View Full Version : N Scale Layout(beginner)
12-30-2007, 10:27 PM
OK, so I kinda started getting an idea for my layout. I ended up going with a 4'x5 1/2' layout. I am going to keep it some-what simple.
The first pic here is what the basic track concept is going to be. 2 simple ovals. The outer oval will have a slight elevation change on the back side, where I will build some hills. Eventually there will be some switches on the left side for both tracks. Right now the track was just set in place, no glue or anything. I ran the trains to see if I would like the distance of the runs. I did, so I plan on keeping the basic ovals....for now.
This next photo just kinda shows a closer look at the 2 trains I have for now. I will add more to the freight train in the future. In and around the inner circle I will start building a small town with some small industry. Nothing major.
Next is just another shot of the whole figure again. Keep in mind that the layout will be getting some legs added to it so that it won't be sitting on the ground. I just wanted to get something up for now to kind of start my progress thread. I figured for a beginner's layout, and considering I will have to move this at some point that this would be a good start. I am going to leave the left side kinda bare for now, that way when I get more room, I can add to the layout from that side.
Hopefully all these pics showed up. I will keep posting pics as I progress along. Please feel free to give me honest opinions, and any advice to go with my layout. Thanks everyone.
12-31-2007, 09:17 AM
Reach is going to be a major issue that you'll need to overcome with this setup. How do you plan on reaching the back tracks to clean them or rerail cars? Will the layout be on wheels? Are you going to add a pop-up? Will the layout be someplace else where you can walk around it?
I'm not trying to kill your enthusiasm. Actually, I'm trying to save it by forcing you to think through a potential problem that could kill the enthusiasm.
BTW, isn't that MDC loco awesome? I have a few myself, and I just love the way they run!
12-31-2007, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the concern on those issues. I have actually thought that out, and I am going to put wheels on all the legs so that I can move it to get to the back. That is the only spot in our small house I can put the layout for now, so trying to figure out what to do was a little hard at first. It took me about 3 hrs of setting some track on the ground to figure out what would work the best, and this really was the only feasible way to start a layout. I thought about just doing a simple switching layout at first, but after doing some research on the forum I read that N scale is not the greatest for switching, do to the fact they don't do the greatest at low speeds, although I did see how well my loco's would do at a slow speed, and they actually did really good. Another down side was the main reason I am doing a layout again is for my kids. And my 2 yr old son, doesn't really like when the trains are running too slow, so I needed to build something that would give me a continuous run.
And as far as the loco I am guessing you are talking about the steam loco? If I am correct, yes I do love it. I have always been a fan of steam loco's. I have one just like it in HO that I have had for like 10 yrs. My grandpa (RIP) was big into model railroading so he went and bought it for me for my b-day one year. Should be getting foam, and caulk next weekend, and I will get the track set, and start on my scenery. Can't wait. I will keep posting pics as I go. Thanks for the input.
12-31-2007, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the concern on those issues. I have actually thought that out, and I am going to put wheels on all the legs so that I can move it to get to the back. That is the only spot in our small house I can put the layout for now, so trying to figure out what to do was a little hard at first. It took me about 3 hrs of setting some track on the ground to figure out what would work the best, and this really was the only feasible way to start a layout.
As long as you've got a solution to that you'll be fine. Sounds like you've got a plan!
I thought about just doing a simple switching layout at first, but after doing some research on the forum I read that N scale is not the greatest for switching, do to the fact they don't do the greatest at low speeds,
That was true maybe 10 or 15 years ago, but unless you've got low quality trainset junk, it just isn't so any more. A lot of folks who haven't had a good quality newer N scale loco in their hands recently still believe this, and so they keep saying it. Truth is, nothing could be further from the truth! Fact is, a friend of mine was playing with a gear reduction setup in an N scale Class A Shay the other day and he's got that thing to where it does 9 scale MPH at full throttle and will creep along like there's no tomorrow!
although I did see how well my loco's would do at a slow speed, and they actually did really good.
See! Empirical testing!
Another down side was the main reason I am doing a layout again is for my kids. And my 2 yr old son, doesn't really like when the trains are running too slow, so I needed to build something that would give me a continuous run.
He'll have fun with it as he grows.
And as far as the loco I am guessing you are talking about the steam loco? If I am correct, yes I do love it. I have always been a fan of steam loco's. I have one just like it in HO that I have had for like 10 yrs.
Me too! And yes, the MDC loco is the steam one. Actually, it was originally made by MDC, but they got bought out and now it's being released by Athearn (same loco), so a lot of people refer to them as an MDC Athearn loco. If you like that one, they have a 2-8-0 like it thats a sweetheart of a loco too.
My grandpa (RIP) was big into model railroading so he went and bought it for me for my b-day one year.
Thats how a lot of us start.
Should be getting foam, and caulk next weekend, and I will get the track set, and start on my scenery. Can't wait. I will keep posting pics as I go. Thanks for the input.
Definately, keep posting those pics!
12-31-2007, 02:43 PM
Thanks again. You are definitely big into this, so I know I can come to you with any questions and get good straight answers. This forum turned out a lot better than I originally thought. Thanks, and I will keep pics coming as I go. One more question I just thought about. I see people using multiple locos on a run. Are all of them under power?, or just the front one? I was thinking about adding another loco on my freight line, but figured I better see how it works first. Thanks again. BTW, you can call me Sean.
12-31-2007, 04:10 PM
Hi, Sean, and welcome aboard. You question about running multiple locomitives in a train (commonly called consisting) runs across all scales. There are two ways you can do this. One is to have a powered engine and the others be "dummies", or unpowered. That used to be common before DCC but it's very difficult to even find dummy locomotives now. You can run two powered locomotives together using just your normal DC power pack as long as the power draw doesn't exceed the rating of the power pack. The usual problem is that each locomotives is geared differently so one ends up pushing or pulling the other. Run your steam engine and diesel together and you'll see what I mean. :) DCC allows you tune both engines so they run at the same speed. You'll get more into DCC as you get deeper into model railroading but you can run two or more engines together on normal DC power and it will work as long as you have enough amps available and they are geared alike.
12-31-2007, 04:17 PM
(Darn, Jim beat me to it! He posted while I was typing!)
Yeah, hi Sean,
Good to have a name!
I just tinker with the stuff, but I've been tinkering since the '70's.
Yeah, all those loco's are usually under power. There aren't many "dummy" loco's in N scale because since our models weigh less we can usually use the extra pulling power anyways for our longer trains. In DCC it's pretty east. You can MU (Multiple Unit) a couple of loco's together with just a couple of strokes of the controllers keypad and as long as the loco's are pretty evenly matched on speed you're off. Where DCC really pays off is if your loco's aren't too close in speed, you can change a few CV's (programming variables in the decoder chips within the loco's themselves) and make two uneven loco's play nice by speed matching them. With DC power you have to have closely related loco's when it comes to speed or you have to solder in resistors into the power lead to the motor of the faster one to match the speeds. It's kinda hit and miss and it can be a bit of work. Most of the time DC folks just use the same loco's in a consist, like 4 GP9's or something.
12-31-2007, 04:42 PM
I figured I would just use 2 of the same loco's anyway. Thanks for the advice and help yet again guys. Will keep you posted of my progress.
12-31-2007, 07:43 PM
an n scaler my self, i'm preping the basement for my life time N scale dream layout of 18' by 28'! i have been purchasing equiptment for this for over TEN years now!! Now i finallly have the main ingreadiant, the basement. i intend to try alot of new techneiques such as steel bench work. i will be posting progress pictures along the way!!
12-31-2007, 09:35 PM
that is going to be a huge N layout. I definitely want to see pics of that.
01-01-2008, 07:08 AM
well, sean, i really considered changing back to HO scale due to some physical abnormalities i have, but i could not achieve what i wanted in the space i had, nor did i feel i could ever even come close to completed a layout double the size by my self in my lifetime.
You have chosen a good forum here. you will always get a respectfull answer to any question you ask no matter how stupid you may feel the question is. And no matter how many newbies have asked the same question.
01-01-2008, 08:45 AM
We're all newbi's at some point!
01-01-2008, 08:55 AM
Thanks Ryan. I definitely have already gotten a lot of helpful answers, and I am sure I will get plenty more down the road.
About 10 years ago I had an HO layout and was really pleased with it, but I plan on going with more advanced methods of scenery and track laying with this one. My HO layout was really basic. I used 2 4'x8' sheets of plywood. Only 1 line on it. I started by painting both boards green(grass) and then painted a small river. I built one small hill, using a box as a base, and then using chicken wire and plaster to form the actual hill. Turned out really good actually. I think I had 6 buildings and maybe 5 trees on the whole layout. Everything was real basic like I said, so I want to go more advanced with this one.
I appreciate all the advice on here, and plan on being a part of this forum for a long time. Thanks again guys.
01-02-2008, 05:51 PM
I think it looks like a great start... If I did my layout in N... i'd be able to run some great Wide Cabs... and my favorite SD70MAC's.. i'd also be able to have an inside loop for some Amtrakers.... but nice job....
01-03-2008, 12:46 AM
Thanks guys. Hopefully in the next week or two, I can get my foam and start my actual laying of everything. I will definitely take pics as I go and post em up for everyone.
01-10-2008, 09:23 PM
OK, I thought of an idea. I have seen a lot of simple layouts, like mine, except they had the outer loop totally elevated. I am thinking about doing this with mine. Do you think this would be a good idea considering I would like to have the left side of the layout hilly/mountainous?
01-11-2008, 12:04 PM
You could do that. You've got enought track around the outside that you could raise the back slightly (just slightly.....enough to make the train actually "work" the grade)and leave the front alone too.
You could also make the track basically flat but vary the terrain to go both above and below the trackwork to give the impression of a grade without actually having one.
01-11-2008, 03:03 PM
I see what you are saying. My original plan was to have the back side have a slight elevation change. I think that is what I am going to stick with. Thanks
01-11-2008, 05:40 PM
I'd still elevate all of the track some so you can get some below the track level scenery. Even the flatlands have some low spots, ya know?
01-11-2008, 07:12 PM
yeah. I think this is what I am going to do. I am going to go by Home Depot tomorrow and see if they got the foam, if not I will probably have to wait until next weekend. Once I get the foam I will be starting to lay it and get a good start on my layout. I am getting that will anxious feeling because I am getting tired of waiting. As soon as I get it going I will get some pics up for everyone to see.
Thanks again for the advice.
01-16-2008, 04:40 PM
Its looking good
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