Free-moN: At Home & On The Road

MC Fujiwara Dec 3, 2012

  1. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    As it seems my Free-moN modules have now become my "home layout", thought I'd start a new thread featuring the whole kit-n-keboodle rather than individual modules.

    'Twas a busy weekend: on Saturday I set up all my modules in my garage to 1) troubleshoot, 2) see it if fit in my garage (a "California Basement") and 3) run trains!
    Only took about a kabillion hours to get everything going, but once it did...!

    A video:

    [video=youtube_share;kjctOmW46CI]http://youtu.be/kjctOmW46CI[/video]

    All that packed up into this:

    [​IMG]

    And then this:

    [​IMG]

    [after unbolting and removing the back seats]

    And then after a very scary drive down in infamous 880 in rain pouring so hard I couldn't even see the UP yard next to it
    https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=37.790057,-122.257394&spn=0.004612,0.010568&t=h&z=17
    we set up in the Boy Scout headquarters in San Leandro for the NMRA PCR meet.
    Funky space in an awkwardly-angled atrium, but nice rockclimbing wall backdrop:

    [video=youtube_share;ouMm4lUzJQw]http://youtu.be/ouMm4lUzJQw[/video]

    The whole layout was all my modules plus Scott's Moss Beach 2'x4' and Eric's "DCC/JMRI-in-a-Box" command station, but many members (and non) brought trains and iPhones, so it was a rock 'n rolling train day for all!

    Hope you enjoy, and thanks for looking!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2012
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Argh. Am clicking on the arrow to start the videos, but nothing is happening. :(
     
  3. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmm... works for me!
     
  4. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

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    Aw, San Leandro - my old stomping grounds! Nice work MC really enjoyed the videos.
     
  5. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice! Vid and Modules!
     
  6. Ryan Wilkerson

    Ryan Wilkerson TrainBoard Member

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    MC, that's a great looking layout! You probably have more modules than most FreeMo-N groups!
    Have you added up the number of feet of mainline for all your modules? With the many different sizes and shapes you've built, it must be a fun puzzle to put together to maximize space usage and running capabilities. Well done on the videos as usual and thanks for taking the time to produce and share them!
     
  7. NARLIE

    NARLIE TrainBoard Member

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    Thumps Up. Great layout. The water, scenery and bulidings look believable. This is the kind of thing that motivates me to move my layout on. I'm still stuck in the land of pink foamy land! Would love to see your layout outside with a real sky backdrop. Of course now is not the time and season .:happy:
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I must have encountered an unhappy cookie. After flushing everything, now I can see the videos. Great fun to see it all working as you'd envisioned.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2012
  9. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    BN!!! BN!!! BN!!!
     
  10. Nick Lorusso

    Nick Lorusso TrainBoard Member

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    M.C. I like how you turned Mt. Coffin into a Free-MoN module!!!!!
     
  11. Ryan Wilkerson

    Ryan Wilkerson TrainBoard Member

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    MC, a little off topic but what are some of the widths of your modules? I'm trying to decide on something less than 24" so I can get more linear feet in my vehicle.
     
  12. Geep_fan

    Geep_fan TrainBoard Member

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    Ya Know, every time I watch your videos it makes me wish there was a HO free-mo club around here.... Hmmmmm might have to think about starting one!
     
  13. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Standards call for 12" min & 24" max widths at endplates, but of course in between is all up to you (That's the "Free" in "Free-moN" :) )

    The Shoofly is 24" wide and about 6' long at a 30 deg angle, and breaks down into two 2'x3' sections.
    I did 24" because it was my first module and Steve's Lockhart, TX module is also 24" so I thought "why not?"

    Well, after building a bunch o' modules (and setting up, running and taking down and transporting), I'd say 16"-18" wide works a lot better.
    Much more managable in terms of stacking (most cars have 3 1/2'-4' wide space, so you can put two 18"-wide modules side-by-side, or four if you have them stacked with travel endplates!)
    Also, 16"-18" is more than enough to get all the nifty scenery in to sell the scene.

    I'm actually tempted to rebuild the Shoofly module as an 18"-wide module just to prove my point (and to free up more room in the car :) )

    Dave F's Alviso module is 16" wide and is a nice size (except that the 6' length doesn't fit in his new Mini!!!)

    The Devil Mt. Return Loop is 12" at the standard endplate, but then narrows to 9" for all the loop sections.
    And 9" was more than enough to create some fun scenes!

    Effett Yard is 16" wide in two 49 1/2" sections.
    Why 16"? Because that's the width of nice ply board I had in my garage when I built that module in less than a week :)
    The track is actually centered on a 12" width, which leaves 4" of added space for the service facilities and some scenery.
    And that off-centering is also why the insert is "small" as it's just 12" wide and not 16" (can always drop in a 4"-wide strip of removable scenery to "fill the gap" if I want to).

    Anyway!
    For anyone building modules, I recommend:
    1. Measuring your carspace (Free-moN Rule #1: If it doesn't fit in your own car, it doesn't exist!!)
    2. Build modules that fit in your car (with scenery protected) and are easy to carry.
    3. 16"-18" wide seems to be working out the best for everyone, but if you want that 24" endplate, go for it!
    4. Grades are bad.
    5. Make your legs easily attachable and removable (or fold into the module), and get the Rockler levelers instead of bolts and t-nuts. Yes, nuts are cheaper, but you'll go nuts.
    6. Make your peace now that anything you put on a module will probably get dinged, bumped, smashed, broken or bent at some point. Keeping finer & fragile detail away from the edges helps, but.... Just accept it now & you'll live a happier MMR life.


    Ok enough rambling.
    Looking forward to seeing some more modules!
    Ryan: next show is in Richmond. CA at the Marina in mid-Jan.
    Bring a module or at least some trains :)
     
  14. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

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    MC, Noooooo! Don't touch that module, it's perfect...:)
    Otto K.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2012
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree. Keep it as is.
     
  16. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    I'll bet I could rebuild it and you wouldn't even notice the difference :)
    Hmm... sounds like a challenge!

    But no, I'm too lazy and have other modules I'm working on and want to build, so you're safe!
     
  17. Ryan Wilkerson

    Ryan Wilkerson TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks MC for the measurements and reasons for choosing them. I have just over 48" wide in my vehicle so I'm trying to make sure things fit....your artful stacking of modules in your vehicle really drove home (ooh, punny...) the importance of designing with transportation in mind. I really like how you did the hinged pair, well done. I'll check the date for your January meet and hopefully the boys and I will be able to attend with something in hand.
     
  18. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    This weekend I took advantage of the wife & kids gone on a trip to Monterey with the in-laws from Japan to set up a slightly different configuration in the garage and "troubleshoot" (i.e. excuse to run trains):

    [​IMG]

    Given that this is most of my rolling stock, I just I'll just HAVE to get more:

    [​IMG]

    Biggest issue is the "dip down" at the module ends as the PC board ties are a bit slimmer than the Atlas flex ties.
    Will need to go back and slip some 0.02" styrene under the cork at the endplates and relay the rails.
    Not a huge project but one I wish I had done when I first built them (ignorence is not bliss, yadda yadda).

    And here's the video:

    [video=youtube_share;rJ40fS-Pb-g]http://youtu.be/rJ40fS-Pb-g[/video]

    Tried to show some different angles from before so I won't oversaturate the market and bore you [​IMG]

    Everything will get put away for a couple months until the Jan show in Richmond, CA, probably.
    Guess that'll give me space to finish the 45's and build some more curved modules [​IMG]
     
  19. css29

    css29 TrainBoard Member

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    M.C. great job! I may send you a plane ticket to head down to So. Ca. to help me :)

    I might have missed this on one of your building posts, but what did you use for your culvert pipes? I have a stream on my layout that I need to do something similar but am not liking what is pre-made.
     
  20. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    It's a smallish cardboard tube from ??? with a 0.08" styrene frame around it.
    Painted with a mix of cheap craft paint and Durham's Water Putty for texture.

    [​IMG]

    Turned out a wee bit big, so I'm going to add rocks to the inside bottom and around the base outside to "bury" it a little.

    The temp culverts on the Shoofly are cheap cord/wire covers from Radio Shack.

    [​IMG]

    They come spiraled but by shifting it a bit down the access seam you can line up the "rings" before gluing together.

    Another interesting option, not seen on too many layouts, is creating a short bridge out of a flatcar:

    [​IMG]

    Simple and the hardest part--the deck--is already made!
     

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