N Gauge Forum

Your Layout and Models => Layout Construction => Topic started by: M4tt on March 14, 2019, 10:17:32 PM

Title: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 14, 2019, 10:17:32 PM
 :hellosign: and welcome to the start of my first proper layout. Like many of you I'm sure, I had my first train set as a child, but for me I didn't really take it much further than a simple oval of track on a plain 6x4 plywood at the time.
Anyway, fast forward nearly 30 years later and now I find myself wanting to build a modern city model. At first I was planning to just have a static scene, but soon decided I would inevitably become board with just that alone and that it would definitely need some sort of motion.

After a fair bit of googling about different train scales and what not, I came to the logical conclusion that "n" was the way to go given that I live in a fairly small 2 bed flat or, 1 bedroom and a large wordrobe would be more appropriate.

The Plan:
Well there isn't one really, it's more a list of what I would like to have on my layout and probably won't turn out to how it looks to my minds eye.

The list:
1. A modern city
It won't be of any one particular city at any specific time just some made up city, again whatever  comes out of my mind.

2. Industrial
Really want a container port, mainly because I have already downloaded and started to build some containers, warehouses and even a container ship!

3. Kato track
Because it is easy to put together plus that's what I have already brought myself, and received for Christmas.

4. Layout plan
There isn't one! Well that's not strictly true, after many hours on anyrail and many many different versions of what I thought I wanted, I gave up to a degree and instead it will grow and change around my ideas as It goes along - I will still use anyrail to make sure it works first, just had enough of constantly changing and tweaking without even had laid a single piece of track.


It may be worth mentioning that I have literally zero knowledge about trains, nothing, nada not an idea, could not tell the difference between an East coast train or a West line train if even such things exist. So with that in mind I should probably apologise now :sorrysign: for any future offence that maybe caused by my total lack of consistency with what trains and rolling stock you may see running together or along side each other, because you see that is not what is important to me.
For me it's more about the modelling and if I like it, it goes. Simple!

I think I may have rambled on enough now, so I will upload some images of where I am currently at so far and hopefully enjoy the rest of the learning curve ahead.

 :thankyousign:
Matt
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: Ditape on March 14, 2019, 11:16:51 PM
 :hellosign: :welcomesign:
Hi just ask and we will try and help, there are no stupid questions, you might get some comic answers but all in jest.
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: Bealman on March 15, 2019, 01:01:00 AM
Basic question is, what space do you have, ie dimensions of the layout?

This fundamental quantity will influence the style of layout... roundy-roundy, shunting layout, terminus to fiddleyard, and so on.

Please be aware that a container ship and associated facilities are big!! Once again, space available for the layout is an important piece of information.

The entire layout could end up being container terminal!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: keithbythe sea on March 15, 2019, 07:44:12 AM
Hi Matt, welcome and good luck!

Most importantly itís your railway, so do what pleases you.
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: port perran on March 15, 2019, 07:59:36 AM
Welcome aboard
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: NScaleNotes on March 15, 2019, 09:20:51 AM
Hi Matt

Welcome.

If you want to model a container facility in a smaller space then it might be worth looking at some of the Rhine intermodal ports in Switzerland, particularly Basel, to get some ideas.
Hopefully the mods won't mind me plugging my own blog but I've written about one called SwissTerminal here: http://nscalenotes.com/uncategorized/modelable-european-intermodal-facilities-2/ (http://nscalenotes.com/uncategorized/modelable-european-intermodal-facilities-2/).

If you didn't want a Swiss layout there's no reason why you couldn't use a bit of modellers license to locate it somewhere in the UK :)

Simon
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: dannyboy on March 15, 2019, 09:24:45 AM
Hi Matt, as has been said, it's your railway, you do what you want! My layout, (Averingcliffe), is totally fictitious and is not based on any area or time. I have steam engines to modern DMU's, I have GB, American, Japanese stock. And I use Kato Unitrack which has its proponents and oponents - I love it.  :thumbsup:. Once you get to grips with it, it can be quite versatile. Bob Fifer, (fiferhobby.com), has lots of interesting and instructional videos, have a look at the site. I won't rabbit on any more.
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: Newportnobby on March 15, 2019, 09:59:06 AM
Hi Matt, welcome and good luck!

Most importantly itís your railway, so do what pleases you.

It's known, Matt, as 'Rule 1' (It's my railway and I'll run what I want)
N gauge still has certain restrictions depending on what you're like to run so please do some forum reading and, to blow my own trumpet, try this for a starter as it may help you avoid some basic pitfalls......

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=35556.msg416493#msg416493 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=35556.msg416493#msg416493)
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 12:00:45 AM
Basic question is, what space do you have, ie dimensions of the layout?


The answer to that question is not quite so basic. I have a bit of a mad plan to suspend my baseboard from the ceiling in my bedroom via a system of pulleys. When not in use I can raise it above head height and secure it in place leaving all the room I need for the bed etc. Then when I want to play I will lower it down to a height that is usable, probably around 4 foot or so from the floor.
This should mean I will be able to have a much bigger layout than the space would allow if it were fixed permanently into position, well that the plan anyway.

Currently the baseboard is 8x4, and is not suspended as yet.     
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 12:06:24 AM
Hi Matt

Welcome.

If you want to model a container facility in a smaller space then it might be worth looking at some of the Rhine intermodal ports in Switzerland, particularly Basel, to get some ideas.
Hopefully the mods won't mind me plugging my own blog but I've written about one called SwissTerminal here: [url]http://nscalenotes.com/uncategorized/modelable-european-intermodal-facilities-2/[/url] ([url]http://nscalenotes.com/uncategorized/modelable-european-intermodal-facilities-2/[/url]).

 

If you didn't want a Swiss layout there's no reason why you couldn't use a bit of modellers license to locate it somewhere in the UK :)

Simon


Had a little look at your blog, very interesting. I have booked marked it for future reference :thankyousign:
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 12:14:10 AM
Hi Matt, welcome and good luck!

Most importantly itís your railway, so do what pleases you.

It's known, Matt, as 'Rule 1' (It's my railway and I'll run what I want)
N gauge still has certain restrictions depending on what you're like to run so please do some forum reading and, to blow my own trumpet, try this for a starter as it may help you avoid some basic pitfalls......

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=35556.msg416493#msg416493 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=35556.msg416493#msg416493)

Will definitely take the time to have a read through, many thanks. 
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 12:23:11 AM
Hi Matt, as has been said, it's your railway, you do what you want! My layout, (Averingcliffe), is totally fictitious and is not based on any area or time. I have steam engines to modern DMU's, I have GB, American, Japanese stock. And I use Kato Unitrack which has its proponents and oponents - I love it.  :thumbsup:. Once you get to grips with it, it can be quite versatile. Bob Fifer, (fiferhobby.com), has lots of interesting and instructional videos, have a look at the site. I won't rabbit on any more.

Do you have a build thread or anything? would love to have a look at what you have done!
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 12:26:23 AM
Will hopefully get some pics up soon, once I figure how to upload them :censored: :censored: :censored:
 :)
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: weave on March 16, 2019, 02:19:52 AM
Hi Matt,

Welcome aboard. All sounds very interesting, especially the container port bit, so looking forward to pics and your build.

Cheers weave  :beers:
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: Innovationgame on March 16, 2019, 02:12:03 PM
Will hopefully get some pics up soon, once I figure how to upload them :censored: :censored: :censored:
 :)
I find that if I try to upload pictures without resizing or cropping them, they appear to upload, but nothing appears in my gallery.  I tend to reduce size to 25%, which is plenty of detail for online images.  Then they upload without a problem.  The best way is to go to My Gallery and then select bulk upload.  This allows you to drop files into a box.  Even if you only have one file, it still seems the simplest method.

I hope that helps.
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 02:52:15 PM
(https://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx327/mcrane1981/20190316_135058_zpsipeussws.jpg) (https://s768.photobucket.com/user/mcrane1981/media/20190316_135058_zpsipeussws.jpg.html)
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 02:56:08 PM
Finally figured it out!
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 02:59:44 PM
(http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx327/mcrane1981/20190316_135228_zpsxkurl50l.jpg) (http://s768.photobucket.com/user/mcrane1981/media/20190316_135228_zpsxkurl50l.jpg.html)

Not the best at photography! 
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: Newportnobby on March 16, 2019, 03:10:39 PM
At 8ft x 4ft that does look heavy to be on a pulley system so you'll need some beefy 'skyhooks' methinks. I could imagine me hauling on the lifting cord and the ceiling coming down rather than the layout going up! :worried:
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 03:38:07 PM
At 8ft x 4ft that does look heavy to be on a pulley system so you'll need some beefy 'skyhooks' methinks. I could imagine me hauling on the lifting cord and the ceiling coming down rather than the layout going up! :worried:

That is a very real possibility!  :doh:, however the plan is that the pulley system only needs to to raise the board up  high enough to then engage some heavy duty folding brackets rated for 300kg each that will be bolted to to the wall battens, so really the ceiling won't be constantly taking the strain of the baseboard weight.   
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 16, 2019, 03:44:03 PM
(https://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx327/mcrane1981/20190316_150518_zpskkvromjg.jpg) (https://s768.photobucket.com/user/mcrane1981/media/20190316_150518_zpskkvromjg.jpg.html)

A few of the parts for the pulley system. The bigger pulleys are rated at 75kg each and the smaller ones 35kg each, braking strain of the rope is 360kg.
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: dannyboy on March 16, 2019, 07:07:10 PM

Do you have a build thread or anything?

Hi @M4tt (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=6894) , the build thread starts here -

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=44061.msg547551#msg547551 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=44061.msg547551#msg547551)
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: M4tt on March 17, 2019, 04:59:20 PM
So I have been working on the pulley system last night and today, and it has been relatively successful.
The pulleys are working well and the ceiling joists are taking the weight well, however there is just too much flex in the baseboard when raising and lowering which leaves me worrying about the longevity of any fixed structures on top of the baseboard.

A solution could be to add yet more bracing support under the baseboard to give it more rigidity, but at the cost of adding more weight, which in turn would require more pulleys making the whole thing far too complex.
So it would probably be wiser to call a Holt to the whole idea now a save myself time, money and the stress of it all and change plans towards a fixed baseboard.         
Title: Re: A learning journey
Post by: dannyboy on March 17, 2019, 05:07:38 PM
Looking at the picture in reply #17 it looks like it might be possible to have a hinged layout on that wall, (hinged up or down), - would that be possible? You would still have some flexing of the baseboard, but maybe less than you would have using the pulleys. Just a thought.