Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by okane, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

    Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party

    Introducing the renewal of the original Layout Party established in 2002. Several members have expressed an interest in reviving this Trainboard tradition. The Party has traditionally been hosted in the Layout Design Forum, and we will follow that tradition.

    Why International; did you know that Trainboard has members from over 75 countries, so this is truly an international forum. So we are looking for involvement from the international community that is Trainboard.

    We see no need to change the rules from the past Layout Parties, so let the party begin

    Fellow Modelers

    We know you're out there. Yeah you, and you, and you with the potato chip hanging off your lip and the half drunk coke sitting beside We know you're not working on your layout as much as you hoped to. Well what we are proposing is a layout party for a 5 week period - a layout design self help group.

    The purpose of the group is to encourage others to get out of their armchair and do some more work on the layout. And also to motivate you (and us) to do more work on our layout. We are hoping we can get a small group (but no one will be rejected) of people who will be committed to posting their work on the layout from the following week. This means for 5 weeks you are committed to posting once a week (or more – several did). We will of course congratulate those who work on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.


    1. Brief description of your layout to present, with what you want to accomplish in the next 5 weeks (don't make it grandiose is my recommendation).

    2. Brief description of what you hope to accomplish in the next week.

    3. A commitment to posting once a week describing what you have or have not done. It is important to report if you have "fallen off the wagon (not worked on the layout" so that we can see all are human here, and that we can encourage you). You can include pictures, problems you have encountered, get bragging rights around the cooler, etc. I’m looking for you to walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.

    4. A commitment to not fudging your reply so that you look better than you are really doing. By joining this group, you are acknowledging already that you haven't worked on the layout as much as you know you should have. The idea here is for us to have some fun and act as an electronic round robin self help group. When I have others coming over to my home to help me build, I am more efficient because I have to plan and prepare, then work when they arrive. Well, this is the internet round robin group, we may not be able to physically help you out, but we can support you and your efforts.

    Many had a good time with this format. It was not uncommon to hear people say they had accomplished more work on their layout in the short time we ran the thread than they had in long time. Many posted pictures, asked questions, helped others, moaned about their problems, and encouraged others through their problem. We are including the threads to the some of our past layout parties if you want to check out what happened and what is expected out of you. This is hosted at in the “Layout Design” forum; We have found it is easier to keep track of one longer thread there than in some other forums. Also trainboard has free Image hosting (picture hosting) so you might want to take advantage of that forum. You have to join the trainboard to participate, but it is free.

    If you have any problems joining trainboard or posting pics, let us know. And I will get some one to assist you.

    Past Layout Party Threads for Reference

    2005 – Spring Layout Party

    2004 – Spring Layout Party

    2003 – Spring Layout Party

    2002 – Spring Layout party
  2. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm going to build a structure. I made a whole downtown block last party and, of course, construction stopped when the party ended. Might as well finish the next to last building this party.

    Let's see how many we can get to join here and get the party started.

    Did we decide when the party starts yet?

    It doesn't matter how much you do. Some will carve out a mountain and some will fence a parking lot. It isn't a contest so you can't lose. Just jump in and plan something; if that is as far as you get, that is good, too. :thumbs_up:
  3. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter


    The party Starts Sunday February 4, 2007
  4. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'll get some "before" pictures to show progress and then post each week.
  5. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    In 5 weeks, I hopt to have the mainline completed, and debugged. I am about 30% done with that now. Roughly Tunnel 10 is my current end of track.
    I also want to get the layout wired, feeders dropped, and install the DCC system. Wiring the 2 reversing loops will be something to tackle, as will installing Tortoise switch machines.
    That's what I want to accomplish in 5 weeks. Anything after that is gravy! After that, I want to paint the track, weather it, and begin some scenery.
  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Here's where I am at now:
    Staging, helix, wye to Plainview/Tunnel 1 completed. Roadbed from Plain wye to Tunnel 10 complete, track from the wye to Tunnel 7 completed.
    Roadbed/track at Tunnel 7-10:

    Helix, wye to Plain:

    West Plainview Siding:

    East Plainview Siding:
  7. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have not done much beyond this Halloween season picture.

    In 5 weeks I will:
    1. Get the nearer houses set into the ground
    2. Install background trees
    3. Paint and install the road
    4. Plant trees all the way to the tracks located just off the bottom of the picture
  8. Cleggie

    Cleggie TrainBoard Member

    Hectorville & Pleasent Valley Sub

    Ok, I'm up for it. My layout at the moment is benchwork and track and my commitment for the next 5 weeks is to:

    1/ finish laying track - the siding for the coalmine.

    2/ sort out the wiring as I still have short outs when running trains
    around the reversing loop.

    3/ wire up the remaining points.

    4/ finish scratch building signal bridges wired up and opperational.

    5/ maybe begin applying some scenic layers.

    There is so much that I need to do and I am committed to making progress over the next 5 weeks.

    Cheers, Ken.

    Attached Files:

  9. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm liking this already. Big layouts and little layouts, too.

    Last party, I was going to complete my N scale downtown area called St Paul's Square. It was too much. I did get a lot done, but I didn't finish the roofs or painting all the DPM buildings. Still, I did complete that in the next few weeks. Here is a current picture. The area does not include the larger buildings to the right of the track with the coal hoppers.
    See the big white triangle in the lower right? That is the new project. I need a building with a small parking lot on the pointed end. There are three separate sections with loading doors that follow the curved track. My project for the first week is to get all of this designed and laid out for forty foot boxcars.

    There is a prototype for this called Central Distributing Company. I don't want to make an exact copy of that, but I do want to make it recognizable. I only have pictures from the track side, so I will have to imagineer the street side. Here are the pictures of the prototype.
    Oops. Just noticed a chain link fence along the track across from the building. This may hamper track cleaning. The yellow truck at the far end is unloading at a small dock. I need to create a track bumper, too, or I will have cars in the street!

    These pictures are taken from the Building Specialties parking lot, a steel erection and custom steel building company.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2007
  10. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Hemi: How many more feet of track will that be?
  11. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

    Cool beans, I'm in. I haven't made much progress over the holidays.

    My goal is to get foam and backdrops onto my first two modules, build hidden staging, and get enough trackwork done to move some trains between the two. That is ambitious given my schedule these days. If I carve out a chunk every weekend, I can get it done.

    Benchwork still looks like this right now:

    Finally scored some 2" pink foam, a major accomplishment, but I need to find a cutting tool for it. Looking forward to everyone's progress here!
  12. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Rrrr Loves Parties!

    I did not attend the other parties - I hate going stag but now I have a partner I expecit it will be a blast. I'll try to get Rrrr to dress up in party cloths and post a pic.

    This is a preliminary post with what I _think_ Rrrr would agree to:
    Get Phase One - Week One:
    1) Benchwork done
    2) Race Track Ovals laid
    3) Track wired for 2 train opperation
    4) Prison built and installed - (Rrrr works as a teacher in a prison. At the Springfield, MA show she found a model of one and a chain gang to go with it).
    5) Scenery semi started - most likely cover blue foam with light earth paint

    Phase One - Later Weeks
    1) Bench Work for Yard
    2) Lay Yard Track
    3) Wire yard track
    4) Pursue scenery - Make lots of mistakes and "do-overs". Try lots of different methods for making mountains and valleys.
    5) Scratch build a few bridges
    6) Build a "variable incline" and test locomotives and trains on it. This will be a strecht of track that will lay on a base of 1 inch foam not fastened to anything

    The over all intent of Phase One is to:
    1) Plan the layout together so it is as much hers as mine - This is crucial and one of the hardest parts for me. - Letting go - She is used to her X taking over projects. I am used to my father doing the same and by extension tend to follow in the style.
    2) The "Race Track Ovals" were deliberate to keep things very simple so we could focus on developing our wiring and scenery skills.
    3) Get Trains Running! - nuff said

    Subject to revision after reviewing with the CEO and Commisioner of Land Grants.
  13. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Cleggie: There are a lot of nice light signals on your layout. If you can do that, the reversing loop will be easy. Those shorts usually involve the reversing portion and the location of engines or metal axles (somewhere in the train) that are crossing "against" the polarity. Glad you are in the party; I like the signals.
  14. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Rough guesstimate?
    About 30 feet more. Shouldn't take too long.
  15. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Ten sections of flex track, no turnouts...Hmmm. :D
  16. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Steve - Thanks! for posting that picture - That will really help me and Rrrr visulize what we plan for the livingroom layout with storage / bookshelves / work bench underneath the layout.
  17. Michael S

    Michael S TrainBoard Member

    OK, I’m game.

    Completed on the layout thus far:
    Shelving built under layout.
    Staging area in and being debugged.
    Some benchwork on both levels.
    Some lighting.

    Work on North side lower level. This is about a 12’ X 16” area.

    The 5 week plan:
    Week 1Install lighting
    Week 2 – 3 Install and paint backdrop
    Week 4 Install benchwork and sub roadbed
    Week 5 Lay roadbed and track.

    Here is the area as of noon Super Bowl Sunday.



    I'd better get going! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2007
  18. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Actually, 4-6 turnouts--I have Crescent siding + house track, and Quartz spur (near Tunnel 17), and possibly Miramonte spur, near T23. I haven't decided on Crags spur near old Tunnel 9 or not. I think I'll skip it. All the short spurs I mentioned were removed 50+ years ago, but will add a bit of interest for storing MOW cars, setting out bad orders, etc.
  19. Cleggie

    Cleggie TrainBoard Member

    Hi Flash,

    Actually the short out problem reared it's ugly head because I made changes to the track. I have made another siding loop for my intermodal yard and this just adds another level of complexity to the wiring.

    I am using switches mounted to the turnouts to change polarity of track blocks and opperate the signals. I will eventually install a reversing modual or two so that I can run trains without having to remember which switches to throw. At the moment I am running on a tight budget and am making do with what I've got.

    So it looks like week one will be spent in spaghetti central:rolleyes: not my favorite pastime as I have to spend a lot of time under the layout.

    Here are a few photos of the intermodal yard. Just enough room for an 8 car stack train. I don't think I will run longer trains as this looks about right running on my small layout.

    Glad you like the signals here is a pic of the Mark II version.

    Cheers, Ken.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2007
  20. Cleggie

    Cleggie TrainBoard Member

    Hemi all I can say is WOW! Totally love your layout so far, looks awesome. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers, Ken.

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