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Micro Maine - A Exercise in going up a scale and trying something new
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 Posted: Sun Apr 2nd, 2017 10:14 pm
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Jon R
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Good day from the UK!

About 18 months, I started my first attempt at On30 using a pair of second hand tender engines (a 2-8-0 and a 4-6-0) on a 6ft by 2ft board. Like the current layout, it was based on the Maine two footers although using standard Bachmann stock. It worked well but the curves were too tight (I was using 17.5" radius thoughout!) and being effective a massive shunting layout, it got boring very quickly with my at the time merger stock (only 3 Passenger Cars, 2 18ft Cars and a Sandy River Caboose). Plans grew to assemble a sizeable fleet of stock using both full size cars from the Maine Two Footers and some 18ft cars to make shunting easier. The two tender engines were quickly joined by a pair of Bachmann Forneys which while being correct for Maine, were proving to be a pain in day to day use on the then layout.


^^^The former Layout^^^

17 months later, I'd had enough of the layout sitting there doing nothing. So the layout promptly got scrapped. I hadn't given up on the Maine project however. Having sold off the two tender engines to a friend, I'd since purchased a 3rd Forney to bring the total to 3 (two outside framed and one inside framed) along with some additional Passenger cars and a second hand Caboose all from the same source. Time to give this a second go but while learning from my earlier attempt. Larger radius points were the order of the day and to keep it manageable, a small but longer board was decided on.

The new one being 7ft 8" by 9". To keep the stock focused, I also decided to focus on primarily Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes prototypes although the Motive power fleet will feature prototypes from else where. Conveniently, once lettered, two of my Forneys are close enough to the actual engines on the real SR&RL (Numbers 8 and 9). This smaller board combined with the larger radius curves has finally given me the running I wanted and although its a simple terminus with a small engine depot attached, it works a lot better than the older one! Only thing I don't have the room for is a turntable as per the majority of Maine prototypes but in time I'm sure one will appear. Buildings will be mostly 2D because of the lack of space but will be arranged in such a way to complement the layout.


^^^The current Track Plan^^^


^^^The Layout with track laid and working^^^


^^^The Station area with a Passenger train under 'test'^^^


^^^The Remains of the 3rd Forney. Converted into a 0-4-4RT representing SR&RL Number 17 abet with the wrong wheelbase. Now has the correct bunker fitted.^^^


^^^The Entire Layout after Ballast being applied. I know only the Monson used Rock Ballast in its entirety but its a combination of all the Maine two footers.^^^


^^^Engine Depot area showing 3 of the now 5 strong fleet. When finished, I think this is were most of the 'Works Photograph' style shots will be taken.^^^


^^^The Station area showing the runround track, depot spur and Platform road from the viewing side.^^^

The Motive Power fleet will grow with time although it will be mostly comprised of both Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes 2-4-4T Forneys and Brighton and Harrison 2-4-4T Forneys. That said, I have seen a very convincing modification of the Outside Framed 4-4-0 Tender engine on Facebook into a Maine-esque Tender Engine. Ironically, its the same width, length and height post conversion as Sandy River Number 23 so....... I think I know what my next purchase will be! 

The current Motive Power fleet looks like (pending suitable donor models/chassis):-
  • Bridgton and Harrison 2-4-4T Number 6
  • Bridgton and Harrison 2-4-4T Number 7 (once valve gear has been changed)
  • Monson 0-4-4RT Number 3 (3D print on a Bachmann Percy Chassis)
  • Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes 2-4-4T Number 8
  • Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes 2-4-4T Number 9
  • Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes 2-4-4T Number 10 (once the valve gear has been changed)
  • Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes 0-4-4RT Number 17
  • Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes 4-4-0+T Number 25 (Fictional)
Rolling stock consists of 3 Bachmann Passenger Cars, 2 of which have been cut and shut to get the correct lengths required for the 46ft length SR&RL Cars. There might be more depending on how I feel, I'm rather proud of my 2 cut and shuts as they're the first ones I've ever attempted let alone finish to a standard I can put up with.

Freight stock at the moment only consists of 5 items. The 2 Sandy River Cabooses ('551' and '559') along with a single Pulpwood Car and 2 18ft Cars. In time, I want to get another pulpwood car (as long as one comes along at the right price and preferably the right paint scheme) and maybe a few other 18ft cars although my mind isn't made up on them. I know I'm going to start gathering the bits together for a set of prototypical cars most likely from the Mount Blue Model Company range of Sandy River Cars including a few boxcars, some flats and cabooses '553' and '556'. That should give a nice varied fleet to operate the layout with.


^^^The other side of the layout showing the 'Fiddle Yard'. There's room for a average sized train plus Forney in there (2 Passenger Cars or 2 Pulpwood wagons and a Caboose).^^^

Jon



____________________
Current Projects:-
Project Micro Maine - Maine Two Footers in On30
16mm Projects for Bowaters Models - Current SR&RL

For all your etched model railway needs:- http://narrowplanet.co.uk/
For your 16mm needs:- http://www.bowatersmodels.co.uk
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 Posted: Sun Apr 2nd, 2017 11:53 pm
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Kitbash0n30
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Cool. Is nice to have a layout which finally meets needs.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 3rd, 2017 05:36 am
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Si.
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Hi Jon :wave:


Nice to see you on Freerails !


Good that the layout is getting how you want it.


I do love the Maine 2'ers !


:moose:


Si.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 3rd, 2017 02:45 pm
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Herb Kephart
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I too love the Maine two footers. I just don't care for the Winter snow, the Spring mud and the Summer flies. Autumn is OK, except for all the "leaf peepers". Other than that, I might live there------

Or not.

Too old to move anywhere now.

Herb



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 Posted: Mon Apr 3rd, 2017 05:26 pm
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Lee B
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Great work on the forneys, and I can’t wait to see this layout evolving. It’s good you finally realized what you need, as that’s ¾ of the problem with a new layout, as most people (myself included) are hard to discover what they really want or need out of a layout. In my case, an operation-fan friend of mine lit several bulbs over my head. We’ve all been brainwashed by the magazines over generations that a layout can’t be all that good unless it occupies an appreciable percentage of a football field. Not so! Some of the best operation sessions I’ve taken part in were on smaller layouts/
Frankly, I enjoy almost ANY narrow-gauge modeling that doesn’t start or stop in Colorado or New Mexico. Don’t get me wrong, I like the railroads out there and have ridden them (in my quest to see EVERY non-park-train narrow gauge railroad in the US, which I’m close to completing), but those lines have been modelled to death and you often can’t discuss NG railroads at all without it quickly devolving to a milepost discussion of the old D&RGW…



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 Posted: Sun Apr 16th, 2017 02:49 pm
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Jon R
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Thanks for all the comments guys. I'm happy with how its turning out.

Joys of having a load of spare 1.5mm plywood planks lieing around meant I was able to finally construct the platform, coal shelter and engine depot. All have turned out nicely. Just need to work out what I'm going to do repainting and then its grass and backscene time!


Overall layout with the new sections in place


The platform now covered. You might be able to tell where I gave up cutting the planks......... What can I say, I'm lazy


The coal depot and Engine house. Not exactly following a Maine prototype but I'm working with what I have.

We're getting there. Once the layout's done, it'll be time to start looking at saving up for a massive order from the USA for some rolling stock kits.

Cheers,

Jon



____________________
Current Projects:-
Project Micro Maine - Maine Two Footers in On30
16mm Projects for Bowaters Models - Current SR&RL

For all your etched model railway needs:- http://narrowplanet.co.uk/
For your 16mm needs:- http://www.bowatersmodels.co.uk
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