A lightweight micro layout in Z scale.

Znewbie Aug 19, 2018

  1. Znewbie

    Znewbie TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I've decided to take the plunge and make my first layout, which will be the first for me in more ways than one, as due to space restrictions, it will be a European layout in Z scale, rather than British steam in 00 that I grew up with. The space I have limits the layout to a maximum of 110 x 43 cm (A bit under 43.5 by 17 inches), and to aid in the saving of weight, and the construction of scenery, will be made of closed-cell extruded styrofoam, 4cm (an inch and a half) thick. I've already acquired two locos, a BR class 24 2-6-0 and BR 74 2-6-0 tank engine, which will be made to look like they were when first built in the DRG in WW2, and I also have rolling stock in the form of three 3-axled coaches and flatbed freight cars with caboose, all made by Marklin. The track plan is fairly simple, being a long oval with passing loop on one side, and a siding on the other, so that I can incorporate a small station and freight depot within the layout. There will even be space enough for a few buildings within the oval, and a tunnel at one end, with a bridge/viaduct at the other. To keep dust off the finished article, I'll have a clear acrylic display case made for the layout when not in use- all electrics and track will be from Rokuhan, as I like the fact that the track is pre-ballasted and the electronics are modular and easy enough to install. Does anyone think I will have any issues with warping or anything else due to the basing material, or should it be OK without any major bracing? The display case will have a base made of 5mm thick acrylic that I can secure the baseboard down on, so hopefully there won't be any issues. Any feedback and suggestions would be welcome.
     
  2. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    I have a small N-scale layout -- 48 x 32 inches ( approx. 122 x 81 cm). As a base, I use 1.5-inch extruded polystyrene laminated on top of 0.25-inch (~6.5 mm) plywood. The plywood provides a convenient bottom surface for mounting terminal strips, switch machines, circuit boards, etc. It's much easier to attach these things to plywood than to the extruded polystyrene. The additional stiffness provided by the plywood does not hurt, either, but that's not the main reason I included the plywood.

    - Jeff
     
  3. Znewbie

    Znewbie TrainBoard Member

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    I should be OK then, as the acrylic base is 10mm thick to incorporate a lip for the case to attach to, and the only electrics I'll have is three turnouts and lighting for the buildings and lamp-posts. The display case will be made with a 30mm by 10mm cut-out in the bottom front, dead centre, and the wiring runs will go via trenches etched in the bottom of the foam, to emerge via the cut-out. Rokuhan turnouts have integral motors and wiring to make things simple. Each wiring run will be labelled, to facilitate plugging in to the corresponding jack on the control unit, so all I'll have to do is remove the lid (If I want to), plug everything into the controller, and Robert is my mother's brother, so to speak.
     
  4. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

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    Bob's your uncle, indeed. Your construction plans sound like an elegant solution. I hope you will post photos of your progress so we can all learn from your experience.

    - Jeff
     
  5. Znewbie

    Znewbie TrainBoard Member

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    Will do. I'm still at the planning stage at the moment, but as soon as I can get my tiny platelayers into action, I'll start a new thread in the Z scale section.
     

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