My 4x4 Layout

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#1
I am new to the MRF and here’s my N scale layout.

It is short on scenery (don’t expect to be too impressed :rolleyes:) but there are a lot of things going on in a small, densely packed space. It started out as a simple loop with track pinned directly to a board and just kept growing and changing from there. I like to collect locomotives and run them with different combos of rolling stock…as a result I have a well populated turntable.

I have modeled my layout as a present day northeastern town complete with a fictional railroad museum, turntable and steam excursion train. This way I can mix road names and historical context. There’s even trolley service that originates from a trolley barn.

I am experimenting with the use of layered cardboard to create hills and tunnels. Each layer of cardboard is about 2 feet thick in N scale. The result looks like a conceptual scale model of a contour or topographical map.

I hope to spread it all out some day over real benchwork with track bed and decent scenery, but for the moment this lets me ‘hit the ground running’ trains.

Just wanted to share that. Thanks for looking!
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
#4
As long as the cardboard is a template for the real topography, it's fine. Cardboard used for the actual scenery isn't such a good idea. You'll need to use water and glue to secure scenery and that will soak into the cardboard. It will get kind of squishy but the worst part is that it will never dry because the glue and ground cover act as insulator. After a month or two, you'll get all kinds of new things growing on the hills, most of which won't look or smell too good. :) Extruded foam is a much better final building matereial.
 
#5
Good point regarding cardboard

As long as the cardboard is a template for the real topography, it's fine. Cardboard used for the actual scenery isn't such a good idea. You'll need to use water and glue to secure scenery and that will soak into the cardboard. It will get kind of squishy but the worst part is that it will never dry because the glue and ground cover act as insulator. After a month or two, you'll get all kinds of new things growing on the hills, most of which won't look or smell too good. :) Extruded foam is a much better final building matereial.
Good point, Jim! I don't want to lead anyone astray. :)

The cardboard was only meant to be a place holder or template for future scenery, to be rebuilt in a more conventional way. I was looking for something to give a temporary ‘sense’ of what should be there and I have no intention to add on to that surface. It gives the landscape a surreal look similar to conceptual site models used in Architecture or Landscape Architecture.

Years ago I used the old crumpled paper with strips of plaster soaked cloth for a shell technique but would consider the extruded foam as you suggested the next time around. I especially want to drop the grade below track level in some places to add more interest and introduce some bridges.

(PS: Warping is a very real concern even when building up individual cardboard layers with white glue. I kept sections relatively short and avoided that problem.)
 
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TaeOH

or just Tom...
#7
I really like this, I am experimenting in N right now on a Thomas Train table. I am enjoying everything so far, so I may expand to a door layout that is more permanent.

I have done a ton of research so far on Prototype railroads and I think my original intention of doing a freelance layout is going to be it. I like the museum idea, that is great.

I also bought my first model and I see you have it too, the Atlas Suburban Train Station. I have not started putting it together yet.
 
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#8
Thanks, midnightchief, Chris and Philip!

I really like this, I am experimenting in N right now on a Thomas Train table. I am enjoying everything so far, so I may expand to a door layout that is more permanent.

I have done a ton of research so far on Prototype railroads and I think my original intention of doing a freelance layout is going to be it. I like the museum idea, that is great.

I also bought my first model and I see you have it too, the Atlas Suburban Train Station. I have not started putting it together yet.
That's a great model, Tom because you can use the extra platform at another stop along the line.
 
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#9
WOW that is just GREAT !!! that is the best thing able N scale you can do so much in a small space and still stay busy great job keep it up:D

Larry
 
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#10
WOW that is just GREAT !!! that is the best thing able N scale you can do so much in a small space and still stay busy great job kee it up:D

Larry
Thanks for the compliment, nmaniac!
Who knows, I may try introducing a bit of Nn3 narrow gauge some time in the near future with a coal transfer. It's always fun to play around a bit and tweak.
Nick
 
#11
As long as the cardboard is a template for the real topography, it's fine. Cardboard used for the actual scenery isn't such a good idea. You'll need to use water and glue to secure scenery and that will soak into the cardboard. It will get kind of squishy but the worst part is that it will never dry because the glue and ground cover act as insulator. After a month or two, you'll get all kinds of new things growing on the hills, most of which won't look or smell too good. :) Extruded foam is a much better final building matereial.
Hate to argue, but you're a little off base. The cardboard will dry - just don't go overboard with the wetting agent (I use 90 % IPA). Something else to try with the cardboard to adhere ground foam down on is to paint both surfaces of the cardboard with acrylic paint before scenicing, elsewise the cardboard will curl (been there, done that). If you need extra hold for ground foam, you can then use the IPA as a wetting agent and glue/water or better yet glue/IPA as the securing agent. If you do use the IPA, make sure you're working in a ventilated room or you'll quickly get woozy.
 



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