N Scale Build of the Delaware, Susquehanna & Northern Railroad

Hardcoaler Dec 20, 2021

  1. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    I see a bunch of wood on that layout laying around, so I will say wood :) I'm guessing that is foamboard under the track? But I have no clue really!
     
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  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    They're scrap 1/2" plywood leftover from the fascia around my train tables.

    Oh, by the way, I found with my foam board that the facing material is paper. This had the unfortunate consequence of absorbing the water-based gray paint I applied to hide its white color and warping the foam board. It wasn't a disaster, as I was able to fold and bend the pieces I'd cut back to near normal, but it brought some aggravation.:mad: Once it gets glued to the plywood blocks, it'll be perfectly flat.
     
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  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, it's 3/16" foam board. It's easy stuff to work with and doesn't make a big mess.
     
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  4. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    The risers with the foam core board look really good. Both of those grades sound very reasonable for the type of trains you are planning on running. Excellent work! (y)(y)(y)

    On painting the foam core, my experience (learned the hard way of course :D) has been that very thin coats will usually prevent the wrinkles or warping but it takes a lot of time an patients to get a good solid coat on them. Sometimes spray paints will work a little better but again, in light coats until covered. Using white glue on it will do the same thing unless you put some weight on top to hold things flat until dry. The good thing is it's cheap so you can experiment on it without too much worry.
     
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  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. I found the same thing as you did, hoping that spray paint would seal the paper facing, but a heavy coat brought warping too. Yep, light coats are better.
     
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  6. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Are your 3/16" foam board from Dollar Tree or are they made by Borden (Elmer's Glue people)? If they are from Dollar Tree, there's an extremely easy way to remove the paper. Just wet both sides in the shower. Let it drip dry and then place it somewhere to dry completely, like the bath tub. As it dries, the paper shrinks and automatically debond from the foam. The large sheets of paper can be used for drawing on, even track planning. The remaining foam is perfectly flat.

    We use the Dollar Tree foam to build small scratch build RC airplanes. At $1 each, it's a no brainer.
     
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  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I'm amazed at the growing number of stored locomotives I'll need to service someday. I think I've mentioned that family and career took me out of much model railroading for 15 to 20 years, and while I stored things well in a temperature-controlled environment, I guess time took its toll. I'm not skilled at working on "modern" N Scale, so I'll need a dose of patience and advice when the time comes. The %@&#*@~ friction-fit body shells are such a frustration for me, so much more difficult to remove than they should be.

    Thankfully, most of the troublesome units run, but sputter and sometimes stall as they make their way around. Curiously, my Katos still run superbly.
     
  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's brilliant @MK -- I'll give that a try on the next section or if I redo a portion. Yes, it's Dollar Tree foam. The manufacturer probably uses starch as an adhesive.
     
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  9. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    In the beginning we used to tear our hair out or destroy our finger nails as we tried to remove the %$#@ paper on both sides. Initially we just build with the paper on until it got wet from light sprinkles (we are die hard pilots!) and then the wings warp! Not good to have an airplane with warp wings! :D
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2022
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  10. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know if you know about the "drop method". It works for about 90% of the locos out there. Truck mounted couplers will not work as you can't "catch" the edge of the shell on the lip of the jewel case.

     
  11. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Whoa @MK , that's great. I'd tried this years back without success, but now see that I was stupidly dropping the locomotive steps onto the box edge instead of the way shown in the video. :rolleyes: Duh. Thanks for the video link!
     
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  12. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yep same thing I was doing at first. Dropping the locomotive on the jewel case instead of setting locomotive on edge and THEN dropping jewel case, DUH! That methods works 98% of the time for me. Good luck with getting your old DC locomotives back to running properly. I also took a 15-20 year break and all was in brothers garage for years and years. Till about 6 years ago I started again, very, very slowly. Until about 2018 when slowly going with cheap DCC stuff, and then I was hooked. Man I love DCC. So much I gave away all my old cheap DC locomotives ( about 6 of them, think Life Like, Bachmann, and 15-30 years old ) recently. And never maintained by me :) Ooops!

    Joke coming, just switch everything over to DCC, you know you want too :) Once again, it's a joke!
     
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  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    :LOL: Yep! I'd make the switch, but I have too many DC favorites. With time, I think I can get most of these back in service at $0. I would really like to get a pair of diesels with sound someday though. I think that would be cool.
     
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  14. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow...
    I just went through your entire thread and can't believe I missed all the great stuff you have done over the past year. Lots of great suggestions and photos which I have never considered.
    Thanks a zillion!
     
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  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I'm reading Appalachian Conquest by Eugene Huddleston, c. 2002. It's a great book and it includes a lot of railroad engineering insights which I always find interesting. Case in point are grades. On the prototype, a 1% grade quadruples the resistance of a trailing load. Add in curves and things get even more challenging. An 8 Deg. curve on the prototype (a 53.8" radius curve in N Scale if my math is correct) doubles rolling resistance of cars on the curve. "S" curves make things worse. Adding locomotives will overcome .... until the train must stop on the grade, losing vital momentum and requiring even more power to get moving again. Then there are drawbar limitations and unique difficulties of handling trains moving downgrade.

    Cool stuff!
     
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  16. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Have made some progress permanently setting my grades and elevated track in place. There's a bit of fine-tuning to do. I wish the curves weren't as sharp (11.1" minimum, most others 12.4") and that the grades were less (2.1% and 2.4%), but my space is limited and as a tradeoff, I gained what should be a nice track plan. My test train of two Kato U-30Cs and a dozen cars runs well, with no struggle whatsoever on the grades.

    Next up will be placing the industrial trackage in the center of the layout.

    2022-05-16 001 DS&N Raised Track - for upload.jpg

    2022-05-16 002 DS&N Raised Track - for upload.jpg

    2022-05-16 003 DS&N Raised Track - for upload.jpg
     
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  17. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I like that shell removal technique. Does it work on F-units? IM, Kato, MT, etc?
     
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  18. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's a good question. I've used toothpicks or business cards inserted along the sides on cab units, but @MK 's suggestion might be a lot easier.
     
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  19. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I see a stub near the power pack that foretells a yard (or industrial) expansion. I've always liked yards with back-back ladders, and this one looks tailor made for it. Having an entire yard like that within easy reach of "control central" is a great feature.

    I also like the lazy way the trains snake their way across the layout on the elevated tracks. A railfan's dream!
     
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  20. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you @BigJake . The open area you spotted will eventually be an engine terminal. I had a similar yard and engine terminal arrangement on a much smaller DS&N RR v1.0 some 40+ years ago and you're right about everything being within easy reach. It was convenient back then and with me now in my mid-60s, it's a necessity. :)
     
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