LAYOUT PARTY 2023-2024 Sixteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 17, 2023

  1. country joe

    country joe TrainBoard Member

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    I started working on the backdrop. I found a sky with clouds 4’x12’ paper roll at Michaels. I’m going to cut it down to 12” tall and attach it to foam core with double sided tape. I cut the foam core to 12” and taped the sections together. They are a little hard to see being white against a white wall.

    The next step is to cut the backdrop and tape it to the foam core, then install the finished backdrop. I’m hoping I’ll get this done before the party ends.

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  2. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Winter Party Final Report

    Goal #1: Finish Upper Level Lighting
    This was one of the first things I worked on after the party began, goal accomplished! I can see now!
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    Goal #2: Fascia-mounted switch control
    This had also been an ongoing process as the layout comes along. I installed seven more since the party started…. But now I’m out of ground throws and fascia pedestals!
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    Goal #3: Benchwork over Workbench
    Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened yet. This could still happen before spring, but other things drew my attention away (structures & scenery)

    Goal #4: Backdrop and fascia
    Didn’t get any backdrop work done, but I did install fascia in several locations to cover and trim the lighting.
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    Goal #5: Staging
    Building upper level staging was far-fetched, but it is a critical goal this year. I want to operate in the layouts entirety by October (local modeling/railfan weekend), so there is still some time.

    Non-Goal tasks:
    Multiple long-term projects finally made it onto the layout, including about 6 freight cars and 3 locomotives. Also worked on scenery base construction with foam board.
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    Despite illness and other unplanned layout projects, this was a successful winter party. Looking forward to what the rest of 2024 will bring!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    My final report for the party is much less exciting than I had hoped. Maybe I am reluctant to disturb my comfy garage space with big screen TV and heavy workbench.
    I did lay some flextrack in the yard, added Tortoise to six turnouts, replaced Caboose throws with those that are correct, added tons of track feeders, and was able to run trains. I can now run a local to Fontana then back to the yard. I can also run up and down the helix to/from staging and use the crossovers controlled by DCC Wabbits.

    Not one bit of benchwork was built as was my primary goal. That's ok. Running what little I have currently has me motivated. The fact that it all works fairly well is also motivating.

    Happy progress in all your efforts.
     
  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Last Call for another FANTASTIC Layout Party!!! The 2023-2024 16th Annual International Winter Layout Party officially closes tonight. Over the next few days, I'm hoping to see your final weekly progress reports and a comment or two about your original goals and final outcome. Pics are certainly welcome, too.
    I've been very pleased by the return of our frequent fliers and the addition of new participants.
    If you already have a build thread here on TrainBoard or are going to start a build thread here in the Layout Design Discussion Forum to continue documenting progress on your layout, please include a link to it in your final Layout Party posting.
     
  5. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Sawmill Design/Build – Part 5....

    Spent way to much time on designing the sawmill complex but it is almost over. Over two weeks have over 80 hours in on this project. I save my work after any significant design steps and also save an image at that point in case I have to back-track. I've got over 800 files stored now from those changes and images. It is almost like having to design the real building.

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    Still need to design the de-barker building and the chain from it to the main building above. Also the log lift that lifts the logs from the mill pond up to the chain leading to the de-barker building.

    This will be my last 'build' post here but will continue the build on my layout build on here and my site ( HERE ).

    I'll also try and get back tomorrow with final thoughts on the party, which I did enjoy and felt it helped me get more done. Dave thanks for your efforts in making it possible and hopefully I'll be around for next year's party.

    Sumner
     
  6. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Last weekend, I placed an order for red Pico surface mount LEDs, 3-position switches, and button battery holders from Evan Designs to install in 12 N-scale cabooses and 4 HO cabooses.
    On Monday morning, I worked on the Flagman's lantern on Ken's HO layout, and Wednesday morning, he helped me remove coupler boxes and portions of the caboose frames from 9 N-scale cabooses for my layout. On Friday, I put MicroTrains trucks with couplers on a few of the cabooses, and the Evan Designs components arrived.
    Today (Sunday), I drilled holes over the front and back doors of a caboose, removed the metal weight so I could cut out a small rectangle in the frame for access to the 3-position switch, and used wire glue to connect the components.

    This pic shows a caboose shell and frame with the trucks and coupler boxes removed, an empty shell with a red Pico surface mount LED poked through the holes at either end of the caboose, the button battery holder that will be glued toward one end of the shell, the 3-position switch that will be attached to the interior of the shell over the cut out notch in the frame, and a second frame with a notch cut out to allow access to the 3-position switch that will light the front SMD, turn off the battery, or light the rear SMD. At the bottom is the frame for the shell in the middle, which will get 1 or 2 weights to replace the removed metal plate weight.

    Tomorrow morning, I'll work on the HO Flagman's lantern at Ken's, and we'll see how many of my cabooses can be fitted with lights tomorrow afternoon on my layout.
     
  7. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    I started with goals to finish fascia label Mile Posts for all 4 Divisions and and several Branchlines (Done), Turnout labels in my large yard (Done), and Track Labels in the large Yard and in a few areas with complex track work where operators did not have any Switching Routes (Done).

    I had hoped to update time tables over 75 trains...but only succeeded in clarifying the framework for trains entering and leaving the A Yard and B Yard, and did not write out anything yet for the formal job descriptions for the B Yard Master Job and the A Yard Switcher Job.

    I reconfigured tracks for the South Madison Interchange, ICG Decatur Interchange, and N&W Frankfort Interchange.
    I spent time working on others layouts, too.
    Jeremy's Track Plan:
    Relatively slow but steady incremental progress on the Flagman's Lantern for Ken's Layout Made some scale drawings, and purchased some wood for a scratch built Lumber Shed for Ken's layout, but not any progress on the actual build yet.
    Only a little progress on the plastic kitbash for the Furniture Manufacturing Building for Ken's layout.

    Helped Gary get 34 out of 80 feet of photo background mounted on his layout.
    This last week of the Party has seen an unexpected burst forward on adding red LEDs to cabooses
    All things considered, I'm pleased with progress...but also am excited that there is still so much to do.
     
  8. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, we made it to the end of another fun Layout party. I started out with the below goals and did fairly well.

    Over this last weekend of the layout party, the only think on the layout itself that got worked on was this cover to go below the Kato switch controllers. It just needs a little sanding around the edges and to be painted and done.
    20240225_145005a.jpg

    My big project for this winter has been underway since Thanksgiving. That is redoing most of the wiring for the layout and completely replacing the fascia on the layout………………….The plan from here forward is to make all new fascia and relocate some of the switches and panels to the other side.
    I'll adding a few things as well.

    · 1 analog Volt meter (Done (y))
    · 1 analog mAmp meter (these first two not because I need them but I have them and thing it would look good. ) (Done (y))
    · 4 Digitrax UP7 Throttle plug panels (Done (y))
    · 4 Home made LocoNet cables to hook these all together (Done (y))
    · 3 more Throttle pockets (Done (y))
    · 1 more of the New Rail cup holders (If I can find one more) (Obtained and just need to install (y))

    Once most of that is in place, I'll lower the layout back down to a height that is about 5 inches higher than it was before I started this. (Done (y))

    Projects after that include completing the fencing around two places on the layout, the touch up the scenery around them. (Not Done (n)) Out of all that, the this is only thing that I really didn’t get done or at least make progress on. Who knows, it may be on next years list. LOL

    I did do a couple of successful DCC installs and work on some fright car loads so overall, I’m happy with how it went.

    Most of all, I really enjoyed all the great post this year and have gotten a couple of new ideas from them. For now it’s back to the JPT Sub thread (Link in my signature) and I’ll be back for more next year. :coffee::coffee::coffee::coffee:
     
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  9. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Been a good party and enjoyed it. Now what were my goals?

    I actually had to go back to day one for the build to see what they were :(:unsure:.

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    The image above tells the story. I thought I had committed to more so for once I got a lot of my goals finished and some I hadn't even thought about.

    Got...

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    .... most of the scenery mocked in in the area I wanted to get done and ...

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    .... besides the scenery got a few other things done or at least partially done....

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    .... designed and printed the retaining walls at the end of the mesa above ...

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    .... some small bridges and ...

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    .... culverts a ....

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    .... larger bridge and ...

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    .... laid some roadbed and ...

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    .... a plate girder bridge (print files are up for the bridges and culverts) and ...

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    .... made it so it is easy to remove the upper level above the hidden staging where the sawmill complex will go and...

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    .... laid the cork for the track by and past the sawmill and...

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    .... worked on the design for the sawmill complex and ....

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    .... got the green chain, walkway, trusses and roof printed (not all shown) and ....

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    .... some stacks of lumber designed and printed and the print files up on thingiverse.com and .....

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    .... finished most of the sawmill design finished (still a little to go) and started printing the main building.

    Dave and TrainBoard thanks for putting on the build. I feel it encouraged me to get more done than I would of other wise and at 80 now time to get things done ;).

    Sumner
     
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  10. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    Lets see where we started:
    • Backdrop - I discovered some cloud on blue pattern paper for classroom bulletin boards a couple of years ago. The paper is four feet tall, but the roll is thick enough to cut to 1 foot heights with my chop saw. So now I have three 12 inch by 8 foot lengths of paper backdrop I need to install on something to mount to the wall behind the layout. Since I am mostly scenery free at the moment I think this is the time.
    • Industries - I need to finish track laying and wiring for my Wizard in The Woods locomotive rebuilder industry. The idea is that one of the tracks out of the back of the building (Which I got from a remarkable friend and mentor a couple of years ago) will be wired as my programming track, and the remaining track will give me a place to host all the locomotive projects I have queued up. Once the building and the track are in place, I will need to populate the area with oak trees mixed with Longleaf pines to get the "Woods" taken care of.
    • I'm not happy with my current workbench or storage situation in my long and skinny layout space. SO my plan is take a couple hollow core doors and do a new workbench on the remaining long wall where the last layout benchwork segment goes. The idea is to have an HCD for that layout surface with legs and then have the workbench underneath but in the same foot print.
    So How did I do?

    • Backdrop: Nope. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
    • Industries: Wizard in The Woods is largely complete. Wiring for the track is done and dusted; wiring for the building lights not so much. And now I can add a ton of small details to fill in the scene.
    • Organization/Workbench: Zilch. Apparently 18 inch wide HCD's (even from bifold doors) are harder to come by then I thought.
    Am I satisfied? Yes. Now to see how far I can get by next winter.
     
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  11. country joe

    country joe TrainBoard Member

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    My goals were:

    1) Getting trains running. I have to build the grade before I can run trains but that shouldn’t take too long so trains should be running fairly soon.

    I built the grade, ran trains and decided that I didn’t like the grade, removed it and am able to run trains. I’m reworking the track yet so I’m not 100% done but close enough that I’ll call this goal met.

    2) Getting a backdrop up. I have a few ideas but this could take a while though I should be able to get it done during the period of the layout party.

    I’ve made progress but haven’t completed the backdrop so not done.

    3) I’ve got the double track mainline laid out but I need to work out secondary trackage. This is another goal I should be able to complete.

    Secondary track is done but I will probably tweak it a bit more. Still, I’ll say I have pretty much met this goal.

    4) I said I wanted to start on scenery but upon further reflection I doubt that will happen during this period.

    I was right in thinking I wouldn’t be able to start scenery.

    I am very happy with progress made during this, my first, layout party. It was a lot of fun contributing and following other’s progress.
     
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  12. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, the train show this past weekend was a great success and I had a really good time there. Everything is put away now and I can give my last progress report. The panel with the Digitrax modules for duplex wireless and Wi-Fi that I was working on at the end of the party got a good work out at this show and I am very happy with the results. These are mounted onto the panel with Velcro and as the Wi-Fi module belongs to my layout, it will come off and be returned to the layout. Eventually we will buy another one for the club. I'll be back soon with my closing post.

    TBWMA26Feb24d.jpg
     
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  13. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Each year I always have to go back to my first post and see what the goals were that I set for myself. I surprised myself by achieving all the goals this time.
    • Finish the road that passes through the cut in the hill. DONE
    • Paint the sky board. DONE
    • Fully finish the scenery on this hillside. DONE
    • Build a propane dealer in the flat area in the foreground of the photo. DONE
    • Work on finishing some buildings and scenes in Carlin which is to the right of this photo. DONE
    On this last goal I was able to finish and detail an already started 3D printed house and an already started fire station. Also assembled a pair of DPM buildings, and primed those and 2 more 3D printed houses.

    In addition to these projects, I also finished a GHQ crane for the scrap yard and tried out a Digitrax DCC duplex throttle setup. This is for the Ntrak club so I made up a hanger for it and a Wi-Fi unit which was successfully tested out at the train show this past weekend and the subject of my last update post.

    Most of the work on the layout was focused at the extreme east end and here are before and after comparison photos.

    Mid December 2023

    2023TBLP01.jpg


    Feb 26, 2024

    2023TBLP68.jpg

    2023TBLP69.jpg


    This event has again been quite enjoyable for me and for sure I always get a lot done on the layout. This year I was home for the entire time so got even more done. I've also enjoyed watching everyone's progress on their layouts and one of the things I've come to realize is how big 3D printing has become in this hobby. I have been buying more and more 3D printed items as they have become available and am happy to support those who have that talent.

    2023TBLP67.jpg
     
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  14. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    Nice work Brad and always enjoy looking at your layout and how close it looks to the region it models.

    So is there a 3D printer in your future or do you already have one?

    Sumner
     
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  15. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree, great work Brad. You to Sumner.

    So, what about it Brad, you going to take up 3d printing?
     
  16. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you, guys. No, I don't have any plans to get into 3D printing in the foreseeable future.
     
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  17. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Well I hit 'like' but I'll bet once you do you will enjoy it.

    Sumner
     
  18. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    @nscalestation - both the propane dealer and the firehouse turned out really nicely.
     

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