2018-2019 11th Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 15, 2018

  1. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    The trash cans for the A&W got finished and along with the figures and the finished parts from the Pieser set were added to the scene. I also made some parking bumpers from .040 Styrene strip painted concrete color and a couple of vintage Classic Metal Works vehicles.

    TBLP26Jan19a.jpg


    With the Ntrak module coming along nicely I turned some attention back to the home layout and specifically to the diesel fuel distributor. I had some ladders and safety cages from Gold Metal Models that I wanted to add to the vertical fuel storage tanks and found the that tool that came with the Faller silo kit I used on the Diamond Plastics complex works just as well on the Gold Metal Models product.

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    TBLP23Jan19a.jpg


    Also added some pipes and access hatches to these tanks before painting them. Did not have any of the right decals so I printed a couple of small paper signs for these tanks. The truck loading platform is another part left over from the old Walthers Interstate Oil kit. I added the hose using 22 gauge wire. The gas pump is from the old Micro Engineering gas station set. Even though this is not a retail dealer, they would need to fuel their own delivery trucks. This bit still needs a few more details and some weathering then it's on to the tank car unloading track and facilities.

    TBLP26Jan19b.jpg
     
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  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Finished putting in the rest of the ground throws on turnouts in the ADM plant, and took pics of the ADM barge unloader, elevator, Grain bin, and some more tanks...all with the re-taped mock-up of the Cedar Street Bridge in the background.
    I added cars and trucks to my N-scale layout and my HO switching layout. The top of the first pic shows the south end (A Yard) of the East Peoria Yard on the 65 inch high upper deck (but the only car added to this yard is located out of sight at the B end of the East Peoria Yard). The top entrance to the 4'x5.5' Kellar Helix is located to the left of the edge of this picture about 3 feet on the other side of the East Peoria Yard backdrop. The Kellar Helix descends from 65 inches to the lower deck at 48 inches, and the HO switching layout is at about 30 inches elevation (and is usually worked while sitting on a wheeled mechanic's stool.)
    The second and third pics show some of the vehicles I added to the HO layout, and the fourth pic is of the yard at the other end of the HO layout. The middle third of the HO layout passes under the Kellar Helix. Hmm...looks like I botched the framing on this pic, because a new car is just to the right and partially hidden by the loco.
    This fifth pic shows several of the cars I added (in the lower left and in the background). It also shows some of the fantastic loads I purchased at a train meet last November.

    All three of the gantry cranes in the Keystone Steel and Wire Mill Charging Yard are temporarily installed on the layout, but I still have to paint the cardboard braces and add operator cabs, motors and the magnets that lift the scrap from the gons into the OHF charging cars or the EAF scrap pot (which probably won't happen until late in (or after) the Party.
    Glued the walls together on the BN North Alley track buildings, re-mounted the Google Maps Street View pics, and added some cars to the street scene in front of the buildings.

    Cleaned most of the lower deck loop of track today and have most of the railroad cars placed back on the tracks in the East Peoria Yard.

    Tomorrow morning, I'll work on roads and trees near the mirror on Ken B's layout, and in the afternoon, continue preparations for this Saturday's Potluck dinner and layout open house. While Ken and Randy (another regular member of my operating crew) finish up track cleaning and prepping locos, I'll work on:
    1. Spritzing the dried/shrunken lichen and repositioning it so the tops of the toothpicks are no longer visible,
    2. check that all mock-ups that needed re-taping have received it,
    3. clean where old fascia labels left residue,
     
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  3. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I finally got the last part of my backdrop painted today. Here is the paint job and the pic I used as a sample. Then a whole lot of rocks put in place. Sunday they will be ready for paint.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Made some progress on scenery for Ken's layout yesterday morning while he worked on animating the "Armstrong" figures on his custom built turntable. I tweaked the hillside above the mirror so the track looks like it is curving out of sight into a valley instead of abruptly ending in a box canyon. I think the arrangements of the town, road up the hill, and houses on the hill are good, but I'm not 100% convinced about having the road cross the tracks.

    On my layout, in the afternoon, Ken and Randy finished cleaning rails, bullet-proofing, and vacuuming the tracks for both the upper and lower loops, put more cars back on the tracks in the East Peoria Yard and started preliminary staging of the yard for the next op session, which will--hopefully--be in late February or early March. I've gotten all the construction projects to "good enough" status for the Potluck dinner this Saturday (and put away all my cardstock, cardboard, and foamboard materials, sorted all of the medicine bottles, PVC caps, and plastic containers into boxes under my benchwork, filled several garbage bags with the scraps, trimmings, and failed efforts on my building mock-ups, returned my tools to their proper places, and put away all the scenery materials). I've also been organizing materials for next week's Tree Clinic on Saturday Feb 9. Yesterday, I cleaned tape residue off the fascia on the upper and lower decks throughout the basement, and today I'll add more double-sided tape on the edges and corners of some of the recently replaced fascia labels that didn't get adequately secured.

    Between now and Saturday, I'll spritz and reposition the lichen and do a follow-up vacuuming of all the areas away from the (already vacuumed) tracks.
     
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  5. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Been working on finishing up the diesel fuel distributor. After looking at a few photos on the web of tank car unloading facilities I cobbled together this arrangement from the scrap box. The hoses are more 22 gauge solid telephone wire with black insulation.

    TBLP30Jan19e.jpg


    Then I built this end of track bumper from scraps of code 55 rail, .020 brass stock, and PCB tie material. I had made a couple of these last year for the warehouse and the Diamond Plastics company sidings. Because they are made of brass I have to be careful that the it does not touch the rails. One of the ones last year caused a bit of a short and I had to cut a gap in the rail to cure it.

    TBLP28Jan19a.jpg


    Here is a view showing the entire area of this small rail served industry. I weathered the tall tanks and the bumper is painted and ballasted into place. Some scenery is being added around the site and some of it is still not dry. I need to find just the right fuel trucks for this industry, for now I am using a TomyTec Isuzu tank truck as a stand in.

    TBLP30Jan19c.jpg


    On the Ntrak module I am installing speed limit signs I just got from Tichy Train Group.

    TBLP30Jan19a.jpg
     
  6. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    I decided to join you guys, you gave me inspiration to build a diorama with the piece that I cut off from module 06 on my layout. It already has a half inch of blue insulation foam and a one inch of pink foam on top of 3/4 inch piece of Birch plywood. It also has two lines of roadbed and the start of a road crossing the tracks. Will use the diorama for photos and to test some scenery techniques like water, which I've only done once a long time ago. The diorama is about 12 inches square.

    Joe

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  7. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Welcome to the Party, Joe.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes Joe, the more the merrier. A diorama like that can be a great way to try out and develop scenery techniques.
     
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  9. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    My efforts have been alternating between the home layout and the Ntrak module I am tuning up for an upcoming layout at a Great Train Show. I have been painting the small details on the DPM buildings little by little and this photo shows where they are at right now. It's now only 3 weeks before the show so fairly soon I will need to say good enough is good enough and pack up the module and start getting my trains ready.

    TBLP02Feb19b.jpg


    In between stints of detail painting on those DPM buildings I have been adding scenery moving east from the back of the now finished diesel fuel
    distributor. The view in the photo below is looking east into the Palisade Canyon at Harney with some areas being still damp with mat medium. This part of Nevada has or is home to some sheep ranching and I had always planned to represent some of that on the layout. This area might be a potential location for such a scene.

    TBLP02Feb19a.jpg
     
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  10. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    The next section almost complete. I ran out of trees. Need to make more. Winter scene is complete though. The logging camp is coming together as well. TIMBER!!! Yes I will have chain saw sounds to go along with it. and the track seems to go on forever as well. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  11. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Another train car build for the future layout.

    [​IMG]

    I have two of these car sides. So far everything is pretty good. One panel seems to be cut wrong, I may replace that but otherwise it's full steam ahead.
     
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  12. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Getting close to building the framing for the first two 2X4 foot modules to begin my staging area.

    Working on the full size drawing at the moment to figure out what I need to do.

    Measure twice cut once is it.
     
  13. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Have gone a bit further up the canyon adding some scenery, and finished another batch of Atlas telephone poles and installed them along the SP / west bound line almost to the end of the Harney section.

    TBLP05Feb19d.jpg


    I had an old set of un-decorated Pieser figures which included some sheep. I painted these camouflage gray which is not much darker than the original white of the un-decorated figures. This small group is now in place on the Harney section. I may add to this flock later or even move them to a different location as the layout develops.

    TBLP05Feb19c.jpg


    Turning my attention to Winnemucca at the western end of the layout I decided that I really was not satisfied with the way the WP track exited under the US 95 bridge so I will be re-building this area. One problem was that the inside of the helix and the trains on the SP track which is the inside track of the helix could be easily seen. I made a bit of a tunnel liner out of a scrap of PVC rain gutter downspout pipe then painted the inside of it and the helix deck near this entrance flat black.

    TBLP05Feb19a.jpg



    The sky board in the area under the bridge was also painted flat black. I want the bridge to be more flush against the sky board and will be moving it and replacing the outer columns with a concrete abutment. The hill was cut back some and he inner abutment moved slightly. The bridge will be rebuilt or replaced to fit this new alignment.

    TBLP05Feb19b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  14. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    Today I installed tracks and painted them flat black. Tonight I will install ballast and start cutting foam for hills and mountains.

    Joe

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  15. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    IMG_20190208_163448.jpg IMG_20190208_221121.jpg I got the ballast installed this afternoon and started cutting foam for hills and mountains. Currently the first two layers of one inch foam are setting up from being glued with caulking, will add a couple of more layers of foam in the morning. After all of the layers of foam have fully cured will blend the foam and prepare for rock castings using rubber molds. I decided to run the water down the middle of the diorama with a small waterfall just behind the tracks, cross under the tracks and exit in front. A stone culvert will be used for the exit of creek from the tracks.

    Joe

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  16. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    With some parts left over from my "Rix Bridge kits" bag I built a new bridge for the US 95 overpass at Winnemucca. I am short the railings on the back side so will need to get some more of those. I'll check for it at the dealers booths at the show in two weeks. Here is what the spot looks like right now, I already like this better than what it was. The white on the outside of the bridge abutment on the right will eventually be blended in with the fascia. I can still see a bit of the inside track in the helix but can add an extension to the inside wall of the tunnel liner.

    Winnemucca26.jpg


    Over at the other end of the layout on the Harney section I have been continuing with scenery work in the canyon and this is the view now looking from east to west. There is still more to do in this area. I plan to touch up the river and add another coat of gloss medium. Then it will get more and greener grass and shrubs along the river banks as seen in some prototype photos.

    TBLP09Feb19a.jpg


    With now only two weeks before the San Jose Great Train Show I have the Ntrak module all packed up and need to go through the trains I plan to bring and test, program, clean wheels, etc. I spent most of Friday cleaning up the train room and when done found this work bench under everything.

    TBLP09Feb19b.jpg
     
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  17. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Find any money when cleaning up the bench :)
     
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  18. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    nscalestation said: "...and when done found this workbench under everything."
    LOL, Brad! I made a similar discovery when I cleaned up this workspace in preparation for the Potluck Dinner and open house on Feb 2:
    I had bought myself a new pair of curved needle nose pliers around Thanksgiving last year to replace a pair that I thought were lost, but as I worked down through the accumulated layers of materials, tools, and partially completed projects, I found the "lost" ones. (I guess this is just more evidence that the best way to find a misplaced tool is to go buy a new one.)
    Edit...It might help, if I actually include the pic that goes with this post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  19. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Last week, I spent a lot of time preparing a PowerPoint presentation for Saturday's Clinic on making trees and tree flats for HO and N scale layouts. I took pictures of the process for making 3D trees from Caspian Basil branches, making 3D trees with wire trunks and lichen, and making horizontal background 2D tree flats, and also took pics of trees and tree flats on my HO and N scale layouts.

    Making 3D trees with Caspian Basil:
    Select Basil sprigs (purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michael's). Trim the branches. Position and wrap the branches together with floral tape. Spray with cheap unscented hairspray (which will dry quickly) or spray adhesive (which will take longer to dry between coats). Sprinkle Scenic Express' Super Leaves on, and repeat spraying and sprinkling until you get the desired density of foliage.
    Making 3D wire tree trunks for lichen or ground foam trees:
    1. Cut 18 pieces of 24 gauge brown or green floral wire of desired tree-height length.
    2. Twist the bottom half of 3 wires into a 3-wire braid; repeat for a second and third 3-wire braid.
    3. Take the three 3-wire braids, and twist the bottom third of the three 3-wire braids into a 9-wire braid (essentially, one 9-wire trunk with three 3-wire big branches and 9 smaller 1-wire limbs).
    4. Repeat Steps 1 to 3 to make a second 9-wire braid with one trunk, 3 big branches, and 9 smaller limbs.
    5. Take the two 9-wire braids, and twist the bottom quarter of the two 9-wire braids into a single 18-wire braid with one trunk, 6 branches, and 18 limbs.
    6. Trim and position the branches and limbs to match the shape/profile of the type of tree or bush you want to put on your layout (fruit trees, oak trees, maples, lilac bushes, each have distinct shapes...said Captain Obvious).
    7. Apply lichen and ground foam or Super Leaves of desired colors (darker foliage layers first, especially lower and toward the center of the tree/bush) to the preferred density.

    I enhance some of my background tree flats with Google Maps Street View photos, so I took layout pics of some of those scenes, too.

    The Illinois River beside the Pekin Farm Yard. On the right hand side of this picture, there is only 1/4 of an inch from the surface of the pic glued to the backdrop tree flat to the end of the ties on the river-side of the back track.
    Darst Street grade crossing. This pic is taken at a 45 degree angle and shows both sides of an outside corner. The tree flat wraps around the corner in front of the sky backdrop, and the pic is glued to the tree flat on both sides of the corner. This pic shows the right side of the Darst Street corner. Because the ground foam trees are about 3/8 of an inch deep and would have hung over the front of the paper-thin picture of the building, I've glued the trees directly onto the sky backdrop, instead of the tree flat, to better support the illusion of distance between the front of the building and the tree branches showing behind the building.
    This pic is of some building mock-ups in Bartonville that stick out 1/2 inch in front of a tree flat. The buildings are parallelograms, not rectangles. By angling the sides of the buildings, I am able to force a viewer in the aisle to see a 1 inch long side to the building instead of just a 1/2 inch long side. This supports the illusion of greater depth between the tracks and the tree flat.
    I also took a pic of an early attempt to add depth by painting trees on the backdrop. This turned out to be a FAIL because the painted trees were very obviously only 2 dimensional...and tree flats, even thin ones like the tree flat behind some of the trees on the right half of this pic, are more effective at fostering depth than the painted trees. I'm still pleased with this picture, though, because the settling pond turned out so well. To make this pond, I cut out the 1/2 inch thick Homasote and inserted a piece of 1/4 inch foamboard spray painted with rattle can glossy brown enamel, and used small sprigs of lichen and lichen shreds to make bushes around the pond. The pond scum at the edge is dust that I didn't remove, and the ripples are from dents and dings accumulated over the years.
    This Google Maps Street View pic is mounted on cardboard, and shows the buildings in the Sherex plant. The picture is about 1.5 inches in front of the tree flat, which is supposed to represent scattered trees on the grassy bluffs overlooking the plant. The tank cars are about 1.5 inches in front of the picture.
    Yesterday and today, I've been working on revising the operator's job descriptions for the in-plant loco at the I Bork & Sons Scrap Yard and for the operator who runs the PPU Scrap Transfer Job from the PPU East Peoria Yard to the Scrap yard and takes the sorted and sized scrap gons from the IBS Scrap Yard to the Keystone Steel and Wire Mill. Hopefully, we'll complete a test run-through of these revised job descriptions tomorrow afternoon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  20. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks everyone. It is all so inspiring, and also fun seeing everyone join in with whatever project is at hand.

    Keep it up folks. :)
     
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