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gavino200

What are the T-Trak "rules"?

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katoftw

Depends on the you are aimimg for in regards to foam.

 

Either add it to what you currentingly have and cut in in a way that makes the foam and track look like there is a ditch.

 

Or take 5mm off the base and add foam with the teack on top.

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kvp
5 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Do people put a layer of 5mm foamboard on these things before gluing down the tracks?

Not really as that would mess up the track height. If you want to use foamboard, then you can cut it to match the ballast profile. Also there is Kato ballast available that you can use to fill any gaps and even ballast between the tracks. (i usually do this, trying to match the ballast profile of the double track pieces)

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gavino200
On 12/16/2017 at 8:09 PM, gavino200 said:

So here's my first T-trak module. It's much smaller than I expected, but it was fairly easy to make. I haven't put feet on it yet, cuz I don't have an 11/32 drill bit. That'll have to wait fill tomorrow. 

 

Do people put a layer of 5mm foamboard on these things before gluing down the tracks? If not wouldn't it look bad where the foamboard meets the track?

 

GxgRWiO.jpg

 

 

This is going to be my next new project after I process a few things that I've bought but not assembled. I'll get to it in about a month. I do wish I had made a slightly bigger module as this one seems very small. I might make a larger one or buy a kit. 

 

Anyway, I don't know exactly what the subject is going to be but what I want to learn from it is the following.

 

1. How to make a road.

2. How to make grass

3. How to incorporate a building into a layout

4. Sidewalks

5 How to construct a gradient and perhaps how to incorporate a building into an inclined street.

6. Maybe how to operate a working traffic light.

 

It seems like this module might be too small to achieve these goals. Unless I get rid of the train tracks??

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

nice thing with ttrak is like this start if you dont like it you dont have a lot invested to start over! That’s the beauty of Ttrak. Also great to do what you are thinking of experimenting with scenery bits more in a whole scene as well as your over all “set/scene” design learning.

 

the 33mm spaced modules can go as deep as 14.25” for full depth (same sized as corners), but folks usually only do that if they are doing a larger sectional Ttrak layout over multiple modules on both sides. Usually the deep depth modules are 13”, but there is no true standard to the depth of modules. Height of the base as well can be what you want as long as you can raise the module up to the 3-4” usual running height.

 

since no table saw if you want to go cheap you can make them out of foamcore. They are very light. Just need to put bracing under the top to keep it flat and rigid. Folks have epoxied in T nut inserts and even just 1/4” #20 nuts into cross pieces inside the module for leg bolts. Only issue is these can get dinged up if not careful. You can always Veneer the faces with art paper, wood or styrene.

 

folks also make them wirh a chunk of 3/4” ply for the bottom with t nuts in them then a chunk of 1-2” extruded styrene foam on top. Then veneer the front and back if you want clean. 

 

Also fhe U design the other way that is easier to cut in a hand miter saw using dimensional stock at the big box store.

 

http://www.japanrailmodelers.org/pages/modelingjapan/minimodules.html

 

Kits are nice but not cheap with shipping these days. Pays to order a number at a time. Kato is coming out wirh a new module using the old plastic base that was around a while back. Will be interesting to see what the final price will be.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
12 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

nice thing with ttrak is like this start if you dont like it you dont have a lot invested to start over! That’s the beauty of Ttrak. Also great to do what you are thinking of experimenting with scenery bits more in a whole scene as well as your over all “set/scene” design learning.

 

the 33mm spaced modules can go as deep as 14.25” for full depth (same sized as corners), but folks usually only do that if they are doing a larger sectional Ttrak layout over multiple modules on both sides. Usually the deep depth modules are 13”, but there is no true standard to the depth of modules. Height of the base as well can be what you want as long as you can raise the module up to the 3-4” usual running height.

 

since no table saw if you want to go cheap you can make them out of foamcore. They are very light. Just need to put bracing under the top to keep it flat and rigid. Folks have epoxied in T nut inserts and even just 1/4” #20 nuts into cross pieces inside the module for leg bolts. Only issue is these can get dinged up if not careful. You can always Veneer the faces with art paper, wood or styrene.

 

folks also make them wirh a chunk of 3/4” ply for the bottom with t nuts in them then a chunk of 1-2” extruded styrene foam on top. Then veneer the front and back if you want clean. 

 

Also fhe U design the other way that is easier to cut in a hand miter saw using dimensional stock at the big box store.

 

http://www.japanrailmodelers.org/pages/modelingjapan/minimodules.html

 

Kits are nice but not cheap with shipping these days. Pays to order a number at a time. Kato is coming out wirh a new module using the old plastic base that was around a while back. Will be interesting to see what the final price will be.

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

I'm reluctant to not use what I've already made. The more I think about it, the more I'm tempted just to leave out the tracks. It's really only a learning module for me. I'm not going to take it anywhere and connect it up to a layout. 

 

 

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cteno4

Sure then a hunk of ply will do you! Or just a simple foamcore box wirh some bracing under it. Hot glue gun is great with foamcore and uber fast.

 

only nice thing about the tracks there and proper size is at some point you may have a local train club you can go run with now and then and bring a little japan in! Also helps deal with tracks in scenes as usually a challenge with layouts and usual high density of tracks. Gets you thinking about the issues.

 

jeff

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cteno4

Also something you could do if you eventually want to rescue bits of a Ttrak scene for later use is to tack down some 020 stryene hunks with some pva glue first then build on top of that. Then if you want to pull those sections off for use on the layout (like a building and the adjacent scenery), just get some water under the stryene sheet wirh hypo to loosen the pva and pop off the stryene with scene but attached.

 

jeff

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gavino200
39 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Sure then a hunk of ply will do you! Or just a simple foamcore box wirh some bracing under it. Hot glue gun is great with foamcore and uber fast.

 

only nice thing about the tracks there and proper size is at some point you may have a local train club you can go run with now and then and bring a little japan in! Also helps deal with tracks in scenes as usually a challenge with layouts and usual high density of tracks. Gets you thinking about the issues.

 

jeff

 

This is true. I looked downstairs and I still have a ton of the synth wood material used to top the module with. I'll just make a raised edge for it so I can hide any wiring if necessary. I wonder if I could fit a Woody Joe castle on this little module. Maybe I could bring that and a Shinkansen to a show sometime. Hopefully the shows will be better in NY. The yearly trainshow here isn't so great.

 

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gavino200
42 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Also something you could do if you eventually want to rescue bits of a Ttrak scene for later use is to tack down some 020 stryene hunks with some pva glue first then build on top of that. Then if you want to pull those sections off for use on the layout (like a building and the adjacent scenery), just get some water under the stryene sheet wirh hypo to loosen the pva and pop off the stryene with scene but attached.

 

jeff

 

This will be a great strategy in future. I could work on "scenes" and then add them to the the layout. But I think I'll have to do quite a few of these practice modules before I achieve anything I'd want to keep. I think landscaping and cityscaping are probably the most artistic and difficult aspects of modelling. The only experience I have is from when I was a kid. Wire mesh, papier mache, paint, and scatter grit (that old died wood chip stuff), and lichen.

 

Actually, I bought a small bag of lichen last time I visited the local hobby store, just so I could smell it for old times sake. Maybe I'll treat myself tonight!

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cteno4

You can do a 2x Long module as well. For uber simple like that with particle board you can get 1” trim moulding that you can cut with the razor saw and X-Acto miter box to hide the edges and give a bit of wire space below. Later just make some adjustable base to hike up if you run on Ttrak. 

 

One fun idea with Japanese ttrak is to do a viaduct scene on a recessed/depressed module that has the module top all the way at the table and put viaduct track across it for a shinkansen line scene. Ttrak can either be a big collection of scenes stuck together or a more ordered set of scenes all the way to a sectional layout. This is what I’ll try to do this winter for my new 33 modules for our club. These modules are easy with 5mm ply for the bottom and 2”x3/4” stock for the end pieces. T nuts are in the end pieces

 

for the scene bits, you can always step back to firs just doing a scene “pad” around a building then plop the pad onto the module or layout. This lets you do the hard bits right up against the building with more room to get your fingers in and such (ie put the pad on a pedestal to work on). Also allow you to try different stuff around a building and compare by just moving the building. I think it’s a great way to start small on scenes and scenery like this. Let’s you experiment a lot quickly, effecting, and cheaply — don’t often get that combo! Barry has a great article here on this.

 

http://www.japanrailmodelers.org/pages/modelingjapan/tempoary.html

 

hey taking stuff to any show is great and you never know who you will discover or influence! I’m sure there will be more options in ny for train shows. I’ll get you the flyer for the eastern seaboard next month that our local Nmra 

 

jeff

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gavino200

So I reflected on this during my drive today. I've decided too keep the "practice modules" separate from the T-track project. My plan for the T-track module will be to create a scene that's quintessentially (stereotypically) Japanese. Maybe I'll bring it to a club if I find one, or maybe I can enter a competition at a yearly train show. (I haven't read Jeff's linked article YET). I'd want to really emphasize the Japanese angle and show off some shinkansens to generate interest. Perhaps explain how easy and cheap it is to order directly from Japan. 

 

So for the time being it'll be on the back burner while I think of a scene and hone my modeling skills. Also, the module with be double the width and depth of my already built module. This will give me a chance in a small way to practice my wood working skills. Nothing I can't do with a miter box, a jig saw and a belt sander. 

 

Watch this space - more to come.

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gavino200
On 12/3/2018 at 5:44 PM, cteno4 said:

 

Great article. I got quite a few ideas from it. I was already planning to use what he calls the "sabot base" method  (building scenes on small foamboard bases that can be addred or removed independently from the layout) for urban areas. I was introduced to the technique here, and there are lot's of great example of it on http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com

But I hadn't thought about applying the same principle to foliage elements or agricultural scenes.

 

The writer's own website is also a great source of products and ideas. http://www.timecastmodels.co.uk/ I'm intrigued by the idea of flexible latex fields that could be draped over ground of different contours. Although I'd prefer to make something like this rather than just buy a product.

 

Also, I love the idea of buying unpainted figures produced for architectural models and painting them myself. I'm definitely going to do that.

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