Creating Layout of Several Modules in SCARM

Current version of SCARM does not allow more than one baseboard on the drawing plot. Because of this, it cannot work with modules (like FREMO system) where many modular pieces can be arranged in different ways in order to form various large modular layouts.

However, if you want to design permanent layout of several modules where every single module has its own fixed position, you can do that very easy even now. The trick is to use one large baseboard with the shape of all modules when they are connected together. Then the borders of the modules need to be marked – a rectangular figures can be used for this purpose.

As an example, lets see one of my first unfinished plans for a personal layout in TT (1:120) scale – click on the pictures for enlarge them.

This track plan is large enough, so I decided to split the baseboard in four modules. To do that in SCARM, I made 3 thin vertical rectangles, placed between each two modules. The rectangles are about 5mm (0.2″) thick and are colored in red. The figures have “Height” property set to 0, so they are invisible in 3D viewing mode.

If you want to see modules borders in 3D viewing mode, you need to set “Height” property to some small value, different than zero (i.e. 2.5mm or 0.1″).
If the terrain is hilly, you can increase “Height” or just leave it to 0, but place check marks on “Snap terrain to bottom” and “Inside contour” properties.

To see the outline (external) dimensions of each module, just insert new baseboard points in all places where given border rectangle touches the baseboard contour.

To see the baseboard dimensions, toggle “View” > “Show Size and Area” form the main menu.
To insert new point in the baseboard’s shape, select baseboard (by left click over some of it’s lines), then right click over the place where you want to insert the point and select “Insert new point” from the context menu.
If the newly inserted point is not on right position, press Del key to remove it.

You can resize and align the rectangular figures to fit them on the right places. You can also rotate them in order to represent modules with complex shapes. Download the example layout from the link below and experiment with it. You can also practice with rearrangement of the module sections, adding a train station over the already prepared area for it, placing signals, adding some trees or completely changing the railroad lines.

See also
How to work with figures

Example layout

6 thoughts on “Creating Layout of Several Modules in SCARM

  1. Dear , I want to convey a second base plate from my base plate.

    Rudi Smits

  2. Hi,
    I’m wondering if the new Faller car system (the street) on the Licensed version?

  3. Hello,

    I am currently working on a 2 level layout. The main level for the lowest track height is 0″. There are some rails that are on slopes and various bridges.

    The second level is base height at 36″. Trains interchange levels by 1 long ramp/multiple bridges set at a slope off 1.8%. Some of these free-span into the walking area with a walkway underneath.
    When this is built, in reality level one will be at 30″ off the floor while level 2 is another 36″ above that.
    Here’s my problem—I want to be able to create my 2 different levels in 3D, but for now Scarm has everything run together in 3D. I have 4 different layers involved. how do I create 3d for each layer independently?

  4. Hello Jim,

    If you want to have a layout on 2 decks one over another, the only solution for now to render properly the terrain in 3D on both decks (levels) is to place each of them in separate project file. Otherwise, if the terrain is not important for you, just turn it off (from the settings) and use the baseboard for the lower level and polygon figure to create the upper level.

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