11” by 14” Mini Layout

Curn Oct 2, 2013

  1. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    I got the bug to build a miniature Z scale layout, and will be logging my progress here as I go. The layout is being built on top of a 11” by 14” wooden painting panel available at most craft stores. I will be using Rokuhan sectional track. Because of the limited space, the minimum radius will be 95 mm, with 120 mm radius easements. With this arrangement, many of my locomotives will make it through the curves, including: MTL GP9, GP35, F7, AZL GP7, and My Marklin 0-6-0, 2-6-0, and 4-6-0 steamers; however most of the diesels have problems derailing cars behind them. I've ordered a SeaRails EMD Model 40 to be the main motive power for this layout.


    This is what the track plan will be:
    [​IMG]


    I got all the track put together. I had to cut down one of the 120 mm curve sections to make room for a 127 mm radius turnout. Despite the radius difference, the difference is so small, and there is enough play in the connections that there isn't any issue with fit.
    [​IMG]


    Today I took to the task of cutting out the center of the board to make room for scenery. After removing a sizable section, I cut wood supports to reattach the section about 3/4” lower. I then glued everything back together and its drying now.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I did somethign similar--mine's in a pistol case. This photo shows it unfinished, but it's mostly done now. It has 4" and 4.5" radius curves, Peco Flex on cork. It's tight, long cars complain, but it's nice for the office.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I like it and have a Nn3 sized grin on my face.
     
  4. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Great design. I need to get to work on something soon. This gives me some neat ideas.
     
  5. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    Hemi, I like how your tiny layout turned out. Its another great way to make an oval more interesting.

    I've been working on getting some of the main infrastructure built before going any further with scenery. This includes the bridge and a dock. If you haven't guessed it yet, the middle will be water, more specifically a bay.

    Besides wanting to build a tiny layout, this is also a practice layout to learn some new scenery techniques, and ballasting Rokuhan turnouts without gumming them up. David Smith reported that he had turnouts that were damaged with glue when he ballasted them. Before I tackle this on a larger layout, I wanted to test it out on a smaller one. I also want to try crating a large body of water, and try using my new static grass applicator. I've also had a bug to build a sea side themed layout for some time, and hope this will get that bug out of my system.

    Will it be Z or Nn3? Well it will be Z, and I only plan on putting Z scale buildings on it. However, I also plan on running my Nn3 0-6-0 on it, making it dual purpose.

    I started building the bridge using the Micro Trains truss bridge kit. This is a very quick and easy kit to build, and yields good results. Instead of using the supplied rails and ties, I just used one of the Rokuhan roadbed-less track sections that they make for their bridges. I'll probably paint it this weekend. I am happy with the results so far.
    [​IMG]

    The next step is the dock. I'm using the Micro-Trains Fishing Pier Kit as a starting point. So far all I have done is cut down some of the main parts to fit the space, and cut out a section to allow rails to be run the length of the dock. The plank lines that run the length of the dock are almost the perfect distance apart for the outside of the rails, and act as a perfect cutting guide. I'll document this more once I finish construction.

    [​IMG]
     
    Kez likes this.
  6. mgatdog

    mgatdog TrainBoard Member

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    Looks great! Like your design.
     
  7. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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  8. Mr.D.

    Mr.D. TrainBoard Member

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    I will be doing a small layout like this over the next few months and yours (both Curn and HemiAdda2d) are good examples for me to follow. I have 12-13"x 18" to work with. I noticed in your drawing Curn that it looked like you used Rokuhan sectional pieces? I don't have a hobby shop in my town, so I haven't gotten my grubby paws on anything yet, but I just wanted to confirm that those are in fact Rokuhan sectional pieces that will fit that small radius? I have never used sectional track before, always flex - but it seems as though there is a dearth of non-sectional switches for Z. I'm still not sure if I want a switch or not but it'd be nice if I had that option.

    Keep the updates coming - this'll be one that I follow closely!
     
  9. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    John,


    No boats will ever be able to make it under the bridge. Even if I use a MTL deck girder bridge, there isn't enough clearance, so I would have to use a draw bridge if I was interested in solving that problem. As you mentioned, none are made in Z scale. There are many options if I had more space to work with, such as a swing bridge, but I'm limited in space in all directions.
    [​IMG]

    If I were going to solve it, I would build something similar to the drawbridge on the Smugglers Cove layout featured in the May/June Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette. If I were to build this in Z I would probably hold me up for a month waiting for scale lumber lumber and small parts, would cost a fair amount for the parts and shipping from multiple vendors. This is against the philosophy that I am approaching this layout with; which is focus on the goals I mentioned above, and get this off my workbench as quick as possible.
    [​IMG]

    I am hoping that most people wont ever notice that the boats cant make it under the bridge, as the layout will mostly be viewed from directly above. If anyone ever asks, I'll think of something clever to say like, “They have to wait till low tide” or “and the train just goes in circles”. I'm fine with some things not making any sense with this layout.
    [​IMG]

    Mr. D,
    Yes, all track is Rokuhan sectional track. In my opinion, peco flex is the closest match to Rokuhan track if you want to use flex track with sectional turnouts. MTL flex with MTL sectional turnouts is also an effective combination.
     
    Kez likes this.
  10. Mr.D.

    Mr.D. TrainBoard Member

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    It looks very nice! I used Rokuhan templates for my design but I think I'll go with Micro-Trains flex - I like the look and I've never been a big fan of built-in roadbed. Your design /almost/ changed my mind!
     
  11. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    This weekend I got 3 things painted. The dock didn't turn out exactly as I had wanted, but I'm happy enough with it. I was hoping for a more gray/lighter color, but it turned out much darker than I thought it would. I started by painting it a light brown, followed by a black wash, then a white wash. The black wash may have been too heavy. I think I should have just painted it light gray and then give it a black wash. Does anyone have some tips on making an aged wood look?


    [​IMG]


    I started with the retail boardwalk kit and cut it down to 110mm to be the same length as one straight track section. Using the existing planking details lines as a guide, I cut out a section of the dock to insert the track. I glued some lumber underneath the micro-ply to strengthen it so that it wouldn't warp. I replaced the piles that came with the kit with round toothpicks because I needed some extra height. I also built a quick trestle underneath the tracks to give the illusion of support for the train.

    [​IMG]


    Besides that I got the truss bridge painted, but now with a weathered dock in the background, I will need to weather the bridge too.

    I also took the time to get my Shapeways Nn3 West Side caboose painted. There is a change in the surface texture next to the side windows, but besides that, I'm pretty happy with the results.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have followed the build from the start. Very nice work. Your substructure is so nice and precise. Mine looks like a drunk 5 year old is doing it, but hopefully the scenery will be like a good beard and cover a multitude of sins. I also think the paint looks good. Maybe you could do some light gray drybrushing to get the gray you were looking for. Eagerly waiting the nest installment.
     
  13. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Give the wood a wash of 90 percent alcohol and let it air dry. It works for every model I have ever built out of wood.
     
  14. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Neat LITTLE layout....anything more to report?
     
  15. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Lookin' good!! Any updates on this?
     
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Amazing. This is only slightly larger than my old laptop.
     
  17. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    It's almost been a year and a half since I worked on this layout. It has spent most of that time in my closet. The main reason for that was that I was walking through Pier 1 and found a shadow box coffee table. So I started a new layout using that coffee table, and this little layout kind of took a back seat.

    IMG_1944.JPG

    Since my last update, there has been some work on the layout. Got all the track glued down and painted . I maid some rocks for the shore, and filled in the shoreline. The styrene sheet at the opening of the bay is to hold in the epoxy when I fill the bay. It will be removed later. So far I have tested it with water and it doesn't leak. I think from that experiment I found that I will need 10 oz of epoxy. Looks like I was at the point were I needed to start going scenery. I guess I should get started on that.

    IMG_1943.JPG

    My EMD Model 40 showed up a few months back. It needs to get painted. It does a great job pulling cars around the little layout.
     
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  18. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Nice, real nice. Whatever you did to weather the pier it looks great!
     
  19. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    Joe,
    The dock and bridge were weathered further from the earlier pictures using weathering chalks.

    Well I was inspired to work on the layout a little bit this weekend. I started putting down some ground cover, but then kept thinking about where my MTL fishing boat disappeared to. For the photos I took yesterday, I couldn't find it. So instead of working on the layout I started searching like crazy for that little boat. Turns out I put it in the tool box; don't know why. After finding it, I decided to finally paint it.


    After looking at many pictures of fishing boats, I decided that something was missing. The fishing boat needed all the masts and booms that fishing boats need.

    Boats.jpg

    I also designed up a decal set to do all the painting for me, so all I had to do was airbrush the casting white, and apply decals. The decal set took most of the time. It went through several revisions trying to get those hull stripes the right length. The boat is named after my Wife, and its home port is Bodega Bay, CA.

    IMG_1960.JPG IMG_1958.JPG
     
    Kez likes this.
  20. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    I've been working on putting down the base ground cover, ballasting the track, and painting the hydrocal rocks. I have a bunch of static grass and tufts in route to do the greenery. I am also starting to paint my EMD model 40.

    IMG_2037.JPG

    I think I may pour the water next. I have some Envirotex, which I will pour in two ~ 1/8" layers. That way if the first one doesn't turn out right, I can adjust the second coat.

    BayRocks.jpg
     

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