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Daniel Beresford
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Good evening everyone,

After selling my last HO scale exhibition layout, I've had nothing to take to shows. Myself and my second operator, Ford, have been knocking around the idea of making an O scale layout for a long while now, and decided that it was the right time to get the project off the ground.

We decided early on that we wanted to make an urban industrial switching layout, and that it would have lighting, signals, ambient sounds, and animations. The track would all be hand built, and we have started looking into dead-rail as opposed to DCC, though if this doesn't pan out it can easily be wired for DCC if needed.

The maximum size for the layout would be 16', as this would be about the maximum size we could transport to shows between us.

After looking at many suitable track plans, a modified version of Jack "Shortliner" Trollope's Box Street Yard was chosen, and construction of the layout began.

It's been a long while coming, but we've finally gotten to a stage where there's something to show!

The benchwork/baseboards for the scenic section are done - three 4'x2' boards - with the final board being a traverser table which may also end up being fully scenic eventually.

The track plan has been mapped out full size on the boards, and dimensions/footprints for the structures have been worked out too. I've cut out the roadbed - 5mm foamboard topped with 4mm cork - and I've been ferociously cutting ties from coffee stirrers ready to start laying the track.

The design of the structures is such that the layout will be viewed from all sides - so no backscene required. This means that thought has had to be given to ensure the illusion of realism isn't broken by viewing angles which would allow the sector plate to be seen, or the traverser table. Fingers crossed this will all work when it's built! :D

For now, here are the photographs of the baseboards showing the plan, with a few pieces of rolling stock to give an idea of scale.

The traverser table will go on the left end of the layout as seen in the photos, which will allow us to add 4'x2' extensions to the layout in the future, should the ability to transport them become available to us.














Daniel Beresford
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Well, it's been a while, but swinging by the C&L Finescale stall at Warley exhibition allowed me to pick up a bag of PCB ties to allow me to progress with the tracklaying.

Unfortunately I underestimated how many I would need, so I'll need to grab another bag before I can finish preparing the roadbed.

I started ballasting the sections that I had enough PCB ties to get done, and here's the results (though it's very much still drying in the photographs).

















It's a slow process, but it's getting there. :)

Si.
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Hi Daniel :wave:



Lookin' good !


Great progress on the tracks. :bg:


Interesting to see a 'Box Street Yard' version in 'O'.



:moose:



Si.

Daniel Beresford
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Thanks Si!

Hopefully I can get some more done on it later this week. :)

Salada
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Nice trackwork Dan.

Any particular reason for using 5mm foamboard underneath the cork ?  I'd thought of doing similar but I was concerned about the foamboard getting crushed after a few weeks ops and "accidents". I made up up a small section of track to try it out but was surprised to find the noise level was higher with the foamboard - maybe my particular style of track laying. Or maybe Starbucks ties are louder than AnyOtherBurger's ??

I see you are using the "moveable sleeper/tie" method of operating stretcher bar. I've tried various other methods in 43.5:1 Brit O gauge but none look totally right. I'm currently working in 48:1 On30 "Bachmann" gauge (31.2") and the moveable tie seems to be the only strong operating stretcher bar.  Have you any other ideas ? 

Regards,   Michael

Daniel Beresford
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Hi Michael,

Purely to boost the height of the trackwork so we can get a sector plate on the layout at one end without having to cut a hole in the baseboard.

I've always used a movable tie to operate the points. Even then, especially in HO scale, it can fail due to the break in the copper strip to prevent shorts.

If you figure something out, please let me know! :D

Salada
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Thanks Dan, 5mm foamboard explained & understood. I've had various novel ideas for switch stretcher bars but 'moveable tie' tends to win on speed & simplicity. Still experimenting.

Regards,     Michael 

Daniel Beresford
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Well... it's been an interesting last couple of weeks after my father in law was taken into hospital, so there's been little progress recently. But after some free time yesterday, this is what PB currently looks like:











Hopefully I can get the trackwork finished before I go back to work on Monday night.

Daniel Beresford
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As I'm on nights this week, I've been unable to work on the track any further, so instead I've been building a craftsman kit - Broach Supplies, by Kitwood Hill Models.



Verdict - it's a lovely kit, very interesting design, but it's been fiddly as all hell (even N scale craftsmen kits are easier than this!) and the instructions could do with a couple of improvements here and there. The functioning sash windows are definitely a highlight. :)



I've also added some of Kitwood Hill's furniture items to the annex of the building, make it look a little more interesting. :)







































Not much further to go on it before I can start painting it up. :)

Herb Kephart
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Late to ask this question, but why didn't you use the PCB ties INSTEAD of a regular tie, rather than between the regular ones?

Herb

Daniel Beresford
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Hi Herb,

I probably should have, but I got at bit over-enthusiastic in gluing down the wooden ones!

Ah well, you live and learn. :)

Daniel Beresford
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Well... it's been a while, but I've not been idle.

Trackwork is done done. I've soldered the power droppers to 2 of the boards, and set up a bus wire along them. However, Ford has taken the board that will house the sector plate away to build and fit that, and he's also working on building some servo-actuated switch machines for us. As such, the rest of the wiring will have to wait until the layout is back together.


I've also made a start on the scenics, and have used lightweight filler to build up the ground contours a couple of the boards. Two down, one to go. The filler has been painted and the ground cover has been started on one of them:




Structures have been started and the majority of them are in a state of the basic walls being complete, I just need to get some wooden beams that I can use to brace the corners before I build them up, but I need to wait until payday for that.


I have, however, been working on one of the buildings that will hide the sector plate from view - a mixed media version of the Clevermodels music store. I wanted to ensure that - in O scale - any part of the kits that should be wood are made from actual wood. I figured this would add to the overall look of the layout.


So here's the version of the kit I built in HO scale:



Whereas here is the progress so far on the O scale version:









Daniel Beresford
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One board, at least, will be completed scenically before Mansfield show. :)







Loads of time left! :D

Lee B
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Wow, that structure is well done but the footprint is TINY. I don't think you could get 3 people in the bottom floor with the door closed.

Daniel Beresford
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Pretty much. But that's the charm of the kit. :D

Si.
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Compared to some flats in London ...

... it looks like 'Wrigley Field' to me ! ;)



:old dude:



Si.



AWESOME look to your trackwork Dan ! :thumb:

It's all coming on a treat. :cool:

Daniel Beresford
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Cheers Si, I've been working from a load of reference photographs taken from RRPictureArchives, taken in and around Savannah.

Lots of examples of different kinds of ground cover in Georgia. :D

Daniel Beresford
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What a difference a day makes.
Ford stopped by with the current progress on the traversor. This very clever beast is controlled by a simple IR remote from an old CD player.


He also returned the sector plate board so I can work on wiring it up. As such, I took the opportunity to mock up the sector plate.


Finally, I spent some time working on structures for the end board, which is the one that will connect to the traversor.
It's really coming together now. :)
























More to come tomorrow, with any luck.

Last edited on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 10:33 am by Daniel Beresford

Si.
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Hi Daniel :wave:



Looks like that last batch of photos ...

... were taken from a Soviet spy-satellite ! :shocked:



L:



Si.

Daniel Beresford
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Hi Si,

Sorry about that, I posted them from my mobile, and the Flickr app is an absolute joke.

Fixed 'em for you! :D

Si.
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" Sorry about that, I posted them from my mobile "


Hi Daniel :wave:


I really liked them actually ! :thumb:

I was a bit sad to see them go. :f:


They reminded me of Hollywoods 'Enemy Of The State' ...

... or 'Ice Station Zebra'.;)


I think we should have more experimental photography on Freerails. :)



Si.






Here's my favorite photo of a Fender 'Jazzmaster' ... Might be a good poster for your music shop ! :shocked:


Attachment: Jazzmaster 2.jpg (Downloaded 100 times)

Daniel Beresford
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Progress on the merchantile building :D















Daniel Beresford
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Well, Mansfield Show is over for another year, and Piedmont Blues worked out much better than I had anticipated. :)

The to do list has expanded, as is to be expected after the true test of a two day show, but overall the layout performed fantastically.

During the show, further work was done on the layout, as was always the plan. I worked on the scenery whilst Ford ran trains, and then Ford worked on fine tuning the arduino controlled servos and lighting of buildings whilst I ran trains.

I can't claim to understand how it all works, but Ford used an arduino control board to work both the lights and the servos for the points.

Connected to it was an infra-red sensor, which allowed us to use a TV remote to switch the points - allowing for both switching of the points individually, and route setting - throwing multiple points with one button push to line up set routes for the locomotives to take.

For the Bingham show on 14th and 15th of April, we're hoping to have the point frogs wired up to polarity changing switches, so that when the button are pressed to change the routes, it also throws a SPDT switch to change the polarity of the frogs.

This would have been a massive benefit at Mansfield. As it stood, the frogs were dead at the show, which prevented us from using the Atlas Plymouth, and caused the slightly shorter wheelbase GP35 to stall when going one specific route, as it ended up with a truck each on two of the dead frogs at once, meaning it stalled out.

The RS3, having a slightly longer wheelbase, didn't have this issue.

There wasn't much in terms of things to buy on the trade stands for the layout - US O scale isn't exactly all the rage here. That said, I did managed to get a 3-rail K-Line flat car, which will need converting over to 2 rail, as well as a Lionel/Corgi Greyhound bus, which you can see in some of the photographs below.

So here we are. Roll on Bingham show in April! :D













































Daniel Beresford
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Over the last couple of evenings I've started working on weathering the CoG boxcar, using prototype photographs as a guide.

Link to prototype photo: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2448500

Next, the progress so far on replicating it. At this stage it's had a base rust colours applied with acrylic paint, then the rust built up with oil paint, and then weathering chalks added to the still wet oil paint.





The next steps for this car is to seal the work so far with dulcote once the oil paint has dried, then hit the whole car with a wash of isopropyl alcohol and india ink to dull down the shine on the car sides.



Last edited on Sun Mar 11th, 2018 06:01 pm by Daniel Beresford

Daniel Beresford
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Whilst bored at work, I've let my mind wander, and taken the rough shape of the "layout room" in the house I've just put an offer in on - 19'9" x 8'9" - and had a bit of a play in SCARM. A "what might be" flight of fancy, if you will.

Now I've been forced to use the templates for the O scale track already in SCARM, so the dimensions are going to be off, but with handbuilt track I should be able to get it all in a bit better, give or take.

So here's the daydream imagining of what PB could look like in that space.

Whether that happens or not (spoiler alert - probably NOT!), it was a fun little exercise that killed a boring lunch break for me. :D

Streetrunning. Streetrunning everywhere!

Si.
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 Hi Dan :wave:



It looks like an AWESOME trackplan ! :!::!::!::!::!:



STREETRUNNING ! :)



Are you going to work on it a bit more & try some other options as well ?

It looks like a really interesting idea already !



Can we have a new Thread in the 'Track Planning' Forum about it ?  :bg: :thumb:



:2t:



Si.

Daniel Beresford
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Si, I'll sort that as soon as I have 10 minutes :D

Progress last night and today has been a bit scattergun in it's focus, so rather than explain it all I'll show photos. :)

Further weathering on the CoG Boxcar:




Coupler repair and weathering on a BevBel New Haven PS2 hopper:




Painting and weathering on a scratchbuilt corrugated metal lean-to shack:










Interior added to the Hoosier Mama building's loading dock:



I've also added bricked up windows and capping stones to the same building, then I've cut out one of the boarded up windows on the Habbaker's building, and I've been working on finished the garage with the wooden tower added to the top. I'll get photos of that later, when it' done. :)

Daniel Beresford
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Work over the last couple of days has been on the 3 story brick/wooden tower building. Here's the latest progress:







Daniel Beresford
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Today I've been working on the scenery on the centre board. I'd say it's about 75% complete for now. Once the scenery is done, I'll get started on the structures.



The caboose in the photos is a Lionel 3 Rail model which I am in the process of converting to 2 rail. So far I've done the trucks, next I need to do the couplers and the underframe detail. After that it'll need to add a rooftop solar panel and battery box, then the correct paint scheme to represent a "Local" assigned cab.















Daniel Beresford
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Weekend update time, I guess. :)



Mostly I've been working on scenery for the centre board, however I've also done a bit of structure and rolling stock work.



First up, I've turned this K-Line 3 Rail boom car...







...Into this 2 rail flat car:







It still needs a brake wheel, then the lettering painting out and replacing with something more fitting - probably CB&Q :)





Next, the loading dock at the back of the layout. I've been working on a building to go here, but decided instead to put a loading dock here and then potentially add the building in as a flat building by fixing it to a sheet of plywood which would bolt into the side of the benchwork once the layout is set up at shows. Mainly because space is a premium in my car, and I'm not sure I could fit the originally planned building in the car!








Finally, we needed a way to hide the servos used to power the turnout throw bars. I made a ballast bin out of scrap wood and styrene, and a stack of ties from strips of suitable sized balsa wood.








Close ups of the ballast bin. Stanley Knife (box cutter to Americans :) ) for scale.









The hinges, latch and padlock all need painting still.





Hopefully I can get the fencing for the lumber yard finished today.

Si.
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Hi Dan :wave:



The K-Line conversion looks really good.





Nice appearance to the steel-work, with the new trucks ? and 'Real Wood'(TM) decking. :cool:


Piedmont is really ROCKIN' !! :thumb:



I do like a bit of mooodern 'HO' or 'O'. :)



:cb:



Si.

Daniel Beresford
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Cheers Si!

Just hoping I can find some cheap CB&Q decals to use - I'm thinking some HO ones should be fine for the side of a flat car.

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With the centre board almost complete, I've turned my attention back to the end board to get that finished, so I can focus my full attention on the sector plate board for the last few weeks before Bingham show. :)



Si.
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Hi Dan :wave:



Here's an unusual photo I came across on Google Images ...





... thought you might like it.



:)



Si.
 

Daniel Beresford
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Si, I've got a 40' boxcar shell sitting in my spares box...


I've been quiet on the layout front as of late, because I've been working on one of the more mind numbing parts of the build - laying cobbles between the rails, and carving the roadway. There's about 30" of this to do, and I'm about half way through it.

Afterwards it'll get sand between the cobbles, then the whole thing will be getting painted and weathered. I am hoping to have it done by the end of the week. :)

Once that's done, I can get get started on the Georgia Hardware Company building which will go over and around the cobbled street/tracks.

Between these, I'll be working on ground cover on this module, which will hopefully complete the basic scenery for the whole layout, and with loads of time to get it done ready for the Bingham show in 10 days time. ;)

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Bingham show is now over, and it was a truly great little exhibition. Definitely worth the visit for the public, I think.

Piedmont Blues did us proud. With only small issues of dirty track and an overexited servo powering one of the turnouts, plus rusty wheels on the RS3 and GP35 needing a good clean, the show went really well.

All the minor issues were fixed respectively with a thorough cleaning with a block of wood and some isoproyl alcohol, disconnecting the servo and operating the turnout by hand for 20 minutes to allow it to cool down, and then running the layout using the Plymouth switcher for a while whilst the two 4 axle locos had their wheels serviced.

Not many changes were made to the layout whilst we were at the show - with the exception of a couple of crossed ties at the end of the Georgia Hardware spur to stop cars running off the end of the layout.

Instead, we were focused on taking turns running trains, and whilst one of us was doing that, Ford would work on lighting the buildings, and I was working on freight car projects.

Speaking of:



With the exception of adding the running numbers to the car ends, this one is now ready for weathering. Hopefully I'll have that done, and a full loose load of woodchips done by Seaboard Southern in September.

The car was set up on the end of our layout tables as a display piece for the public.



We're planning to have a full information display ready for September as well, showing prototype photographs of the area we are modelling.

On the subject of photographs, here are a bunch I took showing the layout set up in it's (current) entirity...

































Lots to do between now and September, but before anything can happen with the layout, I need to finalise purchase of my new house and get moved in, as I'll have the space to have the layout set up permanently so I can work on it. :)

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Hi Dan :wave:



Good to hear the 'Bingham Show' was a successful event.

The photos of the layout there are great. :)



The new wood chip car build of yours, looks like a really unique piece of rolling stock.

N   I   C   E   !   :cool:



Here's another Southern rolling stock oDdiTy for you Dan.





Supposed to be unusual lettering/numbering. L:

The typeface certainly doesn't look very 'Southern' to my 'untrained' eyes.

Perhaps there's a story to it & maybe the 'experts' like you or Bobby know the score.



:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



Si.



Great news on the new pad ! :thumb:

That MEGA trackplan may not be just a 'dream' after all !! :bg:




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