Anyone Made Foam Modules?

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txstars15

New Member
I'm wanting to create a large N scale layout, but space prohibits a large flat board. Was thinking of using the 2" foam on a 1x4 framework, and making 2 or 3 modules to connect in a large L shape. Easier to build, move and store!

Anyone made foam modules? Any tricks in connecting them together? I was planning on using either cork or the Woodland Scenics roadbed glued over foam risers with Atlas flex track and Peco powered turnouts. Suggestions are welcome!
 
I helped someone start a layout like this one time. We built the under frame of 1x4s and put them on 16" centers and it seemed to work ok. The modules were 3'x8'. We bolted them together with 3/8" bolts and fender washers in 3 places over the 3' span.

I would recommend however that you build the outter frame of 1x6 and make the top edge of it at surface level with the 2" foam and then use 1x4 underneath on 16" centers. This gives the edge a frame and move and stores better and gives a better visual when set up as you wont see the edge of the foam. Use liquid nails to glue the foam to the wood wherever you can.

Good Luck
 

txstars15

New Member
About the 1x6 edges...

If the top of the 1x6 is flush with the foam, wouldn't it seem like the layout was spilling over the edges? Or did you use backboards over the outside edges of the 1x6's?
 
We actually put his on top of the 1x4s which looked bad and offer no protection to the edges. A 1x6 outside makes it look finished and is much stronger. A 1x8 could be used to give you a 2" edge or safety barrier on the non connecting edges to keep things on the layout. That would eliminate the waterfall edges.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
A guy who posts here form time to time, Tompm, built his layout that way, hopefully he'll stop by and reply.
 

Trucula

Drum Driver
We actually put his on top of the 1x4s which looked bad and offer no protection to the edges. A 1x6 outside makes it look finished and is much stronger. A 1x8 could be used to give you a 2" edge or safety barrier on the non connecting edges to keep things on the layout. That would eliminate the waterfall edges.

That's a very good idea!...What he is suggesting is "counter sinking" the foam in a box like framework...If you plan on having to move it allot, this will prevent accidental bumps that will knock chunks out of the foam. Also gives a nice edge that can be painted, antiqued ECT. Actually the Woodlands Scenic Ridge and others are made from foam only..all the risers and backwalls for mountains are made from their interlocking foam board panels.
I love to see an old time railroad with the edges of the boards antiqued, You can lightly burn the wood, and varnish, or beat it up by slapping and hammering a dog chain/nails on the wood and then staining.
I've made a few frames like this...I have done my stainless steel mirror frames that I lay under my show truck and allot ask how I did that. ;)
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
The two large modules I've built used the Woodland Scenics Mod-u-rail kits, slightly modified for size. Its right in saying there's not much edge protection, but I intend to embed mine into a full scale layout sometime in the future. If the front edge shall become the edge of the layout, I'll surface it with Masonte like the rest of the layout will have.

The smaller mini scene modules/diorama's I'm working on how are on 1/2" foam board, and will be built into the area they're destined to end up. Such as the Burger King, it'll be built into the future area of San Bernardino.
 

Tileguy

New Member
I am planning a modular system myself that will be Built lightweight for portability.
I determined that having No bottom would be Bad for transport so my Plans are to use the 1x4 frame and notch (like you would for a drawer) and glue in a piece of 1/4" Birch Underlayment putting the extruded on top of this.

Rather than Glue in the Extruded i will Pin it in by simply screwing 3" Deck screws in from front and sides. A forstner bit will be used to countersink the screws and Wood buttons will pop in to these holes.
In this way the framework will always be reusable should i decide to remove the terrain and rebuild it and the terrain can be saved also. A New frame could then be created around it and it could be sold or used as a display Diorama.
Lets face it, over the years we do change our minds on occassion and it doesnt cost any more to think ahead to our next idea that is so fabulous it MUST be built :D
 

BNSF dude

BNSF foamer
Not me personaly (but my 4x8 is gtonna be foam based) but the LLRC (Luce Line Railroad Club) In hutchinson has and it is a 32x8 layout.
 




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