First Annual International Winter Layout Party

okane Dec 8, 2008

  1. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

    By Popular Request we Introduce the First Annual Winter Layout Party. The Spring Layout Party established in 2002, may depending on interest also be held in March 2009. The Party has traditionally been hosted in the Layout Design Forum.

    Why International; Trainboard has members from over 75 countries, this is truly an international forum. So we are looking for involvement from the international community that is Trainboard.

    Please review the rules for Layout Party, get ready and let the party begin. Kick off date is Friday December 19th 2008 and will be end on February 13th, 2009, the day before Valentines Day.

    Disclaimer: By announcing your intent to participate in the Winter Layout Party, you save harmless Trainboard and other participants in the event that your involvement in the Layout Party deters you from fulfilling said obligations as required to your significant other the day following February 13th 2009 "Valentines Day"

    This Thread will be locked until Noon December 19th 2009

    Fellow Modelers

    We know you're out there. Yeah you, and you, and you with the potato chip hanging off your lip and the half drunk coke sitting beside We know you're not working on your layout as much as you hoped to. Well what we are proposing is a layout party for an 8 week period - a layout design self help group.

    The purpose of the group is to encourage others to get out of their armchair and do some more work on the layout. And also to motivate you (and us) to do more work on our layout. We are hoping we can get a small group (but no one will be rejected) of people who will be committed to posting the work completed on their layout. This means for 8 weeks you are committed to posting once a week (or more – several did). We will of course congratulate those who work on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.


    1. In your first post please post a picture if possible of the area on your layout that you intend to work on

    2. Brief description of your layout to present, what you want to accomplish in the 8 weeks (don't make it grandiose).

    3. On a weekly basis post a Brief description of what you hope to accomplish in the next week.

    4. A commitment to posting once a week describing what you have or have not done. It is important to report if you have "fallen off the wagon (not worked on the layout" all are human here, and we can encourage you to repair the wagon wheel). You can include pictures, problems you have encountered, get bragging rights around the cooler, etc. Walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.

    5. Do not fudge your reply so that you look better than you are really doing. By joining this group, you are acknowledging already that you haven't worked on the layout as much as you know you should have. The idea here is for us to have some fun and act as an electronic round robin self help group. When I have others coming over to my home to help me build, I am more efficient because I have to plan and prepare, then work when they arrive. Well, this is the internet round robin group, we may not be able to physically help you out, but we can support you and your efforts.

    6. At the end of the Layout Party you are asked to post a final picture of your accomplishments.

    Many had a good time with this format. It was not uncommon to hear people say they had accomplished more work on their layout in the short time we ran the thread than they had in long time. Many posted pictures, asked questions, helped others, moaned about their problems, and encouraged others through their problem. We are including the threads to the some of our past layout parties if you want to check out what happened and what is expected out of you. T

    If you have any problems such as posting pics, let us know. And we will get some one to assist you.

    Past Layout Party Threads for Reference

    2008 - Spring Layout Party

    Sixth Annual International Spring Layout Party -

    2007 - Spring Layout Party

    Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party -

    2005 – Spring Layout Party

    2004 – Spring Layout Party

    2003 – Spring Layout Party

    2002 – Spring Layout party
  2. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

    The Party has now begun. Lets hear about your plans over the next two months!!!
  3. JKD

    JKD TrainBoard Member

    Milwaukee Road in the Present Day

    I'm in!

    I have no picture to post of my layout.... because I'm using this party to get my benchwork built. :D

    My plan for the 8 week layout party is:

    I need to get a 30" x 8' portable N scale layout built. I have a track-plan (that I'll post in my update). I intend to get the table built, have it covered in foam, get the roadbed laid, and get at least the mainline installed by the end of the layout pary.

    I also, as a bonus, have a stack of rolling-stock that need to have couplers replaced or wheels replaced. There are 20 pieces there, and by the end of the layout party, I want to have them all rolling with new couplers and wheels.

    I'm trying to keep it reasonable. I think these things can be accomplished in the next 8 weeks. I'll get a boost with time off for both Christmas and the New Year, as well as a train show in the area in the middle of January. :thumbs_up:
  4. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    Here's the current state of the layout. Since I will be working on the entire layout there is no specific scene so this is about the best look at "before" I can give.


    Goals (Final completion % in parenthesis):
    -Finish "first pass" of detection/transponding/signalling plan. (10%)
    -Finish laying track and wiring feeders on the bottom level. (0%)
    -Get detection installed and working for hidden staging/Fort Worth. (0%)
    -Lay roadbed/track on top level section to get it ready for testing and connection to bottom level. (10%)
    -Weather track on bottom level. (0%)
    -Install Tortoise machines on bottom level (0%)
    -Get transponding working in staging (0%)
    -Paint and install center divider/backdrop (10%)
    -Finish fascia (0%)

    These are goals from the last party that didn't get completely done, or were optional goals I had commented on in case I got momentum which didn't happen. I have reset the percentages...some got close to being done but I figure the percentages will represent the work left to be done.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2009
  5. DiezMon

    DiezMon TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm striving to get my shelf layout looking like something. It's going to represend Stillwater, MN.. so I need roads, buildings, you name it...


    my main goals are
    -roads and buildings,
    -backdrop, with photos from real area.

    I want to try for details details details...
  6. Wolfgang Dudler

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

    I want to build for my module Diamond Valley an oil dealer.
    There's already the track.
    But I will have to install a fence with gate, some tanks and a house.
    I have still to search for prototype pictures from the 1960's. Any help?

    Picture from the construction area will follow.

  7. Switchman

    Switchman TrainBoard Member

    The North Wall of my layout needs to have it's scenery work completed before track can be laid. I also want to include "Boyd Lumber Camp" in the area. I'll need to color the rocks, grass, ground cover. trees both alive and dead, tree stumps. The Logging camp will be a static display with a loco, log cars, heavy equipment, and non operation track. This is my seven week goal.

    It'll be rough for me. But with the support and encouragement of my fellow members maybe I'll keep at it. Here are the starting pictures.

    See ya




  8. Wolfgang Dudler

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

    Here're the first pictures from the "Oil dealeer" construction site:


    At first I will have to build a fence. Of course there must be a gate, a movable gate!


  9. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

    I am sooooooooooooooo in on this party! Here is my punch list for the "AFTER" stage:
    • complete layout lighting (lower level only)
    • complete painting sky on backdrops (both levels)
    • build drop-down bridge across doorway into layout room
    • build base for helix at end of peninsula
    This will get the layout to a stage of completeness where I can begin to install roadbed & track on the lower level. Note that the lower level will be completed before moving to the upper level; the helix will only contain a return loop until I decide it is time to move upwards.

    Finally, a few "BEFORE" photos:

    Looking down the peninsula. The helix/return loop will go at the end of the peninsula, right in front of where I stood to take this picture:


    Looking up the back aisle towards the end of the peninsula, which is to the right in this picture (the helix base will be in the open area at the end of the peninsula):


    Looking up the front aisle towards the end of the peninsula, which is to the left in this picture (the helix base will be in the open area at the end of the peninsula; the drop-down bridge will go across the doorway just ahead to the right):


    This picture shows the section of lower level backdrop that has been painted with two blended shades of sky blue (the blue is much darker than it appears in this photo, but my photography skills need just as much work as my modeling skills!):


  10. Cleggie

    Cleggie TrainBoard Member

    Wow, some really neat projects on the party already. Bench work, backdrops, scenery, track laying and fitting stuctures to layouts. Lots to look forward to.

    So here is my project for the party:


    This is the present state of helix two. I need to paint the backdrop, do some more scenery details and plant trees. Oh... and balast the track and weather the rails.

    After that I am not sure what I will do as there are sooo many things that need attention. Build some more signals, add water to the river, add more detailed scenery to the upper level and then there is the lower level where I need to finish trackwork and begin adding scenery.

    So I will leave that decision till the new year, untill then work, work, work get helix two done!
  11. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

    Well for this party I will attempt to have a potato dealer spring up on a lonely desolate corner on my dad's layout. A potatoery I guess it might be since there are beanrys and so on...

    DOUBLEJK TrainBoard Member

    Well my layout has not progressed much since the last party I was in on but I will give her a go at this one as I'm off work for a few weeks here and might get something accomplished.
    I've started the benchwork for the new layout but the old plywood prarie is in the way of further progress so dismantelling it is my 1st goal.

    Here is the layout's room as of tonight...

    Then painting of the floor and some drywall will be next followed by some electrical lighting and outlet work and then some more benchwork.
  13. William Cowie

    William Cowie TrainBoard Member

    My goals are
    (a) to break down the old layout and
    (b) to build the first module for the new one.

    The old one never got past the wiring stage before the wife said there's no space for her in the basement now. So I redesigned it to (a) leave more sitting space and (b) lower it so we could see trains when we were sitting.

    I plan to model a few parts of the Cajon Pass, in particular Sullivan's Curve and Mormon Rocks. Nothing to stretch modeling skill like picking a highly recognizable and difficult prototype! :D

    The new layout will be built along the lines of the well-read Norseman Jack technique (see

    The thought of modeling Sullivan's Curve has intimidated me for more than a year, so I figured let's start with the most difficult module. If that one works, the rest ought to follow easily. If it doesn't, at least no effort on the other parts will have been wasted.

    So here goes. Here's the corner where the new module will go.

  14. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    Alright, I'm in.

    I plan to build a small coal tipple to the right of these hoppers and in front of the bridge. I'll use parts from the Walthers Glacier Gravel kit.


    I hope to install a propane distributor where the gray building sits at the lower right below. I have a Plastruct kit waiting to go.


    I want to weather these buildings shown below, add some flats and some backdrop buildings. I have several Walthers modular building parts and a Walthers city backdrop to slice up a la Jon Grant's recent backdrop work.


    If I have time, I may erect a small passenger station at Myersville, near center right in the photo below.


    Other things on the to do list:

    Paint and install 4 dozen power poles
    Weather some new hoppers and vehicles
    Put a coiled cord on my throttle
    Label the towns on the layout fascia
    Make progress on my train schedule
    Make and plant about 40 trees
    Weather the track in Myersville yard

    I think I've got more than enough to keep me busy for the duration. Best of all, I have most everything on hand. I can be pretty cheap for a while now.
  15. kool-aid13

    kool-aid13 New Member

    A Canadian Wants to Play

    Well I guess I will also throw my toque in the ring. Actually I'll keep it on, it is minus 15C here. I know, before all you other canucks chime in, this is as cold as it has been on the west coast for something like 20 years.

    Back on topic, I am submitting my new T-Trak module that needs the following things,

    1. Grain elevator on the left
    2. Warehouse on the right
    3. Loads of fascia paint
    4. paint, ballast and weather track
    5. Details and more Details

    2 Before shots

    New Town.jpg

    New Town 2.jpg

    A couple of other shots of my modules.

    Klamath Falls Station.jpg

    The GS-4 is only parked in front of those containers so my kids can run their trains around for a while.

    End View.jpg

    On the same note as the beginning, the cold, I know my first week will be a slow one as my space heater is at my shop trying to prevent the pipes from freezing. So any modelling I get a chance to do will be at the kitchen table.

    Good luck to everyone this looks like a lot of fun.

    Previewing my post I could also use a photography party aswell, any hints for better lighting?

  16. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Great idea, Ivan! There's a bunch of us that could use some tips on how to snap better layout pics.

    I know it always helps to have some quality modeling to take pics of,
    and some folks have fancy cameras that slice, dice, and remove unsightly nose hairs,
    but for the rest of us with average modeling skills and inexpensive (ok, cameras, I'd love to see some basic guidelines on picture composition, basic lighting tips, actions/options to avoid when taking pics, and actions/options to pursue vigorously.

    Owen...In the week or two leading up to the Spring Layout Party, could the announcement sticky contain a link to a thread where experienced layout photographers offer some words of wisdom?
    Photography forum moderators...Are there some past threads you know of that might have already addressed basic tips for beginning layout photographers?
  17. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    For the Winter Layout Party, I will complete the treeline/skyline along the 12 feet of backdrop behind the north third of the P&PU East Peoria Yard.

    Here is a pic of the north (right) end of the 12 feet I want to work on.
    1. The tree flat shown is about the correct height, but the building pictures are glued a little too high, and I want to put them on the front of the foamboard instead of the back so that the painted green bluff is behind the buildings instead of in front.
    2. I may also experiment with mounting the pics on sheet plastic to provide additional strength, and with adding slight angles to the plastic sheeting so the buildings have some actual (3-D) depth instead of being just 2-D with shadows to imply the depth.
    3. I want the trees to be lacey enough that the base of the buildings gradually disappear instead of ending abruptly at the treeline.
    4. The sky at the very end of the backdrop needs to be painted a little lower/closer to the surface of the layout so the unpainted portion of the backdrop does not show above the tree flats.

    Here is a pic of some East Peoria housing that will be just to the left of the Peoria Skyline tree flat mentioned above.
    1. The houses are the correct size, but, like the Peoria Skyline buildings, they are mounted too high on this tree flat.
    2. The houses may need to be replaced with pictures that are more finely detailed.
    3. I want to add a distant treeline so it is visually "behind" the houses, which are "behind" the ground foam trees, which are "behind" the lichen trees.
    4. The tree flat in the picture may need to be trimmed a little shorter.

    This pic shows a foamboard mock-up of the Cedar Street bridge as it passes over the P&PU East Peoria Yard tracks just to the south (left) of the East Peoria housing mentioned above. Fading into the darkness all the way to the left of the picture, you can just make out the south end of the 12 feet of treeline/skyline I want to complete for the Winter Layout Party.
    1. Cedar Street will need to "disappear" into the distance at the treeline.
    2. It will also need to "reappear" in the distance where, in 1:1 scale, a second Cedar Street Bridge makes a high arc as it crosses over the Illinois River, and is visible above the treeline. I don't expect to do too much on the Cedar Street Bridge over the rail yard, at this time...but maybe for the Spring Layout Party.

    This last pic shows the southern-most (left end) portion of where the 12 feet of treeline will be added in the Winter Layout Party.
    1. The treeline will pass behind the flat of the Caterpillar building.
    2. I'll probably add a black or gray roof in quarter profile to force perspective and add some depth to the building flat.
    3. I'll probably paint or hide the soldered feeder wire in front of the gate to the Caterpillar siding, but will save the ballasting for another Layout Party. (Next winter's??)

    If, by some beneficence of the Train Gods, I am able to complete all 12 feet of the treeline to my satisfaction before the Winter Layout Party is over, I'll continue with the treeline behind the Cat siding and the Tabor Grain Elevator that overlooks the middle of the P&PU East Peoria Yard.
  18. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

    One of the good things about the layout party is seeing what everyone else is doing. You will usually pick up some good ideas.

    I am going detail and/or build structures. This is my grain dealer that was the first structure I built for my layout about seven years ago (I think). I still need to finish the grain loading/unloading portion in the front of the grain tower. I have done the paper mock-up and you can see that is in place to cover two tracks. I need to add the pipes and some weathering.

    Across the tracks I am planning an auto service station. That will have to be completely scratchbuilt. Here is a photo of the footprint in place.

    Further, across the tracks in the other direction, I need a line of stores for the town of Flatonia. The row is supposed to be the rear of the structures, so no details in the front. This should be a good structure kitbash project with a lot of opportunity for debris details and trackside items.

    BTW, this is all N scale.

    Don't get me started on how many other projects have to get done around this place. One of the most interesting is a welders torch electronic simulator inside a building. I have to baby sit the grand daughter on Monday, so that day is gone. Car needs to get the battery changed, charged, and system electrical check, etc., etc. It may be a slow start to this party. That's why I got up at 3 am to have a little quite time for myself.

    [edit]The grain company hides an access hole for the unseen track at the back edge of the layout.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2008
  19. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter


    Here is some links where for modeling photography tips

    Model Railroad Photography - Taking pictures of little stuff

    Basic Model Railroad Photography
  20. Wayne.Wrzesinski

    Wayne.Wrzesinski TrainBoard Member

    Ivan, good to see another t-traker.
    I dont have any pics today.
    I'll be building two modules, both double wide 12" deep by just over 24" long. I will have crossovers on either end, a passing siding and three industries. My goals for this party will be to
    get the track down,
    finish Interstate fuel and oil kit
    decide on other two industries and get at least one built
    basic scenery
    running trains on it

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