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There's always room for a layout...
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 Posted: Wed May 27th, 2015 11:29 pm
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jtrain
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One big advantage of N scale, probably it's biggest advantage, is it's size. For the college student, the person on the move, the apartment dweller, or someone that has good eyesight, N scale is a great option.

While 4x6 feet is about the minimum for a loop layout in HO scale, in N it can be done in 2x3 feet. However, I think the advantage of N scale is most prevalent in shelf layouts and switching operations. While a 12 inch shelf can only support 87 scale feet in HO scale, not even enough to model a ROW (cities and towns excluded), that same space in N scale can support 160 feet, enough to model the right of way realistically as well as buildings, farms, hills, lakes, the immediate scenery outside the ROW fence. Add a little scenic compression to the layout, and you can model many railroad scenes in a reasonable space.

After "completing" my 2x3 layout, I thought it would be fun to add another to the mix. The truth is that while I like the 2x3 layout, I think I can do better. Not only that, I had always wanted to make my own Piano Line. The Piano Line at first looks similar to the Timesaver puzzle, but instead of a puzzle, the Piano Line is challenging because 2-3 car spaces must be filled instead of 1 car spaces. This allows for a larger and more realistic industry.

I won't go into detail, but here is the trackplan and an scrapbook page from Carendt.com for reference and info about the Piano Line:



The Piano Line is the 5th layout down the page. The line was invented (or at least first made public) by Rev. P.H. Heath in 1965. For some reason though, this track plan isn't nearly as popular the timesaver, which is criticized as being unrealistic, as well as the Inglenook, which is a bit simple for my tastes.

So then, my design consists of two 1 foot by 2 foot sections that clamp together to form a 1x4 layout. 1x4 is a perfect dimension to fit in a variety of spaces and when broken down, the layout can fit between the front and back seats of most cars without trouble. Basically, 1x4 is perfect for someone like myself who is on the move and is about to park his F-150 in favor of a smaller, more economical, Chevy Cruze. That also means I've parked my G scale for at least the next couple of years. Oh well, that gives me time to bulk up my roster!

In the meantime, I bought 20 N scale cars for $50, all of them are realistic enough for me and consist of a variety of Midwest road names. All the cars need are new trucks and couplers. As for my locomotive roster, I have a new NW2 switcher from Kato which runs great and should work well on this small shelf.

My next post will be photos of my current progress

--James:java:

Last edited on Wed May 27th, 2015 11:48 pm by jtrain



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James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
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 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2015 12:03 am
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jtrain
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Here's the overall shot of the layout. Each of the sidings on the left will hold 4-5 cars depending on final track placement and length of cars being used. most of my cars are 40ft, so I might be able to squeeze five cars in for each siding. The runaround will also hold 4-5 cars. The headshunt on the foreground-right will hold a short switcher and 40ft car, or a longer engine (road switchers and larger).



This view shows the track plan well. The main industry on this layout will be a midwestern feed and seed company which will not require long cuts of cars like a grain elevator, but it will require hoppers and box cars. For some variety, I might leave a spot open as a team track, so that a variety of customers can unload. That means flat cars, gondolas, open hoppers, etc...



Unlike my 2x3 layout, this time I'm going to leave plenty of space for the feed and seed company. in the foreground, just picture 1 or 2 buildings by the tracks, a loading dock for trucks, a scale, an office, and the rest is a gravel lot.



The other module will feature a lake (on the left in the depression I carved out of the foam) and a fiddle yard between to small knolls. I'm not going to bother hiding the fiddle yard because I've found people want to see the action. This is the only track that will run perpendicular to the module end, meaning that I can easily add onto the layout via the fiddle yard, or I can add cassettes of lengthen the track in some way.



Two carefully drilled holes allows for me to put in guide pins. I drilled the holes on the outside panels for future modules, but I've filled them in with pins I cut flush with the fascia. That way I can simply drill out or in some way remove the pins. when broken down, I'll figure out a way to transport the two modules stacked on top of each other to protect the scenery and to make carrying the modules easier.

The construction of these modules, which I forgot to photograph, is pretty standard. I have a plywood deck with framing underneath with two endplates of pre-cut hobby grade plywood and two plywood fascias that I cut. What's nice about these modules is that no screws or nails are required. Just careful cutting and lots of glue!

--James:java:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
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 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2015 12:22 am
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jtrain
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While I had the modules out, I thought I might as well take some rolling stock and a loco out as well, just to see how they fit in the scenes. So then:



A view from the future lake



Just imagine a large building blocking the tank car and the locomotive peaking out from behind a fence and light pole.



When I find an appropriate background, outside or in a makeshift studio, I think this will be a great scene.



This will be the fiddle yard track, with the switcher pulling cars between to small knolls, preferably tree covered. My plan is for one module to be east river Midwest, and the other to be West river Midwest. For those outside of the Midwest, the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers divide the Midwest into the woodland, pothole lake, prairie to the east and the windswept, treeless, field filled western grasslands.

Between the two, and keeping the locale anonymous, I should be able to run just about every midwestern railroad name on this layout without it looking out of place.



And, in the setting sun, my light was fading. So, I leave you tonight with this photo, a summary of my progress thus far. As darkness came, I managed to paint the fascia and endplates black and tomorrow I'll have two hills to glue in place, some cracks to fill between the wood and foam, and a bit more sanding. If I'm lucky, I might even be able to paint the baseboard.

Oh and one more thing. Along with a new car, I've been hired for the start of my career. I guess being a college student for two years is enough even in this day and age to get a good job. So then, I'm hitting the bozeman trail and I'm leaving my beloved South Dakota behind. Thankfully, Bozeman, Montana is both mountainous and open, so this layout will be right at home... and I have a hobby shop just down the street (finally :time:) so no more 45 mile commutes to get supplies!

Thanks and good night!

--James:java:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
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 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2015 08:01 am
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Si.
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Hi James.

Looks like a cool project.

Nice pix.

Cheers.

Si.

:moose:



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 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2015 11:54 am
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chasv
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Congratulations and keep up the good work



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 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2015 01:34 pm
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Tim H
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This is very good.

An ideal candidate for digital control of train AND turnouts.

Thank for sharing



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 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2015 02:10 pm
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Dwayne
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Looks good. Of course, I could use N scale stuff to depict ride on trains in my scale. :)



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 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2015 06:22 pm
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dwyaneward
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Looking good, James :2t:



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 Posted: Fri May 29th, 2015 11:17 pm
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jtrain
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments.

Today has been somewhat cold and since I can only paint outside (with the black spray paint), the black finish coat will have to wait until the temperature is warm again.

In the meantime, I did manage to fill any holes and seems on the modules using a product called Mor-Flex. It is used to repair and seal mortor and stucco. The good thing about using Mor-Flex is that it leaves an uneven, stucco-like, finish which I can sand. When done, it removes the flat, finished look of the foam and gives the modules a more natural look.

I also added the primer on top of the foam and Mor-Flex. Now the modules are ready for their black finish layer. I'm using a note I wrote down when looking at Martin's (Milocomarty) work on his Cardigan Bay Coast Railroad. Black underlayment gives grasses, rocks, and such enhanced shadows which comes in handy in less than ideal lighting situations (ie, anything not outside).

So then, that final layer will need to wait. Until then, here's another couple sets of photos:











I'll negate the commentary unless it's something important for the photos or providing descriptions of unique techniques.

--James



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
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 Posted: Fri May 29th, 2015 11:26 pm
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jtrain
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--James



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top


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