Author Topic: New Layout Order of Installation...  (Read 1266 times)

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Lemosteam

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New Layout Order of Installation...
« on: February 18, 2013, 01:58:14 PM »
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So I have been mulling where/when to start scenicking my layout: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=28266.0.

I have the foam down and some track pieces and a printout of the track plan.

With the water in the middle and bridgework across, I just don't know where to begin.  Is there a recommended order of installation?  I've followed other's construction blogs but I'm still kind of dismayed.

As an example, I want to lay track, but it won't be complete until I install the bridges, but I don't want to install the bridges until the water is in (so I have full access to the water surface), I don't want to install the water until I have mt seawall in place, and I don't want to install the seawall until the foam is coated with grout.  See what I mean?

At this stage I'll take any  :ashat: advice I can get.  Should i just start SOMEWHERE??

At least I can continue casting my 65 cut-stone berm wall sections, uggh, and making bridge shoes.

Rossford Yard

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 02:23:40 PM »
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FWIW, I have the Cal Sag canal on my IHB (see layout engineering forum), and have put in bridges and track first.  I did paint the base before putting the bridges in, however.  It will probaby need another coat before final scenicking.

The water epoxy (WS EZ water, whatever) does flow so you don't need direct access, but I will have to be a bit careful.    The only tough part would be if there was some kind of waterfall or detail right under the bridge, but it doesn't look that way in the proto photo.

Looks like it will be a nice little switching layout with signature scenes.

DKS

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 02:43:30 PM »
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There's really no "right" order of assembly for a layout. There are plenty of possible scenarios based on materials/techniques used, personal preferences, and a host of other factors.

For example... some modelers use tinted ripple glass (from stained glass suppliers) for water, and this must be installed first before anything else. Some use the painted plywood (or any smooth, rigid material) and gloss-coated technique for water. For this, the water "surface" should be installed first, but the painting can be done later, and the gloss coat later still, preferably last, to avoid accumulating dirt and damage. Still others will use a poured two-part material for water. The order for this is similar to that of painted plywood; however, additional steps must be taken to ensure the waterway is perfectly leak-proof. The pour itself should take place last, again to avoid accumulating dirt and damage.

In any case, the track roadbed should go in after the waterway is prepared; installation of track and bridges in the immediate area should be held off until the waterway is prepared to provide as much access as possible. Once the waterway is prepared, then track and bridges can go in. Gloss-coating or pouring can take place after bridges are installed and surrounding scenery is completed.

Meanwhile, there is doubtless a long to-do list that isn't directly affected by waterways: transferring the track plan to the benchwork; test-fitting track pieces; accumulating scenery-making supplies; etc., etc., etc.

One last note, some modelers prefer to complete a particular step for their entire layout; for instance, lay all of the track, ballast all of the track, finish all of the track scenery, and so on. However, there is no problem at all completing any given step for only part of a layout--that is, you might have some areas that are totally finished right down to the trees and details, while other parts of the layout are still raw foam with only track glued down and nothing else.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 02:55:06 PM by David K. Smith »
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PAL_Houston

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 04:02:25 PM »
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So I have been mulling where/when to start scenicking my layout...At this stage I'll take any advice I can get.  Should i just start SOMEWHERE??


Priorities: 
Big before little.
Hard to do before easy to do.
Track before scenery.

It is almost always a good idea to get things functional and tested before making things pretty; and there is almost always a way to do this in such a way that it is removable or adjustable.

If it were me the hard part would be getting the bridgework installed so it will provide a smooth transition and solid support for the trackwork.
Regards,
Paul

Flagler

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 04:47:06 PM »
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Start with Kato Unitrack

Denver Road Doug

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 04:59:28 PM »
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I agree there's not necessarily a set order.   I will say that regardless of the order, make sure you protect existing work carefully.   There is the tendency to get in a hurry, or assume that an area is properly shielded.   Next thing you know you have ballast suspended in your "water", overspray on your backdrop, paint on your carpet, glue running down a bridge, wet water dribbling down a hole into a turnout decoder, ballast glue finding it's way into turnouts/motors....you get the picture.     :scared: :facepalm:

Especially things like the poured water can take a looong time to dry and I think the best results are when you are able to wait longer than recommended.   Take the time to carefully tape down drop cloths and newspapers so they don't "shift" or get blown around by the air from spray paint or airbrushes.

Just take your time, and be patient.  If you think "hey, this is going well, I'm gonna keep adding things, it's dry enough".....STOP, put down the tools, step away, and approach it again the next day.  :P  Or at very least move to another area to work for a bit.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

mmagliaro

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 05:26:05 PM »
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John,
What has already been posted in here covers most of what I would have already said. 
My humble additions:

1. Consider what will be unreachable, unseeable, underneath things, or otherwise a pain in the neck to do if
you do anything else before it.  Get that done first, whether it be mountain, ground cover,  stream,
trackwork, or anything else.  In your case, perhaps those tracks along the back should go in first.
And since a lot of things have to go over that stream, I'd do that next, and if that requires grout
or anything else, then I would do those. 

2. Consider function before anything else.  Others already alluded to this.  I would always try to get as much
of the track down as possible, *in the areas that will be hard to reach*, before putting down any scenery,
so you can run and test them.   I wouldn't sweat over that bridge.  Lay track in other areas except
the bridge.  Pop in a temporary span made of thin plywood or something
for now).   

In general, I am not one who likes to do "all of everything" (i.e. all the track, then all the ground cover, etc).  I think
that breeds stagnation and loss of patience.   

Heck, just look at ballasting!  Who ballasts an entire layout as a single project?   Good Heavens.  I'd
go mad.   But doing a few feet here and there when the mood strikes allows it to not be too painful,
and my patience with it is high when I do it because it's only for a brief period.   

That's all I got....


Lemosteam

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 01:10:05 PM »
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WAAAAY late, and I apologize for the failure to thank everyone for their input.  After re-reading this today I think I have much clearer picture.

Flagler, all I can say is LOL!

Max, the rear track is exactly why I added the drawer slides so I can get back there from behind.  I think the last two things will be the elevated lines and the water.

I am going to add the berm walls first, then the bridge abutments, then the track, and I will make both bridges removeable with separate wiring.  then I will ballast and then I will grout and then I will grout. 

Agree with error profing the track. 

The elevated track will be removeable.

Thanks again everybody!

rsn48

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2013, 04:51:23 PM »
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This advise is given from time to time and most ignore it, some find out why the hard way.  Once you have your benchwork in, either before your track or right afterwards install your backdrop.  The reason most don't do this is they worry they don't have the skill to do it and wait and wait and wait.  One friend finish his primary scenery and structures on his layout then painted in his backdrop; he said it was difficult because stretching and worrying about destroying trees or buildings was always tantamount in his priorities.

I'm a big advocate of photo backdrops, they look much more professional than many of the painted scenes I have observed. How important is backdrop, imagine a scene from your favourite movie, now take away the "backdrop" portion of the scene and you experience something that doesn't look very professional, yet that is how many layouts are out there - basically finished but not backdrop, the guy has been planning to do it for the past 25 years.

You will be amazed at how complete your layout will look with just benchwork, track and backdrop.



« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 11:08:33 PM by rsn48 »
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

mmagliaro

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2013, 10:46:14 PM »
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Yes, yes a thousand times yes.... get the backdrop in first.  Even if you only think you will have the skill
to make a gradiated blue with some clouds and maybe a crude tree line or something, it is so much
easier if you do this first.   I have done it the wrong way around before, like so many have,
and it is a pain to work that backdrop in behind everything.

This little "test" layout I built a couple of years ago, in this photo, has just plywood, some of the trackwork,
and the foam risers.  Even so, the simple cloud backdrop makes it start to look like a layout.



Lemosteam

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 08:56:09 AM »
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Great thoughs on the backdrop and yet another reason why I put the table on drawer slides.  The backdrop will be removable 18" wide formica sheet with a sharp 90 degree bend for the left hand side of the layout (l shaped in the plan view) and will drop in place and velcro to the left hand wall when the main table is pushed flush against the half wall.  This will allow me to make the backdrop off-layout.

I have not decided if I want to use a photo backdrop mounted to the formica yet (due to cost).  It will be a low-rise city scape with sky above and some flats mounted to it.  It will not run past the end of the table onto the extension for simplicity's sake.

rogergperkins

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Re: New Layout Order of Installation...
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2013, 09:17:29 AM »
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I also agree there is no Right Way! I have set my own priority for the next new layout to paint the surface of the two inch extruded polystyrene surface with an earth colored interior wall paint.  I like the idea of having that neutral earth colored surface until such time that I have decided where rivers, valleys, hills and berms will go.

Then once that is dry, I will layout a track plan using the Kato Unitrack or Atlas True-Track code 65 assuming the latter is available.
Only after I have a track plan that I like and can run trains on it will I proceed to details such as the turntable and engine facilities and then streets and roads.
I already have an abundance of buildings, so adding them will come as time permits.
I think I will focus on small scenes and complete each one at least to a basic level of detail versus trying to do ground cover and such on a larger area.