Long Island Rail Road in Z Scale

John Bartolotto Sep 25, 2010

  1. zmon

    zmon TrainBoard Member

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    John,
    Very nice to see the good old LIRR come to life in Z scale. I too am a native Long Island boy (Southampton, LI born and raised) and grew up in the 70-80's on the east end. My grandfather worker for and retired from the LIRR in 1979 and spent close to 40 years working as a tug boat captain hauling/pushing barges in and around NYC. I still have his captains license and retirement gold watch. Truth be told the watch is a piece of junk and pretty typical of the LIRR in the the years he retired, but i love it.

    While home visiting my mother a few years ago, i hatched a plan for building a large Z layout of the LIRR featuring as much of the line i could. I dreamed up a room sized layout and even went so far as to sketch a few ideas. With work and life being busy, i unfortunatly let the idea go away. But reading your posts (and i'll admit the same busy life has kept me away from the train web-sites for a while) I was eager and excited about your doing the LIRR.

    Great work, and the custom painting looks great. Thank you for bringing back great memories, and re-igniting my idea of a LIRR layout... Good stuff..
     
  2. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Zmon,

    Contact me when you are ready to start your LIRR and I will assist any way I can.

    Would really love to see any photos you have of LIRR tug boats!

    Yours,

    John
     
  3. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Part III

    Since Aug 10 I steadily built up structures on the layout. If I get 20 minutes per night to work on my layout I’m lucky. This is both a curse and a blessing. Curse because I really wanted to stay in my man-cave longer and work on trains, but a blessing because I have to focus on what I want to get accomplished during each 20 minute session.

    The very first I did was the scratched build the engine house basing it off of a Pikestuff N scale one stall modern engine house and the sanding tower based off of a American Limited Models
N scale diesel sanding tower.

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    I then concentrated on the background building that make up the major business serviced by the LIRR’s Yard A in LI City. To finish the Morris Park Engine Facility area I researched the LIRR’s diesel service pad and combined that with the one I found on page 76 in Model Railroader’s book “The Model Railroader’s Guide to Locomotive Servicing Terminals” by Marty McGuirk. After I completed the service pad I then focused on the engine facility’s concrete base which is an Evergreen styrene .040 sheet scribed with concrete joints, chipped and beat up with cracks and pot holes to look worn, painted it Testors Flat Light Aircraft Gray, then gave it a good weathering of diluted India ink and grayish chalk. The fuel tank next to the engine house is a modified and weathered Marklin tank car. I still need to add numerous weeds and junk around the area.

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    One of the major accomplishments this week was the addition of the control panel with a Z Scale MRC power pack and two Atlas switch selectors which control the blocks on the layout. This is a major accomplishment for me because this is the first powered layout that I can run trains on that I have had since 2000. Let me tell you the Gerd Kurz’s FM CPA-20-5 C-Liner runs sweet!

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    Now that these are complete the next week’s worth of 20 minutes evenings will be spent on the port section of the layout.

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    John
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2010
  4. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

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    Great Stuff!
     
  5. Designdog

    Designdog TrainBoard Member

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    Hello again John,
    Love your industrial layout with all the resin kit-bashed background and the potential water scene! The lift bridge reminds me of the Southern Pacific bridge in San Francisco and the automobile bridges next to it. The SF peninsula is very crowded and all the rail and motorized vehicle traffic is jammed right up next to each other. There was also an SP apron in Tiburon and one in Richmond where freight cars were off loaded. Water and railroads are very exciting to model together
    and the interaction is always interesting because it is all so real.
     
  6. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Part IV

    Over the past few days I've been working on the Dutch Kills water area and the buildings that surround it but I want to post some info on where I got the ideas for the background building that are currently on the layout. Here is the info. I took some artistic liberties in modeling most of these with the main idea that I wanted to get the feel and look of LI City but not be a rivet counter.

    Dentyne / Chiclets factory: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/licity/chiclesouth.jpg

    National Casket Company (in the process of being scratch built): http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/caboose/C54-Yard%20A.jpg

    Sunshine Biscuit factory: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/lirrS1-S2/L448-Sunnyside-LIC-8-13-66.jpg

    A&P Distribution Center: [​IMG]

    Staley Elevator: Bing Maps

    Degnon Terminal 1966

    Adam Metal Supply: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirrmb/adam_metal.jpg

    American Steel Wool: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/lirr%20sidings/americanstellwool_lirr454-457-414LICity10-06-67.jpg

    Morris Park Shops: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/morrispark/wheel%20gringing%20shop.jpg

    John
     
  7. drken

    drken TrainBoard Member

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    Another LI boy glad to see somebody give the ol' LIRR the props it deserves. I also love the port. I want to incorporate one into a layout someday. Maybe I'll do the old Jersey City waterfront.
     
  8. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    I’ve been working on the Dutch Kills section of the layout. I laid down some cork so the track would come level to the buildings in the area that they service. I painted the bottom of the Kills a green scum color to simulate the color of the polluted water in the Kills during the 1960s, which is not much better today Dutch Kills The Newtown Pentacle Dutch Kills, or let the Photos do the Walking The Newtown Pentacle . I used Timberline Scenery Pond Scum Timberline Scenery Co. :: Liquids :: Pond Scum to accurately match the water color. In about two weeks I should have the walls of the Kills placed in and then I will pour the “polluted water”.

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    While I wait for walls of the Kills to arrive I decided to work on the LIRR tug boat “Meitowax“.

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    To create the “Meitowax“ I used the main house and wheelhouse from a Joe D'Amato tug boat and the hull from a Commanders Models, Inc. 4-057 350 US Army Harbor Tug LT 45 LT 45 Army Tug I cut the main house and wheelhouse from the Joe D'Amato tug boat and saving most of the other parts for possible use later. I then filled in the original 13 windows of the Joe D'Amato tug boat with white putty and trimmed down the original wheelhouse roof. I created the new wheelhouse side and roof with Evergreen 0.020” styrene and then put a 0.020” x 0.040” styrene strip around the main house to enlarge the roof of the main house to compensate for the additional thickness of 0.020” wheelhouse. I cut out 10 new windows of the new wheelhouse with a sharp #11 Xacto blade and will drill the two new port holes with a 1/16” drill bit. When I get some time I’ll work on the rear wall of the wheelhouse and new doors and portholes on the main house.

    [​IMG]

    While I wait I am also casting a barge hull to make three different barges.

    John
     
  9. Fred Ladd

    Fred Ladd TrainBoard Member

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    John- neet to see treatment of Joe's tug- It's fun to customize.
    Let me know about your barges- I might be interested,--This is a notch tug--still have to build barge crane-- My-Jack just temporary.
    Fred
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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  11. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Fred,

    WOW that is one great looking tug!! What kit did you bash that and the large barge from?

    My barges will be way smaller then what you have in these photos. Will post dimensions after I cast them.

    Yours,

    John
     
  12. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Chris,

    Thanks and thanks for the vote on the N Scale Limited Great Great Boxcar Contest. First model RR contest I have ever entered.

    John
     
  13. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    So I decided to take a break and work on the walls in the Dutch Kills port as I wait on some decking and railing parts to complete the LIRR tug “Meitowax“ conversion. That is the nice thing of our hobby – there is always something else to do on a layout if you are bored or get into a rut on something you are working on. I decided to start on the stone end wall first before I did either side of the port. I used two and a half #3010 Cut Stone Abutment/Retaining Wall (Small Blocks) from Z Train Things http://www.zscalemonster.com/z_train_things/ I cut them down to size to fit the correct height and width of the end of the port.

    I then took John Cubbin’s advice in his latest editorial on Ztrains.com “When someone posts a great scratchbuilt building, bridge or piece of trackwork in Z, I'll hear a handful of "Attaboy" comments, which is nice. I just don't hear too many... "How exactly did you do that, I'd like to learn" comments.” So here is the “how” of how I painted my stone port wall. Having never painted a stone retaining wall I did some research and found a great You Tube tutorial on painting stone walls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPfR9JD4Zkk Then I just dove in and pretty much followed the instructions in the tutorial but instead of using watered down black paint in-between the stones I used my trusty india ink / 70% isopropyl wash. I am please with the way it turned out. Next is the wood piling retaining wall on the left. I’ll tackle that after Thanksgiving.

    Enjoy,

    John

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  14. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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  15. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Nice project layout John, I love how your projects really capture the look and more the feel of the area modeled. Keep us updated! :D
     
  16. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Looks good, I like the comression you did to get all that in a small area. Well done!
     
  17. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Over the past few weeks between Thanksgiving travel I was able to work on the left side wood piling retaining wall for the Dutch Kills port.

    I used an N scale Model Railstuff Pier Retaining Wall #1350 http://www.modelrailstuff.com/ and cast several pieces in resin. I cut the walls down to size to fit the correct height and width of the end of the port.

    I then painted the piling wall using Dave Frary’s painting seawall techniques described here Model Railroad Forums View topic - Casting scenery components

    I was really satisfied with the results. I have some smaller pieces of the wood piling retaining wall that goes near the bridge which I’ll be working on in the next few days.

    John

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  18. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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  19. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

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    Hi John,
    Looks very realistic.

    BTW: the Alco is on the way
     
  20. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Gerd! Looking forward to running the Alco!

    Doing the scenery on my layout has taught me a lot. I do a lot of experimenting with scrap pieces testing out new techniques I read about before I put it into practice.

    Yours,

    John
     

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