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Gila Tramway mini layout in On20
 Moderated by: W C Greene Page:    1  2  3  4  5  6  ...  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2010 10:45 pm
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W C Greene
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I think that I will go ahead and start this bit with some information about what I am planning to build. In the 1990's, I built a small around the dining room walls layout which fulfilled my "need" to get back into model railroading after a 15 year foray into sports cars. I have been in this hobby for over 50 years now, so this wasn't my first layout. What I wanted was to model an "extreme" narrow gauge line without spending lots of cash for brass locos, etc. I found that MDC/Roundhouse offered a neat kit for an HOn3 Shay locomotive, which I bought. But having been into HOn3 and HOn30 years before, I wanted something different...bigger. I remembered reading an article by Earl Martin in RMC about his On3 and On20 layout...that was what I wanted..On20. I could build this with the HOn3 Shay all gussied up with O scale parts and crew and Grandt Line offered fine O scale Gilpin Tramway ore cars which worked with HOn3 trucks. I got going on a layout, building on top of book shelves, coffee tables, anything I could find to hold up the sections. After I got the layout built, I wrote an article about it for the July/August 2000 Gazette-My Mogollon Railway. I enjoyed working on the layout and gave it to a good friend when I joined the Texas Outlaws On30 modular group and went "whole hog" into thirty inch gauge. The Mogollon's little On20 Shays and the cars went into a big box which sat in my friend Mudge's garage gathering lots of dust. The On30 plan "evolved" into 1:35n2...a larger scale which uses 16.5MM gauge (HO, On30). The "new" Mogollon Railway is shown in this website so I won't get into what I have now. The layout is outside and when the weather is lousy (we have had some real nasty stuff here in Dallas), the MRy sleeps under plastic sheets until I can operate. That's why I love every season except winter! This year, I decided that I would make something that I could mess with and run a train when I was inside-a "mini layout". I didn't want to use the larger scale radio controlled stuff, I wanted smaller for inside. Then I remembered the dusty box in the garage and what happened next will become the subject of this story.

   Something new to me will be taking photos and writing about how I am building this as it goes along. I hope to not take too long to bring the project to a more or less "finished" place. I have a piece of 2" blue foam-24" by 48" thanks to shayboiler(John) and have decided that I can get away with 10" radius curves since the Shay I have will run around that curve without any problems. I plan to build a small switchback coming off the "mainline" which will simply loop around the 2 by 4. Scenery will be arid New Mexico mesas and mountains with maybe 2 small mines on the switchback. The track will be handlaid using code 55 rail (like the old On20 layout) and control will be by good old dc from a Spectrum power pack. I will try to make all the scenery from styrofoam and all details will be glued as best as I can glue...the layout will sometimes be standing on end in my motor home. The KISS principle will be observed, I just want to have some indoor train fun, not build the G&D in a 8 foot wide space.

   The hardest part of all this is already done-the trains. All I have to do is build something for the trains to run on. Any questions or suggestions will be appreciated as this goes along. And when the weather gets nice...I will be back outside running ore trains to the smelter. I trust that I can build in 2 scales..we shall see.  Woodie

Last edited on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 10:49 am by W C Greene



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 Posted: Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 10:44 am
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W C Greene
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Here is the GT locomotive and a couple of cars for the layout.



The little Shay and cars were built over 10 years ago. The loco has been "rebuilt" and has a fresh coat of paint with more details to add. At the front is a Grandt Gilpin large ore car and the tank car was scratchbuilt. The train sits on HOn3 flex track right now, the layout will have wood ties of the "proper" size. The O scale figure on the loco shows how small this equipment is, the Shay represents maybe a 10 ton job.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 10:57 am
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brianwbc
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Way to go, Woodie! I'm looking forward to seeing how your layout progresses.

Cheers

Brian



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2010 04:45 pm
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W C Greene
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Moving right along. I haven't done this yet but the bare styrofoam board will get some 1/8" tempered Masonite around the edges BEFORE I get too far along. I want this thing to have a finished look...I am leaning to Masonite, but I just might get some 2" milled pine strips for the edge and paint or stain it a dark color. Still thinking. Today, I got all the code 55 weathered rail available at the hobby shop so I am a few steps closer. The ties will be cut from basswood planks about 1/8" thick-using my balsa stripper to make sticks about 1/8" square and cut them to length. Probably the only stuff I need to buy is the edging stock, I now have the rail and I believe all the other associated junk is either in the garage or somewhere in the motor home. For laying the track I have at least 4 HOn3 (On20) track gauges, an NMRA HOn3 gauge, plenty of really tiny spikes, and almost a gallon of Titebond 2 for glueing stuff together. I am still debating with Peach Head about the actual track plan, but there's only so much you can do on a 2 by 4 in O scale-there won't be any downtowns, no harbor scenes, no Rockie Mountains...just a couple of mines, a water tank, and maybe some other little structure. The scenery will be the thing. And besides, all I want is something to mess with while the big layout is not operating and to be able to take this thing to a show or meeting (if anybody will allow me).

More adventures to follow.                



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2010 10:53 pm
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Sullivan
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W C Greene wrote: The scenery will be the thing. And besides, all I want is something to mess with while the big layout is not operating and to be able to take this thing to a show or meeting (if anybody will allow me).             


I'm pretty sure that the Outlaws will be more than happy to provide a little space for your "mini" at any of their appearances.

Also, once Duane Richardson gets the library time back and starts the narrow guage meetings you can take it up there for show and tell.

I'm looking forward to it all coming together.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2010 11:03 pm
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W C Greene
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James-Mopman convinced me that I need a short passing siding on this layout (you know how he is about operation) so that's a change. And instead of my old timey stub switches, I will make point switches-much easier for power routing than stubs are. The fun continues.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2010 11:10 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Gee Woodie

Are you going to program your pootah to run it??

Herbie:old dude:



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 Posted: Thu Feb 25th, 2010 11:25 am
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Sullivan
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I think we need to buy one of them cheap injection molding machines and cast ore cars out of aluminum...:P

 

Woodie,

Even with the passing siding he'll be bitching about the L&P couplers! Ha ha...

Like I said, I'm looking forward to how this thing progresses...outta be fun...



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 Posted: Thu Feb 25th, 2010 12:38 pm
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W C Greene
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James-the old MRy equipment has...hold on...KD #5 couplers! No L&P's on this one! And after thinking things over...I feel that I will have to explain to Mopman why I won't have a passing siding. I am really not going to be into operating this layout, it will be for me just to watch a pokey little train run around and around and maybe once in a while take a couple of cars to the mines.  The KISS is still in effect.

Now, I am cutting ties. I couldn't find any 1/8 basswood in the wood box, but there was lots of nice old 1/8" hard balsa, this is what I will use. Here is a photo showing the ties being cut out.



I am using a MASTER AIRSCREW BALSA STRIPPER to cut the 1/8 square lumber which will be cut into tie lengths. I was gonna make the stock a scale 5" wide (5 by 5 by 5) but an O scale inch is too little to quibble over. So, the ties will be 6" square by 5' long in scale. The balsa stripper is the best thing to come down the pike (for me) since I can cut my own lumber from sheets and not obsess about finding the right thing at the LHS. The stripper is available at any shop that sells model planes and is found on the net if there is no store nearby. It is really expensive, about 7 bucks! I can cut bass, balsa, and most other stock up to 1/4" thick and make boards 3/4" wide. Now, all I have to do is cut the strips to length in a miter box and get ready to stain them & glue the little buggers down. In the time it has taken me to shoot the photo and explain this, I probably could have laid down half the layout.

Next up will be some tie laying and then the rails will be spiked down! The fun just never stops.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 25th, 2010 01:37 pm
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bobbyb
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As my oldest daughter used to say when she was a little thing and we would go somewhere for the first time. "THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN!"

Thanks for all of this Woodie.

Also a big thanks for the picture of the stripper, the balsa one. :) Now I have one more thing to add to my "Need to get List".

Bobby



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