Jul 28, 2008
As always Jamie, looking good
Looks like a lot of work making the splines . But the results are very well worth it.
I wished I had seen this approach before I started my layout.
Great work so far Jamie!
Really nice work, those splines look really smooth. There was an article in RMC about using hot glue for splines that might be useful, although it seems you have a good system already. how are you gonna do the helix? Helix kit? Splines? On your blank area for Calhoun, if you can't find specific areas of the prototype that you want to incorporate, try splitting the scene up into areas for planning, then you can focus on just the area in your field of vision. Also if you primary focus is the feedmill, then work on that area first and everything else will fall into place. Like Jim said, just go with it. You have so much space to track ratio that its not likely that you will run into much problems later on.
Mike, Just checked out your blog and I see you are making good progress as well. Glad to see you overcame the uninvited water.
Craig, It is so easy to use and the results speak for themselves. Ultimately it was the low cost that led me to try it out and it has been one of the best decisions I have made.
I did read the RMC article. I have had no need to tack the first spline in place (like they do with hot glue in the article) because I have found that clamping the spline to a finishing nail centered on the roadbed does the trick just fine. For the helix, I am going to use 1/4" plywood and 1x3" spacers. I am going to try to resist the urge for fewer turns and keep the grade right about 2%.
seeing the ease and success of the spline roadbed system i am planning to use that on my next layout. Jamie, your construction photos are just amazing, you really should do a pdf book on your layout.
While working on the Etowah River scene, I realized some additional benchwork needs to be added around the bridge before track can be installed. Before adding the extra support, however, I needed a way to see exactly where it has to go. To do this, I created some full-size mockups of the bridge scene. The actual bridge is comprised of seven deck girder bridge sections supported by concrete piers. I will eventually be using Micro Engineering 80' ballasted deck bridges supported by cast plaster or cement piers. The following two photos show the mockups I did. The first photo shows the complete non-compressed bridge (seven sections), while the second photo shows a compressed version of the scene with only six sections (one section over the river removed):
I wanted to try out the compressed version because I believed the full size bridge would be too big. Also, six 80' deck bridge sections comes out to an even 36" in N-scale, which means I could use one 3-foot length of aluminum U-channel to be the suppoting backbone of the bridge. However, when looking at the two photos the river just seems too narrow in the compressed version. I am also considering using a compressed bridge with the full-size river; in this case, the road would be eliminated. This option is probably not going to be selected because that road is one of my first ever railfanning locations and is a significant reason why I chose to model this area in the first place.
Whatever option I choose, the mockups are a quick way to visualize a completed scene without too much effort (time or money).
Great thinking, Jamie. Both versions are pretty impressive, but I gotta say that the larger version sure does have a wow factor. Have you considered pushing back the river banks just a little on the compressed version to give it a little more room? Might be a decent compromise. Anyway, keep up the good work!
Very nice! I would love to see this in person. I am stationed at Fort Gordon and I occasionally make the drive to Atlanta at least 1-2x a month. Pls pm me if you are willing to get together for a cup of coffee. My son and I are getting started on our planning phase for a small layout in N scale. Thanks, Rob
Here is a nudge to keep resisting the urge. I have two helixes on my layout coming up from the staging yard, and they are in the 2.5% to 2.75% range. If I could wind back the clock a bit, I would target that 2% mark. While I am happy overall, my train length is limited by A.) the horsepower on the head-end needed to drag a train up and B.) the occasional misbehaving car or two that results in a string-lining or other mishaps. That being said, I have not started the great metal-wheelset, body-mounted coupler, or other sorts of tweaks.
I often use image editing software to digitally mock up scenes or kitbashes to see if there's even a chance of something working the way I want before I pull out the saws and start hacking. Your two photos got me to thinking and I quickly edited the condensed version to test my theory about pushing back the river banks. I think what I came out with does a really decent job of capturing the wide river feeling from the first shot while fitting it in a more reasonable amount of space. PM me your email address and I'll be glad to send you a copy.
Thanks- I would love to see your renderings of the scene. I was thinking I had done something similar at one time so I jumped into the way back machine and found the following images (the original photos were used with permission):
These photos should really help bring this scene to life.
Wow, i thought that I missed alot of the work and thought wow those models look great. Until I realized what was done with the photos. I like the idea of some condensing and using a single piece of channel. You already have you hands full with having to build the bridge and do the scenery work. I think that the scene as you are doing is coming along very nicely and do to the intensity of the project, should be kept simple as possible so that you dont get the heavy overwhelmed feeling of completing the scene.
After some serious thought and weighing the options of the bridge scene, I have decided to go with the full seven-span bridge. The deciding factor was realizing that I could build the signature scene of the layout to scale without any selective compression. That was just too tempting to pass up! It's also pretty cool when I realize that if I execute this plan well, at some point I will be able to duplicate those Photoshopped images above on the actual layout.
With this deceision made, I was able to finish the additional benchwork required to support the river scene. In the below before/after photos, you can see where I have added additional horizontal members to support the plywood river bottom and the roadbed riser that has been relocated to the actual north end of the bridge span:
When work on the bridge commences, the spline roadbed will be cut away and replaced with a 42" section of aluminum channel. The deck girder bridge will then be built in-place around the channel and cast plaster piers will be added below.
Progress is not progressing very quickly this week. While trying to lay track, first I ran out of caulk, then I ran out of cork. Wierd story on the caulk- I ran up to Lowes and picked up a new tube of DAP ALEX white caulk, or so I thought it was a new tube. When I got home I noticed the tip was cut open and the tube was about halfway used. How did I not notice this and who returns a half-used tube of caulk? At least it worked after punching a nail through the dried up caulk in the tip. Of course, I only got down about 20 feet of cork laid before I realized I had depleted my supply of pre-cut strips. I have to cut some more strips from my cork sheet (unless I am out of that also). Jamie
More importantly... who accepts the return of a half-used tube of caulk??
Sorry to hear you had trouble this week, isn't it frustrating to be stalled at every turn?
Happy New Year to you, and better luck next week!
Haven't you heard? "The customer is always right!"
(quotes are intentional...)
This is bloody fantastic! I'm a newbie to the whole modelling game, and while I am approximately 100% certain that any layout I construct will not be nearly as good looking as yours, Jamie, it at least makes me want to have a go! Thanks mate (from a fellow Atlanta resident).
It has been forever (well, more like five months) since I last worked on the layout. The reason for my lack of progress is the conundrum that I am facing with the trackplan in the Calhoun, GA section of the layout. For reference, here is the trackplan for the lower level of my layout:
Notice that ugly yellow area where the track just fades away for a considerable distance. Although I have the mainline roadbed finished through Calhoun, I have been blocked on finishing the siding and industrial tracks because I wasn't sure how everything I have envisioned for Calhoun would fit together. I now realize I have to get this figured out if I am ever going to enjoy progress again.
I am taking a methodical approach. First, I need to know exactly how long the passing siding needs to be. Since the north end of the siding is already established, this means I need to figure out where the south end of the siding needs to be located. This photo shows where I left the south end of the siding hanging into space:
To solve the problem of the "siding to nowhere," I pulled a bunch of rolling stock out of their jewel cases and went about building some typical trains. Starting with a pair of 6-axle locomotives at the north end of the siding, I first built an autorack train. I have established 16 cars as the length of my automotive trains, so I assembled such a train right atop the cork roadbed:
Technically, this train has only 15 cars, but the two articulated racks at the end are the same length as three standard racks, so the length works out correctly. I also setup a mixed train. For this type of train, 24 cars is the length I want, and here is the one I setup:
With these lengths established, I now know the minimum length for the passing siding and can determine where the clearance point for the south end of the siding needs to be. It is now time to get busy with the track plan and rough in all of the track alighnments. I haven't got the problem solved just yet, but I feel like things are once again moving in the right direction.
Jamie, can you please check your inbox, or return my call, thx, M
No offense Jamie, but it took you 5 months to accomplish that? C'mon man, we're dying for some real updates here.
Love the look of the modern trains you got set up though.