Welcome to the forum   
Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Share
Options
View
Go to last post in this topic Go to first unread post in this topic
Offline Manga  
#1 Posted : 05 November 2023 12:15:51(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
As a complete beginner, with no prior knowledge, what did you do first before building your layout ?
Surely you didn't just jump straight in and build framework and such.

I'm asking about the modelling/construction process more than track layout.

How did you develop skills to form terrain ?
What did you do to make a riverbed that is below track level ?
What logistics are involved in placing track risers in an open-frame design ?

Would building simple dioramas to develop skills be a waste of time ?


is_it_a_layout.jpg

Edited by user 24 November 2023 22:25:57(UTC)  | Reason: More specific question

thanks 3 users liked this useful post by Manga
Offline cintrans  
#2 Posted : 05 November 2023 13:51:05(UTC)
cintrans

Aruba   
Joined: 11/07/2018(UTC)
Posts: 165
Location: Aruba (general), Oranjestad
Mine started in the late 70' when my parents got me a double Lima "golden series" set. It had a freight and passenger set in it together with a printed "lay out" with an assortment of buildings. That was my first layout!

In the years after that it was expanded with Lima accessories and a few additional sets (like the Japanese bullet train) that where available at the time, until the room the layout was in needed to be repurposed and everything ended up in boxes....

40 years later I rolled into model trains again via a friend that was an avid Marklin collector.... not so much for the trains but to get a backdrop for my vast HO model truck collection (Herpa) witch has always been my number 1 modeling hobby The rolling landstrasse and kombi verkehr sets are therefore my favorite train sets!

Thanks to the internet it has become so much easier to get inspired on building a layout, Step 1 I would say is keep it simple and don't worry to much about accuracy and proto type correctness, just enjoy driving the trains. As in most hobby's, as you go you will gather knowledge and skills and then its up to you how you are going to use those to further enhance your layout...

BTW, on our recent trip to Europe I unearthed both SNCF loks from my original set and brought them back with me. After giving them a good service, both are driving perfect again! The "Shinkansen" will come with me on our next visit.

Regards
Jean-Pierre

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by cintrans
Offline hxmiesa  
#3 Posted : 06 November 2023 12:18:09(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,518
Location: Spain
I´m not telling my own story, as I think I already told that in the sub-forum for user presentations... Wink

Recomendations;
It would be better if we knew more about you; Like age and knowledge about real trains.
I say this, because there are certain "traps" or "mistakes" that most people do, like;

a) Buying a lot of RANDOM stuff, because; When you have NOTHING, you need EVERYTHING. This is an error as you -probably- later will want to concentrate on a single brand, subject, era, style, country, etc.

b) Buying a lot of CHEAP stuff, because; When you have NOTHING, you need to grow your collection FAST. This is an error (IMHO) because; Cheaper/older starter models dont have the detail and functionality that you want and need as a dedicated modeller.

Anyway, speaking only in the most general terms, here´s my thoughts;
1) Go digital, not analogue. (May not apply if you want to start in Z-scale as your photo suggests)
2) Dont be afraid of experimenting; Lay a lot of (loose) tracks and learn the craft. Take the cheapest and/or damaged material apart; try to figure out how it works and repair it.
3) Try not to go overboard in quantity and complexity. Go for quality and simplicity.

Good luck and have fun!
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
thanks 12 users liked this useful post by hxmiesa
Offline Manga  
#4 Posted : 07 November 2023 09:55:40(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
I had a starter set with the addition of a diesel locomotive and extra pieces of track, a turnout and a signal.
This was in storage for ~30 years until Covid came along and we had time to clean up the house and re-discovered said pieces.
I watched many Youtube videos, and wanted to jump right in.
I did all the newbie mistakes mentioned.

I was so eager to start, I bought a lot of stuff, and started to build a 1200 x 600mm layout.
But that size layout would only allow a double loop and a few spurs. I got dissapointed in the realisation that if it were to be finished it would be very boring to operate.
I also have very little modelling experience and had a long hard think about it.

I came to the conclusion that I won't be building a layout as:
a) I only have 1200 x 600mm available space
b) I need more experience in modelling

---

In my opinion:

  • a beginner should buy some items to experiment with and don't even think about a layout

  • a beginner does not know how much time it takes to model, and needs to factor in how much spare time they actually have

  • the beginner should construct lots of micro-sized dioramas, with each one building up the complexity and size

  • the dioramas should eventually be "working" dioramas in that there is power to the rails and anything else, eg: street lighting, buildings

This approach would have the diorama sized as a do-able unit of work, which is not too daunting, and ultimately resulting in satisfaction, not dissapointment.

Much like hxmiesa's recommendation ThumpUp

micro_diorama.jpg
My first diorama that has taken a month from design to construction up until this stage
thanks 6 users liked this useful post by Manga
Offline Paul59  
#5 Posted : 07 November 2023 10:24:17(UTC)
Paul59

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/08/2012(UTC)
Posts: 176
Location: South East
Hello Manga and welcome to the hobby.

I would start by asking yourself a couple of questions and being very honest with the answers...

1. Do you want to become a modeller and learn about the prototypical aspect of railways and the artistic side of building scenery, painting etc?
This includes selection of appropriate locomotives and rolling stock so what you end up with fits in with your overall scheme. It may also involve researching prototypes of both the trains and the types of areas being modelled.

or...

2. Do you want to run a 'train set' where you concentrate more on running what you like rather than what is absolutely correct?
This can involve learning more about the technical aspects of the hobby, servicing or repairing locomotives, wiring and control systems etc. This could include collecting locomotives and embarking on restorations of old models or equipment etc etc.

I originally did the former but nowadays have drifted into the latter as I find I'm more interested in the technical side and I simply find it more fun (also I'm not very artistic).

Deciding what direction your interest lies is a good starting point and will help prevent you wasting money and time on things that either don't fit with your eventual scheme or don't hold your interest.
This doesn't mean you can't combine a bit of both of course.

Above all don't be too ambitious to begin with and don't forget to enjoy it.
Marklin HO using M track. Now reverted to analogue as I find it has more character - and I understand it!
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by Paul59
Offline Harryv40  
#6 Posted : 07 November 2023 18:57:48(UTC)
Harryv40

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/08/2015(UTC)
Posts: 233
Location: Wilshire
Hi Manga
Welcome to the hobby!
I only have room for a Noch layout board 1mtr x 2 Mtr although I am planning to add an extension 1mtr x 600mm.
I started by buying a start set, then adding to it as I went along. It is easy to spend money on the hobby, but I would suggest you start by look at the special offers or sales. Also look at secondhand track, most people look after all the track stock etc.

Also look at the Noch online website, they have track plans for there layout boards etc, to give you ideas.

But most importantly visit some exhibitions and then start to loosely plan, think about an end to end layout, or one that goes round, I prefer these because you can start it running and just sit and watch!

But ask members for advice or guidance.
Good Luck

Harry
Offline Tie  
#7 Posted : 07 November 2023 21:21:25(UTC)
Tie

Norway   
Joined: 28/09/2019(UTC)
Posts: 107
Location: Rogaland, Haugesund
Hi Manga

You have already got some answers. A lot need to come from yourself. Space, cost etc. do you want to build one layout or revise/tear down and rebuild. I have a small layout. Maybe 2 by 3.5metres. But: i did not build anything the first year. Yes. I bought quite a lot of secondhand rails. Locos and wagons. But spent most of the time planning and thinking on my goals in this hobby. Now. Several years later: should probably spent more time thinking. However. Possibly starting with a small project, intending to tear down and redo sometime is even better. Do not think you can plan for everything in advance. You will learn and change as you get going.
Good luck
Thor
Offline hxmiesa  
#8 Posted : 08 November 2023 12:46:12(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,518
Location: Spain
With only very limited space available, a "good" layout can still be made;
(Taking notice of your 1,2m x 0,6m space)

Make a simple oval. It´s not even necessary with a multi-level layout.
Build a "wall" cutting off around 1/2 of the space (1,2m x 0,3m). Use tunnel portals to let the oval mainline enter and exit this hidden space.
Cram A LOT of sidings into the hidden space.

In general, think of the layout as a THEATER;
The front/visible part is where the action takes place.
Behind the stage is where all the "actors" stand ready to do their part on-stage, when the moment come.

That way you can easily have a small(ish) rural station in the visible part, where only shorter trains stops. -While longer express/freight trains just pass through, before waiting again in their hidden siding.

This is a well-known concept called a "shadow-station".
(Some british people might call it a "fiddle-yard", but I would argue that there is a subtle difference in how it is operated and controlled!)
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by hxmiesa
Offline Manga  
#9 Posted : 08 November 2023 22:01:42(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
With only very limited space available, a "good" layout can still be made;
(Taking notice of your 1,2m x 0,6m space)

Make a simple oval. It´s not even necessary with a multi-level layout.
Build a "wall" cutting off around 1/2 of the space (1,2m x 0,3m). Use tunnel portals to let the oval mainline enter and exit this hidden space.
Cram A LOT of sidings into the hidden space.

In general, think of the layout as a THEATER;
The front/visible part is where the action takes place.
Behind the stage is where all the "actors" stand ready to do their part on-stage, when the moment come.

That way you can easily have a small(ish) rural station in the visible part, where only shorter trains stops. -While longer express/freight trains just pass through, before waiting again in their hidden siding.

This is a well-known concept called a "shadow-station".
(Some british people might call it a "fiddle-yard", but I would argue that there is a subtle difference in how it is operated and controlled!)


That's an excellent idea.
I'll see how many sidings I could fit and the maximum train length I could run.
Turnouts take up a lot of space, so I might have to use the Märklin miniclub (Z scale) curved turnouts (though some people recommend to avoid these)

Here is quick mock-up of what could be achieved:
018.Shadow Station.jpg
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by Manga
Offline artfull dodger  
#10 Posted : 24 November 2023 07:30:51(UTC)
artfull dodger

United States   
Joined: 31/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 475
Location: Indiana, Kokomo
I grew up in the USA, so Marklin was not the first choice shall we say. I had a false start with cheap Tyco HO in the late 70's, then spend most of my younger years with Lionel O gauge trains. The gift of a Marklin starter set with the diecast 0-8-0 engine and M track from my aunt, who was married to a wonderful German gentleman, around age 12 was my introduction to Marklin HO. A LGB set for outdoor fun followed from uncle Herman when I was around 15 or 16. Both bought in Germany when they would travel there to visit his relatives. USA style HO came when I joined a local club at 16. I had a few HAMO pieces to run there to the dismay of the serious modelers watching me run German steam and a rail car on layout based on the old Clinchfield RR that hauled coal. I stuck with LGB and the Marklin HO was just minor aspect till adulthood and the wonders of the internet letting me see whatelse was out there with Marklin trains. We had no local dealer for them, but we did for LGB. So G became a huge thing, and now I have both electric powered LGB and live steam from Regner, Roundhouse and Accucraft as well. I am now starting a vintage style Marklin M track layout in my small train room.
Silly NT's..I have Asperger's Syndrome!!!!
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by artfull dodger
Offline marklinist5999  
#11 Posted : 24 November 2023 10:46:19(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 2,997
Location: Michigan, Troy
I remember my uncle who built a large horse shoe American dc 2 rail layout with two big MRC transformers. Two independent isolated parallel tracks so my cousins could both operate together. He traveled to Germany for work and bought a Marklin ac SBB a 3/6 because he liked it.As he couldn't run it, it was in a display case for show.
Offline David Dewar  
#12 Posted : 24 November 2023 13:32:00(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,326
Location: Scotland
For anybody starting out I would say spend cash on a good new control unit and power pack. Other items can come over the years and to get going one of the Marklin cheaper locos and coaches is all that is needed while building and designing the layout.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by David Dewar
Offline TrainIride  
#13 Posted : 25 November 2023 13:14:04(UTC)
TrainIride

France   
Joined: 23/10/2010(UTC)
Posts: 1,890
Location: FRANCE
Originally Posted by: Manga Go to Quoted Post
As a complete beginner, with no prior knowledge, what did you do first before building your layout ?
Surely you didn't just jump straight in and build framework and such.

I'm asking about the modelling/construction process more than track layout.

How did you develop skills to form terrain ?
What did you do to make a riverbed that is below track level ?
...



Hi !
For the riverbed below the track level,
I have placed all the tracks on plywood upon about 5 inches high wood piles.
This way I could add bridges and water upon easily even if all tracks are flat.

And I kept this idea when I built my layout.

The landscape is made with foam board, kind of a cardboard sandwich with foam inside...
I made it and modified it directly on the layout.

riverbed_below_tracks.jpg

And something else, remember to provide space for catenaries under bridges and tunnels.
I hadn't done it at the start, and I later regretted it when I purchased my first electric locomotive.

And congratulations on your project !

Best Regards
Joël
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by TrainIride
Offline Copenhagen  
#14 Posted : 25 November 2023 14:58:04(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 365
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I wouldn't start out with any "hidden" parts. Not that it isn't a great solution, so I'm not criticising the idea. But as a beginner anything can and will go wrong (usually not in a disastrous way of course) so it's nice to have everything on the layout in plain view. You can always add some scenery to spice up things.
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by Copenhagen
Users browsing this topic
OceanSpiders 2.0
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

| Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2024, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 1.020 seconds.