Yes, it was a major sticker shock when I chose to model German, Swiss, and Austrian railroads.
Well, you can find reasons to object to just about anything. Yes, adhesives do take a while to set, but I've never found that to be a real issue (model railroading isn't an instant gratification hobby), and with the right adhesives, things don't move on you, and with a little care (no more than that needed to make sure you don't overdrive spikes and pinch your gauge), it's extremely easy to get just enough adhesive and keep from obscuring the centerline. And since you're not gobbling it on, it isn't that hard to remove, either.Personal preference is right.
I do not find track nails and ME spike to be fiddly at all, rather they allow me to lay track with precision on the center-line that I draw carefully. The track is down now, not later when the adhesive sets up. I can tweak it a tiny bit while siting down the rail if need to get smooth flowing track.
Also what I like about track nails/spike is if anything need revision, it's a simple matter to pull them out with needle nose pliers and relay. No set-up adhesive to deal with. I"ve saved turnouts from 3 past layouts and they were in pristine condition when I sold them since there was not glue or adhesives on them. I didn't get far enough along to ballast the track on those layouts and am heck, glad I didn't use adhesives as it gave me the option to sell or reuse nice and clean.
I'd guess the shift away began when foam became widespread and available enough for hobbyists to start trying out. Being light weight, it has some advantages if you want a portable modular layout that needs to be moved a lot.
I'm old school like you and don't see what all the fuss is about. I don't want to wait for adhesives to set. It has to be held in place while setting and what if it slips one way or the other while setting - you could remove the weights to find the track is crooked and wonky, but now it's fixed in place. Adhesives can obscure the center line that is my reference for precise track laying and once the adhesive is set the track is fixed in place and can't be adjusted without peeling it back up. I'd worry about damaging fragile turnouts freeing them from the adhesive and they ain't cheap.
I've never been a big fan of adhesives all my life, let alone for track laying and see them as a necessary evil. You ether get too little or too much, it gets where you you don't want it and have to wipe it up, on your fingers and cloths. Some take to long to set, others too fast. Bleh. I do use adhesives of course, but only for what I must and have no alternative.
People use foam for terrain and landscaping as well. There are two ways of course to make terrain. One is to build something in the shape of the terrain - an additive approach, such as cardboard strips and hot glue, or wire mesh with plaster over it. The other is subtractive method, where you put down layers of foam and carve away what isn't the hill or terrain and then put something over it to hide the foam. To me the subractive method seems like more expense and waste because you but all this foam and end up carving away a quarter to a third of it and throw it in the trash! If you save cardboard boxes, the cardboard is basically free. You just take a box cutter and cut it into long strips and the only cost if for the hot glue to attach it to the benchwork or framing.
Not fundamentally and not a bad thing. You remove material to get a shape, like a sculptor does starting with a general shape and carving away material so that what is left is a human figure or head.You're also mischaracterizing the "subtractive method".
Thanks. Good points about removal. I've made mistakes or as mentioned, had to take apart two sections of my layout to deal with water issues in the basement, so being able to pull out nails and remove track facilitated easy removal of the bench-work sections at least twice.To Riogrande, that is impressive work you do....
I like using track nails. My railway sits on 1/2 plywood, with cork roadbed. I use 3/4 brad nails to attach the cork, and requires no glue. If a mistake is made, the cork can be pried off, brads removed, and relaid. There is no waiting for glue to set, and I can lay track down quickly as well. I have had to remove track because sometimes in testing a small issue comes up.
I know what you mean about the beads in the white foam. I may give foam a try on the next layout. I'll check the cost of sheets of it and decide. I've tested and tried making land forms with cardboard strips as shown above, and know that can work well, but it might be fun to experiment with a hot wire too.The landforms are made with white styrofoam, the kind that no one recommends, because it beads when cut. But I use a hot knife, and style them that no plaster is required. I used the white styrofoam because it was free. I then use wood screws and washers to hold them in place. Again, on my Burlington Northern railway all the landforms were completed and attached in 2 hours. I do prepaint them the base colour before installing, as that is easier to do as well.
I’ve used pink form in the past, and it’s a good product, but it’s expensive.
I one thing I like about form, (even with the white foam) is the ability to carve rocks into it (again using a hot knife (I use woodland scenics knife), and a box cutter knife. I wouldn’t recommend the white styrofoam if the only tool to cut it was a box cutter...cheers
that"s easy to figger out----ie easier to do , cheaper to use glue. Saw's, hammers, straight thingy's that"s harder to do. its just lazier and easier to do it another way. foam is so easy to make into what you want , wood is very hard to work with. easy ='s getting it done faster mostly keeping cost down..... my opinionThirty years ago I never heard of anyone glueing track down either to cork or right on the sub-roadbed.
When did this become popular? When people stopped being taught how to use a hammer and a punch? Or when foam started being used instead of wood for sub-roadbed? I guess that was because no one was taught anymore to use a saw, square, and a straightedge.
As you said, there is no right or wrong way, but I'm interested in knowing when this shift away from traditional benchwork and trackwork started.
Who makes screws that tiny?Personally, I never use nails, I use screws.
I've used a combination of Atlas track nails and MicroEngineering spikes on 3 layouts so far and like that method well enough to keep using it going forward.Well I suppose nails or screws are the method. If and when I build my next layout I'll try those instead, as long as I could remove them later after ballasting..I don't care for the look they leave...