Author Topic: Terry's Layout  (Read 2004 times)

Terry

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I have a few things I want to do on the layout this weekend.

I don't have a track plan, I just fit what I could into the area I have to work with. In trhe southwest corner I have a station area with lots of Lionel 156 platforms. The idea is I can back the train in, and then pull out another train.

I want to have parking lots with my Tootsietoys along the sides. Originally I had the first siding straight along the layout edge, but I removed one of the sidings and recentered all the track so I could get more tootsietoys in by parking them diagonally.

I cut a section of 054 curve in half to get into the siding. This is a mess. I can't get the trains the trains to go through the reverse curve without derailing.



So I'm going to move the curve and the switch east so it's a straight shot into the yard. Basically where the switch is sitting in this picture:



I think there is enough room that I won't have to move the inner loops of track. Also while I have the switch out I want to figure out why it triggers the couplers on the cars.

Next I have these Schoenhut houses. I can't get under the layout in that area. It was designed to be mountain, but I like them there. I'm thinking I can cut groooves into the layout with the circular saw and run the wires in the grooves.



The houses don't have lights in them. I was thinking I'd put the old style ceramic bulb holders on the layout and cut holes in the bottoms of the houses. But, I found a bunch of prewired for AC LED fixtures in a box last night. I want to try one and see what it looks like compared to a regular bulb.

Lastly, I have the burning house on the hill. I put a German light controller in it that has one red bulb and 5 blinking yellow bulbs. It looks good.



I decided I'd make it smoke by putting a flyer smoking tender unit in the powerhouse with a hose running up to the house. I also found two firemen with a hose that sprays water that I want to put up by the house. (It's a german animation with the spray being a pulsating LED and a strip of fiber optic cable. )

That should keep me busy.

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #1 »
I finally got some time to work on the layout. .

I got the approach to the passenger terminal straightened out and didn't need to move the inner tracks.

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I cut the bottoms out of the Schoenhut buildings with the router. I also found the station on the left side with the roof off. That's a rare building from 1932-33. I'll repurpose it as a school building. I think there is another box of Schoenhuts somewhere. 

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Then I put the track in for the Hornby engine shed. I'm going to use manual switches here. Also, I bought 15 more sections of the 3 foot straight tracks with extra ties on eBay last weekend for $4 each postpaid so I filled in the straights on the mainlines.

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Then I marked the location of the roadbed. I started with a sheet of cardboard and a marker, but that didn't work well so I made up a wood block on a postwar tender frame to hold the marker.

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When I was marking the track, I moved the accessories that don't define the roads off the layout. Now you can see why I put up the small section of the standard gauge layout.

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I'll mark the roads with a red marker tomorrow after I do the final positioning of the streetlights.

It turns out the town I live in does paint recycling. I can get five gallon buckets of tan and gray paint just for driving over and asking. I'll use the gray for the roadbed, and the tan for putting down the grass. I should be able to add pigment to the gray to make black for the roads and the roadbed in the station terminal area.

One thing I did in the train room that you can't see is I changed all the lights to LED bulbs. One of the Asian supermarkets has pallets of floodlight led bulbs for 50 cents each. I bought a few to see how they looked, and then went back and bought enough to replace all the bulbs in the house. 

It's so much cooler without the bulbs heating the place up.

I rewired 2 Z transformers, and figure I'll need 3 of them. I probably don't need that much power, but I want to have each area on two knobs so I can adjust the lights in the buildings and the streetlamps separately.   

I still have to run the hose for the smoke on house on fire. I did find the smoke unit, but need to find the wire to rewire it.

Up next, I'll mark the streets and the locations of the houses and streetlamps on the mountain and then take up all the track.

Terry





starfire700

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #2 »
Looks like you made some good progress. I have to find time to do the same.
I like the car you made for marking the roadbed, also noticed you have a Madison Hardware diner.
I don't recall seeing the overall dimensions of the layout.

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #3 »
The O layout is 12 ft 6 inches by almost 27 feet. If I was thinking I would have made it 12 feet wide so I could use 12 foot long boards to hold the standard layout above it. BUt the difference between a 12 foot and a 16 foot board is only $3 and I only 5 of them so I failing to think didn't hurt me.

I have a Madison diner with a 617 coach too. It's trashed, but I have most of the parts and a good 617 body so I can put it together. Chuck Brasher had a 1691 blue litho observation madison diner at a show years ago. I never saw another one. I also had most versions of the madison wartime freights including the dump car and searchlight that came from Al Cox. I didn't have a caboose which I've never seen or a 1717 gondola.

The free paint place in my town is closed for the flu season. I still have the vehicles registered at the old city address so I can try their paint recycling place. 

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #4 »
I got all the track up after marking roads with a red marker. I was thinking I could work on the mountain with it there, but decided I don't want to work over and around it. I'm too old to play twister.

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Then I ran wire to the streetlamps on the mountain.

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I use the 3M Scotchlock connectors. I bought them on amazon because the price was lower than I could find locally.  Both wires can pass through the connector so I can connect two lights at one point with connectors between them.

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Then I connected the transformer to the wires I ran under the layout before I put down the homasote.

It turns out the ground isn't connected, and neither is the line on the north side of the mountain.  That's why I check everything as I go.

Here's a photo of the prewired layout:

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That seemed like a good place to stop for the week.



starfire700

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #5 »
The wire connectors are a good idea. As my layout benchwork is at 30", I have only done temporary wiring so far.
I also collect the Madison items, have the 637, 617 and a maroon 1691 type diner.
I have the 1717 gondola, floodlight and flatcar variations, a 653 hopper body only, others, I will have to check (all flat black). I never saw a caboose for the series. I will post some pix in the collectibles area. I assume that a 1684 would be the right loco to make a set with these, possibly a 229.

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #6 »
I liked the dull black 258E late body loco with a 1689T with rubber stamped Lionel Lines  on the side for the madison wartime stuff.

This week's progress on the layout isn't as dramatic, but from here it will start going fast.

I solved the ground problem with a jumper. The no current on the line for + to the streetlights on the north side problem can't be solved. It's broken somewhere under the layout and the wires are cable tied so they don't move. There are not very many streetlamps so I just have both sides on the same circuit. The houses are on two circuits.

The wires for the houses are in and working. I taped them down with duct tape so I don't get them screwed up when I build the mountain.

I started on the mountian. I cut the styrofoam to fit, and then glue it down. I use the hot wire coping saw to cut angles so I get more bonding surface. Hot melt glue works great, I also bought some glue in caulking tubes that say it bonds in 30 seconds, but it doesn't hold in the curves. The hot melt glue holds when held in place for about 2 minutes.

I need to laminate the sheets along the verticle edge and then carve them down because the run isn't straight. It will look better this way.

Here's what it looks like with about 10 feet glued on, but needing carving before coating with plaster:

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The blue sheets don't bend, but are more stable for poking the bases of trees so I have that on the upper flatter areas.

I have a nice selection of mountaireering tools:

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From the left are five different Hot Wire Foam Factory tools and the power supply. The different pointed irons have different heads and the power supply allows me to regulate the heat so I can make different sized grooves and voids.

I haven't used these in over 20 years, but I do remember that the plaster requires larger cuts than you expect.

The two irons on the right came with trains I bought and might work to make interesting voids. I think they are actually for sealing shrink wrap. I'll see what I can do with them.

I also have a table and a bunch of other hand tools, but the table isn't "handy," and the other tools duplicate what is there. I had a Woodland Scenics coping saw type hadn tool, but gave it away. The Woodland scenics cutter has a trigger and doesn't stay hot. Everytime you use it you have to hold the trigger down for about a minute before you can start cutting.I don't like that.

Not shown are Silicone Rubber sheets to rest the tools on when they are hot. They are actually hot pads from kitchen supply. You can soldier on them and the heat will not go through to the other side.


starfire700

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #7 »
I have never used the hot wire cutters. I am not sure if I will have a mountain or not on my new layout. Any embankments or other topography will be accomplished with spray foam and real local rocks.

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #8 »
My mountain is there because I won't run tracks where I can't reach them so I'd just put houses there anyway.

The mountain will hold the houses and block the two sides so the layout is more interesting. I have boxes of trees to cover the mountain with.

Here's where I'm at now. I got the sheet of particle board free at home depot. That will be a marsh area.

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The areas with gentle slopes get a nylon fabric dunked in colored plaster over them. The fabric keeps it from cracking, and the foam underneath provides anchor points for the trees.

The more verticle areas will be carved to look like cliffs or stonework. Some of those won't be visible as they are behind trees.

We had our first week of 110+ degree weather so I'm spending the days in the basement.



starfire700

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #9 »
I have also learned that a layout has to be designed so all critical areas can be reached. I have only a few areas that will be difficult and will also only place accessories in those locations that will require no attention. My yard area, which requires the most attention, is a 5' wide peninsula, so all areas of it are easily accessible. I will post some progress photos soon.

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #10 »
When my dad got older he used to call me on the phone and ask me when I'd be near his house again. I'd ask him if the train was off the track again. That layout was up for about 22 years, and toward the end my dad would say "Don't touch the ceiling" when I was on the layout because there were black fingerprints up there. Given the option of being impaled  by a gateman or streetlamp or putting another greasy fingerprint on the ceiling, I choose the ceiling everytime.

Here's the layout with the mountain mostly carved and the first application of plaster cloth. I'm putting plaster cloth on the seams where the foam meets the wood so it doesn't crack.

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Here's the mountain ready for first coats of plaster.

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I need to do the sides in the marsh area shown below. I'll fill the sides with spray foam and then round it off.

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I'm trying something new.  I am going to put three coats of plaster on the mountain. The first will be a hard black coat, second will be a softer gray coat and top will be a soft tan coat. Then I can wire brush the softer areas to get texture and color. I tried this outside on some scraps and it makes a nice look for the sheer walls.

Terry



starfire700

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #11 »
This looks like a major construction project. I can't wait to see it completed. Of course I realize that most model railroaders say that a layout is never completed.
I have to get back to working on mine and will post some pix.

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #12 »
First coat of plaster. This coat is as dark as I can get it, and as hard. I used about 30 pounds on what you see below. 

For this coat I used a mixture of paster of paris and 20 minute drywall compound with black oxide mixed in for the color. The first batch went well, but later batches kicked too fast. I even made the later batches smaller  about 5 pounds instead of 10, but I guess the heat outside where I was mixing was too high. It was 115 when I mixed the last batch.

Next coat will be thick brown, then a thin tan. The blue areas get grass so they don't need as much plaster to cover. 

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Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #13 »
Here's the second coat of plaster. This was just plain paster of paris from a 22.5KG bag I bought at a place where they sell plaster molding supplies.  I mixed the plaster with ice water - I put cold water in a bucket and added lots of ice. Before adding the water to the plaster I mixed in colors.

I mixed about 10 cups of plaster at a time. With the cold water it didn't set before I could finish it. Once I got the areas that needed thick plaster covered, I added ice water to the mixture to make it thinner for the vertical areas.

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Tomorrow I'll do another lighter colored coat of soft plaster on the vertical areas using premixed drywall patch. Then next weekend when everything is fully dry, I can start working it.

I realized yesterday that I spend 20-25 percent of my work time is spent cleaning up.

Terry

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Re: Terry's Layout
« Reply #14 »
This is the second coat after drying for 2 days:

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I found a 3 pound package of sculptamold which seems to be plaster and some kind of filler. I put thet on in some areas, then mixed up a watery coat of plaster using the last of the bag.
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The plateau on the end of the mountain has cloth soaked in the plaster mix. That will cover the seams in the wood.

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I'm glad I took the track up.

Interesting note. The dog comes down and watches me work. (there is also a box of dog treats so she might be coming down for food.) She doesn't come down when I work with plaster.

Tomorrow I can pick up the free paint from the town recycling place so I'll be putting grass on the mountain this weekend.