Video Archive         Recent Topics      
YMR logo

You are here:  Your Model Railway Club > Model Railway Layouts. > Members Personal Layouts. > A big learning curve to build a layout To bottom of page
                 

 Moderated by: Spurno
Start New Topic Reply Printer Friendly

A big learning curve to build a layout - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2019 12:13 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 1st post
RobynT
Full Member


Joined: Wed Mar 12th, 2014
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 205
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

I thought I might put together some information about my personal "discoveries" when it comes to layout building particularly the baseboards. I have recently found some old photos of my progress with building a number of layouts and I thought it would be good to share these ideas. It goes without saying that we must start at the beginning and that is my first layout 'Greetham'. As a new contender in this hobby back in 1998 I had the attitude that this can't be all that hard, I mean I can build models and I don't mind doing a bit of woodwork it should be a piece of cake, I was quite wrong. The baseboards for Greetham were made using 2 x 1 dressed pine and the basic frame came together in an afternoon....




The one thing I did not think too much about was how I would create the rise and fall in the scenery and a little rethink was needed. This then led to the creation of plywood uprights that I had to cut out on my scroll saw and then attach them to the frames.







It is easy to see that what started as a simple approach suddenly gained mass due to finding the inherent flaws in my approach to designing the baseboards. A lot of timber was sacrificed to make this layout. Once the basics were in place I then laid down the base for the track and my little town and of course the fiddle yard at the back. The next step was adding the scenery...now this part I really enjoyed.





Needless to say the layout turned out OK in the end and after fixing my terrible track laying and my wobbly legs Greetham completed just over a hundred shows before we called it a day so perhaps the over engineering of the baseboards did work. The issues that I found with this first attempt was the weight of the modules and the problem transporting it without damage, the latter was addressed when a friend made a rack for my van that the modules slid into and were pinned so as not to move. 



The next layout was 'Passionfruit Creek' and a whole different approach to baseboards which I will go through soon.




Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2019 12:45 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 2nd post
Sol
A modelling Moderator.


Joined: Mon Nov 28th, 2011
Location: Evanston Gardens, South Aust, Australia
Posts: 3922
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Robyn, one of my mates is a professional design engineer and he tends to over design the simplest of things & then wonders what went wrong or spending hours on the design when others taken just minutes!

A layout that does get moved needs a certain amount of structure to prevent warping.



____________________
Ron
NCE DCC ; 00 scale UK outline.
Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2019 12:49 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 3rd post
RobynT
Full Member


Joined: Wed Mar 12th, 2014
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 205
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Sol wrote: Robyn, one of my mates is a professional design engineer and he tends to over design the simplest of things & then wonders what went wrong or spending hours on the design when others taken just minutes!

A layout that does get moved needs a certain amount of structure to prevent warping.
 I agree Sol, I try not to over engineer things but then I find the problems, most are fixable, but it is a learning curve.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2019 01:17 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 4th post
RobynT
Full Member


Joined: Wed Mar 12th, 2014
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 205
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

My second layout was a narrow gauge Australian "tourist railway" that would take you through the gold rush period, then the paddlesteamers on the Murray River and then through the Dandenong Ranges. Simple enough concept but I wanted each module to be separated from the other and the box module idea was born. Each box was made using MDF and had a tunnel hole cut in each section to allow the trains to move from one module to the next.      
   



This concept has its good bits and a few bad bits but it did work and each module was not only self contained but easy to transport by stacking the boxes on each other. The fiddle yard was a separate piece and that caused quite a few problems but I did finally get that sorted and the layout worked well. The scenery on these was a bit challenging as you had to lean into the box to lay track and do the detail work.








Once completed the modules were sat on trestles and clipped together it was a very quick set up and pull down at shows and so easy to load in the van. The other benefit was that I could move these around on my own using a hand trolley. The biggest draw back was again the weight of the modules even at 1200mm x 600mm there was a fair bit of timber in them as well as the fluoro lighting and all that plaster. Although the layout was popular at shows I was never really happy with it as it seemed to lack the life of my first layout. But the finished product looked ok and it was rewarding that people recognised some of the features.











The next approach to baseboard design is something completely different as we take a look at Wattle Tree Lane.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2019 10:16 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 5th post
Barry Miltenburg
Full Member


Joined: Wed Jan 18th, 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 418
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hi Robyn

Your modular layout is an interesting idea.  I once designed but never built a "peep-hole" layout comprising a number of individual scences showing one aspect of a line - trains passing the end of a suburban street, line passing over an urban girder bridge, level crossing scene etc etc.  It gives you much more railway in a smalll space and, in truth, we only ever get to see small sections of a line anyway!

When I move I will probably join the local railway club who already have a test track around the walls of their clubhouse.  They were discussing scenic treatment and I think the "peep-hole"/module approach is a good one - each member can take a section each.

Thanks for sharing

Barry

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2019 10:52 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 6th post
RobynT
Full Member


Joined: Wed Mar 12th, 2014
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 205
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hi Barry, I had not heard of these being called peep hole but it does sound right. The first show we did it was referred to as the fish tank layout.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sun Oct 6th, 2019 06:03 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 7th post
RobynT
Full Member


Joined: Wed Mar 12th, 2014
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 205
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

The last part of this baseboard layout building journey is motivated by the need to make my layouts lighter and easier to move around and this led to construction using 25mm aluminium tubing that is held together with plastic joiners. I have used this material for years in my signwriting business as well as expanded polystyrene (high density grade) putting the two together should work. Wattle Tree Lane was the first attempt and even though I thought I had the design right it was a disaster and only did two shows before being dismantled. The main problem was joining the modules which I found out can;t be simply bolted together as the wall thickness of the aluminium just gave way. The layout modules each measured  2400mm x 800mm and included the backscene and support for the lighting. 




The other problem was using mdf glued to the polystyrene for the track base, even after painting both sides the water from doing the scenery managed to get in to it and boy did it swell up causing all sorts of issues.



I must admit that even though this particular venture was a failure I did believe that it could work, I just needed to develop a better design.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sun Oct 6th, 2019 06:31 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 8th post
RobynT
Full Member


Joined: Wed Mar 12th, 2014
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 205
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

The new design that finally works...YIPEE!!!! I came up with design for a group of modellers at a club I was a member of, it was simple enough being only 1200mm x 450mm so that each person could bring their moduleto the club on the back seat of their car. The design used double the aluminium but it worked and using 2 layers of 50mm EPS also made the module strong but incredibly light. I also came up with a way of 'clipping' the modules together thatmade the set up so easy. The track on these modules was laid using a jig that I made to ensure all the track lined up.


You can see on my module the track alignment jig and also the odd shaped polystyrene block on both sides at the back, this was on every module and we blended our scenery to these to ensure that if one module was unavailable they would still join up and look right.




Using channel that fitted over two 50mm uprights on each module made connecting them easy.




I was very happy with this final design and when my 83 year old friend wanted a HO  layout and wanted to exhibit it I knew it would be me having to load, unload, set up, pull down etc. After a little tweaking of the N Scale design I finally came up with a set of baseboards that I reckon will work and not break my back setting it up. The modules are 1800mm x 600mm and there are 6 all up, 2 front, 2 back and the 2 end modules. The cost all up is not that bad in fact it is cheaper than timber and easier to get square. I have added extra bracing to help strengthen the modules and that means that I have only used 1 sheet of 40mm EPS as a base. The two modules shown here took a couple of days to build......the track layout took a couple of days trying to reduce Bill's empire building to a more sensible and workable plan, track laying took a couple of hours and he was very excited when we wired it up and sent trains up and down. The layout when finished will be just under 5mts x 1.3mts and should only take about 20 minutes to set up.





I guess the moral to this story, if there is one, is to not be afraid to experiment and try new ideas. The primary issue for me has been to make the layouts lighter and easier to handle, this is so important as we all get older and for some of us the journey is as exciting as the finished product. 

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 09:13 pm
PMQuoteReply
link to this 9th post
Petermac
Moderator


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Nr Bergerac, France
Posts: 16799
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

That aluminium tubing seems very popular "down under" - and rightly so.

It fulfills every frame requirement - except -  here in Europe, it costs an arm and 4 legs.  I once did some comparative costings here in France and nearly fainted  !!!!    Maybe it's because there's a plentiful supply of timber here ..........................do trees grow in Oz ?  :mutley :mutley :mutley

You're managing the learning curve extremely well. :thumbs :thumbs :thumbs



____________________
'Petermac
Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 10:07 pm
PMQuoteReply
link to this 10th post
RobynT
Full Member


Joined: Wed Mar 12th, 2014
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 205
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Petermac wrote: That aluminium tubing seems very popular "down under" - and rightly so.

It fulfills every frame requirement - except -  here in Europe, it costs an arm and 4 legs.  I once did some comparative costings here in France and nearly fainted  !!!!    Maybe it's because there's a plentiful supply of timber here ..........................do trees grow in Oz ?  :mutley :mutley :mutley

You're managing the learning curve extremely well. :thumbs :thumbs :thumbs

The cost is not too bad here, a 6.5mt length of tube is around AUD$16.00 and the connectors average AUD$1.50 on the other hand dressed pine is quite expensive and so much more is needed to build a baseboard. My friend wanted to build his layout in timber and when I did the design and calculated the cost it was double that of the aluminium and polystyrene. Above all else it comes down to the weight us oldies can manage to carry. 

As far as trees go we have a few......but the bushfires are taking their toll at the moment and a five year drought means we don't have the water to put them out.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

This is topic ID = 16231     Current time is 05:50 am  
You are here:  Your Model Railway Club > Model Railway Layouts. > Members Personal Layouts. > A big learning curve to build a layout
You can type a quick reply to this topic here. Click in the box below to begin.

Or to reply to an individual post, or to include images, attachments and formatted text,
click the Quote or Reply buttons on each post above.

To start a new topic in this forum, click the Start New Topic button below.
To start a new topic in a different forum, click the Forum Jump drop-down list below.
Start New Topic


Back to top of page

           
15 Most Recent Topics

Problems with this web site? Please contact the Webmaster.

All material submitted to this web site is the responsibility of the respective contributor. By submitting material to this web site you acknowledge that you accept full responsibility for the material submitted.
Unless stated otherwise, all the material displayed on this web site, including all text, photographs, drawings and other images, is copyright and the property of the respective contributor. Registered members are welcome to use it for their own personal non-commercial modelmaking purposes. It must not be reproduced or re-published elsewhere in any form, or used commercially, without first obtaining the owner's express permission.
The owner of this web site may edit, modify or remove any content at any time without giving notice or reason.    © 2008

                 

Recent Topics Back to top of page

Powered by UltraBB 1.15 Copyright © 2007-2011 by Jim Hale and Data 1 Systems. Page design copyright © 2008-2013 Martin Wynne. Photo gallery copyright © 2009 David Williams.