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
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:25 pm

I've cut down four wall plugs to form the pipe openings for the stream to emerge from.
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Painting the track bed to hide any ballast gaps and a concrete grey for the retaining wall:
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After 'painting' the track with a dilute wash of 50% brown paint and 50% water to take away the stark black plastic of the Peco track, I placed it on the track bed. Since putting ballast inside the points sounds like a bad idea (especially since these are insulfrog) then the sleeper gaps may be unfilled. The grey base seemed a bit light, so I quickly put down some black over the outlines.
P2 23.JPG
Last edited by alan_r on Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alan_r
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:34 pm

Then to carefully align and stick down the first section of track, using a 1metre rule to ensure the flextrack stays perfectly straight:
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By connecting it to the loop track this ensures it will be compatible with the rest of the layout base.
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First track successfully glued down and then tested with a loco to ensure the points still work in both directions. I decided to return one of the black points outlines back to the original grey colour. This is supposed to be an experiment to test ideas, so it will be useful to compare black with grey under the points
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alan_r
Posts: 157
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:45 pm

The wood for the station platforms are now painted in concrete grey and positioned to see how they look (answer: very bare! ... will need some degree of weathering I think). Final position will also need to be determined to clear a train, but not to have too big a gap.
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Second track positioned relative to the first via the track setting gauge
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I spent AGES carefully filing down spare sleepers to fill in the gaps between the flextrack and the setrack/points. Definitely worth it though as you have to look very close to spot which ones are 'loose'. The brown paint wash certainly makes the track/sleepers look less toy-like
P2 31.JPG


A very dilute wash of black paint then applied to the concrete retaining wall above the pipes and some scatter/flock to blend the stream into the adjoining board. Starting to look less basic and a bit more realistic.
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alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:14 pm

Started to weather the platform edges with diluted black paint, which has certainly improved the looks
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The weathering doesn't look right on the top and I guess these would be kept clean anyway so i repainted them back to fresh grey.
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alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:17 pm

To paint the white edges to the platforms, I didn't think I could hold a brush well enough so painted the edge of a ruler and 'printed' the line like a potato print. This was far better than hand painting but still a bit rough.
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As you can see the lines are far from good enough - one of the perils of n-gauge as the tolerance needs to be so fine!

What then followed was a few iterations of touching up with a very small brush using both white and grey paint until I was happy the line were straight enough

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:25 pm

After a few touching up iterations, the platform lines now look much better
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Before sticking them down, I then tested a train alongside to ensure there were no fouls. The gap needed to be a bit bigger between the platform and the Farish coach than I would have liked to ensure the car transporter and loco didn't rub. Hopefully this won't look too big when a train is in the station, but functionality has to come before cosmetics
P2_42.JPG


I also noted that the car transporter fouled with the platform at the curve so trimmed down the leading edge to avoid this
P2_43.JPG

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:32 pm

Hmmm ... the uploaded pictures seem to be displaying in a different style (smaller and with no view caption) despite being done in the same way as before. Can anyone tell me if they can be viewed ok, or do they show as too small/different to previous uploads (page4 for example, where I think they display bigger)?
Any suggestions as to why, or has the host program changed? I don't think I am uploading or proccessing them any differently
Thanks

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TimberSurf
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby TimberSurf » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:53 pm

The pictures on this page are a little smaller than those on page 4, but are still fine. :D
The two pics after viewtopic.php?f=22&t=40116&start=45#p587790 #2 are broke (PB issue)
For clean white lines, apply masking tape and keep measuring width from edge with a spacer (matchstick) till its perfect down the length, then paint and strip off to reveal a nice straight edge.
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:33 pm

One of the big factors for me is hiding baseboard joins, so the idea will be to use some orange wire along the interface which will represent cable conduit often seen where cables cross under real railway tracks. To ensure the adjoining board track will fit I put a piece of track in place. This also ensures the wire is tight against the sleeper of the next board, with the gap filled with ballast 'inside' the wire thereby containing it. I figure ballast at the edge is vulnerable to damage and falling off.
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Orange wire tight against other board sleeper

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Orange wire forming board edge

I've also put a [cardboard] crossing between the platforms. This will break up the long length of ballast, allowing me to lay it in smaller areas
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Future board interface

The home-made buffer is also fitted. The photograph is unkind as the biro drawn red line looks fine in the flesh. Not bad for effectively zero cost!
P2_48.JPG
Home-made buffer at end of terminus platform

alan_r
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:56 pm

I wasn't really happy with the board join on the trackbed of the previous layout so I decided to fit an orange wire to try to improve that interface too
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Orange wire to right hand interface too

By stripping back the insulation, this will form the electrical cables emerging from the conduit. I'll paint them black and stick them on top of the ballast later. Note the extended sleepers to mount the dummy point motor boxes:
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Stripped wire to represent cable emerging from conduit


And now what I have found to be one of my favourite parts of railway modelling: ballasting the track (yes, really!)
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Ballasting the station

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Ballasting up to the orange wire and cross-platform path

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Looking better :-)

alan_r
Posts: 157
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:04 pm

Ballasting the area around the points - potentially disasterous if the glue sticks the points. However this is a test layout for me to learn how to do it, so here goes:
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Ballasting around the points

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Ballasting up to the orange wire board interface

One test I did was to paint under the points in either black (to right) or grey(to left of platform). These are insulfrog points so I didn't want to ballast under the moving parts
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'holes' under points - black and grey

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Ballasted points

P2_58.JPG
Ballased points with gaps underneath moving parts

alan_r
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:14 pm

The gaps under the points look ok-ish from a distance, but terrible up close whether in black or grey!
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Grey gap under points


I decided to take the plunge and ballast under the points too. Wire from orange conduit now painted black too
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Ballasting under points

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Ballasted points and black painted wire

Much better! ...and the points function fine in all directions when tested with a loco. Phew!

Then to glue down the wire to connect the far point motor to the grey control [AWS?] box at the end of the concrete path:
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Cable running from points to control box over ballast

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Point motor cable fitted

I'm really pleased with how this has worked out. The orange wire has hidden most of the board join well, with only 5mm on one side and 10mm on the other of a board gap visible. The cable from the future dummy point motor running up to the grey control box also looks good and gives a bit of detail that I think adds to the overall look. :D

alan_r
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:08 pm

Dummy point motors fitted on top of the extended sleepers and the 'cable' running alongside, under the orange conduit and to the AWS boxes. I'm pleased with the effect.
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Dummy point motors fitted


Next to make a start on interfacing with a new back board. The wooden block will form the contact interface and should align the two boards
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The path should then obscure the gap between the two and mislead the eye into not seeing the join

alan_r
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:19 pm

I managed to get a scrap loco shed on ebay for a couple of quid, so will have a go at building an alternative building at the end of a scenic siding to add some background interest.
It was more complete than this, but badly damaged, with these bits being what I wanted. I'm sure I can make something out of them.
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bargain scrap loco shed parts


The walls will be used in the viewed side of the building, though with both at full length, the look is a bit predictable
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standard walls


Cutting one of the walls gives a better configuration
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cut wall configuration

or an alternative way around...
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alternative configuration


I think I prefer the former of these last two and it will give a bigger building to hide the implied origin of the scenic siding at the back of the layout. It should also be a bit more prominent since this will be behind the station platform area.

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manna
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby manna » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:22 pm

G'Day Gents

Impressive,considering it's 'N' gauge, it could easily thought to be '00'.

manna
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