lessons learned from past layouts.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by csxengineer, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    May 16, 2003
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    I am 1/2 way done with my n scale shortline and ready to start a new one! LOL. As I look at pictures of past layouts, I wrote some lessons I learned the hard way.

    1. Do backdrop first!
    2. Paint track BEFORE laying it down
    3. Don't run tracks parallel to edge of layout (3"- 4" away from edge minimum)
    4. Building structures:
    a) paint all wall interiors black while still on the sprue
    b) secure walls better with plastruct
    c) Don't use CA, it fogs windows
    d) use a square for corners
    e) mask areas you don't want painted
    5. Scenery:
    a) Don't use oversized rocks
    b) mixing sawdust with woodland scenics gives better color and more volume
    c) Don't use moss in N scale
    d) Styrene roads work better than plaster in the garage
    6. Trackwork
    a) No more 9 1/2 radius curves
    b) have longer leads before switches ( avoid curves before switches)
    c) smooth liquid nails down before laying roadbed to avoid bumps
    d) learn to solder rails better
    e) hills on curves make it twice as hard to climb and cause most "stringline" derailments
    7. Benchwork
    a) dont rush!
    b) use 1" x 3"s, not 2" x 4"s (too heavy)
    c) never use white bead foam
    d) use level, use level, use level!!!
    e) curve all corners
    8. Wiring
    a) color code it from the beginning & don't improvise
    b) avoid stapling to underside of layout. Vibrations affect scenery
    c) avoid stapling period, it shorts wires some times

    Now, back to the drawing board.
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Jun 18, 2002
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    Good words to live by...No matter what scale you model.
    Now..If i could only follow them.......Ooops......Too late!
  3. pontiacsforever

    pontiacsforever New Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Great list

    Great list! Wish I had it when I started building my layout as I did a bunch of those don'ts. :(

    What do you use to control your wiring if staples are not good to use - I've used staples in a few spots and tied up wiring in bunches and hooked them onto cuphooks screwed into the underside of my benchwork.