Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

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Taw Valley
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Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Taw Valley » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:02 pm

Hi guys,

Due to how the boards have been used as a top to a load of open cupboard space, ive got flat boards as a startting point, but obviously id like some form of Hills and depth. Along with making the railway appear to be built into the land rather then the land around the railway.

How have you guys managed to build up off a flat board? Any ideas or suggestions welcomed, along with pictures if possible please.

Many thanks
TV

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carnehan
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby carnehan » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:42 pm

Hi TV. There are countless options for building up a rolling landscape from our flat boards. Most require very little in the way cost to create but can provide strength should any pressure be applied to them. Polystyrene sheets from packing of furniture, white goods, etc are an excellent choice albeit very messy when it comes to creating that naturally undulated field. You can also buy sheets normally used for loft or wall insulation. Equally, loft foam insulation can also be used.

You can build cutting embankments using offcuts of ply or stiff cardboard from boxes. Place these vertically along the length of track (suitably curved on the edge) at intervals and stuff the gaps with scrumpled up newspaper and then apply layers of paper mache over the top to create the actual land. Alternatively, use plaster cloth strips.

A former member on here used layers of balsa wood layered on top of one another and then the edges were sanded to create those natural contours.

To date, the only contour work I have done is on the town scenic sections of my layout. You can find a blurb on the methodology on my layout thread here:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=42106&start=285

That's a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing. No doubt others will be able to offer up more techniques.

Paul

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Bufferstop
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:26 pm

The traditional method of putting sheet material (ply or fibreboard) on a frame of 2" x 1" battens doesn't allow much chance to go below surface level, particularly if you can't drop a section lower. I'd think of using 4" deep side frames of 6mm ply, reinforced by softwood battens which would allow for a drop of about two inches below rail level without too much loss of strength. Going upwards is easier, carved polystyrene blocks allow jigher ground to be modelled without adding too much wait. Browse a few "Layouts under Construction" you should see quite a few variations on methods.
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Dad-1
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Dad-1 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:24 pm

As usual we come to the quote " It Depends". You have several options and be warned most are messy.
Myself I've usually used styrene ceiling tiles, these can still be bought, but flame retardant and twice
the original price. They are still quite cheap and can be used to cover reasonable size areas. BUT be
warned it is super light, but also not that robust when making hollow voids.
When these flat sections are piled up to get the form I wanted I cover with hard wall plaster using a
putty knife to spread and profile. The plaster adds quite a bit of weight to a light structure, but also
adds some strength.
Around here in this thread you can see embankment structure being built up..

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=35063&start=45#p472536

I've not done it but you can always tilt you board to represent a hillside with the actual trackbed as a
thin strip held on many risers to prevent sagging.

So "It All Depends"

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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railsquid
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby railsquid » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:27 am

I too have flat baseboards due to restrictions of vertical space and carpentry resources, I'm using styrofoam (insulation foam) for scenery, very easy to carve/form, and mainly with a layer of modelling clay (DAS clay)? to form the actual ground. Some packaging polystyrene too, mainly for bulk as it does not really lend itself to carving. Starts off like this:

Image
slope-scenery-progress by Rail Squid, on Flickr

Now looks like this:
Image
onsen-area-2 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

It does have the advantage I can take the blocks of scenery off the baseboard to work on them more easily.

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End2end
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby End2end » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:33 am

I had a double take on that second photo. For a moment there I thought I was looking at Lukla's runway! :lol:
Image
Image

Great modelling railsquid. :)
Thanks
End2end
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railsquid
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby railsquid » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:27 pm

Thanks. I shall have to start a thread. Anyway same continent, but this is Japan, where flat ground is the exception so lots of ups-and-downs needed.

Dad-1
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:40 pm

railsquid you most certainly DO need to start a thread.
Even more so as you're working on something very different there to your
normal British steam, or diesel.
We need the change of scene - 'cos even my Thomas is very much a U.K
landscape.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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End2end
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby End2end » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:48 pm

railsquid wrote:Thanks. I shall have to start a thread.

Sorry to hijack the thread Taw Valley, but yes please railsquid. I would love to see more. :)
Thanks
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railsquid
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby railsquid » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:56 pm


Dad-1
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:11 pm

I don't want to have to read it all again, but one thing I'm not certain that was mentioned is
Don't have you railway running at board level. To get a better rolling scenery be prepared to
have your entire track bed at a raised level. That will involve many secure risers and probably
a reinforced track bed to prevent distortion.
The logic of that is you are able to have water courses and roads passing under the basically
level track bed. The height is totally variable, but depends on what, if anything you want passing
under the railway. On a multi-board layout you can arrange to have low mounted boards as a way
of achieving this, but with the single board layout it needs to built in from the very beginning.
Also don't forget the rolling back scene picture can make it feel more like open country.

Anyway a couple of shots to show what I mean.
Here you see the risers and track bed of 12 mm chipboard going on.

Image

This is still a long way from being finished (If ever) but you can look under the bridge

Image

The village street, or could be fields is below the railway

Image

Hope this gives some additional ideas.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Taw Valley
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Taw Valley » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:56 am

Hey guys,

Really appreciate allthe replies on here. Its all good food for thought. Ive got a completely blank canvas at the moment. So currently looking at dad-1's idea on having the while track raised.

How do you go about wiring and point motors etc. Or do you just allow an extra bit of width on the raised track board to allow for it?

Cheers

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Bufferstop
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:44 pm

Most point motors will fit under the width of an 00 trackbed. when you include the ballast shoulders and the cess (that flat garavelled bit at the sides) you are looking at twice the sleeper width, or just a bit more. Where points are situated it's going to be widening out anyway, so enough space underneath for point motors.
John W

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Dad-1
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Re: Flat boards into rolling hills, help please

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:47 pm

Hi TV,

Been away for a couple of days .........
There is loads of room for wiring under a raised track. I tend to drill holes through the
upstands and thread the main track bus through. This has one severe disadvantage in
that it will all be permanently sealed away after the adjoining scenery is put in. You
need to make certain that all droppers are wired in with a bullet proof soldered joint.

You don't need a particularly high track bed to have point motors tucked away underneath.
Here the difficulty is more of gaining retrospective access, but with an access hole big
enough to work through in the lower 'skin' of the base board you can have access even if
to work through it you would preferably want to safely have the board on it's side. Laying
on one's back working in darkness through a small hole is something I gave up when I ceased
to compete in road rallies !!

Here you see the minimal 20 - 25 mm raisers, I've forgotten exactly what, with the wiring
loom that was buried alongside the raisers as I couldn't be bothered to thread through such
minimal height supports. This layout is still doing exhibitions and never a wiring problem, note
though this had NO points.

Image

Fixed wire gives no problems, but point motors can be uncooperative, particularly where polarity
switching is fitted, yet for all that I wouldn't ever return to insulated frog points. Just prepare
for the occasional servicing requirement !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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