2021-2022 Fourteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 9, 2021

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    "We know you're out there!
    Yeah, you… and you… and you with the potato chip hanging off your lip and the half-drunk beverage sitting beside you. We know you're not working on your layout as much as you hoped to. "

    Rick Nicholson (Screen name: rsn48) issuing the first Layout Party invitation in Spring 2002.

    Welcome to the 2021-2022 Fourteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party!

    You may have ideas for a new project that you always wanted to try but never got around to.
    Or there is a stack of kits on your workbench you’ve been meaning to start.
    Or you have a partially completed project that has been neglected for far too long.
    Or you have an almost-finished project that just needs some final fine-tuning and attention to complete.
    Or you are already in the midst of a project and you want to participate in the Party to share your progress with everyone else.

    The purpose of the Layout Party is to offer recognition, encouragement, and support to all participants who are working on a layout project, and to provide inspiration to those following others’ progress in the thread. We hope to have a group of people who will post about the work completed on their layout at least once a week for the next 11 weeks. We will, of course, congratulate those who have worked on their layout, and encourage those who haven't.

    This year's Layout Party officially begins this weekend (Friday, December 10, 2021), and will run for 11 weeks until Sunday, February 27, 2022.

    Guidelines for The 2021-2022 Fourteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party Thread:

    1. In your first post, please include descriptions of:
    --your layout (brief),
    --the area of your layout that you intend to work on (“before” pictures, please…if available), and
    --a description of what you hope to accomplish in the 11 weeks of the Layout Party.

    2. At least once each week, post a brief description and/or pictures of your progress--or lack of progress--so far, and what you hope to accomplish in the next week. The object of the Layout Party is to have fun, so plan accordingly: set a reasonable goal...and feel free to revise your goal upward or downward as you go along, so you are having fun instead of feeling stressed.

    3. At the end of the Layout Party, post a description and/or picture(s) of your accomplishments.

    FWIW: Some observations and suggestions:

    • Life Happens. The idea here is for us to have some fun and act as an electronic support group so we can each get more done on our layouts.
    • Make a firm commitment to post at least once each week about progress on your layout project.
    • If you fall off the Layout Party Work Wagon, acknowledge it by reporting it honestly.
    • Then climb back on the Layout Party Work Wagon. Declaring exactly what you plan to work on during the next week will help you get back on the Layout Party Work Wagon.
    • When we have others coming over to see our layouts, we tend to get more done because we plan and prepare better, and then actually follow through so we have something to show our visitors and can garner some strokes for all our efforts. Posting in the Annual Layout Party works in much the same way: we plan, prepare, and follow through a little better when we know someone will be seeing our progress.
    • If you encounter difficulties on the layout project, remember that the other participants and all the TrainBoard members following the Layout Party thread can be a resource for encouragement and problem-solving.
    • If you have any problems posting pics, let us know so we can do appropriate problem-solving.

    Many participants have enjoyed this format and have commented that they accomplished more work on their layout in the short time we ran a Layout Party thread than they had in long time. In the 20 years since Rick Nicholson set up the first Layout Party, hundreds of TrainBoard members have posted pictures, asked questions, moaned about problems, and encouraged others who were working through their own frustrations. Check out these links to our past layout parties.

    2020-2021 Thirteenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2019-2020 Twelfth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2018-2019 Eleventh Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2017-2018 Tenth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2016-2017 Ninth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2015-2016 Eighth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2014-2015 Seventh Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2013-2014 Sixth Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2012-2013 Fourth Annual International Winter Layout Party (Really, it was the Fifth Annual)

    2011-2012 Third Annual International Winter Layout Party (Really, it was the Fourth Annual)

    2010-2011 Third Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2009-2010 Second Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2009 - First Annual International Winter Layout Party

    2008 - Spring Layout Party
    Sixth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2007 - Spring Layout Party
    Fifth Annual International Spring Layout Party - TrainBoard.com

    2005 – Spring Layout Party
    Door Knocker's Delight

    2004 – Spring Layout Party

    2003 – Spring Layout Party
    From Armchair to Benchwork

    2002 – Spring Layout party
    Lonely Heart's Club Band

    Dave H.
    Modeling the 1970s era Peoria and Pekin Union Railway in N-Scale
    Tompm, Tad, Doug A. and 3 others like this.
  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Welcome to the Party.
    Nope! No masks required, just respect for others who may have opinions different than yours.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
    Tompm, Kurt Moose and BNSF FAN like this.
  3. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

    I have seven projects that I would like to work on N scale Boston Mountains Sub Division and HO scale Ft. Scott and Beyond layouts.
    1. Repair the Arkansas River Bridge on module 05.
    2. Refresh module 04.
    3. Refresh module 06.
    4. Refresh module 07.
    5. Finish coal mine on module 08.
    6. Finish sawmill on module 08.
    7. Would like to finish HO scale Ft. Scott Depot.
    Tompm, BoxcabE50, BNSF FAN and 2 others like this.
  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    I want to take a number of photos of rolling stock and structures on my layout to use in PowerPoint slides for a clinic on commercial and custom-made scrap iron loads. Because my camera delights in exposing my poor modeling techniques, never ignores the tools on the layout or the book shelf in the background, and can't pretend the unpainted medicine bottles are industrial tanks or that the block of pink foam insulation is a factory, there are a number of upgrading projects I want to work on during this year's Layout Party.

    In last year's Layout Party, I upgraded two small scrap yards and rebuilt several buildings in the large scrap iron recycling yard, and this summer I finished putting the printed Evans Design Model Builder corrugated sheet metal siding "skin" on the last rebuilt cardboard structure in the recycling yard (the building that houses the sheet metal bundler on one side and the cast iron crusher/breaker on the other side.
    Two sides of the Bundler/Cast Crusher were "skinned" this summer:
    1.For this year's Layout Party, I plan to:
    a) add a printed Evans Design metal roof on that building,
    b) add some signage for the operators to know where to spot sheet metal, busheling, and borings/turnings for bundling, and where to spot the cast iron frames and engine blocks for crushing, and
    c) I want to "plant" the building in the ground, and add some details so it doesn't look like it's floating.

    2. Upgrade the AutoShredder Building in the large scrap iron recycling yard.
    a) Repair(Replace?) covered Conveyor.
    b) Repair the Shredder's ferrous/non-ferrous sorting ductwork and mechanisms, and the open conveyor from the shredder to the covered conveyor.

    I also constructed a 3rd small scrap yard this summer: Speedway Auto Salvage and Scrap Yard.
    3. Upgrade the fence at Speedway Auto Salvage and Scrap Yard from cardboard strip to printed Evans Design Model Builder corrugated fence and mount the printed sheets on stained 8 scale foot high wooden supports, and add a swinging gate over the tracks (which an operator will manually move for now, but which can be automated/animated in the future).
    4. Make removable loads of crushed/stacked automobiles that look like they are "secured" with straps to the flat car floor, but in reality, the load is on a false floor that may be easily removed from the flat car by an operator working in the scrap iron recycling yard. Paint 6 crushed/stacked automobile loads for 3 flat cars serving Speedway Auto Salvage and 2 or 3 stacks for adding detail near the shredder in the scrap iron recycling yard.

    Upgrade the Ingot Mold Inspection Track by the OHF.
    5. Make a 1/2 load and a full load of large damaged ingot molds for staging in a Keystone scrap gondola next to the Ingot Mold Inspection Track by the OHF. (Operators in the steel mill will take any gondola with a full load of damaged ingot molds from the Ingot Mold Inspection Track to the Drop Curve in the Materials Yard for crushing into smaller pieces by dropping a heavy weight on them from a crane.

    Upgrade the Drop Curve area in the Keystone Steel and Wire Mill Materials Yard.
    6. Make two piles of damaged ingot molds for the Drop Curve area: one with very large pieces and one with very small.
    7. Make a 1/2 load and a full load of small (drop-broken) ingot mold pieces for gondolas to take from the Drop Curve Track to the Charging Yard.
    8. Install a cable (thin black thread) in the rail crane that will be permanently stationed by the Drop Curve Track.
    9. Determine if the Drop Curve Crane can be animated with a working electromagnet.
  5. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    Welcome to the Party, Joe.
    Are any of the Boston Mountains Sub modules in this year's projects also part of your beautiful Frisco N Scale Shelf Layout?
    Tompm and BNSF FAN like this.
  6. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    Hi everyone and thank you Dave for starting this year's layout party. I think this will be my 5th one and with no local shows on the horizon having outlets like this are especially important to me.

    This winter I am going to be working on the Carlin, Nevada portion of my layout. The basic bench work sections had been done a few years ago and I finalized the track plan and started laying track in October. There is an 8ft section shown below as well as an approximately 3ft section not shown. As I have done with most of this layout I am building it one section at a time, in this case 2 sections. I do all of the track, wiring, and ballasting, and most of the scenery with the sections sitting on saw horses in the middle of the room then installing it into the layout. On this new 8ft section which will represent Carlin and SP's Carlin yard, most of the track work and turnouts on the east end have been completed and today I was able to run a switcher around to test things.


    Some of the specific objectives I have for the next 11 weeks are as follows:

    1 - All track work completed including painting and ballasting
    2 - All wiring completed including a display / control panel
    3 - Finalize layout of roads and structures
    4 - Complete as least base scenery
    5 - Start as least some of the structures, this will help with goal #3

    Beyond those goals anything else will be a bonus. I don't expect to get these sections installed until sometime next spring or summer. We'll see how it goes.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2021
    Tompm, Sumner, BoxcabE50 and 3 others like this.
  7. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    This is a video I took this summer on the Steel Mill Modelers Convention Boat Tour along the Detroit River. It shows a crane with an electro-magnet repeatedly dropping a steel ball on something behind the trees. If this crane is in a scrap iron recycling yard, it is possible that the ball is being dropped on large cast iron scrap in order to break it into smaller, more manageable pieces before selling it to steel mills.

    On my layout, I am modeling the 1970s era Keystone Steel and Wire Mill. In the prototype's Materials Yard, they had a curved track called the Drop Curve where they used a crane--similar to, but probably a little smaller than the crane in the video--to drop a heavy weight onto damaged ingot molds to break the molds into smaller pieces, which they then recycled into their Open Hearth Furnace charging boxes and Electric Arc Furnace scrap pots.
    One of my Layout Party projects is to model a crane drop breaking the damaged ingot molds from the OHF.
    I plan to modify the crane cab a little and put in a cable (thin black thread), and make a decision about whether or not I can also animate dropping a weight on broken molds, either tethered from the crane boom or from an actual electro-magnet.

    This is a pic of the working model of the electro-magnet that I plan to have under my Billet Storage Crane.[​IMG]
    Instead of 3 magnets, a single magnet may be sufficient for the Drop Curve Crane.
    Tompm, Sumner, BoxcabE50 and 5 others like this.
  8. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

    I'm in. This year, I plan to start building benchwork for the first 4'x8' section of the new layout. Just need to finish wiring my bandsaw and make a belt tightener and should be on my way. Eventually, this layout will move up north with us, but will be started in Marlette.
    Tompm, Sumner, BNSF FAN and 1 other person like this.
  9. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

    1. I am nearing benchwork completion on the second level for my Kanawha, Youngstown & Northern Railroad. The layout is 36’x18’ with two levels and staging at each end.

    2. The main track is fully in place on the lower level and is partially operable.

    A: Complete upper level benchwork.
    B: Build and install turnouts for the classification yard.
    C: Complete layout lighting for the lower and upper levels.
    D: Start track work for the upper level.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Tompm, gjslsffan, Sumner and 6 others like this.
  10. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    I'm thrilled that so many former Party-goers are checking in to this year's Party!!!
    Joe Lovett, Railmix, Brad (NScaleStation), and Pat (GP30) have already posted their goals for this year, and gmorider, BNSF Fan and Kurt Moose have hit Like Buttons.
    I encourage anyone dropping in to this year's party to click on the links to Previous Layout Parties in the first post of this thread and look at the fantastic layouts by these modelers.
    Tompm, gjslsffan, Philip H and 2 others like this.
  11. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Been kind of waffling on joining this year but guess I will with the cavoite that I might miss a week or two since we will have house guest this whole time. Normally that would make me want to spend even more time in the train room but I'm pretty sure I will end up uber'ing them around more than I will want to. With that said, here are some things I want to work on and maybe even accomplish for the winter party in no particular order.

    1. Address the wire management below the layout. It's currently a rats nest of wire
    2. Add a petroleum pump jack scene on the layout
    3. Add a business called Bowel Bros (More on that as it evolves)
    4. Ad a small field of solar panel array's

    Not sure I expect to finish all of these but at least make some progress on them. I'll add some pics as I get a better handle on the plans I have come up with for each of the items. Here's to a fun time! :coffee:
    Tompm, gjslsffan, BoxcabE50 and 3 others like this.
  12. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    "Bowel Bros" ?!? Is this a porta-jon outfit? A plumber? Either way, the poor employees just catch poo all day long. What a crappy job... :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

  13. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    LOL, spot on sir! :D
    Tompm, gjslsffan and BoxcabE50 like this.
  14. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    No problem. I had been away traveling for a week or more during some of the parties I had joined in the past. Not going anywhere this year as far as I know.
    Tompm, gjslsffan and BNSF FAN like this.
  15. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    I'm in again despite the fact that I finally achieved 2020-2021's Layout Party goals closer to this years party than last year's party.

    Goal #1: I'm giving up on my original main layout's track plan and location in favor of a new location and a new track plan. My shop is in two parts with a dividing wall between them. Originally the layout was going to be in the 13' x 32' foot side that is hard to heat in the winter and more closed in and a more depressing area to work in. The larger side of the shop is about 27' x 40' and usually heated primarily by solar heat from the attached greenhouse but it is also easy to heat with supplemental heat. A lot more open but a lot of that is taken up by equipment and a car lift. I did recently add shelves and a train oriented workbench to this side also ( HERE ).


    The fist goal is to get the unfinished Bonneville race car, shown above, and its build table out of the shop and use that area for the layout. The ......


    ... new track plan and layout will use that space. I've simplified the track plan quite a bit and hope that leads to me getting at least the mainline down fairly quickly. Then I could work on the yards, coal mine area and some scenery.


    Goal #2: Instead of using a helix to get to the upper level tracks (10-12 inches higher than the lower level) I want to try and make what I'm calling an 'Elevator Track' section. A train up to 10 feet long would enter the oval on the elevator section and then the elevator would take it up to the upper level. If it works I believe I can have the train raised to the upper level quite a bit faster than traveling 50-60 feet of helix track and also save the expense of all that track. Time will tell if that is feasible or not. Since this is crucial to the track plan after freeing up the area for the layout I'd like to make the elevator section now to make sure it will work.

    Here are a couple pictures of how I envision building the elevator section.




    I've documented all of the above in more detail on my web site ....

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/UP Canyon Division/page-14.html

    I'd like to here from anyone who has done or seen something similar.

    Tompm, BoxcabE50, Joe Lovett and 4 others like this.
  16. Shortround

    Shortround Permanently dispatched

    I have seen one about 16 years ago. The only thing I learned was it was raised by threaded rods. It was just a straight track but he had a lot of room. He and his layout are now gone on to there just rewards. I've been wondering if it would be possible to not have inclines.
    I also saw one that is a copy of what did existing in logging and mining. They would pull one car up the side of a hill sideways and fill it. Then lower it down to the siding. Then add another car. Like a conveyor. Powered by a steam engine. Called a finicular I believe.

    Tompm, BNSF FAN and Sumner like this.
  17. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    OK ready for my first update. After finishing the track and wiring for the track on the east end I have moved on to the west end. Yard ladder is done with the exception of one turnout that is going to be right on the seam between two sections. This will have to be done after the sections are installed in the layout. I am now installing the feeders and then will flip this bench work back into position to work on the wiring on this end.

    Tompm, BoxcabE50, Joe Lovett and 4 others like this.
  18. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    My Party goals 1-9 posted above are layout up-grade projects to improve the pictures for my scrap iron loads clinic. This week, I've been working on up-grade projects to improve pictures for an article on modeling ingot molds...and when I checked my list of Party goals to see which goal number I had worked on, I realized I hadn't included any of the projects related to the ingot mold article in my Party Goals post.

    Upgrades for the ingot mold article:
    Mold Shed
    10. Ballast all the reconfigured track arrangement near the Open Hearth Furnace and Billet Blooming Building.
    11. Replace the warped cardboard walls and roof of the Mold Shed with sheet plastic and resize the replacement to accommodate the reconfigured tracks; use Evergreen girders for the support beams and trusses, and test using magnetic strips for securing the Shed to the walls of the OHF, so the shed can be easily removed for track cleaning.
    12. Modify the existing file in Evans Design Model Builder to print out siding and roofing for the Resized Mold Shed, and secure it to the plastic walls and roof.
    Heater Box
    13. Trim the height of the Heater Box so the removable roof of the OHF fits all the way down on the walls again.

    The Brick Shed sits just outside the south entrance to the OHF and sometimes is in the background for pics of the Mold Shed. Although this 3rd version is only a year or so old and is the best one yet, the cardboard and card stock has warped.
    14. Shore up/straighten the warped cardboard walls and card stock roof of the Brick Shed with plastic or replace them with plastic.
    15. If total replacement is necessary, add a ramp for the forklift from ground level up to the boxcar floor height of the Brick Shed floor.

    Ingot Mold Buggies
    Over the past year, I mocked up some ingot mold buggies, and this summer settled on a final design that I'm pleased with. I've made 2 buggies so far...out of the 30 that I'll ultimately have on the layout. For the article pictures, I will need at least 6 buggies.
    16. Develop some jigs so I can streamline the ingot mold buggy scratch building process.

    Photo Dec 13, 5 30 52 PM.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Tompm, Joe Lovett, RailMix and 6 others like this.
  19. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

    Before accomplishing goal #1 for completing the upper level benchwork, I have to jump ahead and work of scenery in the deepest part of the layout (42”) behind the roundhouse and engine service facility. Much easier to access this section BEFORE I put the upper level benchwork in.

    The rock cut idea was stolen from someone’s experiment on the MRH forums a few years ago. Bark from an old tree on my property was dried, the attached to the foam board scenery base. I’ll give it a natural earth brown wash when this phase is complete.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Tompm, RailMix, BigJake and 3 others like this.
  20. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, not a lot done for week 1 of the WLP. This is one of the two areas that I am starting with.

    While I know it's not a bad thing to have empty space, this particular spot just hasn't felt right being empty.

    So, two of my projects this winter will go here. I have a pump jack that was on the edge of a farm field on my old layout but had not found a home on the JPT Sub. Well now it will have one. I dug it out of the leftovers and parts box last week and spent a little time working on it.

    I cleaned it up and reattached some loose parts and test fit it to the spot I think it should go in. Still some more work to do on it before it's really ready to mount. Think I may already have enough fence to go around it. Then maybe a couple of small vertical oil storage tanks next to it? Nothing that will overwhelm it I hope.

    The other small structure from the leftovers box is a Quonset hut that was the office for a small scrap yard on the old layout. I am now repurposing it as the new corporate headquarters of the famous Bowel Bros Plumbing, Sewer, and Port-a-Toilet rentals. Still need o work out the positioning of the building and then parking and rental unit storage :D

    I've got a starting point for scratch building some rentals but it may be a bit harder than I was thinking. This is one of those projects where a 3D printer would really come in handy!

    Like I said. Not much but it's at least a start. :)
    Tompm, BoxcabE50, RailMix and 4 others like this.

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