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TOPIC: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West

American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #1

  • Grant
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I've noticed a pattern in my enthusiasms in that they swing from kitset modelling to rail modelling and back again with a cycle of about two years. I'm now swinging back to rail modelling. :lol:

I've decided to build a new layout. No half-arsed modules or round-roundy thing this time, I'm going the whole hog. I've decided on a scale (N scale) a prototype (Modern American/Union Pacific/BNSF) and a rough location (somewhere in the American west, probably either New Mexico or Colorado) and I have a basic plan. It will be a U shape measuring 11' by 6' and will allow me to model some nice scenery.

This morning I made an order for all the timber I need and it's being delivered tomorrow. I've also bought some rolling stock and track. I'll be using Peco code 80 because it's reliable and doesn't look too bad if properly weathered.



Part of the motivation for this is that when I was in the States a month ago I traveled cross country via several Amtrak trains. It was a great experience and gave me some great ideas for things to model. This is the sort of thing I'm after.



I probably post up a build log of my activities here.
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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #2

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I'd be keen to see your progress, it's all art really (just as long as you don't get one of those hats and sit there going choo choo :P )

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'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #3

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Gary wrote: (just as long as you don't get one of those hats and sit there going choo choo :P )


That was my plan. :oops: Actually I'm not a trainspotter at all, it's the landscape modelling that appeals to me with trains.

Most of the initial part of the build is going to be me doing carpentry (badly) so I won't post much about that. But the landscaping itself should be interesting. I'm also going to have a go at weathering some rolling stock eventually.

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #4

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will be watching with interest (its something that has always appealed to me as well)

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #5

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Yeah I must admit I'm jealous of the thought of building what is basically a large scale Diorama with moving parts.

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'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #6

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A family member was a tug boat captain on the Mississippi and made big bucks.
His whole attic was a N gauge lay out and it was spectacular when in operation.

He had the hat and all :lol:
Tony lee

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #7

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The oughta be good stuff - will be following this with much interest.


I did consider switching to N scale, but the cost was prohibitive so I'll just stick to cheap and dheerful HO scale!

Do you have a track plan and all that jazz sorted yet? From what I've seen, some RR modellers go to town either trying to replicate real areas, or build an entire infrastructure for their RR. Others get so bogged down in planning that nothing ever happens...

Cheers

Mike A

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #8

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bikingmike wrote: Do you have a track plan and all that jazz sorted yet? From what I've seen, some RR modellers go to town either trying to replicate real areas, or build an entire infrastructure for their RR. Others get so bogged down in planning that nothing ever happens...


I've got a track plan sketched out, but it will probably develop a bit once I get the benchwork done and see the space I have to work with. I'm going pretty minimal with a single line, a yard, a passing loop, and an industry connected to the yard through a small length of double mainline so I can shunt while the mainline is in use. I don't like cramming in track just for the sake of it. I'm definitely not one to over plan things.

I made a start on the benchwork tonight to get an idea of the size. :)

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #9

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Minimal is good... I've seen too many layouts with track crammed in just because they could, leading to all sorts of bizarre scenes.

Keep the updates coming!

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #10

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Update 1: Planning and starting the benchwork.

Here's the plan, such as it is. It's now officially set in New Mexico. Actually I spent a fair bit of time thinking about this plan. I didn't want a simple oval, so I decided to make something asymetrical. The front will have a yard on the left and an industry on the right. I'm having a big hill/mesa as a scenic block that will run the length of the layout. At the back a single track will traverse the desert. It's is to be semi-portable, so is split into three boards. It all fits in a 13 by 6 footprint. The track level will end up around 1200 from the floor for ideal viewing.



Making a start by cutting out the ply. I thought about doing open frame benchwork, but given that it is portable and the desert is pretty flat, I decided a nice flat ply surface would be a good starting point.



12 legs cut from 50 by 50mm timber.



Progress. I think my carpentry skills have improved a bit since last time.



Clamps are useful things.



Where I'm at now. Board one is nearly finished.



That's enough for today, layout building is a little more labour intensive than kit building. :lol:

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #11

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mate thats awesome

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #12

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Cheers.

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #13

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Grant wrote: Update 1: Planning and starting the benchwork.

Here's the plan, such as it is. It's now officially set in New Mexico. Actually I spent a fair bit of time thinking about this plan. I didn't want a simple oval, so I decided to make something asymetrical. The front will have a yard on the left and an industry on the right. I'm having a big hill/mesa as a scenic block that will run the length of the layout. At the back a single track will traverse the desert. It's is to be semi-portable, so is split into three boards. It all fits in a 13 by 6 footprint. The track level will end up around 1200 from the floor for ideal viewing.


:


You don't beat around the bush do you! That's pretty good progress for one day.

Is this to be accessible from all sides of the layout? Just looking at the passing siding at the top right of the "plan", could this be extended and made into staging?

I like the overall simplicity of it, it give sthe impression of distance and space.

BTW, I have a stack of track plans on PDf that I downloaded from the Modelrailroader website when they had free access to their track plans for a weekend. I can send some to you if you like.

Cheers,

Mike

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #14

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bikingmike wrote:
Is this to be accessible from all sides of the layout? Just looking at the passing siding at the top right of the "plan", could this be extended and made into staging?

I like the overall simplicity of it, it give sthe impression of distance and space.


Cheers Mike. Yeah, it's accessible from all sides. I could add some staging where you mention, but I thought it would eat into my main line. One thing I'm trying to avoid is running too many tracks across the joins in the boards, because they are a pain in the backside get right in N. I just had a fiddle with some track and there is a lot off space on the board I've already built, so I should be able put in a decent amount of storage there.

Grant

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #15

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My progress this week. The second board is mostly done, I should finish the third this weekend. I stuck it on castors, which makes the whole assembly much easier to move around. I've also refined the track plan a bit to add more storage as per Mike's suggestion. :)



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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #16

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Some good work going on there, nothing wrong with that carpentry! The castors are a good idea, are they of the lockable variety? (visions of boards moving apart at inopportune times...)

I presume you'll be using some form of locking pics to join the boards?

Cheers

Mike

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #17

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I must admit I have always loved trains, ever since I can remember but my enthusiasm wained and shifted when I was in my early teens, I actually still have my first train that was given to me when I was about 3 or 4, it is a Bachmann Canadian Pacific, HO scale; forgive me I don't know what type but will refer to it as a Bullet (??) Train, anyway, yeh I will watch with interest here because I would love to have a crack at building something like this myself one day….. So far your progress looks really impressive=)

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Slow is steady, steady is fast

Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #18

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Grant that's a great foundation for the work. Good stuff.

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Amateur plastic surgeon!

Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #19

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the idea with the castors is great, liking the progress

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #20

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Cheers guys. I put in a lot more work this weekend, but didn't quite get the bench work finished. (It's hard work for a pencil pusher like me. :lol: )

I connected my previous modules with bolt and wingnuts, but it's not the best solution as it's pretty fiddly to get everything lined up. What I'm thinking this time around is to use a pair of clamps (like I'm using for the construction) to join the boards. They are so easy to use; you can tighten them with one hand in a couple of seconds.

I got distracted by Skyrim this afternoon (best game ever, if you haven't played it).

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #21

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As one of the great unwashed horde who's never built a sectional layout, wouldn't there be a need for some sort of pin to ensure the sections align?

C'mon, stop playing computer games and get on with it! :D

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #22

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bikingmike wrote: As one of the great unwashed horde who's never built a sectional layout, wouldn't there be a need for some sort of pin to ensure the sections align?


With my previous modules it didn't really seem to need a pin, though I know other people/systems use them.

I've finished the basics of the benchwork. I left some of the edges off because the terrain will drop below the surface at a few spots, including for a river at the back. This will eventually have a fascia too.



This pictures gives a sense of scale and the space I have. That's a GP15 locomotive in the corner.

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #23

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I sat around for ages wondering where to begin. :dry: I'll try to lay the track at the back of the layout first. This will be one big scene of a single track running along the side of the hills, over a small bridge and through a tunnel. This also gives an idea of the height of the range that will run the length of the layout. Next I'll begin on the hills properly. :)










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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #24

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Looking good Grant B)

I'll be watching on, taking notes for diorama building ;)

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It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #25

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Andrew wrote: Looking good Grant B)

I'll be watching on, taking notes for diorama building ;)


I am with andrew,watching on,that is a large area to cover :)

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 9 months ago #26

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Cheers guys. This is obviously going to take me a while. :lol:

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 8 months ago #27

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I've made a lot more progress on this but I'm now on holiday in the Nth Island, so no new pictures for a couple of weeks. I will get the chance to visit a couple of shops and spend some money though.

Starting to get close to building and plastering the hills, so I went through the pictures I took in the States to find some inspiration. These are mostly between Winslow and Gallup, New Mexico from memory.

Grant





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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 8 months ago #28

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I've got three clear days to work on this before going back to work on Monday. Here it is as it stands, and the latest supplies that arrived this morning. The Chooch resin tunnel portals look quite nice. Hopefully I should make a bit of progress on the terrain over the weekend.



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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 8 months ago #29

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The benchwork is more or less finished and bolted together. The carpentry isn't perfect, but it'll do. Eventually I'll fill the screw holes in the fascia and paint it. I've also started on the mountains. The castors were a great decision, it's really easy to move around to get access to different sections.

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Re: American N Scale Layout; Somewhere in the West 7 years 8 months ago #30

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Not the best picture, but it gives you an idea of where I'm at. I put a lot of work in this weekend to get this far. I'm getting close to laying the main loop of track.

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