Noobs first layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jason412, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    Hello all,
    This is my first post and first train layout Ive ever attempted. Im 23 years old and just became a dad 8 months ago so besides my little princess I needed a hobby to keep myself out of trouble so I figured Id give model railroading a try since I hear its the"Worlds Greatest Hobby." :) I currently have a portion of the basement to myself and could expand ALOT in the future but I need to get a grip on building a layout and then operating trains and such and I figured this was a good place to learn. I have a U shaped benchwork built so far. The left side is 16 ft. long, the right side is 11 ft. long and is 10 ft. wide. The U section is 3 feet long and 3 feet wide. My fiance bought me a Proto1k F3 b&O and 3 walthers B&O heavyweight cars for christmas so Im planning to build all of the outer rails in 24 radius. I could not figure out on the right track software to set elevation so Ill try my best to explain. The left side of the layout the 2 outer half circles are elevated 4 inches above the 18 radius. The 18 will be going through my "mountain" and the 22 and 24 will go around the edge of the mountain. other than that the track slopes down from this height and is flat the rest of the way mostly so I can incorporate some buildings. Im just not so sure I really like where the yards are but it was the only way I could think that you could operate 2 trains without having to do much switching travelling in the loops.I also left out a piece of track on the left side because I believe i would get a short there and couldnt afford a reversing module yet. Oh and I got a digitrax zephyr from my parents for Christmas. Any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated. Ill post pics tomorrow of what Ive built so far.
    Jason

    Layout plan:
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  2. cpNscale

    cpNscale Member

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    Good to see you have gotten a hobby that will keep you busy for a longtime.I really like the track plan and i look forward to seeing your progress as you get going.I am modelin Canadian Pacific in n scale.if you get a chance check out my layout and good luck and have fun.
  3. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Hi and Welcome: You better get that layout started now. By the time that girl is in middle school, there won't be any money for trains. Clothes etc, if you know what I mean. Will those outer tracks on the long dimensions of your plan actually be right against any walls? If so, I would suggest some revision to give a couple of inches clearance.
  4. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies :) . Ya I know what you mean lol. Thats why when everyone is like "Oh I cant wait until she can walk" and all that I tell them to zip it! The faster she grows the less and less money and free time I will have. Its bad enough I only get about 3-4 hours a day to myself throughout the day and its only gonna get smaller. So you got me thinking about how close the track is to the walls like you suggested. So I climbed up on top of the table and measured from the wall to where the track will be and its about 1.75 inches from the wall at its closest point which is only about 6 inches of that span. The rest of the span is 2-2.5 inches off the wall. That one span is the only section that is close to a wall. The picture Im gonna post doesnt show the space too well. The actual 10 feet width of the layout is actually almost 11 feet so Im playing with about a foot. The green incline in the left corner is actually plastered to the wall (ooops) haha but the track will be out a little ways. I was lucky enough to score some stuff from a garage sale here a week or so back. I got a whole fleet of amtrak athearn cars for around 15 bucks including 2 locomotives, one life like and one athearn.

    Here we go:
    I was bored the other day waiting for stuff to arrive so I made a good sized wall poster of the layout haha.
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    Right side:
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    Left side:
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    Upper left side with my future lake and my soon to be mountain..
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    Overall view:
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    My first try at making a rock wall
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    I know the next two are a little off topic but I gotta post em so I apologize for getting slightly off track.

    Here she is crawling :)
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    Here she is with mommys purse ready to hit the mall and max out daddys credit cards....:cry: haha.
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  5. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

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    You are so sunk! You have about a 6-month window, here before you will have no time and no money left. :) Ask me how I know!
    I can tell that Daddy has set himself up a perfect basement refuge for when he needs time alone. Which will be as much time as Mommy will allow. :) I hope your wife is understanding!

    OK. Partly in jest. But as a father of three I had to put all my hobbies on hold for about ten years. Only now am I getting back into them, including HO, since the kids are now old enough to participate and enjoy the process.

    That's an ambitious and very cool track plan you have laid out. I don't have much to add on that score. But I am having fun yanking your chain. The basement hideout will become your favorite room in the house. LOL
  6. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    Ya lol luckily the woman lets me spend as much time as I want down there. I usually dont take advantage of it though because I cant be away from the princess for too long so I end up going up stairs and having a good ol time, which is probably a good thing so I dont get obsessed. I could definetly see people having a layout and if given the chance, would probably turn their basement into a fully functional house and only been seen to restock the refrigerator haha. Ya I wanted 2 loops basically to be able to run freight around and have another loop for the longer passenger cars without too much switching. I do believe that my little dwelling in the basement will be my favorite room lol. I just finished putting down the base coat of paint on all of the foam too so Im hoping when my dcc book comes in an hour or so I can start laying track and getting ready to wire. I have read Im supposed to solder feeder wire to the track. I dont like the idea of soldering the track together due to the chance of us moving in 4 years or less. So if any of you guys have any soldering tips or ideas I would love to hear em :)
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    That's a cute kid - get her into trains as soon as possible, and then the shopping trips will be better for you ;). I've been taking my oldest girl (now 5) to the train shop since she was tiny, and now she actually asks occasionally if we can go...! I'm so proud! ;) :D

    In terms of moving - you might want to think strategically now about where you can cut the layout apart for moving. For example - your third photo shows two sets of legs close together. Can the layout come apart there? If so, it would just be a matter of slicing through the scenery and benchwork cleanly (watch out for wiring!). No need to remove the track and so on. You may want to double up the legs like this in other spots, and make sure you don't lay complicated trackwork (especially turnouts) in critical locations.

    I am not too sure what stage you are at, but if you haven't gone too far, I would make one suggestion. Flip the plan - put your roundhouse and yard on the long leg. The little yard - especially the double ended part at the very bottom of your plan - does not have much capacity, and I think you will find it frustrating to use. By lengthening it, you will have much more space to play with - handy when sorting cars and so on.

    Hope that's helpful. If not - please ignore... :)

    Andrew
  8. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    Ya the only bad thing about where I live I have no local hobby stores here so its not gonna be as easy to get her into the train stores haha.Yep those 4x8 tables are only held together by a couple of screws I built it that way so in case we did have to move. Ya I wasnt too happy with the yards either. I might just move the freight yard to the long leg. The problem is those heavyweight passengers cant handle the smaller radius so I must make them their own little yard. If I moved the freight to the long leg and expanded the passenger yard on the shorter that would give me more yard. Thanks for the advice :)Well must cut it short my book just arrived via UPS time to go have some fun.....Will post some pics soon.
  9. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    While I was waiting for the paint to dry I went ahead and tried to modify the yard like you suggested and this is what I came up with:

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    I think I kinda like it better. Lemme know what you think.:thumb:
    Jason:thumb:
  10. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    Some of the joints are not so clear as I was just throwing stuff together. Also I left a piece off the turnout on the left leg due to it being a reverse loop and left it out so I remember I need a module there.
  11. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    Well I havent had much time to post in a long time due to digital camera failure and just being really busy with college/princess so I just figured I would throw some pictures up of what I have been working on. Anyways let me know what you all think. If you look back in the thread youll notice I have actually added another 4x8 stemming off the bottom side of the layout design. I also have a scheme which would involve running a 2x12 between the furnance to another side of the basement and have 2 more train tables hahahahaha. Ive only done a rough painting of what the backdrop will look like but I am trying to decide on what colors would best match the layout. O and by the way this is picture intensive haha.
    O and disregard the HO scale tank/artillery they were picked up along with some of the new stuff I got in a box.
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  12. BreathinHeavy

    BreathinHeavy New Member

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    hey man i think the layout is looking good.
  13. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    You are really coming along with the layout. Wouldn't be interested in moving to Montana and joining our club, would you? We need somebody with your ambition and energy to work on a museum layout.
    I can see the sparkle in your daughter's eyes. She is just thinking, " I can hardly wait until I'm two and able to get up on that layout and play with all of those trains".
  14. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Wow! Grreat progress! I really like your scenicked photos!
    Ralph
  15. jesso

    jesso Member

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    Looking great! Your mountain area is really nice!
  16. Jason412

    Jason412 New Member

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    Thanks for the comments folks :) As much as I would like to work on a museum layout and be part of a club since there isnt one up here, we must stay here for atleast 2 years due to finishing up college. I have (thank the lord) 1 semesterleft !!!$#@@# and the fiance has another year and a few credits sooo gotta get that done before we do anything. Dont know if you can tell from the first photos I tried plastering the hills and stuff but I didnt like the detail as much as what you can do with foam so I ripped it all up and started all over with foam and I think it was a complete 180 in the right direction. Dont get me wrong I liked the plaster but I just the ability to be able to really carve out whatever I wanted and it let me be more creative. Ill post some more pictures later tonight, I got a few cornerstone buildings for my birthday which was last thursday that I am pretty pumped about. Ya that mountain is my pride and joy, I hope you all like it :) It still needs alot of work, you can probably see where I filled in cracks with some putty that the paint isnt the same color. Alright gotta go, check back in later.Jason