Working the layout - time to party

rsn48 Jan 12, 2004

  1. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's a quick snapshot of our Sunday work:

    [​IMG]

    I was not trying for a perfect match in the corner due to differing heights (11 vs 13 inches). I may print up a little coved corner piece to disquise the discrepancies.

    Pete
     
  2. Lance Miller

    Lance Miller New Member

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    Well....
    I receieved my Woodland Scenics River Pass kit Friday. Most of my train room is cleaned up. Some guy called me Saturday and wanted to buy a bunch of old computer parts from me which was cool because I now had some extra cash to go to the GATS show in Columbus. While I was there I picked up the River Pass Building Kit for a reasonable price. I also picked up a N-Scale AmTrak Engine and caboose set plus some N-scale track for a future project I have in mind. When I got home from the show I put the Base Boards to the River Pass together. I was going to use liquid nails to glue it to my benchwork but cannot find my caulking gun. Last time I had this same problem and had to buy another gun. So somewhere in my home are a couple of happy caulking guns hidden. I am waiting for my neighbor to get home to see if he has one. I will be starting to add the risers shortly. I will keep you posted. Also today the UPS man brought my River Pass Scenery kit. I was going to buy these kits seperate over time, but I found a good deal on E-Bay.
    I will have pics of the process shortly.
    Lance
     
  3. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    Lance,
    You'll enjoy your kit and more importantly learn a ton about the hobby building it.

    Pete,
    I love your backdrop, is it from backdrop warehouse or are they photo's you did? Looks great. I love a good backdrop on a layout, I think it is so important. Many shrink away from photo backdrops, but I personally think they are terrific.

    For Newbies,
    Backdrops are one of the most important elements of a layout and should go one fairly early on in the game. If your area is like mine, backdrops is the one item that is rarely finished on a layout. What happens is the guy procrastinates with the backdrop because he is fearful of his skill and what to do. Fifteen years latter almost all of the layout is done, but the backdrop remains unfinished, or even barely started.

    Trying to put in a backdrop after everything is in can frequently call upon unique contortionist poses while painting (if you don't use a photo backdrop). Trying to put a photo back drop in after the fact is a challenge in deed.

    If your skills at painting (the artistic type) is some what questionable, seriously consider photo backdrops.
     
  4. Lance Miller

    Lance Miller New Member

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    Well I got a caulking gun from my neighbor, liguid nailed the base boards down, and hot glued all the 2 inch risers down. I would have went to the inclines, but my finger hurt from the glue gun. I will tackle more tommorrow. Here are a couple of pics with the riseres attached.
    Lance
    [​IMG]</a>



    [​IMG]</a>
     
  5. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Rick,

    The latest is part of a digital panorama of Homer, Alaska, taken with a Nikon D100 this past August. I stitched together six 3008 x 2000 images in Photoshop. The backdrop is 96" x 12", printed area--so it's effective resolution is about 175 dpi.

    My digital printer friend printed it and mounted it on foam core for about $65--I haven't seen the bill yet, but that was the quote. I'll assure you it won't be any cheaper. But I'm sure folks can find printers at less than $8 per sq. ft.

    And resolution really isn't a big thing for backdrops. One of the better ones I have (again 8 feet long) was scanned from a slice of a 4" x 6" Wahlgreen's special--that's a 16x enlargement. It worked fine--IMHO, a little (or a lot) of blurriness in the backdrop is just fine!

    I'm modeling the PRR in my own way--no trainfones! Whatever steam I want! So the three large backdrops I've printed so far come from:

    Durango, CO
    Jemez Mountains, NM
    Homer, AK

    And the next one I'm printing comes from Bend, Oregon!

    And the one after that is from Crawford Notch, NH, taken in 1971 and just scanned when I found the old box of slides.

    Funny thing--usually when I take panoramas, I carefully level the camera, establish the overlap boundaries with small yellow sticks at the bottom of the images, lock the focus and exposure, etc., etc. And I still have problems stitching them together. This particluar one was taken freehand, without a tripod, in about 30 seconds--click, click, click--and just fell together.

    Pete
     
  6. up mike

    up mike E-Mail Bounces

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    Looking good Lance :D
     
  7. Dwight

    Dwight TrainBoard Member

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    This week I have some tangible progress. While my original goals were to have track laid and some basic scenery (plaster, foam) in place, none of that has happened. There is an area of the layout I have not yet decided on how it should look, and it's pretty important I make up my mind before I start building mountains.
    Anyway, I ignored that bit of frustration and worked on a DPM structure kit I got as a gift. It's about 90% finished, just have some painting to finish up and install the window glazing. Very pleased with how it looks.
    Visited another LHS farther away than my 'local' one and bought a structure kit I've had my eye on (a Con-Cor Cambria factory). With the base as a guide, I moved it from the spot I thought it should be to one that makes more sense, and opens up another area for other alternatives (that pesky section mentioned above). Things like this make it seem as if certain plans are falling into place, which is good. Will post a photo or two as soon as I can to prove I've actually done something. [​IMG]
     
  8. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Let me second what Rick said. I tend to use photo backdrops because I have the cameras, computers and software to manipulate the images. And also, I think, the knowhow to blend photos in. While I do not have many abrupt canyons or deep reaches that would make installation difficult, still I'm rushing to get the backdrops in, because I didn't the last time, and felt sometimes that I was dangling by my heels trying to get them in place.

    One hint about using photo backdrops--use matte paper instead of glossy. Not only will you save money, you'll help eliminate the "hotspot" problems when doing photography under lights.

    Pete
     
  9. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not using backdrops at all. Partly for practical reasons and partly because I have a feeling they take the eye away from the main scenic items - the trains. Just a theory mind you - if I ever 'finish' the layout and show it somewhere I'll find out the reality [​IMG]
     
  10. Catt

    Catt Permanently dispatched

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    Well I am definately NOT making much progress on my layout and definately NOT contributing much to this thread.

    I am RECOVERING from one hell of a long term cold and hoping to get a lot done to the GVR this weekend.

    I have managed to get some work done though (more than I've done in the last 6 months actually :D .
     
  11. Sacramento Joe

    Sacramento Joe TrainBoard Member

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    I finally started gluing my risers and inclines to my foamboard tonight!

    While I haven't progressed as far as I thought... I am taking my time and learning more and more as I go on.

    The layout size is finally set. two 4x4 squares plus a 3x4 center section. [​IMG]

    One interesting thing... those tubes of liquid nails don't quite go as far as I thought they would!
     
  12. mrhedley

    mrhedley TrainBoard Member

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    I'm a couple weeks late with my update. Here's what's transpired on the SVS (Susquehanna Valley System) since 1/31:

    I Completed laying track for the East yard. It's a double ended yard with 2 main tracks, a passing siding, and six yard tracks. Off of one of the yard leads is a siding that leads to the service facility and turntable. The Roundhouse is underconstuction.

    I completed wiring all the yard trackage, and then hookups to the control panels, and then the real fun began.

    I set up a few locomotives and began trying to run through all the combinations. I was figuring to do it first with Cab A, then Cab B, and finally both. Several sessions later, I'm still 'debugging' Cab A. Let's just say that mixing power routing and 'live' turnouts is not without challenges. Despite having worked out a complete wiring schematic, I've had my share of circuit faults. I gave up on running the loco's and I'm working my way through each switch and siding with my trusty hand held meter.

    Yes, I know that DCC would eliminate many of these problems, but I'd rather mess with this than the time and money of installing 45 decoders in my current collection. The 'bride' might cringe a little at that capital outlay.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to convert my Autocad drawing to .jpg or other image format to share it with the group. Any hints, please let me know. I know I can create a drawing that is viewable with a Autocad web viewer, but that requires a download for anyone to look at it. There must be an easier way. Suggestions anyone?

    Pictures to come soon. I took a fast set last weekend but the digital flash washed out the detail. I'll have to set up some auxiliary lighting and try again.

    This weekend I hope to get through the wiring tangles and move on to ballasting the yards and detailing the service trackage.
     
  13. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    Mr Hedley,
    Ask your question in the rail images forum where Paul will see it, he'll give you some good advise.
     
  14. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

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    I'm surprised AutoCad won't do this itself, but here is a cheap and dirty workaround.

    Get your Autocad 'picture' showing on the screen about the size you want to post it. Press the Alt + PrintScreen keys (Alt + PrtScr on some keyboards). This does a 'Screen dump' of the current window onto the clipboard. Open up MSWindows own 'Paint' package, or your favourite picture editor, with a new blank image and paste the 'dump' into it (press Ctrl + V, or look for a menu item).

    Tidy up the picture (crop off frames and stuff) then save it as a .jpg.

    Later versions of 'Paint' (Windows 2000 and XP) will be able to save directly to .jpg, but older ones could only do .bmp which will make a file too large for posting sensibly. If you have to do a .bmp, then afterwards see if you have another program that can open it and save it as a .jpg.

    There are other uses for this trick, but some are of dubious legality ;)
     
  15. Sacramento Joe

    Sacramento Joe TrainBoard Member

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    Finally making some progress, after weeks of planning.

    The plan is to model the Martinez/Crockett/Port Costa area. I spent a few years living in Vallejo looking across from the C&H factory...

    My first 4x4 corner section just needs another roll of plaster cloth, and it will be ready to sand and cork.

    [​IMG]
    Inital 4x4 module with 2% risers.

    [​IMG]
    Closeup of end of module. Future shoreline is visible on the left hand side.


    [​IMG]
    Inside canyon run. Plaster cloth, newspaper, and masking tape!

    [​IMG]
    Long descent at 2%. This module will enter at 6" and leave at 3½".

    [​IMG]
    Overhead shot of the same area. Coastal run will be up top, with a canyon run on the inside.

    Like the Liquid Nails, it appears that the plaster cloth runs out sooner then expected too.
    On a positive note, my coastline is starting to look like a coast!

    And as always, lots of thanks to all the contributers here... your work is inspiring!

    [ 14. February 2004, 21:20: Message edited by: Sacramento Joe ]
     
  16. Dwight

    Dwight TrainBoard Member

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    After a pleasant distraction building a DPM kit (N scale), I return to the task of tracklaying and getting the scenery started. Have blocked off the entire day to do this. [​IMG]
    Here's how I spent the preceding week or so:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    That is an excellent building! It looks real!

    What I want to know is; where in the world did you ever find screws small enough to fasten the hinges and knobs on the front doors?
     
  18. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    BEGINNING OF WEEK 6


    THE END OF WEEK 7 WILL FINALIZE THIS LAYOUT PARTY
     
  19. Dwight

    Dwight TrainBoard Member

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    It's not hard finding the screws. It was harder finding the N scale screwdriver to install them. [​IMG]
     
  20. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Week Five Report

    It seems as though my goals are slipping. [​IMG] Due to several reasons (cold weather, installing brake controller on truck, lack of time, etc.), I wasn't able to get much done on the layout this past week.

    However, I did get a little bit done. I managed to get the remaining track centerlines drawn on the plywood and I managed to get a portion of the layout to the appropriate elevations. Unfortunately, that's about it though. I don't have any pictures to post this week because I never got around to taking any. :rolleyes:

    The upcoming week doesn't look too promising due to the fact that I'm helping my wife and a friend of hers make preparations for an upcoming craft show, but I'm still going to list my goal for week six as getting the remaining portions of the layout to the right elevations and continuing with the cork roadbed. Right now though, my overall goal to have track down at the end of the 7 week period isn't looking good. [​IMG] :(
     

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