You may have noticed that over the last year, I haven’t actually built any modules despite doing the design work and finding suitable plenty of suitable locations. Unfortunately, my plan to have a space to build those modules hasn’t come to be… yet. However, I’ve still got the desire to build something and practice modelling techniques but to make this a realistic prospect anytime soon, it’s going to need something small, relatively cheap and easy to store.
I’ve talked in previous posts about wanting to create small modules or cameos; where the scenery is of equal importance to the trains and where the scenic elements are used to frame a scene. T-Trak modules might be the answer…
In previous posts I’ve discussed the rules I’ve adopted that will govern module size, the type of track I’ll use and the minimum switch/curve radii of the trackwork but there’s one more thing to consider and that’s scenery at the module edges.
As a group of modules that make up a layout can be arranged to create a number of different formations you obviously don’t want a situation where a road on one module runs straight into a river or the side of a building on an adjoining module.
Now that I’ve started finding some interesting locations it’s about time I started thinking about the steps needed to turn those location into working modules.
I suppose the first thing to think about is track. The FremoN-RE modular standard I’ve adopted offers plenty of guidance (a.k.a rules) on what’s acceptable. However I’m already thinking I’ll probably need to bend at least one of these rules to build what I can see in my head…
Having chosen a modular standard, the first thing you need to do is start cutting…
No not really, the first thing to do is read the standards document because this will usually give you very strict guidelines on the dimensions of the endplate. The endplate is where different modules will be connected together and for this to happen easily and reliably, the endplate needs to be uniform on all modules of the same standard. As it’s such a key part of the module, it makes sense to design the rest of the framework around the endplate.
Once I’d decided I’d like to have a go at building some modules the next step was to decide which modular standard I would use.
After many hours reading the different standards it became apparent that many focused on putting as many tracks as possible onto relatively small boards with tight curves to maximize the available space. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but I already knew I wanted to create modules that were as realistic as possible.