2014-2015 Seventh Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 13, 2014

  1. stew d

    stew d TrainBoard Member

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    ppuin......that highway looks awesome!!! I love how you went from a wider road to a narrower (don't know if that's a word :) by tapering down the grass median in the middle. Very cool idea!!!!

    Keith, great start man!! Can't wait until we get to the point of putting down more foam. Layout really starts to take "shape" then! We have a TON to do before we can get to that point.
     
  2. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks!!
    Getting a couple of bottles of black paint today, so I can paint
    roadbed, before starting to glue track down.
    Gotta get more terminal joiners first, so I can spread the DCC signal
    around the layout better.
    At least track is down though, and runnable, so I can run trains for now.
    Make sure everything runs right, and make needed changes while I still can!

    Although, before that, I really need to remove ALL track, get layout out to garage
    and cut/sand foam along edges!! I've got up to a 1" overhang where I didn't get
    foam lined up right when I originally started gluing it down.

    Seems like too much to do, and not nearly enough time to be it all done!
     
  3. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Thanks Stew.
    I'm using forced perspective throughout my layout: the grass median and tapered roadway...and almost all of the roads that "disappear" toward the back of the shelves, smaller trees and smaller texture of ground foam near the backdrop and at the top of my background tree flats, smaller structures or pictures of structures at the back of the shelves or on the backdrop.
    [​IMG]
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    Hillery Engine Facility 2014-01-17 10.04.45.jpg
     
  4. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Quick snapshot of the yard removal for the placement of a new industry in the future. Still need to sand off the old ballast before planning new track placement.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    I promise I worked like a dog on the layout this weekend, but it doesn't look much different. Most of the work involved prepping everything so I could laminate the three layers together, including a lot of "figuring" which took an inordinate amount of time and in some instances I'm still not sure I got things right but I'm moving the yard markers nevertheless. :|


    [​IMG]
    This is the town side. This is a very mocked up scene...just laid the track out and threw some building just to give some bit of idea of how things will end up. One turnout is missing because I have it all soldered up with feeders and it won't mock very well. Noteable is the Zephyr pocket in the lower corner which was a recent "add". It looks a little unappealing in the photo, but it actually looks (and more importantly works) pretty good. Remember I have an extreme space issue and having it as a "built in" will be very helpful, even if I sacrifice some curb appeal. Also notable is the center backdrop which still needs work and paint.


    [​IMG]
    And the hill side... Did some carving and rising and mocked up the graphite plant.


    [​IMG]
    Bird view. It occurred to me that I needed to square off one end so that it could be leaned up against a wall vertically when not in use. Without a flat edge, it would be prone to simply roll around....not desired behavoir. :facepalm: But, that feature also permitted the Zephyr cubbyhole. So, I like it. It'll look better once it is painted I think.
     
  6. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Couple more...


    [​IMG]
    This is what I'd call a progressive shot...you may recall the downtown Google maps pic I posted so this will eventually (hopefully) morph into that.


    [​IMG]
    And finally, had to get one with a train in it! :) Love me some 70MAC's... 8)


    What you don't see, is I also not only glued the layers together, but cut "conduit" into the foam at various places for running feeders. Making a layout entirely out of foam means you can't just run feeders under the framework....there is no framework. So I cut channels and also two cavities for two DS64's to control the 6 turnouts. Then painted it all...I don't like the idea of wiring laying around on exposed naked foam. :scared: And I ran 50lb test line throughout before gluing everything so I can use it to fish (no pun intended) the wires through. (if you look closely at the 70MAC pic you can see some line coming out from under the bridge.)


    I also experimented with making my own "Woodland Scenics risers" out of the foam. It was actually "relatively" successful but it did take awhile, and I'm still not done yet. I cut out the subroadbed under the track (it's temporarily placed back for the pics) and then cut slots into a leftover 1/3 sheet of 1" foam. THEN I cut out the custom measured grade out of that piece and cut opposing wedge cuts with a sheetrock knife. The end result is really good, but it is just a very time consuming and tedious process. If you look at the 1" foam wrong it will break, and it doesn't really like the tight curves I'm putting it in. But it works. So yes, I'm a master at taking a simple layout and making it overly complicated. But I'm learning in the process...some of it will carry forward, some ideas will get bashed in the head.
     
  7. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Doug that looks great. The zephyr pocket idea makes a lot of sense too.

    I like the layout of the track a lot. It's not too cluttered. I tend to end up adding in too much at times. I would be filling up that town area with some track for switching, but sometimes that kind of over design ruins the look of a layout.

    Can't wait to see it get some scenery. :)
     
  8. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    You and me BOTH!!!

    Thank you for your comments. The track simplicity is helped by modeling a specific place, at least somewhat accurately. Plenty of modeler's license going on but I think most people familiar with the area would be able to identify it. It's actually kinda refreshing not having to make the spaghetti or no spaghetti decision. ;-) I still could have up to five fairly legit industry spots if I wanted to have a small switching session.
     
  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks great, Doug! Glad to see some progress.
     
  10. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    This (badly focused) pic shows the trees on the outside of the fill leading to the overpass and some fine-tuning on the fill's grass median strip (grass is now up to the guardrails) and the pier heights have been tweaked to better support the single sheet of foamboard that runs from the facsia to the orange steel girders of the river bridge mock-up. That entire piece of foamboard can be easily removed to give me access for cleaning the main and siding tracks. Presently, the piers are cut from foamboard, but I eventually plan to replace them with plastic or wood painted to look like concrete...probably when I finally replace the river bridge paper mock-up with a 3D printed bridge. I still want to add a narrow strip of paper to the edge of the foamboard because simply painting the edge gray did not sufficiently hide the pockmarked texture of the foamboard. Because the guardrails start so far away from the overpass bridge, it won't be necessary to add any orange water barrels as crash barriers.
    [​IMG]

    I also added relay/battery/electrical boxes and (non-working) crossing gates and flashers to Whitehouse Crossing. A Google Street View of the crossing shows even more electrical boxes than I modeled. Does anyone know the purpose/function of the various-sized boxes?...which boxes were for the track signals (which are near this crossing on the prototype, but are not modeled on my layout--yet), which for the gates/flashers, and what were "battery boxes" used for?
    I still have to trim to size and glue down each of the road crossing pieces, and I'm going to add a short, narrow, dirt access road to the electrical boxes on the far side of the tracks. Next to a siding that starts just outside the picture to the left, I'll be adding a stack of old RR ties that are waiting to be picked up.
    [​IMG]

    Straight ahead from this intersection is the entrance to the Peoria Lock and Dam. The road to the left leads to Koch Nitrogen and Tuloma Oil, and the road to the right goes under the overpass to Central Illinois Grain and Central Illinois Dock. The oil pipeline runs from Tuloma Oil, over the Lock and Dam entrance and under the I-474 overpass, to Central Illinois Dock.
    The Lock and Dam handrail was in a $2 grab bag of mixed parts that I found at a train meet several years ago, the sidewalk is just a strip of cardboard cut from the backing for a pad of paper salvaged from the trash, and the guardrails separating the sidewalk from the parking area, are Evergreen Plastic I-beams. I made the pipeline from sprues saved from plastic structure kits, shaved to size, and painted. The pipeline support over the entrance road is made from Evergreen Plastic I-beams and a Plastruct girder. The guardrails protecting the pipeline are also Evergreen Plastic I-beams. For the Party, I still have more handrail to put up along the Peoria Lock and Dam, but I'll probably not upgrade the foamboard, Homasote, and cardboard mock-ups of the Lock and Dam structures until next year's Layout Party.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    On the other side of the I-474 overpass, I have painted both the south and north driveways that cross the tracks to serve McGrath Ag Supplies and Central Illinois Grain. In the 1970s, the driveway serving the prototype building crossed the tracks both north and south of the building; but, currently, Google and Bing Maps show that only the south driveway is used (i.e., trucks now make a tight 180 degree turn to exit out the south driveway, instead of the north). Although I'd considered having a loop and even cleared an area of trees to put it in, I'm going to fill the area back in. Both the raggedy cardboard mock-up of the McGrath building and the contact saline solution cans used to mock-up the Central Illinois Grain elevator will remain unchanged for this Layout Party.
    [​IMG]

    The access road into the oil loading/unloading area of the Central Illinois Dock has been painted, some trees have been planted, and the oil pipeline is complete into a small building (that is hidden behind the trees). I still have to make and paint the docking facility in the river and run pipes and a walkway from the small building on land to the dock on/in the river.
    [​IMG]

    A week or so ago, I replaced a paper mock-up of the scrap metal shed with a cardboard and duct tape mock-up that is about twice as wide as the paper mock-up. I'm still not satisfied...and will probably replace the trees next to the shed on this side of the river with another view-blocking structure of some sort (because there is only 2 inches from the back corner of the shed to the backdrop trees which should appear to be all the way on the other side of the river). I don't anticipate replacing the wooden and white cardstock mock-up of the elevated grain conveyor nor the foamboard mock-up of the gravel bin walls during this Layout Party. [​IMG]

    This week, I am traveling to Ohio for a week of chauffeuring my 90 y/o mother to a series of dr appts following up on a very bad fall that broke bones in her face and blinded her left eye. In stead of working on the layout, I'll take tools and materials to continue working on the draw bridge kitbash that I started during the first week of the Layout Party, and I'll probably spend some time working on an upgrade of the car-forwarding system I use in my operating sessions.
     
  12. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    On the other side of the I-474 overpass, I have painted both the south and north driveways that cross the tracks to serve McGrath Ag Supplies and Central Illinois Grain. In the 1970s, the driveway serving the prototype building crossed the tracks both north and south of the building; but, currently, Google and Bing Maps show that only the south driveway is used (i.e., trucks now make a tight 180 degree turn to exit out the south driveway, instead of the north). Although I'd considered having a loop and even cleared an area of trees to put it in, I'm going to fill the area back in. Both the raggedy cardboard mock-up of the McGrath building and the contact saline solution cans used to mock-up the Central Illinois Grain elevator will remain unchanged for this Layout Party.
    [​IMG]

    The access road into the oil loading/unloading area of the Central Illinois Dock has been painted, some trees have been planted, and the oil pipeline is complete into a small building (that is hidden behind the trees). I still have to make and paint the docking facility in the river and run pipes and a walkway from the small building on land to the dock on/in the river.
    [​IMG]

    A week or so ago, I replaced a paper mock-up of the scrap metal shed with a cardboard and duct tape mock-up that is about twice as wide as the paper mock-up. I'm still not satisfied...and will probably replace the trees next to the shed on this side of the river with another view-blocking structure of some sort (because there is only 2 inches from the back corner of the shed to the backdrop trees which should appear to be all the way on the other side of the river). I don't anticipate replacing the wooden and white cardstock mock-up of the elevated grain conveyor nor the foamboard mock-up of the gravel bin walls during this Layout Party. [​IMG]

    This week, I am traveling to Ohio for a week of chauffeuring my 90 y/o mother to a series of dr appts following up on a very bad fall that broke bones in her face and blinded her left eye. Instead of working on the layout, I'll take tools and materials to continue working on the draw bridge kitbash that I started during the first week of the Layout Party, and I'll probably spend some time working on an upgrade of the car-forwarding system I use in my operating sessions.
     
  13. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dave, very sorry to hear about your mother. Prayers for her recovery and hope your visit will be a good one all things considered.

    Your progress is really looking great. I've travelled through that area a few times and you are really capturing the look perfectly.
     
  14. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Started shaving the cork roadbed, getting rid of the ridge
    that shows up, when Midwest cork is split! Also started
    painting the cleaned up section with black paint. Hope to
    continue a bit more in the next day or so. Maybe later today/tonight.
     
  15. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Well, Not much done on the layout because I was out of state, but I did make some progress on organizing (re-structuring) how 1200 cars move over the layout between local industries and the main yard, and from the main yard out to regional destinations. I didn't make any headway on the kitbash/conversion of the drawbridge.

    This week, I'll probably fine-tune the scenery around the I-474 bridge in the Hillards block...and maybe make a video tour of the Hillards block from an engineer's perspective using the wireless micro-camera I got for Christmas.
     
  16. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member

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    What do you guys use for a front fascia? I've got a 1x4 along the front edge, but I'm looking for something that can curve a bit, as well as be thin enough to eventually be painted and also cut to line up with the front edge terrain.
     
  17. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Mostly, I use 1/8 inch hardboard (Masonite) and in most of the layout, the profile follows the terrain, but in the upper deck section of the layout I'm upgrading for this Layout Party, the 11 year old fascia was cut to a uniform 4 inches and secured with the top edge about 1/4 inch above the deck surface. Several years ago I added 1 inch blue insulation foam sheets to make a tree covered hillside for separating the engine facility from the grain elevator and dock, and I just painted the edges of the foam sheets where they met the front of the shelf; and then, a year or 3 ago, I added some green 2 inch thick styrofoam for the fill leading up to the I-474 overpass. The front edge of the green styrofoam is hidden by a piece of white posterboard which I'll paint to match the green of the fascia board. At some unknown time in the future, I'll probably replace the entire fascia in that area with a hardboard piece that follows the terrain profile exactly.

    For what it's worth...
    Fascia boards along the shelf fronts are mostly straight with some gentle curves, except for corners that required sharper than 6 inch radius curves. The 1/8 inch thick lower deck fascia is cut 4 to 8 inches wide (deep) depending on how much clearance I wanted for desks or shelves under the lower deck...and, for the most part, the top edge is mostly flat and about 1/4 inch above the Homasote I use for the surface of my decks. When curving the fascia for tight corners, I was more likely to snap the 6 to 8 inch pieces than the 4 to 6 inch ones. A friend of mine uses 1/4 inch hardboard for his fascia, and cuts a series of 1/8 inch deep vertical grooves on the back of his fascia pieces to facilitate creating sharper curves without snapping the hardboard.

    11 years ago, I drove 3/4 inch woodscrews through the hardboard and into the edge of the 1/2 inch OSB panel (chipboard) that supported the 1/2 Homasote. Because the screws split the OSB panels, more recently, when adding new shelves or replacing the facscia on old shelves, I've been screwing 2 to 4 inch long 2x2s or 2x4s to the plywood and then screwing the fascia board to the wood blocks instead of into the edge of the OSB panels.
     
  18. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, thought I wouldn't be able to do anything additional to the layout by the end, but just noticed it doesn't officially end until the 22nd, and I SHOULD be able to do a little more next weekend. (another 3.5-day weekend for me) Again, that's not THIS weekend, but Friday the 20th thru the 22nd. I'm not sure I will have the whole weekend--for sure parts of Friday and Saturday are already spoken for. But we'll see...

    My goals are:
    1. Finish "pre-install" track weathering and painting bridges. (creek and highway overpass)
    2. Paint base coat on layout...satin black on "benchwork" and yellows/browns/grays on scenic areas.
    3. Cut out the foam risers for final placement of track.
    4. Run feeders everywhere
    5. Install turnout decoders
    6. Begin process of permanently installing track...goal is to get the hill side completed for sure.
    OPTIONAL
    -Completely finish track install
    -Begin cutting/placing additional foam pieces for buildup of hills, cuts, town area, etc.
     
  19. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    This week, I still haven’t done much on my own layout: no final tweaking of scenery, nor any progress on the kitbash of the drawbridge. I did continue with revisions of my paperless system for moving over a thousand cars around my layout…especially focusing on the logistics for moving cars back and forth between regional cities (represented by staging areas on the lower deck), the main yard (on the upper deck), and the satellite yards, steel mill, and scrap yards (also on the upper deck).

    I have managed to do a little bit of work on others’ layouts.
    Over the past few days, I’ve drawn up a track plan for BadlandNP and will try to post about it later tonight (provided I can get the pics from my phone camera to my computer and then uploaded for posting).
    This afternoon, I spent a few hours helping a friend position sheets of insulation foam to form:

    1. a valley crossed by two curved trestle bridges,
    2. a mountain ridge that will serve as a view block, and
    3. walls, ceilings, and portals for some tunnels on his layout.
     
  20. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Still have not finished getting roadbed sanded and painted.
    I did get one spur sanded down and painted, headed to shop/repair
    facilities. Have a small section of track glued in place as well.
    Even got a short section of hill carved/sanded down.
    Might try to get a bit more hill carved/sanded.
    Will see if I can get photo(s) of current progress.
     

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