am new to all this so the choice of gauge was purely down to the fact that I remember my dad building a 00 gauge layout on a drop down board when I was younger so it was the natural choice for me rightly or wrongly, the tornado set was my choice purely as its going to be a gift off my girlfriend for my birthday in November and it was a good price for her budget plus I must admit I really like the loco and coaches, I also like both the virgin pendolino set and the Eurostar set but unless they come down in price then I will prob be asking for the Tornado set.

To be honest as this is going to me first attempt at a layout I rather liked the round and round format in a warped sort way! 6x4 is fine as a size and that's what I had worked out myself I just wanted another opinion really,

It exciting but I am nervous to start this project which will hopefully be sat when I purchase the base board, then I can start the arduous task of decorating the it, But fingers crossed :D

andm76
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:03 pm

I am looking to use the Gauguemaster balast as an easy option as this is the first layout

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kiwitram
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby kiwitram » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:10 pm

andm76 wrote:Thanks for your reply they are very much appreciated

Firstly as I mentioned I am new to all this so the choice of gauge was purely down to the fact that I remember my dad building a 00 gauge layout on a drop down board when I was younger so it was the natural choice for me rightly or wrongly, the tornado set was my choice purely as its going to be a gift off my girlfriend for my birthday in November and it was a good price for her budget plus I must admit I really like the loco and coaches, I also like both the virgin pendolino set and the Eurostar set but unless they come down in price then I will prob be asking for the Tornado set.

To be honest as this is going to me first attempt at a layout I rather liked the round and round format in a warped sort way! 6x4 is fine as a size and that's what I had worked out myself I just wanted another opinion really,

It exciting but I am nervous to start this project which will hopefully be sat when I purchase the base board, then I can start the arduous task of decorating the it, But fingers crossed :D



I wouldn't worry about pace; I've had my boards for about three months and I've still done nothing besides paint them.

And as for the size of the layout, I think what you have in mind sounds fine. Simple and small, so you don't overstretch yourself, either in terms of work or by what you have to buy. When it comes to buying extra stock, you'll be able to go smaller and have 'Tornado' as the star of the show, so to speak; I'm assuming you'll want to expand your stock sets a little? Also, there's nothing wrong with the 'round and round' type layout. My planned layout is (but only because I'm lazy and I like being able to stick a rake on the end of a loco, flick a switch and leave it to its own devices :oops: )

I'll look forward to seeing this develop :)

Alex

andm76
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:29 pm

thanks Alex, I think your right about over doing it as if make it too complicated I am worried I wont finish it and that would be desaterous IMO! :o

I am so looking forward to this project and the layout is not 100% finalised but it won't be a million miles off I might just change the middle of the oval slightly, I have ordered a cheap hornby trakmat of the Pullman layout so I have a template to work with on my layout for things like gap between outer & inner tracks etc

I will post regular picture updates on its development as I go, no doubt I will be seeking more help before its completed :roll:

andm76
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:34 pm

Also just realised that the layout i posted is upside down!

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Emettman
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby Emettman » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:45 pm

andm76 wrote:
To be honest as this is going to me first attempt at a layout I rather liked the round and round format in a warped sort way! 6x4 is fine as a size and that's what I had worked out myself I just wanted another opinion really,


This is the big rule.... "It''s my railway and I'll have it the way I want it."
So if having touched on other ideas then if OO, Tornado and 6' x 4' are your settled preferences then OO, Tornado and 6' x 4' it should be.

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

andm76
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:34 am

Thanks for the moral support guys :D

andm76
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:32 am

When I am laying the track is there a standard rule of thumb for distance between each track especially on the bends so there is enough room for passing trains, I will never probably be able to run two units simultaneously on this layout but I want to future proof it incase I ever decide to upgrade to a dcc layout.

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End2end
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby End2end » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:58 am

There certainly is. I used a Peco track gauge to keep all track parallel and it worked wonders (can be used for Hornby and Bachmann track also).
The gauge can be used for normal track spacing and closer track spacing when using finer scale Peco track.
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Hope it helps.
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b308
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby b308 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:08 am

Just noticed you've done two threads so I'll transfer my reply on the other to this as it seems the most active...

Re 6x4 boards, please think carefully about their use, I know it's a common size for OO scale as it's probably the minium decent size for a double track oval but it has severe limitations:

To quickly summarize:

1. A 6x4 board which is solid and does not divide is a bulky piece of furniture. Think a double bed but more fragile!

2. The maximum reach without the likelihood of breaking things is about 2ft, so if you are using a solid board you need access to all sides of it (centre of a room when running therefore).

3. Unless you are very careful it will be HEAVY... Using 9mm ply or chipboard with bracing does not make for a light layout and anything less you run the risk of warping or easy damage when moving...

4. Talking of moving you will need two people and such a size of board does not go round corners or through doors easily in modern houses...

All-in-all a solid 6x4 is not a good idea. It's possible, don't get me wrong, but it's unwieldy and carting it around there's a big risk of damage... If you do not have a permanent location for it I'd seriously consider dividing it into manageable chunks. If you check out the Baseboard section there's threads on how to join boards together...

andm76
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby andm76 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:27 am

Thanks for the advice, it certainly throws a spanner In the works now, in your opinion could this be done by hinging the boards but keeping the 6x4 size? Although I am no carpenter so this is probably a step too far for me

b308
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Re: New to this so PLEASE HELP!

Postby b308 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:58 am

I don't want to put you off but it's best to aware of things so you don't go ahead and then get disillusioned, better to be prepared!

There are ways round the "reach" and that is to have plain track at the back, such as, say, a station, as long as you have access to the other three sides then you'd be unlucky if things went wrong at the back and out of reach!

Re the size and moving it. CJ Freezer in one of his books mentioned someone's answer to this was to hinge the layout off the wall, so it "let down" into the operating postilion when needed. That solves any issues with carting it around! You do, however have to ensure that everything "movable" (especially stock!) is remove before you lift it up, but that's just the same as if you have to move the board around!

Here's the basic idea from a thread on Modelrailforum, but I'd make the baton stick out 6ins so you then don't have to remove the buildings!

http://s549.photobucket.com/user/upnick ... 1.jpg.html


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