Christmas layout

Thieu Dec 2, 2018

  1. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    We have been thinking about this for many years, but we have never started building one: a small Christmas layout. Yet this year, it will happen: a small layout around a tree. With some leftover (ply)wood, a few new buildings and some old engines and coaches, we will be able to build a low budget Christmas layout.

    The theme will be German. I have still some German steamers (Minitrix) and coaches from the old days when I started with N scale. Would be nice to run them again. And if they don't run very well, I also have a Railbus, recently bought for a project that didn't work out......

    The tree is a fake one, of course, so no needles on the track. The track is Peco snaptrack. The tree fits into the mountain, but I try to make it in such a way that the tree can be replaced with a mountain top.

    I didn't plan on scratchbuilding this time. So we bought some cheap German kits at an modelling event. With some paint and dirt, they look very nice. The only scratchbuilt thing is the railroadbridge.

    Of course, we need snow. A little bit frightning, for snow can ruin the whole layout. And we have never used snow before. So, keep your fingers crossed.......

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    kmcsjr, MVP, Kurt Moose and 4 others like this.
  2. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    Looks great! Keep us posted as you progress
     
  3. Mopar4wd

    Mopar4wd TrainBoard Member

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    I got about 60-70% done about a decade ago with a similar size Christmas layout. Built from leftover MDF and foam boards. I also made a tunnel but only had enough depth for a shallow stream I like yours better. I had trains around the tree when I was a kid but since then we have always had dogs and now dogs and small kids so I built the layout to sit on a cabinet in the family room. I used Atlas snap track soldered together for reliability. I had the mountain in and the stream ready for resin and a few buildings in the village up when life got in the way. I had a small church and house in it and was going to add a general store. Unfortunately when my kids were younger they found it an played a bit to rough and now it requires a rebuild. I will have to see if I have some pics around before the destruction began.
     
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  4. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    Yes! I would like to see it. Maybe you will be inspired to rebuild it this year :)
     
  5. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Very cool concept.

    The roughness and inevitable handling is why I got monorails to use this year.
     
  6. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    Started with the rocks. Made several of them with a mold from a local hobbyshop, and I am now gluing them to the foam. I use modelling clay for the gaps and the rest of the scenery base. The bridge has a brown color but needs some weathering. The tunnel portals need paint. I have drilled some holes for the lights in the buildings, which will be LED's on a string with batteries for the electricity. Keep it simple....

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  7. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    Of course, there is also a back side, with scenery

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  8. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    I never thought of using modelling clay before and I have a ton of it. Thanks for that!
     
  9. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    It is great stuff! It is not fluid like gypsum, so it won't drip off the layout. And it dries slowly so you can make corrections and stick trees in it. It can be painted easily. I use it as scenery base, but also for roads and even small rivers (with soms layers of varnish on top of it). It can however shrink a little bit, so you have to keep that in mind.
     
  10. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Isn't clay heavy? Or this type lightens up after drying?
     
  11. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    It is not very light, but when it dries, it looses the moisture inside it. I have made many modules and layouts with clay and none of them were particularly heavy. The mountains are all foam with a thin layer of clay, the total weight is not more than when you use gypsum (or similar stuff).
     
  12. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    Just 2 weeks to go, yet I have still hope that the layout will be ready in time. Most of the rocks are in place now, the tracks have been wired, and there is a fake mountain top. My wife will make some stairs to lead the Preisers to the church (there is no road to the church...).

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  13. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Every christmas layout needs a 3D Printed Santa and Sleigh! I've got one set left if you're interested. :)

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  14. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    A little bit inefficient to send it all the way to Europe, but it is a very nice model!

    In the mean time, we have made some progress. All the rocks are in place and most of them have been painted. The buildings have some lights inside them. Still a lot to do before we can apply the snow.

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  15. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    It started snowing tonight. Well, it snowed Noch snowpaste. Tomorrow, it will snow Noch snowglue, followed by a snowstorm of Woodland Scenics flakes.

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    DASH 95 and mtntrainman like this.
  16. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    Looking good! Keep it coming
     
  17. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    Of course, I didn't have enough snowpaste.... So I had to go back to the hobbyshop. They only had paste by Faller instead of Noch. OK, well, I am in a hurry (with just 1 day to go to Christmas) so I bought the Faller paste. A smaller jar. And they had only one of these..... Well. Better one small jar than no jar.... I also bought some Swedish white paste at another shop, hopefully will that work too.

    So far, I prefer the Noch paste. It kind of 'melts', creating nice, goodlooking piles of snow that flow over the roofs and rocks. The Faller paste feels more like gypsum, it is also more sticky which makes it rather difficult to apply (and it creates staines when you accidentally touch some gravel or trees); it also does not seem to run/melt. The Swedish paste is just white paste: good for making large areas of snow, but it does not have the characteristics of the Noch snow.
     
  18. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    It works! The Woodland snow - which you apply on top of the snowepaste - gives the icy look of real snow. It took some time to cover the layout with the snow, but the results are pretty good.

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  19. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    More than pretty good, excellent I say! :)
     
  20. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    OK, it's finished! At the second day of Christmas, so we made it (sort of :whistle: ).

    The station area, with the small station, called Sankt Niklaus. The Railbus is waiting for passengers.

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