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Thread: Modular layouts and multiple levels

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    Default Modular layouts and multiple levels

    I am in the midst of redesigning my layout. A common theme I am hearing from the great members here is to design and build in modules. I am curious if there are any multi level modular layouts? Say I decide to go with 18" deep and 48" long sections would it be feasible to have more than one level? I am assuming it will be up to the quality of the benchwork that would facilitate this. If I built an around the room layout in those dimensions does anyone think this would be possible to do? I don't mean an upper and lower level either, I just mean elevated tracks or grades. I think all of the modular layouts I have seen are all on one level.
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    Ron,

    The NTrak standard has a Mountain Line defined as being 3" in from the back and 3" high (I think its 3?). When I go to show and see the ntrak setups, many of the modules have the mountain line in place. I like the idea of modular since you can take the section and move it to a comfortable area to work on easily. I do modules a bit differently, where I define a section/area for a scene and cut the foam from the main sheet for that area. This "module" is only a module while I'm doing trackwork, buildings, and scenery, then its locked in (ie not removed again). Saves a lot on my back. Although the largest "module" I have is a 2'x6', 4" thick foam section that contains a section of grade. This area requires 2 people to pull safely to work on. The next areas that I'll be working, have the sections defined to 1'x3 or 1'x4', much easier to work on.

    Cheers,
    Craig

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    You've seen one level module because of the established standard. Really it will come down to whether you are designing you're module to be compatible with other standards or just making modules for personal use. If the later then I'd say do whatever you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeman View Post
    You've seen one level module because of the established standard. Really it will come down to whether you are designing you're module to be compatible with other standards or just making modules for personal use. If the later then I'd say do whatever you want.
    coffeeman is quite right, if you want to build modular wise because you want to finish a piece before you turn to the next , there's no problem building levels . You could also build in pieces of your layout at a time , a stretch against one small wall , then maybe the next larger wall divided into 2 pieces you do one by one, they wouldn't have to be specific sizes. Of course if you are building modular to be aible to connect at meets it will have to be done to that standard, N-Trak, Fremo-N for instance. MC , can tell you all about that.
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    Thanks guys, I don't have any plans to interact with other modules so I guess I am on my own here. I am going to explore the option but am not dead set on it yet. I see it being a LOT more carpentry work and not sure if I will benefit from it. I am still playing with a lot of different designs for the new room.
    Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its entire life believing it is stupid-Albert Einstein

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    What I did Ron was built the benchwork for the whole room ( I have another room , that I'll be doing in a few months ) and then instead of laying all of the track , I am doing this in parts, that way you see a nice scenicked part of layout a lot faster then when you do all the track first, it also helps against tedinous. I have now finished scenicking Manhattan Kansas and have started detailing it, at the same time I am now building benchwork for the next room , laying track in the yard inbetween the 2 rooms , scenicking Riley and programming engines with JMRI. The mix of all those things really keeps me motivated, If I don't feel like doing A , I do B etc. , there's always something I feel like doing at any time.
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    Thanks Jan, that is exactly what I had in mind! I planned on doing most of the scenery work before I lay the track. Mainly because of the scarcity of code 55 right now but also so I would not get the track down and then stop. I know me.

    I think I have a dilemma that Yellowbeard also ran into. I have a hard time visualizing the track plan before the tables are built. So, I will be embarking on the quest to build some structural support. Part two of that problem is I am also having a hard time visualizing my tables. I know how I want one corner to be so I plan on building that part then building the rest of the benchwork. But I will keep modular conecepts in mind while building.
    Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its entire life believing it is stupid-Albert Einstein

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    Hello Ron,

    I am building a modular layout with elevated tracks. I followed a combination of standards (Ntrak, FreMoN) and adapted them to my needs. These standards are proven practices so it would not be wrong to follow the fundamentals. On the elevated part I would need to adjust each end profile accordingly so that they would mate, align and form continuous gradients from module to module.

    You can see my layout progress in http://german160.wordpress.com/quick-ref/

    Jimmy

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    Quote Originally Posted by REM37411 View Post
    Thanks guys, I don't have any plans to interact with other modules so I guess I am on my own here. I am going to explore the option but am not dead set on it yet. I see it being a LOT more carpentry work and not sure if I will benefit from it. I am still playing with a lot of different designs for the new room.
    Part of the problem here is one of terminology. If you are building a layout in pieces, then you are building a sectional layout.

    A modular layout is a sectional layout where the ends come to a common standard ( for track and wiring locations ). This allows modules to be re-arranged arbitrarily.

    There certainly is no problem building a sectional layout that is built on multiple decks.

    Multi-deck modular layouts are not practical because modules are designed to stand on thier own, and do not include provisions to support a second layer of modules.

    Paul

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