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Old 08-26-2019, 12:21 PM   #11
shaker281
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Thank you Tom, I definitely need to look at track layout options. I am getting excited now that I have decide to move to a permanent installation.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:28 PM   #12
AmFlyer
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I built a layout with an open center but the sides were 3' wide and it was 8'x14'. Way too big w/o a center access. The open center was 2'x8'.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:59 PM   #13
cramden
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Originally Posted by shaker281 View Post
Thank you guys! I needed a reality check and now I have decided that 6' is the way I will go. You guys always help a lot.

AmFlyer, what you are saying about reverse loops is very helpful. I will take it all into consideration.

Certain that I will be changing the track layout after some research (need more track and switches), but knowing my maximum dimensions will allow me to start planning benchwork.
I ordered a 6'x8' kit from Mianne. Having neither a basement or a garage, and new carpet throughout the house, Mianne was a no brainer for me .No mess with cutting and such, just take it out of the cartons and put it together. I have a layout that's 8' long, but added 6" to the 6 ft. side for a 3" overhang on each of those sides. It keeps the track off of the edge if you use 3 and a half straights on the shorter sides of an oval. I wish I could have had 9 or 10' but don't have the room. I think 6x10 will give you lots of options. Don't forget to look in the instruction manuals or catalogues for layout suggestions. http://www.myflyertrains.org/AF_Cata...20Catalogs.htm
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:12 AM   #14
AFGP9
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Shaker281 allow me to offer my 2 cents worth. My layout is 15' x 20' overall. It is around the walls with a hinged lift up bridge I built my self so I can walk into my layout. I have 7' x 16' of open space in the middle. I have 2, 1 x 10 boards for shelving underneath the whole length on both sides. I made my own doors which are hinged on the legs making each door about 3' feet long since my legs are 2 x 6's. The legs are set in from the edge 18". Said another way, I have an 18" over hang with a 1" X 4" facing board on the ends of the 2" X 4" cross boards for a finished look. You just have to remember to cut your cross boards a little short so the facing board is under the plywood and the end result looks smooth.

I built my layout in 4 x 8 foot sections, bolted together with 1/2" plywood as a base with 2" construction grade foam glued to the plywood. I made my layout with a 4' wide top because I had designed lots of mountains to be on it which come out from 3 walls. That puts most of the track out where I can reach it. I got plenty of space to do about anything I want. The only caveat is being able to reach things. I use about 3' to reach. Also, I like wide curves so I have plenty of room for that using the longer curved K-Line track and the 4' wide top and the wide ends that creates. The rest is good old American Flyer tack.
I almost forgot. Where the plywood and foam meet on top of the face board, I used strips of old wall paneling painted flat black for a nice finished look with white paneling cap strips from Menard's on the top edge of the paneling strips.
Fastening the track to the foam is no big deal. As I have described here before, I have added extra ties to the track and used ballast glued in place with Elmer's white glue water down so it can flow. Spray a dish soap and water mixture to help the watered down glue flow. It will dry solid if done correctly and the track will never move. The glue will not show when dry.

Even if you don't have 15' of room width as I have, you could still get the same results for broad curves using the 6' space you have with careful planning and K-Line curves or add short sections of custom cut AF straight track into your curves to broaden them like I used to do until I discovered K-Line.

One last comment. You mentioned wiring. If you decide to build something similar to what I have described, drill holes in your cross boards to run wiring through. Even if you don't know where you are going to put things, those holes will come in handy no matter what. By drilling these holes, your wires won't be hanging down under your cross boards then back up to the plywood. Much neater wiring.

Last edited by AFGP9; 08-27-2019 at 04:07 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:13 AM   #15
shaker281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cramden View Post
I ordered a 6'x8' kit from Mianne. Having neither a basement or a garage, and new carpet throughout the house, Mianne was a no brainer for me .No mess with cutting and such, just take it out of the cartons and put it together. I have a layout that's 8' long, but added 6" to the 6 ft. side for a 3" overhang on each of those sides. It keeps the track off of the edge if you use 3 and a half straights on the shorter sides of an oval. I wish I could have had 9 or 10' but don't have the room. I think 6x10 will give you lots of options. Don't forget to look in the instruction manuals or catalogues for layout suggestions. http://www.myflyertrains.org/AF_Cata...20Catalogs.htm
Great info. I have decided to go with Mianne for a similar reason to yours, it is going into a finished space and no mess or cutting. You are right, there are many layouts in the backs of the catalogues! Thanks for the reminder and link.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:09 AM   #16
shaker281
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Shaker281 allow me to offer my 2 cents worth...
And a well appreciated 2 cents. A lot of good info, thank you. I plan to make some mountains and a water feature to blend into a wall mural on the wall ends, so a little like you have done. My rough plan is to have a river valley wall mural and maybe the water continues onto the board and off to the edge, allowing a trestle bridge or two.

Regarding the foam board, does it need to be glued to the underlayment permanently? Be nice if it could be secured at the edges, with trim maybe, and allow for future changes (or mistakes). Maybe some well placed screws, say at the inside corners, making it less permanent?

Would you be able to carve into the foam board for a lake or river effect, or is that a bad idea? Seems like you could rough carve terrain easily with one of those hot wire foam cutters. Maybe wrong type of foam? I am assuming you could simply glue various ground cover to the foam board too?

I have seen a few videos on making walls, hills, lakes and most of it looks doable. I hadn't figured out ballast yet, so thanks for that. I actually have some black wood ties and might seek some more out, now that you mention it. I like the idea of adding K-line track while keeping my Gilbert too, I'll look into that.

And good idea pre-drilling for wiring, I'm also thinking about methods to secure, label and distribute the wiring cleanly. Lots of terminal strips I think!
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:31 PM   #17
AmFlyer
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Shaker281 here are some pictures I took this morning on and under the layout. Neat and labeled wiring is possible but there is a balance between spending your life under the layout and running trains. I hired people to do this.
You mentioned a river and backdrops. Here is a river under the bridges meeting the continuation painted on the backdrop. Next is the hills on the layout meeting hills painted on the backdrop. Yes, what you are imagining can be done.

246D6BF8-F634-401D-A31D-1D3DCDB8DEB4.jpg
36EF1927-CD96-47CB-BB27-8D3A56A54EA9.jpg
3FF398F4-18A2-4793-B20E-7662F8C739BC.jpg
10F36369-7624-44E8-8540-9A3EE416B114.jpg
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:12 PM   #18
AFGP9
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Shaker281 the foam does need to be glued down. Liquid Nails is what I use. The beauty of using the 2" thick type is that you can dig into it creating ditches, rivers and other such scenery. The gluing does take weight to be placed on the foam. the best way I have found is to spread the Liquid Nails around with a wide putty knife so you get a nice even, smooth surface.
Another neat perk is planting trees and bushes. Make a hole and stick 'em in. Couldn't be easier. You do have to paint the foam top. I have used a medium green and tan colors then add Woodland Scenics or similar brand, grass cover while the paint is still wet. I have always covered the foam first then added the grass covering. If you use the finer type, anything you put on top of it, track or any buildings will be fine. In other words, it won't affect what's put on top since it will easily compress. Then just use the Elmer's or any brand similar full strength to glue bushes and such down. The base ground cover is just a beginning base. You can always add other types of grass on top of it. Don't forget too that the foam makes a great mountain base for carving. One last thought regarding mountains. For rock edges I use stacked ceiling tile broken into random shapes for a jagged edges or some times smoothed here and there. It can be painted with black or white latex for highlights. You can either leave it at that or better yet spray the ceiling tile rocks with hair spray, cheap glue, then add some grass on it too. You can also add more mold foam mountains to this.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:51 PM   #19
cramden
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Tom, great pictures, really blends the scenery with the backdrop well. I would be happy if my wiring was half that good. My least favorite part of a layout since I tend to rush it, after telling myself it will be better to take my time. AFGP9, any chance to post a few pics. of your layout. It would be nice to see some if possible.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:24 AM   #20
AFGP9
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Yeah I know Cramden. I need to learn how to post pictures. Lazy I guess. No other honest answer. I am currently redoing part of my layout but is big enough that I could still get some pics taken.
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