My First Z Bend Track Module:

I have just started construction on my first module as part of the BAZ-modules (Bay Area Z) Yahoo Group club startup. So far there are 3 of us building modules here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Here is my progress as of 9/25/04:

I laid some track on the narrow side, and made a couple structures. I also added scenery to the mountain:



Here is my progress as of 6/11/04:

Construction so far is a classic 1" x 4" pine frame with 1/4" cabinet grade plywood top. Legs are made from 1" x 2" x 48" pine strips. So far it weighs 20 pounds, so I figure it will weigh between 25-30 pounds when complete.

The legs are mounted in 8" from the edges of the module to give a leg footprint of  32" x 22", and are mounted to the 1" x 2" table top support strips with 1/4" x 2' lag bolts and wing nuts. There are 2 diagonal supports bolted to the center table top support, extending down to each leg cross member. All leg mounting is with 1/4" x 2' lag bolts and wing nuts.


Here is my progress as of 7/11/04:(I'm actually a little further along than this, but have not taken any pictures yet.)

What I did was to use "Great Stuff" minimal expanding polystyrene foam to glue the blue extruded polystyrene foam to the module plywood, and to other layers of blue foam to build up a view block mountain range. This works very well because Great Stuff sticks well to almost anything, and it is made out of the same material as the blue foam.

I used a stick to "slather" the Great Stuff over the layer of foam I was attaching and then just set it on top of the surface I wanted to bond.   A little of this foam goes a long way, so not much is really needed.

"WARNING" The stuff sticks to your fingers, so if you get it on them, the best thing to do is not try to wipe it off, but instead run your hands under water for a second to speed curing, then peel it off. If you wipe it you will just be left with a super thin layer that don't peel off easy, but you can rub sandpaper over it to get it off. Alternately, you can use finger nail polish remover if you can stand the smell.

When fully cured (3-4 hours), Minimal Expanding foam will have expanded a little between the layers that you glued together, but the bond will be stronger than with anything else you can use as glue, and will in effect leave you with 1 solid piece of polystyrene. I just used an old steak knife to carve the mountain shape I wanted.  While at the Seattle National Train Show, I bought a hot wire foam cutter to try for future foam work.

Here is my progress as of 7/16/04:

I mixed up some plaster and did a few rock molds. Again, the purpose of this mountain range is as a view block to separate the scenes on each side. I could have done the same thing with a sky-board, and will use one on future modules. Because the top of the rails will be 50" above the ground these mountains will block the other side just fine.

Here is my progress as of 8/01/04:

I finished my turntable, and dropped it in to see how it fits. A little more plaster work next weekend, and I'll be ready to lay some track.

It's an N Scale Peco NB-55 turntable that I reworked into a typical North American 120' style model.


Here is a closer view of the turntable: