Author Topic: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it  (Read 2078 times)

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OldEastRR

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 A kidney-bean shaped layout in an 11'x7.5' space:


Former mainline (now a dead-end) runs through downtown; new mainline is the long wide curve on the RH side:




Not Berlin 1945 but a bunch of DPM kits in various stages of remaking for a small city downtown. That's a Sears at right center, it  will have a separate Sears Auto Service building behind it:



An industrial area free-lanced along the ROW. My basic track plan has a mainline twice around but I drew in no yards, industries, towns, etc -- I am putting things like that in as the mainline is laid. This way I see the actual space available in each area of the layout and organically fit features to them. Seems like if I draw them out on the plan they don't quite fit in the real space or don't look like I imagined.



These buildings were given to me by a guy who didn't need them anymore so this industrial area is an impromptu thing I wasn't planning on. But it gives me an area where I can use up all my Peco Code 80 switches from my old layout. The rest of the layout is Code 55. I will rework/kitbash these factories to fit the space as shallow-relief structures.



The trackwork isn't finished; I'm just laying it out to make sure it fits. Then I cookie-cut homasote to match the ROW.  In the final version the homasote will be glued to a plywood base, with cork on top of it and track on the cork.  Shaped extruded foam will fill the terrain spaces around the homasote cutouts. 


bbussey

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 07:50:29 AM »
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Nice paint scheme on the 44-Tonner.  Is this going to be the Boston area of the New Haven railroad?
Bryan Busséy
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Jeff AKA St0rm

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 09:12:44 PM »
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Do you have a track plan that you can show?

OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 05:50:17 AM »
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Thanks for the 44T comment. Most models I've seen don't have the green "cap" on the hoods. I also removed the "black box" inside the cab and enlarged the windows to nearly actual size. Took out some unneeded electronics so I can put in an engineer, then window glass. After I painted it I found an article about modifying the hood vents to NH prototype. Doing so messed up the paint a little but that's what weathering is for -hiding goofs.
As for locale, it's based loosely on the NH double track Boston - Providence and the Worcester junction, tho the only prototypical scene (so far) is the tunnel under UConn and the state capital, which lets me fold the double-track dogbone over itself without having unrealistic mountain tunnels on the tunnel-less NH. I have a third loop across the dogbone which represents a generic NH branch serving a small town and a creamery, since I need some reason to run the pretty milk reefers I bought.

OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 05:02:46 AM »
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A general idea of the track plan -- I left lots of wiggle room for curve placements, tangents, scenic areas, etc.... yes the lines don't all match up but the alignments can be finalized when I actually put thetrack in. I guess you could say this is a track layout estimate instead of a hard copy.
In the upper RH corner the double mains loops are stacked --



Obviously the four tracks ending where "Providence" is are connected to the four ends up to the NE of them -- this is the underground station at the state capital building. And the branching double track mains beyond that represent...uh...ah...
Two separate backdrops will separate the two long sides of the layout from each other scenically.
"STAGING" is a vague idea of what to do with the long narrow shelf section that attaches to the layout at that point and runs for seven feet. I'll figure out some use for that space sooner or later. If I stack another level above "STAGING" that nominally is "Boston" -- tho "Boston" may encompass the whole upper level of the layout.

I've always been fascinated by abandoned track on the prototype. Here I have a chance to model a rather substantial segment that is more than just a torn-up spur. And I'll get to put some weathered stone piers in the river that used to hold up the old bridges.

wm3798

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 01:35:00 PM »
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I like the free-form nature of the benchwork.  Are the holes there for photo opportunities, or required for operations? 

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 05:19:54 AM »
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I like the free-form nature of the benchwork.  Are the holes there for photo opportunities, or required for operations? 

Lee

At this point they are just openings for lack of anything planned there. The layout is a island-type and everything can be reached from the outside edges. Like I said, I drew up a track plan estimate rather than a detailed, planned out layout. Once I had that done I had these big holes inside the end ovals.
This is that experimental model rring I wish I saw more of in the mags. I see the ROW as ribbons running over the benchwork, not a solid edge to edge mass of scenery. A good way to describe it is an around-the-walls layout squished inward to be in the center of the room, and the open center space of the around-the-wall is now condensed into small open areas on this layout.
The reason I like this concept is the scene around one part of the ROW now can be separate from other parts of the ROW. One side of an end loop can be a heavy duty industrial area with building flats behind the tracks and the other side prairie flatlands with a single spur to a grain elevator. With the open space between there's no scenic gymnastics to try to morph one scene into one completely different. And no scenic divider to obstruct the view of trains on the other side of the layout.
The open spaces by themselves are practical as access hatchways, operation pits, or photograph vantage points (at least for people with good backs).  They can also be thought of as "undeveloped real estate" for any later changes or additions to the layout or parts of it. All of us learn new methods or concepts we would like to try, but with finished layouts that usually means destroying something already in place or building a whole new layout.
I realize this kind of layout won't appeal to the person who likes to have big areas of continuous scenery. There are other features of this kind of layout construction that I hope to get built in the near future and have pictures of. But I can either buy all the new neat stuff companies are making or buy construction material.   :(

OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 07:05:26 AM »
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The reason this layout has a long curving front:







Have no idea what this radius is but it's at least 8 (real) feet. Oh, and for those of you nervous about the location there will be more layout (scenery) extending the edge  out farther.

John

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 07:40:36 AM »
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I would put up some fascia along the edges, lest some of your trains take a trip to the concrete siding (floor) .

OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2014, 05:38:33 AM »
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I would put up some fascia along the edges, lest some of your trains take a trip to the concrete siding (floor) .

The pix were just a photo shoot to show what I'm trying to do. The train is now safely back in its box.  The scene now is just bare ROW support, there is scenery, fascia, and probably plexiglass going up eventually between the track and the edge.
Also, I have a carpeted floor.

OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 04:29:15 AM »
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After working for a while laying track and fooling around with scenes and stuff I had spent so much time looking at the plan and layout itself I realized that it could be improved, thus:


(yes, not all the tracks connect but the connections are easily visualized)

It's mostly the same as the original but I saw that I had buried my double-track main under scenery and through the middle of the layout between two backdrops. Since the whole point of the layout was to feature a 2-track main like the NH I switched the loops in the upper RH corner, putting the bottom one on top and the top under it. This meant changing some aspects of the former upper loop (it burrows under the upper loop past the junction and comes out alongside the river now), but I saved the double Xing junction of the other (now top) loop by making one leg go to the as-yet undesigned yards. The double track main now rises through the center of the layout to cross the lower loop and stays visible around the back of the layout. 
I now can continue the river past the mill and through a U-turn to the other open access space (I don't really know how/where the river ended in the last plan). This will make a nice river/valley scene with a RR line running along one side and a low hill on the other.
Figuring this all out took days and several variations of mock-ups. But this is why I tell people not to slap down your entire track layout in a week. Working through each section slowly, just tacking track down and arranging/re-arranging buildings or mock-ups so they can be changed, gives you more time to evaluate and possibly modify the plan. Too many times I see guys tear up part of their relatively-new layout -- or worse, abandon it altogether -- because they get frustrated or disappointed or bored at something "permanently" installed.

Now to cut Homasote ROW for the new trackage.

OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 11:28:42 PM »
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Unless you've built a layout, you can't know how much effort it takes just to get to this point:



....gluing down the cork roadbed. Considering we have to build the subsurface (framework), then the ground (the track/scenery roadbeds and risers), then the finished grade (homasote/foam and cork) before we can even lay track.



And the surveying work .. i.e., translating the track plan into an actual physical plant so to get the ROW set down the way it's supposed to be built, and all the geometry of curves, crossovers, ladders, etc is smooth and unkinked.



And let's not forget the overhead clearances must be correct. (Yes, there is a height restriction rule for the far right ROW under the truss).



In my case, I used a chalk line to create a baseline from which to align track, spurs, buildings, roads, etc.
All the factory spurs in this area are exactly parallel to each other, so all the buildings' walls will be too. However, the mainline is crossing this area at an angle to that baseline.

NOTE: Since I erased my previous pic from Photobucket, I'm putting up another one of the 44Tonner, completely reassembled this time (except for window glass). I call it "the little pumpkin" because of the color scheme and shape.


peteski

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 11:45:46 PM »
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NOTE: Since I erased my previous pic from Photobucket, I'm putting up another one of the 44Tonner, completely reassembled this time (except for window glass). I call it "the little pumpkin" because of the color scheme and shape.



Ah, finally someone managed to make the 44-tonner's windows look correct (not like arrowslits in a castle).  Nice!
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OldEastRR

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Re: Looking more like a layout now, not just a table with stuff piled on it
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 04:16:38 AM »
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... and back to a table with stuff piled on it.
While figuring out how to attach the scenery "slabs" to the framework, I saw a gap of about 1" between a crossbeam and the other beam/joint it was supposed to be attached to. I hadn't even screwed it to the vertical leg! Since that meant the geometry for that end of the layout was off by at least  an inch I had to break down the construction on that side, all the way down to the basic framework, reassemble the joints correctly, put screws in, etc. So the part of the scenery section where I was laying roadbed had to be removed. Luckily the "slab" concept for scenery meant I could remove the entire scene intact, then reattach it after the fix. Otherwise it would have meant  taking down and resetting risers, cookie cutter board, etc.
But now I really should finish up the benchwork prep on the last part of the layout before I go back to laying ROW and roadbed.
But the jumble of buildings and  scenery material on the layout now is in a different configuration than it was before.....