Jul 28, 2019
Yup...Mike Fifer has a ton of Unitrack tips on his website...
Making progress on the application of grout in my terraforming campaign. I've gotten all of the grout that I had disbursed along the line cemented into place. There are still a couple of low spots, but not nearly as much as I was anticipating. You can see some areas of 'terracing' in the pics where I had to remove some of the styrofoam incline pieces to shorten up the overall length of the grade. Those areas need to be sweetened up a little... but overall, it's not a bad foundation upon which to build
I think I'm going to mix some Mold-a-Scene plaster to fill the low spots becuase I can use my hands to put that where it needs to be while creating some contours where I want them, and then run some trains to see if everything still supports locomotion. Well, after I do some much needed housekeeping!
Then, in the last pic, I want to start giving this section inside the elevated loop some shape. I saw someone on here post a pic of how they used newspaper covered with plaster cloth to create some terrain, but I'm not sure I like what I'm seeing on my layout so far. I've also got an issue in that whatever industry I put along those spurs will be facing the back of the layout, instead of the front. I'm not overly concerned about it, I just want an industry that sill creates some visual interest even though you might be looking at the back of it.
So, what do you guys do? Do you plan a space for a specifit industry, or do you fit an industry to the space you've built?
I had the expandable tracks on hand. I seem to remember having derailments on them with longer trains. I'm thinking about replacing them during final track laying so I have them for other projects.
I watch all of Mike Fiefers videos. I really like the story behind his workbench.
Goals for HCD layout . . .
So my reasons/goals for HCD layout;
Limited space for layout to fit in my "studio/workroom/trainroom.
Have most tools and supplies within an arm or twos reach.
Storage under layout.
I want to be able to stand layout on end when not in use.
Use Unitrack to get layout operable in a relatively short amount of time.
Have a place to display/run my transition era building kits and rolling stock.
Get up to speed on craftsman and laser structure kits.
Get experience with non Floquil paints.
Learn how to install and use DCC.
Use single track branchline configuration that will allow possibly backdating layout to a logging railroad when my skills improve.
Be expandable to L shape in the future.
Those are great goals and perfect for a HCD layout.
Is this the correct place for me to discuss, explore, debate and show progress on this layout or would my own blog be more appropriate?
I started a blog years ago about building a spraybooth and recieved very little interest.
Some of the specific subjects you mentioned (e.g. DCC, paints, kits, etc.) may get a larger informed audience on other, more specific forums, but as you can see, there is plenty of interest here for HCD N scale layouts, the reasons they are used, and the issues they come with, right here.
Nice job there! Nice motorcycles in the background too.
Newspaper, cardboard strips, hardware cloth, and cut/broken foam board are all commonly used as support for plaster cloth or other moldable scenic materials. Try'em all and see what you like.
As far as industries are concerned, its usually a little of both, fitting the space to the industry, and the industry to the space.
Also, what kind of freight cars you like to see (tank, flat, box, gondola, open/covered hopper, container, etc.), and the industries they would serve may influence your choice. Sometimes just a team track or freight depot for a small town does the trick. If there is a town involved, a passenger depot may also work.
Hahaha! You saw that, eh? Gotta try and sneak those in if I can! LOL Thanks Andy... motorcycles are my ture First Love!
There will be a town, but that will reside on the other side of the layout, with a small depot. It's this one space that, with my limited experience, seems to defy my efforts at comeing up with a form of industry that I like.
I think I should probably decide on something before I commit to reducing the available space by creating that topography.
My first HCD Layout was a 'Plywood Prairie"....not a building to be seen anywhere. I wanted to watch trains run!
Then I got thinking about some buildings. Since building a layout usually involves laying track to the outer confines of the base...to give more track and thus more train running room... we usually end up with some decent space 'in the middle' to put scenery.
On the other hand...If you already have some buildings or have an idea of what you might want to put in as far buildings or industries...you plan your track to fit that scenerio. When you have an awesome building with a beautiful facade and the only place it will fit makes it where all you see is the back of the building that gets a little disheartening simply because you didnt preplan where it would go before you laid track.
Personally....for a first layout...I think I would plan track and train running and fill in scenery once thats done. If the 'train bug' has truely bitten by the time that first layout is done you will have already started planning the next one...including buildings and other scenery...in your head and on paper !!
Model trains are addictive !! At some point you may get what you really planned for from the very beginning !!
So goals 1 - 3 are working out well. Goal 4 seems to be a problematic. The room is only about 8' wide with workbenchs and desk running the length of one side. The other side has the layout on free standing shelves and a 36" open space to stand the layout on end.
The problem is that when I try to swing the layout perpendicular to move it I get all jambed up by my workbench. There is no room for me between the layout and workbenches.
Out of view to the right of the benches is a corner desk. I'm thinking it might have to go so I can relocate my workbenches and free up some space to move layout around.
Whats on the wall above the layout when its set up on the free standing shelves ??
I'm thinking along the same line... What about "folding" the layout up? Similar idea to the fold out/up upper beds on cruise ship cabins.
Nothing for now. I thought about the drop down/fold up layout. Taking into account the thickness of the foam terrain, and the height of the tallest structure, the hinge point would have to be at least eight inches from the wall.
Currently the aisle between the layout and workbenches is twenty-eight inches which is as narrow as I can comfortably go. Twenty inches would not cut it.
This morning I rotated the layout 180 degrees to put it back in proper orientation. This time I used a temporary prop and a workbench to support an end of the layou. It was much easier than last time. I guess with practice I will perfect my technique.
My homemade Ditch Witch has seen better days but is still working. I've used it as a stationary spot soldering unit years ago for scratch building a brass N scale caboose door.
I pinned the pieces to homasote then and made custom bent tips to just touch the peice being soldered. I tied the switch on and plugged unplugged the unit as needed so I wouldn't fat finger the joint while solder was hot.
Wasnt thinking any hinge. If the layout is just 'sitting' on the shelf brackets...what about just 'lifting' the back of the layout and 'slidding' it back and up the wall so that it 'leans' at an angle on the brackets and against the wall. The top of the layout....with buildings etc. would be facing out...much like it does when you take it off the brackets and stand it on edge on the floor and against the wall...except that it would be on its side on top of those brackets and leaning agaist the wall. Best I can do to explain my idea....lol
When the layout is further along I won't have a need to "flat" rotate the layout.
. On occasion I would like to get the top shelves free and clear. When I need to clear off my work benches, I can put things from workbenches on the top shelves. That's why I want the ability to stand it on end.
The longitudinal centerline of the layout is not supported by the shelves. For now I just clamp the back corners of layout to the shelves and stick a prop in a drawer under the layou.
I will eventually need to put some type of cantilevered supports under the layout so it doesn't bow.
I'm thinking of using 1.25" PVC pipe with a swing out or telescopic arm that extends past the shelves to support the layout as I up end it.
That is a couple months out for now.
ahhhhhhhhh...ok john....I'm understanding what you are doing now.
Sorry about image orientation. I tried posting in 4 different orientations and ALWAYS comes out wrong.