Jan 3, 2012
And you have problems with this doublesided tape for traction? No track residue?
No, I have no problems with the tape. No track residue whatsoever. What happens is that the tape picks up dust and dirt from the track; eventually it gets coated with it, but that doesn't seem to affect the pulling power - it just turns the tape black.
I have been using this technique, learned from John, for nearly 6 years and only occasionally replace the tape. It is extremely easy and John is a great teacher of all of his techniques, including putting decoders and sound in these Lifelike Berks. I had never done a decoder before.
Amazing. I'd never heard of this technique. It is fascinating how folks come up with such ideas.
I just stumbled on this thread, through Google while looking for pics of Bellevue roundhouse. You have done a fantastic job with your layout. One minor point to consider is that the Bellevue roundhouse/yard, had houses on both sides of the track. You might consider putting a photo backdrop of residential housing on your backdrop.
I had completely forgotten I even posted this thread. The layout has come a long way in a couple of years. Here are a few more photos:
Cabooses lined up on the caboose track for the EB Yard (the 1000 series cabooses are 3D printed from a project I commissioned a couple of years ago; alas, they are no longer available):
EB passenger train #6 stopping at the Lorain station:
A trio of GP9's lead a train over the Rocky River Viaduct:
Berk 759 heads a train rolling WB past the Rocky River station/freight house:
Part of the steel mill complex east of Lorain:
Nice articles in the new Ntrak Steam annual! That layout of yours sure does inspire a guy to get something done.....
John, one of the biggest contributing factors to the realism of your layout is how well lit everything is. So many put so much effort into scenery detail and still don't capture half of the realism yours does because they fail to light everything properly. Jim Riesling's layout is another one that stands out for its natural looking lighting.
Thanks again. I'll have a couple of additional articles about sound in this year's Ntrak Steam annual.
As for lighting, yeah, there's a LOT of light in my layout room. I have 8 75-watt-equivalent LED floods for general lighting, plus about 25 can lights on tracks to light individual scenes. Each of these cans has a 50-watt equivalent LED flood. So that's a lot of lighting, made possible in large part by LEDs, which only consume about a tenth of the wattage of standard incandescent bulbs. If I had standard bulbs in all those, it would be a tanning salon, not a layout room, and I'd need an air conditioner going all the time! All the bulbs have a 3500K light temperature, which I judged more natural than a typical 2700K "warm white" bulb or the very stark 5000K "daylight" bulbs. And since modern cameras can adjust white balance as needed, the light temperature isn't an issue. I was a bit concerned about color rendering by the LED bulbs, but it has proven to be OK.
By the way, here's the current construction going on: the National Carbon plant at Fostoria. The buildings for the plant are essentially all scratchbuilt (I'd say kit-bashed, but in fact kits simply provided some convenient wall parts). The buildings were fabricated as "kits" by a former member of our local N scale club who now lives in Bellingham, WA. He sent the fabricated kits to me for painting and assembly. The photos below show an arial shot of the plant in the 1950's, with the area I'm modeling outlined in yellow; then two photos of where things stand today.
This is the last major scene on the layout to complete; when this is finished, the basic scenery on the layout will be done, and then I'll need to start adding various details to scenes - more vehicles, people, junk at the industrial sites, smaller buildings and piping in the steel mill, etc.
Very nice John.
Staying cool and having fun with it...........
Hi, John. Wow that looks great! I find the National Carbon very interesting since I worked many days and evenings in the Blair yards as a summer fireman during the mid sixties. It was then Union Carbide and I would spend hours going back and forth looking at that plant and decided that i wouldn't want to work there. Of course, my first job offer out of college in 1968 was at that Union Carbide Plant and it was even more dismal inside where thay made carbon brushes for electrical motors. It was obviously much bigger in the sixties.
I didn't realize you had worked at National Carbon! Most of the buildings I'm modeling (the South Plant) are now gone; the big furnace is still there, but the Pump House on the west is gone, as is the water tower and that weird open tank. The Forcing Mill buildings are all pretty much gone, as is the long building that was along the NKP spur line into the plant. The plant had a LOT of traffic in and out during the 1950's; there's still a rail spur that goes to the plant's south side, but I don't know if it is used for much any more. They still make carbon motor brushes there, though - in fact, they are one of the few places worldwide that does this, and they are now owned by a company (Morgan Advanced Materials) headquartered in the U.K.
The folks there have been kind enough to send me old photos of the plant, and new photos of what's left; that has been invaluable to this project. I think this scene will be pretty impressive when it's done, but we're still a few months away from that.
Actually,I didn't take the offer from Union Carbide and after evaluating 9 other offers and working on my MS at OSU i went to GE in Cleveland where I worked on High Pressure Sodium Vapor lights for 2 years, reducing the raw material cost form $10/lb to $1/lb and taking the process for the ceramic arc tube form a pilot plant to a manufacturing operation. Then I moved to what is now known as CoorsTek in Golden Co, drastically different from Cleveland in the late 60s.
Haven't done much on my layout recently but working on the South Lima yards now!