Mar 26, 2006
Looks great Chris. Keep posting pictures as you go.
Thanks for posting the trackplan.
Stay cool and run steam.....
Well like Bob said, not everyone has MR's from 1985 that and for inspirational purposes only
All the buildings are Marklin solid resin. Track was also Marklin. Pretty cool layout, especially when you factor it was built back in '85.
That is a beautiful layout considering the timeframe.
You'll do a great job on it in 2006.
Stay cool and run steam.....
Got a start on track. Total of 6 feet now done. Here are some shots of the second 3 ft
Code 40 rail, the PC ties are 1" apart and will be filled in with 9 wood ties between them.
I got to run a train back forth 6' for the first time
I really like that layout picture from the 85 model railroader. The colors look right. That has always been one of the things about model railroads, the colors sometimes look too clean. That really looks right.
Speaking of color Chris, what is the base color you are using on your layout and roadbed? Looks great so far!
Chris, are you doing any breaks in the rail to allow for thermal expansion? or is it in 6ft pieces?
I would recommend lots of expansion joints too.
I ended up ripping up all my handlaid track because I neglected expansion joints, and took my modules to a garden party, where the rails got so hot you could not touch them for more than a second.
I read an article about an N Scale code 40 layout several years ago, where they guy cut staggered expansion joints every 9 or 10 inches. (I can't remember the exact number)
I'll slide in another PC tie next to one that already there, solder it and cut the rail. I just got my Zona saw in the mail yesterday. Probably put gaps every foot or so.
The color is just cheap craft store paint, about 3 different colors. Then I misted on water and spread it around with a brush. You really want ever see this color when it's finished, but it's better to look at for now.
Handlaid? Wow, you have my respect.. Looks good!!
I'm wussin' out and using flextrack!
Hemi, handlaying track is very easy, and almost as fast as laying flextrack. The hardest part is handlaying turnouts. Now that's where you can end up having fits!
Is handlaying track that easy???
It's hard to believe! Chris, your work looks AWESOME so far!
Could I see a tutorial on this? The best would be a video-tutorial. I seen one like these about a fasttrack switch. O boy, he made it look easy to handlay a turnout
Well I don't know if I would call it easy, but not overly hard.
About doing a tutorial, well I could just point you to where I learned, Robert:
Now as far as turnouts, I'll get back to you on that one when I know myself.
I have handlayed track in HO/On30 using spikes. And I have made HOn30 turnouts by taking N scale turnouts apart and soldering the pieces to PC ties. I haven't done any in N scale, but still it isn't like this if my first ever, just first in Z scale.
I was ready to use MT c 55 on this layout, then I learned the flex track is only 12" long and the turnouts come with the ballast molded in. To me that is like 1 step forward and 2 back. So handlay it is!
[ March 31, 2006, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: Chris333 ]
I totally forgot about Roberts way of handlaying track, that does make life easier! To bad I'm allready using MT flextrack, I don't want to mix it up with handlaid track. Except for the turnouts
The track is looking great. What turnouts are you going to use?
Stay cool and run steam......
Turnout's are the same brand as the flex
Thanks to Robert and Don for the use of Fast Track jigs of course
They are just laying there now (just built them last night) and will look much better mounted with ties and painted up.
Awesome! Looks really good!!!
I can just imagine the tolerances must be really tight for N, much less Z....
Chris, I've been meaning to log in earlier and add my enthusiasm to see this project as it progresses.
I remember first seeing that John Armstrong layout in MR back in the early eighties (in the pre-Microtrains days). That was my first exposure to Z, and interest from that point was cemented at the publication of that very magazine with the project layout you are now building.
I am having so much fun watching as your layout progresses, and I am looking forward to starting something of my own soon.
With regard to the turnouts, any thoughts having now handlaid some in Z? I've built numerous 9mm gauge turnouts and look forward to the challenge in Z. Yours look very sharp.
Anyway, I should be working and it is to that that I return.
Since I only need 5 turnouts I've been taking my time on them. I file all the solder on the ties nice and flat so hopefully they will blend it better with the wood ties.
Also I clean all the solder out of the rails web. When I was doing the track it was easy to get the iron just the right way that the solder didn't creep up at all, but with the Fast tracks jig you kind of have to just stick the iron in there to get the job done and clean it up later. I have a very small tip for my iron, but it doesn't seem to heat up enough even with the dial turned to 800 degrees! So I have been using a "screwdriver" tip (like a flathead)
To cut the slots in the PC ties I use a xacto like blade, but with fine saw teeth on it, been working great.
I file and sand the top of each copper tie and the bottom of the rail to make sure the joints are good (probably overkill)
Code 40 rail is very flexible so I did solid points instead of hinged.
I use a Zona saw to cut the rails for isolating the frog.
And before I started anything I watch the excellent video at the Fast Tracks website.
Beautiful work! What number of turnouts are these btw?
I'm still debating what to use on my own layout. #8 on the main lines, #6 in the yards? I don't know really...