Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:01 pm

I had bought some cheap plastic people from China via ebay a while back, taking a bit of a chance as they were something like £5 for 500, so at a penny each I was expecting them to be rubbish, but that might work from a distance as a big crowd. However I was pleasantly surprised by the relative quality for the price and using PVA glue to fix them to the platform they work well
P3_60.JPG
Plastic people on the platform

It brings the station to life and often is the one thing missing on models, especially N-gauge. There are only 20 figures on the platforms here, so it doesn't need many to give a good effect
P3_61.JPG
Populated platform

Considering the big-name brands are charging around £1 per figure, then these are an absolute steal!
P3_62.JPG
Passengers awaiting trains

Considering I have 500 yet only used 20 here, I think I've a lifetime's supply! I'd recommend anyone getting some. They were a bit tricky to fit, and each needed leaning against a small wooden block until the glue was dry, and tweasers were needed to position (even with my nimble fingers), but I think it was worth it. the benches were bought (Model masters) and at about 50p each are pricey, but I couldn't face making such items from scratch! They aren't glued down, so if I do decide to scratch make some, they can be replaced :D

heda
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby heda » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:06 pm

Have you got a link for those figures Alan, they look pretty good, better than the last lot I bought from China.
Dave

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:12 pm

Hi Dave
I kept the 'thankyou' slip in the box and this lists the seller's name as 'Everydaygoodz' if that helps?
They came already painted and look fine even when closely scrutinised - and for a penny each!
Alan

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 3588
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby End2end » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:14 pm

All looking great alan.
I managed to get some of those cheap figures for 00. Great for repainting and popualting inside buildings and coaches. :D
Passengers3sm.jpg
Passengers3sm.jpg (135.49 KiB) Viewed 389 times

Passengers6sm.jpg
Passengers6sm.jpg (83.87 KiB) Viewed 389 times


One tiny critique. Those black lines on the roof at the top of the stairs could do with weathering out a little as they are quite dark compared to the roof.
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

heda
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby heda » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:27 pm

Thanks for that Alan, found the seller but nothing listed at the moment, I'll keep a watch on it.
Dave

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:43 pm

Following the relative success of the station bridge, I decided to set myself a challenge of another building. The Graham Farish 'Lyddle end' range of buildings are quite well detailed but stupidly expensive (even more so now!) and seem to have very high asking prices on ebay. I managed to pick up a few a while back, so decided to get them out and build a replica.
I decided on the 'Hampton Heath Colliery Tram Circuit' as it looked quite straightforward.
P3_63.JPG
Lyddle end shed

Cutting the parts from brick sheet and corrugated sheet
P3_64.JPG
Cut parts

P3_65.JPG
Parts for shed

The doors were stuck on the sides closed as I didn't want the hassle of cutting the openings. The shape compares well and I think the doors work ok
P3_66.JPG
Assembled shed

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:54 pm

The ridge of the roof is a single bead of the corrugated sheet
P3_67.JPG
Assembled shed

Once assembled, it then needed painting. First primed in grey I then set about trying out my newly learned painting skills, copying the colour scheme of the original
P3_68.JPG
Painted shed 1

P3_69.JPG
Painted shed 2

P3_70.JPG
Painted shed 3

I have to say I'm feeling pretty smug with the final effect! :D
If anything i think I even prefer my version as it has smooth roof edges. I'm not sure why the Lyddle end model has ragged roof edges, but I think they spoil the lines of the shed.
As an exercise, I think I've done ok. It has shown me some alternative colours to try and the detailing of the doors is something to repeat again. It also means I could sell my Lyddle end shed and invest the proceeds in plastic sheet. I could also build some bigger matching buildings for a much more populous scene at a far more reasonable cost. Overall a success - happy days :)

User avatar
railwayjim
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:46 am
Location: Sunny Fleetwood by the sea

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby railwayjim » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:04 pm

Well, that looks like a cracking job to me, and
I agree yours looks more realistic than the original.

There's something about scratch building, it's very satisfying
and the items are also unique. I have just got into scratch building
myself, It is very rewarding knowing you have built something yourself.

Nice paint job too.

Jim.

User avatar
PinkNosedPenguin
Posts: 1209
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:20 pm

Your model does indeed look better than the horribly-expensive original 8) and I like the closed doors (a good idea that!)
The only constructive criticism I would offer is to give a wash over with light grey - just to tone down that red on the roof a bit. Of course it may be the colours are not faithfully reproduced in the photos and it is not required, but (for me) that would improve it even more :D

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:43 pm

There were a few fundamental issues I had with my previous layout.
1) Some of the trains had trouble with the gradients, and to have enough speed to get up the inclines, they ran too fast in the scenic area (I like slow trains gliding by).
2) The scenic area was only about 25% of the track length, so half of the time was spent looking at an empty track.
3) The layout was too long for a 'normal' sized room
Moving house has prompted a re-think of these issues and an update of the design. A new frame was put together to allow a new set of modules in the front of the layout, the track would have no gradients and I would remove the storage capability, instead having trains stored in visible sidings. The curves at each end would be of a length that a full train could be out of view, so just after the tail entered a tunnel, the loco would emerge from the next tunnel just a second or so after, to give a more visual experience. By keeping all on one level, trains would remain at the speed they were set at for their whole journey. The overall length would also be able to fit into a more common room size.
My method of building on sheets of 50mm polystyrene gives modules of hardly any weight, so the frame could be simple and lightweight too:
P4_01.JPG
New frame 1

P4_02.JPG
New frame 2

P4_03.JPG
New frame 3

As you can see, I have kept the existing module sections, which effectively form a background to the new front modules. Photos have my embarrassing clutter airbrushed out! :oops:

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Once complete, the new polystyrene base sheets sit on top. This gives me a lot more space for new scenery.
P4_04.JPG
New layout base 1

P4_05.JPG
New layout base 2

P4_06.JPG
New layout base 3

P4_07.JPG
New layout base 4

Admittedly it will be a bit more 'train-set'-like, being a visible oval, but it may be a more fun layout to watch trains on. Overall width is now a shade over three metres (10feet) so should fit in any spare room if required. Depth is just over one metre, so plenty of scenery in the background to look at.

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:44 pm

I've replaced the big end loops with simple 180degree curves. The principle of gripping the track with small cardboard pads is still the same, meaning the track is fully recoverable yet very well held. I used 2nd, 3rd and 4th radius setrack to position the grips to give a uniform curve at the ends, and any transition between them will be taken up by the flextrack
P4_08.JPG
Measuring the track grips

Once the glue had dried, I could then cut and fit the flextrack, using parts of setrack at the ends
P4_09.JPG
Cutting the flextrack

The track was then removed and the whole lot sealed with paint. Grey and green were as good a colour choice as any, so it would look passable if the covers were taken off
P4_10.JPG
Painted base

Once dry the track could then be placed
P4_11.JPG
Track re-fitted

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:58 pm

The 180degree curves will allow trains to emerge from another tunnel back into the visible area. Here the through-lines will also have a passing line and two sidings. Being on the inner track, I can shuttle trains between the station sidings of the existing rear part of the layout for operational variety
P4_12.JPG
Approaching the new visible area

Closer view of the sidings. The track is temporarily positioned between the brown cardboard spacers which locate them until the track gets glued down. They will be buried under the ballast, but ensure the track doesn't move out of position before the glue has set.
P4_13.JPG
Sidings and through-lines of new visible area

P4_14.JPG
Sidings and through-lines of new visible area

To align the boards at their interface I embedded some wooden blocks to support the track and ensure a better connection. A bit primitive but simple and hopefully effective. They won't support much load, but since the boards are very lightweight, there aren't big forces so I think it should work.
P4_15.JPG
Board alignment blocks

P4_16.JPG
Board alignment blocks

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:46 pm

For info, here is my intended layout plan. It allows two trains to alternate between the blue lines, whilst the other is parked up at the station. There is also a passing loop on the red line, again to allow two trains to run this line. The orange sidings can allow two trains to shuttle between the front sidings and the station sidings/terminus.
P4__LayoutPlan.jpg
Layout plan

alan_r
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:31 pm

I've now made a start on the scenery of the new front module. Here I've cut the polystyrene for the river which will run in a channel from under the railway and under the small road crossing. There is also a ditch to separate the road from the rail lines
P4_17.JPG
Starting the scenery

I then cut some brick sheet to make the retaining wall and sides to the road bridge. The rail bridge will not go right through the railway as this would weaken the board, but I think I only need an inch or so to give the desired effect. Painting the interior matt black should make the blind tunnel convincing
P4_18.JPG
Beginnings of the road bridge

A quick hut was easy to put together using the previous techniques, making good use of some scrap slivers
P4_19.JPG
Hut in the siding area

The channel sides are wooden sticks cut into the polystyrene
P4_20.JPG
The river channel

Next to apply some light filler to smooth the sides and fill the gaps. As you can see, I've used two cut-off wall plugs to give the piped stream somewhere to emerge from (saving another bridge for the smaller stream!)
P4_21.JPG
Filling the channel


Return to “Personal Layouts - Under Construction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests