James, as a rivet counter in recovery, I LOVE IT! 27.5" inch radius is very doable in HO. I used to keep my minimum, except in yards and and industry, at 30" minimum. I still thought that was too sharp.
Keep going and keep posting. I know very little of the Black Hills, but think this has the makings of a great model railroad. I can't find as to what year that you will focus on? Great concept so far.
____________________ Steven B.
Humboldt & Toiyabe Rwy
Thanks Steven! At my rate of progress, this railroad is going to be growing very slowly, which is alright by me. One module at a time.
I do not have a specific year. Specific dates are not my focus. What I am actually doing is replicating scenes from the railroad as they appear in photographs. These scenes will later on be supplemented by extra modules built using my own photographs of what's left of the railroad.
Once I have a few modules built, my focus will shift to replicating specific rolling stock and locomotives, a much more tedious process.
Anyways, I've got the sides of the module screwed on and the expanding foam has dried. All that's left to do before I begin modeling is to sand down the ends and make sure everything is flush which will minimize gaps between modules.
Here's a couple of photographs. Again, this is the west end of Mystic.
Another update! I've spray-foamed the hillside into existence and now have a rough outline of where everything will go in the module.
It looks like I'm going to go with code 55 or code 70 Oak Hill turnouts. Emailed Jeff Otto requesting a couple of dimensions for #6 and #8 turnouts. Long story short, it seems that #8's are long enough to capture the look of the prototype, but are hopefully short enough that they fit well on the module.
His turnouts look incredible and video demonstrations show that they operate well. They're expensive, but I only need 5 of them, so no big deal, I'll just have to stash cash for a few weeks. In the meantime I can get the module ready to receive track.
A lot of progress has been made on the first module and it is now ready for track. I'll post photos in an update when I have a couple of hours.
I decided to paint the module black because when two modules are connected together, the dark paint will hide the seams better than if they were painted tan. Additionally, the scenery will pop more and will have their true colors showing. It works because this central area of the black hills has very dark basalt. The "hill" on the modules will be representing the debris found at the bottom of the canyon walls so it will have a lot of rip rap and scrubby trees growing from it.
Phase II of this layout, if I ever get to it, will be the Rapid City end of the railroad. Those modules will have a red/orange color because of the red dirt and shale surrounding the town. Hopefully by then I'll be much better at making these modules.
What I would like to post is a short 4min video of the Deadwood Club's HOn3 layout. In addition to this video, I took some separate clips of a battery powered HO standard gauge steam engine during the visit. I'll be putting that up in the R/C section of the forum when I get around to editing it.
To start with, I've been building up my reading material about the CBQ, CNW, and the RCBH&W.
Secondly, I've had yet another re-think on module construction. Instead of using a bunch of foam, I've opted for the framework to be constructed like a hollow core door. Two 1/4inch plywood sheets sandwich a lightweight frame of 1x2's. I've found that this frame is very light (only weighing a couple of pounds for a 2x4 foot module) and it resists warping and twisting extremely well. It's about as solid as a door.
This framework is nearing completion, all that remains is to put a pair of 18x18 inch square holes in the underside sheet of plywood for each module. I will also add leveling feet to a pair of cross braces under each module. This will allow the display to be set up on tables or to be displayed on shelves at home. I think a design like this one will be useful in the future to build a layout using modules due to their low cost and portability. All in all, the framework only costs about $30 per 2x4 module, including hardware.
Once finished, I will post photos of the framework for reference.
Then, back in June Rapid City was the host of the Chicago Northwestern Historical Society Convention. I volunteered the run the slide projector and computer during demonstrations and it was a delightful experience. While the group was off seeing things during the day, I went into the hills for more research. I'm still processing a large blog post about Mystic and once done, I'll be sure to post my photos and findings here as well as at the website.
While out and about, I've secured several more freight cars from the period which will be repainted, re lettered, and weathered for use on the railroad. I've also purchased a Heisler which will make a great model of #7, but the auxillary water car that was often towed behind it will have to be scratchbuilt. This will be the first 3D printing project.
Through research online and across the region, I've found that a depot of the same type as located in Mystic is currently part of a museum in Lodge Grass, Montana. Seeing as that's on the way to Rapid City from Missoula, I'm making plans to stop there next time I head to South Dakota.
William C. Vantuono, Editor of Railway Age Magazine, was kind enough to give me copies of shop drawings for a CBQ class T-2 mallet. These were the largest engines in the hills and went daily through mystic. I'm in the process of trying to figure out how best to model this unit in HO scale, but a good start will be drawing these plans in an AutoCAD file for future use. He wants an N scale model, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know.
And finally, in Nebraska there are a pair of CBQ K class 10 wheelers on display. I forget the names of towns. I'm making a note here to go a measure these engines for a future model. Several 10 wheelers ran through the Black Hills on the CBQ branchline because they were good at hauling passenger trains through rough terrain.
And that is a basic summary of what I've been up to. Not a lot to post about, so that's why the thread has been quite, but I'll be posting more often this winter.
Last edited on Mon Aug 6th, 2018 05:49 am by jtrain