Author Topic: AT&SF San Diego Sub  (Read 6060 times)

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tappertrainman

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AT&SF San Diego Sub
« on: March 26, 2014, 02:54:10 PM »
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Hi All,

I started this post yesterday, then lost all my work.   :facepalm:  Here it is a second time!

My railroad is based on the Santa Fe in my hometown of San Diego, CA.  I have always loved the Santa Fe and have wanted to build a layout for a long time.  About a year and a half ago I designed a layout to fit in the living room of my uncle's house (who is also a train geek like me).  We laid out a space roughly 2' by 18' with some "bumpouts" at each end to allow for turnback curves.  I am interested in operations but I also know I would want to just relax and let the trains roll by on occasion.  N scale proved to be the best option for my needs, and I began planning.  The trackwork is nearly 100% complete today, and major scenery has progressed in certain areas.  The era is the 1980s in sunny springtime San Diego, which allows for a few more green grasses and trees and keeps the hills from all being too brown.  Power is 4 and 6 axle Santa Fe diesels, with assorted freight cars, no unit trains as of right now.  San Diego (though one of the largest cities in the U.S.) is a sleepy spur line south of the real action in Los Angeles and San Bernardino.   Plans for Amtrak F40PH and Amtubes may be in the future as well, though I don't have a passenger station anywhere on the layout so it may just be a run through.

Well, pictures explain it better than words, and I have a lot of pictures!  Feel free to comment or question anything, I'm eager to soak up knowledge.


The last trackplan which is close to how the layout was built.  All of the straight lines became much more flowing as you'll see:



This is where the left side of the layout was inspired from:



Future site of a model railroad:



The ladder frame (I could probably sit on this, it's slightly over-engineered):



Single layer of foam as a base.  We ended up digging some of this first layer out to form valleys below which you'll see later:



Laying out the major road and industries in Miramar (a suburb of San Diego).  We used WS foam risers which I love, and WS foam roadbed which is not so great.



Looking the other direction, pay no attention to the ugly copper curtains.




Track lighting installed.  Also installed later was blue rope light, for nighttime train effects.  VERY COOL



Laying out the yard ladder.  I still wish it was straight and not curved, but that was my uncle's decision!



We'll jump ahead in time somewhat, here all the track is in place leading up to the Miramar industries:



The other side of the layout, home to the cement plant spur which is the other major industry on the layout, and can hold up to 7-8 cars.  The prototype is located far south of Miramar, which is why it's located off the main yard which is south as well.



Valleys sunk, mountains rise, and the boards show where a major freeway will be built soon.  This helps disguise (from normal viewing angles) somewhat the fact that the trains turn back on themselves:



Valleys and a view of the yard.  The plywood "dam" has since been removed:



Helicopter view of the valley.  This will be nearly full of trees when complete:



Mountains get an early coat of stain.  The rockwork on the left was eventually torn down and replaced with more realistic horizontal strata:



This very sharp prototype curve in reality today:



And beginning to be modelled:



Jumping ahead in time again, grass was planted, though still lacking trees:



It took me a while to repaint the wall with blue after overspraying with the stain.  It was surprising how this little effort made a big difference:



The cement plant spur tracks are buried in ballast and dirt.  You can also see the bridge and drainage ditch detail here.



When appropriately cropped, it actually looks good! (to me):




I'll try to continue catching up in a later post.  More work has been done!

James
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 02:56:51 PM by tappertrainman »
Santa Fe all the way!

Philip H

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 03:04:30 PM »
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James,
Looks good to me too. Your track plan is well thought out, and I like the scenery to date.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

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Chris333

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 04:13:54 PM »
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Hell of a first post!

C855B

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 04:48:47 PM »
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Where's Old Town? Where's La Jolla? Gotta have somewhere to ship tchotchkes to, and a place for all the NIMBYs to live. :D
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

tappertrainman

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 05:33:35 PM »
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Hell of a first post!

Thank you, I know we have a lot to learn still about N scale techniques, especially for scenery.  I'm amazed at the stuff guys like you create!  I end up feeling like some things are too coarse, but I'm also not going to let myself get bogged down re-doing the sections we've completed over and over again just because I did it slightly better a few feet over.

Where's Old Town? Where's La Jolla? Gotta have somewhere to ship tchotchkes to, and a place for all the NIMBYs to live. :D

Old Town got bumped for space considerations!  The La Jolla bluffs and beaches would have been beautiful to model, but had to be cut for operational reasons as well.   :(

We actually have a good mix of industries present on the pike.  The Frazee Paint industry takes boxcars and tank cars, Frost Hardwood will take boxcars and centerbeams/flatcars (my artistic license says so), the recycling center will accept more boxcars and low gondolas, and then the cement plant will accept lots of different cement hoppers.  All other rolling stock on the line will be used as run through traffic for trains headed farther north.  San Diego is a dead-end for the Santa Fe, so the yard will represent both the San Diego Downtown Yard as well as points north.
Santa Fe all the way!

tappertrainman

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 05:51:24 PM »
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Here is a little bit more, showing recent work on the layout.  Unfortunately, my photography has been spotty the last couple of months, I will try to get more shots in the next few weeks.


The South Bay Cement Plant (not the real name) is much larger in real life than on my layout.  It was far too big to include in whole, so I adapted the plan heavily.  The parts that most faithfully survived are actually more closely related to the truck loading/unloading and not the railroad part.

Here's the prototype from Google Maps:



And here's a few shots of my version (forgive the stand-in TP tubes, ABS sprinkler pipes have been cut to size but not painted or detailed or anything  :))







The most recent work on the layout has been working around on the Rose Canyon scene and the valleys surrounding it.  The trees are a Noch product similar to Super Trees, I plan on buying more Super Trees once this initial supply is exhausted.  The valleys are basically full of trees here, and this should help to provide a mental viewblock since my version of the yard is physically right next to the Rose Canyon tracks when in reality they are at least 15 miles apart.




And two more "glamour" shots.  I'm amazed at what cropping will do for a model railroad picture.




Thank you all for watching.  If you have any criticism please feel free!  I'm constantly trying to learn how to do stuff better.

James
Santa Fe all the way!

John

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 06:13:49 PM »
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Very nice work .. I went to Boot Camp in 1974 in San Diego .. and loved the area ..   Don't forget Goldfingers on Miramar road ;)

coldriver

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 08:53:54 PM »
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Like the scenery - it looks very true to the area.  And your track really flows through the countryside. 

C855B

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 09:29:01 PM »
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Like the scenery - it looks very true to the area.  And your track really flows through the countryside.

Actually... and not being critical, just an observation from growing-up in the area... the greens are a little on the vivid side. The coloration should be muted, with the greens tending towards sage and olive with dark evergreens near the coast (Torrey Pines/La Jolla), and the grasses should mostly be a dried-out color unless you're going for the marine-layer season (March-June), especially inland around Miramar. :D
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

coldriver

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 09:38:25 PM »
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The coloration should be muted, with the greens tending towards sage and olive with dark evergreens near the coast (Torrey Pines/La Jolla), and the grasses should mostly be a dried-out color unless you're going for the marine-layer season (March-June), especially inland around Miramar. :D

"The era is the 1980s in sunny springtime San Diego, which allows for a few more green grasses and trees and keeps the hills from all being too brown"

I think that's exactly what he said he was going to do...

C855B

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 11:19:43 PM »
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The problem there is "sunny springtime San Diego" is an oxymoron. Rare are the days when the marine layer hasn't socked everything in... well... maybe we'll allow for some nicer days where the overcast burns off around 2:30 or 3:00. :|

Maybe it's not really as bad as I remember, but firmly entrenched in my memory are SD springs of a constant depressing gray gray gray with lukewarm temps - very little rain, just gray - and then one magic day in June it's suddenly your classic gorgeous SoCal summer.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

primavw

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 12:44:03 AM »
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Looking good!
Modeling The Dark Horse


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tappertrainman

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2014, 07:57:14 PM »
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The problem there is "sunny springtime San Diego" is an oxymoron. Rare are the days when the marine layer hasn't socked everything in... well... maybe we'll allow for some nicer days where the overcast burns off around 2:30 or 3:00. :|

Maybe it's not really as bad as I remember, but firmly entrenched in my memory are SD springs of a constant depressing gray gray gray with lukewarm temps - very little rain, just gray - and then one magic day in June it's suddenly your classic gorgeous SoCal summer.

I am definitely shooting for that May/June period where the hills are still somewhat green from what rain we do get, but not too gray of a day.  Most days the cloud cover burns off around noon and there is sunshine the rest of the day.  Rarely do we get too much gray into the afternoon.  Then again, maybe that's my idealistic memory failing to remember anything but a sunny day here.  :)

Color is definitely something that we're trying to get right, lots of olive green variations here in San Diego, and in particular we're having a hard time figuring out what color static grass to use.  Two different WS colors (Wild Honey and Light Green) were just awful, and the only other stuff we have is a Noch assortment which is more accurate for the Sound of Music than San Diego.  Any suggestions out there from the RW crew?

Managed to work on the railroad Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights while my wife was at work.  Got more rocks installed and carved (still need more colorization work though, they feel too yellow).







 and made 50 or so small shrubs out of polyfiber, ground foam/flock, and lots of hairspray.  It makes fairly convincing ground-hugging shrubs and hanging stuff, just have to make sure to vary the colors so it doesn't all come out the same color green.



Criticism welcome!

James
Santa Fe all the way!

SSW7771

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Re: AT&SF San Diego Sub
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2014, 09:15:44 PM »
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Your layout is looking really good! I like the shrub idea.

Marshall
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chuck geiger

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« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 08:44:55 PM by chuck geiger »
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