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My N scale bench work and layout idea

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My N scale bench work and layout idea
Posted by PhaseOne on Friday, January 3, 2020 12:35 AM

First, Happy New Year to you all and thanks for reading my thread and chiming in.  I am wanting to run modern manifests and mixed freights on my layout eventually.  My goal is to have a train spotting layout with realistic scenery.  Rob Carey's Tennessee Pass or Bernard Kempinski's rendition of the same come to mind.  I also really like what the ModelRailroader did with their Canadian Canyons layout. I am a minimalist and don't plan on having many switching opportunities on the layout but the class I's I am going to decide to model don't either.  So...

I went to Ikea and purchased 8 of these 19.5" wide by 35" long pine storage racks.  I've seen similar used as bench work for some railroads before plus the wife wanted some storage in the  basement.  I originally ahd them all lined up against the wall in preparation to go into HO scale railroading but came back and settled on N-Scale. So these are forming my benchwork and I can add on to them as I go which seems like a good idea.

Where it gets interesting though is that my idea is to have a walk around layout where I turn the railroad around at some point, 180 degrees and come up the other side.  I plan on using a plywood base with 2" insulation foam over the top to carve in scenery, etc.  In the middle of the layout, right down the center I intent to install 1"x2" pine boards to connect my hardboard backdrop/scenery divider to.  This will provide for 9.375" of depth on either side to run trains and replicate scenery.  The real trick here is connecting these modules and using different radius's so that I preserve 9.375" of operating space on either side.  In some limitied testing, I've got an 18" radius that is working out okay but this is definately going to take some trial and error and is going to be tricky.  It's a no brainer that at some point to turn this thing around, I'm going to have to have an area wider than my 19.5" by 36" modules But I intend this to be a generic attachment that is sceneics but used to turn the railroad and can be removed as further additions are added.

I guess my question is, has anyone else built a similar walk around layout where you turn the railroad 180 degrees and come back the other way, just on the other side of your back drop?  This sounds like a good idea but may ulimtately be more headache than its worth.  At any rate, curious for everyones feedback.

 IMG_0089 by Garinek Keith, on Flickr<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/185825398@N05/49314486727/in/dateposted-public/" title="IMG_0079"><img src="https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49314486727_871b83ae52_z.jpg" width="640" height="640" alt="IMG_0079"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

 IMG_0079 by Garinek Keith, on Flickr

 IMG_0078 by Garinek Keith, on Flickr

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 3, 2020 1:02 AM

There have been lots of oval layouts that have a center backdrop as a divider. Making a horseshoe the same way would be very doable.

.

I think that is what you are describing.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by jsanchez on Sunday, January 5, 2020 8:14 PM

 I like your use of the Ikea modules for the layout bench work and scenery. It looks like a quick and practical solution to get trains running quicker and provide storage. I hope this is a regular stock item. You wouldn't happen to know the stock number?

  I thought they had a layout in Model Railroader that used backdrops in limited space to divide scenes, I have seen some layouts  on youtube where one side had a city scene the other rural mountain scenery, it worked very well. You could even have an excuse for a tunnel for the trains through the divider.

James Sanchez

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Posted by York1 on Sunday, January 5, 2020 8:23 PM

PhaseOne
I guess my question is, has anyone else built a similar walk around layout where you turn the railroad 180 degrees and come back the other way, just on the other side of your back drop? 

 

Phase One, below is a picture of a Model Railroader project called the Salt Lake Route, an N Scale layout.  I think this is what you have in mind.

 

 

http://mrr.trains.com/tags?tag=salt+lake+route#1

 

Keep us up-to-date with your progress!

John  --  Saints Fan  

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Posted by PhaseOne on Sunday, January 12, 2020 10:57 PM

It certainly gives you a head start on the bench work and in my situation, provides a practicle means of organizing the basement.

 

Here is a link to the legs.  You can buy the legs and shelves seperately and build your own system.

 

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ivar-side-unit-73755709/

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Posted by PhaseOne on Sunday, January 12, 2020 11:06 PM

That is exactly what I was thinking about!  However, I realized that the radius to make a turn within 20 inches was just to narrow for what I would like which is modern power, even in N scale.  I have instead organized my modules in aother form wich I will share in its own thread.

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Posted by jsanchez on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:11 AM

PhaseOne

It certainly gives you a head start on the bench work and in my situation, provides a practicle means of organizing the basement.

 

Here is a link to the legs.  You can buy the legs and shelves seperately and build your own system.

 

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ivar-side-unit-73755709/

 

Thanks for the info, I will check it out. Good luck with your project hope to see updates. This set up might let me have a larger layout and keep things organized a win win situation!

Jim

James Sanchez

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 8:47 AM

I wonder what the cost comparison would be between Ikea modules and dimensional lumber?

Another way to get scenery is to hot glue cardboard strips - an additive method.  I sorta "raster scanned" cardboard strips here (cheap and cheerful!):

Another option for consideration

vs. carving away foam - subtractive.  Considering the cost of sheets of foam, I wonder how much of it goes in the waste bin?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 9:53 AM

riogrande5761

vs. carving away foam - subtractive.  Considering the cost of sheets of foam, I wonder how much of it goes in the waste bin?

 

 Not much, as was demonstrated in a clinic at the Reading Modeler's Meet last year. The part that was cut away to make a depression was flipped over and glued on next to the depression to make a hill.

And the presenter took one small piece, and first cut through it diagonally two times, and flipped two of the pieces over and glued those to one another to make a piece almost as long as the original, but 3x as high. 

Another one of those - seems SO easy, anyone can do this kind of things yet I know when I attempt it, it will be nowhere near as nice.

Considering it was all made in a clinic the night before - it also won best diorama. Though it was the ONLY diorama in the model contest... Can't find a handy picture, they were posted on FaceBook, but I can't find them anywhere else. The final product had a stream and a pond as part of it.

                                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 11:01 AM

Sounds like an exercise in recycling foam off-cuts!  I see a lot of people using foam these days but at present don't see it in my future.  OTOH, I've become pretty adept at re-using off-cuts of wood and saved several boxes of it from the last layout expecting I'll need a lot of risers. 

But with elevations changes rather than completely flat running, foam doesn't lend itself to that as much.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 1:20 PM

 Even though I tossed my old layout sections, I did save all the leftover pieces of foam I had, for future use as landforms.

 The stepped and sloped nature of the demo piece the guy made would be perfect as a transition piece between a steeper mountainside and a flat area. Quite a bit of vertical rise just naturally in stacking the layers offset, but then even more once he carved it out and made it look more liek one solid piece instead of 3 pieces stacked on one another. 

 There was mention in my benchwork thread about how much waste I'd have if I use the idea of cutting C shaped frames from plywood - well, I will need subroadbed, and risers - so I don't think very much of that will be wasted. The same 3/4" 13-ply that forms the benchwork can be used for subroadbed,risers, and cleats. Even splice plates for the helix sections. Never toss the leftovers - there are plenty of places to use them.

                                --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 1:35 PM

Right.  As a geologist who has worked a lot with USGS contour maps, you could look at foam layers as contours building up a lanform that way. It would be stepped much like a contour map but you fill in or cover the steps for smoother slope.

Saving scraps is good as you often find ways to use them.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 3:36 PM

 Actually, that was more exactl the topic of the clinic - using topo maps to create scenery forms. While the example was completely freelanced, that's how he set up where to cut - first he drew topo lines on the foam. Scaled, as in selectively compressed, of course, so a small hillside even in N scale didn't take a full 4x8. Between hacksaw blades and hot wire cutters, he cut the sheets diagonally, from one contour line on the top side to the next lower on the bottom. ANd it all went together with hot glue, so it only took minutes to glue togethe reach part - sometimes he was moving a little too fast and joints popped, but he backed those up with some scrap and continued on. Not a fault of his methods, but rather a vote of those present to stick around a little longer the first night and stick his clinic in then, instead of some time during the second day (one presenter wasn't able to make it last minute and left an opening in the presentation schedule).

 I need to send him an email, he offered a set of slides with the full presentation to anyone present, though he did not use any for this presentation. He's based in New Jersey, and has given this clinic at several meets in the Northeast.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    August 2013
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Posted by PhaseOne on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 8:31 PM

Interesting discussion here.  The reason I, as a newbie, chose the foam, at least at this point is for a few reasons...It prevents me from having to use plywood to install roadbed on and in my "minds eyes", it seems like an easier canvas for starting out on than building forms in other methods.  Most of my terrain features for this part of the country modeled will be just uneven surface undelations and maye a few embankments carved into the foam.  Let's hope it works out in a way that is convincing.

Forgot to add, I bought one 4'x8' foam board for $32 I think and cut it into 4, 1'x8' sections.  I estimate I will need two 4'x8' boards to complete the entire layout.  If I mess up a section, I'll toss it and start over.

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