3rd Annual International Winter Layout Party of 2011

ppuinn Dec 11, 2010

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Back by popular demand!
    The Moderators of the Layout Design Forum are proud to host:

    The Third Annual International Winter Layout Party

    Since the first one in Spring 2002, the Layout Parties have traditionally been hosted in the Layout Design Forum.
    Why International?
    TrainBoard has members from over 75 countries around the world, so the Layout Party draws its participants from throughout the international community.
    Why Winter?
    Threads for the 6 Layout Parties held in the Spring had 180 to 240 posts. The 2009 Winter thread had more than twice as many posts…so we decided to arrange another Winter Layout Party. When last year’s Party ended in February 2010, we had 28 pages of posts!

    One of the earlier Layout Parties started with this wonderful call to action.

    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.
    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.

    The purpose of the Layout Party is to provide recognition, encouragement, and support to all participants who are working on a layout project and 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 8 weeks. We will, of course, congratulate those who have worked on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.

    This year's official kick-off date is Friday December 17th 2010, and the Layout Party will end on February 20, 2011, the 3rd Sunday in February.

    This Thread will be temporarily locked until
    the official start of the Layout Party on

    Friday, December 17th 2010
  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Rules for
    The Third Annual International Winter Layout Party

    1. The Primary Purpose of the Layout Party is to have fun working on your layout.

    2. In your first post, please include
    a description of:
    • your layout and its present status,
    • what aspect or area of your layout you intend to work on (“before” pictures, please…if available), and
    • what you want to accomplish in the 8 weeks of the Layout Party (Don't make it too ambitious…See Rule #1)
    3. 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.

    4. At the end of the Layout Party, post a description and/or picture(s) of your accomplishments.

    FWIW: Some observations and suggestions:

    • Life Happens. Some members join The Layout Party because jobs, family demands, finances, other interests, etc. have distracted them from working on their layouts, and the Layout Party provides them an extra little push to get involved, again.
    • Others may have been working on their layouts all along, but join the Layout Party to share their efforts with others, get some extra feedback or suggestions, or just for the Fun of it.
    • The idea here is for us to enjoy ourselves and act as an electronic support group to each other so we can all get more done on our layouts and have a good time doing it.

    • 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 your 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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  3. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    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. Members have posted pictures, asked questions, moaned about problems, and encouraged others who were working through their frustrations.

    Check out these links to our past Layout Parties

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2010
  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    The 3rd International Winter Layout Party is officially opened.
  5. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    I've participated in similar Layout Parties in other forums. Do we create our own thread for our project or do we just post on this one?
  6. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

    Post in this thread, please. It keeps all contributions made for the 'IWLP cubed' in one place.
  7. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    B&M Conn River Valley Branch in N

    Man I'm so excited about this! First, my B&M layout has sat unfinished like this for three years. Now I'm at a point I can devote some time to it.

    Overview & Goals

    The first picture is what it looks like now, the picture was taken Christmas Eve in 2006 and nothing has changed. I hope to get Railimages resolved so I can upload new pictures to the thread. The first thing I did was dedicate the spare bedroom to the layout. The room was originally a workshop for RC planes, now it houses the layout, workbench and spray booth.

    1. 90% of the track is done, however I need to add two turnouts on the east end so trains can do a run around in the front area without using the long siding for the concrete plant. This turn out will be in front of the one pictured. The B&M crosses the Maine Central at the diamond. This realignment will take some time.

    2. Start basic land forms. The layout is divided by a "natural" view block. A large hill will be between the concrete plant and the front of the layout. The town will be built on the bulk of the hill with the main road going over the B&M main and siding on the west end and continuing through town then going over the B&M branch line in a north east direction. A hot wire and knife will be used to give the foam sub terrain some form regarding ditches and water ways.

    3. Layout is wired for DCC, I want to get most of the electrical done on this.

    4. Fascia needs to be changed to match the terrain, primed, and finished in white and B&M blue.

    Doesn't seem like a lot but I have a lot going on so hopefully these goals can be done. The only fly in the jelly is if I don't get a job in Illinois soon, I'll be going back to New Hampshire, and we all know what moving does with layout time!

  8. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

    I would like to add the Greenbriar Delta & Rutland to the guest list if you don’t mind.

    History/Layout Description
    Although the track plan looks like a bowl of spaghetti it has its foundation on John Allen’s Time Saver (no comments please) on the yellow section of the bench work. The track plan has evolved over time and really does not look like it did when I started 6½ years ago. In the last 6½ years the only thing that has changed is the bench work and track plan. I have added buildings from past layouts as well as some that were built new for this layout.


    Little scenery other then the fore mentioned buildings has been completed at this time; the only areas that is detailed is the elevated portion (see image below) of the main part of the city located where the words “Customer 1” are located on the track plan and Bluetop Hill located in the area where the words “Customer 3” are located on the track plan.

    Photos taken before scene being placed on the layout

    I also started on the lower (older) part of the city but stopped because I thought that I was about to start ballasting and wanted to do the ballasting before going further. At the same time I have been planning another part of the city located behind Customer 4. This too is an elevated area, but not as much as the elevated section seem above.

    Currently I have the 2 inches of foam cut to its basic shape and have been doing some temporary placement of the buildings and roads that will go on it.


    In the words of my signature So many projects, so little timeoh so true.

    When I told my wife that there was going to be an International Layout Party she wanted to know where it was going to be located at.

    Goals while attending the
    International Layout Party

    So what do I plan to accomplish by going to the Layout Party? While concentrating on the area of the track plan that is to the right of the “2” in “Customer 2” the orange section of the bench work seen above, Listed in order that I plan to work, I want to

    1. Finish weathering all the rails in that area. This includes the section of track that is hidden by the foam block.
    2. Ballast the entire section of track in that area. This too includes the section of track that is hidden by the foam block. I have a history of changing my mind all the time. Next month that foam block may be in the garage.
    3. Build and detail the portion of the city that will be located there. Most of the buildings are already assembled.
    4. Work at finishing the chemical plant area (customer #4).Place the storage tanks
      1. Overflow containment wall around storage tanks
      2. Road into and within the area
      3. Add a chain link fence.
    5. Work towards finishing the Scrap Yard area (customer #9).
      1. Ramp for loader so it reaches over Gondolas
      2. Maybe some junk yard dogs.
      3. Add recycling bins (have them to build)
      4. Some type of fence could be a wood wall or chain link or a combination
    Numbers 1 and 2 will be the easiest. I feel working in the above order will be the most efficient since I will be working from back to front. This will eliminate reaching over finished scenes.

    Hopefully I have not bitten off more then I can get done in the allotted time. Unfortunately many of my Saturdays will be taken up by projects at my oldest daughters house (newly single mother whose house needs help), and one weekend I will be visiting a friends layout in TX as well as going to the Train Show in Plano.

    As usual I will be posting a bunch of beginner questions, some of which I should know the answers. Scenery is really a new concept for me. None of my previous layouts got past the track laying and wiring. I always got derailed at that point. I have learned a lot by looking at the different threads here and many of the members layouts are fantastic looking and have inspired me. The detailed information that they have provided has provided me with a wealth of information that I could not every find elsewhere.

  9. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    I'm in the boat - no - train. :angel:

    I want to finish quite a few projects for the FREMO Feb meeting. I have to build three modules, I've already planed the layout with them. And I want to have more structures with my module Salina. Stock yard and a few houses would be nice.

    I will take pictures from the status today.

  10. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    I am back. I am going to just move on beyond my inability to get anything done last year and focus on this year.

    I have this plan for a T-Trak triple-length saw mill:

    I have a slightly newer version I am going to probably use that has three loading dock tracks instead of two, and then I am going to build it. I have the plywood, so my goals are to:

    1) Finish fiddling with the plan
    2) Saw the plywood when I get a day that's not too wet
    3) Build the T-Trak table-top "benchwork."
    4) Wire it up to T-Trak standards
    5) Lay the "mainline" tracks
    6) Lay the spurs.
    7) Finish my wig-wam burner
    8) Start building mill and load docks if there is time.

    Other possible time-filler projects include making loads for my N scale disconnects (e.g., "logs"), building a reasonable facsimile of OA #104 from a Bachmann donor locomotive. Sometimes, weather can impact my woodworking as I end up doing most of my major sawing outside. I gotta get all that "storage space" stuff out of the shop so I can use it as an actual shop.

  11. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Current Condition:
    Poor pic of the ovals.
    Yard and Interchange

    Goals? It is likely I will:

    • Have the main area fully "mountained" to my satisfaction
    • Some ground cover will be down
    • Two train operation
    Stretch goals:

    • Yard tracks changed out with flex track, (to provide a visual difference).
    • A few structures for a town
    • Lots of ground covering
    • An area worthy of posting to "Weekend Photo Fun"
    Posting at least once a week? Ya, probably.
  12. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    Here's the status quo:

    Three curved modules, 10°, 5° and 90° in two segments. I will have to finish them with basic scenery for the FREMO meeting in Feb.


    Salina needs some structures.


    And the stock yard has to get two loading chutes and fences.


  13. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

    Flatonia Environs

    That's normal and exactly what I did the first few times. Just do what you can and it is all good.

    In contrast, I have bitten off very little. I have a small area I use for an interchange. While it is named "Flatonia," it is not like the real Flatonia, Texas at all except maybe for Tower 3 located there. I have had the Tower and the station completed for several years. I have built small buildings for the area three times and discarded them all. Here is pictured the small area I wish to complete first. I have already located the structure and removed the old scenery. The blue foam is the area I have reconstructed for the building.

    You can see both the station, Tower 3, and the interchange tracks.

    Here are the structures I had discarded. They were not too bad, but they were the type that were H0 scale with N scale doors and H0 scale windows. Just too out of proportion for me. They are even taller than Tower 3.

    Next to show you the structure I purchased at the Oklahoma Train Show Dec 5,6.
  14. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

    DM&IR Hill City Sub

    The track plan:

    Present status:

    Goals for the layout party:
    - surfaced prepared, gaps filled, painted
    - all roadbed and track laid and wired, ground throws installed
    - remaining sections of fascia (upper and lower) installed and painted
    - begin construction of first scratchbuilt structure
  15. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

    If I can get items 1-3 done I'll be happy

  16. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks, Dave, for hosting the party. Where do I hang my coat?

    In the last Winter Layout party, I got to this point with the new industrial park at Meridian.


    I want to install at least one more 1960's era structure for a refrigerated foods distributor at the center of the photo. I want to try scratchbuilding a chain link fence around the propane tanks in the right rear corner of the scene. Not yet ready to pay for etched fencing - I want to try being cheap first.

    A few years ago, I built this sand tower from scratch.


    For a while I had a cat that admired my sand tower.


    Yes, those are tooth marks. That cat no longer lives here. We're pretty sure the coyotes ate it. The cat has since been replaced/upgraded, and now it's the sand tower's turn.

    I picked up a Stewart Classics diesel service facilities kit in Little Rock this year that I've been saving for the party.

    More after the jump...
  17. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    In the 2008/2009 Winter Layout Party, the town of Dixon got new building flats and backdrop photos like you see here.


    In October, I started a major urban removal project at Dixon and it looked like this.


    Part of the goal is to move a pair of switches to the left (as shown in the picture below) to lengthen the passing siding at Dixon.


    I've started working on the new concept for Dixon, focusing around the original location of Tiffin Foods. Here's how it looks so far.


    The revised switches and track are assembled, soldered, painted and laid in place in this photo, but not yet connected or anchored. Much remains to be done before I can run trains through this scene.

    Once again, Dave, thanks for having us over for the party. Gee, I'm parched. What do you have for drinks?
  18. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! (Cool ones are in the frig, Todd.)

    You guys are the First Responders, and it looks like you're getting settled in well. Like previous years, most folks will be dropping in soon, but late arrivals are welcome at any time.
  19. saronaterry

    saronaterry TrainBoard Member

    Ok, here's my projects:
    1. Forest these areas.


    2. Finish hidden staging. I'll need to order 22 pcs. of track for that!

    3. Work on the scenery in the areas I built during last winter's party:

    Updates to follow. Good luck everybody! It was a blast last year!
  20. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

    Operations improvements.

    I have been thinking of extending the length of the passing sidings and maybe adding one more track to staging for a total of four. Extending the sidings should not be to tough but the staging is under the mountain area of the layout and require removing some basic shell scenery work.
    In the attachment the double track in the foreground will be extended a little and pushed closer together. The top track in the background is my Summit passing siding that needs to be lengthened considerably. The staging is under the scenery between that top track and the middle track and I have already removed a large section of scenery to start.
    It will be quite involved but I think the improvements will be desirable. Visually the tracks will be more prototypically closer at the passing sidings and I will gain more through staging. My era is the 70's to the 90's but like to have my Kato Daylight train in staging if I want some eye candy for visitors. So I would have a through track and two long freights ready to go with my Daylight out of the way.
    Eventually I will make changes in the yard area to move the tracks closer and narrow the yard some to gain more space for scenery and structures. I would be happy to get the first part done and the yard mods would be icing on the cake.
    I also plan to raise the fascia in the mountain region to gain more usable scenery space for structures and roads. The car card and waybill holders will be replaced with slots for switch lists. This will clean it up quite a bit. I also need to get the Rail Op system set up for my railroad to.

    How long is winter?

    Attached Files:

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