Belle Lane - Baseboards and Layout.

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Postby Glen A » Mon May 18, 2009 8:35 pm

Well you are probably confused enough now with everyone’s different suggestions, so I though I might as well add mine too. :roll:

As this is your first layout, I would just get something down and keep it simple first. :wink:
A piece of thick foam-core, pinex or cardboard ( or whatever you can push pins into).
Get some track, Peco 0-16.5, On30 or even HO. As long as the rails are 16.5mm apart it doesn't really matter. (16.5mm is a standard width for model railways, so you should be able to find some at a model shop quite easily.)

Temporarily pin down a loop of track, or straight length or whatever you plan on doing. Don't worry about trying to re-space sleepers or doing anything fancy with the track.
Just get it down temporary.
Place your buildings out and have a good play. 8)
All will soon become obvious. :wink:

And while it is temporary you can change it around until you are happy with it. Then you can start a more permanent one.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Mon May 18, 2009 9:58 pm

KEG wrote:What´s wrong with the Micro Engineering switches?


Nothing, just that Peco, in my opinion, are better quality and a lot cheaper here :wink:
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Postby Little Andi. » Tue May 19, 2009 6:38 am

Well guys.....................

They do say you should be careful what you wish for!!!!

Actually this is exactly what I was looking for, and THANK YOU! Differing opinions and preferences, ideas and notions............ smashing.

Now then............I don't think I want to build a layout within a modular box, complete with lighting that packs itself away and makes the tea - not taking the "mick" you understand?
But it is me myself and I, so I have to make sure I can actually lift the dang thing, plus I drive a tiny little Euro' box so there's only a certain amount of room.
However........... the concept of presentation is not lost on me, and the idea of presenting ones layout in such a manner as to garner a modicum of respect rather than contempt is one that deserves serious consideration - so a point that was well worth raising.

Belle Lane will primarily meet it's public on the web I guess? And the idea as you now know is to act as a Backdrop for a storyline containing recognisable characters existing in an evolving demesne.
The idea being that it is represented in such a fashion as to make the viewer do a double take as to it's validity or not? Nothing very different I've discovered from what pretty much everyone else on here is doing!! - [It's so hard to be original - smilin'].
So, now I know I need "two" base boards I also know I need to disguise the join somehow. The track will be largely buried in the surface although I'm so taken with the trackwork that I'm seeing I would like a section exposed just for the sheer indulgence of it. So pretty standard Peco stuff will do with elctro-frog points - Yes??

I realise that just plonking stuff down on a board like I did as a kid isn't going to cut the mustard! But I don't want to over complicate the layout or the Diorama with too much going on in an unfeasibly confined space.
And talking of space I've seen the concept of "Negative space" proffered. This I do understand, both it's role and it's importance.

I'm slowly starting to get to grips with this chaps, so thanks again for your indulgences, please bear with me and I'll try my damnedest to hold up my end of the bargain and make a proper start to produce the actual Belle Lane.

Cheers cheps................. Andi.
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby AndyA » Tue May 19, 2009 8:01 am

So, now I know I need "two" base boards I also know I need to disguise the join somehow. The track will be largely buried in the surface although I'm so taken with the trackwork that I'm seeing I would like a section exposed just for the sheer indulgence of it. So pretty standard Peco stuff will do with elctro-frog points - Yes??


Yep, in the light of most of it being buried, that's the way I'd go. As regards the exposed section, I'd leave it as standard sleepers for the moment; several people have published mecanisms for replacing the sleepers after the track is in situ, so get it working and do all the tinkering first. Although Steve disagrees, I haven't had problems joining the OO/HO flextrack with the standard joiners sold by my local shop.

Which, of course, is why you're getting several different viewpoints: for most of us, in most cases, there's no 'right' answer, just what has worked for us and advice about fixing stuff when you run into a problem. Okay, there are some cases with paints, adhesives and electrickery where something is just not going to work, and equally there have been cases where someone has posted htis great idea and I've thought 'd*mn, I wish I'd known that last year, but in the main, if it looks right to you, then it is right.

I'm no expert on disguising baseboard joints, but I've seen some inventive solutions with a strip of something (in one case a cement strip across a tarmac road, that drops in after the boards are bolted together and covers the join.

On a personal note, thanks for showing me some great modelling: a number of ideas hit the board all at the same time to renew my morale.

regards
Andy A
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Postby chris stockdale » Tue May 19, 2009 9:28 am

In terms of a real life 'plenty of street, not too much railway' try the Welshpool and Llanfair before preservation days.

I haven't found too much on the web, though this link may be useful

http://history.powys.org.uk/school1/wel ... town.shtml

but any decent book about the line will show pics of trains brushing past houses.

cheers

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Postby Trevor Coburn » Tue May 19, 2009 10:40 am

Hello Andi, heres another one for you!



http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/small/item/GTJ61466/
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Postby John New » Tue May 19, 2009 10:55 am

Also for getting the feel of the design concepts remember that there were many standard gauge roadside and street tramways for industrial and passenger rail links with features that are not gauge specific so can be adapted to fit a minimum gauge setting too. These can also give you ideas for general scene setting as although the size of the rolling stock will differ most of the the general ambience of the scene, getting a feel of why A was linked to B etc., are not gauge specific issues.

Depending on what your local library has in the railway and transport history books sections you should get lots of inspirational ideas. Things to look for are the general ambience of tramway type railways and how they fit the scene -.most docks, Manchester Ship Canal railway, Trafford Park system, Southampton's Chapel Tramway too, the Swanage Pier railway etc etc. A gem, although standard gauge, is the Wantage Tramway and several authors, notably Ian Rice, have written up schemes using Wantage as a base and it might suit you in the same way, for the same reasons, as the suggested W&L setting.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Tue May 19, 2009 11:33 am

And for pics of rails laid in the street, try a search for Crich Tram museum.

Image

EDIT : Try this for starters, some nice pics in this album
http://www.pbase.com/olderboy/crich
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Postby greengiant » Tue May 19, 2009 8:33 pm

Hi Andi

I have been enjoying this thread and look forward to future developments.
On a presentation front, my O-16.5 layout is just two scenic boards with a separate cantilevered lighting rig, which gives a completely uninterrupted view of the layout with full lighting. Although this won't fit in small eurobox, it does fit in a Landrover Discovery.

Image

Since this photo was taken it now has more front of stage lighting.

As for disguising the baseboard join, I have a removable building that drops into a socket on both boards as well as the boat which sits in a shallow recess in the harbour. The boat also hides the vertical joint of the harbour wall. In the photo below the joint runs from the middle of the arched doorway and under the boat, not a great shot, but the only one I have to hand at the moment.

Image

As for track, Peco is a good place to start, although I do find the frog gaps a little large for some of my 0-4-0 stock, which I am hoping to cure by adding some thin plastic card in the flangeway gap so the wheels flanges stop the loco dropping slightly.

I will be hand building my GN15 track though to get finer clearances.

Something else on lighting, whatever you light your layout with, you need to paint your models under the same lighting conditions, otherwise you get some strange effects.

My models in flourescent light look way too dark, but put them under the halogen lights of the layout and they look fine.

Keep up the good work.

Martin
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Postby Little Andi. » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:01 am

Hello again all..................

Just a quick post to show that things are still moving in this area of the build - albeit pretty slowly.
I couldn't start the baseboards until I knew what layout I was using and couldn't decide on a layout until I knew what track I would be using!!

A conundrum at best - Well I finally managed to get to the "track shop" yesterday and with very little idea of what I was looking for [ill prepared I know] bought some track and stuff.
I wanted to be modest in my aspirations so I chose to get two short radius "Y" points and five yards of track - electro frog and flexitrack.

Now I don't want the next bit to sound ungrateful or scroogish! But with aforementioned and a bag of scenery crumbs....................just shy of £40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The guys in the shop were great - exemplary examples of how to deal with customers - Warm and inviting - knowledgeable - and patient.
But I did something I've never done in my life, once in the car I checked the receipt - it all obviously made sense? - apart from having VAT added on top of what I thought was already the final marked up price.
So my first real shock since entering the model railway world - Damn - it's expensive. And I can't say I'm not left a bit reeling - I think our colonial Friends might say that I was feeling a little as though I'd been - "Taken for a greenhorn" ............... I simply had no idea!

Anyway - I have the danged stuff now - and not a bit concerned that I'm going to bury very expensive brand new trackwork under a model roadway!
But I shall have a sit and think about possible layouts and present them for your approval, more anon................................

Andi.
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby More_Cats_Than_Sense » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:54 am

Quality track is expensive Andi, unfortunately the only way to get the quality stuff cheaper is to buy from swapmeets/auction sites/second hand. The big problem with this approach from your point of view, is you don't have the experience of messing about with model track to know if what you're looking at in a photograph is actually what you need :( To offset some of the cost of the track, in your head allocate 20% of the price to "consultancy fees" (shop assistant help :wink: )
I have the same problem when I move outside of my area of expertise tbh.
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Postby Rowley » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:09 pm

Hi Andy
Reading your posts I see you are concerned about "burying expensive track under a model roadway". Is this because you wish to be able to re-use it some other time. If so you could adopt the method I have used (see a board is started for Forbey 2) but intsead of using the warmalite plastic for the top layer,the height could be built up with cardboard to rail level. As long as the track is not glued to the base but pinned like mine the track can be re-used However you use the new track it will have to be painted to make it look old and if it is to be ballasted as per norm that will make it hard to re-use.
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Postby Little Andi. » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:37 pm

Barry - Rowley...............

Thanks for your concerned replies. I think it only fair to state that while I posted this I wasn't having a rant or anything - and the guy's in the shop were great. I'm aware of the lack of common courtesy and knowledgeable staff that usually frequents most of my shopping experiences, so the way these guys went about there customer service, and in such an exemplary manner meant they got full A+'s for it.
The price just took me back that was all - I did enquire as to the availability as to second hand points and track and apparently they were non of the type I wanted/needed. And Rowley it just seems a shame to bury brand new kit under the modelling - but thinking about it if it was open track I would have to do a lot worse to make it look Narrow gauge!!
So, as burnt as scolded really. Again I must stress I'm not upset or anything - it just made me rock back on my heels for a moment.
I do I must admit have this whole 1974 thing going on, so everytime I pop my head from out of my shell something invariably surprises me!!

Regards the layout I'm working along the lines of something pretty simple - enter and exit stage left and right, couple of spurs to interesting diversions in between - one almost certainly to Tollies place - [Bell Foundry/Blacksmith's/Garage] - other end of Miss Lemons cottage. I'm thinking the other one to a small transition dock for on/offloading to road services???

Over to you!

Andi.
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Postby AndyA » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:25 am

Andi, hi

glad that your model shop seems as good as my own local one: the expense of new track always takes me by surprise, even though I know that the stuff is expensive, if you see what I mean; it just seems to add up - I'll just have one more of those and - HOW MUCH?

But then there are the times I go in and mooch around for twenty minutes, coming out with one sheet of styrene, which is what I went in for, and almost always one of those thingies that'll come in handy for..., which I didn't. The guys are still just as friendly and helpful, although I suspect that mentally sometimes they have their head in their hands buried on the counter.

On average, my attempts at burying track have been much less expensive than those involving removing bits to make it look more like 15". That's despite the fact that I'm still only halfway round cleaning up the mess I made on Vais'kiri by not forking out for a new batch of filler. There are a number of good non-destructive ways of doing this documented on this forum, so don't do what I did. :) [Although building up the depth with 2mm and 0.5mm card as I did on my Simplicity does indeed work a treat, but I can't really recommend a complete board of individual 'stone slabs' unless you are of a somewhat perverse disposition].

I'm looking forward to seeing the plans and then the progress: with the attention to detail you've managed so far, this could get really interesting.

regards
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Postby Little Andi. » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:19 am

OK............Here's the thing!!!


I'm still working my way around and through the sites archives and only this morning I had an epiphany.
Belle Lane is very much ongoing and all things are working to that end......... But! It's becoming obvious to me just how much of a task it's going to be. The more I think about it the further away it gets because of all the new ideas that continually surface, and this before I accommodate the notion of a running railway.
Reading the experiences of others........ and my own experience dictates :- If I'm not careful I'm going to end up in some kind of analysis paralysis situation. Something I'm often warning my students about, it's so easy to think yourself to a standstill.
Now this morning I found and read through, in it's entirety, the Simplicity sidings thread, and I think this may be the way to go? It will give me something much more manageable to tackle - it will allow me to prove a lot of ideas and techniques that will be new to me, and I'll have an excuse for building loco's and stock as a change of pace - remember I'm trying to accelerate from a standing start here......... I have no knowledge or stash of experience to draw upon.
Annnnd!! Hopefully I'll be able to have a play sooner rather than later?

Now then ........................ having made the decision [which is a positive step already] is there an accepted format for this kind of build - as someone pointed out "pizza's are round these are square"! So basically is there any kind of measurements or rules one adheres too? - I know nothing is cast in stone here but I'd like to work within the spirit of the idea if there is one??


Advice please ......................... Andi.
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby Simon Andrews » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:40 am

I have heard it said that if you lean towards scienic layouts as opposed to operation then a baseboard size where the depth is at least 1/3 of the lenght is preferred (e.g. 3 ft long x 1 ft wide minimum). Also try to avoid track that runs parallel to the edge of a baseboad or avoid a straight front edge in the first place.

If you look at others work you will see that these are guidelines and not rules and individual circumstance often dictates the space that is available.

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Postby Dallas_M » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:21 pm

HI Andi --

Yes, you would probably do well to start with something simple that is not necessarily your "ideal" or "ultimate" layout ... and maybe not even Belle Lane to start ... for the reasons you describe.

Probably a good idea to choose:
a) Shunting layout or
b) Pizza (continuous run) layout

And build something simple to suit ... with, perhaps, a splash of Belle Lane flavour! :wink:

Making that choice:
a) Shunting: if you think you favour moving cars about to different "destinations" or even the puzzle aspects as suggested here:
http://www.wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles/ ... enook.html

b) Pizza and/or continuous circuit: if you get a childish pleasure from watching trains go round-and-round. (No insult intended there ... my layout includes a continuous circuit and I get that pleasure!) :lol:

Then, perhaps, make a "commitment" ... not to complete a masterpiece (of which you're surely capable) ... but to build and enjoy a simple project that will familiarize you with some of the "peculiar" aspects of adapting your skills and interests to a railway setting ...

If you find anything useful in all that babble, please enjoy! If not, and I'm chucking here ... toss the pot and look for better suggestions. 8)
Cheers,
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Postby Carlo » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Andi -
How about a simple pizza like those that "diesewater" has been cranking out, in production line fashion? Plenty of scenic possibilities, with a simple trackplan. Maybe a tree house pizza?
Carlo

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Postby Gerry Bullock » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:50 pm

Hi Andi,
I can understand where you are coming from with regards to the "where to start" conundrum.
Whilst I've been a member of this group from the early days before 2002 I had never modelled anything (apart from planes as a kid). I had many false starts and have, in fact, only completed one layout which is featured here:
http://www.forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=3892
All my other efforts have been based on modifying existing layouts as you will, no doubt, have realised.
You have probably looked through the VE section and for that matter Carl Arendt's Micro Layouts website and become even more confused in the process. :lol:
Based upon what you have shown us I wouldn't start with Belle Lane as I believe you'll end up being disappointed.
My guess is, that from what you saw at Telford, you have a germ of an idea developing. Make it a simple plan, be it Pizza or an end to end with maybe just two points. You'll note that Richard Andrews' layouts (all end to end) rarely have more than two points and include interesting buildings that form part of the raison d'être for the layout.
The very first layout in VE was put there deliberately (Cookies Pizza) because of its Simplicity. Your expertise in building construction demands a more complex rendition of the Pizza theme assuming you choose that route. It should be quite easy for you to envisage a structure that has an exiting track and for that matter an entrance as well thus creating the Pizza which doesn't have to be circular.
I hope these comments help in some way.
What I do expect is that whatever you construct we'll be blown away by the result. :wink:
Good luck with layout - GerryB.
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:56 pm

Ah, the dreaded "analysis paralysis" :lol: Yes we all suffer from it to some extent :) . I'm not sure reading the Simplicty Sidings thread all the way through was a good idea, would have given you too much to think about (again :lol: ) , you probably should have stopped at the bottom of page 2 or 3, once the track was down and wired up.

In it's favour, Simplicity Sidings is a minimal outlay introduction to building a layout. To get up and running, the only real investment is a single yard of track, most of the rest can be found/scavenged/made from materials found around the home. It does have limits as far as operation is concerned, but if you consider it a learning tool, rather than your ultimate showstopping layout, it could be a good course to take. As for size, it could be whatever you want, even sticking to the single length of track, it could be made longer on one siding, to give a longer run, similar to Gordons example. By keeping it small though, it is fairly quick to get something up and running, which I guess is the exercise, how it is finished scenically, really doesnt matter and I'm sure you wont have problems on that familiar territory :wink:
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Postby dieselwater » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:05 pm

He, he Carlo!

Hi Andi,

I think for Belle Lane, a simplicity sidings style layout would probably work best. You could still have the odd siding if you wanted.

Though, I guess if you do want to just get something moving, then a pizza would be ideal. Again you can still have a siding or two. Your wonderful tree house would indeed make a fantastic centre piece for it 8)

I make my pizza layouts because I find it tough to get model railway stuff here, that's cheap enough to be messed around with Gn15 style :twisted: The toys only come in pizza formaton. Though I have to say it has really freed me up to focus on modelling and just having a jolly good time. My next layout will...... :wink: :lol:
Little old lines to somewhere.

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Postby Little Andi. » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:25 pm

Hey all...................

Many thanks for your thoughts, it's quite strange but as I logged into this thread I reread Glen A's post again and he pretty much advised this sort of a start to get a project underway, and I'm sure other advice will swim closer to the surface as my mind begins to see things a bit clearer.

Well, I've had a good look around and there are several of these shoe box type layouts and to a man they all seem to occupy the same niche. It would be an excellent discipline for me to attempt one of these working with a distinct limit on what might achieved, but never the less the potential to be both visually and constructively creative.
I'm not going to put myself under the pressure of a deadline as that's a sure fire way of putting a hex on the whole thing. But, Steve as you point out - it might be prudent to get the board done and a bit of track down.

I've had a look round the house and the only usable foam is just 14mm thick - but I do have some 4mm card that will make a very sound and robust top. I'm intrigued with this composite style baseboard and looking forward to giving it a go. The 4mm card is at a given size already of 300X400mm, so this will give me a dimension of approx' 16" wide by 12" deep, sounds like the fates may have spoken? I know I shouldn't be thinking ahead but I'd like to build in the opportunity of a second module in the future so this will dictate the flavour of my intended scene a bit.

And the scene itself???................

In order to keep some sort of continuity I'm going to make this end as a terminus within the Estate itself. I'm thinking perhaps a small yard behind outbuildings on the Estate, perhaps against the old carriage sheds or back of the farriers building - but somewhere that I can model a lot of detritus - items that find themselves all stored/dumped/abandoned in one spot just in case they're needed but are usually forgotten!

Thanks again chaps - 16x12 it is then!!!

Andi.

PS, I'll start a thread when I've something to show, but all advice still very welcome.
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby Oztrainz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:02 am

Hi Andi,
Just a suggestion -
Think in multiple layers of 4mm card - This will actually give you a laminated top that should be very strong.
first layer - glued to top surface of foam all the way across to hold foam together.
second layer - across whole surface except where sleepers on track are - This helps sink the track into the roadway surface. If sleepers are more than 4mm thick, give the underneath of sleepers a rub on some coarse sandpaper to reduce their thickness.
third layer - butts up aginst outside of rails and covers the outside of the sleepers. Check your heights here as the rail top must be just higher than the card to ensure that the wheels stay in contact with the rails at all times and that they don't ride on the cardboard. Have a look at Simplicity Sidings again to see how Steve and others have infilled between the tracks and still left flangeways for the wheels to roll in.

Another passing thought - the railway does not have to run all the way straight down the middle of the street on the crown of the roadway - It may have to meander to one side of the road or the other to swing wide at corners so that a wider radius on the curve into another street or building can be maintained.
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John New
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Postby John New » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:01 am

the railway does not have to run all the way straight down the middle of the street on the crown of the roadway


Although standard gauge and now out of use the track alignment on the Weymouth Quay branch does exactly that. Some of the wriggles only make sense if you remember the running line that survived to the end for passenger trains passed goods sidings now tarmaced over.

As the track is still down following the route on Google Earth or one of the other on-line mapping sites with aerial photos should give you some pointers. A search for Commercial Road Weymouth will find the line as it runs the full length of that street.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:00 am

Oztrainz wrote:Another passing thought - the railway does not have to run all the way straight down the middle of the street on the crown of the roadway - It may have to meander to one side of the road or the other to swing wide at corners so that a wider radius on the curve into another street or building can be maintained.


:lol: Lets not get too carried away, on a layout that is only a scale 32 feet long, you are not going to get much meandering :wink:
We dont want to confuse Andi too much either, time to keep things simple I would think :wink:
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