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.
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glencairn
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby glencairn » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:01 pm

Looks great. to me. Well done.

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.

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

Postby Hymirl » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:48 pm

Its a good trick with removable loads. I did some with coal years back but they didn't come out s nice as yours did!!

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:31 pm

I fitted some gates to the level crossing, painted appropriately and placed some vehicles in queues either side which it finishes it off quite nicely
P5_06.JPG
Level crossing gates fitted

The road signs are taken from an internet search of official road signs and printed with a laser printer, before sticking to card and sticking this to a silver painted wire pushed into the polystyrene board. I find even a few details like this seems to make such a huge difference
P5_07.JPG
Road signs to finish off

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:41 pm

A few pictures of the level crossing from various angles with a train crossing. I'm pleased with how this has turned out, and provides a great viewing spot to watch the trains roll by, with my head at road level as if I was standing on the pavement :D
P5_08.JPG
Level crossing 1

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Level crossing 2

P5_10.JPG
Level crossing 3

P5_11.JPG
Level crossing 4

P5_12.JPG
Level crossing 5

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

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:01 pm

Looks great - especially the road signs.
Really we need a video of passing trains from that eye level viewpoint :D

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joshv8
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby joshv8 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:36 am

Looking great alan! Im feel like your keeping a real quick pace on this... its making me feel like a slack arse!

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

Postby alan_r » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:40 pm

Thanks for the comments.
PinkNosedPenguin - At the moment I don't have the means to make and post a video, but maybe one day. Having spent lots of time browsing other people's train pictures, I decided to join this forum to 'put something back' and contribute, so maybe one day I'll get myself a video camera and make some short films. A big 'however' of course is they are better filmed on a 'finished' layout which we all know never happens!
Joshv8 - don't be fooled by the postings! If you look at the dates I tend to have big bursts of activity followed by long periods distracted by everyday life (this thread is years in the making!). At the moment I'm able to get a bit of time in on the layout, but this could be short lived. Whether you are a plodder and can do a little and often, or are a random sprinter, it doesn't matter. Just enjoy the time you find and try find time when you can. Taking/processing and posting photos can be a bind, though it does add to the satisfaction and as I mentioned above, it is nice to put some new pictures out there for people. Keep up your posting - I really like what you have created :D

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

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:01 am

alan_r wrote:PinkNosedPenguin - At the moment I don't have the means to make and post a video, but maybe one day. Having spent lots of time browsing other people's train pictures, I decided to join this forum to 'put something back' and contribute, so maybe one day I'll get myself a video camera and make some short films.

I don't have a video camera either - I just use my inexpensive point-and-shoot - it takes quite good videos. If you have a decent phone that'll do it too. You can upload to youtube free. I know your layout isn't finished yet, but I really enjoy looking back at my old videos of my layouts as they were in progress...

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

Postby alan_r » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:39 pm

Ah - first problem encountered with the level crossing!
I was 'playing trains' and decided to run some of my older Poole-chassis class31 locos, with the big silver 'cookie-cutter' wheels. It appears that the deep flanges are such that they bottom-out on the inner of the crossing, lifting the wheels up and breaking the electrical contact. As the class31s are a shorter wheelbase, this leaves the loco with both bogies grounded on the crossing and the loco stuck...
P5_13.JPG
Stuck!

The newer China chassis locos all run fine, as do the locos where I've modified the wheels with darkened, low flange replacements. This is a bit of an important discovery for future layouts. It means these locos can't run on the layout as it stands as the level crossing crosses every loop, so they will have to stay in their boxes for now :(
Well - it is meant to be an experimental layout I suppose! I'm not going to change the crossing, but it is an important learning for the future.
Ho-hum!

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joshv8
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby joshv8 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:04 am

I had exactly the same problem with our level crossing and my older oo gauge stock. I rectified this however and repainted only to find they have issues with the peco points ayway and sometimes de rail. The wheels can apparently be filed down but personally cant be bothered.

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

Postby Hymirl » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:26 pm

Looking good. I like the tailback of cars and trucks, very important for modern(ish) railways.

If its the back to back of the wheels fouling the crossing could a little careful surgery trim away the excess?

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:08 pm

Hi Hymirl - yes possibly cutting away a little groove for the flanges could help but I think it would spoil the crossing, so I'll leave it for now. It means for future layouts there must be plenty of loops with no crossing so there will be somewhere where they can run, with a crossing on a minor loop or siding/yard only.

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:18 pm

OK, so I decided to spend what little time I had on closing in the curve behind the backscene. I covered it with a cut down sheet of plywood salvaged from the old storage sidings 'shelf' that was under the front scenery of the original configuration. Unfortunately it seems to have warped ever so slightly, but enough that it didn't sit flush to the roadway. In N-gauge these few millimetres are very prominent!
P5_14.JPG
Plywood corner cover

The solution was simply to screw a baton on to stiffen it, set back slightly to allow buildings to be placed over it, but forward enough that it kept this critical front edge flat:
P5_15.JPG
Stiffening baton

This seems to have worked and I'm happy it is flat enough

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:40 pm

The board had a strip of cardboard fitted to the front face for a safety wall then it was all painted a concrete-grey.
P5_16.JPG
Painted board and test building boxes 1

I found a very well priced plastic building kit on ebay from China which gave a large(ish) tower block with window openings for just over a fiver (and snap-together construction with no glue so I could still cannibalise it later or fit interiors). Good value, but still a relatively small building compared to real ones. Real buildings tend to be the scale of a cereal box, so I put a couple of such boxes in place to see how they might work as scenic background alternatives. They look like they could work well
P5_17.JPG
Painted board and test building boxes 2

Since the outer surface of the boxes was a glossy finish that probably wouldn't paint too well and could be difficult to obliterate the underlying print, I turned the box inside-out and cut it down to a smaller size, but still retained the original folds to give a ready-made pattern. I made it the same height as the plastic block for now and made a roof and edge wall to similar scale (all helps to stiffen the structure and I could use mini craft pegs to hold it together until the glue dried (24hrs). Note the bottom cut-out to straddle the baton
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Cereal box building

Placing onto the board and it fits ok
P5_19.JPG
Building positioned over the stiffener

Removing the pegs once dry and the building base looks quite good. The bottom however has bowed a little so I'll have to devise a way to close/hide the gap at its base. So far though - zero cost!
P5_20.JPG
Glue dry and building tested for general look

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:59 pm

The flat box sides looked like they needed some texture, so I figured some bands around the walls between each window level would work
P5_21.JPG
Ridges on building sides

The whole thing was then painted concrete grey. To close the gap at the bottom where the card had warped, I fitted a shallow skirt
P5_22.JPG
Skirt to fill building bottom gap

Matchstick and coffee stirrer wood form the door surround. I also scoured the internet for office window pictures, printed them onto paper and stuck them in between the bands of the walls. Initially I tried a stick glue (like a Prittstick) but they just peeled off, so I resorted to PVA. As with many times I've used PVA, it has soaked into the card and caused some bowing once it dried. You do need to look closely though to see it and the building will be boxed in by surrounding buildings so I'm hoping it will work
P5_23.JPG
Door surrounds and paper windows

From a distance it looks like this will be ok. It has taken a lot of effort, so maybe the surrounding buildings need to be simpler, dropping the surface texture and just sticking the pictures onto the boxes?
P5_24.JPG
Building in context


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