The last of the kids has now left home and I now have a 2.7 x 2.1 metre
space all of my own! I already own quite a lot of OO loco's (some 25
yrs+ some fairly recent) and stock with an amount of Peco track. I am
really after recommendations on where to start.
What material should I use for the base board?
Should I make the layout modular for easy removal and if so what would
be a good size?
Would DCC be the way forward? I suspect it will be but which is the
most suitable type, especially considering the older loco's?
Is there anywhere on the web that gives hints and tips on "ageing"
stock & buildings? I don't want to end up with something that looks
like a Wimpey new build and all the loco's just outshopped by
Any help and guidance gratefully received.
This is what I did (though it's not necessarily the right way to do things)
Plywood. 6mm thick. Ply frames, 6mm thick, cut into 72mm strips from sheet
of ply, then cut to length as required for each part of the frame. Held
together initially with hot melt glue, then reinforced with strips of
non-elasticated bandage soaked in a thin solution of wood glue. Very light,
but they are a bit noisey as the sound from running trains can reverberate.
4 feet by 2 feet is the largest I can comfortably handle, and even then,
once fully scenic'd they are bulky. Only use modular if you *know* that you
will need to move the layout and put it back together again, whether that's
for exhibiting it or just for moving house.
I'm planning on using Lenz, but Digitrax are starting to make a push into
the UK market. ZTC I have heard isn't that great, Hornby and Bachmann's sets
are more for starting off than for more advanced implementations.
There are many websites scattered around that have hints and tips and ideas,
however not all are in one place. One thing I have thought about recently
(but don't currently have time to do) is put together a 'best practice'
website for railway modelling, with articles and links to good ideas for
just about every aspect of railway modelling, from planning to baseboards to
track, scenery weathering, running, you name it. But I don't know of such a
My 2p's worth, and of course they are just my viewpoint. I'm sure others
will have different views! ;-)
I have more room than you but still found it difficult to have a
layout and access it.
I built 85 cm high tables from roof tile lattes of 28 x 45 mm treated
pine. they needed nothing more than cutting to length and then glue
and screw. On that I have mounted 19mm floor panels (smooth finish
chipboard) and surface finished with 6mm green fibre tiles which are
designed to sound proof parquet floor boarding. These can be attached
with wood glue and kept in place by the pins when track laying.
I have thought of DCC and do own a controller and one chip but like
you have a majority of veteran locos. My present inclination is to
stick with dc and isolation sections as it is cheaper and lends me
more control and the need to think. The DCC will probably end up in
the goods yard with a transition section.
Obviously I have no intention of porting the railway anywhere!
I am still in the breadboard state and so far have made 7 major
revisions, these have been motivated by a) finance and b) pleasure (I
do not enjoy carusels very much and make my system work).
Using a double controller with auto short circuit protection for dc I
find that my errors (I still make them after 45 years in electronics)
are mitigated. Despite my space ( 7.5m x 3.6 m) I am finding it
difficult to locate a position for a mimic panel. Thus would be
necessary for dc or dcc.