Saucier Central

Hytec Sep 27, 2010

  1. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Contrary to my desire to stay under the radar, I'll try to create a short picture essay about the evolution of the Saucier Central.

    Hurricane Katrina gave us the opportunity to build a new house 25 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and about 160 feet above sea level. So in July 2007 I took occupation of a ~15'x~8' train room that happened to have a very nice new house attached.

    The concept was a two-branch backwoods line serving five rural communities in south Mississippi, but owned and operated by the B&M. Also, it had to have an interchange with the Beebe River Railroad of Ipswich, MA owned by my brother.

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    I've had layouts since 1945, and every one had legs...I HATE LEGS!!!!

    So.....
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    With two layers of foamboard on top.
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  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Concepts evolve.....
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    Need a mountain to separate the East and West Branches....
    (Please ignore the paper mill. It didn't survive my rethinking of what the Saucier Central really was supposed to represent. Though it has made for a great source of junk plastic chunks and plates.)
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    Gotta have a lift-off in case wheels decide to leave the rails.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2010
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  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Love that Sculptamold...
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    And my first attempts at real scenery....
    Hydrocal rocks are great for hiding ugly fascia, and Woodland Scenics "stuff" is great for hiding lift-off break lines. (Many Thanks to all of you who have posted scenes of your layouts under construction without whom I never would have gotten so many wonderful ideas and solutions.)
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    And the opposite side.
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  4. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    After a little bit of scenery was applied, then panic set in..."What if I can't do this? What if it looks like crap? What if.....?" I know you've all been there, but this was my first time with a real scenery project. Heck, you guys are all now just shaking your heads in sympathy...I hope, and not laughing your butts off.

    At any rate, here was the start of a continuing effort....
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    Ending with what I posted early this past week.....
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    And I go on to creating the town of Saucier with the false confidence developed over the past few months...
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    To answer a few questions.....

    Scenery base is chunks of foamboard covered with Woodland Scenics Plaster Cloth, then shaped with Sculptamold. I paint the cured Sculptamold with a brown latex that sorta looks like earth if the green stuff doesn't fully cover. The green stuff, trees, etc. are all WS products that are glued wherever they look correct at the moment.

    For structures, I personally like American Model Builders, Laser Kits the best. Their dimensions are true, laser cuts are spot on, and the directions include labeled parts diagrams and 3-D sketches for confusing layouts.

    One other thing...Michael's Crafts Stores are a wonderful source for oddball stuff. For instance, the grass field on the top on the mountain was cut from a 12" square of felt, then teased with a wire brush raising the nap to look like grass, and it only cost 29 Cents! And the grassy looking area in front of the tunnel mouth visible before I added trees, etc. is a sheet of greenery that Michael's sells to put in plastic flower arrangement pots.

    More to follow in a few months. Thanks for your patience and encouragement.
     
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  5. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    After a little bit of scenery was applied, then panic set in..."What if I can't do this? What if it looks like crap? What if.....?" I know you've all been there, but this was my first time with a real scenery project. Heck, you guys are all now just shaking your heads in sympathy...I hope, and not laughing your butts off.


    Yea...right !!! :tb-nerd:

    I only wish my "crap" looked half as good as yours :thumbs_up:^5 :thumbs_up:

    .

     
  6. Wings & Strings

    Wings & Strings TrainBoard Member

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    Nice layout!! keep us posted with updates as it progresses! I wish I had that much space for my layout! had to settle with 8 square feet!(2x4)
     
  7. Sly

    Sly TrainBoard Member

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    Fantastic stuff. Now that I see the benchwork I recognise your layout. Again, I love seeing work in progress shots. Possibly because they more closely resemble every layout I've ever built - never "completed" one yet.

    I can already see the development from the plan to the following shot


    This shot of Saucier is great, I love seeing the development. I don't know if this has been commented on before, but to me this looks a lot better than the original plan. There is a passing track/runaround at Saucier now. Looking at your original plan there was only really one spot for the engine to runaround its train (or to pass another train) and that was on the interchange (so effectively ruling out passing another train unless you changed the switch layout).

    You may want to consider another passing track/runaround at some of the other stations - I think it would be difficult to switch both trailing and facing switch sidings without one, and the other stations have both types of siding. Plus you can then have one train running on the main and others in the passing sidings.

    Of course, you may not really be gung ho on the operations side of things, but its what springs to mind when looking at it. Just offering suggestions and possibilities.

    I love seeing the progress shots and I think you made the right call with the paper mill, it looks too big. The scene as it is now looks in proportion. Great work!

    I hope you'll keep us updated, layout build progress threads are the ones I personally like to read more than any other threads. I'm sure others would be keen to see your progress.
     
  8. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Sly, thanks for your thoughts. There's another run-around at Wortham station in the upper left-hand corner of the Saucier photo, behind the boxes of to-be-built buildings. Also, I agree with you, I think I'll put in another when I get to working on the area around Kiln station, behind me in the Saucier photo.

    I should add an important point about this layout...I spent my former life (professional career) developing "rigid" plans and specifications for big customers, both military and corporate. Many of those plans and designs had flaws which I pointed out during design reviews, but the customers stuck their heads in the sand and remained rigid. This is the first time since retirement that I've let myself change things that I didn't like as I went along. The sketch in the initial post was just that, a conceptual sketch. Since that time, I've allowed myself to look at something and say "Gee, I don't like the way that looks, this way would look better", and changed it. Ya know what, it's been loads of fun since then....:tb-cool:
     
  9. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hank- Looks great. 160' above sea level should leave you high and dry.
     
  10. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice! thanks for sharing!
     
  11. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, Mark.
    Water's great as cubes in an adult beverage, but not for wading in the living room. :tb-hissyfit:
     
  12. MarktheShark

    MarktheShark TrainBoard Member

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    A BIG THANK YOU

    Wow this is so much better of a start. Now everyone can see that you have a great train room! This is the type of thread this layout deserves!

    Please keep this thread updated I would love to see more.

    Is the bridge with the turnout on it a scratch build?
     
  13. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    More of Kit Bash. It's a combination of two Bar Mills Lowboy Modular Trestles, cut and framed to fit the frog angle of a Peco 55 Long Turnout. It looks OK from 2' away now that it's painted....:tb-wink:
     
  14. Sly

    Sly TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah no worries, its just what sprung to my mind when looking at it. When it comes down to it, its your layout, you should do what you want and enjoy it. Its not supposed to be work! I work in IT so I'm used to projects being changed mid stream... ;-)

    Oh, and I forgot to ask - what kind of turntable are you using?
     
  15. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Peco, well style.
     
  16. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    This post is for two reasons....
    1) To experiment with Windows 7 side-by-side display feature with two Internet Explorer 8 windows open at the same time, by testing the Drag and Drop feature from my RailImages Album window (on one side) into the TrainBoard Reply window (on the other side), without using the Cut and Paste technique required with Windows XP.

    2) Post a nearly overall view of the Saucier Central showing the amount of area yet to develop and scenic. I would post a total view, but that would require cutting a hole in the wall and photographing from the storage closet behind...not a good idea. :tb-err:

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    Well I'll be darned, the Drag and Drop feature works...ain't technology wunnerful...:tb-cool:
     
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  17. MarktheShark

    MarktheShark TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
  18. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Awesome Hank! The scenery on the right side looks fantastic, and the whole design is very smooth. Keep the progress shots coming! :)
     
  19. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Jerry, I'm hoping to recreate a rural railroad wandering through backwoods towns of the eastern US, be it the B&M in central New Hampshire, the ATR in north Alabama, or the KCS in south Mississippi.
     
  20. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Awesome stuff, Hank! Everything's finishing up real well.

    I think folks sometimes forget that my layout looked like this at one time.

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