Door Knocker's Delight

rsn48 Jan 21, 2005

  1. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

    Time to party, get out the chips, nuts and beverage of choice.

    I was called away in the last layout party due to a sickness in my family so I never really finished what I set out to do. And I'm embarrassed to admit, I haven't worked on the layout for about ten months now.

    If you don't understand this thread go to the thread here in the layout design forum, entitled Layout Party Announcement. After you have read that thread this thread will be clearer.

    Here is a link to the Layout Party Announcement:

    My layout is at present a double decker (but eventually will be three decks). I want to complete the nolix area which I have never completed (this is like a helix, same function only different design). Since my son is in first year university, I have committed to get all the track in and wired by the end of this May 2005. I have over one third of the most complex track in so the rest will be much easier.

    So my commitment is to get the nolix built and for the next week to finish the legs which will hold the main piece I have already constructed.

    [ 21. January 2005, 16:54: Message edited by: rsn48 ]
  2. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

    My initial commitment will be to finish my bridge - this includes construction, painting and weathering (and decals?). I also need to ballast my track in this area before final/permanent installation

    Other high-priority projects:
    (1) Abandoned coal mine
    - Get all the required pieces together
    - Install some abandoned looking trackage underneath and on the side
    (2) Scenicing the big mountain
    - Add greenery to the remaing side of the mountain
    - Add color variation to the mountain
    - Add shrubs to the mountain

    This should take me most/all the way through this event

    [ 21. January 2005, 17:29: Message edited by: nscale_lover ]
  3. Tompm

    Tompm TrainBoard Supporter

    I will join in.

    I actually have two projects.

    The first is to assemble a G-Scale building that my wife purchased for our upcoming garden railroad. It is made by Piko and is part of their Pleasant Town series. I think it is the Leather Goods Shop. (The box is at home.)

    While the glue is drying on the G-Scale building I will return to the HO world and work on the Passenger Station Diorama. I would like to get the stones in the bridge abutment and the creek wall recolored. I did them once but did not like the way they came out. Also I need to replant some trees. The trees were uprooted by our kitten who was teething at the time. His actions lead me to check the remaining trees and found many of them were also loose. I also would like to add more foliage and some detail parts to the diorama.

    Lastly if time allows I have a boxcar that I need to finish decaling for the Lehigh & New England billboard scheme. Also next up on the weathering to do list is a IHC Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company 2-6-0 Camelback.

    I know this may sound like a lot but it is not. I can work on several of these at the same time. I have the work bench space. I’ll start one and then progress to the point where I have to let the glue or paint dry. Then I pick up on another until the same thing happens. My modeling time is limited so I have to make the most out of it.
  4. Israel

    Israel E-Mail Bounces

    New guy to model railroading here. And I'm in. Seeing as my layout is a bunch of Atlas flextrack and roadbed in a box at the moment and has been for awhile this will be a good kick in the back-end to get started.

    First project: Week One
    Will be to convert the GP38 and two of the cars that have Rapidos over to accumates. The look of the Rapidos is driving me nuts.

    Second project: Week Two
    Build the benchwork for a 12x36 module.
    I'm going to use this as an industrial spur.

    Third project: Week Three & Four
    Lay roadbed and track & weather track

    Fourth project: Week Five
    Ballast track

    Guys wish me luck. And if I don't report any progress yell at me. I'm serious.


    [ 25. January 2005, 20:41: Message edited by: Israel ]
  5. Jim Bernier

    Jim Bernier TrainBoard Member

    Here is my 5 week schedule:

    o - replace old twin coil switch machines with Tortoise motors.

    o - Rebuild 'staging' tracks(lengthen)

    o - Rebuild engine terminal area

    o - Work on more scenery

    If I get some more time:

    o - Work on the Swift meat packing industry

    o - Complete scenery in the Swift area

    Jim Bernier
  6. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

    Jim, welcome to the TB! Look forward to seeing your pics!
  7. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Mine is simple. I will actually follow through with a minor project, that I have gotten about 75% done, to full completion.

    This would be my first attempt at custom painting a diesel that I got painted and decaled, and then stopped just short of adding railings, weathering, and installing on diesel motor chassis so it can run.
  8. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    I'll join in. I'll have to think about what I want to do by about March 1. Here are my "want-to-dos":

    An ABBA consist of LL FA2s. This project got derailed when my NCE programming track couldn't program the latest, largest decoders. I get discouraged, until I realized it was the programming track rather than my installs.

    Wire the roundhouse for DCC. I've got enough steam with decoders to make this worthwhile. This includes making the turntable functional.

    Finish the first round of scenery by completing the two or three "undecided" spots.

    I think that's enough.
  9. Ed M

    Ed M Passed away May 2012 In Memoriam

    Well I suppose I could have made better use of the time I was waiting for the party to start by writing up my game plan, but no, I had to wait until we got the green light. Anyway, let’s get a little background, then I’ll introduce the layout, and finally we’ll go for some kind of commitment.

    A couple of years ago, as I approached retirement, I figured that it was the right time to reactivate a fairly dormant, but life-long, hobby of armchair railroading. Like a lot of you, I had Lionel trains as a kid, HO as a teenager, then let everything drop during a life and career. I did get introduced to N scale, and actually constructed an Ntrak module, while living in Houston in the early 80’s. That was the closest I ever came to having an operating layout.

    We had been planning to retire down here in Mexico for several years, and were working on the house bit by bit. So I knew that I wouldn’t have much space for a layout, and that model railroad supplies are scarcer than hen’s teeth down here.

    Just before retiring I finally decided on a track plan, based on the Atlas layout N-17, The Scenic & Relaxed, in their book “Nine N Scale Railroads”. I purchased the 3’ x 6’- 8” hollow core wood door, some ¾” blue foam, and more than enough track, roadbed, and switches to do the layout. Before the move I actually managed to get the foam down, using a cookie cutter method for the inclines. I also got some of the roadbed glued down.

    I boxed the layout up for the move, and it sat in the new home for about 8 months before I was finally able to uncrate it and set it up (supposedly temporarily) in the house. Then, in a spurt of pent up energy, I managed to get most of track layed and just barely started on making some hills out of foam. About that time I did some operating to check out the trackwork. I discovered several places that needed to have some kinks straightened. This started the downward spiral in activity, and I’ve just recently finished troubleshooting the last of the kinks that seem bad enough to warrant reworking.

    So that pretty well brings us up to date on the history of the layout and its current status. To help visualize things, here’s a rough track plan, not exact but close enough for discussion purposes. (click to enlarge image)

    I’m going to include a couple of shots showing current layout status. But when I checked in Rail Images, I discovered that I don’t have a good current shot. I’ll get some taken and posted by tomorrow. Pending that, here’s one that’s close.

    Just to help clarify things, here are a few details on the layout:
    Scale – N
    Size – 3’-0” x 6’-8”
    Base – hollow core wood door, with ¾”foam
    Roadbed – cork
    Rail – Atlas code 80, mostly flex track, Atlas switches, manual, mostly #4
    Control – DC, dual cab with blocks (using Atlas Selectors)
    Era – 1945-1960 (roughly)
    Railroad – FCVN Ferrocarril Veracruz Norte (Northern Veracruz Railroad) – a freelance road set in the northeast section of Veracruz state in Mexico, with connection to NdeM in Tampico.

    Moving right along, the goals for this five week period are:
    1. complete track laying (all that really remains are three spurs which were left out pending completion of troubleshooting, and installing ties at all flextrack joints where they were cut back.)
    2. get all hills and terrain contours built, and any ditches or swales carved into the foam base.
    3. paint all terrain with tan latex paint. (The layout has some of this now, just to camouflage the blue.)
    4. get a base coat of ground foam on all terrain.
    5. Get ground cover through shrub phase on at least 50% of the layout.
    6. Ballast track in areas where ground cover has been completed.
    7. Replace 10 Atlas manual switch machines with Caboose Industries ground throws.

    While that may be a lot of activities, we are only talking about 20 square feet of layout here.

    I also have one goal wannabe, which is to consider painting the ties and rails. I’m not really sure I’m ready for this, as painting may be my least favorite activity. But if I’m going to do it, this would be the time. I’ll sleep on it and make a decision.

    Some notes and exceptions:
    a) I’d love to install some trees but I’m still looking for a suitable local weed to use as an armature, so no trees at this time.
    b) I’m not sure how I’ll treat the bridge abutments, so the area immediately around and under the bridge is exempted from the goals.
    c) I have no real buildings yet (I have some rough mock ups) so I’m still trying to figure out what the industries on my sidings will look like when they grow up.
    d) I have a rough idea in mind about the contours and the general lay of the land, but I’ve never actually worked it out in detail to see how it fits. So a lot of the foam work will be trial and error fit up.

    In the first week I am scheduling completing the trackwork, installing the missing ties, and starting on the foam hills, especially on the front side of the layout north of the yard.

    I figure I’ll post updates more frequently than once a week. If I let it go that long, and report back with minimal progress, I’ll feel even worse than I already do. By regular reporting I hope to shame myself into getting with the program. As I said in the thread talking about the layout party, there’s nothing like embarrassing yourself in front of a bunch of your forum buddies to spur you into action.

    Okay, let’s see who else joins in.

  10. jimbeer

    jimbeer TrainBoard Member

    I'm always up for a party, I'll supply the beer!

    My goal is to complete what I call BASIC SCENERY. My track is laid and wiring is completed, but I have lots of plywood and a big unfinished mountain. I want EVERYTHING to be covered with something! doesn't have to be perfect, just covered with something so I can't see any signs of construction. Somebody on here (maybe Dan Crowley?) suggested making lists so here's mine:

    - Install tunnel portal on backside and finish mountain area around it.

    - Cover risers (currently window screen) with something, I've been using sculptamold and think i will continue with that.

    - Finish the canyon area

    - Paint and/or cover the mountain and all other terrain. Currently my mountain is stark white and looks kinda goofy.

    - Trees, bushes and shrubs to come later

    My big problem is ground color. I'm trying to make a pine forest like one might find in Calif or Colorado. I'm not sure of the color, but I'll know it when I see it! So far, all the foam sprinkles I've found have some green or yellow, can't find any brown/tan/sienna. I don't have an airbrush.

    I am WIDE open to suggestions for making dirt and hills! As for using real dirt, what we have in southern calif is mostly clay and doesn't get real fine. Hobby shops around here mostly cater to R/C cars and may only have the standard Woodland scenics stuff. WS is good, but i've only seen variations of green and yellow "turf". Even the ones labelled 'soil' and 'earth' still aren't right...

    I have prohibited myself from running trains until this is completed!

    Cheers, party on, all the best!

    P.S. thanks Rick for starting this!

    [ 21. January 2005, 19:31: Message edited by: jimbeer ]
  11. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, my commitment is to actually START my layout. I began the process of actually building the room (from scratch, including flooring) for my layout a little over a year ago. Like Rick, several outside influences have prevented me from getting this finished and the layout started. The room is still not finished, but close, and I've started working on it again over the past few weeks. However, I'm not going to let that hold me back as I've decided to start building least the basic 1x4 framework for my lower level staging. I intend to use ripped plywood for the upper staging and layout framework, so I intend to at least buy the plywood and rip it up into 1 7/8" strips. And finally to make a little more progress on the room. So to summarize, my goals for the 5 weeks are:

    1. Build the 1x4 framework for the base level of my layout. This will result in 5 or 6 modules that will eventually be bolted together and screwed to the walls. I will also be drilling holes in the 1x4's for wire routing. I hope to accomplish this by week 3, given that I will also be working on finishing the room concurrently.
    2. Purchase a decent grade sheet (or two) of 3/4" plywood and rip into 24 8'x1 7/8" strips to build the framework for the upper levels. Hope to have this done by week 4.
    3. While not directly related to the layout, I am also committing to finishing the "tape & mud" of the drywall, and also installing 1x4 baseboards around the perimeter of the room. Both by week 5.

    1. Assemble upper staging and layout level framework.
    2. Purchase 3/8" plywood and cut out basic rectangular shapes for layout subroadbed.

    If I can get these tasks done, I will be a happy camper.
  12. Wolfgang Dudler

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

    I've two projects.
    First, to rebuilt my current Plywood District. This includes "tidy the room under the layout a little bit", benchwork building, track laying, some turnouts installing.
    Second, equipping about a dozen turnouts with switchstands.
    Happy tooooot
  13. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

    Welcome to the TB Wolfgang ! VERY Nice website!

    Man I miss being in Germany!

    [ 21. January 2005, 20:50: Message edited by: nscale_lover ]
  14. rush2ny

    rush2ny TrainBoard Member

    Willkommen zum trainboard, Wolfgang! I too love your Westport Terminal RR. I actually found the site a few months ago while browsing and love how "urban" it looks. I am glad that you joined this site so that others may view your fine modeling. genießen Sie Ihren Aufenthalt!

  15. up mike

    up mike E-Mail Bounces

    First..... I like to thank are Host Rick and welcome the New Members [​IMG]
    I really do get allot done when everybody is posting pictures and sharing what they have done for the week. The last party I finished my yard and all track work in that yard. The problem after that I stoped working on the layout. I think I did too much and burned myself out :( This time I am going to take it slower [​IMG] Here are the before and after party pic's
    This party I will be working on my switching side of the layout
    Good Luck to all and have FUN!!!!!!
  16. Israel

    Israel E-Mail Bounces


    I have a project for you.
    Getting to that GFCI. [​IMG] .
    Sorry I just had to after reading your latest stupid mistake post.

  17. Rob M.

    Rob M. TrainBoard Supporter

    I'll chime in on this. I need to have this job done for a show in April, and maybe trying to keep up with you folks here will get me moving.

    My project is to complete this building complex, known as Area 53:

    I'm a bit further along than this picture shows, but I still have a ton of work to do. I need to (a) complete the terrain around the base of the buildings; (b) add roads and a perimeter fence; (c) build a vehicle inspection point at the entrance; and (d) if time permits, install a commuter station, with appropriate walkways leading to a pedestrian gate in the fence with its own security shack.
  18. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

    I was so pumped up about this layout party before it even started, I completed my first of three tasks, and not a day too soon. Last night I was putting down the final plaster cloth on the foam work.

    The layout was built backwards: scenery first, then lay track on the scenery. In a way this method is like the prototype situation. Anyhow, here I am with it:




    Goal # 1: Build a 520' curved steel trestle out of two and a half Micro Engineering steel viaduct kits. (Oh yeah.)



    Goal # 2: Obtain Micro Engineering C55 track, some AMI roadbed, and FINALLY lay some track!


    Displaying themselves on the temporary Atlas C55 flex track are three SP cars that N scale lover so kindly donated to my project. I can't believe how fast he shipped them.


    I don't have a detailed plan of how I'm going to go about this, but I'm always loaded on caffeine so I can do it. I'm learning that I'm a very random person, especially when ebay and SP SD45s are involved.

    [ 22. January 2005, 07:10: Message edited by: Fluid Dynamics ]
  19. Monon64

    Monon64 TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm in. I would describe myself as a seasonal MR hobbyist. By the time late spring and summer roll around I find very little time to work on the RR, come late fall and winter things pick up some and then when Rick hosts this party I seem to kick into full gear and get some things accomplished. Thanks Rick!! [​IMG]

    Since Rick announced the approaching party I've already did some track work in anticipation of my increased interest. What I would like to get done is to completely finish my trackwork. I've also got two tunnels to finish and 2 mountains and a creek that needs to be finished. I also hope sometime during this party that I can purchase a DCC unit, I'm leaning to Digitrax Zephyr. Any comments or suggestions about this would be appreciated.

    Gudentag!! :D
  20. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    I've got several projects on my layout, and I believe I can knock out one or two:

    • Finish the buildings for the furniture plant in Noel, on the branch;</font>
    • Put in rock cuts & finish up the "daylighting" at one tunnel area;</font>
    • Install crossovers on the mainline ahead of each end of the main yard to allow for a decent drill track, and;</font>
    • build the tire plant & lay track at the plant complex</font>
    I've got to rewire the layout for block wiring instead of a power pack on each main line and one for the yard, but that's down the road a ways.

    BTW, I like that door-size N scale layout- nice track plan!!

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