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Author Topic: Preparing my surface?  (Read 409 times)

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Offline karlbown

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Preparing my surface?
« on: February 13, 2020, 10:06:38 AM »
I'm getting further with planning my layout - it's a slow job as I keep seeing new things I like - and I was wondering whether I need to prepare my surface before I start laying track etc?

I've got a piece of Sundeala for my baseboard, but I've read and seen videos where some people prepare their boards first (not necessarily Sundeala). Is this paint to give a uniform background colour, or some kind of sealant for avoiding leaks when you're laying ballast and running PVA onto it etc.?

Or is it unnecessary?

Complete beginner here so assume I know nothing!

TIA

Karl

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 10:55:39 AM »
I guess it depends on the board you're using?   I use ply for the main baseboard construction with cork strip for the trackbed, so I don't find any preparation is necessary.

Sundeala is a type of softboard isn't it?   I've not used softboard for layouts since the 70s, but I would imagine dilute PVA used for ballast and scenery is likely to soak in and I don't know what effect that would have on the board itself?  On the other hand a typical way of sealing boards is to slosh slightly dilute PVA on them anyway  :D

If you do decide to seal the boards, make sure you do both sides evenly to prevent warping.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 10:57:10 AM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2020, 11:12:31 AM »
I've used Sundeala for years but always in an area of fairly constant temperature/humidity. My current layout is in a conservatory which can have varying conditions but, given adequate bracing, I've had no issues. If your mancave is a shed or a loft I would recommend you 'treat' the sundeala as per the attached instructions. It's true damp caused in scenery/ballast creation will soak into the surface if not treated. Hope this helps.

Offline springwood

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2020, 11:44:39 AM »
I purchased (40-odd years ago!) a piece of 1/2" insulation board and used it once or twice for a few 'practise' goes very recently. Sundeala is probably the nearest equivalent to that nowadays and I thought I would use it for my debut layout (Springwood) until I read one or two horror stories about how soft and prone to warping with different atmospheric conditions it can be. In the end it was a toss up between 9mm ply or 9mm mdf..I went for the latter. My framework provides roughly 13" centres (so well supported) and I treated the board with a couple fo coats of special mdf paint (white), finishing with a lick of brown water-based paint. All track is laid on 1/16" cork. I've had no issues at all with the mdf and it feels robust but also enables you to tap track pins in with a small hammer very easily and drill your holes.

Offline port perran

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2020, 11:54:53 AM »
Certainly paint your board with a neutral colour eg grey or light brown so that the underlying wood doesn’t show through underneath track and scenery.
I’ll get round to fixing it drekkly me ‘ansome.

Offline karlbown

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 09:07:33 AM »
Thanks for all the help guys. My layout will be in a spare room at home so should be low humidity, constant temperature so it looks like Sundeala will be ok. It's already grey in colour so might just leave it as it is and hopefully it won't show through once I've laid some scenic stuff down.

My main problem is still deciding on a layout. I keep changing my mind!

Online Bealman

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 09:18:49 AM »
Always used ply.

But my advice would be not to worry so much about the colour of the baseboard as much as the scenery base.

I've always mixed brown paint in with the plaster.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2020, 09:38:14 AM »
My main problem is still deciding on a layout. I keep changing my mind!

Don't try and rush that. It will come to you, and I think it's the most important part of the layout as if you don't like it further down the line (sorry :-[) you'll soon tire of it.

Offline port perran

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 09:45:00 AM »
My main problem is still deciding on a layout. I keep changing my mind!

Don't try and rush that. It will come to you, and I think it's the most important part of the layout as if you don't like it further down the line (sorry :-[) you'll soon tire of it.
And then you’ll start to lose track ( :D) of where you are with the project.
Ok, I’ll get my coat.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 09:49:06 AM by port perran »
I’ll get round to fixing it drekkly me ‘ansome.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2020, 09:49:35 AM »
And there is no 'point' in rushing things.  (Wait for me PP  :)).
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Online Bealman

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2020, 10:13:48 AM »
Give the man some proper advice you bloody deviates  :P
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: Preparing my surface?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2020, 03:30:58 PM »
Sounds like a job for a glutton for PUNishment!  :-[
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
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