Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:47 pm

To give an edge to the front of the back section, I decided to go for a brick retaining wall. I bought some textured brick plastic sheet and spray painted in red. Again it was high gloss and ended up a pillar box red, so I didn't take a picture. Painting over with neat black acrylic and wiping off in up/down strokes however gave a very good effect, so I was quite pleased. The brick texture works, with the black filling the mortar gaps neatly. I also wanted to link the scenes and have some interest, so made some steps out of cut matchsticks. This seemed to work on the previous model by the signal, so I tried it again
P3_06.JPG
Brick retaining wall and steps

P3_07.JPG
Placed on front of scenic filler

P3_08.JPG
finished retaining wall

As you can see, I also filled up the track and surround with cardboard to give a concrete yard, painted grey

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:51 pm

Then to ballast the scenic track and paint the road-plate crossing
P3_09.JPG
ballasted track

P3_10.JPG
overgrown siding end

Then scatter over the area, leaving the roadway clear. Peco buffer painted yellow fitted too.
P3_11.JPG
scatter and buffer

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 pm

Next to weather the scene to take the shiny model look away. First some dilute black on a damp paper towel dragged along the dirt road
P3_12.JPG
weathered road

Then the same over the yard to where the building vehicle door will be
P3_13.JPG
weathered yard vehicle route

Placing the building confirms the road marks are about right
P3_14.JPG
Placing the buildings

Here is a longer shot showing more of the scene. So far, so good :)
P3_15.JPG
Long shot

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:02 pm

Next to finish the bushes, with a few over the track by the buffer. Not quite the standard I have seen on some OO models, but ok for now. The scatter within the track rails certainly makes a different look.
P3_16.JPG
overgrown siding buffer

Another long view of the scene. This infill seems to match the adjoining section, so success
P3_17.JPG
another long view

And for reference, here are two shots of the infill panel separated from the model.
P3_18.JPG
Infill1

P3_19.JPG
Infill2

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

Postby roganty » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:54 am

alan_r wrote:To give an edge to the front of the back section, I decided to go for a brick retaining wall. I bought some textured brick plastic sheet and spray painted in red. Again it was high gloss and ended up a pillar box red, so I didn't take a picture. Painting over with neat black acrylic and wiping off in up/down strokes however gave a very good effect, so I was quite pleased. The brick texture works, with the black filling the mortar gaps neatly.
P3_06.JPG


alan_r, where did you get your textured plastic sheet from? It looks to be what I'm after for my layout.

Btw, I love the concept for your layout, multiple integrated modules, brilliant! It is something I have long dreamed of.

Keep the modules coming! :)

Anthony
Main Layout: Planning | The Build

Erikslund - a small shunting layout

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

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:45 pm

Your scenic work is looking great - its all coming together a bit like you had a plan 8). I know how small everything is in N gauge as I have recently finished my N gauge layout - but the advantage is the sense of space which is so much more like the real world - "less is often more" :D.
Last edited by PinkNosedPenguin on Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby mumbles » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:29 pm

Looks fantastic, i know its a bit cliched but I've only just realised this is N!! Great work

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

Postby alan_r » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:01 pm

Thanks for all of the comments - it is reassuring to know I've done a good job in other people's eyes. It does help knowing how to use the camera, though I still don't know why the pictures are uploading so small compared to previous uploads? :?

The camera does hide some of the imperfections though. The previous modules were made on 50mm polystyrene sheets which were quite rigid, but this drop-in module is only 15mm thick at the flat part. It has warped a few times during the various construction stages and I've had to keep adjusting it to fit. The grassy bank down to the lower level was supposed to have the join hidden by matchstick kerbs, being carved down to a cardboard edge, but the card wrinkles and the glue seems to shrink and bend the sheets. A bigger kerb or small wall may be required.
As with the basic engineering principle of beam theory, the stiffness is in the depth not the material (as in an I-beam)
So the big learning from this is not to make future modules out of anything thinner than 50mm :oops:

Anthony - the brick sheets are by 'Expo drills and tools'. They are listed as being 365x260mm, but they have a flat border leaving 345x240mm of usable area. However this should make a lot of walls (mine here are 22mm tall) and also will make many buildings I'd have thought. They initially seem pricey, but they come in packs of two and in N-gauge should go a long way. I got mine from Hattons:
http://www.hattons.co.uk/stocklist/1000 ... dlist.aspx
There seem to be 3 styles available though the website pictures might be wrong - the one in the model is 'English bond' (582-02) which is like our old solid wall pattern. I subsequently bought 'plain bond' (582-01) which is modern stretcher bond as you would see on modern buildings and single skin walls.
Just remember when weathering to use vertical strokes in the direction of falling rain! Initially I wiped the black off along the wall length horizontally and they looked ridiculous! :oops:

I just have to finish the narrow section between the back scene and the station and then I'll post some [almost] finished pictures with some trains on.

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

Postby alan_r » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:10 pm

I've now moved on to the narrow infill piece between the back module and the station. The extra loop will be a running line, so it was necessary to cut an opening into the backscene board to allow the trains to pass through. Matchsticks form a kerb that is intended to hide the join between the back module and this infill
P3_20.JPG
Cut backscene

Then the interface between the two boards joined with a cutoff end of half a length of setrack. This join should be hidden by the concrete path of the station board
P3_21.JPG
Link track

Then to fit a length of flextrack between the two ends
P3_22.JPG
Siding cut to fit

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

Postby alan_r » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:17 pm

The back module had a yard built up from cardboard. For this one I decided to try using filler between matchsticks. This view shows the pre-smoothed initial fill. Cardboard is used to make a path to the steps of the back module
P3_23.JPG
Filler yard

Once smoothed, the filler was painted, this time in the darker grey to see how this looks. The white line along the rail is where I trimmed the over fill. This was repainted later. Track also ballasted
P3_24.JPG
Painted filler

Then scatter over the rough ground behind the station platforms, mostly brown but with a bit of green to represent weeds growing in the rough soil
P3_25.JPG
Ballasted and scatter

P3_26.JPG
View of the crossing path

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

Postby alan_r » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:28 pm

Finally, some views with trains!
I've placed my self-modified tomytec crane with cable and suspended load, which I think looks superb in the flesh :D Unfortunately with the location so far back on the layout and the lighting position, the boom is casting a shadow on the backboard! D'oh! Something to remember when designing a scene in future :oops:
P3_27.JPG
View with trains

Here you can see the path crossing the track to the steps. I'm pleased with the steps as a point of interest in the view. Also confirmation that a lorry will fit under the roller shutter door of the building at the back
P3_28.JPG
Path detail

A careful selection of camera angle hides the boom shadow on the backboard! The painted brick sheet also looks good in this view, so I shall be making more of these walls
P3_29.JPG
Crane, no shadow

A long view of the scene, showing more of the station platforms
P3_30.JPG
Longer view

And a high level shot, this time with the mobile crane removed
P3_31.JPG
High view, no crane

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

Postby alan_r » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:36 pm

The green overgrown siding contrasts well with my yellow breakdown crane, showing it off nicely
P3_32.JPG
Crane in siding

The breakdown crane siding in context with the new layout section
P3_33.JPG
Long view

View of the new station area, siding module and the integration with the original bridge/tunnel approach module. I think this looks far more interesting than the previous road and double track, even if it did have an auto-signal. This gives things to look at when no trans are passing, and I can also enjoy just looking at static trains in the sidings
P3_34.JPG
View towards tunnel

Here is a view of the current configuration, with the new station and sidings at the far end
P3_35.JPG
Distant view

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

Postby alan_r » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:53 pm

So, what is left to finish? Whilst the grey shed nicely hides the opening in the backboard that allows trains to pass through from the siding behind the station, I definitely need something to hide the double track of the station in front. I'm thinking a pedestrian bridge to hide the high opening, with a full width canopy to hide the hole - not really realistic, but probably the easiest and most effective.
P3_36.JPG
Station building required

I also have the scenic area in front of the station. Any suggestions as to what I could build here? I'm not just thinking of what would look good for a layout, but also what could I build to try out or practice something new? I'm thinking perhaps a block of flats or multi-storey car park at the left, maybe scratchbuilding houses out of the textured plastic brick sheets, but can anyone suggest anything else I might not have thought of that would be a good exercise for me to learn railway modelling? As you can see, it is a reasonably large square-ish area so there could be a number of possibilities
P3_37.JPG
Front scene suggestions

From this view of the whole layout, I think I've done enough countryside, so something industrial or more buildings are needed for me to try. Nothing too tall in the centre as the station would be obscured, but I'm sure someone can think up something original, or that I've not yet attempted
P3_38.JPG
Whole view

All suggestions welcome (for this final module, or perhaps as inspiration for the next version). Of course being modular, I can interchange between several options, so I can try more than one type rather than deciding on a single final choice. Thanks for looking and I look forward to any responses.
Cheers, Alan

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

Postby mumbles » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:08 pm

What about an outdoor lido/pool? Layout looks fab BTW 8)

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

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:19 pm

You have certainly got some scenery to be proud of. Shadows on the sky or across acres of hill side can be fixed! temporarily for photo sessions point a work light at them from a high up position, as near as you can get to above the object. I have some signals that have to be very close to the backscene so for a more permanent fix I've arranged my fixed lighting to wash down the wall and remove the shadow. On one of the Peco give away DVDs in the Railway Modeller, you can see Craig Tilley their photographer doing a timed exposure and walking around with a hand held light "painting out" any unwanted shadows. One of the photos in my layout thread has a nasty shadow of the viaduct arches on the wall behind because I didn't put my photo lights up high enough, under its normal lighting it doesn't happen the overhead light is directly above the track.
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