B&M Railroad (Ben & Me)

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Lynnb

Active Member
#21
Ok, this is going to be my first build so I thought I'd start a thread and show the progression. Any comments and recommendations are greatly welcomed.

My empire is small so there is not too much I can do. The time era is from 1971-2003 up in New England during Autumn. The train line is the Boston & Maine and it's hauling freight. I would like a mountain gorge/gap to cross but because of the limited space, I will not be able to make the % grade required. The bench work will be 28" tall to match the desk in the room and to keep it low enough for my 3 year old grandson to enjoy. The space I have available to me consists of a 9' back wall, a 4' wall to the right, and a 6' wall space to the left. 7' if I run it to my desk. I'm looking at bridging the gap between the left and right wall to make a lopsided oval. I'm going to use open frame cookie cutter to make the benchwork with an open space in the middle to give me room to reach everything. I'm thinking of making the width of the bench against the 9' wall 24", and the width of the left and right wall, 18". The width of the gap will be about 10-12" and will have a bridge or removable section to allow access to the back and side walls. I'm looking at using 1x4"s to make the open frame and use 1/2" plywood for the sub bed.

I'm also looking at having 2 main lines. Not sure yet if I want them separate to run 2 trains independent of each other or connect them to change things up a bit. Still thinking on it. With one loop I figure I have about 28' of track to play with. I'm also looking at elevating one of the lines against the back wall about 2" to not make everything look to flat.


Here is the back wall. 9'
View attachment 60262


Left wall. 7' to the desk.
View attachment 60263


Right wall. 4' to the door.
View attachment 60265
Ok just reread the first post and the dimensions are indeed there. I believe the reason for the low level of benchwork is because of the low window? With that 4 foot space next to the door that would allow for one end of a ballon loop. I would highly recommend going to a dogbone loop to loop around the wall layout and exagerate the depths of your benchwork ( no rules in this hobby ).That 2x4 construction will work but have you checked the cost of 1x3's?
 
#22
Its always nice to see a new layout coming to life. You made mention of the prices of lumber , yes I know what you mean but it is all part of the hobby and only a small piece of the puzzle. Although I can't tell from looking at your photo's but my feelings are you will run into issues for shortly, for one your radius is going to be very very tight behind the door and for another , benchwork height compared to doggy's height tells me you are going to have a very sore backleaning down over the layout. Have you looked into other types of layout construction that will better suit a design? Perhaps post your room dimensions so the guys can help come up with a design that will better suit the dimensions of the room. Sorry if I missed it but didn't see a scale posted , unless perhaps your scale is N and that would make a world of difference.
Ok just reread the first post and the dimensions are indeed there. I believe the reason for the low level of benchwork is because of the low window? With that 4 foot space next to the door that would allow for one end of a ballon loop. I would highly recommend going to a dogbone loop to loop around the wall layout and exagerate the depths of your benchwork ( no rules in this hobby ).That 2x4 construction will work but have you checked the cost of 1x3's?
Hi Lynn,

Thank you for your comments, I appreciate it. I'll be running HO gauge and have already started a collection. I was thinking N scale but after seeing N scale in person, I felt HO would be better for me. Eyes aren't as good as they used to be. LOL!! The radius I'm not too concerned about. I made an 18" radius template on a stiff piece of cardboard and have been playing with it at the corners. The outer track can have a wider turn and if I want to put the inner track within a few inches of the edge of the bench, I can add triangular pieces of plywood into the corners to allow the turn to be closer. I made the benchwork that low so my 3 year old grandson can enjoy it and as it works out, as I sit at my desk, all I have to do is spin around and I'll be close to eye level. I'm also looking at putting 4" of foam on top so I will have some room to cut out valleys, rivers, etc. That should raise the height a bit. Over the long run, this will just be for a few years until we move into our own house, then I can make it taller. Haven't checked the 1x3s.
 
#23
Checked out Home Depot on the way home tonight and found some 1" extruded foam board. The pink stuff looks more purple to me. I also noticed it was scored in back for breaking off pieces.

IMG_0369.jpg


Has anyone placed a propane torch to this to shape it? Seen a few Youtube videos that do it but it was blue foam.
IMG_0370.jpg
 

Attachments

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#25
I haven't heard of anyone using a torch on it. I would be concerned about the fumes. As far as the 1" foam goes, I would recommend getting it in 2" thick if you can. Less gluing. And I don't recall just where I saw it, but someone posted a video of a woman doing a glue test on pink foam board, using several different products to test adhesion. The winner? Glidden Gripper paint primer. And you can get it at Home Depot.
 

Lynnb

Active Member
#27
Sorry never gave thought to your modeling partner, yep been there, my son is now 26 and getting married this year. Last year when I took down the old layout he was actually very sad about it and I didn't realize he was so interested in what I was doing, I have now since started the new layout and he tends to pop in more often.:)

I have heard of people using a torch on the extruded foam to make rivers, personally I like to lay scrap plywood as the base of the river and build up the banks.
 
#28
I haven't heard of anyone using a torch on it. I would be concerned about the fumes. As far as the 1" foam goes, I would recommend getting it in 2" thick if you can. Less gluing. And I don't recall just where I saw it, but someone posted a video of a woman doing a glue test on pink foam board, using several different products to test adhesion. The winner? Glidden Gripper paint primer. And you can get it at Home Depot.
I'd like to get the 2" foam board but Lowes only carries the green 1/2" and Home Depot only carries the pink in 1/2" and one inch. :( Good to know about the paint.
 
#30
Sorry never gave thought to your modeling partner, yep been there, my son is now 26 and getting married this year. Last year when I took down the old layout he was actually very sad about it and I didn't realize he was so interested in what I was doing, I have now since started the new layout and he tends to pop in more often.:)

I have heard of people using a torch on the extruded foam to make rivers, personally I like to lay scrap plywood as the base of the river and build up the banks.
Getting back into trains has been interesting. I gave my grandson my old HO set and my daughter tells me it's his favorite toy. His father seems to like it and is starting to play with the benchwork. And then the strangest thing happened, my wife has been encouraging and inquisitive about me getting back into trains and this time with modeling scenery. Paint me surprised/confused!!! I've had many hobbies and this is a first.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#31
Getting back into trains has been interesting. I gave my grandson my old HO set and my daughter tells me it's his favorite toy. His father seems to like it and is starting to play with the benchwork. And then the strangest thing happened, my wife has been encouraging and inquisitive about me getting back into trains and this time with modeling scenery. Paint me surprised/confused!!! I've had many hobbies and this is a first.
The iron is hot, strike it now.
 
#33
Looks like your off to a great start! It's awesome you're getting your grandson involved! I'm sure he's going to have a blast, and will build memories with you that will last a lifetime!
Keep posting up the pictures!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#34
Looks like your off to a great start! It's awesome you're getting your grandson involved! I'm sure he's going to have a blast, and will build memories with you that will last a lifetime!
Keep posting up the pictures!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hi SNE,

Thanks. I hope he continues to enjoy it. We'll be seeing him shortly and I picked up a box car to give him. Has NC state flag and info on it. To young to know what it means but he will eventually. Haven't been able to do much but I did paint the benchwork top. I'll post pictures when I can. Hoping to make and place an elevated sub roadbed on it next week then the tracks.
 
#35
Here is the bench painted brown. Supposedly that helps hide the wood better when flocking is put on it.

IMG_0376.jpg

Also fixed my first car. The 2 bay hopper car was riding low at at one end and when I removed the bottom carriage I noticed one of the support columns that the screw goes into was broken. A drop of super glue and all level now. Now to figure out which Kadee couplers to use on 2 other cars that are missing couplers.
 
#36
Been busy for a while but I finally got some time this past Saturday. I had layed out some track to run the train for my grandson when he came to visit the other week but I pulled it back up do I could do some work on the bench. Learned a few things along the way. When using flex track, keep the movable rail to the inside of the curve, don't connect tracks in the middle of a curve, and use Atlas track connectors instead of the micro engineering ones. Also discovered that horn couplers and knuckle couplers don't couple. Did get one coupler to work with the knuckle so I connected all the other cars to it. Had one car that kept jumping the track in one area in a curve and I think its because the car is longer than the rest and the coupler may be to short.

Over all it was fun to play with. Here is the elevated/grade subbed I made. It took longer than I expected but I think it turned out ok. I'm planning on laying track on the inner side and have it go under the highest part in back.

IMG_0982.jpg


I also did some work on the bench and gate. There was about a 3/4" twist between the gate and the benchwork to the right. Turned out the cross pieces of the frame was torquing the bench top so I removed them, re assembled the benchwork, then re installed the cross pieces. Much better!

IMG_0983.jpg


Now I need to figure out which Kadee couplers I need, figure out which metal wheels to get, and order some cork or rubber for the rail bed and order some Atlas track connectors. :)
 
#37
Well, I'm back..... Life happened and I had to take a short sabbatical. Just ordered some cork bed, Atlas joiners, and an Atlas joining tool. Once they get in I'll start laying down the cork and track. What do you all recommend for adhesives to adhere the cork to the plywood and the flex track to the cork. I've seen Elmer's glue, latex caulk, and a few other items mentioned. If I goof up or just want to change the lay out I want to be able to peal off the track and cork so I can reuse them.
 
#38
I think latex caulk is the best for that. I think someone said they put a drywall knife under it and pop it up to change it. Once you ballast it, the process becomes more work.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#39
My choice is DAP Alex Plus siliconized latex caulk. It goes down white but dries clear. It holds well, but is easily taken up with a putty knife. You will need to get a caulking gun to use it. You don't need much, just run a thin bead down the centerline of your track plan and spread it with a putty knife. You can use it for both the cork and the track, but for the cork I would just get the cheapest latex caulk you can find at the store. Save some money that way.
 
#40
I think latex caulk is the best for that. I think someone said they put a drywall knife under it and pop it up to change it. Once you ballast it, the process becomes more work.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Hi RBMNfan,

Thanks. :) That's good to know. I'm sure I'll be changing things to make it work or make a few changes once I get started.
 



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