Yet another NP Depot.. Battle Lake MN

rray Dec 16, 2019

  1. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    NP Battle Lake MN Depot. It's a First Class Single Level Combination Depot. This time I am trying something new, a removable structure concept, held in place with 6x3mm super magnets. Lighting will be wired internally to copper tape, and magnets will align the structure to flathead screws templated to the layout so the copper tape aligns over copper tape on a layout for electrical pickup.



    I put supermagnets inside, and used 1K SMT resistors soldered to 1/4" copper tape for the LED's
    [​IMG]

    I will use 1/2" copper tape for electrical connectiosn on the layout and countersunk screws for the magnets to align the structures with. The structure will only have visible copper tape on the bottom to power it's lighting. The board below is just to test electrical.
    [​IMG]

    When the structure in placed on the layout, magnets will hold it properly aligned to the copper layout contacts.
    [​IMG]

    My 3rd NP depot, an NP First Class Combination Freight Passenger depot in Z Scale, modeled after Battle Lake MN. A first class depot just means it's a large enough town that they should provide seperate mens and womens waiting rooms. Men smoked chewed and spit, while women knit and nursed babies, hence, seperate waiting rooms.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a prototype photo:
    [​IMG]
     
    montanan, EMD F7A, Chris333 and 8 others like this.
  2. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    you are smart fellow. good luck with the technical ideas. structure looks great.
     
    rray likes this.
  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Beautiful work!
     
  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Genius man, genius!!(y)(y)
     
  5. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

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    WOW!!!!
     
  6. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Hey nice as always Robert.
    Two quick questions:1 is that the same semaphore from other or did you make one for this separate?
    2. Are you thinking of using that magnet idea for all your buildings going forward? It’s actually a novel concept.
     
  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I will make train order semaphores for all my depots now, because they are easy to make, and use the magnet and copper tape trick for all structures going forward. Then, when I make a new layout or modules, I can re-use them on the next layout or module, and just pull them off real easily. When I die, my kids can sell off everthing seperately instead of just trashing structures with the layout. I plan on making every structure I build from here on out to be as super detailed and as finescale as I can.

    People pay good money for lumpy "2 Gray Bros" structures because they are ready to add to your layout. So I think mine would sell over time. Have you seen Henry Seynaeve's modules at the NTS, He had probably 200-300 of the 2 Gray Bros structures, as well as that many from other sources, on his 20+ ZBT modules.

    So the plan is, I make a building today, but next year I might make some better details, so I can just pull up the structure, and add the new details. Or, just like prototype structures over time, people add a room on here or there, or add a second story, etc. Being able to just lift off the structure and not deal with glue or electrical wires will really help.

    Imagine adding a new building to your layout or module, and not having to drill wire holes, instead just lift off the closest adjacent building, and add a run of copper tape from the existing copper tape, then screw in 2 small flathead philips screws to the layout (following the placement template of the new structure), and plop your new structure on the layout. Electrical done. It lights up immediately. No crawling under the layout, no drilling holes and hope you don't drill into something on the other side. Just add scenery right over the copper tape run to hide it.

    So, if my implementation is good enough, all the other kit manufacturers will follow suit, and it will be a new standard. And guess what, you can make a Christmas Tree layout board with this format, and just take structures off your layout to temporarily place around the Christmas Tree layout board.

    Also, you can make a small diorama or window box to display your latest structure on, then after you grow weary of looking at it, replace it with your newest structure, and add the old one to your layout. The possibilities are endless.
     
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  8. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Crap!! I wish I'd have done the copper strip method on my Columbus Avenue module. I'd have saved a lot of unnecessary wires. Next time. Jim
     
  9. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Will the magnets interfere with the locos? Jim
     
  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    no, the magnets are inside the structures, so the field strength is way too weak to do much more than turn a compass needle.
     
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  11. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    Wait a second.

    Lester WA
    Harrison MT
    Battle Lake MN

    Just how may scale miles of track is your new layout going to be?
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  12. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    What a great idea. You could start a whole new trend. I like it. Jim
     
  13. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    So what I am modeling is only Lester WA to Cle Elum WA. I don't need the other ones, but here's the catch. I have the NP Drawings for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class depots. So I downloaded every photo of every NP depot I could find. The next job is to sort them by class. So what I do is build the "To Drawings" depots up as standards, and try to find a photo of the prototype, then name it.

    These are standard drawings without deviation, however... each and every depot is a little bit different. Since they were designed in the late 1800's, and first photographed 50-60 years later in most cases, they were rebuilt.

    Lester is not standard, after building it, I had to re-draw up the standard. Some are mirror images too. Now that I have the standard drawings down, which is the size of the ticket / telegraph office, waiting room/rooms, and freight room, I can easily look at the prototype, and know which drawing to modify to make the actual depot, and be reasonably close to all actual dimensions, just by a photo.

    Example: Here is the Central Avenue Superior WI depot:
    [​IMG]

    This photo is all I have to go by, so if I want to model it, I look over the lines and see it is the same as the Battle Lake depot, it's a First Class Single Level depot, but it had no freight room, and the windows and doors are mirror images. So now I cut the freight room off my drawings, them mirror image the drawings, (flip left to right) and I know where windows and doors are placed on the other two sides. I am actually building this depot right now, having just painted the Depot Sand color this evening, and will paint the brown bottom tomorrow. I also included the telegraph pole, and the notched roof for the train order semaphore in my drawings.

    So using this tecnique, I should be able to modify my drawings for any wood NP depot.
     
  14. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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  15. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Excellent work Chris, your depot is an Exact mirror of the NP First Class Single Level Combo Depot!

    I can have that drawing done in less than 1 second, by simply flipping my drawings left to right. That is the reason I wanted to get all the base drawings up, that and it's nice to have a larger selection of NP structures than the NPRHA has in ALL TO OTHER SCALES COMBINED!
     
  17. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    Great job! I know just how you feee. Sometimes it seems like you almost have to be a detective. :)
     
    rray likes this.
  18. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    I'm already in line, dude. Let me know when you have an orphan depot for my freelance NPRY :)

    Amazing work, as always!
     
  19. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    To anyone that wants a custom, handmade, finescale not lumpy, built up NP wood depot, not kit, painted in the NP sand/brown scheme. At this time, this winter only, I enjoy building NP depots. This is a $#!t or get off the pot offer. My interests will change as they always do, and I will be on to something else before you know it. I get burnt out easily. :D

    Not including Corel design time or materials, they take about 16 hours of work to assemble, wire, paint, detail, and apply strips of shake shingles. Putting what YOU think a fair value on that is (I am really not that greedy either), I am willing to custom make any NP Standard wood depot including static but illuminated train order semaphore, you want, that you have a photo of, in trade for equal value. I will match the Semaphore blades, window and door arangements including extra long multiple freight doors, and roof corbels to that prototype. Also, since every depot was also a Western Union Telegraph office, a telegraph pole gets mounted on the side of the depot (visible in almost every depot photo), and include 20 more telegraph poles on .065" diameter bamboo toothpicks so you can plant in your layout to make the scene. The depot will have a paper template with markings where to screw flathead screws, where to drill for 12v accessory wires, and where to apply the copper tape, so you can just drop the depot on your layout and test out the removable structure system yourself.


    I will trade for AZL F3's, GP7/9's, or Mikados; Z Maker Brass Shell SW1200's or S2's; AZL NP freight cars; any cast metal Showcase Miniatures vehicles or details or mainline semaphore kits; Micron Art vehicles kits; Miller Engineering etched brass kits; older than 1970 vehicles; FVM or Full Throttle Metal Wheels sets; Nansen Street cast metal details; NZT details; MTL NP freight cars; etched brass chain link fence from Micron Art, Miller Engineering, or N Scale Architect; London Bridge cast metal details; Shire Scenes stuff; Merten or Preiser stuff; Loren Snyder trees; Town Builder resin structures; Randy Brown resin cars trucks and details; or any exotic finescale details of equal value. Nothing modern.

    I reserve the right to change my mind at any time if I burn out, but I will build the depot and post photos first for approval. I'm not selling, I am preparing to build my own layout an or modules, and since I am retired I need stuff.
     
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  20. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Wow! That was fast. Sorry guys, booked for the next couple months.
     

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