2014-2015 Seventh Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 13, 2014

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome to the 2014-2015 Seventh Annual International Winter Layout Party
    Since the first one in Spring 2002, the Layout Parties have traditionally been hosted in the Layout Design Forum.
    Why International? Trainboard has members from over 75 countries around the world, so the Layout Party draws its participants from throughout the international community.
    Why Winter? Threads for the 6 Layout Parties held in the Spring had 180 to 240 posts. The 2009 Winter thread had more than twice as many posts…so we decided to arrange future Layout Parties during the winter months.

    We know you're out there!
    Yeah, you… and you… and you with the potato chip hanging off your lip and the half-drunk beverage sitting beside you. We know you're not working on your layout as much as you hoped to.
    You may have ideas for a new project that you always wanted to try but never got around to. Or there is a stack of kits on your workbench you’ve been meaning to start. Or you have a partially completed project that has been neglected for far too long. Or you have an almost-finished project that just needs some final fine-tuning and attention to complete.

    The purpose of the Layout Party is to offer recognition, encouragement, and support to all participants who are working on a layout project, and to provide inspiration to those following others’ progress in the thread. We hope to have a group of people who will post about the work completed on their layout at least once a week for 10 weeks. We will, of course, congratulate those who have worked on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.

    This year's Layout Party officially begins tomorrow (Sunday, December 14, 2014) and will run for 10 weeks until Sunday, February 22, 2015.
    [Oh, alright…I guess if you really want to post today, you can start partying now.]


    Rules for The 2014-15 Seventh Annual International Winter Layout Party thread:

    1. In your first post, please include descriptions of:
    --your layout (brief),

    --the area of your layout that you intend to work on (“before” pictures, please…if available), and

    --a description of what you hope to accomplish in the 8 weeks of the Layout Party.

    2. At least once each week, post a brief description and/or pictures of your progress--or lack of progress--so far, and what you hope to accomplish in the next week. The object of the Layout Party is to have fun, so plan accordingly: set a reasonable goal...and feel free to revise your goal upward or downward as you go along, so you are having fun instead of feeling stressed.

    3. At the end of the Layout Party, post a description and/or picture(s) of your accomplishments.


    FWIW: Some observations and suggestions:

    • Life Happens. The idea here is for us to have some fun and act as an electronic support group so we can each get more done on our layouts.
    • Make a firm commitment to post at least once each week about progress on your layout project.
    • If you fall off the Layout Party Work Wagon, acknowledge it by reporting it honestly.
    • Then climb back on the Layout Party Work Wagon. Declaring exactly what you plan to work on during the next week will help you get back on the Layout Party Work Wagon.
    • When we have others coming over to see our layouts, we tend to get more done because we plan and prepare better, and then actually follow through so we have something to show our visitors and can garner some strokes for all our efforts. Posting in the Annual Layout Party works in much the same way: we plan, prepare, and follow through a little better when we know someone will be seeing our progress.
    • If you encounter difficulties on the layout project, remember that the other participants and all the Trainboard members following the Layout Party thread can be a resource for encouragement and problem-solving.
    • If you have any problems posting pics, let us know so we can do appropriate problem-solving.

    Many participants have enjoyed this format and have commented that they accomplished more work on their layout in the short time we ran a Layout Party thread than they had in long time. Many members posted pictures, asked questions, moaned about problems, and encouraged others who were working through their frustrations. Check out these links to our past layout parties.

    2013-2014 Sixth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party (Really, it was the Fifth Annual)

    2011-2012 Third Annual International Winter Layout Party (Really, it was the Fourth Annual)

    2010-2011 Third Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2009-2010 Second Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2008-2009
    2009 - First Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2008 - Spring Layout Party
    Sixth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2007 - Spring Layout Party
    Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2005 – Spring Layout Party
    http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/...=door+knockers

    2004 – Spring Layout Party
    http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/...light=Armchair

    2003 – Spring Layout Party
    http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/...2&pp=25&page=3

    2002 – Spring Layout party
    http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/...light=Armchair
     
  2. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, this truly will be a layout party for me...I'm starting a new one! Long story short I have reached an all-time low of available space and plan to build a glorified test loop just so I can run trains every once in a while. Old school roundy-roundy, track plan developed around some prototype BNSF rails in/near my home town. (obviously extreme compression and modeling license in full effect!) I believe it came out to 62"x35" or somewhere thereabout.

    BNSF_DecaturHill.png
    My goals for the layout party are to get the foam cut out for the underlying board to mount the track to, and get the basic track in place and trains running. I am going to eventually be making some ever so slight grade adjustment and some basic cuts and fills plus an underpass and a creek, but all of that work will come later. Just a simple and hopefully achievable goal...I have found I have very little time during this winter period due to the holidays and an annual work event immediately after the first of the year that consumes a ton of time...including being gone for 8 straight days in mid-January.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for posting those past historical links!
     
  4. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    CC&CI Winter Party Plan

    In your first post, please include descriptions of:
    --your layout (brief),
    --the area of your layout that you intend to work on (“before” pictures, please…if available), and
    --a description of what you hope to accomplish in the 8 weeks of the Layout Party.

    My layout in an "L" shaped shelf switching layout built on an 18"x80" HCD and a hand-built end section. The layout in squeezed into a 10'x4' utility closet. Despite the scenery and structures I'm only around 60% of what I would consider the closest thing to "finished".

    My intentions for this party will be a little more spread out due to the small size of the layout. My primary focus is to complete operational track work (I'll elaborate later). This includes a spur for an A&P Tea Co warehouse (and icehouse), a spur for a small-time coal company truck dump and a team track, as well as a spur shared by an HVAC equipment distributor and a small Rolling Mill. This includes all feeders and buss connection.

    [​IMG]
    The above shot is an out-of-date shot showing the tunnel in the corner. There is already track laid between the turnouts and the existing layout on the far left. The bottom track will lead to the industrial coatings business. The second track up on the left will be the main, the third track up on the left will be the run-around. The branching off at the top will lead to the coal company truck dump at the bottom of the hill and a team track just beyond to the right. The other track branching off will be the spur to the A&P warehouse. I'll update photos later!

    The A&P Tea warehouse will be an oddity. I am going to lay track in the back ground along the wall from Left to right exiting a tunnel, crossing a truss bridge and continuing on. This track won't be live, although I will run "dead" feeders for future connections. Anywho, the A&P warehouse will have to somehow fit between the embankment holding up the The Chicopee Road Mountaineer Subdivision and the spur track. I'll have to lay all tracks and just scratch build to the space available. I don't anticipate a permanent structure for the layout party.

    However, At the risk of my original goals not being ambitious enough, I would like to at least be starting track work in the area of the old "Ravenswood Yard" which will become an industrial coatings industry, and the largest customer on the layout.
     
  5. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome to the Party, guys!

    Doug: Hectic holiday schedules are bound to affect how much time and energy anyone can invest in the Party. During some years of past Winter Parties, we had dozens of posts in the last 10 days of December and other years there were very few. Regardless of how much (or little) time you can carve out for the Party, it's nice to have you participating. As your work progresses, are pics a possibility?

    Ken: You're welcome. There is some very impressive modeling done every year during the Layout Party.

    Patrick: Great back story for the CCCIRR in your TrainBoard and CCCIRR blog entries, and fantastic weathering on that PRR 1113 switcher in your TB locomotives album.
     
  6. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    For this year's Layout Party, I have a number of relatively small projects that I want to complete:
    1. Wire in some kill switches to individual tracks in the East Peoria Yard Engine Facility (foreground of this picture).
    [​IMG]
    2. Electrically protect some turnouts on my mainline so locos can't run through misaligned turnouts, and add some alignment indicators (LEDs) near their fascia toggles for operators.
    3. Complete lane stripes on I-474 in Hillards Block, and add trees to the sides of the embankment. (I probably won't do much about the paper mock-up of the bridge until I get better at SketchUp and can have a 3D bridge printed.)
    Hillards I-474 Shade-Lohman 2012-08-11 19.04.56.jpg
    4. Add and/or upgrade the scenery in Hillards Block where the trees meet the backdrop in the area of the layout between the engine facility of Party Goal #1 and the I-474 bridge of Party Goal #3).
    DCP_2262.jpg
     
  7. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    The Gey and Grandure X

    In an Ideal World:
    The Grey and Grandure X will be running by January 1st. but that remains to be scene / seen. Once I gain access to my space and can allocate time I should be able to:
    1. Rebuild the table into a smaller area
    2. Put up a simple oval of track for the 5yo
    3. Redraw a version of this into a 10'x2' area with an 'L" to the left for the 'Grandure Yard'.
    4. [​IMG]
    5. Build it
    6. Wire it
    7. Scenic it
    Expand it, (someday)

    But first I must get access to the table.
    Sequence
    While my goals will be easy to achieve once I get to the space there is a list of projects that must be completed first.
    Projects, (in this order)

    1. Get shelves up in the kitchen. This will free up space to move the dining room table.
    2. Move the dining room table. This will free up space to get to the layout.
    3. Cut the layout back. This will free up space to put my, (boom-a-rang), step-daughter's 2nd dresser.'
    4. Build a bar / storage 'closet' to store the bedding for aforementioned step-daughter and her 5yo son. They are sleeping in my living room.
    THEN
    I can start the 'Grey and Grandure X'.

    Some might think, 'Grey and Grandure X'., "X". Is that version '10'? No, just 'X" as in 'XYZ'. I have given up on trying to number the versions. I hope I can get this one done. :)
     
  8. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    So, I'm jumping in again! Every time I join one of these challenges, I make . . . well progress may not be the right word, but at least it keeps me honest.

    I'm building a roughly u-shaped model of KCS/Watco (Baton Rouge Southern) rail operations in norther East Baton Rouge Parish, LA circa 2000 (1995-2005 to be exact). The model is N scale, and features mostly code 55 track with manual throws, NCE Powercab DCC, and a lot of pink scenery (since i use foam as my scenery base over plywood). I've got blogging presence on two other sites (http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/blog/kcsphil1 and http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=30300.0) which should fill you in on the back story. I chose this area both because its my home town, and because I will, eventually, tackle some part of a model of the UTLX dome that used to stand in that part of the parish (https://www.flickr.com/photos/41143146@N02/galleries/72157622622820383).

    Below is a rough track plan - note it doesn't actually match what I have done to date and is from the now defunct Atlas Right Trak software. But you get the idea. Track laying and scenery in the Refinery are complete, the fiddle yard has been replaced by a larger and partially sceniced yard form a friend's former layout. The track across the middle (by LArsen's Farm) is also laid, but doesn't match the configuration you see here.

    [​IMG]

    Items I want to complete in this Winter Layout Party:
    • Complete track laying fro Bucky's dome, the Devil's Swamp dock, and Agway
    • Drop and wire all leads for the track segments and connect to the bus.
    • Complete "Bufkin's Bayou" the very not where is should be link form the yard to the Refinery
    • Get my workbench cleared of projects . . . .
    • Draw a new and more accurate track plan.
    That should mostly keep me out of trouble!
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ha ha. I've said this myself, too many times. Somehow, it never works... :)
     
  10. pdx1955

    pdx1955 TrainBoard Member

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    I'll throw my hat in too so at least I can be motivated to do something over the wet winter. I've been working on my 7X15 or so point-to-point layout representing Portland, Oregon on the east bank of the Willamette River in 1955 for some time now. It features the SP but also has a good portion of UP and some NP and SP&S. The focus is the transfer between yards and switching of industry but has some "run-though" passenger on its way to/from Union Station. I've started transforming the plywood prairies into something that looks like the pictures I've been staring at over the last decade :).

    For this layout party, I want to continue this transformation into more recognizable forms. I have too many buildings to scratchbuild so I will concentrate on some that can use kits as is or kitbashes to start for the most part. I'd like to make progress on my 30" lumber wharf (1st pic), and mostly complete the street pavement for the UP's 2nd St line (2nd/3rd pics). In addition, there are a number of buildings to start like the Portland Gas & Electric substation (3rd pic- flat against the backdrop) and a couple others that I have gathered parts for.

    2ndSt.JPG wharf.JPG SPSXing.JPG

    Now if I get bored with concrete and brick, I can also work on the scenery for my 2nd NP layout representing the area around Cle Elum , WA in 6 square feet.

    Cle_Elum.JPG US10.JPG

    I got lots of tasks and any forward progress is good - its always nice to see what has been planned come together!

    Peter
     
  11. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome aboard the Layout Party Work Wagon!!
    Steve: I'm glad the G and G keeps chugging along. Is it possible to implement a variation of the Under-the-Layout storage shelving or drawers someone (you?) posted about a few years ago...or is the living room space too limited to store both layout "stuff" and bedding/clothing?
    Philip: "Get my workbench cleared of projects..." Aren't all workbenches like Medusa or Hydra: when you complete one project, two more take its place? Is the bridge with turnouts into Elkins completed...or is it one of the workbench projects needing to be cleared?
    Peter: Nice job on the backdrop behind the substation and in your RailImages pics. I'm looking forward to watching how you "bury" tracks in your streets.
     
  12. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, that was me who posted and built a table / shelves 'unit'. There will be a set of cabinets under the layout at some point but not soon. As it is, the layout will be expanded across the dressers hopefully no later than May 1st. The overall design will eveolve into a 'dog bone' configuration with an "L" at the left end for the 'Grandure Yard'. Even that will be cut back from 24" to 12", maybe 18"s.
     
  13. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    The yard lead bridge looks like this, minus the clamps:
    IMG_1475%u00255B1%u00255D.JPG

    I have some ME code 55 bridge track to glue in for the front segment, and some Central Valley bridge details (walkways etc) to install so the tie spacing is less noticeable.
     
  14. pdx1955

    pdx1955 TrainBoard Member

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    I'm adapting a method in Kalmbach's urban scenery book using completely using styrene as I thought I would have more control in N versus using a strathmore product as in the original HO method. I'm also concerned that any paper type product will eventually warp. What you see in the pictures is styrene strip that will take 0.020" styrene sheet over the ties and spikes to put against the outside rail. I will have 0.040" between the rails - there will be a larger flange gap but it looks to be an acceptable tradeoff. I already painted the plywood between the rails black to make the ties disappear once the street is laid. The combo will result in the rails slightly higher than the pavement to minimize rubbing when the track is cleaned. I did one piece to experiment with already but the overall process is to use tracing paper to outline the rails then use carbon paper to transfer the drawing to styrene sheet which is then cut out/sanded to fit. Eventually everything would get puttied and painted and detailed with cracks, grates, striping , etc.
     
  15. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Best laid plans...
    My wife had hip surgery last Tuesday, so I've been spending most of my time on the main floor of our house assisting her, and haven't done anything on the originally posted list of Layout Party goals.
    However, I've made lemonade from the lemons sent my way and decided to jump into one of the projects that's been on a back burner for years: kitbashing a heel trunnion bridge for the Peoria and Pekin Union's double track drawbridge over the Illinois River.

    The prototype bridge looked like this: P_PU_Draw_Bridge_from_SangerSlide15.JPG PPU Bridge at Peoria No. 1998.jpg P_PU_Draw_Bridge_Aerial_Slide_17.JPG PPU Bridge at Peoria No. 1999 up.jpg

    Many years ago, I sketched out where I wanted the bridge on the Homasote, and, in 2006 I made a cardboard mock-up of the lifting mechanism and counterweight to go with the plastic bridge I was using as a space holder:
    [​IMG]
    In 2009, I carved out the river:
    [​IMG]
    And, in the past year or so, the scene has looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    To be readily available to help my wife during her recovery, I brought up some tools and materials from the basement train room and set up on our dining room table. (Yes Dear, I have the table safely covered, so it won't be scratched or get glue on it.)
    In between grocery shopping, meal preparations, and attempting to perform all of the Christmas Magic that my wife usually manages, I was able to shorten the bridge by 1/4 of its length, and work out some of the geometries involved in making the counterweights lift the bridge to the proper upright angle without having any blueprints to establish dimensions. None of the pictures I have of the PPU bridge (which was replaced with a lift bridge in 1984) provide details of the operator's cab, motor shed, or counterweights, so I've been exercising my modeler's license, BIGTIME, but I'll be able to capture the flavor of this signature structure on my layout.

    Although I've experimented with various dimensions and configurations of the rocking truss and counterweight linkage to the bridge to make the lifting mechanism believable (so it could actually work if I wanted it to), the final model will always be in the down position and the entire bridge and counterweight structure will rest on the deck and track supports but will NOT be glued to it. This is so I'll have high operating electrical and mechanical reliability running trains over the bridge, and so I can easily remove the structure for cleaning track.

    [​IMG]
    In the pic, you can see the white rectangular tubing I used for the counterweight tower and the black plastic I-beams I used for the upper and lower linkage between the tower and the bridge...note that the linkage is roughly a rectangle that the operating strut (not shown in the model or on the graph paper) will collapse into a very narrow parallelogram to lift the bridge. On the graph paper, you see the linkage has a 5-sided shape instead of a rectangle. A very close examination of several pictures revealed the prototype linkage actually has 5 sides, not 4, and it was only after discovering this on Sunday afternoon, that I could reproduce the configuration of struts and beams that moved the bridge properly.

    My next step is to make the rocking truss and the 5-sided linkage between the tower and the bridge, then make the counter weight, operator's cab, and motor shed.
    Depending on how quickly my wife recovers and I'm able to spend time downstairs in the train room, I'll eventually shift from this alternative goal, and start working on my original goals for the Layout Party.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2014
  16. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    I now have a clear clean spot on the olde table. Most likely I'll get an oval of track running for tomorrow.
    From there it will be a few hours work next Monday to cut the olde table back to the future version, X.
     
  17. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice work on the bridge design, Dave!

    I actually made minuscule progress on my layout construction last night. No pics yet (not exciting stuff to this point) but soon. I bought some "pink foam"... one sheet of 1" and one sheet of 1/2". I also need a sheet of 3/4" but they were out.

    My plan is to laminate the 1" and the 3/4" together to make the layout board, then use the 1/2" for some slight elevation changes plus cuts/fills and hills. I thought I might get by with just the 1" and 1/2", but it just wasn't as firm as I wanted, plus I needed a little additional depth to allow for a highway underpass. Anyway, I cut the 4x8 sheets down to the basic dimension of the layout...roughly 36"x64" that will eventually get trimmed down a little further and sculpted/curved edges and ends.
     
  18. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Thanks, Doug. Depending on how well it turns out, I may clean up my drawings and scan them, take some decent pictures of the various steps in the kitbash (with a real camera, instead of with my phone), and put them into a blog entry(ies)...or write up a presentation on my kitbash for a future NMRA division meeting.

    Would adding 1/8th inch hardboard (Masonite) around the edges provide a little more firmness without adding too much weight (like would happen if you framed everything with 1x2s or 1x3s)?
     
  19. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    I imagine that would work, but I'm not sure it's necessary. Like I said, I need more depth anyway so I have confidence that laminating the 1" and the 3/4" will yield a good result. (and if not, then maybe I'll try the masonite!) I'm also going to have a 1/2" foam x 6" tall center divider/backdrop running down almost the entire length, which should also give some bit of added stability.
     
  20. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Nice!...and less expensive than hardboard, too.
     

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