2018-2019 11th Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 15, 2018

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    "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. "

    Rick Nicholson (Screen name: rsn48) issuing the first Layout Party invitation in Spring 2002.

    Welcome to the 2018-2019 11th Annual International Winter Layout Party

    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.
    Or you are already in the midst of a project and you want to participate in the Party to share your progress with everyone else.


    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 the next 11 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 16, 2018), and will run for 11 weeks until Sunday, March 3, 2019. (Okay... since the thread is open now, you can start posting today.)

    Guidelines for The 2018-2019 Eleventh 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 10 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 own frustrations. Check out these links to our past layout parties.

    2017-2018 Tenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2016-2017 Ninth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2015-2016 Eighth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2014-2015 Seventh Annual International Winter Layout Party

    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
    Door Knocker's Delight

    2004 – Spring Layout Party


    2003 – Spring Layout Party
    From Armchair to Benchwork

    2002 – Spring Layout party
    Lonely Heart's Club Band
     
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  2. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Just what I need to kick my butt into gear and start my new layout.

    Have some lumber hope to post pics later this week if I can find my camera still packed away somewhere Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggh I hate moving
     
  3. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    My 1970s era Peoria and Pekin Union Railway in N-Scale is a double-deck layout designed for operations. On the upper deck, I've modeled the four major cities of the P&PU: Peoria and Bartonville (Western Division), and East Peoria and Pekin (Eastern Division). The Southern and Northern Divisions on the lower deck are made up of mid-west rail yards of the 12 RRs that routinely ran trains into the Greater Peoria Area in the 1970s. Four bowl-shaped helixes provide access between the decks. Look through some of the Layout Party Threads linked above to see some of the projects completed in the past.

    During this Layout Party, I hope to re-configure tracks in several places on the layout to improve operations, and add some scenery and upgrade structures and buildings nearby:
    1. Extend the tracks toward Caterpillar Building SS for a runaround, and then run several spurs into or between some new and some upgraded cardboard mock-up buildings. Add roads, trees, and grass nearby.
    2. Finish the counter-weight tower and bridge piers on the P&PU Bridge over the Illinois River. Add trees, grass, roadways, and nearby structures (Bridge Tower where P&PU dispatcher was located and Faber Construction Materials Yard).
    3. Add two turnouts to the Engine Tracks in the C&IM Havana Yard to allow entry/exit from either end, and upgrade the scenery and structures nearby.
    4. Shift the turnout from the BN Main about 8 inches closer to the aisle, so operators may reach the ground throw more easily, and upgrade the highway in front and the side street beside Lenz Oil and improve the Lenz Oil tanks and buildings.

    Over the past two months, I've been working through the umpty-leventh iteration of the job descriptions for about 90 trains that traverse the layout in a 24 hour day. This most recent revision was initiated after I reorganized what blocks were included in each of the 4 divisions...which meant I had to recalculate all of my Mile Posts in all 4 divisions (over 30 scale miles of mainline)...which meant I had to update all of the fascia labels that indicate block names and mile posts for operators in all 4 divisions (a process that is now about 50% complete)...which means I still have to recalculate and update/rewrite all my time tables to reflect the changes for about 90 trains before I can host another complete full op sessions --although I may run some abbreviated sessions--...which means I will still have to add the new blocks and adjust the times trains enter/leave them to each train's job description that instructs operators what to do in each block (what switches to throw/close, where to pick-up/set out cars, which tracks to use, when to contact yard master, etc) before I can have even an abbreviated session.

    I expect to complete the track re-configurations relatively quickly--maybe by January?--but the fascia labels may take a little longer and the job descriptions will take MUCH longer.
     
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  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome to the Party, Vince. I seem to be able to find my misplaced tools immediately after purchasing a replacement. For the Holidays, I've sent you a slew of Best Wishes for finding what you want before you buy a replacement.
     
  5. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks ppuinn won't be getting a replacement camera if I can't find can't afford it on disability income.

    Digging like a prairie dog in heat though want to get this started and going.

    Thanks for the welcome
     
  6. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes Vince welcome. You will find this to be a fun motivator. I have taken part in this for the last 2 years and got a lot done on my layout and had a great time as well. I have been looking forward to Dave's startup of this again this year and will be taking part again. I will post my goals soon.
     
  7. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks NScaleStation when I do start won't be anything spectacular just the first level staging area
     
  8. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    That is exactly how I started my current layout just over 4 years ago and have slowly expanded it since then.

    https://palisadecanyonrr.blogspot.com/2014/10/
     
  9. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    While considering my goals for this years party I took a look back at last year to get a feel of how much had changed on the layout since then. Besides working on quite a few little things l added an entire new 5 ft section to the layout shown here called Harney. The track and electrical are connected and everything is running but I need to blend in the scenery between this new section and the Battle Mountain section on the on the right. Also to complete the scenery on this section including the river, brush, and any details like telephone poles. I also want to get my painted sky board to match the photo backdrop and then attach the photo backdrop to it.

    TBLP17Dec18b.jpg


    All of the industries on the Battle Mountain section from last year were completed over the course of the year except for the Diesel distributor. It was close to the edge of the finished scenery and I decided to wait until I was ready to finish the scenery between the two sections. So this will also be one of the projects this year. I have all the basic structures just need some painting and details.

    TBLP17Dec18a.jpg


    Another area of the layout I want to finish scenery is in Winnemucca where the WP line enters the helix. I have a short sky board here which I want to again improve on it's painted effect. Also I may re-position the bridge and do something with the track entry into the sky board to give it a better look. I want to have a few shallow relief structures on the top hill to break the horizon and and add some guard rails along the sides of I-80. Eventually there will be another level above this short sky board with the layout ending as it enters the upper helix but that is still a couple years away.

    TBLP17Dec18c.jpg

    I will be away for a couple weeks during our layout party period of time plus planning for a major overseas trip that starts right after our party ends so I am keeping my goals modest they time. In summary:
    • Blend scenery between Battle Mountain and Harney sections.
    • Finish scenery on Harney.
    • Finish Diesel distributor at Battle Mountain.
    • Finish scenery at Winnemucca
    As a bonus goal I have a 4ft Ntrak module that I have not displayed for a couple of years that I would like to get the scenery completely finished on and display it at a train show in February. I don't have it set up right now in the train room but when I do I will present it along with what I want to get done.

    So lets get started.
     
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  10. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome back for your third Party, Nscalestation.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    It was a busy week in the layout room. Been working on the scenery in that area were the two sections of the layout join together. Built up some hills using scraps of insulation board with plaster cloth draped over. Am using a long piece of .020 polystyrene sheet to protect the back drop.

    TBLP19Dec18a.jpg


    Next the area got a coating of wet brushed on Sheetrock mud and when that dried a coat of tan paint I have been using throughout the layout. Then I applied a base coat of scenery using sand colored sanded tile grout. Looks like that sheet of polystyrene has been doing it's job.

    TBLP22Dec18a.jpg


    I had not mentioned it in the introductory post but I had also been working on improving on how the DCC system was set up and within the past few days finished and installed this UP5 panel with a pair of throttle holders between the two staging yard control panels.

    TBLP22Dec18b.jpg
     
  12. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Well...the simple addition of 2 turnouts at the right end of 2 stub tracks used as engine tracks should have been a one day job, but the angle of the #4 turnouts was wrong, so I took them out and put #6 TOs in. But that made me shift the two turnouts farther into a curve, which changed the spacing between the tracks, which made me reposition (tear up and re-lay) the turnouts at the other end of the the engine tracks. When I got those re-laid, I realized their new position would angle the middle of the engine tracks too close to the tree flats which hid the Loads in/Empties out tracks behind the yard, so I tore out all four TOs and the lead at the left end, PLUS the 3 yard tracks in front of the double ended engine tracks, dropped one of the engine tracks from the plan, re-laid 4 tracks (1 engine track and 3 yard tracks and the lead farther away from the tree flats, which led to having to drop new feeders for all 4 tracks and the lead.

    So, 5 days after starting this "simple job", this evening I was finally able to fire up a loco and spend an hour bullet proofing trackwork and electrical pick-up through the turnouts. Then I threw some gray paint onto the rock face (white spackling compound) beside 2 Northern Division tracks that run at the front of the shelf.

    Pics:

    Tomorrow (Christmas Eve) I'll start working on some grass and ballast, before heading out of town for 3 days after lunch...so the yard ballasting probably won't get done until this weekend. Which means the tree flats, trees and bushes, and making cardboard mock-ups of buildings near the Yard is scheduled for New Year's Eve week; and ballast, trees, and bushes along the rock face by the 2 Northern Division tracks will probably not even begin until the 2nd week of January.
     
  13. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Track has now been ballasted in the area between the existing and new sections of the layout and more scenery has been added. Still more to do but the main line has now reopened.

    TBLP29Dec18b.jpg

    Now that I had settled on where I want the DCC system to be I wanted to have a switchable AC outlet. I have used a product call Wiremold in the past and had just enough scraps to surface mount this setup without tearing the wall up. Next I need to put in a shelf with a retractable keyboard tray so I can setup a computer here under the DCC system.

    TBLP29Dec18c.jpg
     
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  14. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Slight postponement on the layout.

    Have a weathering challenge car on a weathering forum I need to get done by midnight December 31st almost there.

    Then I can pack up my paints models and get to woodworking.

    Should be able to get started 2nd week of January .

    No pics at present
     
  15. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those weathering challenges can be fun. I did several a few years ago here on Trainboard and I think really improved on my weathering skills. Good luck with it. What's the URL for this weathering forum ?
     
  16. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    The rustbucket forum

    Part of the Weathering shop
     
  17. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Only minor progress on the layout over the holidays, but I've drawn up and posted a track plan for txronharris's NTRAK modules of a modern grain facility in another TB thread, and I spent 3 days last week measuring and entering info into an XtrakCad track plan of my own layout.

    The minor progress on the layout was putting a little more grass and shrubbery along the Northern Division tracks at the front of the shelf, touching up the tree flats behind the CIM tracks by adding some more "leaves" to the tree flats and covering some of the white edges of the tree flats, adding a parking lot and boat ramp behind the yard tracks, and adding a photo of the river to the tree flats behind the yard.
    This week, I have a ton of ballasting to do and I'll probably put some hand railings between the parking lots and the boat ramp. I'll also put the ground foam on the 3 bare vertical tree flats behind the yard and put lichen and wire trees on the horizontal tree flats between the vertical flats and the new tracks in the yard.
     
  18. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Wasn't happy with the way space issues near the boat ramp by the Havana Yard forced a grade crossing and then a road that is supposed to lead into the Havana business district but actually leads to the front of the shelf and 2 tracks in the Northern Division (Havana is one of the Southern Division cities). So, I've taken the boat ramp out and made the road to the yard office run between (and parallel to) the river and yard tracks... so there is no need for the grade crossing in my version of the Havana Yard, and the road from the Yard disappears behind trees, instead of drawing operators' attention to the close proximity of cities that are supposed to be many miles far away from Havana.
    Here's the new view of the river at the south end of the freight yard.
    No more boat ramp or road to No-Where Jan 05, 11 59 22 PM by ppuinn posted Jan 6, 2019 at 12:40 AM

    I took a few panels from a Rix warehouse kit and made a Yard Office. Found a pic of the CIM logo and put it on the front of the building, and added an operating light over the door.
    Finished Vertial Tree flats, kitbashed yard office, ballasted trackJan 05, 11 55 40 PM by ppuinn posted Jan 6, 2019 at 12:40 AM
    Pic of the operating light.

    Yard office with operating light over door. Jan 06, 12 37 17 AM by ppuinn posted Jan 6, 2019 at 12:50 AM

    Hmm...a sudden thought: despite installing hundreds of lights or LEDs in signals, on fascias, and in control panels, in 45 years of N-scale modeling, this is only about the 3rd or 4th light I've installed on the outside (or inside) of a model building--probably because 95% of my structures are cardboard, cardstock, or foamboard mock-ups instead of plastic or wooden kits.

    Pics of the finished vertical tree flats behind the yard office and the horizontal tree flats behind the yard tracks.
    The first and second Horizontal Tree Flats Jan 05, 11 57 57 PM by ppuinn posted Jan 6, 2019 at 12:40 AM
    The 2nd and 3rd Horizontal Tree Flats Jan 05, 11 58 06 PM by ppuinn posted Jan 6, 2019 at 12:40 AM

    When looking through CIM pics in books and on-line for ideas on how to position the yard tracks and yard office, I came across info and pics about the Havana Coal Rail-Barge facility, which I've modeled just to the right of the Havana Yard. The new info/pics have prompted me to revise my plans for the next few days a little bit, so Sunday afternoon I plan to ballast the yard lead, weather the yard office and attach the door light to layout power instead of a 1.5 volt battery, clean yard tracks after Saturday's ballasting, and then also make some adjustments to the Havana Coal Rail-Barge Facility.
     
  19. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    NO layout yet for me. I;ve been posting images of my 55n3 scale models over in the narrow gauge area of the site.

    Perhaps in a couple months I will build some kind of little running layout for my new stock.

    http://www.trainboard.com/highball/...s-on-your-workbench.68159/page-9#post-1081064

    Everything is using old Tyco car parts like wheels and trucks and cut down old style couplers. My main rule is that it has to be hand made even if it's a bit sloppy. Been learning a lot about scratch building and problem solving when trying to make things fit together.
     
  20. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    I was able to put down some ballast on the yard lead this afternoon.
    The road to the yard office now has grass next to it, and there is not much evidence that the boat ramp was here...except the two pipes at the river's edge that mark where the concrete ramp ends under the water.
    There were a number of lichen trees on either side of the yard lead that had been bleached to a greenish gray by the fluorescent lights illuminating the lower deck (just 5 or 6 inches above the lichen). So I replaced the bleached out trees with fresh lichen.
    This last pic shows new lichen trees that border the "vacant" lot near the south end of the Havana Yard.
     

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