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Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on May 10, 2011 07:05 AM:
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Since I started with this layout, my plans have evolved. First it was about getting things started and running some trains, then I realized I wanted to finish the room (unfortunately around the layout- but that is another story) I migrated to liking more scenery, and so on. Over this time I found I really liked to run longer trains and more running than my current layout could allow. I liked the scenery work I had done (maybe 1/3 done) and I didn?t want to lose the work I had sunk into it. All this had me thinking about ways to expand what I had done, but shift to the approach I was looking for, a new base to grow from.


Here is the basic track play I started with, while the scenery and building placement is not real accurate here, the track plan is what I have been running. I use Atlas track and switches.




Here are some photos taken a bit before I decided to make some changes.













It seemed the sooner I started, the less track I had to rip up (literally in the case) After some thought I looked to move to this track plan, while I expect some changes like adding more sidings for industry, the basic flow will remain the same. I wanted to take advantage of the large wall space I had, and create some peninsulas to break up the viewing angles and set some different scenes.




To accomplish this I had to cut the existing bench work apart, and move the two pieces to create two different peninsulas.







The goal was to keep the existing track work and buildings/scenery in place, and move these to a new location, which turned out to be both harder and simpler than I thought. The separate pieces were much too heavy to lift and drag around the room, and while I had leveling feet, I did not build the bench work with wheels. What turned out to be simpler than I thought was to jack up the bench work and place mover's dollies under it, and once all feet were up, pushing the entire piece into place was not too hard.







Once the existing pieces were in place, I started adding the bench work support structure to tie the pieces together. Construction is with dimensional lumber, mostly 1x4 and 2x4 with a combination of screws and nails to secure it together. I have started covering the frame with �������½? OSB, and that will be covered with homasote. The elevated grade at the back will have homasote on it before I lay cork roadbed and track.
















I think I am about half way done with the bench work. I will post more photos as I make some progress, and of course comments welcome.

5-15 Update

Here are some more photos, I have completed the framing, legs, girders and the cross braces. I have also covered all with OSB sheeting. Next step is the Homasote.

Thanks for the kind comments.












 

   

t8afao
Joined: Jul 23, 2010
Topics: 39   Replies: 64
posted on May 13, 2011 01:32 PM:
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WoW that looks nice. You will have a lot of room to run trains. I like the nice clean look.
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 477
posted on May 14, 2011 09:58 AM:
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Yes, lots of room, and lots of good light. Thanks for the update!

John
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on May 29, 2011 12:05 AM:
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Bench work Construction complete!
Well back at it again, I have made some more progress completing the bench work construction. The entire layout is now covered with Homasote. I have placed this down as the base on top of the OSB. It is also on the elevated sections at the back of the layout. The grade to and from these elevated areas will be a combination of a trestle extension (I will extend the trestle at the back left of the layout to make a curve to meet he back elevated area) the inside track will ramp up using foam. The same type of approach will be on the back right corner where it comes back down.

The homosote is painted with a flat latex paint, a kind of ?sandy ? mud - dirt color? I didn?t do this before, and when I saw the results others had here on the forum I tried it out.

After the homasote was installed and painted, I added wood trim boards around the layouts ? 1x6 dimensional lumber and then painted flat black to match the existing construction.
View from the bottom of the stairs




Harbor area in the foreground right, look back across the city to the left. The harbor will have 2? foam to elevate the pier, I plan to install the next. I have removed some of the supports from the elevated line on the city peninsula, I am reworking that to have a line run beneath it, and then two sidings for passenger cars for a large passenger terminal.




Harbor in the front left, looking at the smaller town and the ?mountain? top ? amusement park on the right.




I have started to stage track and switch?s amongst other things in the yards and service area



Yards to the right, the gap you see is so I can get to the breaker panel behind the framed poster. This will have a few removable bridges for easy access.



Look back at the service area




I stocked up on some conduit claps to star installing for wire management, and while at it I will re layout my central wiring area to get better access to the AIU terminal strips.

Things always seem to take longer than I expect, but I think the progress is OK. I am looking forward to putting the saws away and working on track and wiring next. As always comments and suggestions welcome.
 

   

Glassblock
Joined: Nov 7, 2010
Topics: 0   Replies: 1
posted on Jul 12, 2011 02:03 PM:
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Wow Rich, I am really looking forward to your Harbour Scene. Fantastic
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 477
posted on Jul 13, 2011 10:06 AM:
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Me too!
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Jul 14, 2011 05:20 PM:
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6-12-11 (catching up on documentation)

I have had some travel for work recently, and been unable to get things done on the layout, but I had some time this week to complete a few things. I have mostly been working on laying track, and installing the cork roadbed under it. I generally layout the track first following my track plan, and slide the cork bed under the track. I secure the cork to the Homasote buy using some HO track spikes a simple nails.

The first thing I did was to construct a curved trestle to join the side with the back of the layout elevated tracks.






While the track plan didn�¢??t change much in the foreground with this elevated areas (to be part of the city) I have been changing out the all curves to O 81 or O 90 where I can fit it, and a minimum of O 72. (I previously had O72 everywhere, but wanted to expand while I could)




One of the new areas of the layout is to add a harbor area. This is on a peninsula that is about 8.5�¢?? by 6.5�¢??. I built the bench work lower to provide for the depth of the piers. The loop around it has sidings to provide access to some planed oil storage tanks, and a freight house. I built up the piers using some 1.5�¢?? and 2�¢?? foam. The Lionel lift bridge serves as the entrance to the harbor, and is anchored to some risers of wood attached to the bench work. The back area will have another bridge for the overpass of the track coming from the elevated section on the previous peninsula. This has yet to be fabricated, so I used some MTH bridge supports for the time being.













This view looks back at the small town/city that I had previous stated before I worked on this expansion. This is where the expansion ties into this existing peninsula.













Here is a shot looking back across the layout in the direction of the first peninsula and the stairs.




Next I will be laying the mainlines on the last portion, the new yard and service area on the far wall. Once done with that I will begin wiring.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Jul 14, 2011 06:27 PM:
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7-14-11
Mainline & Yard complete!
First thanks for the nice feedback, and for viewing my progress.
I have been traveling a bunch for work, but have managed to get some more work done. I completed laying the rest of the track and a large number of switches, and complete the base of the curved elevated line. Additionally I have added cork road bed under all the mainline.
Below are pictures of the harbor areas, but to the back is the curved elevated line I extended. In this case like the work I did before, is used a wood piece for support, and cut HO girder bridges turned upside down for the girder look. These were inexpensive, and matched what I did before.







I tied the yard area in with the previously constructed small town and amusement park area. Below are some shots of the cut thru the hill with the future WVCR FM and TV transmission tower, the building is already in place. One of the main lines cuts through here. The next shot is looking back across the dual main line against the back wall, and the connection of the lower mainline to the other side of the amusement park. In the distance you can see the harbor area, and the turnouts that start the passenger sidings for the planed terminal in the city.










This end of the layout has the yards, and engine service facility area. I have to add the turntable, and a bit of track around it, but what to hand fit the turntable, roundhouse, and engine house to make sure everything fits ok before I lay that track. Note on the area in front of the electrical panel (before it was covered with a framed picture) I have made some removable sections. The front mainline will be a removable bridge I will kit bash, the yards will come out as a solid piece, but not be a bridge, and the back mainline will be stationary.










I have started to work on the wiring, and that will be the next step. I will install some wire management, build some terminal blocks for power distribution and have decided to solder the feeders to the track.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Sep 6, 2011 09:01 AM:
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8-19-11
I have been working on an off on the layout, not much you see from the top of the benchwork, mostly under it. I have been wiring or rewiring the track power distribution. Based on some of the posts by others, and especially the one by Alex on drilling a hole in the Atlas track, I decided to use a similar approach. I decided to drill the hole to feed the wire through, but instead of the self-taping screws, I soldered the feeds to the track.



I used a mix of the 14 AWG wire from ORG, and some other 12AWG wire I had for feeders to the blocks. This was wire used for speakers in a large studio, so it, like the ORG wire is a twisted pair, with overall jacket. I used the plastic conduit clamps I have mentioned before to provide wire management.







While I have used the MTH distribution blocks for the lower voltage distribution in my layout, I decided to build some for the track power. I used Ground buss bars from the electrical department of a big box store, cut it in half while my dremel cutting wheal, and super glued to a piece of Plexiglas I also got there. I drilled holes in the corners for mounting screws. And for about $8 I had a nice block.






I have also cleaned up my central wiring area as well, I added some larger conduit clamps to hold more wire, and added a �?�¢??back wall�?�¢?? to the shelf area to mount the MTH blocks. These MTH blocks distribute 14VAC, 10VAC, and 12 VDC to accessories, switches and buildings. I used some Panduit wire on wrap on labels to liable the cables. This type of label allows you to write on the white section and them wrap the self-sticking labels around the wire with a longer clear �?�¢??tail�?�¢?? to cover the part you wrote on, works great to keep track of what things are.













I have also enjoyed running some trains to work out the bugs!


9-4-11
After completing some more track power wiring, I moved to installing my bowser 32�?�¢?? turntable. I have had this in the closet for about 2 years now (I bought it form a forum member �?�¢?? very nice exchange). When I got it home I realized that I really didn�?�¢??t have room on my existing layout, so in a way this was a driver for this expansion. In order to complete laying track in the engine service area (just off the yard) I needed to place the turn table and roundhouse, I feel the rest will fall in around that.
I measures and cut a hole in both the homasote level, and the OSB to support the turntable. Additionally I reworked some of the stringers under the table for support.







Once I had the table fitting in the cut out, it went back to my shop to do some quick weathering. I painted the top to match the "sand/mud" color I painted the homasote with, and stated a series of cement colors on the pit. I also added some grimy black, and added some black ballast/coal around the edges as if it fell in over time. I have the detailing kit, and have started assembly and painting the detail parts. I will add that once I get back to the turntable.












I also decided, based on some of the feedback on the forum to purchase a mill house power upgrade, only wanted to do this once. Once that come in I will update the table and wire it in. The paper template is for a korber 6 stall roundhouse I have to build.

I had also been meaning to install a skirt on the layout, and was unsure of what to do. I had read some posts about using landscaping cloth, so I thought I would give it a try. I have a pretty large area to cover, so although something like table skirting looks great, it would be pretty costly for my room. I did one of the peninsulas in about 30-45 minutes, and I am happy with the results.







As always comments and suggestions welcome.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Oct 11, 2011 10:59 PM:
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10-9-11

In the past few weeks I knocked off a few projects that donâ??t show much. I reworked some support brackets to make it simpler to install the backdrops I orders, and re placed some of the last wiring form the old layout that I still had in use.
I completed the skirting around the layout. Given I had such a large area I needed something cost effective. I used the landscaping cloth, and I am happy with the results. I didnâ??t realize what a different it makes in the look of the layout.













I continue to work on the turntable and engine service area. The first step for me was to install the turntable, and place the template of the roundhouse. With that done I was able to lay the rest of the track for the area. It is accessed from the top of the yard, and has two leads to the turntable, a siding for coal to a tower I plan, and a siding for MOW cars. There is also an area for a two stall diesel engine house I will ad.







On the other side of the layout is a curved trestle area. I spent some time adding more bents, and some cross section supports to the curved part. I placed it with only a few bents to get started, but wanted to make it more realistic with the right amount and spacing of trestle bent supports.







I have removed the turntable bridge, and am adding the detailing kit to it in the work shop. I hope to have that done in a few weeks. I have also started making the base for the roundhouse, and will start to build that.
As always suggestions and comments welcome.
 

   

Mark B
Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Topics: 6   Replies: 28
posted on Oct 25, 2011 02:19 AM:
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Rich, awesome work you have here! Quality work. sure is nice to have those nice long runs! I noticed on yor GarGraves soldering picture above that you soldered a common BLACK wire to each out rail. Any particular reason fro that technique? On mine, for my power blocks every 4' or so I soleder onewire(RED) to center rail adn one wire (BLACK) to the side rail.

Mark B.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Oct 30, 2011 10:36 PM:
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Hi Mark,

THanks for the nice comments. Not sure where I read it, but I have been grounding both outside rails. I run DCS, so that may be where I picked it up.
 

   

Don Masso
Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Topics: 4   Replies: 21
posted on Nov 1, 2011 07:58 PM:
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Looking really good. Your layout and room are so neat!
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Nov 5, 2011 11:44 AM:
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Thanks DOn, I try to keep on top of the mess I make when workign on the layout.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Nov 27, 2011 12:26 PM:
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10-30-11

Here is some work I did to complete the detailing of the turntable bridge. I picked up both the control house, and the stanchions for the e railing form Al at Millhouse River while at York. He has these new laser cut pieces and new brass castings. Very nice pieces, I think they look much better than the stock parts in the Bowser detailing kit.













Next stop is to build the round house. I have the outer walls together, and I am about ¾ of the way thru the wood supports.
As always suggestions and comments welcome.


11-27-11

I have like three projects going, the round house, backdrop and the harbor, all in some portion of completion, I have been alternating between them as I wait for things to dry in some cases.

To start I wanted to have a large roundhouse, I looked at several models, and decided on the Korber. I used the larger of the two kits, the 304, however I was unable to get additional stalls, but I was able to find one of the shorter kits 320. So this is a kitbash of two Korber kits together. I built up addition wood bracing, added a floor, and will add lighting before adding the top.



















In another project I have finally started to install a backdrop. I went back and forth on what to do, was I going to paint one, or would I purchase one, and in purchased, from whom. After some research, reflecting on my painting ability, and viewing multiple people layouts and efforts on the web, I selected some from Backdrop Warehouse.

I went for the higher resolution, 12' by 42" ones with a selection of seven 12' sections that all match to crease a continuous backdrop around my layout. While these are not the least expensive, so far I am happy with the results.



Laser level on top of paint buckets




The back corner was rounded using 1/8â?? Masonite sheet.








To align it, I used an inexpensive laser level from HD, and to attach to the wall, I used carpet tape as suggested by Patrick H on the OGR forum, and it worked well for me. I still have more to do, including finalizing the seams, but so far so good. It really transforms the room and layout. I had guests over for thanksgiving, and received a ton of complements.








The third areas I mentioned was the harbor, you can see some of it in the above pictures, including the tank farm. I have some glass to paint and put down for the water.

As always open for comments and suggestions.
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 477
posted on Nov 27, 2011 06:30 PM:
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Rich this is looking great!
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Dec 5, 2011 11:01 PM:
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12-5-11

Thanks for the feedback John.

Completed hanging the backdrop, I am really happy about the outcome, looks great, and really adds a lot to the layout. I have a cover flush to the wall for the power panel, I have to trim that out when I get a few minutes. The carpet tape method worked really well for me, and I also used a double back tape for the seams a well. A bit of work to hang, but far better than anything I could paint.








A NYC GP9 in the yard on the way to the engine service area



I spent some time on the harbor area. I completed the glass for the water. I used the method Dennis B covers in his book, the aquatex glass painted on the back side with rustolium camo green paint. I think it looks realistic.












A NYC freight makes its way thru are harbor area.

Still more to do, back to the round house soon, I may add some support to the elevated area I got from bridge boss.

As always open for comments and suggestions.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Dec 14, 2011 10:39 AM:
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12-14-11
I jumped to another section of the layout to complete a project that has been on my list for a while; the elevated steel line leading to and from the future city hi rise area. This section started on my layout before I embarked on this expansion, and linked to a kitbashed bridge to make an inside curve around a post. As seen in the photos below.






When I cut the layout apart and moved sections to be a portion of the new expanded layout, I ended up needing to run track under this to accommodate both a mainline and several passenger sidings to be part of the large station. It also had to have a curved section added to meet the new bridge in the harbor area. I have been using pieces of MTH stone bridge support and sections from a graduated trestle set that I had started with before which you can see in the following shots.







While this approach looked ok when I didnâ??t have track under the elevated section as it was before, I didnâ??t like the look it had now. I searched around to find something that would work and look good, and found several solutions from a few suppliers. I met Jim from Bridge Boss at York, and really liked his approach. We discussed what I was trying to do, and I left to go back and take some measurements and placed an order shortly after for some ELC â?? 6.0 supports, as you can see form the chart below, there are a lot of support choices.



Now I want to point out this elevated section is a kitbash I did for the steel girders using upside down HO atlas bridge sections, and I simply added the Bridge Boss supports, they do however have a nice system for elevated sections if you are starting with out anything, I think others including Rich Batista have posted pictures on that. These supports come flat packed and require some simple assembly, one was assembled in the box as a sample. I painted them flat black using the rustolium camouflage paint to tie in with the black girders I used before.






















I am happy with the outcome; I think it looks much better than before. Still more to do, back to the round house soon, and the harbor, the wall will be next I think.
As always open for comments and suggestions.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Dec 29, 2011 12:25 PM:
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12-29-11

The roundhouse is built!

After getting the track down, and turntable installed in my engine service area, I moved on to the main structure that will be there, the Round house. I used two different size Korber kits as additional stalls for the larger one that I started with were not available any longer. I had to build up addition wood bracing at the two kits came with different sized wood.






I built the round house in the shop area for easy access. The kit in built on a ¼ plywood base (it is sitting on saw horses with a piece of scrape OSB as a work table). The interior floor is made of painted foam core. I added LED lights in side, I added some addition wood cross pieces as a way to hold them and run the wires. The wires are consolidated at the front right side of the roundhouse to crease a main feeders for the +12VDC.












Since this was a kit bash of two different sized units, the sections are slightly different widths, this caused for a bit of cutting in the roof windows, and I needed to create a custom roof. I used matt board, and covered it with the fine ballast that came with the kits for the roof cover.
So far so good, now on to installing it on the layout and wiring up the power for the tracks and the lights.
As always open for comments and suggestions.
 

   

Rich883
Joined: Oct 5, 2009
Topics: 17   Replies: 24
posted on Jan 8, 2012 02:37 PM:
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1-8-12

Thanks for the kind words Pops!

Well I have been working on a few projects. I have been meaning to add a drop down door access to the electrical panel area, and while I built the bench work to support this, I didnâ??t complete the task. Additionally I had installed the backdrop over the panel with the intention of cutting it out and attaching to a removable panel.

Here are some shots of the work in progress, and the completed set up. The door drops down to create the opening.














I have a bit more details to fool with, but for the most part I am happy with the progress.
The second thing I was working on was to get the round house on the layout and the track power wired up. So far so good.












 

   





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