2015-2016 Eighth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 20, 2015

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  1. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

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    Making good progress on the walls of the inn. The siding is complete on two of the four walls, over half completed on the second short wall, and off to a good start on the second long wall.

    Lots of windows to build yet - haven't started on those.

    2015-12-31 20.08.38.jpg
     
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  2. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Dave! Time constraints will probably dictate that I only have just mock ups. Would love to have some built up however that could change.

    Kind of back to the future here since this took place before the we started the 2016 Layout Party.

    This is module 1, after some research I needed to add a Y as well as a #5 left hand turn out. Here you can see the #5 LH turnout has been installed and the roadbed for the spur has as well. This spur will lead into Rowe Manufacturing and will be extended. Also note that the there is a piece of four inch sectional track on the end along with a slightly different type of roadbed. For all track ends, I use a piece of 1/8-inch hardboard, cut and beveled to match a roadbed profile. Each piece is 1.5 inches long and is butted up to the end of the module and glued. The sectional piece is positioned while two #64 holes are drilled into the ties and through the roadbed then secured with two track nails. This small piece of track is wired to the buss line but isolated to the line. I call this a sacrificial piece. That way if I'm setting up at a show and something snags the end, it will rip out this small piece of sectional track. Easy repair and replacement at a show.

    Better view of sacrificial track piece.

    This is the back stretch of Butler Building. Most of this will be used as a hidden staging as most of it will be behind some of the buildings that make up Butler.

    Cork sheets are laid down now to bring everything up to almost track level. I know, your thinking, why didn't you just lay the track down without roadbed? You'll see when we get to module three.

    Lots of trimming and yellow glue. I'll be glad to get this on module two done.

    Thats it for this week, lets hope Saturday and Sunday are good to me.
     
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  3. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    My winter plans are continuing to roll along. I hope to have some scenery started this weekend and more track laid for my staging yard. [​IMG]


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  4. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

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    Jumped the gun a little bit with this one, but I stained and painted two of the walls of the inn. Normally I would have done this after all four walls were sided, but I had some friends over last night and they were curious about the project, so I showed them a few things, including some weathering and finishing techniques.

    2016-01-01 15.29.52.jpg

    2016-01-01 15.29.39.jpg
     
  5. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Not much more done on the intersection by the Tremont Grain Elevator...just squared up the intersection a little and tested some options for hiding the gap between the 2D (Google Street View picture) street glued to the backdrop and the 3D foamboard street on the shelf. Wasn't satisfied with any, so I shifted gears to work on where the other streets blend into the backdrop.

    At Jackson Street in Morton, I tweaked the 2D pics a little and added some cardboard mock-ups of the buildings pictured to get a little more depth (3D) to the transition. It's definitely better...but, I'm going to let it "simmer" for a while before I actually commit to printing multiple Google Street Views, cutting out all of the buildings, and pasting the individual buildings to all of the cardboard mock-ups. I put more ground foam on the background tree flats, and glued the foamboard street down. Still need to paint the foamboard to better match the gray of the 2D pic and then add lane striping, grade crossing, and crossing gates. Probably won't even attempt any track ballasting.
    To the left of Jackson Street is a back entrance to the Caterpillar plant. Cat is served by the Santa Fe. Planted some trees and grass, still need to add the chain link fence and paint the access road. To the right of Jackson Street is the Libby's plant, which is also served by the Santa Fe RR. Tweaked clearances on the cardboard mock-up a little. The first pic shows the north side of Libby's and also shows an interior view (mock-up) of the Dunlop Tire warehouse in Morton along track at the front of the shelf. Dunlop Tire is served by the Illinois Terminal Company. The second pic shows the south side of Libby's and the cardboard mock-ups of 2 off-line (non-rail) businesses that I added this week. The lower tracks are the IT main and the fake SF main and interchange track.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  6. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    To the right of Libby's and the 2 non-rail businesses is Jefferson Street. This week I did some minor touch-up to the street's transition from 3D foamboard to 2D Google Street View behind the SF track, but spent much more time making cardboard mock-ups of 4 houses and garages and planting trees and grass in 4 yards to the right of Jefferson Street. The first pic shows Jefferson Street at the back of the shelf and the first of the 4 houses to the right. The trees at the front of the shelf hide the fake SF main and one of the IT's interchange tracks, and the IT main and the other IT interchange track are just off the bottom of the picture. The second pic shows the Morton Building structures at the back, the 4 houses in the middle, the partially hidden IT interchange track and main in trees (bottom left), and the IT main and other interchange track on the bottom right. Today the trees and grass by the IT main and interchange tracks were spruced up, and feeders were re-soldered along the IT main and the IT interchange tracks. This coming week, I'll work on Jefferson Street in front of the SF tracks, and on the side streets that go around the houses.

    In the 1970s, Morton Buildings was served by the IT just south of where the Santa Fe crosses and interchanges with the IT. Limited space forced me to exercise my modeler's license and have SF provide rail service for Morton Buildings. On my layout, the Santa Fe tracks run through Morton at the back of the shelf at 50 inches elevation and the IT tracks run through Morton at the front of the shelf at 47 inches. To model the interchange traffic, at the back of the shelf (behind the Morton Buildings structures), I've run a fake IT mainline across the SF main and have modeled 2 turnouts from the SF main to two interchange tracks where SF can pick up/drop off cars from/for IT. At the front of the shelf, I've run a fake SF mainline across the IT main and have modeled turnouts to interchange tracks from the IT main to pick up/drop off cars from/for the SF. The SF and IT roadswitchers simulate interchange traffic by setting out 3 cars on one of their interchange tracks and picking up 3 cars from the other track. For the layout party this week, I significantly modified the existing Morton Buildings structures so they did a better job of hiding where the fake IT tracks disappear to the back of the shelf, and I added 2 more buildings and a parking area in front of the Morton Buildings spur. This pic shows the new Morton Buildings structures.

    This pic shows the SF main running from the upper left corner to the right edge of the pic. The fake IT main appears from behind some trees and Morton buildings at the top left, crosses the SF main, and ends in the trees mid-picture. One of the SF interchange tracks is visible, and a yellow center panel car is barely visible on the other SF interchange track. The yellow car is behind the 2 recently added Morton Buildings. The Belsley Grain building is at left center and the gray Belsley Grain silos are just barely visible at the left edge of the pic. Next week I'll put some more trees in the lower left corner of this pic.

    This pic shows the cardboard mock-up I added to Belsley Grain this past week to hide a 2x4 that supports the upper deck. The silos were already there. I also added about 6 inches of track and soldered some feeders on the other side of the structure to spot more cars here.

    Today I also worked on 3 turnouts that have become unreliable and ended up replacing 2 of them, and soldering rail joiners on the 3rd.
    Next activities for the Party: I'll be returning to Tremont to upgrade my mock-up of the Tremont Grain Elevator and to add cardboard mock-ups of some other (non-rail) businesses that will be near the Elevator. I'll also take another shot at the intersection where the 2D and 3D streets meet.
     
  7. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Worked on the intersection near the Tremont Grain Elevator...squared up the intersection and the Elevator driveway, blended the 3D street into the 2D pic glued to the backdrop, minor tweaking of the tree flats against the backdrop to hide the edges and some white foamboard that wasn't adequately covered, added RR crossing signs and a stop sign. Still have to paint the parking lot, add some planks or rubberized crossing surface between the rails.

    Threw out my cardboard mock-up of the Tremont Grain Elevator and replaced it with a cardstock one (better dimensions/proportions, neater workmanship). Secured the roadbed under the track, added the first layer of grass, but still need to fill in a lot of gaps and abrupt angles before adding more grass and ballast.

    Blended the 3D street into the 2D pic of the street glued to the tree flats against the backdrop. Added a driveway over the tracks to access a non-rail business at the other end of the Grain Elevator. Still need to blend in the road and paint the access road at this end of the grain elevator, add RR crossing signs and one stop sign, and improve the grass and add ballast to the elevator track.

    Today I worked on the scenery at the end of the aisle. This is the "before" pic of the left end of Morton...it will have the Caterpillar plant (served by SF) at the back of the shelf, and RP Lumber (served by IT), at the front of the shelf.

    Temporarily put in some removable unfinished tree flats to hide the P&E and IC main that passes around the end of the aisle at the back of the shelf. The tree flats will probably not be finished until after operating session at the end of January.
    Made a removable gray foamboard base to support the Caterpillar plant buildings. The Cat spur is served by Santa Fe (SF main and Cat siding pass in front of the tree flats). The base hides the tight curve (20 inch radius) of the IT main where it passes around the end of the aisle.

    Made cardboard mock-ups of the Caterpillar plant. Still need to add some vehicles in the parking lot, some grass/trees, chain link fences, and pallets of parts.

    Made cardstock mock-ups of RP Lumber. Still need to make a gray foamboard base to fill in the corner at the end of the aisle and provide space for a parking lot for customers (in addition to supporting the middle building).
    The feeders still need to be resoldered to the repositioned spur, the trees and grass need to be extended around all of the structures, and details, such as vehicles, lumber, and fork lifts, still need to be added.
     
  8. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I got a tone done this past week. Started building mountain and a little track work.


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  9. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

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    Still putting siding on the walls of my Lakeside Inn. Almost done with the last two walls. Won't be much progress this week as I'm off for Vegas tomorrow.

    2016-01-11 19.24.33.jpg
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Uh oh. There goes the hobby money! :)
     
  11. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not much to report this week. Sad that this amount took two nights but laying down the cork sheets takes time....I'll be glad when I can start doing more scenery and structure work which is coming (I hope) soon.

    Been busy in the shop working on this pair...

    Look familiar Dave?

    Work will stop for a bit in a week or so as I head out east to one of my old haunts and favorite train shows, the Amhearst Societies Big E train show. Woo ho, I can finally wear my Patriots jacket and Bruins hat and blend in!
     
  12. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    A busy week!
    The section of the layout I've been working on (Morton, Tremont, Leslie, Allentown, Crystal Springs) is located in an uninsulated and unheated 4.5x35 foot room off our basement and under our unenclosed front porch. It was a fruit cellar before we moved in and I appropriated it along with the rest of the basement for train space. The room has always been cold and sometimes tiny beads of moisture have formed on the cool ceiling, but as the winds howled outside and temps dropped toward zero outside, I felt drafts and noticed LOTS of water condensing and frost appearing. So, I took time out from the Party to use expanded foam to plug up the drafts where they seemed to be coming in between the poured concrete basement walls and the ceiling of the room (which is the concrete floor of our front porch which extends all the way across the front of the house. The 3rd pic shows what the foam looks like.
    32 feet of backdrop on the lower level behind Morton, Tremont, Allentown and Leslie were salvaged from previous layouts, so the blue sky was a different/lighter shade of blue than all the other backdrop panels on my layout...so I repainted the salvaged panels the same color as the other backdrops. You can notice the difference if you look at Morton pictures below compared to Morton pictures in my posts above.

    Morton, Jackson Street has lane stripes and the Caterpillar rear entrance is painted. Still need gate and chain link fence for Cat, and gates and lights for the crossing. Libby's has a painted parking lot and the middle building finally has a roof. The brown building needs a back wall, and the tanks need piping and a chain link security fence. The access road behind Libby's has been painted.
    Jefferson Street has been painted, the 3D street blended into the 2D street on the backdrop, and the crossbucks are up. The lane to the right still needs a stop sign. That lane which leads to Morton Buildings, and the roads on the side and in front of the houses are painted. The RP Lumber buildings now have a foam board support. and on 3 sides the support is blended into the rest of the scene with grass and trees. On the other side of the RP Lumber buildings is I-74. In Crystal Springs, I worked on the CNW overpass over the CIM. Before the Layout Party (actually, since about 2003) The overpass looked like this: But, after this year's party, it will look like this:
    Also in Crystal Springs, I added 2 crossovers to improve operations in Crystal Springs and Daly (near the Corn Products Plant). In the CNW Adams Street Yard, a crossover was added to the yard throat to improve operations. In the PPU 90/91 Yard, I shifted 4 turnouts and the yard lead to improve operations, and I reconfigured the CNW Alley Track and the BN turnout to the BN South Alley Tracks to better represent the area in the 1970s. In the PPU Kickapoo Yard, there are 4 tracks dedicated to the scrap yard: 2 for inbound and outbound scrap metal gons, and 2 for the junk car crusher and shredded metal loading and unloading. These 2 crossovers were added to improve operations.
    On the RI Kellar Branch, I replaced a cardboard road with one made of foamboard with lane stripes, and I replaced the poorly shaped (hand-carved) floral foam Art Deco bridge piers with parts taken from the Walthers plastic Art Deco bridge kit. Where the old cardboard road met the backdrop, the backdrop was repainted, and the 3D road now blends in with the new/different picture of the 2D road on the backdrop MUCH better than before.

    I have several dozen fluorescent lights illuminating my train room and my layout. Part of my preparations this week for the up-coming operating session included replacing 11 burned out bulbs and 3 fixtures where one or both bulbs wouldn't work, even with new bulbs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  13. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I got some plans drawn up for a fire tower I am going to scratch build here in the next couple weeks. Also more rock work done on my mountain.[​IMG]


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  14. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    It has been a little while since I posted an update:

    Benchwork is nearing completion rather rapidly. I have the sections along the wall completed to the future helix location. Granted, I still have to install the permanent brackets for the last two sections on the upper level in this photo, but this is significant progress, nonetheless.
    [​IMG]

    I also have benchwork installed at the opposite wall the full length. Here are the corner pieces; there will be removeable sections across the windows to the left and lift out sections into the attic storage space (and hidden staging eventually) to the right. [​IMG]


    I'll have more details in my build thread: http://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?threads/the-chicopee-road-midland-sub.89373/page-2
     
  15. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    A lot of work has been done, however, not a lot of pictures. Like Module 1, Module two is predominantly covered with cork to allow what will be the concrete slab base of Butler Buildings.

    This view here would be on First Street looking west. The Butler Building complex will be off to your left, with the first structure next to the third track to the left. That ladder track off the "main" goes deeper into the Butler Complex. For the sake of a portable home layout, only the very tip of Butler will be modeled. Buildings and building flats will hide this track. Back on the "main" if your eye follows the track straight west, this track goes further west to more industrial facilities including Maytag. This would give me an excuse to model those cool CB&Q extended height 40-foot boxcars the Havelock shops built.

    What remains here is final trim work of the cork. With both modules 1 and 2 linked, I have a nice even transition like I wanted, almost seamless I hope. I do have one high spot which is the number 3 track and part of Butlers storage track. The transition between modules is slightly high on module two. Fortunately, sandpaper, patience, Earl Grey tea and a copious amount of Zeppelin repairs a multitude of sins.

    I hope to lay the last amount of cork to module 3 over the weekend. Fortunately this module will only receive a small amount of cork for foundations and parking lots as most of the area is just your run of the mill weeds and tall grass. This is where the static grass will come into play.

    I want to have all foundation work done this weekend as I will be away next weekend attending the Amherst Societies "Big One" train show in Springfield Massachusetts. Monster Modelworks produces some nice laser cut, jointed "cracked" concrete sheets that will be the basis of modules 1 and 2. I hope to indulge in a show special as well as pick up his incredible tips of weathering this product. Once home, installation of these sheets will be the next item on the list. My goal is to start my structures and basic scenery by the middle of February as my first show of the year is April 2nd and 3rd.
     
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  16. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    This week I did a whole lot of mountain building. I covered the plaster cloth, painted rocks and the plaster covering. Also painted the foam around the tracks. Next is to do a little ground foam, ballasting, scenery additions, a little scenery clean up of places missed, then call it good and move on to the next section.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  17. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Over the last few days, I've touched up the fascia with some paint, corrected some minor track problems (rough joins, gauge issues adversely affecting turnout reliability) and finally reinstalled 2 Tortoises that had come unglued from their mounts underneath the layout. I've been "temporarily"--over a year for one, and about 6 months for the other--using ground throws, but want the Dispatcher to be able to remotely align most of the mainline turnouts for next week's operating session. I also wore out 2.5 Bright Boys cleaning track in the Eastern and Western Divisions (essentially, the upper deck and 3 of the 4 helixes), and will start on the Regional Division (the lower deck and the fourth helix) in the morning.

    As part of getting the track ready for next week session, I did some more work on the Peoria & Pekin Union Railway bascule bridge over the Illinois River: last year, I had removed the through truss bridge I was using as a place holder from the layout to begin converting it to a draw bridge...and got as far as shortening it by 1/4 and starting to build the rocking trusses. This week, I finished the 2 rocking trusses, made 8 hinges (1 at each end of the 4 I-beams that connect the rocking trusses to the bridge), used card stock to fashion a temporary counter-weight and a motor shed for next week, and painted everything. I still have to make the counter-weight tower and adjust the bridge supports for the shortened bridge, but the conversion is complete enough that the model will be on the layout for the operating session next week.
    I also replaced a deteriorating cardboard mock-up of the Keystone Steel Mill billet storage overhead crane and added a second one. The pic on the fascia is the Google Maps satellite view of Keystone's billet storage area that I used to guide my efforts.
     
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  18. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

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    Finally... FINALLY... Done putting the siding on the walls of the inn. One of the 55 windows has been built, walls stained and painted. Progress!

    2016-01-29 19.07.47.jpg 2016-01-25 19.59.11.jpg
     
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  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You must have a jig created, to build all of those windows?
     
  20. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

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