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Tom Harbin
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I accidentally highjacked Kyle's thread on his On30 track plan. 
Rather than continue to highjack his thread, I am starting a new thread for my railroad, currently called the Yellow Creek Western.

If you would like more information on it, I have a blog at trainblog.tharbin.com. 
I'm just going to add enough here to give a little background information on what currently exists and where I would like to take the layout. 
I will break this into two posts. The first (this one) will give the background and the second will be the redesign. 

I am hoping to get some feedback like Lee B and KitbashOn30 started to give me on Kyle's thread.

The original layout was called the Summit Ridge Railroad after the name that was on the station. 

It was not designed to be an actual layout but rather part of a Christmas Village display in our living room during the Christmas season.

The layout is roughly 3.5 x 6.5 feet. 
Rather than a simple oval of track, I added a few sidings. 
The idea was that I could switch between a passenger train and a freight train by moving one or the other to a siding,
and to have a few places to park other cars to make it look more like a railroad.

The layout was built on a 1" slab of pink foam and I used some WS 2% risers to add some grades. 
The layout was supposed to be stored most of the year so it was kept fairly thin and light. 
Originally the track was Bachmann EZ track just laid on the board.

The original track plan:






That was quickly changed but I never made a track plan. 
Basically, added some of Bachmann's filler pieces to enlarge the loop, turn it a little more toward the "staging yard" and straightened out the inside siding.

Before I finished the initial landscaping I pulled off the EZ track and ordered some ME On30 code 83 flex and switches. 
I just did not like the look of the HO track and it was obnoxiously loud. 
The sectional look also made it too toy-like for my tastes.

The ME track installed easily. 
I should probably add at this point that other than an N Scale sectional layout-on-a-door built 30 years ago, this was my first layout.

This is a rough approximation of the final trackplan. 
Note that this was done after the fact in AnyRail so it is not exact. 
The trackplan was actually devised real time by fitting flex into the scenery utilizing the areas and ramps from the Bachmann track.







Since this topic area is about layout planning I should add the minimum radius is 15
(except for one tiny spot that is about 14 and 7/8 just to annoy me) 
and the switches are all #5 with servos under layout.

This was how the Christmas Village looked two days before Christmas. 
Much left to be done but...







Since then, I went back and painted/ballasted the track, did more SculptaMoulding, added ground cover etc.

I will follow up with another post that explains where the layout is today and where I would like to take it.

Thanks,

Tom



Tom Harbin
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Continued...


The layout was moved to my office after Christmas and never left again. Just too lazy to move it back to the living room. 
After reading many posts about the problems with snow scenes (yellowing, dust and dirt, etc.) we decided to make it Christmas season but not snow covered. 
I puttered at the layout for several years in tiny dibs and drabs probably only a few hours per year and ran it occasionally--and all of the Christmas season.

I eventually added a freight station that was a Rusty Stumps laser kit but I never finished it.

The layout looked like this just before things changed:







The reason I took the photo above was because a friend gave me 2 dozen trees, a 0-4-2 Porter, a Davenport, another Zephyr and 18 pieces of ME On30 code 83 track.

I decided it was time for a change. 
The two spurs that acted as staging were too short, even a few inches longer would have greatly increased their usefulness.  
Their is no passing siding, no escape tracks no way to turn an engine let alone train etc.
This was, and still is, a display layout.

First thing was I decided to move the freight station to the end of the staging area and extend the tracks. 
Then move a depot back to the end of the long inside spur.







My wife mentioned that she liked my building more than the ceramic ones and maybe I should replace the buildings with my own.

5 minutes later:







I needed to add some foam for the new freight station location anyway so I decided to enlarge the layout. 
I built two 8 foot L girders and attached them to the desk frame I was using and moved the layout to one end. 
My first thought was a reverse loop.







It did not take me long to decide it was worse than no reverse loop, at least as configured. 
I also figured out that the height, while fine for a living room display, was too short for a layout. 
I added 1x6 crossbeams to elevate it more and to give me someplace to hang stuff.







I have found out that I enjoy building someone-else's-designed buildings quite a bit, 
so I'm currently playing with building placement and realigning the "street" to handle more normal-sized O scale buildings.







So why am I writing this? 
Well I don't really want to throw this layout away just yet. 
I'm learning a lot from tinkering with it and it has some emotional attachment as well.

I would though like to fix it though and hopefully add a little more than chasing its tail to the layout before I retire it. 
I'd rather not mess with the back half if I can avoid it because getting those switches in where I could actually use the spurs was not easy. 
I played with it quite a few times to get something that worked. 
I will pull up at least the one section of the loop just in front of the small rock between it and the staging spur. 
It is the under-radius spot.

Since I am pulling that up I could pull up the front switch as well. 
I have already pulled up the staging tracks back to the switch and I will pull up the switch. 
I am going to, will attempt to, build FastTrack #4s in the staging area.

While I would love a larger loop (I like the train running while I'm working fairly often so I need a continuous run) I don't see an easy way to do it. 
I am considering just adding an engine terminal in the currently unplanned area.

The short inside spur is currently thought to be a team track and the long one a passenger depot.

Thoughts, suggestions (other than start over)?

Tom



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Hi Tom  :wave:



AWESOME story & photos covering the 'history' of your railroad !  :thumb:



I really enjoyed reading the story ...

... just the kinda thing I like about Freerails ... 'Reality Railroading' !  ;)



I always admire the 'pioneering spirit' of the adventurous 'build & extend' kinda 'track non-plan'.  :cool:

I think it can work very well & it looks like yours is a good example of that.



What to do next ?  ???
I'll leave ideas about that to the top brains of the Forum !  :brill:

But I might have an idea or two  .   .    .      L:



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




Si.


Kyle Moore
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I thought the conversation in my thread was very interesting though :2t:


It looks like a great small setup, if you were looking to do more I would probably try to use the yard (not sure if it is called that) as an area to extend into a larger space. 

I was thinking like a small 4 inch shelf to run around the room and when you are transporting the layout a way to disconnect the layout from the run around. 

That could also add some space for larger trains as well.


Tom Harbin
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Kyle,

My wife likes that idea also. 
I can't see a way to make it work in the room I'm currently using however. 

Here is an attempt to show the room:







The green area is the current layout and the yellow area is the currently proposed expansion area. 
The wall that the layout is on is 9'11" long. 
The window goes from about 3' up to about 7'. 
Since it is a south facing wall, the window gets a little warm in the summer so for 9 months of the year I have an insulated curtain that covers it. 
There is also a full slat-fin shade in the window casing that is normally closed. 
Things do not last long exposed directly to the window, even with the shade closed.
There is also a walk in closet door that I forgot to show on the longer of the two short walls opposite the window wall. 
That closet door stays open all of the time to help cool the equipment in it (computers).

For additional information, the largest loco that will run is a Bachmann inside frame 4-4-0. 
I have relegated the Mogul and the 36' passenger cars to a display shelf. 
The coaches will be 22' Mount Blue coaches (one already built). 
I still have the 18' Bachmann freight cars but they have been removed and will be replaced with 14' Chiver's Fineline cars and possibly a few 12' and 14' Silver City cars.
Since both the the passenger and freight cars are close to a scale 6' width, I may use On2 track spacing instead of On30.

The time frame I'm aiming for is the late 1800s, probably around 1880-1885.

Thanks for the input, it is an appealing idea. 
I may move to another room that would allow at least an L-shape but I want to see what I can do with this space before I give up and move.

Tom 

Michael M
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Tom,

Careful with the track spacing.  

You may need room to get your fingers in there to re-rail cars or for uncoupling.  

I keep a minimum spacing of 3.5" on parallel tracks on my 35n2 layout, but a little more is better.



Tom Harbin
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Michael,

That is a very good point. 
Right now there is little switching going on as the "layout" wasn't really designed for operation (not sure I could have done a decent operations layout anyway). 
Also the two spurs in the "staging area" are torn up for now.

When I do switching moves I use a RIX decoupler but there is always the odd (Oh #!##!).

The layout is so small that I try to economize everywhere I can. 
I am even switching to shorter cars to make it look bigger.

To make it worse, I am seriously considering switching to Link and Pin couplers.

Thanks

Tom

Lee B
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Tom Harbin wrote: I am hoping to get some feedback like Lee B and KitbashOn30 started to give me on Kyle's thread.





Careful what you wish for!
Seriously, the two spurs at the upper right, I'd put them together at the end with a turnout and just enough track for a loco to 'escape' from a head-in switching move.
I'd also not have the interior spurs end so close to the mainlines. 
Trust me, they look odd when you do that (I cut a spur on my own layout back quite a bit after doing so before the scenery went in).
You could also run a one-car spur to the mainline where it curves at the upper left, for operating potential 
(with a ramp for flat cars or along the side of the track for side loading for a boxcar).


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Tom Harbin wrote: The layout is so small that I try to economize everywhere I can. I am even switching to shorter cars to make it look bigger.

That makes sense.

Don't have an On30 layout at home right now, 
but I built new bodies for some Bachmann HO 4-wheel cars in Thomas the Tank Engine range when some came available at close to half price.

Also used some  HO scale 36ft old timer, and Athearn 40ft, car frames. 
Well, dang, don't seem to have ever put any decent images of them up on Flickr.
Had a number on P-bucket until that day when ...

Okay, cars in background here will give the idea,






Another advantage of really short cars is that there is minimal coupler displacement from track centerline on really sharp curves.






Tom Harbin
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Lee,

Do you mean the two spurs at the upper left?

I was going to change that to three spurs that are just a little longer. 
If you look at the last photo of my second post I have an overlay of what I was planning to do. 
The overlay just uses Bachmann track sections since I didn't have FastTracks #4 pieces in AnyRail.

I understand what you mean about the escape track. 
I'll see what I can do. 
The reason they stop short of the back of the layout is that I plan on having a creek wind around from behind the spurs to the left of the freight station.

I agree on the other spurs being too close to the mainline. 
The short one looks better now that it is a team track but still not great. 
The long spur to the depot looks dumb. 
I have a small extension of the "mountain" that is at the end that helps and I may make it taller when I convert the "mountain" into part of the cut, 
but cutting it back some would probably be a good idea.

I need to think about your last suggestion a little. 
I don't have a lot of room for my buildings as it is but another spur of the mainline would be good.

Tom

Tom Harbin
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KitbashOn30,

That is a great idea with the Thomas cars. 
I just purchased 11 Chiver's Finelines On30 14' cars. 
I already had one I built years ago (and finally painted). 
I didn't think ahead though and ordered them all with standard trucks.
I would like to have a few 4-wheel cars as well and that would be a great way to do it!

Also, I like the paint scheme on your Porter. 
Is that a Banta cab on it?

I have a bunch of Bachmann 18' cars but I figured the 14' cars save me an inch per car which means longer trains and more cars per siding. 
I also switched out the Bachmann 36' coaches for Mount Blue 22' coaches (only one built so far). 
Makes the loop seem less like a loop.

Tom

Tom Harbin
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Well here is one plan I am considering. 







It eliminates the small loop, replacing it with a large outer loop and moving the freight area inside the loop. 
I may make the outer loop smaller and move the freight area back to the outside as I really don't like having everything inside the loop. 
Disregard any little s-curves. 
I haven't tried to "get it right" as a plan but rather a concept.

I also need to work on the run-around on the freight siding as I want to have 9" or so between it and the "mainline".

I also may change part of the cut for the right hand of the loop into a tunnel through a hill. 
That depends a lot on testing my existing structures for fit.

The spur that goes nowhere just before the freight spurs will probably lead to a 9" turntable and some engine/caboose facilities.

The shorter inside spur may also end up shorter and acting as a spur for a yet-to-be-decided industry. 
Currently it is a team track. 
If I do change it I will add another spur for a team track to the freight area.

I am playing with a few more ideas but this one seems the best so far.

Tom

Tom Harbin
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The other main "concept" I am looking into is to scrap this layout and build a shelf layout of 119" x 30". 

That would actually fit the space better but since I require a continuous run, that would force me to use 12" curves, 
which relegates my 4-4-0s to the display shelf or a little chunk of goes nowhere on the layout while the Porters run the loop.

Tom


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Tom Harbin wrote: KitbashOn30,

Also, I like the paint scheme on your Porter. Is that a Banta cab on it?



Thanks! 

Is the stock cab with some paint experimentation.



Kitbash0n30
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I don't recall whether you have said or not, and I don't feel good and am not going to look back through the thread
is there enough layout space available in a suitable room configuration to move that freight area to a shelf perpendicular to the oval, 
and thereby make the layout a sort-of "L" with one really fat part and one really skinny part?



Tom Harbin
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No there isn't but I think I see where you are going with that. 
I'm going to look at the other rooms again to see if that idea might fit one of them instead.

Hope you feel better.

Tom

Tom Harbin
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Well, I haven't made any real progress on the track plan yet but I have made a little progress on the planning-the-plan part. 
I add a couple of photos to keep it from being too dry, I hope.

Every time I get ready to scrap the existing layout either I or my wife get cold feet. 
We just plain like it for whatever reason. 
At the same time I want to move forward and have more operational potential. 
There is really no where else to put the layout and it is already too wide (about 45 inches) for the room's other uses.

As much as I like my 4-4-0s, I like critters even more and the space really needs to be 119" x 30" to not interfere with other activities. 
The 4-4-0 needs a 15" radius to be comfortable whereas my Porters and Davenport can use 9". 
That is obviously a much better fit for the space.

The current layout will be kept but not expanded, but possibly extended for the moment.
I am currently converting it to an old-southwest layout.







Here is a view of the main street as it stands.

I've stripped off all of the fences, ground clutter, plants, trees etc. and most of the talus.
I've filled but not sculptamolded the "skating rink" and laid out the basic idea for the town site.







I'm planning to bring the freight station inside the yard tracks to maintain the current footprint for the layout. 
We plan to take it back to the living room this Christmas season and use it as a "Southwestern Christmas Village". 
Then we will decide its fate. 

The unfinished (well they are all unfinished-but the one with no outer side walls, windows or doors yet) 
is a Stoney Creek Meat Market/Land Office and the red paper is the footprint for the Stoney Creek Bookstore. 







In the meantime, I am starting to plan out (in my head so far) the new layout. 
It may replace this one or connect to it. 
If it connects it will probably have to go on a second level as going around the room is just not possible. 
I'm planning either a point to point or point to loop (or possibly a loop to loop) 
mining layout with 9" minimum curves and 4% grades based very, very loosely on the Morenci Southern with a hint of Coronado. 

If I can figure out something that is not too ugly, I'd like to connect the mining scene to this layout via the outside staging yard track. 
If not, this layout will probably be scrapped as I don't really have someplace to store it during the non-Christmas season.

Thanks for looking,

Tom

Tom Harbin
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Just a quick update.


Since I'm bored and I really like little, portable layouts, I'm designing a 2' x 4' On30 layout. 
9" minimum radius, #4 FastTrack turnouts, ME code 83 On30 track, 4% grades and only 3" vertical clearance. 
Motive power will be steam critters and Porters. 
Cars will be a Mount Blue 18' Combine and some Chiver's 14' cars or shorter.


The plan is not done yet. 
I want to add at least one escape track to a possible additional micro-size layout. 
That one would be triangular in shape and contain just a wye and maybe a building or two.

Here is the plan so far:







While I basically like it, it does have some issues (I would guess many really small layouts have issues)
The tracks are too close to the edges, I'll protect them somehow.
I don't have a good place to escape to the wye layout--if ever built; and I don't have a place for the ore cars to end up.

I should have labeled the plan but I'll try to explain. 
The lower depot is at the end of the stub siding near the trestle. 
The train backs in using the longer siding off the main. 
There will be another depot at the top of the loop just above the outside tunnel. 
The siding near the upper depot is on the mountain and leads to the mine.

I had planned to use the other lower siding for engine service or freight but it could be a smelter. 
The smelter could also be off layout if I build the wye.

Any comments?


Michael M
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It always makes me nervous when tracks come too close to the edge of the layout.  
Too much chance for a prized loco to take a nosedive.

You may be trying to fit too much track into the space available.  
Get some scrap cardboard and lay out your 2' x 4' space.  
Take a few track pieces and lay them out to get an idea how things look.  
Tape together a few buildings out of some scrap cardboard just to see how much real estate they take up. 


In many cases less is more.



Si.
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Hi Tom  :wave:



I have to agree with Michael ...  :old dude:

... not enough space at the edges of the benchwork makes me VERY NERVOUS !  :w:



I tried a while back, for a maximum track in 4' x 2' type of plan.  :shocked:

My scale is 1:35n2, but the track is still 16.5mm & some locos are 'upscaled' On30.

So my 2' gauge stuff is not really much bigger than a lot of 1:48 On30, except for any structures.  L:



I came up with this track plan, which I think is really pushing the limits for what is possible in 4' x 2'





The heights of the track on the SAVAGE GRADES involved are shown on the drawing in inches.  :shocked:

It might be that I could get away with slightly less 'loading gauge' clearance by 1" maybe.  L:

Track radius is drawn as 10" except for the switches, which are drawn as 24" radius.

The idea is for a mine on the left of the scene & some ore-bins on the right of the scene.  :mex:



It may or may not help you much Tom ?  ???

But I really couldn't pack much more in here, especially parallel tracks at different heights !

The space to the 'concrete canyon' of THE FLOOR is still only 2" in places as well.  :w:

Mmm .  .   .



:moose:




Si.


Michael M
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Si,

Didn't Woodie do a On20 layout some time back?  

Can't find the thread right now.

But I think it was about 3' x 5' in size, and had a passing track and one or two sidings.



Tom Harbin
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Michael and Si,

I like your track plan Si. Seems to be very aggressive grades there!

Unfortunately, I have to agree with both of you. 
The tracks that close to the edge make me nervous as well and will be almost impossible to scenic well.

I did mock up part of it last night and got out a Porter 0-4-2 and a Mount Blue coach (I haven't built the combine yet but they are the same size). 
Turns out the combo is a little longer than I thought (11") so the depot lead is 2" too short for the passenger train to clear the inside spur switch.

On top of that since it is a twice around my high point is only 16' above the canyon floor.
Might as well just toss the ore off the cliff. It looks silly.

What I really wanted was a very small loop to loop but could not figure a way to fit it in.
This layout needs to have a continuous run. 
I find that having a small train slowly puttering around a track is very relaxing, kind of like the effect of a nice salt water coral reef aquarium in the room.

Part of my current train of thought is to keep the original Yellow Creek Western as is with a few fixes and add a connector track to the outside world.

If I come up with a plan for this 2'x4' that works, it will also have a connector. 
Then I can build a wedge shaped mini that is just a wye and possibly a depot that the original layout and this one can connect to. 
Then the trains on the big layout (3.5'x6.5') with 15" curves can connect to a depot on the wye. 
Likewise the small layout (this one) would be able to also connect to the wye. 

That gives a transfer point for both railroads and a way to reverse a train for both,
but still allows me to take the main layout into the living room for the Christmas season,
and still have a small roundy-round in the office that could be taken out to the public.

I'm not planning on them being parts of a sectional layout and no real scenic blending,
just three layouts that I can connect together and that fit on one wall of my office.


Thank you both. Looks like 'm back to the drawing board, well computer screen.

Tom


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Michael,

This made me think. 
I could actually go as far as 3'x4' for the layout. 
I just had 2'x4' stuck in my head. 
The 4' though is an absolute maximum.


Tom

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There's no reason why you can't just keep your current layout...at least for the time being.

Add a couple of switches so that you can connect additional sections later.


Atlas had a shelf layout with a wye.  

As I recall it used three wye switches and 18" radius curves but was very compact and only took up a few square feet.



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Tom,

That's the one!  

Glad you found it.

I was thinking the layout was larger than 2' x 4', but maybe it just seemed that way.



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Michael,

Is this the one you are referring to  Gila Tramway ? 
I just happened across it. 
Great thread. 
Thanks. 

You are also right about the less is more. 
If I look at almost all of the layouts that make go WOW they have much less trackage than the average. 
They are also usually point to point although they may have a continuous run added for convenience.

Tom


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" I could actually go as far as 3'x4' for the layout. 

I just had 2'x4' stuck in my head "



Hi Tom  :wave:



I had 2' x 4'  " stuck in my head "  as well.  ;)

Probably because I didn't want the damn thing STUCK IN MY DOORWAY !  :f:



2' x 4' in my opinion, is just about the biggest 'sensible' chunk of benchwork that's practical.  L:

OK we can give & take & stretch that a bit if needed.  :P

But I need to be able to move a module, without extra hands help & not damage it or the scenery.  :f:



My doorways, as I'm sure many peoples are, measure a pretty standard 2' 6" wide.  L:

Also it is difficult & a pain in the neck & back ! to constantly have to reach much over 2' to scenic a wall fixed module.  :f:



I'm still tinkering with my 2' x 4'  SAVAGE GRADED  track plan.  L:

I may have to 'break the rules' & extend over the 2' x 4' sensible size !  :shocked:



I've got some more ramblings on 'grades' which will have to come ...   L   a   t   e   r   .    .     .      :slow:



:moose:




Si.


Tom Harbin
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Si,

I have decided to stay with 2'x4' for this module.
It is really just something to play with in the office while the big layout is in the living room, and for all of the reasons you mentioned. 
I'll just simplify the trackplan considerably. 
I'm also going to use 3% and maybe one 2% grade as I have some WS risers laying around that need a good home.

I did cut the 1" foam to 2'x4' 
(one inch in pink with scoring or 1" blue with coved edges are all that is available without ordering bulk through a distributor up in Phoenix)
I also laid out the now defunct track plan on it to do a reality check. Not a pretty thing.

That said I will probably put building the 2x4 on hold until the end of November,
as I need to get enough of the main layout rebuilt to move it to the living room for the  Christmas season. 

I still want to get it planned out though. 
I'm thinking something closer to the Gilpin Tram or a few others I have seen in magazines and at carendt,com . 
 
I have a problem however, if I don't stay out of the "Narrow Gauge" forum I will never get anything done on either layout. 
I went there yesterday to see why a moose on a mountain was so mysterious and what all this talk about 35n2 was all about. 
I never even got to the Moose. 
I spent the entire morning lost on a charming French island which led me to the Mogollon (at least I was nearer home) which led me to Silver City and eventually the Gilpin. 

I was supposed to teach myself how to build a turnout yesterday, didn't happen.

I started to get out my track supplies and now I'm bogged down reading about bars that are owned by domestic animals.

Tom 

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Tom, Michael...the Gila Tram is doing fine. 
It's a 2 by 4 foot layout with 10" radius curves.
After I built it, a close friend got really ill and couldn't work on his HOn30 layout so I gave him the GT along with the little Shay and ore cars. 
He ran the train around and around every day and got to enjoy seeing a train run. 
After he passed, his wife wanted me to have the GT back so it has a place of honor in my little office where I watch the Shay and 0-4-4t run almost every day...around and around.
BTW, the Shay and Grandt Gilpin ore cars are over 20 years old and still operate flawlessly. Such memories...

Woodie


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Woodie,

You have really forced me to neglect my MRR duties. 
I spent many hours reading your threads on here instead of working on the railroad.
Actually, time very well spent. Thank you for sharing. 
Now if I can just keep from thinking about RC/battery control and 35n2 long enough to finish something in On30.

Still running after 20 years? 
If I remember correctly the Shay started out as a MDC HOn3 two-truck Shay didn't it? 
I always thought they were "problematic".

Your story about the Gilpin Tram is very touching.
I have been thinking about building something small for a friend that no longer has the time but loves trains. Just may do it.

Thanks,

Tom


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Well I did force myself off of the forum long enough to start my first home-built turnout.

Not scratch built since I used FastTracks everything and still it only came out okay. 
But it is very smooth. 

I still need to cut the frog isolation gaps but want it to set up overnight first, 
then some stain/paint/whatever and it hopefully will be part of the new freight yard in Yellow Creek.






Tom

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I didn't really know where to put this but since I have the post about my first turnout here, I figured this was as good a place to ask as any. 
It is a plain vanilla Fast Track turnout with PC ties.

I finished cutting the rails and painting/staining the turnout but I have a question. 
My question is about the PC ties under the points. 
How do you paint them or whatever so that they aren't shiny copper? 

I used an acrylic primer and then acrylic paint on the pc ties and they look okay at a distance but the paint just scrapes off under the points when they move. 
I thought about a chemical blackener but thought I remembered reading that they should not be used on copper-clad board. 
Am I over-thinking and just should have blasted the turnout with auto primer or one of those camo sprays?

Tom

 

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Try a chemical blackener. 

They do not build up like paint.

Jose.



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At the urging of a few others here I've been making my own stub switches.  

Surprisingly they actually work pretty well.





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Jose,  thank you. 
My concerns were 
a) would the blackener delaminate the copper from the board and 
b) would the blackener somehow compromise the electrical or mechanical solder joints.

Michael, you have more courage than me. 
If I wanted to do this layout "right" I would be using stubs as well but I figured if I could just get a working slip switch I would be happy. 

I understand the geometry for a stub is actually different though the diverging route and I haven't found a good template for it either. 
I think I read that the diverging route is actually curved all the way through instead of returning to straight right after the frog. 

Also can you build that at the workbench and then install it? 
It seems to me it would be two separate pieces that have to be aligned very precisely.
I'm not sure I could do that with my current subroadbed (just ties glued to the foam board). 

I would really like to be using stubs and harp stands but I am just learning to crawl when it comes to "real" model railroading skills. 
Are the stubs in your build thread? 
I have started to read it but then forced myself to go build a turnout.

Tom  


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Tom,

I draw out the stub switch on a piece of paper and construct it at the work bench.  
I find them much easier to make than point switches.  
The hardest part for me is the frog.  

For alignment I solder a short piece of brass rod on the outside rails of the stub.  
This keeps the lead track from going too far one way of the other.  

I make a very crude Harp Stand out of styrene.











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Michael,

Those look great. I just may have to try my hand at it.

Thanks,
Tom

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Just as a follow up on the turnout. 
I tried Jose's suggestion. 
I first dipped a piece of my PC tie material into my A-West Blacken-It and it did not seem to suffer any ill effects. 
Now my Blacken-It is at least 20 years old so it may not be quite full strength.

Anyway I then tried it on the turnout. 
Trying to use it on a built turnout meant I had to brush it on but still it took away the shine which was my main concern. 
It did however create just enough of a surface roughness or maybe thickness to bind the points a slight amount. 
I think it will work itself out okay.







The wood ties and the PC ties are close enough in color that it is really not noticeable unless close up and the shine is gone.







I still have to finish the weathering but I think I'll call this experiment a success. 
I figured the first turnout would probably be a throw away but, while not good, it is okay and will probably be a part of the yard ladder.

Tom

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Tom,

Very nice work on the switch (turnout). :glad:

You're much neater at putting it together than I am.  

I tend to get a bit sloppy, but then I don't worry about gaps in the rail using BPRC.


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Michael,

BPRC; I can't think about it. 
I keep going back to the Narrow Gauge forum and reading the threads over and over (instead of building my layout). 
The idea of not having track wiring is VERY appealing. No gaps, no dirty track issues, no gobs of track wiring...

I still need to justify what I already have which includes a half dozen DCC engines and TWO command stations (just Zephyrs and one was given to me but still...).

Thanks for the compliment on the turnout. 
I am rather surprised that it was as easy as it was, mainly due to the hand-holding of the Fast Tracks stuff but I actually feel like I could build one on a paper template now. 
That's not bad considering the only flex track I ever laid is what you see on this little layout.

Speaking of the flex track, after seeing it next to the wood/PC tie layout--well I will probably need to hand lay some of the track and eventually all of it. 
Too bad, I started this expansion to use some of the 18 pieces of ME flex my friend gave me.

Tom


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Tom,

I started out using flex track, but at the urging of some here on this forum I started hand laying track.  
Since you are not building your own turnouts why not give hand laying a try?  
You could still use the rail from the ME flex track.

Since I use BPRC I generally use brass rail which is cheap and sometimes even free.



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Thought I would give a little update.

I have been working on another structure for the town. 
It is a Stoney Creek Designs Meat Market/Real Estate Office.

















While I'm waiting for some supplies for the structure I've gone back to my track "plan".







Since I still need to tear out the switch that goes downgrade to the freight stubs and the rail that goes to the left at least as far as the small straight area. 
[I think] I've decided to tear up all of the track and hand-lay new track throughout.

As for the track plan, simple. 
I'll do the landforms and basic "town" layout and then put tracks wherever there isn't a building. 
Good plan huh?

Si, there is so little "track plan" in this thread that maybe it doesn't belong in this forum.
Do you have a "Pipe Dreams" or maybe a "Round-To-It" forum?

Tom


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" Si, there is so little "track plan" in this thread that maybe it doesn't belong in this forum.

Do you have a "Pipe Dreams" or maybe a "Round-To-It" forum? "



Hi Tom  :wave:


Sounds like you're being a bit hard on yourself !  :old dude:

You seem to be very busy with 'Expanding' as your Thread suggests !!  :shocked:



There is nothing worse than succumbing to the 'Must have a HUGE layout instantly' mindset.  :Crazy:

That's a sure fire way to catch 'anti-creativitus', for which there is no known cure !  :w:



I think your Thread is GREAT !  :bg:

You are entertaining me for one & probably many others who are thinking about and/or making a practical layout.  L:



You have covered masses of stuff one doesn't always think of when layout building.

Plus of course loads of  C :cool: :cool: L  other stuff like your new ^^ structure.

Keep up the nice work & always remember you can do 'it' however YOU want to !  :P



As for what Forum you are in, it's your choice.  ???

We are not running a prison camp here at Freerails ... thank goodness.

But if you wanna say get The Yellow Creek Western moved to the On30 Forum, we can do that no problem.  :thumb:



:)




Si.

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Si,

If you're fine with it here, so am I. 
At least I'll know where to find it. 

I've been keeping the non-planning part as short as possible to not get too far from planning versus building/re-building. 
Guess I'll just go for it and if someone thinks it should be moved to On30, I'm fine with that also. 
I just need someplace to vent and get ideas.

Tom

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Hi Tom  :wave:



The WORST THING to do as a Member ... is NOT POSTING ones ideas & models etc. !  :f:

There is a place for everyone & everything here at Freerails.  :)

I think the diversity of the ideas & models here, is what makes Freerails a mine of railroadin' inspiration !  :thumb:



It's all part of Mission Modeling anyway !  :shades:


Post whatever takes yer fancy at the time is my general theory.  :brill:

The story just   g   r   o   w   s   .   .   .   :slow:



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




Si.

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Before anyone asks. 
I know it would be faster to just make a new baseboard and go from there. 
I have three, no four, reasons to recycle instead of replace:

1. I can no longer get standard 1" 4'x8' sheets of foam anywhere remotely local (that wording just sounds wrong but I'll go with it anyway). 
I used to be able to get both half inch and one inch pink foam in four by eight sheets from Home Depot, 
or one inch (with lipped edges) blue foam in two by four sheets from Lowes. 
Home Depot now only sells the one inch four by eights but they are now scored which significantly weakens them as a baseboard.

2. The "cut" at the right hand side was the single hardest, messiest and longest single job on the layout. 
It was made with all hydrocal rocks from Woodland Scenics molds. 
The biggest is maybe three inches by four inches. 
They are all stacked, rotated, cut up, etc. to make the cut.

3. I have enough foam on hand to "finish" this baseboard but not enough to replace it.

4. Where's the fun in doing it the easy way?

Tom 


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Sometimes a fresh canvas is the best way to start rather than trying to force things to work.

I've got a re-build that I'm slowly working on and just thought it better to start from scratch.  

It was a little scary to make the decision, but I'm glad I did.  

All kinds of new possibilities are presenting themselves.

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Hi Tom  :wave:



I thought I'd add a few of my random thoughts to the party.  :P

My last 'layout' would now be considered historical ... Cos it was made  s o o o o o  long ago.  :old dude:



I didn't know $4!7 about 'operations' back then & maybe still don't !  L:

But I got lucky with my 'non-track' plan.  :shocked:

Whacked the track down 5-mins after getting it back from the store.

And BINGO ! ... A reasonably good, but entirely lucky loada track down.


- - - - - - -





The single biggest problem for operations on this ^^ trackplan ...

... is the fact that the tracks in the centre are both facing the wrong way.  :f:



If they were facing in the opposite direction ...  :dt:

... you could switch cars from the fork on the left, to the tracks in the centre no problem.

But as it is, without a runaround-loop, which would not be needed if the centre tracks were reversed ...

... you cant !  :f:



I'm sure you've already realised that, but it might help anyone looking in who hasn't ...

... it's just the kind of thing that can happen if you are an operations neewbeey, like ME !  ???



:mex:




Si.

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Si,

Very good point about the points (switches)!

I do realize it, when I'm doing operations, and then promptly forget it again when I think about track planning!

If I end up tearing out all of the track I can actually fix at least the longer inside stub.
Notice I said if. I'm still debating the whole rebuild/replace dilemma. 

On one hand I think it is an interesting exercise to take a fairly typical Christmas Village and turn it into a model railroad. 
It is also interesting how you extend a foamboard layout. I have decided the L-Girder backbone I built has to go. 
It was a comfortable way station but too old school and semi-permanent for where I want to take the layout.

I think I have a way to expand it without resorting to external support but I'm not sure I want to go there just yet. 
One problem is that right now, if I just slap down some track to replace what I tore up I could give this to someone with no layout. 
It is already set up for DCC with servo controlled points, even a programming track. 
Once the track is all off; if I decide to scrap it--I just scrap it.


I may also have an answer to my foam availability problem, Polyiso. 
Steve Hatch uses it for his modules and it is available locally in 2". 
Never considered it because of the foil sheathing.

I know I should probably just throw the whole thing in the dumpster and build a 30" x <= 119" layout (in sections).
But I can't give up my 4-4-0s just yet.

You said you're okay with random thoughts, well there were a few.

Thanks for putting the switching problem in words. 
Maybe now I will remember it when I "plan".

Tom

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Tom,

I'd still like to see a run around track in there somewhere.  
It really can come in handy, and even if you are not using it much cars can still be spotted on it.

I have a small oval of track that I first started with and sometimes use it to stash ore cars that are getting in the way.  
The prototype does it so why can't we?


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Michael,

Thank you. I agree. 
Whatever I do there will be a run-around somewhere. 
My thinking is that if I keep this layout it will go in the lead down to the yard stubs.

I didn't think about it before but the scoring they have now on the foam is at 16", 24" and 32". 
Pretty convenient, if I'm building a house. 
Since it is nicely scored, if I replace the layout it will be 24" wide or 32" wide, not 30". 
If I sacrificed a little more of the room, and shortened it to miss the curtain, 
I could maybe, just, squeeze in a 15" radius with a little fudging into a 32(+)" width. 

Just thinking out loud, well, out keyboard.

One of the reasons I'm leaning toward all hand-laid track is to give me more flexibility with the switches. 
The problem there of course is that I'm laying directly on foam. 
I can't see that being successful with hand-laid but I'll never use cork again after seeing what it looks like after a few years, 
homasote is a non-starter, decent Lauan plywood is a distant memory. 
There are no door skins at the dump... 

I am considering some heavy card stock as some have reported success with it.
The layout is small enough that I could even use thin basswood sheets, 
but that would presume that I have some idea where I'm going to put the tracks. 

I've pretty much convinced myself that I cannot design trackwork in 2D. 

Tom

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Woodie has built layouts laying the track and switches directly on foam.

Could you pre-build the switches at your workbench and then install them?

I'm hand laying my track and switches.  

There have been a few problem areas but usually a few extra spikes and some CA will fix it.

With a 32" width you will probably end up with a 13" or 14" radius.  Call it 13.5". 




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Michael,

Interesting about Woodie's layouts. I didn't realize he built some that way. 
Guess I need to improve my reading comprehension. 

I can, and probably will, pre-build at the workbench, 
although a part of me really wants to go "old school" and just use wood ties and spikes. 
After all, I still like wax-paper :bg:.

I agree on the radius. 
I'm thinking that with a cantilevered bridge out into "space" I could squeeze in a 15".
Otherwise the 4-4-0s go on the shelf or I see if they can be modified to work okay on 13ish" radius.

If I just rebuild the current baseboard, it is actually 42" wide at its widest point, 
and I have 3" of 1x6 sticking out behind the layout that could be used to go out to 45",
but I cannot go that wide the full length. 

I would not build a replacement that wide though. 
The ideal for the room is 30". 
I could squeeze in a 32" without too much hassle and maybe a little more, 
as long as it is not at the window-end of the room. 

Tom

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Tom,

Could part of the loop be a removable, fold-down, or fold-up, section?  
That way you could get a 15" radius without intruding too much into your space.

I pre-build my switches at the workbench using a few strips of brass to solder the rails to, then install it on the layout with ties and spikes.  
Since I run battery powered locos I don't worry about gaps but you could use PCB ties and cut gaps in those.

I was looking at the Polyiso that you mentioned.  
Not sure about the foil covering, but it looks like it might work in place of the pink foam.


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Michael,

Good idea about the fold-up/down section. 
I'll explore that option as I envision, or I mean plan the layout.

I'm probably going to build the trackwork at my desk 
(I use the same desk for my work and model building) 
using PCB ties as I'm basically a lazy and impatient modeler. 

You did remind me though of a technique that someone used to use. 
They built at their workbench and put soldered brass strips on the top of rails to hold everything together, 
spiked it down and then de-soldered the brass strips. 
That is also an option worth exploring.

Steven Hatch (Railway Engineering) is using the Polyiso for his layout. They strip the foil off of it. 
I did a little more searching on the topic and found a guy writing about it in a blog on Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine. 
According to him removing the foil is tedious as it comes off in little strips, 
but the big advantage is that it is not attacked by common spray paints 
(not sure if he means enamels or lacquers or both but I guess he means solvent-based).

The main thing I like is availability. 
Seems it is the most common foam used for new construction, 
as it is more fire-retardant than pink/blue/green, shrinks less and has a higher R-value/inch. 
I'm thinking of it for baseboard work and the other stuff for contours (if the Polyiso proves to be fiddley).

Tom

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Note to self:

"Reread sections on THIN bead of glue under ties, in MRR for dummies"







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" ...  THIN bead of glue ... "



Hi Tom  :wave:



As Murphy always tells me ...

... you're  %£$@*&  if you do and  %£$@*&  if you don't !!  :f:



I guess it's YOUR round then.  [toast]



;)



Si.


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Just wanted to give a quick update.

I have removed about 75% of the existing track from the layout and will remove the rest in the next few days.
It will be replaced with all hand laid track.
I will not replace the track however until I figured out what direction I am going with the layout.

I've decided to change one On30 Porter 0-4-2 that is already apart, to BPRC,
and see how I like it before I re-lay track.

Tom


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Howdy Tom, will you like an r/c Porter? ABSOLUTELY and POSITIVELY!
Good luck on the track, it is easy once you get going and like the r/c, you'll never look back.

Woodie




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Another quick update.

Since my layout is now devoid of track (almost), the Southwestern Christmas Village didn't seem possible but...

I took the 2x4 that I cut for a mini layout and placed all of the current structures and figures from the Yellow Creek Western on it,
put some BP votive candles in the buildings and placed it on a table.
My wife liked it so much that she did not set up the ceramic village. 





Tom


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Since it was close to Christmas and many suppliers were on reduced hours or closed,
I decided to wait a couple weeks to order some BPRC supplies.

Just so I didn't totally neglect the layout I did a little more work on the Meat Market/Land Office building.
The building was not designed to add interior detailing but I try to build my structure to add interiors/lighting someday in the future,
if I ever feel competent to do so.

Anyway, I could not come up with a plan that I liked for making the roof removable on the building.
Since I wanted to add a wood porch to the front anyway, I decided to make a foundation/ floor for the building.

I started by building a foundation from balsa.
I designed it to try to look like the "foundation" had been extended twice,
first to add the rear part of the Land Office (left side) and then to add the shed to the rear.
I then started to add balsa floor boards that fit inside the walls to help block light leaks.










The "slot" in the floor is where the wall fits.
I had to stop on it for now as I need to solve a problem with the left side wall before I can build its floor.
In the meantime, I have added rafter ends and the battens to the shed.





I haven't designed the porch yet as I need to have a better idea of where the building will be sited first. 

Tom


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Another update:

I had decided to remove all of the track from the layout and replace it with hand-laid track.
While I was doing that, I started really looking into BPRC and what I wanted from the hobby.
The upshot of that was that I have decided to change to BPRC and not wire the new track.

I got to this point before sanity prevailed. 





Since I have decided to go "all in" on BPRC, here is my new, improved, track plan.





Still needs a little work...

Tom


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Hi Tom  :wave:



Your new building is  L :cool: :cool: KIN'  C :cool: :cool:



Radical decisions on track, layout & new R.C. elektrickery !  :shocked:



You seem to be finding your 'mojo' after much experimentation.


:thumb:


It probably all seems like 'work' now ...  :f:

... but I'm sure that you will be congratulating yourself later for it.  :bg:



Less is more ... a rolling stone gathers no moss ... how many grains of sand on a beach ?

What the hell am I on about ? ...  ;)



:java: :P



Si.


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Si,

Major paradigm shifts have a way of letting you reflect.

I did do a little more on the building (and the Porter) between other activities.

I finished the floor.





The "empty" area is a piece of the shed that is completely sealed off, no doors or windows,
that I left open in case I decide to add self-contained lighting.

I also started to add some of the trim and battens.















I also finished disassembling the Bachmann Porter 0-4-2 that will be my first attempt at BPRC conversion.

Once I set the new layout board (currently 8 foot by 32 inch) in place,
it occurred to me that the tracks were now only going to be a suggestion to the train as to where I would like it to go.

That opens up all kinds of ideas, some pretty strange.
I thought about just putting a fence around the outer perimeter, maybe add steerable axles, and play Bumper Trains...
Hmmm, maybe I'm onto something there.

Seriously, the decision to change to BPRC has re-enthused me for the hobby.
I plan to de-clutter and simplify all aspects of the hobby.
I'm dropping out of several DCC and related forums and re-kindling my electronics genes.

Now if I can just get some parts...

Tom


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BPRC will set you free!

I'm glad I made the switch from DC.

Since I'm building my own switches, BPRC makes life easy. 
The idea of trying to gap those stub switches would be just too much for me.


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Michael,

Even though I don't have equipment yet, I'm committed to BPRC.

Gapping switches doesn't really bother me,
but all of the non-railroad-related electrical minutia like reverse loops, powered frogs, etc,
just cause us to design layouts based on electrical connectivity instead of something simple and railroady like
"we need to be able to spot a car over there".

On small layouts like mine it isn't really much of a concern but it does interfere with the creative process.
I don't have any creativity to spare for powered rail nonsense.

Tom


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That's a fine looking building you're developing Tom. I love all the angles.

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Doug,

Thank you for the complement.
I wish I could take the credit, but it is a Roger Malinowsky (Stoney Creek Designs) laser kit.
I'm building it with very minor modifications
(scribed the inside walls to simulate planks, added floor/ceiling between first and second floors and added a floor/foundation for the building)
so the credit goes to Roger and his wonderful kits.

Tom


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Another update:

I have started to assemble a test track to get all of my equipment operating correctly again,
play with using "ground throws" to see how I like it (I've always had either solenoid- or servo-powered switches in the past),
to see how I like operations-based "playing with trains" to see if going to point-to-point agrees with my idea of fun,
and to performance test each loco in anticipation of butchering it for BPRC.





The switch that is blue-taped in the middle of the table is the heart of my new testing center.
It is the DPDT center off switch I was using for my programming track.





To the left, DC. To the right, DCC. In the center, wait for it..., BP.

Since I took the photo above, I found a 5-0-5 Amp meter in my parts and have added it to the DC circuit.
The goal is to profile each engine to figure out their requirements for BPRC.

For the record, this is still an expansion of the Yellow Creek Western.

The square footage of the old layout was about 19.5 sq. ft. whereas the "new one is currently 21.3 sq. ft.
and will probably grow by another roughly 7.5 sq. ft.
so a whopping huge 28.8 sq. ft.

Tom
 

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Hi Tom  :wave:


How's things going down at the Yellow Creek Western ?  ???



:)



Si.


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Hi Si,

And so it sits...





Life got in the way.

This is what it has looked like for the past 5 months or so.
I do from time to time look at it and "dream".

The additional foam at the back is because I just could not give up my 4-4-0,
so the 32" board is now a 36" board.

The track will not be EZ-Track, this is just for visuals during "planning".
The real track will be all hand-laid and hopefully a little less "toy-like".

The Church will move over to the left end of the street.
The freight station will be aligned with the siding where the ore cars are sitting,
and a second siding probably added.

No run-around I'm afraid, no room.
The circled area at the front right will have a turntable and a small stone engine house.
The siding at the back is for a team track.

The Porter BPRC conversion is also just sitting.
I finally found my LEDs so I may go ahead and finish it soon.





Thanks for asking.


Tom


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Hi Tom  :wave:



Well ... Rome wasn't built in a day ! ...  L:

... it took at least a couple of years !!  :P  :P



You took pretty drastic measures on the previous layout ...  :shocked:

... which was actually a pretty darn cool track !  :)



But if you have 'a vision' & improvements of one sort or another ...  ???

... Then DO IT !  :thumb:



Don't keep us in the dark though ...  :shades:

... it's great to throw a few ideas around, which is what friends & the Site are for.  :cool:



You don't have to have made a ZILLION models to Post & say HI !  :2t:

Those Romans were damn leisurely builders, if you ask me !  ;)



Whatderyermean ? ... There's no room for a run around track ? ...

... I see  :shocked:  a run around ^^ track !!  ??? :Crazy: ;)



A curved switch, or two, perhaps ?  L:



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



Si.


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Thanks again Si,

Remember, you asked for it.

You have reminded me of the main reason I joined Freerails in the first place.
It is easy to lose the drive when other things come up.

But forums like this can get it restarted and gather ideas, that never would have occurred to me on my own.





I spent about an hour actually working on the layout today and ended up here.





After moving things around.

I will probably move the team track further left, and add another building to main street.

I may also add another building to the right on main street, most likely a blacksmith and/or livery stable.





As for the old layout, it has been spared the dumpster, at least for now.

I stripped off most of the rail for re-use, but my wife and I discussed it,
and I will probably rebuild it as a Christmas-season-only, DC-only, ceramic village display layout.

I also have a 2' x 4' foam board cut for a small Porter/critter-based display layout.
Mainly BPRC, but may have DCC connections as well.

Part of the idea for these two, possible, layouts,
is to use them with youth groups and community groups, to try to foster interest in MRR.





Tom


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Si,

I forgot to mention,
yes I designed it so that the depot siding could be used for a run around and passing.

Not ideal but better than nothing.

I think I may keep the change of elevation as well.
It was just there as a quick way to extend the depth, but I kind of like it.

Tom


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Hi Tom  :wave:



I think a change in elevation, even a very small one, is noticeable & I suppose desirable ...  L:

... as long as it doesn't mess with (especially your Porters) pulling power.



I drew a plan a while back, with my usual 'grade optimism' ...  :Crazy:

... Oztrainz pointed out to me, that I'd be lucky to pull ONE On30 diecast side-dump up it !  :f:


Very true & it is actually possible that even a short transition from 0" - 1" might be tricky.  :old dude:

My drawn track plan grade was simply SAVAGE though !!  :shocked:



I think the depot loop is a pretty good space saver & an OK way to get a run-around.  :thumb:





You have still potentially got the 2nd spur ^^ at the backs 'facing direction' round the wrong way.  ???

You could not switch a car from the depot spur, to the 2nd spur, without 'running around'.

You could consider putting it as a 'mirror image' on the back right part of the layout.  L:



Looks like you've got a pretty exciting 'junk stash' under the layout Tom.  ;)

You should see  :shocked:  mine !

One can NEVER have enough lil' placky storage boxes !! ... (or tankcars)  :P



:)



Si.


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Si,

You got me all excited.
When I read your post I said "what a dummy,
facing the spur the other way is much better".
I went in all excited to try it out.

After pulling the spur tracks up it occurred to me why it was where it was.
That was the only EZ-Track switch I had left! Oh well.
Then I remembered that I had planned to face the spur the other way,
but decided it would have to wait for the real track.
I wasn't about to buy any more EZ-Track.

You are also right on the money about the change of elevation.
On the old YCW I had grades up and down from the main but they were 2%.
I had 1/2" foam sheets stacked and each transition was from one 1/2" sheet to the next.

Southern Arizona isn't the best place to find foam sheets,
and it is difficult for me to transport whole sheets.
Home Depot used to carry the pink stuff in 1/2" and 1" sheets.
Now they only carry 1" pre-scribed sheets.
Lowes only carries the blue stuff in 1" 2'x4' sheets with coved edges.
No place else near me to buy the sheets and neither will special order it,
unless I want a LOT of it.

Anyway, I haven't measured the grade but it is probably somewhere around 4-5%.
My 4-4-0 and 0-4-2 Porters have no problem with it even with 3 of the die-cast ore cars.
I got my first 0-4-0 Porter for Christmas last year.
It can barely make it with two ore cars.
Think I need to reduce the grade...


Here is another photo just because I figure people like photos a whole lot more than my ramblings.





Tom


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Well, I guess I'm not a model RAILROADER again just yet,
but at least I'm starting to model again.


Here is a quick update on the Stoney Creek Meat Market/Land Office build.

Added a door from the meat market to the shed.





Painted and installed the rear doors and built the platform for the rear balcony.





And started to build a boardwalk on the front (until I ran out of Balsa).





Not much, but it is the most modeling I have done since January.

Tom


W C Greene
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Don't worry,
there are model railroaders who have never tried to build a layout,
and probably wouldn't build one anyway.
That's the nice thing about this hobby,
or in my case-addiction.

Woodie


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Woodie,

Your comment really started me thinking about the hobby.
I've had quite a few hobbies over the years, but MRR is the one that I keep coming back to.

It really is pretty much whatever you want it to be. 

I played with trains as a kid (Lionel on a 4x8 my father built) and collected trains as a young adult.
When I moved to a different area of the country, I gave it all away and just read about MRR.

I moved out of the country for several years, and there built my first "layout" on a door skin,
using all German-outline Minitrix and Rivarossi N-scale equipment with Faller and Vollmer buildings.
I don't really know which part I liked the best, building the models, or running the trains.
I did not like the track planning and tolerated the scenery.

When I returned to the States, I sold all of the N-scale and went to American-outline HO scale.
By the time I built my first track, I had a large collection of pretty much any equipment that appealed to me.
Even though the track was just on a bare 4x8 sheet of plywood it helped me to focus.
 
Too much of my equipment didn't belong with too much else of my equipment.
That scenario has played out several times for me over the years.
Each time I start planning a layout, I refocus my efforts and cut out the fat.

Today I model in On30 and look longingly at all of the 1:35n2 narrow gauge on this forum.
I'm going to resist.

When I started to replace the ceramic Christmas village buildings,
with laser-cut kits on my last layout,
I almost started down the road of Diorama-builder.
I caught myself.

If I don't build a layout I will just keep accumulating "stuff".
For me, the layout is the focus,
it doesn't need to be big or fancy or even operationally elegant,
it just needs to allow a chu-chu to run around a circle.
 
Guess I'm still just a kid.

Tom


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Howdy Tom, do what you want to do...it's all cool!
I've been building trains and layouts since I was about 9 years old-about 20 years ago (yeah, right!).
I never built a layout that I didn't like, a couple of them I wish I still had,
and one of them I do still have, the little 2 by 4 Gila Tram, thread here on Freerails.
I can work on the monstrosity in the garage and then come in to sit at this computer,
and crank up the GT and it helps me get into the "proper frame" instantly.
I gave the tram and it's equipment to a good friend a few years ago,
he was trying to build an HOn30 layout, and had to quit because he had medical problems.
He ran the little layout every day, round and round.
And when he passed on, his wife & daughter brought it back to me.
Now when I run it, I get to think about old Joe and how he loved it,
that's why I can never get rid of it!
Goodness, I have said enough!
Carry on and have fun.

Another saying from an old coffee shop wall here in Dallas-
"As you go through your life make this your goal-look for the donut, not for the hole."

Woodie


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Great looking structures!




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Quick Note To Self.

When using bedroom as office/hobby room,
be sure there is a lid on weathering mix,
before shaking vigorously...

Don't ask.

Tom


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Lee B wrote:   Great looking structures

Thanks.

I'm still learning,
but I sure enjoy building them.

Tom


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Got a little more done on the Meat Market/Land Office today.

I finished the boardwalk





Finished the rear balcony and most of the rear battens





Another view





A couple of "railroady-type" shots just because










Tom


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:doh::doh::doh::doh:

I hate it when I do that!!


Yes, your structures are looking great. 

I like how you are moving them around to find the right "layout" for them. 
 

Looking good, keep posting, these things motivate me.


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Tom Harbin wrote: Quick Note To Self.

When using bedroom as office/hobby room,
be sure there is a lid on weathering mix,
before shaking vigorously...

Don't ask.



Soft Scrub with Bleach is amazing stuff.
I threw Hunterline Driftwood stain all over the room.

My wife used Spot Shot, Soft Scrub with Bleach and No-Spill Chlorine Bleach,
and got out 98% of the mess from the carpet, desk, side table and wall.
Only part left is one slightly darker spot on the plaster walls.

Spot shot then Soft Scrub on the carpet.
Straight Soft Scrub with Bleach on the furniture.

A paste of Soft Scrub on the wall,
followed by dabbed on No-Spill Chlorine Bleach.

Tom


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Steven B wrote:
:doh::doh::doh::doh:

I hate it when I do that!!


Yes, your structures are looking great. 

I like how you are moving them around to find the right "layout" for them. 
 

Looking good, keep posting, these things motivate me.


Actually you're not supposed to notice I'm moving them around.
I figure if I keep moving them it will look like I have more structures than I do. ;)

I'm still not very happy with the arrangement of buildings,
but hopefully it will start to gel when the Meat Market/Land Office is finished and the Dress Shop
(the small structure just rubber-banded together to the left of the church in the last picture)
starts to take shape.  

I hope a few people enjoy this thread.
I get a lot of inspiration from the other threads on here
(yours is one I check every time I login).
So I'm trying to give a little back,
as well as get feedback and ideas for my "layout".

I'm not a good enough modeler to have a lot to say in other threads,
but I figure here I can just ramble since I'm not clogging up any one else's thread.

Thanks,

Tom


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Has she read the Jackson Pollack biography ?


:f:


Eddie


Tom Harbin
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Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Has she read the Jackson Pollack biography ?


She was okay with it while I was in my drip method period,

but she drew the line at my fling it around the room method.

Tom


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Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Has she read the Jackson Pollack biography ?


Probably not and she won't have seen too many fishy Pollacks,

but the art world does sometimes come up with a load of real Pollocks! 


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Well then Tom,
the support is mutual then, as I haven't the time to dig into a layout,
while rebuilding the missus' house. 

So I nickel and dime my modeling right now. 

I like to watch guys who are actually building something to operate,
and yours is one that is looking quite a bit like my theme. 

Keep working on that Stoney Creek structure. 
I like the weathered colors that you have chosen.
 
:cb:


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Steven,

Our themes are very similar.

I am modeling 1875-1885-ish Southwest USA.
It could end up in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or Utah.
My inspirations are the Morenci Southern, the Nevada Central, The V&T,
and just about every small RR in the southwest.
I was planning on the layout being in the Battle Mountain area,
but now I'm leaning more toward the Bisbee/Tombstone area (again).

The basic town is supposed to be an established boom town that started to peter out,
but now is having a second mini-boom, and possibly, recovering from a fire.
Lots of newish building, but some decay around the edges.

I even almost bought similar coaches to your B&B ones.
I really liked the DSP&P ones at Deer River,
but then I decided they would be too big for my layout.
I NEED to keep the layout small or it will never be built.

You talk about being a recovering rivet-counter,
although your structures and cars sure look like they have most of their rivets.

I am not a rivet-counter, but I wanted to play one on television.
I have a strong tendency to get bogged down, if I have too many choices,
or it is something I don't really know how to do, or if I feel it needs rivets.

My layout sat untouched for nearly six months.
The last five months were from real-life,
but the first month, I sat like a deer in the headlights,
because I had to paint the doors and windows for the Meat Market/Land Office.
A big layout would languish, while a small one will get built.
It's just who I am.

Since the layout is going to be an oval with some spurs,
about the only prototype would be a movie ranch set.
I did play with that idea several times but decided against it.


Tom


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I did some more on the MM/LO today.

I wanted to cover the building tabs that are inside the building.





I built a shelf for the one in the Meat Market and installed it.





You won't be able to see it, but it is mainly a light block (and it satisfies my inner rivet-counter).





Tom


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I also "finished" the rear of the building (except the chimney).

Installed the windows and battens.





Another view.





One last view.
Time to start on the part you will be able to actually see.





Tom


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Everyone knows I like Cadillacs and not horrible riveted steam trains

I cant imagine anything worse than a riveted Caddy though


But I do like some of you guys nice buildings and scenery

Did you become a knot counter after quitting the rivets ?


:f:


Eddie


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Hahahahahaha!!!  That was funny Nice Guy! 
There's no laughing emoji.


Tom,
I was going to comment on your knot holes,
but I think Eddie had a drop the mike moment.

These buildings are looking outstanding. 
Getting something running is very important. 
Circles or not, moving trains are the idea. 

One of the things that I really love about this hobby,
is seeing how everyone interprets it. 
Some build monstrous subdivisions in basements that I would get lost in
(and need a section gang to create),
others get into modules or small pizza type layouts.
 
What I revel in is everyone's successes in their modeling. 
If it gives you an escape from that "real life", and geeze do I have one,
then you're doing the hobby right.

Laying out a believable town, with a backstory as you are producing is pretty neat. 
What I see is that, like Doug in Updah, or Lee in Tennessee, or Woodie down in Big Bend,
Si way down south (in London Town), Mike in SW Nevada, and everyone else,
there's a story to be told. 

I like to think that I am story teller too, with rivets, uh, not rivets,
or is that knot rivets, er... holes? 

Love the shelves. 
That Stoney Creek building is looking top knot... er - 'scuse me, top notch. 
I'm watching...

:pop:

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Nice Guy Eddie wrote: Everyone knows I like Cadillacs and not horrible riveted steam trains

I cant imagine anything worse than a riveted Caddy though


But I do like some of you guys nice buildings and scenery

Did you become a knot counter after quitting the rivets ?


Well, now that you mention it, I guess I did.

Actually I bought a wood burning pen and maybe had a little too much fun with it... :bg:

Knot that anyone would notice of course.


A riveted Cadillac... now that is one nasty mental picture.

Think I'll drive a Fleetwood of DeVilles over to Eldorado this weekend.


Tom


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So it is time to actually start to make the Meat Market look like a building.

I'm having second thoughts about my color choices,
luckily before I started planking the sides.

Roger at Stoney Creek had two recommended color schemes for the Land Office side.
They were (uploaded with permission from Roger Malinowski, Stoney Creek Designs).
Roger preferred the neutral gray tint version:


Red Iron Oxide Shade





Neutral Gray Tint





My palette (red iron oxide shade, ultramarine blue tint, chromium oxide green shade and neutral gray tint)





I'm still undecided.


Tom


Last edited on Sat Aug 10th, 2019 05:55 am by Tom Harbin

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Sometimes posting here is the best medicine for indecision.

I've decided the Land Office side will be in neutral gray tint,
but with a little stronger driftwood stain undercoat.

Once I saw the choices in my post,
the choice became simple.

The red iron oxide is too close to the color of the dry goods store
(Wild West Models - Molly Brown)
that will most likely be next to the MM/LO,
most of the YCW buildings are a yellow ocher tint and a hunter-ish green,
and the ultramarine blue tint was just too mousy.

I also may bring this thread full circle.
I was looking at the original train board last night,
and may have come up with a way to reuse it as the new layout,
like discussed many pages ago.

Lee had made a suggestion waaaaayyy back in post #8 that I'm revisiting,
along with a possible scenic change to allow for a passing siding.

I don't know if it will work or not because I have to do some measurements yet,
but it looks like I'm going to spend some time stripping off the last of the old track after all.

Tom


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Well, the old layout is in the garage,
and I have other stuff where it goes in the house,
so it stays in the garage for now.

It is too hot in the garage right now,
to spend more than 10-15 minutes at a time out there so...


The land office side





Tom


Tom Harbin
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And while I was at it, I decided to order a few parts,
and to make the order worth the shipping costs,
I ordered some doors I need for the dry goods store.

In order to double check their measurements,
I had to open the roof on the dry goods store.

Since I was in there anyway,
I went ahead and built/installed the second Berkshire Valley shelf unit,
that I bought over a year ago.










Tom


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Didn't like the photo of the land office side.





And here is the meat market side (window openings not yet trued up).





Tom


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WOW, Tom, I love the interiors!

That's one thing I haven't done, other than to make an interior in one small flag stop depot.

You're motivating me to get moving with the larger structures!



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Some impressive workmanship to be sure!
Like Lee, I probably need to "interior-ize" more structures...
goodness knows that I have more than enough stuff to fill all my buildings!


Woodie


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Tom -

I really like the shot through the door of the dry goods store. 
Lots of nice detail work. 
Nicely done.

- Tom


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Yes, some dry goods and it will look like a store.
 
Stay away from the wet goods though,

they make everything soggy.

  [whack]  

It has great potential.

Keep posting,

this slacker needs to see progress.


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Lee, Woodie and Tom,

Thank you for the kind words.
I only hope that I can someday achieve results that are as good as yours.
I read all of your threads, and always end up disheartened at my own skill,
but inspired to try harder by yours.

I'm sure many of us look at our own work,
and see the parts not done or less than what we had hoped.
 
When I look at the photos of the dry goods store, I do see potential,
but mainly I see the not-yet-designed-or-built interior sashes for the side window,
the empty shelves, the counter that still need to be designed,
and the many puzzles with keeping the top floor removable.

Woodie recently posted a photo that had a window that was,
I think the correct term is, "cattywhompus", although I'm sure I spelled it incorrectly,
all I saw was a wonderful scene, with real continuity and interest.  

Thanks again,
it means much coming from model railroaders like yourselves.


Tom


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Steven,

No, the wet goods will have to wait for a saloon,
but I don't think it will be anywhere near as nice as your Star Spangled Banner Saloon.

By the way, I believe your barber shop started as a Rich White kit.
How did you like working with it?

I have a Banta engine house kit,
but I have never worked with hydrocal, other than lots of rocks.

I thought I might try a Rich White kit before the engine house,
since it is a little easier to replace if I trash it.

Stay tuned,
I have a small update coming in a few minutes and more in the works.

You Sir are no slacker.
Fixing up a house and building a layout... not easy.


Tom


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Well it is still way too hot in the garage, and likely will be for another month or so.

I also can't bring the old layout back in, until I finish rebuilding my server cabinet,
which will be a few weeks at best.

So the layout building stays on hold.

The meat market building is on hold waiting for a window from Tichy,
and I'm just not ready to tackle the dry goods for the shelves,
or the side window sash for the dry goods store just yet.

What to do?

I started on the dress shop.
It is another Stoney Creek Designs building (2018 Book Store).

I stained the sides and "wall papered" it.

 


And I built the basic box.
 




While I was dry fitting the box,
I needed to test fit some of the front windows.

One of them is broken and a little bent.
 




I don't work with resin much,
do you think I can fix this with CA or maybe epoxy?


Tom


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Oh,

and I left the wood burning pen in the drawer.


Tom


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Tom, 

Yes the Barbershop was Rich White's. 
I found it pretty easy to work up. 
I built it when we were living in the 5th Wheel still.
 
Working with hydrocal is pretty easy. 
I built it on a hidden base and braced the corners with 1/4" wood,
as they wouldn't be seen. 
I was worried that it would be easily broken, being in a state of homelessness. 
I used Woodland Scenics scenery glue to secure it all, and that worked great.
 
I can dig it out if you want more information on how I built it. 
I think I joined Freerails at the time and don't remember if I chronicled its' build,
pretty sure that I did not. 
It was a fun build.

As far as the broken resin piece. 
I've built a few resin cars in HO, CA is an easy fixer. 
I suppose that you could use thin and put it on a piece of waxed paper or similar,
then sand the back.
 
It would probably not have the build up on the front,
but the back sanding would be pretty easy as it is flat,
and you can set it on 400 emery paper and just run it back and forth lightly until flat.
 
What I normally did was just use the medium glue,
let it sit and then sand/file it back into proper contours,
good as new. 

If it were something that was going to be subjected to torque and stress,
I might use epoxy.

:dt:


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Steven,

You did upload several photos of the barber shop, in your Humboldt & Toiyabe thread,
and you discussed your technique some as well.
Very nicely done! 

By hidden base I assume you mean a solid sub floor?

I was just looking at some of Rich White's wall kits,
and realized that they are all cast for Grandt-Line doors/windows.

That could be a problem,
since it doesn't seem the San Juan Model Company is getting them back into production yet.

I'm sure that a lot of the structures could be adapted to Tichy parts,
or a modeler better than myself could scratch build them,
but it will take some investigation.

Tom


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Steven,

I almost forgot, thanks for the info on resin parts.

I looked at the window some more and realized that the cracked part,
is going to butt up against the side of another window,
so it should be an easy fix and not subject to any stresses.

Thanks again,

Tom


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" I was just looking at some of Rich White's wall kits,
and realized that they are all cast for Grandt-Line doors/windows " 


Tom -

You mentioned Grandt Line windows.
 
I've found that many of these are duplicated at Tichy Train Group. 
Just in case you weren't aware of that.

I was able to find exact duplicates for the windows in my roundhouse. 
They even come with glazing.

- Tom Ward


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Tom,

Thank you.
I was not aware of that.

I have my first order from Tichy coming in any day now.
I'm adding another window to the meat market,
and Stoney Creek Design used Tichy windows for the kit.

I built a few Tichy freight cars back in my HO days,
and was always very impressed with the quality of the design and of the parts.
Very fine castings.
Their quality seems to be every bit as good as Grandt-Line's.

I'll have to look at the Rich White kits again,
and see if Tichy makes a duplicate for the G-L parts.

I do hope that San Juan Model is successful in bringing most of the Grandt-Line products back into production.
It would be a shame to lose such a large and influential source of architectural and equipment parts.


Tom


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Tom,
 
Yes it is a hidden sub-floor.
I used cardboard, just cheap flimsy stuff. 
Once it was all glued in place, it was like a shear wall.  

I think that a number of Tichy parts are drop ins for Grandt,
but I don't know for certain.

And as Tom W. says, they have pre-cut "glass."  NICE!  :bg: 

Yes, that is a drawback of Rich's stuff right now for doors. 
I liked working with it well enough and had fun with the build.
 
I was looking at another, but just haven't pulled the trigger,
as I have several projects screaming, "Build ME!"


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Got a little modeling time this morning.










Tom


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Steven B wrote:
Yes it is a hidden sub-floor.
I used cardboard, just cheap flimsy stuff. 
Once it was all glued in place, it was like a shear wall.  

I think that a number of Tichy parts are drop ins for Grandt,
but I don't know for certain.

And as Tom W. says, they have pre-cut "glass."  NICE!  :bg: 

Yes, that is a drawback of Rich's stuff right now for doors. 
I liked working with it well enough and had fun with the build.
 
I was looking at another, but just haven't pulled the trigger,
as I have several projects screaming, "Build ME!"


Steven,

Great idea on the cardboard floor.
I just may give that a try real soon.

I know what you mean about other projects.
The engine shed may stay on hold for a while.
 
I need to get some track together and something running again pretty soon.
Running a DCC loco around the EZ-Track on the temporary baseboard,
is better than nothing, but it doesn't feel like progress.

Tom


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And a little more time this afternoon.










Tom


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Got some more time this evening.















Tom


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It's facing up nicely Tom.

Love the distressed tar paper.


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slateworks wrote:
It's facing up nicely Tom.

Love the distressed tar paper.


Thanks Doug.

I got a chance to finish the basic facade of the building.





Now I've got some planning to do.
As you can probably tell, I've decided to add an awning on the front.

Since everything I've "planned" was planned after I built,
there have been small challenges along the way.

The current challenge is that I want the awning to be rather minimalist,
just 4x4 uprights, a 4x6 header and 2x4 stringers,
with some old HO scale 2x24s I found in my junk drawer for the planks.

The challenge is that the floor needs to be removable for the interior work,
but the awning will probably be too fragile to hang free on the front,
when I put the floor on/off the model.

I have considered cutting the boardwalk part of the floor off of the main floor,
and gluing it to the front of the building,
but it will only have the back edge of the floor boards for attachment.

So far that seems to be my best option,
as I have another idea that may benefit from that approach.

Anyone have a better idea?

In the meantime, I'm deciding on trim colors,
and starting to work out the interior arrangements.

Tom


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Tom,

So is the walkway foundation part of the building then, and not removable?

If I understand what you are saying,
you are going to leave the walkway planks and awning attached to the building. 

Is there room in the foundation, to glue some lateral supports, underneath the walkway,
that will fit in between the foundation beams, to help beef up the walkway when removed?

It's looking good.


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Steven,

Thanks.

The floors were not part of the original model.

I made them to make the building look more "western",
and because I just could not come up with a way to make the roof removable,
that I thought would hold up well.

The floors are just balsa scrap I had left over from many years ago.

The design is that the base of the walls fits into/around the floor assembly.
The slots in the floor are where the walls fit.





The inside door was made high to clear the floor,
and the floors are supposed to represent the original building with two extensions,
first the back third of the land office side, and then the shed on the meat market.

The open area is a closed off portion of the shed that I left,
in case I decide to make the lighting self-contained.





The floor is basically 8x8ish and 2x8ish joists.

The boardwalk was added last as it is also supposed to be an addition as part of the land office expansion.
I figure I could cut it off and fit it to the front permanently but it won't have much strength.
 
I have been playing with the idea of supports to strengthen it,
but don't have something I can live with yet.





The floor actually fits pretty tightly against the walls,
so that the model can be handled without the floor falling off,
even with an interior.

I purposely bowed the outside wall of the land office a small amount near the bottom,
so that I need to put the building on, by aligning the land office side,
and pressing a little bit toward the meat market side, while placing the model.

The floor stays on well, but comes off easily.
It works great.

I decided while I was building the front to add another window
(your fault--you gave me the idea with your 1:1 scale house project).
Then I decided the upstairs would be a separate business.
Then I decided to add an awning...

I originally figured I would add a fairly substantial awning,
and just cut notches to fit it into the boardwalk.
But my research (26 Men, Tombstone Territory, The Tall Man, The Texan, etc.)
convinced me it should be light-weight.


Tom


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I should add,

I was thinking about cutting notches out of the front spar of the foundation,
and fitting beams to the boardwalk, to go part way under the floor of the building,
but...

I "designed" the building to go on from the left side,
it will not go on from any other direction, or straight down,
and would be very hard to fix, without having a visible bow in the land office side wall.


Tom


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I finally decided to just go for it on the awning.





I cut the boardwalk back off of the main floor.
I actually cut off just slightly into the 8x8ish beam,
so that a sliver of it was still attached to the boardwalk.

That way I still have the light block on the floor, but I also have a tiny lip under the front,
to make sure no light shows through the rear of the boardwalk,
and a slightly better gluing surface.





I think I worried needlessly.
The whole porch is actually very strong.


Tom


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Looking even better Tom.

That porch and its awning give the whole building much more character.



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slateworks wrote:
Looking even better Tom.

That porch and its awning give the whole building much more character.


Thanks Doug,

I actually like it much better now also.

I really liked the back of the building,
but always thought the front needed something.

I'm right now looking into one possible additional feature,
before I start to finish up the doors/windows,
and figure out where the stoves go, to put in the stove pipes.

The interiors will probably wait until I get some other projects out of way,
but maybe not...

Tom


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Focus

Back in post 79, I talked about how I need to build a layout,
or I just accumulate stuff.

This is great for reducing new purchases, but can make you a little crazy,
when it obsoletes stuff you already own.

I have probably a half dozen to a dozen perfectly good O scale 55 gallon drums.
Didn't exist in 1875-1885.
They sit in my "useless stuff" drawer.

I have some nice asphalt shingle material.
1911-1913 (depending on source).
Same drawer.

So today I was looking at the meat market to decide on the roofing.
I went through my roofing material box (a very small box)
and saw some really nice asphalt sheets from Stoney Creek Designs in red or green.

NICE. I'll cut into 3 foot strips and have a nice rolled asphalt roof.
BAM! 1893.
Same drawer.
 
Bummer.

Tom


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Hi Tom  :wave:



It's all looking jaw dropping ... GREAT !  :thumb:

Ace photos & step-by-steps.  :cool:


Just one comment ...  :old dude:

... I think you've been really lazy with the wood burning pen.  ;)

I could send you a proto-photo to prove it as well !  :P


The word 'strafed' comes to mind ...  :Salute:

... when I look at the wall paneling behind my loudspeakers !  :P



:mex: :mex: :mex: :mex: :mex:



Si.


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Suggestions?


So I decided the model isn't going to build itself and started to work on it some this morning.

Before I go too much further, I decided I had better tackle the inside window sashes.

I did sashes before on the dry goods store front windows, but I could use 1x2 lumber for those. The little plastic Tichy windows seem to be a bit more of a challenge for me.

I decided to try cutting sashes out of a file folder with a straight edge and X-Acto,
and then stain them with alcohol stain pens (Copic).





I think it kind of worked (although rather tedious)

But once again the camera shows that I need to trim them up better.





They actually look much closer to the same shade as the walls.
The original file folder was yellow,
and it seems the camera picks it up more than the unaided eye.

I think this method would work fine for the windows in the land office,
but the meat market is 6-pane casings instead of the 4-pane of the land office.
I'm not so sure I can get something usable at that size.

Anyone have any ideas on a better approach?

Tom


Last edited on Sat Sep 7th, 2019 04:44 am by Tom Harbin

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Si. wrote:
Just one comment ...  :old dude:

... I think you've been really lazy with the wood burning pen.  ;)

I could send you a proto-photo to prove it as well !  :P


The word 'strafed' comes to mind ...  :Salute:

... when I look at the wall paneling behind my loudspeakers !  :P


Boy, you just can't please anybody.  :bg:


Thanks for the excuse.
I really like playing with the wood-burning pen.  :glad:


Tom


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" Thanks for the excuse.

I really like playing with the wood-burning pen."



Hi Tom  :wave:



Is it easy to hold & use ?  ???



I looked at some 'cheapies' a while back ...

... & they just looked like 're-modeled' soldering-irons !  :f:



When I think of 'pen' ... I want to hold it close to the HOT end ...  :shocked:

... NOT by a handle 5" away from the target !  :P



I possibly haven't seen the greatest ones available though ?  L:



:moose:



Si.


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Si,

My wood-burning pen is GREAT!

So what did I buy?

Well, I realized what a great tool a wood-burning pen can be,
so I looked at dozens of models.

This was my favorite:

TruART Wood Burning Station

I checked with my Finance Director.
Here is what I bought:





I think I paid $13.00 on sale at one of the big box stores.
It actually is easy to control and works very well.
Probably all I will ever need.

Tom


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I also started looking into the land office interior layout.

Here are a few test prints of the wall hangings.

They are (left to right) A genuine US Government map of AZ from 1876,
a map of the Yellow Creek mining district,
and a photograph of President Grant.





The map of AZ and the photo of President Grant are commonly available on the Internet.
The Yellow Creek mining district took a little more work.

I started with a map of the Tombstone mining district and modified it to be Yellow Creek in 1876.

I started to change ALL of the references to Tombstone on the map,
and then decided it was "just a little bit nuts, like some of those guys in Washington",
since you can't actually read any of it up close and it will be hanging on a wall,
where you will be lucky to even be able to tell what it is.





Tom


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I also decided to go ahead and use my paper sashes.
The test one I made has been installed in the land office.

Before:





After:





Not a huge difference, but it does add some dimension to the window and covers the unpainted mullions.
Hopefully, the grey plastic will be covered once I trim the window.


Tom


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I needed this photo to help me with some planning, so I figured I'd share it.

Nothing much new just little bits.





Sometimes I really dislike cameras.
Since I posted this, I can't stop staring at the stupid second floor shades.
They're just much too clean.

Now I have to figure out how to get the windows back out without wrecking anything,
or find some way to tone them down externally.
Maybe just dirty up the windows?


Tom


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Tom, try a quick and distant, say from a foot away, spray of Testors Dullcote or the like.

A single pass should give the windows a dirty look without making them totally opaque.

You'll probably want to mask off the surrounding fascia areas.


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" I started to change ALL of the references ... on the map,
and then decided it was just a little bit nuts, like some of those guys in Washington "



Hi Tom  :wave:



If you need to change the map later on ...  :P

... you could always just add on some extra stuff afterwards, with a 'Sharpie' !!  ;)



:doh:



Si.


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slateworks wrote: Tom, try a quick and distant, say from a foot away, spray of Testors Dullcote or the like.

A single pass should give the windows a dirty look without making them totally opaque.

You'll probably want to mask off the surrounding fascia areas.


Good idea, thanks Doug.

When I started futzing with them,
I found that one of the acetate sheets isn't stuck as well as it should be,
so I may need to try to pry them out anyway.

I hope not, they're CA Gelled in and will probably take the siding with them.

I'm going to try some Vallejo Matte Varnish first,
I can be more careful with my airbrush than my aerosol of Dullcoat.
Maybe mix in a touch of grey paint.

If the window blows out well... time to pry it out.

Tom


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Si. wrote:
If you need to change the map later on ...  :P

... you could always just add on some extra stuff afterwards, with a 'Sharpie' !!  ;)



:doh:


Hi Si,

Can't.

Sharpie - 1964.
Magic Marker - 1953. Earliest felt tip pen - 1910.
1876 limits EVERYTHING, in a good way.

Actually the line is my favorite line from the original "Miracle on 34th Street" movie.
Although thinking about it I think they actually said men not guys and crazy not nuts.

Tom


Last edited on Fri Sep 13th, 2019 02:42 pm by Tom Harbin

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Tom the front looks much better than originally designed. 
Nicely done. 
The building has much more character. 

And the map is outstanding. 
Nice work. 
Just wow on that map. 

:2t:


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Thanks Steven,

I actually need to fix the map a little.
I noticed that I got the angle of "llow Creek",
in the bottom right side of the banner a little too straight.
I may not bother though because I have to rethink the photos.
 
I sold my graphics printer many years ago.
The printer I use now is a nice Epson but it is a workgroup type printer.
Its smallest nozzle setting is 2.8 picolitres,
which means that the printout is smudgy looking even at 300 dpi.

Epson has several new printers (their Expression line--1.5 picolitre nozzles)
that are inexpensive and almost as good as my old one,
but a new printer is not in the modeling budget.

I do have an ALPS MD1300 that I bought new back in 1998,
but I don't use it because I may need to sell it soon.
It would probably do a fine job on the maps,
but until I'm sure I'm going to keep the printer, that option is out.

I'm going to check with my friends to see what they have for printers,
but if no joy, I may just print what I have and replace them if later if possible.

I am considering finishing the changes to the map though,
as I may print it full size to put on the wall behind the layout.
We'll see.

Tom


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RE: the windows. 

I've started to weather a few areas to start to see what needs more work,
and one of the first things was to apply a little of Bragdon's light grey weathering powder,
to the windows that are installed.

It improved the second floor windows some but not enough,
so I will probably go ahead and spray them with matte varnish to see what I get.
Worst case is I find a way to rip the windows out and replace the glazing and shades.


Tom


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I'm not going to get a chance to do much, if any, modeling today,
so I figured I would inundate you with photos and no one would notice.  :bg:


I don't really like this picture, but it shows the affect the weathering powder had,
on the second floor windows (not yet matte sprayed),
and my wife's dress shop.





Since this thread was becoming the "meat market" thread,
instead of the "Yellow Creek" thread,
I put the dry goods and meat market/land office back on the baseboard,
to take more in-situ type shots.

Sam's Dry Goods:





Meat Market/Land Office next to the dry goods:





Tom


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Con't

View down Main Street from the freight station:





View down main from Bonanza Ave:





Have a good day!

Tom


slateworks
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Coming along very nicely Tom,
and I do like the paint job on the horse outside the land office.

I'm guessing it's an Aspen Modeling Company casting.


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slateworks wrote:
Coming along very nicely Tom,
and I do like the paint job on the horse outside the land office.

I'm guessing it's an Aspen Modeling Company casting.


Thanks Doug.

I bought the horse
(and the overo at the other end of the street, at the side of the shoe store,
or apothecary or marshall's office, and several of the other figures)
pre-painted on eBay.

There is a guy that used to paint up various figures and sell them there.
He also sells vehicles and some unpainted figures.
I haven't seen much from him lately in the way of figures.
I think he also does some S scale.

The two horses are a pair from Knuckledusters (pewter castings).
They are sometimes sold under another name that I don't remember,
but you can buy them right on the Knuckleduster site.

The cowboy in the middle of the street is on one of the same horses.
Knuckleduster just cuts the stirrups off of one of the horses,
and puts the cowboy on its back.

I have a dozen or so Knuckledusters figures that I need to paint up,
but haven't gotten to them yet.

Tom


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Thanks Tom.

I'd be interested in a link to your eBay seller.



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slateworks wrote:
Thanks Tom.

I'd be interested in a link to your eBay seller


Doug,

His eBay username is narrow152.
He also has started doing some Aspen figures.

It looks like he only ships to the US however.
May be worth a conversation with him.

Everything was always as represented,
fair shipping charges and sent promptly.

A good guy to deal with.
He's in Oklahoma, USA.

Tom


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Many thanks Tom.

I'll investigate.


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Your pictures make me think of Copland's Hoedown.  :cb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsReWx9XdNs

Beef, it's what's for dinner. 
Keep working on yer stuff, I'm loving it.
 
I was thinking... why to go to all the trouble with the map,
until I read that you want to print a full size one for the layout. 

Kewl.  :shades:


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Steven B wrote: Your pictures make me think of Copland's Hoedown.  :cb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsReWx9XdNs

Beef, it's what's for dinner. 
Keep working on yer stuff, I'm loving it. 

I was thinking... why to go to all the trouble with the map,
until I read that you want to print a full size one for the layout. 

Kewl.  :shades:


Steven,

I take that as a great compliment. Thanks. 

I wish I could say that the map on the wall was the motivating factor,
but just plain old nuts really drove it.

I would have known it said Tombstone and it would have made me crazy.

Tom


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Look familiar?





Yup the old YCW is back in the mix.

I had to spend yesterday and today clearing out space in the garage for some work I have to have done.
Therefore I had to get the server cabinet out of the middle of the train room and move the old layout back in.

I will finish stripping off the old rail and start to figure out the new arrangement.
Since my desk/workbench has moved to another room the depth is no longer an issue.





I do like the town layout better on here and I can maintain my 15" minimum radius for my 4-4-0.





Tom


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Coming together nicely Tom and with all the recycling,
I reckon the township should be called Resurrection City!  ;)

I presume there will eventually be a path,
to allow the congregation to get to the church on the high ground.

Nice spot so that it overlooks the township.


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I take it you are scraping the "old new layout",

and putting into play the "new old layout"?

:)

But I see about a 2 foot expansion on the left.


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slateworks wrote:
Coming together nicely Tom and with all the recycling,
I reckon the township should be called Resurrection City!  ;)

I presume there will eventually be a path,
to allow the congregation to get to the church on the high ground.

Nice spot so that it overlooks the township.


Doug,

Resurrection City.
Darn you.
I like it and it even fits with the "history" of the city.
I just finished making the stupid Yellow Creek map...

If you go back and look at the last photo in the second post of this thread,
the camera is looking down toward the church area
(before I stripped off the flora and accouterments).

The original idea was that the path to the church is mainly "off camera".
That said I have been considering a bridge or land form,
connecting the ridge to the town center.

Tom


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Steven B wrote:
I take it you are scraping the "old new layout",

and putting into play the "new old layout"?

:)

But I see about a 2 foot expansion on the left.


That makes my head hurt.

The new old layout will be resurrected as the basis for the new new layout.
The old new layout will become fill for the new new layout,
and the rail from the track on the old old layout will be re-purposed as the rail for the new new layout.

Clear?


Actually 2.5 foot by about 4 foot,
so about ten more square feet of modeling bliss.

Tom


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Howdy Tom, I have "reused" parts of previous layouts...
structures, details, and entire sections with trackwork!
Why start over when what you have works, just maybe in a different situation.
Much of my old outdoor pike, the Mogollon Railway, was in sad shape from being outdoors in the Texas sun,
and occasional rain that happened (always does) when the layout wasn't covered up.
But some of it is now in the garage and being used.
Makes me think, maybe I'll post some pix of "then and now" with the recycled stuff.
Something to do (as if I ain't got enough!).

Woodie


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Woodie,

I think your idea of then and now shots is excellent.

I know I would love to see it.

Tom


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Finished a little side project today.

Since I decided the second floor of the meat market building would be a separate business,
clientele needed a way to access it.















Tom


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I've also been having a lot of fun playing the audio clip that Steven sent me.

In honor of the clip, I present the Yellow Creek Western with a little western flair.
Just having a little fun while figuring out what comes next.






























Adios,

Tom


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Well, maybe a couple more.  :bg:










Adios again,

Tom


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Great stuff Tom

But are you going to give the customers of the business above the meat market,

the safety of some banisters/hand rails up the staircase and around the landing,

or are they just brave rufty-tufty safety shunning Westerners!

:cb:  :bg:


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slateworks wrote:
Great stuff Tom

But are you going to give the customers of the business above the meat market,

the safety of some banisters/hand rails up the staircase and around the landing,

or are they just brave rufty-tufty safety shunning Westerners!

:cb:  :bg:


Doug,

I actually fought with myself over that issue for days.
I even originally had the upper set of stair treads cut for railings.


Not my decision.
WC has fought with city fathers over it for months but his reply never changes

"If they can't climb a few stairs without some prissy railing to hold them up,
they don't belong in no mine."


That said, he may add a railing on the mid-level platform,
since it can be used to store some of his plunder.


Tom


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Tom, I am greatly honored!
I have always been one of those "upstairs guys"...
the stairs & railings look plenty sturdy to me.

Now, I must get out here and see what I have that can carry your name....
know anything about the wax business?

WCG


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By the way Doug, making that staircase really gave me an appreciation,
for all of the work and thought that goes into scratch-building.

That one little staircase took me hours of research into stair designs,
and four or five paper templates to get something less the 45%,
that had sufficient headroom for a client and his plunder,
that mated up to the upper platform and the boardwalk,
and fit next to the building without getting into the boardwalk,
or beyond the rear of the land office, and a total rise of under 151 inches.
(that last one I never checked and WC wouldn't have cared anyway, but I kept it in mind)

All of those stairs and railings on Updah make my head spin.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process however,
and hope to scratch-build at least one structure.


Tom


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Woodie,

I hope I spelled your title correctly "Junqueologist".

I guess I will need to take a better picture.
By the time I reduce the size of the photo,
and then save it at a low enough JPEG quality setting,
most of the crispness of the original is gone.

I like candles, does that count?

You have certainly earned honors and accolades,
not only with your modeling,
but also your willingness to help others,
and sharing all of your wonderful modeling with us.

It is I who am honored to have your name on one of my buildings,
well a third of a building.


Tom


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Also, another modeler's name (although a little more obscured) is also on a building.
I have three more that I know will be added at least.

Looks like I may need to redo the station signs.
The elevation is kind of close to the frame and in the photos looks like it is cut off.


Tom


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Looks great so far!

I did notice one thing on this:





You might want to place a guard rail for the cliff,
right beyond the end of the steps, at some point.

I'd imagine a church would have something in place,
to keep people from walking right off the short cliff,
just beyond the end of the steps like that.

I've been taking time to look around my own layout,
to think what a scale person would really do with whatever I'm looking at.
Lots of small changes have taken place from this exercise...


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" I'd imagine a church would have something in place,
to keep people from walking right off the short cliff "


Perhaps Gods guidance directs all the sinners over the cliff edge onto the tracks

Whilst those who follow The Good Book exit the safe way by the back door


:f:


Eddie


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Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Perhaps Gods guidance directs all the sinners over the cliff edge onto the tracks

Whilst those who follow The Good Book exit the safe way by the back door


Thanks Nice Guy!

You just saved me a ton of work.  :apl:


Tom


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Lee,

Whilst Nice Guy has the perfect solution,
I think your idea is a good one, since most of us would need to use the side door,
and it doesn't have one!

It will get a railing, or something...

I think I may try to widen the church area a little to move it back a half inch or so,
and I'm investigating the practicality of a foot bridge,
from the town center, over the tracks to the church.

Tom


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Woodie,

Here is a better shot of your sign:





And how it all fits together:





Tom


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Tom Harbin wrote:
I think I may try to widen the church area a little to move it back a half inch or so,

and I'm investigating the practicality of a foot bridge,

from the town center, over the tracks to the church.


I really like that idea, and you'd do a great job on it, I'm sure!

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Aww, just build more stairs! 

You're a pro now!   ;)


"Junqueologist".. hmm interesting bidness to study.  :thumb:





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Steven,

What a great shot.  Thanks.


Tom


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Hi Tom,


Nice work and colors on all of the buildings,
but I keep admiring the tarpaper on your meat market building.

Since I will be embarking on attaching a lot of tarpaper on one of my buildings,
I need to know how best to attach it.
Rubber cement, or 3M spray, or something else?

I am in HO scale so I don't know if that would make a difference.
I think I saw an answer on another forum but can't seem to find it.


Also, you are using neutral grey on the building?
Is that your mix, or are you buying the paint from a manufacturer?

Your interior floor has a nice color.
Could you tell me what that is also?


Thanks,

Kevin


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Hi Kevin,

I didn't do anything fancy with the tar paper. I just used wood glue.
I don't remember whether I used Ailene's or Elmer's Carpenters but either one would work.
I just applied a very thin coat on the building and smoothed it with the side of a toothpick.
The key is to keep it thin and then smooth it. Then I let it start to set up.
Kind of a contact cement tackiness and applied the tar paper.
It will stick pretty much like it would with contact cement but be a little more forgiving of mistakes.
Biggest thing with tar paper, I think, is sanding it thin enough before applying it.

The neutral gray is actually a Pan Pastel neutral gray applied over a Hunterline driftwood stain.
You can vary the color by how dark the stain is.
I just brushed the driftwood on so it was a light to medium stain.
Pan Pastels can work very well and you can "kind-of" erase mistakes.
They are a little expensive (you can find them for between 5 and 8 dollars each) but they last forever.

The floors were stained with Copic ink markers.
Mainly I used a W4 marker but used a W5 and a W3 in a few spots.
I also used a W5 or a W6 where I wanted a little more emphasis.
The back walls of the meat market are also stained with the Copic markers,
but the battens are all driftwood stain.

Good luck and don't forget to show us your building. If your other work is any indication, I'm quite sure I will be asking you advice on how you did your tar papaer. Your layout is just superb. I really like your trestles. Well, and everything else.

Tom


Last edited on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 05:43 pm by Tom Harbin

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Kevin,

One more thing, I didn't really explain well.

Whatever glue method you use (I would not use a double sided tape,
very hard to avoid seams showing and zero tolerance for application mistakes),
make sure it is fairly dry before applying the tar paper,
or it could stain the tar paper, ruining the effect you are trying to achieve.

Tom


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Here's another one-"ferroequineologist"

Woodie-junqueologist



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W C Greene wrote: Here's another one-"ferroequineologist"

Woodie-junqueologist


:rah: :rah: :rah:


:2t: :2t: :2t:


:apl: :apl: :apl:


In case I was too subtle, I like it!

Tom


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The town of Yellow Creek is moving.

The entire town of Yellow Creek has decided that the scenery in the Tombstone basin area is just too bleak.
They have unanimously decided to uproot the entire town, buildings, mines, railroad, everything.
 
So they loaded up their trucks and moved to...
the Superstitions, lost gold mines, mysterious disappearances. 

Now they will have higher peaks, lower valleys
(around 1300 feet above sea level versus 4300 in the Tombstone area)
and a "crunchier" landscape. 

Since they decided to take their rocks with them,
they had to see first if they could blend their rocks into their new setting.
As a test they had one unincorporated rock from the old Yellow Creek.

It looked like this:





They did a quick re-color with some Pan Pastels to test the feasibility of their venture:





Not great, but not bad either.
They're on their way to their new digs as we speak or rather write.

Tom


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Tom,

I would have thought Alene's or Elmers would have made the tarpaper buckle.
I will try it before I go crazy on the entire walls (a winter project).

Wouldn't have guessed you used Copic markers to stain all that so I'll keep that in mind.
I have a few of those.

I am familiar with the Hunterline stains but don't think I've tried the driftwood.

Thanks for the tips,

Kevin


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So I did a little work on the actual layout today.

First I stripped off the last portions of track that were operationally sub-optimal:





Then I colored the rock cut.
Not a final coloring since there is a bunch of terra-forming that needs to happen near the church area,
but enough to start to get the "flavor" of the new layout.





I didn't bother with the "mountain yet since its fate is still undecided.

Tom


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I'm currently "planning" the new track layout.
Wait a minute... track planning in the Track Planning Forum?
What am I thinking.
Anyway...


I can't do any detail work right now so buildings are on hiatus.
Plus I am taking a better look at my structures.

The structures on the layout that I have been showing are all of the structures that I have ever built,
except for a bunch of totally out-of-the-box Vollmer, Faller, etc. German-style plastic N-Scale structures many years ago.

Overall I'm pretty happy with what I have built but the roofs on all of the earliest structures are just plain bad.
I'm looking at what I can do to get them all in the correct era and decent looking without any or at least minimal cash outlay.
It would be a lot easier if my layout was set in the 20s.
Oh well.

I've tried to use track planning software.  I just don't like it.
The software is fine but I use computers too much as it is and I don't think well in 2D.
I can't sketch a semi-straight line so that doesn't help much either.

EZ-Track to the rescue.
My track planning consists of laying hunks of EZ-Track on foam board,
and pretending it is all connected together and flowing gracefully around the layout.
I have a good imagination...


Here was my first pass at the beginnings of YCWII:





The pile of foam represents the lower portions of a mountain with a tunnel.

The church would be on a flat on the mountain,
and a dirt path would lead from there down into the town below,
represented by the curved hunk of foam.
 
The track going to the left off of the old layout board goes to the outer loop,
that curves around and comes back in at the switch near the tunnel at the back.

The depot would be roughly where the dark brown rectangle is,
and there would be a through siding at the depot that doubles as a passing siding.

The freight station would be on the long inner siding near the old mountain,
and the other siding would be a team track or other industry,
although very few non-mining industries had their own sidings in the west in 1876.


Tom 


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Here is the second pass:





I wanted to eliminate some of the tracks crossing through town to make it less of a spaghetti-track-western town.
I prefer the old westerns.

I eliminated the inner loop and moved the town to the right.
In the original plan (off camera in the V1 photo) the right side was the engine house and engine servicing area.

What I like in this layout is that the town looks much better, at least to me.
What I don't like is that I don't really have an idea yet for where the engine house goes.

The bigger issue is that in the first design I could disconnect the new part,
and still have an operational layout if I find I need to downsize in the future.

If I take the right side off of this version,
I end up with a point-to-point between the depot and the freight house.
Not very inspiring.

Tom




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And here is the third pass:





This eliminates the freight loop as well, which makes for nicer scenery (hopefully).

I couldn't get back far enough to get a view that I thought showed the track layout well enough,
so here are two more shots to make it clearer. 





The white foam represents a foot or possibly wagon overpass.





I like this town even better and I believe it is the best operationally,
but it would not even be able to be broken back down to the original size.

The piece of track going behind the freight house,
goes to the engine service area at the base of a hill.

Here is another view of the town.
I think it has possibilities:





Tom


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Posting here really helps me. 

First, when I was reading Woodie's post about his work area,
it made me go back and look at what I can see of the layout from my desk across the hall.
That will influence several areas of the final design.
I'll talk more about that later.

Second, while proof-reading the posts I saw another alternate track plan for the second pass.
I could eliminate the freight siding instead of the inner loop,
and move the freight station to the lower right siding that was going to be the engine house lead.
That would still allow me to have a smaller but still sorta-functional layout if I need to downsize.

Decision, decisions.
Do any of these "plans" look worth the time to implement?
I am very open to ideas and suggestions, other than give up MRR,
not going to happen.

Tom


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Hi Tom.  :2t:

Lots work going on in Yellow Creek. 
I am liking number three. 

That space for your engine house looks very nice.  Turntable too? 
Visually it has a nice flow.  I do hope that you do not have to downsize.
 
Are you going to serve any mines? 

Where the church is, you could add a short tunnel to tie it all together perhaps. 
There was a tunnel under a graveyard in a place called Cloverdale in California. 

I always thought that was very creepy, being it is close to Halloween and all.  :w:

A tunnel with a cribbed timber approach might give it a scenic break and interest. 
Just a thought. 

I like it.


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Steven,

Thank you!

I didn't think about it but if I combine the tunnel idea from V1 with the rest of V3 it should work very well.
The big problem with the tunnel in V1 was making a believable wagon-width switchback that didn't make the freight spur too short.
If I take the tunnel from V1 and plop it on V3 I can have the road come down behind the buildings and fork into Railroad Ave.
Basically just continue the curved hunk of foam down the "mountain" behind the houses,
and connect it near the edge of the old layout to the main street.

The plan was for a small Kitwood Hills turntable
(I was thinking 9 inch but needed to double check that my 4-4-0 would turn okay on it)
but now it will need to be scratch-built.

I may need to travel to Texas for a while and hang out with Woodie to see if scratch-building is contagious.
Yesterday he sees one photo of a harp stand in Pennsylvania and today he has a scratch-built brass replica.
Unbelievable.

This forum is just chocked full of talent.

Once I get further along I will need to post pictures for Si to critique.
Seems I like to put my points in the worst possible configuration for actually operating a train.

:bang:

I can't do any detail work right now,
so moving big stuff around on the layout will have to suffice.

Also I need to give some serious consideration of my plans for power.
I was planning to go all BPRC but it looks like I can't do it for much less than $50.00/engine.
I already have a full compliment of DCC engines and power/throttles.
I'm not sure I can cost justify that at this point.

Until I make that decision laying track is also on hold,
although I could always just wire for DCC and not use it if I get BPRC going.

Tom


Tom Harbin
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Steven,

Forgot to answer about the mines.

Originally it was going to be a line from two mines down to a stamp mill, or maybe smelter,
with a connecting line to the outside world and a lumber camp.

Somehow it morphed into an old west town center to nowhere.
Oh well, I only own three ore cars anyway.

You bring up a good point.
I will try to place a couple of stubs to the outside world.
Never can tell what the future holds. 

Tom


Tom Harbin
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I haven't done much MRR in the last two weeks,
but I did get a roof on the Land Office/Meat Market/Junqueologist building.















Tom


W C Greene
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Tom, great work!
I'm glad that you put a roof on the junqueologist's office,
it has been raining here for a few days.

W C Greene



Tom Harbin
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Sorry Woodie,

If I'd know I would have put it on sooner.  :bg:

Last time it rained here was a couple of evenings back in July or maybe early August.

Probably won't get anymore until after the new year.

Tom


Tom Harbin
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In the interest of not looking like a total slug,
I'm going to ask a question that I probably don't need an answer to for four or five years,
based on my current progress,
but... here it is anyway.

If you look at this picture you can see that the freight house (Rusty Stumps) platform,
and the team track platform (Crow River) are at very different heights.
I would guesstimate about 3/8" difference.





The team track platform is at about the right height for where my track will end up. 

I don't really want to cut down the freight house platform if I don't need to,
as I think it will look a little silly unless I also redo all of the diagonals.

The only thing I can think of to do,
is to place the freight station below track level for some unknown reason.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Tom


Si.
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O.M.G. !  :old dude:


THAT really IS a bit of a fiendish conundrum !  :dope:

I don't know the answer Tom.  :us:


I think your current plan is to use handlaid track ...  ???

... on 1/8" cork ? was it ? ?  L:



:java::moose: :dt:



Si.


Tom Harbin
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Si. wrote: O.M.G. !  :old dude:


THAT really IS a bit of a fiendish conundrum !  :dope:

I don't know the answer Tom.  :us:


I think your current plan is to use handlaid track ...  ???

... on 1/8" cork ? was it ? ?  L:


Si,

Handlaid.

No cork, flat on the foam.

Tom


Eric T
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Tom Harbin wrote:
Any ideas or suggestions?


To make sure I have the concept correct,
you want the building's platform to be the same height as the plastic one across the rails from it?

If so, I would drill holes in the foam to lower the building,
ince they can be filled if drilled too far.

Or if you want to change the profile of the diagonals, remove the legs and diagonals to trim their tops,
then re-attach them to the building.


Tom Harbin
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Eric T wrote:
To make sure I have the concept correct,
you want the building's platform to be the same height as the plastic one across the rails from it?

If so, I would drill holes in the foam to lower the building,
since they can be filled if drilled too far.

Or if you want to change the profile of the diagonals, remove the legs and diagonals to trim their tops,
then re-attach them to the building.


Eric,

You have the concept correct.

Let me add a wrinkle.

Here is the base. The supports are glued to a piece of 1/64" ply.





And here is the structure on the supports.





The roof, the building and the supports/platform are three separate pieces.

Tom


oztrainz
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Hi Tom,

Now if you had a length of standard gauge track on the other side of that freight shed,
for transhipping with one O scale standard gauge box car??
O standard gauge wagon deck height would be higher than the On30 wagon deck height.

Of course the easy way out would be to simply add a shim under the smaller platform,
so that it matches your higher freight house deck height.

Or am I missing something??


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Drats!  

I had this problem on my former HO layout.  I had built the structure on a piece of plywood and had tracks running through it.  I needed the tracks to obviously match up with the lead.  Grrr.  

So I cut out the foam and shimmed the plywood directly onto the benchwork until it all matched up, then secured both the lead and plywood base to prevent earthquakes from messing with the alignment.  Fortunately you don't have to worry about track height  problems as far as operations go.  

:dt:

Tom Harbin
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John,

No, you're not missing anything. There won't be any standard gauge on the layout. The YCW is a small middle-of-nowhere railroad. My problem is not so much how to match them up physically but rather philosophically. Why would they crib up the tracks?

My original idea was that the freight station was built on the edge of a wash so the tracks were on a short trestle. Well, actually, I didn't have an original idea. I just built the freight station straight out of the box while recuperating from an operation. Other than a small Banta crossing shanty built as a test, it was my first structure build. Once I laid the permanent track (the EZ-Track is elevated enough that the mismatch is small) I realized that the platform was at O-Scale height not On30 height. To make it worse I am downsizing to Chiver's Finelines size cars so small even for On30.

My current thinking is that the station is on hard rock and they just cut a trestle under the station to match the contours of the hard rock rather than blast. If I sculptamold the base and make it a little more uneven that might work. The tracks are just on slightly higher rock.

If I was modeling somewhere like Morenci it would be no problem as they had to fit a whole city, mining operations and a train on a postage stamp of hard rock. Anything would be plausible there. I'm modeling someplace more like a John Wayne or Randolph Scott western town. Lots of dirt and at least a little space to grow.
I have a scene in my mind but the mismatch of the platform and the tracks keep making it seem like a caricature instead of "authentic". Probably the best solution would be to chop the trestle off and make a solid wood or rock foundation but that's not much of a challenge.

:bg:

One of the things I find most valuable on Freerails is the wealth of knowledge and the exchange of ideas. I figure there probably is some reason they would build a very slightly elevated track (or slightly depressed station) but I can't come up with one. Or maybe someone sees a potential for modification I don't see. I'm totally open, even if it means ditching the freight station altogether. It does have a few challenges since I didn't have a clue what I was doing when I built it.
 
Tom

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Steven,

This is almost exactly what I was considering this morning. I'm thinking about mounting the freight station base to a piece of foam big enough to also hold the track and make it a mini-diorama/plug-in module. Now I just need a sensible reason for the difference in ground planes. I may, or may not include the team track platform on the same base. I'm thinking about having it on a separate track but I'm not sure I can squeeze it into the area available.

The only problem is that it makes me start to consider the idea of a modular or sectional layout rather than my little one-piece island. I can confuse myself into inaction if I have the choice of two different coffee flavors in the morning. Something like these choices could put me into a corner whimpering softly to myself and making little choo-choo noises under my breath.


Tom 

oztrainz
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For Tom -
inbound and outbound
Inbound stuff gets rolled off the wagon down onto the lower level platform for distribution by horse & cart to the town. Outbound stuff from the freight house gets rolled down into into the wagons for points elsewhere by train.

Never do to give our model workers hernias when hauling stuff to/from our trains. See what a considerate Boss I am?? ;)

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Tom,

It looks like the track behind the freight house is elevated.  Could you elevate the track to the freight house slightly to bring the car floor even with the freight platform?  The small grey platform in front could also be raised up to get it to floor level.


You could carve away some of the foam and lower the freight house with the reasoning that there's a small creek nearby that occasionally overflows it's banks.


I completely rebuilt the San Miguel yard on my layout with the reasoning that the old yard was prone to flooding from severe thunderstorms and management was tired of having to clean up the mess each time.


It's your railroad so whatever seems right to you is right.

Tom Harbin
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oztrainz wrote: For Tom -
inbound and outbound
Inbound stuff gets rolled off the wagon down onto the lower level platform for distribution by horse & cart to the town. Outbound stuff from the freight house gets rolled down into into the wagons for points elsewhere by train.

Never do to give our model workers hernias when hauling stuff to/from our trains. See what a considerate Boss I am?? ;)


John,

That is a very clever solution. It took me a few minutes to really absorb it but it works.

Tom

Tom Harbin
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Michael M wrote:
Tom,

It looks like the track behind the freight house is elevated.  Could you elevate the track to the freight house slightly to bring the car floor even with the freight platform?  The small grey platform in front could also be raised up to get it to floor level.

You could carve away some of the foam and lower the freight house with the reasoning that there's a small creek nearby that occasionally overflows it's banks.

I completely rebuilt the San Miguel yard on my layout with the reasoning that the old yard was prone to flooding from severe thunderstorms and management was tired of having to clean up the mess each time.

It's your railroad so whatever seems right to you is right.


Michael.

We just may have a winner here. Washouts have always been a problem in southern Arizona. With the caliche-ridden ground here even a dry wash floods easily during a storm. I can have a dry wash with some tell tale signs of past flooding and it would explain elevating both the track and station, maybe even make it look like it was raised after a washout.

It just may work. Thanks.

Tom

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Hi Tom  :wave:


How's things going ?  L:





You just gotta love board-by-board !  :thumb:


Did you figure out your platform height issues ?  ???



:moose:



Si.


Tom Harbin
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Lots of progress...





Tom

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You've added a barrel,
adjusted the position on the mat,
changed the lighting,
turned on the TV. 

These things take time. 

Great work! 

You're on pace with my projects.  

:bg:


Tom Harbin
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Steven,

You must be great on those "Find x differences" puzzles!

You caught every intended, visible, difference. I didn't feel like scrounging up the right mix of tool clutter for next to the structure and I don't even know what was on the table with the lamp back then, some Christmas decoration or other that is in summer storage.  The other non-visual difference was the six months it sat on the mounted-hunk-of-foam platform in the "train room" between the two shots.

I was moving the structures from the layout board to the living room so that we could do some work on the train room without damaging them. It just so happened that I had the same work table at about the same spot in the room while we were bringing the structures to the living room and remembered Si's post. It made me giggle realizing that the only difference in all of that time was the addition of the barrel so I set up the shot with just enough differences that someone might take a double-take.

I've been following your thread and am eagerly awaiting your painting write-up.
Great work on the Banta "depot".

I reckon your productivity is around 30 times mine but whose counting?
I did spend a frenzied 15 minutes or so on the dress shop,
after I did the meat market shot.

Tom


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Hey Tom,

30x?!  My that is generous! 

I am laying up some more boards,
but I had to unload two trailers, clean out the house for more junk,
and so while I got the work space cleaned up, progress is slow. 

I will get the coloring post done, when I color. 
It's a good thing we don't need this for income... We'd be starving! 

:Crazy:


Tom Harbin
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Thanks to Si's prodding I'm slowly starting to do some model railroading again.
Thanks Si.

I've spent a couple of hours working on the dressmaker's shop while I'm still pondering how I'm going to detail the dry goods store without compromising the ability to open it up and I'm a little burned-out on the junqueologist building for now.

I am working on the dressmaker's very much out of order, mainly because I really dislike working on the resin front windows. 

I added the front facade to get a better idea of how it fits into the "town". Then the hardest part, deciding the colors. Thanks to Steven B's tutorial on using inexpensive paints I had a much larger choice of colors available. I actually settled on an old craft store "chalk" paint I had on hand. It is "Patina".

I undercoated the facade with Copic markers. I use them on simulated board by board because  I can very the shade on individual boards. Then I diluted the craft paint heavily. Sadly, I had no Vodka available so I had to make do with airbrush thinner. 


Anyway, here are the results:





And here is how it looks with what I think will be the general layout of the main street in Yellow Creek:





Tom


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Looks really nice Tom. 

Great color too.  I like the "not" white, it is classy. 

Good luck with the windows. 
I worked on mine tonight.  Done...  I always seem to scratch them. 

No vodka?!  I guess airbrush thinner would do in a pinch. 

My wife finally found my stash of vodka...
I pointed out the that it only uses the finest grains and purest water. 
I think she got a hangover looking at it. 

:hyp:

She said,  "Wow I thought that was a vodka bottle down there."  [whack]  :w:

I said,  "It is. Have you tried to find isopropyl alcohol lately?" 

Inside scoop - she was in the medical field, I thought I would appeal to her scientific background. 
I'm not sure it flew, but I was honestly being up front about the whole thing. 
I can quit whenever I want.  :boogie:


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" Thanks to Si's prodding I'm slowly starting to do some model railroading again.

Thanks Si. "


Hi Tom  :wave:


Glad to know I might be of some use after all.  ;)


YES ! ... I spotted the 'barrel' as well !!  [toast]





Lookin'  VERY  C :cool: :cool: L  indeed.  :thumb:



Good to read about different techniques, such as marker pens ...

... water-soluble coloured pencils, like Caran D'ache(TM), can be useful as well.  L:



:cb: :cb: :cb: :cb: :cb:  5 Ten Gallon Hats !



Si.



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