I have been a sailor most of my adult life, but now, at 77 with failing health, I have to find a new hobby.
Some 35 years ago I built my first model railway on an 8×4 plywood base. It was a double O, essentially 2 ovals with extensions on 3 levels, but getting to the top Alpine village never seemed to work well.
Now I plan to start as a beginner, and for the last 3 months have converted our old concrete Marley garage. The walls are now lined and insulated, we have a new flat and insulated roof with 2 skylights in place of the old leaking asbestos corrugated roof, and a new double glazed UPVC door.
The size is now only 14×7 feet.
Now my question is this.
Where can I find a 3 level 00 plan that would fit my space, or could be modified to fit into the space?
If such a thing is not available, then can you give any advice to an old boy on how to go about designing one?
For your interest, I have attached pictures of my first pathetic effort. They are 35 or so years old.
I want to start again as a beginner. 35 years ago I was a young man full of energy and vigour, with skills learned from my father but skills that haven’t been used in decades.
So I’m looking for help in designing a new layout, using correct geometry, rather than the “knock up” I made for my son then.
Over time, I have learned that we forget most of what we once may have known, especially if we don’t use those skills, be it speaking another language, or sharpening a wood saw!
“I found a great way to keep the truck screws from comming loose. Take a toothpick and put a very small dab of rubber cement on the threads of the bolster…making sure not to get any on the face of the bolster where the truck makes contact. Tighten the screw appropriately. The screw will not come loose…but yet stays soft anought the the schre can be removed without any problems.
“When coloring plaster rock or retaining wall castings with diute washes of acrylic paint, you can sprinkle on fine ground foam (greens and yellows) to simulate growth of lichens, moss or tiny plants. No additional adhesive is needed.
“I use extra stick craft glue-the stuff in the brown containers. Just spread it down, use a putty knife to make an even cover on the roadbed. Place track on top, anchor with a few track nails that can be pulled once the glue has dried.
“I do a lot of kit bashing and detailing, I especially enjoy taking an Athearn blue box car or locomotive (or something similar) and making it into a quality model. This is not an earthshaking revelation, but I find 91% alcohol usually works well for stripping most paint. Just soak the body shell, scrub with a tooth brush and then scrub with soap and water.
Sometimes I have let it soak for several days, but it usually works. The alcohol can be bought at CVS or Walgreens at a reasonable price.
That’s all this time folks. I do love all your tips – and let’s not forget that’s how the site started so please do keep ’em coming.
In fact, I thought it would be fun to publish one of the first ever posts from all those years ago. So here you are:
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide. Not only is it a great read, all the Hall of Fame members have helped out with it too, so it’s full of good stuff.