Modules v Boards

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kathymillatt
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Modules v Boards

Post by kathymillatt » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:16 pm

Hi

I have been starting my FremOn30 modules for quite a few months now and finally realised what my reason for indecision is...

I have four boards/modules which are slightly curved. Each board/module has two Fremo 500mm wide ends and the boards/modules can be rotated to be either a wavy line or a corner. The modules are going to be set in a swamp and are loosely based on the Argent. I found a few pictures of the sawmill and yard area with the rails hidden by long grass so started to think about incorporating that. I realise now that may be a step too far too fit in, mostly due to the track work that would be needed.

This a photo of the modules in my favoured configuration : Image

Now I'm torn because to make them reversible the track has to be centred which leaves little room for any buildings or scenery. Also, if I want a siding, the modules are 3 foot long at their widest arc and that means very little length and if you make them reversible, the track ends up on odd sides...

So now I'm wondering about making them into boards and only having the two far ends joining up with others. I could hint at the grassed over track on one module but not actually join the track up as all I want is to have a couple of wooden slat cars on a siding...

So, my decision is centred track and each module as stand alone so I can do them one at a time versus a long wavy module which ties up at the ends only.

What do you think?

Kathy

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BrianMoore
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Re: Modules v Boards

Post by BrianMoore » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:14 pm

Kathy,

I'd go for the latter. All of the new modules built at Western Union module units only have "proper" modular connections on the outside two boards. There's more than enough "playability" in them, and your other option seems to add needless complication. You'll still have lots of fun anyway, and more freedom to put tracks where you want. I've usually found that in other circumstances too, providing lots of options still results in making use of very few of them.

Brian
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Mike_R
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Re: Modules v Boards

Post by Mike_R » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:44 pm

A track plan would give us a better idea.

My HO modules have a board added on one end (with several tracks) to one end to allow them to be used alone.

Mike Ruby
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calaf01
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Re: Modules v Boards

Post by calaf01 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:26 am

It all depends on whether you want to go for variety within your module or make your module fixed which gives you more planning options within a fixed module, if you see what I mean. There is another option, I suppose, and that is to arrange your track plan so that it's possible to be able to rearrange your boards within the module, so you have fixed module ends but variety in between. That way you're not constrained by having to have a module interface between each board. Though I'm not sure how that would work with your curved fascias. I was thinking of something like the Beer Line project railroad in Model Railroader a couple of years ago where they had four boards that they could make into O, U, F and J shapes. You're more constrained than that because you want a proper module interface at each end, but I thought it might jog a flash of inspiration for you.

Well, it was a thought.

Alan Crooks
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Mike_R
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Re: Modules v Boards

Post by Mike_R » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:22 pm

There is another option, I suppose, and that is to arrange your track plan so that it's possible to be able to rearrange your boards within the module, so you have fixed module ends but variety in between.
11th Avenue was designed that way. The middle join has all tracks crossing at 90 degrees, so that boards could be added in the middle. In actual fact I ended up putting boards on each end. It now has another board on one end to change standards for single track use. With a fiddle yard attached, it could operate as a stand alone layout.

If you plan it right a modular layout can be very flexible.

Mike Ruby
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kathymillatt
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Re: Modules v Boards

Post by kathymillatt » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:18 am

Thanks all

A lot of food for thought.

Mike said that a track an might help so my original plan is on my website here: http://www.kathymillatt.co.uk/FremOn30_2.htm

It's quite complicated and does end up with the outer tracks ending at a baseboard edge at either end with no corresponding tracks on the next board.

My new idea would be one track meandering across the boards as they wiggle along. There would be one siding ending up in a workshop/shed where Buck Senior hi-rails various vehicles. The siding would span a couple of boards by necessity to give it sufficient length. The meandering track would not be centred to allow room for the warehouse etc.

As I'm hand laying, having a simple layout may help :). The baseboards still need to be cut away for more swamp scenes at the edges.

Kathy

Mike_R
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Re: Modules v Boards

Post by Mike_R » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:51 pm

Interesting idea to make the boards so interchangeable.
I'm not sure if that compromises the layout too much. Wouldn't it make scenery hard to do as all joins would have to be the same? All tracks would have to be the same standard, I would lay sidings and spurs to a lower standard than the mainline. My hand laid logging line has different tie spacing depending on the track use, 11th Avenue has smaller rail and lower trackbeds on sidings and spurs.

For 11th AvenueI have gone for a less interchangeable plan, where the four main boards go in a fixed order, but boards can be added into or the ends of the basic four. I have all the main turnouts on those four boards, adding boards to the ends or middle lengthen the sidings and loops, or allow it to be used with different standards.
An example of this is at the 10th November modular meet in Exeter it will be a terminus with the four boards plus a single track adaptor at one end. The next week end it will have two foot boards on each end and be a two track mainline on a continuous loop.
Mike Ruby

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