Author Topic: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf  (Read 7934 times)

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nthusiast

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2019, 12:25:59 PM »
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I just can't seem to get a good brick detail.  Maybe I need to just paint it a single color and call it good.


That brick looks pretty darn good IMHO

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2019, 07:55:42 AM »
+4
Over the last few weekends i've completed the continuous run benchwork.  While I do plan on eventually putting a facia on to prevent a catastrophic tumble to the floor, in the mean time i've gone ahead and put an oak veneer on the outside edge to dress sit up a little and hide all the segments that it took to make those shapes.

In the end the helix loop ended up being around a 2% grade which should be fine.  I ended up widening the channel to the inside of the lower level to provide more clearance for long rolling stock.  The upper level will actually be able to overhang the lower level if needed so I am planning on cheating the track right up to the edge of the upper level on the inside.  I still need to decide what to use to close the gap between the upper and lower levels.  Card stock, matboard, and garage sale signs seem like pretty good options right now.

The center of the loop lifts out for maintenance and it provides excellent access to all the track on the module.  I still need to get layout moved up onto the wall.
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wm3798

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #47 on: May 08, 2019, 08:32:08 AM »
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That's pretty slick.
I assume the lower track splits into two so you can stage a train when you're switching.
I'd suggest widening it to 3 tracks, so you can stage an "eastbound" and a "westbound" and still have a track clear for continuous running a random third train. 
For instance you could schedule a set of RDCs to provide commuter service that operates the loop while you're switching...  run it reasonably slow representing a train every 15 or 20 minutes that has to be accounted for during your switching maneuvers.
Lee
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 08:43:57 AM by wm3798 »
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Rich_S

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2019, 10:02:34 AM »
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(Attachment Link)

That is a really unique idea for a helix. I'd use a short girder bridge to span the gap and leave as much of the loop open as possible. Another idea is make a short tunnel  to span the gap, giving you a loop like the Williams Loop on the WP.
Rich S.

wm3798

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2019, 11:01:25 AM »
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I think for a shelf switching layout, the objective is just to make the pick up/set out trains "disappear" off stage.  I would just build out the rest of the scene over the loop so it isn't an element of the scenery as much as possible.  Just disappear behind the proverbial billboard sign, or under a highway overpass then put structures or a hill over the rest of the loop... easily removed, of course, for the inevitable derailment...
Keeping the staging tracks visible and available along the lower front edge of the layout is ideal, as you can fiddle and re-block cars "off stage" without having to leave your operating pit.
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2019, 10:34:06 AM »
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Thanks for your thoughts guys!  I really thought about making the staging area 3 tracks wide but decided that i wanted to keep the shelf that extra 2" narrower.  It may have been shortsighted though because I do like the idea of staging an eastbound and a westbound and still having a way through the loop.  Of course I currently only have 3 locos so I can have an east bound and a west bound and a train getting switched and use all my gear.

My plan is to leave the helix section open to the top and paint it all dark grey/black and basically scenic around it.  We'll see if I still like that plan when I get to scenery in that area.

I've gotten the layout far enough along to merit doing a bit of infrastructure work.  I've taken all the modules apart and removed the bookshelf and have painted the wall and hung standards which will allow me to level the shelf and plumb the backdrop.  Im planning on a valence/shelf above with layout lighting built in.

Have you all seen a valence that does not follow the contour of the layout that looks good?  Im thinking of making the valence a rectangle the depth of the main layout edge rather than trying to follow the edge curves in the return loops.  I am also considering skiping the valence and puting up a LED light bar that runs the length of the layout in a really minimal channel.  Either way I want to get more light on the layout and can't add them as room lights.

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tappertrainman

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2019, 07:44:48 PM »
+3
I did exactly what you're describing, see below photos for how it looks.











Santa Fe all the way!

wm3798

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #52 on: May 21, 2019, 07:50:45 PM »
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Wait, you already have three locomotives?  Oh man.  That's the legal limit.  No one can do anything with more engines than that.

You might as well take up Tennis.

 :trollface:

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

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CRL

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #53 on: May 21, 2019, 09:48:12 PM »
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Are you going to extend your HVAC ducts through the valance?

Great job so far.

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2019, 02:45:36 PM »
+2
The layout is up on its new shelf brackets.  Next up is shortening a few of the brackets and creating the backdrop plane and hanging the backdrop.  I am surprised by how much I like the floating shelf vs having the volume below the layout taken up by a curtain or shelves of stuff.  It is making me reconsider a valence as well.

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #55 on: May 23, 2019, 10:11:42 AM »
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Looking good!

Vince P

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #56 on: May 23, 2019, 01:24:23 PM »
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Agreed coming along decently.

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2019, 08:56:32 AM »
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Thanks for your pics @tappertrainman.  It really helps to see how it might look.  At this point im thinking of doing something more like a shelf and less like a valence.  My ceiling is very not flat and trying to put up a valence that connects with the ceiling would make that painfully obvious. Weather or not I put things on the shelf remains to be seen.

I used a level and some string lines to create a vertical plane for the backdrop by building out the shelf standards.  In some places the wall was out over 1/2" over the 24" height of the backdrop!  Next up is to select my backdrop material, install it, and get a sky on it.

I am trying to keep it as thin as possible without introducing a bunch of wavieness from a super thin material being unsupported over the span between standards.  There are a few places that are 24" between supports. I want to keep it thin to keep the layout from taking too much depth in my fairly narrow office and while 1/2" ply would not wave, it would eat a bunch of space.

I am considering:
* thin hardboard
* thick hardboard
* aluminum trim coil

The splice between two lengths of hardboard is somewhat concerning.  I did put two supports on one standard to let me easily support the splice, but even so the idea of taping the joint and getting it smooth doesn't thrill me. I really like the idea of the trim coil, but it looks like I have to buy 50' of it to get a 24" x 12' piece.  Im also not confident about it staying flat.  I am not trying to make the backdrop turn a corner.

What have you all had good luck with for a backdrop foundation?

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2019, 10:15:02 AM »
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I've got a great product for your backdrop. It's the stuff I used for Windsor St.

I learned about it from @mmyers . It's vinyl roll flashing.

Available from both blue and orange:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Union-Corrugating-14-in-x-30-ft-Vinyl-Roll-Flashing/3299110
https://www.homedepot.com/p/DuraFlash-14-in-x-30-ft-White-Roll-Stock-Vinyl-Flashing-143018W/100386657

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #59 on: May 24, 2019, 01:01:48 PM »
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@Ed Kapuscinski, that looks like a neat product, but the 14" height is a bummer.  I would have to seriously rethink my current structure and plan, or have a horizontal seam the width of the backdrop. 

The closest I can find is 18" at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GKP29Z4/ref=psdc_13398821_t1_B017DO3MDC

I also found 24" aluminum trim coil on craigslist that is fairly local to me: https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/for/d/waterford-gibraltar-royal-brown-over/6853856721.html

Do you think the Vinyl is superior to the aluminum?