2020-2021 Thirteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 11, 2020

  1. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Ok while not as impressive as some of these room sized layouts, here is what I got.

    Testing the positioning of the roads and structures. This is the city module. I built it so if the center triple is removed the road still lines up with the other 2 double modules.

    AE02DD76-11E9-4F7D-A0AA-C80077FDD4C9.jpeg

    Making some elevation changes to the area around the station
    43AAEB99-4177-4B9E-A642-06699E4522B3.jpeg


    Laying out the roads.
    B91B29A2-D81B-4B77-AB94-C3DF9908FE0E.jpeg


    Here are the turnaround modules. They pretty much look the same at the moment.
    66654DEA-D6F8-4A1A-93B5-90B3FD28EC22.jpeg

    and these last two are going to be front-to-back modules that will work with a branchline module that’s not shown yet.
    BFBC2D95-D40A-4009-AFD3-6FF8622B2368.jpeg
    963EF466-DF4D-4008-A2BE-E51724E5BFE6.jpeg



    I know I said I have 2 singles but they are seasonal modules so I’m not including them in this. These all together will make up my layout and are also my show modules. I don’t yet have the branchline part built to for now it’s just tracks to nowhere.
     
  2. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Ok so I decided to layout the modules how they will be set up here at home. I only put 3 of the structures out just for reference. So my plan is this. North being the top of the first pic. Starting at the train station is the rte 66 like town. The southern part of the town is going to be old 40’s and 50’s style buildings an area that time just ignored really, then there is the station, nice and modern followed by the more modern northern part of town. Here is going to have a Dairy Queen, a strip mall and Denny’s. This brings us into the corner module which will have the road cross the tracks and disappear off set. As you go around the curve the mountains start and right outside the corner module starting into the front to back module will be a tunnel. This tunnel will end right before the branchline module, but the northern side of the branchline will be mountains, leading into a flat land area that will be a farm on the southern front to back module. I may put a turnout here to feed a grain silo, I have not decided yet. The farm house and stuff will be on this module, with a dirt road leading onto the southern turnaround module. This module will have the corn crops growing on the inside of the loop and maybe a pond or something on the south east corner. This links back up to old town and the road will also continue here.

    So that’s the plan
    40291A18-D696-41F0-9414-9FF9D75CA1C8.jpeg 090DF5C8-85E6-4D56-904C-EA968203EEAF.jpeg
     
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  3. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work!

    Question: Do front/back transition modules often have small industries? Looks like they could each provide two areas for #4 switches and stub sidings in opposite corners...

    I've always felt that tracks parallel to the edge of the layout were often less interesting than they could be, but were a necessary concession for modularity.

    Creating scenic F/B transition modules could change that.
     
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  4. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Yes they can handle a #4 switch. I was thinking about putting a grain silo near the planned farm and that would require a siding for the trains to grab some grain.

    I agree that the parallel tracks are kinda boring, but sometimes it's all you got. In the case of my town, it would actually be very realistic having just 2 parallel tracks running along a road. Seen it many times as I have traveled down I40. That's also one reason why I have my road curving around a bit, so that there is some interest in the layout and direction. There may even be a side street that is going in behind the station... Have not decided yet, will be working on that here soon.
     
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  5. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    I like the branchline idea. Most folks build a branchline as a like a stub ended spur, but yours has a wye, which I figure is probably more prototypical. Do you have a track plan for the branchline?
     
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  6. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Tracks can be straight and parallel (even to a straight highway alongside), but it just seems more interesting when they are not parallel to the edge(s) of a layout. It just seems to frame a picture of striking out into the unknown.

    And there are some places where the parallelism IS the point of interest, which can then be accentuated by their parallelism with the edge of the layout.

    Or highlighted by the contrast with the relationship to non-parallel layout edges.

    I just happened to noticed that the transition modules might be a good place to take advantage of the non-rectilinear space.

    I remember taking a ride on a scenic railroad in Fort Worth TX, and noticing that a lot of the scenery was of the backyards of civilization (businesses, industries and residences alike). Gone were the decoration, grandeur and fresh paint, replaced with the less glamourous necessities, leftovers, dirt and grime. The T-Track modules, with the track skewed to the front, often provide the same viewpoint, whereas a downtown street scene might flip the module and put the tracks behind the buildings, accentuating the street crossings while the rail cars pop in and out of view.

    I've never seen modular layouts at shows that include such alternating modules. But they could...
     
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  7. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    New progress isn't much, but following removal of the brackets, I have a bunch of ugly screw holes in the fascia. So I sanded it all smooth, and slapped on a bit of joint compound left over from the wall project. Once dry, I'll ssnd smooth and repaint. Once the fascia is done, I'll start layout cleaning.

    20201219_191609.jpg
     
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  8. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    right now nothing really. I have been tossing around the idea of a European style stub ended train station to service my TGVs or maybe an industry of some sort, but I really want to finish my main modules first. I have an “L” shaped almost module that I used to have my left city on that may work. Oh and either way I go it will be a complete wye with another Kato crossover setup.
     
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  9. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I didn’t get a whole let accomplished this weekend, but I did get some plywood at Lowe’s for the helix and lower staging yard.

    I did get to start laying turnouts for the staging yard, I stuck with a simple straight ladder design as a compound ladder wasn’t going to benefit the space in this particular location. 4 turnouts with feeders down, 6 to go. I also cut a template for the helix sub road bed and started tracing those out. [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Not much this weekend here, but an important step as far as my modules go. I rewired the modules and harness with the T-Trak standard colors. After confirmation from my club we use the BWBW scheme and I stuck with it on the module itself. The modules can be easily rewired if I ever needed to. It’s simply a matter of 2 screws and moving 2 wires.

    So here is my harness now. I also created a “Y” harness that will allow me to expand the current wiring to my new modules, or other modules. Sorry no pic of the Y harness.
    4FF93E28-908E-40E6-A47B-5D00ED1F435A.jpeg 28D80772-FEE8-4858-997C-0E56478D12DC.jpeg
     
  11. Atani

    Atani TrainBoard Member

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    Got a few things done this weekend and will be continuing into the next week...
    • Track plan updated for the main deck:
      IMG_20201219_135331.jpg
    • Initial work on the peninsula (left side of track plan pic above):
    • IMG_20201220_091216.jpg IMG_20201220_091225_Bokeh.jpg IMG_20201220_131146.jpg
    • Took care of a bit of rearrangement in the room to make it easier to work on the layout and have a bit more room on the desk that is under the new peninsula, the back six inches or so are covered by the peninsula.
    • Cut a bunch of wood to make five and half turns of the helix, likely more than I need. I'll be gluing and screwing these together this week.
    Still TODO:
    • Cut supports for the helix.
    • Clean the staging deck and repair a couple areas.
    • Lay track in the helix from staging to the main deck.
    • Cut roadbed for the peninsula to connect it to the helix (cardboard template above)
    • Cut supports for the main deck roadbed.
    • Add DCC and LCC bus on main deck to the end of the peninsula (will have an Esp32OlcbIO and RailCom detector on the peninsula)
    • Add LED lighting to the staging deck with a light switch to turn it on/off.
    • Add RailCom detector board to staging and a couple Esp32OlcbIO for controlling the switches (or are they turnouts...)
    Probably a few more items to add to the TODO list but I think that is enough to get started.
     
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  12. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I was able to start painting a structure kit. Didn’t get very far though.
     
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  13. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Started the same with my DQ. I got the brown about right for the lower parts of the building, but the orange not so much. Out of the bottle it's too bright so I tried a little black to darken it up and that just made brown:cautious: So I tried making orange with my yellow and red... that made pink!:mad:

    So I painted the orange with what I had and I'm not happy with it. I think I will try one more time to darken the orange I have with some red this time:confused:. Knowing my luck it will turn out blue!:whistle::rolleyes:.

    I really like the $1 acrylic paints from Wal*Mart but I don't know what they use for their pigments. Yellow and red should make orange but this was 100% PINK! and a little black (I do mean a little) should not have made bright orange into poo colored brown. I got the brown I needed from taking a dark brown and mixing it with tan and it turned out perfect and just as expected. I don't get it... Oh well.
     
  14. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Two friends and I work on each other's layouts on a weekly basis, and over the last 2 months we have been developing and testing various methods for animating my Billet Storage overhead cranes. Last week I tested some modifications to the trolley to improve how smoothly it tracked back and forth between the beams. Because I won't make the actual overhead crane supports for the beams until later in the Layout Party, I cobbled together temporary supports for the crane's beams and used them to test the latest version of the linkage we'll use to move the trolley back and forth above the billets. This version has been the most successful, so far: the trolley modifications keep the trolley square between the beams so it doesn't bind when the upper portion of the linkage moves. The vertical portion of the linkage was stabilized through a tube, and, as a result, the lower portion of the linkage where the servo will be attached now no longer binds against the Homasote.

    Also last week, I squared up the top end of the ramp where the charging cars cross a short bridge to enter the charging floor on the charging side of the Open Hearth Furnace (OHF), and drew up plans for how I'll detail the OHF interior.

    The charging floor and the charging tracks will be supported by plain 1/8 inch square plastic rods from Evergreen Plastics, because they won't be visible and I want something functional, rather than pretty; but the trusses for the roof and all of the columns on the exterior walls and on either side of the furnace will be scratch built with Evergreen Plastics H-columns, I-beams, channels, and angles.
    The only detail of the furnace that will be visible in the middle, will be the curved top of the OHF. Hidden under that top will be yellow LEDs that will shine through openings in the Charging ports on the Charging side of the furnace. On the teeming side of the furnace, one teeming ladle will be filled with yellow/orange metal (probably painted rather than a glowing LED). The charging ports will be scratch built, and will look like this, except the LEDs will shine brightest in the middle door of 7 and less bright in the 3rd and 5th doors, only a little in the 2nd and 6th doors and not at all in the 1st and 7th doors.

    This is a googled pic of open hearth furnace charging ports that shows the glow I'm trying to reproduce with LEDs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
  15. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Tomorrow, when the train guys come over, we'll work on developing the linkage for raising and lowering the electromagnet spreader bar on the billet storage overhead crane. This is a pic of the scratchbuilt electromagnet we'll use during tomorrow's first attempt, but once we figure out an effective system, I'll be making a different spreader bar with conically-shaped magnets instead of cylindrically-shaped. (Yes!! This electromagnet really does work with a couple of AA batteries. When finally installed on the layout, the movement of the trolley and the raising and lowering of the spreader bar will be managed by push buttons in the fascia which trigger Arduino-driven servos, and another switch which controls the electromagnet.)

    Later this week I hope to get the OHF charging floor built, and maybe start on scratch building the charging ports. I'm also hoping to get some 3D printed steel mill items by Christmas, and will paint them, whenever they arrive.
     
  16. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am impressed with the variety of projects going on this winter. We have FreeMoN, TTrak, a couple of portable stand alone layouts, and a few medium to large room fillers - Looking great everyone !

    Since my last report I have been continuing to develop the terrain working from right to left until I ran out of plaster cloth. I just got some more so this will continue. In this photo it can be seen how the river will curve around to the left and disappear behind the hill. A concrete trestle will span the gap on that back right of way.

    2020TBLP4.jpg

    While I was waiting for more plaster cloth to arrive I turned my attention to getting the track and wiring finished on the lift bridge. Got finished this afternoon with the glue still setting on that rear track. These tracks will be powered by those yellow wires in the lower left corner. Next I want to install some sort of interlocking circuit that will cut power if the bridge is not fully closed.

    2020TBLP3.jpg
     
  17. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Massy I am particularly enjoying your TTrak layout project as I was attempting something similar a decade ago. I was building a replica of part of my wife's home town (a part of Tokyo). The elevated station and platforms were going to be on 3 doubles and I had two built. There not being anyone near me doing Ttrak at the time I realized I would need to build a whole layout and the overall plan was quite similar to what you have less the wye.

    I had not gotten very far when I met someone 5 miles away who had a modular Asian prototype layout and invited me to join in his layout. There were no easy module kits at the time so I gave up on the TTrak modules and the station area became a pair of 1 meter modules based on his standard. It was a good decision as we have both worked to develop the layout and have done about a dozen setups.

    I have kept a blog on this project over the years at http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/

    I still have one of the double TTrak modules and am considering making it into a single scene module to have another modular option, maybe that can be next years project.
     
  18. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I said earlier, my main goal during this year's party is to get as much as I can done on a grain elevator for my layout. It's going to be a fun project I hope and if I can find what I need to make it work. Over the past week or so, about all I have done is install windows and doors on the main building. All four of these main walls appear to have a very slight bow to them so that should make for a challenging assembly. We shall see.

    20201220_180113_resized.jpg

    Then I have begun the process of assembling silos. Still need to finalize the configuration but I have gotten some sections of silos together. Have to locate some strip styrene to fit between each silo. Hoping I can find it and don't have to attempt to make my own strips. :) Right now, I have a two deep section that goes where the elevator extends past the scenic divide on the layout. I have four silos mocked for that but I may go six. Need to do another test fit. Depending on how that turns out, then the single deep silos that run along the divide will either be eight or ten long. I have two sets of four roughed together now.

    20201220_181843_resized.jpg

    I'm sure there will be many smaller side projects that pop up along the way and that will be a good thing.

    Last year was the first year I participated in the winter party and it is neat to look back on how the progress was. After last years party was over, I did try and keep something going every weekend if I could. That helped a lot. Here is a look at one side of my small layout from when the party started last year.

    1920lps.JPG

    Now here is a look at it from the same basic angle for the start of this years winter party. The grain elevator will go at the right end of the divide and is the last big thing for the layout. There are of course a lot of details to add and a few things I want to rework a little but finishing and installing the grain elevator will be a big milestone for the layout.

    20201213_155520.jpg

    Things have really come together and I am glad I have been able to share the progress along the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!
     
  19. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    In a surprising turn of events, I'm back into the party, and with a bang.

    Got half of the (reference) main line laid down, affixed with thumbthacks. Also managed to get a train running while at it.

    [​IMG]
    The track is currently in place from the right edge of the photo (coming out of staging) all the way to the far end in the middle of the photo (a lift-out at the electrical cabinet).

    [​IMG]
    And of course, an inagural train ran (GP-9 and couple of cars, forgot the caboose ;) ) along the track. Finally, we got trains running !
     
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  20. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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    I'm done with the temp main, all the track is in place except for the lift-up bridge.

    [​IMG]

    Would love to have a full loop already, but since I don't have any latches for the lift-up bridge, I just keep it clamped up for now until I figure that out.

    [​IMG]
    Old photo of the lift-up bridge

    Also, staging has no power or any other electronics installed yet and is electrically isolated from the rest of the layout so that might be a next thing to tackle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
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