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Danielb
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Afternoon everyone!

With my HO Scale Exhibition layout now mostly finished (except for about a million jobs on my to-do list, but what layout is ever finished, right?), the attention of myself and my co-conspirator Ford has turned toward our next project, and the first truly 'joint' layout - this time making use of all that O scale stuff I've been hoarding for a few years.

The working title of the layout is West Box Street (please someone help me think of something better!), as a nod toward my previous layout, as well as the trackplan, which is a modified version of Shortliner's Box Street plan.

The idea is yet again a heavily industrialised urban area somewhere in the South East of the USA. Georgia or Alabama, maybe? That's still to be decided on.

As a departure from my usual slapdash approach to layout construction, every aspect of this new layout is going to be planned from the ground up from the start. Ford insisted on it, and I don't blame him, going on my track record! :D

This will need to be bulletproof before the first piece of wood is cut.

A trackplan has been settled on, and thrown together in SCARM to check clearances. All track is going to be handbuilt, and will follow the "FUnitMad" approach of tracklaying for that added realism.

Here's the trackplan:







The intention for the layout is to have full lighting, sound, and animated features, and Ford has even been kicking around the idea of an automated (or not) Day/Night cycle to make exhibitions even more interesting.

Whilst the actual construction of the layout is looking to be a while off yet, we've both started working on various other aspects of the build - I've begun work on rolling stock and structure projects, and Ford has been working on the lighting and using Arduino to animate doors, roller shutters, etc.

Photos and videos will follow of progress as and when there's something worth showing. :)

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Nice to see someone else working in 0 gauge Daniel.  Look forward to seeing progress.  I will shamelessly steal ideas.

John

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I don't understand why 2 rail is so unpopular in the USA? I mean, over here we have Hornby Dublo and the like (essentially Lionel type trains but in OO/HO scale), but that is mostly a forgotten medium outside of serious collectors. I don't see the appeal of the unrealistic looking trains you get in 3 rail O scale.

Previously I mentioned I'd been working on structures and rolling stock projects, well - here they are:

My first ever O scale structure kit build - Clevermodels Small Brick Machine Shop. Well it's certainly not small in O scale!!! :D








Now, seeing as it's hard to find O scale 2 rail in the UK, and considering how expensive it tends to be because of it (£90 for a 3 bay covered hopper? Jog on!), I broke out the artist mounting board and balsa wood, and - working from official Southern Railway freight car diagrams - came up with this:








The car sides are artwork made from actual photographs of Southern boxcars, skewed in Photoshop and printed to scale. I've got the doors, roof and end walls ready to cut out and apply. :)

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Looking good Daniel, your building looks like it uses Scalescene methods.  I've built a few in 0 gauge.  Great to see you scratchbuilding cars - I like it.

Fine scale US 0 gauge doesn't seem to be prevalent here (I'm sure people must do it).  I been to quite a few shows here and, other than Lionel (ugh!), I can't recall seeing any 0 gauge.

John

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"I don't understand why 2 rail is so unpopular in the USA? I mean, over here we have Hornby Dublo and the like (essentially Lionel type trains but in OO/HO scale), but that is mostly a forgotten medium outside of serious collectors. I don't see the appeal of the unrealistic looking trains you get in 3 rail O scale."

Hi Daniel,

It's not. There is a clear distinction between High-Rail O-gauge (3 rail coarse scale) and O-Scale (2 or 3 rail fine scale). MTH's 2-3 O-Scale range has convertible trucks that operate with either 2- or 3-rails, and Atlas' O-Scale range (they took over the Weaver tooling) comes as either 2 or 3 rail operation. Nothing unrealistic about the locomotives or stock. Plenty of used fine scale O around as well - eebygum has about 125 2-rail locomotives at the moment. And it's easy enough to convert most 3 rail O-Scale locomotive to 2 rail operation. Most modern O-Gauge looks unrealistic because it sits too high -  take it down with decent wheels and it looks a lot better. Get rid of the third rail operation and it actually looks very realistic.

That price you are seeing for a new boxcar is pretty good - a new Atlas Master O-Scale 2-3 boxcar is nearly $70 from my local box-shifter.

Why the perception that it's only 3-rail O-Gauge? Blame nostalgia, Christmas trees and the market (there are plenty of customers). O-scale is a different market.

Nigel

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I guess it's likely the lack of exposure to actual layouts in O scale 2 rail in the model railroad press. We just don't see it over here.

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Hi Daniel,

Not common in Eastern Canada, but in this area quite common. Think OO:EM/P4. Two layouts at the show I went to recently. One O-gauge (high rail), one O-scale. Biiiig. If I had the space that's what I would be doing. My daughter-in-law offered me the use of her back yard for a layout, that would suit O-scale equipment.

Nigel

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Hi Daniel

That's nice modelling.  :thumbs

I'm modelling OW5, which you can find in the link to Port Elderly under my signature.  O is anecdotally a scratch builders' scale, but I'm finding a lot of help on an O forum . . .

 http://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/

Danielb
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It's certainly an oddball scale in the USA, at least from the exposure that we get to it over here in the UK.

I don't know, maybe it's because O gauge in Britain is by and large a finescale type affair - the height of realism.

On the subject of scratchbuilding, I'm going to start working on some pallets from wood later this week I think, see how that goes.

Back to the layout, Last night showed a small amount of progress on the Southern boxcar.

I'm not 100% on it at the moment, but I've just got to have faith and soldier on, once the definition is added to it, and it's weathered up, I think it'll look okay.

Let me know what you all think...




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Hi Daniel,

Nice work as usual, but you've jumped up to (or into) O scale. Adding some rivets and real ladders would I think improve things enormously. In 1:48 1" is  0.54mm, very noticeable.

I don't know whether it's the printer or the camera/screen/image massaging, but it looks like the printing was done at a lowish resolution on an inkjet. At this scale it might be worth getting them done on a laser printer. That way you'll avoid the bendies from a water-based ink. I like the way the depressions in the sides were reproduced. Instant weathering as well depending on the original.

Have you consider using decals (transfers) for the lettering and rivets? Tichy Train Group does an impressive range of O-scale freight car decals (236 boxcars). $6 each. Cheaper than a boxcar on the postage.

Nigel


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Yeah, the printouts weren't great. Normally I use a big high quality Kyocera laser printer, but it was down for repairs at the time, so I had to settle for a slowly dying HP printer which has zero toner in it, and a busted fuser unit. :(


I definitely wasn't too happy with the printout quality of the boxcar sides. As such, I was happy to see that the big laser printer at work has now been fixed and is working again, so I've re-printed the sides and will redo that. :)



I'll be adding a LOT more detail onto the model as it progresses, the last set of photos were just a progress update. I've got staples to make the grab irons, brass rod to make the ladders, etc.

It'll be getting fully detailed up. I'm going to have a go at making some brake wheels and such too - for the car ends. :)

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Hi Daniel,

Brake wheels? How many are you planning on having (and which type) :lol:? Don't forget the coupler levers. At this scale detail becomes important - it's highly visible.

That cut-down ladder means it's after the roof-walks were taken off. The brake wheel would have been moved down along with the air valve and stand.

Nigel

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Trust me, I'll need to make a good few!

I'm bound to mess up a few of them in the process. :D

Last edited on Fri May 12th, 2017 04:56 pm by Danielb

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Sorry for the lack of updates to this thread, I've been working on my HO layout so I've not had the time to post my latest work on my O scale projects.

I've progressed the 50' boxcar some more; fitting the door runners, adding definition to the roof and starting work on the ladders. I've also developed the underframe, though that's not yet finished - it needs air tanks and other details.

What I have done is start working on some pallets and oil drums to add to the inside to simulate a load. A lot more work to do there too.



Finally, I started work on a Quality Craft Models kit of a bulkhead flat car. Having never built a freight car kit before, I'm really impressed with these wooden craftsman kits, and I'm enjoying the build so far.



More to come as work progresses. :)





Last edited on Wed May 17th, 2017 06:04 pm by Danielb

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Not much of an update today, however I have both a progress report and a bit of news.

Progress report first...

I've spent some time working on the QCM Bulkhead flat kit - now it's actually starting to look like a freight car now! :)





After I took these photos, I've added some Kadee couplers to the car, and permanently attached the trucks. Hopefully there'll be some updated pictures later this weekend.

Now, thanks to Neil at The Little Layout Company, I've traded a Kato, HO scale U-boat which is surplus to requirements, for 5 freight car kits of various parentage:







They might be bordering on the old considering the layout will be set in the 70's, but I'm thinking of Shortline patching them and seeing what happens. At least one is getting turned into a B&A style woodchip hopper. :)

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Progress on Piedmont Blues has stalled temporarily, but the layout was always intended to be a slow burner, so we can get it 100% bulletproof from the get go.

I'm currently awaiting arrival of a new 3D printer, so I'm going to be spending my time experimenting on printing detail parts, truck sideframes, etc. :)

I found a free download to 3D print an EMD SW1500 on GrabCad that I am going to have a go at. I've got a couple of old diesel trucks that could provide the wheels, then it'd just need motorising and away we go. :)

Lots of cool things on the horizon, for sure. If I can 3D print my own window frames, I'll be doing that too.

The possibilities this opens up for us is simply massive.

Danielb
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Just a quick tweak to the layout for anyone who has been following it, I've decided to set the layout in 1965 rather than the 1970's. The reason is threefold.

Firstly, I always set my layouts in the 1970's, so thought I'd shake things up a bit.
Secondly, I want to use all the 40' cars I've collected over the last month (approx 8 boxcars and three shorty covered hoppers).
Thirdly, my road power is a Weaver RS3 in Southern tuxedo green, and a GP35 in tuxedo black. The GP35 was introduced in 1963, and the green tuxedo disappeared throughout the 60's. This will allow me to use the RS3 as is and not have to repaint it. :)

Today, I've been working on a Weaver kit of a NYC 40ft boxcar I got from Neil at The Little Layout Company.

First up, some prototype photos of similar boxcars I'm using for inspiration:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1711787

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2385901


Now, here's what I started with:




After assembling the kit, I gave it a blast of dulcote equivalent, then faded the car with a wash of watered down acrylic paint - a mix that was slightly whiter than the stock NYC Century Green scheme.




Once this was dry the car got another blast of dulcote - in fact, it gets one after every layer of work is finished. I then added a wash of brown in places to give a base layer for the weathering.




After this, the dirt was built up using various blends of black, brown, orange and red pastel powders. Once I was happy with the result, I sealed it with dulcote, then gave the whole car side a application of white pastel powder to tone the whole car down.




Next, scratches and dings were added using brown acrylic paint, working as always from the prototype photographs..




Finally, for now, the scratches were all haloed using burnt sienna oil paint in a very light application. After this, rust streaks were added in a similar manner. Dab on a little paint at the main point of concentration on the real car, then repeatedly drag the paint down the car side to create streaks.



Next comes the roof and car ends, which I will document in stages as I have done here so far. :)

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Hi Daniel,

Looking the business for a short line car short on life and maintenance and not used in interchange revenue. Those ladder holes on the right to the roof walk got me thinking. The ICC ruled in 1968 that roof walks were to be removed by I think 1978 and the hand brake wheels lowered, although a few boxcars still had them in place in the late 1970's (later in Canada) but with the ladders removed or a short half-ladder to assist in switching. If you're modeling in the 1970's or later it's an important detail. Which then got me thinking about another other detail oft forgotten - those brakeman hanging on for dear life during switching. Somebody has to put the brakes on when loose switching or throw the coupler trip lever. At least they didn't have to run around on the roof walk. Add a transfer caboose (used to ferry the brakemen around), often made in the shops from an old B-B diesel chassis with a deck and a boxcar body (they're still around today), makes switching a bit more of a puzzle, but another detail often forgotten.

Found this on http://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html#gallery[pageGallery]/4/

Photo is by Rob Kitchen, who owns the copyright. Reproduced here solely in the interests of research and education (legal stuff). The bent ladder bottom on the side at the bottom is interesting, presumably a modification to give more boot room when hanging on the side directing the engineer. Plus the different heights of the side and end ladders from when they torched them down.



Nigel
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Danielb
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Cheers Nigel, that's an interesting photo if ever I've seen one!

The ladder isn't attached yet, I took it off to make weathering easier. I've still got a long way to go with this beast before it'll be done.

The layout I think will be set in 1965 now, as it'll allow me to use my Southern green tuxedo RS3 and my new Southern black tuxedo scheme GP35 without having to repaint the RS3.

So the ladders will be in their original state, and the roof walk will remain.

I'm tempted to add a removable brakeman figure to the cars when switching though - maybe fit magnets to the cars and attach him that way.

Interesting idea, thank you for the inspiration.

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Lovely weathering job Daniel.

Phil

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Cheers Phil. Hopefully this daylight shot will show it off better:




After much head scratching due to some incorrect instructions in the build manual, I've managed to get my 3D printer built, set up and working. I've still got a LOT to learn about it, but after a couple of attempts at calibrating it by printing an N Scale coal car (none of those worked, and I had to take some of the printer apart and put it back together to get things working), I've managed to print out the cab from an EMD SW1500.

I've got the files for the rest of the locomotive, and I'm planning on trying to build a working switcher from it, as it has so far cost me pennies for the printing material. If I can successfully do so, I'll have instantly justified the expenditure on getting the 3D printer! :)



For the technologically inclined, I would most definitely recommend getting a 3D printer. I'm loving it already, and I've barely scratched the surface.





As you can see, there are currently some quite pronounced printing lines on the model, and some places will need filling in where the filament didn't extrude correctly. On top of this, the tops of the windows aren't great, as the heated material didn't cool fast enough to keep a rigid shape before it set. This is a known issue with printing in PLA on some of the cheaper printers, but there's a pretty simple fix - fit a shroud around the extruder heatsink that directs the cold air from the cooling fan down and onto the extruder nozzle, which will cool the material faster as it leaves the heated nozzle.

I don't think you can buy these shrouds yet, however the great thing about the 3D printing community is that they tend to just 3D print their own solutions! Someone on one of the forums for my model of printer designed and uploaded the files to 3D print your own shroud, so that's next on my list of things to print! :D

If I was excited about the possibilities of the printer BEFORE I got it, now I'm truly over the moon. Once I've got it figured out, I'm going to 3D print soooooo much stuff! :D

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As I've been showing off the 3D printed loco cab, I thought I would show the motive power for Piedmont Blues, starting with Southern Railway #2132.

The only photographs I've found of the prototype locomotive are from AFTER it was repainted into Tuxedo Black. As such, I'll be using reference photos of other RS3's in the green scheme to weather this locomotive up to the wear and tear typical of the locos in the run up to the repaint program.



I am going to try and find out as much as I can to turn the model into a Southern prototype, as I'm sure there are variations from the "standard" ALCO locomotive, as is usually the case. :)

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Hi Daniel,

There are some Alco RS's in green and white here http://southern.railfan.net/images/archive/southern/alcos/alcos.html

Green and white went to the tuxedo black and white in 1958.

Nigel

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Yeah, I'm holding out that - on my layout at least - one lasted until 65 :D

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Hi Daniel,

Always one tucked away on a branch that avoided the paint shop. Rule 1 applies of course.

Re the 3D printing - I'm intrigued as to the cost effectiveness (or how many loco bodies before you're in the black). I did the calculations - for me (where the need is very sporadic) it's cheaper to do the CAD and send it off and have it printed on a professional machine or just buy it off the 3D clearing house. I know you're using a freebie CAD file, but if you factor in the cost of a decent CAD license (and the time to learn how to do it)...

Throw in a slug and the pair will really look the part.

One thing that struck me is that those coarse jets would be ideal for making leaf springs.

Nigel

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Well, this cab was a "test print" I made. I need to calibrate the printer - which there is apparently a built in tool to do so on the printer Firmware, though I didn't know.

The benefits of instructions in Chinese, I guess! :P

I also need to faff around with the layer thickness and such, to avoid the rough surfaces.

A friend of mine has a very similar printer to what I have, and his can print essentially smooth surfaces.

So clearly I need to have a play with the settings some more, and have another go.

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Hi Daniel,

No criticism intended. It would just make very realistic leaf springs at the jet setting your using.

Layering shadow after sanding (plus those voids that will need filling) and variations in surface level is well known in 3D printing, be prepared to spend 2-3 hours per piece getting rid of it (in reality minimizing it). Even when primed and painted it's often still there in the right light. Not an issue for small parts, but you're up in the "Senior Scale" now where these issues will be very evident. You can loose a fair bit of material getting rid of it, which can be an issue for multi-part models (loose fit). Something most folks don't make allowance for. Layering shadow also appears to be highly dependent on the thermoplastic used, which will determine whether you will need to use a surface finisher such as a sandable filling primer. Must be a technical reason for it, probably related to temperature differences and cooling rates. Beyond me.

The course I attended on 3D printing where the emphasis was on finishing the project, not printing it (nothing more boring than watching a 3D printer in action) was useful in realizing this. Plus the fact that it's not worth the trouble trying to print small details (especially handrails and rivets). Add those afterwards.

Chinglish? Blame Google Translate.

Nigel

 

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No criticism taken! I'll be the first to admit that I've a long way to go with the 3D printer! :D

I've got a friend who is going to run me through the basics that he did with his, to get a good jumping off point for the printing.

Beyond that, not a lot of progress on PB recently, as I've been arranging for the sale of West Allen Street, and planning on a 10' N scale layout I need to build for the Derby NMRA meet in October.

That said, through bargains from Nick, Jason and Brian - as well as whatever I found on the trade stalls - at TVNAM this last Saturday, I came away with the following for the O scale fix...

Trucks, wheels and couplers - LOTS OF THEM! :D






Tank car parts:






Hopper car parts:






A brake wheel assembly:



A free copy of O scale Trains magazine - thanks Jason!



An Atlas signal tower:



A free plug door boxcar, minus wheels and couplers - again, thanks Jason! :)



A Pecos River Southern double door boxcar:



An Atlas Central of Georgia boxcar:



An MTH 2-rail converted Great Northern Tank car:



And finally, an Atlas high nose GP35:


I now have enough spares to fit all my freight car kits and boneyard cars with trucks and couplers.

Lots to do! :D

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Good news! There's been some progress on PB over the last couple of weeks.

I've been looking into Dead Rail/Bluetooth control for the layout, and have decided to have a go and test out a BlueRail Trains "BlueHorse" board. I ordered it last week, and it arrived a couple of days ago. I'll have a go at installing it into my Weaver RS3 sometime next week, I think. I also ordered some laser cut structure kits from Kitwood Hill, which should be here sometime next week. :)

This last week I went to York for a day out, and found a model shop that sells Atlas O scale. It would have been rude not to buy anything, so I came away with this:



With the O scale bug nibbling away at me once more, I decided to get the NYC boxcar out of it's box and carry on with the weathering. I've done some more on the car ends, roof, and the other side of the car which - up until now - had just had the green fade wash applied. It now looks like this:










Finally, I decided to make a start on the trackwork, and - after printing out some Fast Tracks templates, I built a Number 4 turnout. It's a little messy, but it works perfectly.





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Nice weathering on the boxcars, Daniel.  :thumbs

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Cheers Max. I've started on the Southern gondola next, though I'm adding a new floor to it first using stripwood from coffee stirrers. Not going to be a lot to show initially. :D

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So... I actually got some progress made on the Southern gondola. So far it's had a real wood deck added to the interior - made from coffee stirrers, naturally - as well as a brown acrylic fading wash, and a wash of black watercolour to dirty it up. The great thing with watercolours is that if you don't like how it looks, take a wet paintbrush to it and just wash it off! :D

After this was done, I went over the lettering and car number with a damp microbrush to remove the paint from the white and let it really pop again, as most of the time the lettering isn't too dirty in prototype photos.




















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Hi Daniel,
Oh my, that gondola looks good as does the NYC boxcar. I see you're going for the combination of scales I debated a few years ago, 0 for detail and 'mass' and N for the complete scene. I think that's the best of both worlds, good for you.
Most of my US 0 has been sold now but I still have a few bits, would you like to know more?
Cheers,
John.

Danielb
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Hi John,

You betcha I'd like to know more! ;)

Thanks,
Dan

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Hi Dan,
No worries! I'll get a list together and PM you, presently.
Cheers,
John.

Danielb
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Cheers John, I'll eagerly await your message. :)

Further progress on the Southern gondola from last night, one side has had dings and scratches and rust patches added. I think I went a bit OTT with this, but I'm going to attempt to tone it down a little today. We shall see. :D

Here's the prototype photograph I am working from - found on Southern Railfan (an amazing source of SOU images and information, and my Go-To place for references):



















Danielb
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Progress!! :D

Baseboards are done, so I've been working on the track plan and getting the roadbed prepared, and about eleventy-billion wooden ties cut from coffee stirrers.

Photos of the layout mocked up so far:






TIES! TIES EVERYWHERE!



I've also been into the local model car shop and picked up some era suitable vehicles - these three should be more than enough for the whole layout. :)





Finally, here's a work in progress Kitwood Hill 'trackside shack' kit that I've started, mainly so I don't go insane from cutting all those ties. :D

It's done mostly with pan pastels, with the only paint used being oil paint as a base for the rust on the corrugated metal sheeting, and watercolour black used as a basecoat for the tarpaper roof.




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Hi Daniel,

Nice looking corrugated tin there.

Nigel

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Very nice corrugated tin roof and adjoining shed.

Danielb
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Thanks chaps! :)

Well, it's been a while, but swinging by the C&L

Finescale stall at Warley exhibition allowed me to pick up a bag of PCB ties to allow me to progress with the tracklaying.

Unfortunately I underestimated how many I would need, so I'll need to grab another bag before I can finish preparing the roadbed.

I started ballasting the sections that I had enough PCB ties to get done, and here's the results (though it's very much still drying in the photographs).

















It's a slow process, but it's getting there. :)

Danielb
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Well... it's been an interesting last couple of weeks after my father in law was taken into hospital, so there's been little progress recently. But after some free time yesterday, this is what PB currently looks like:











Hopefully I can get the trackwork finished before I go back to work on Monday night.

Danielb
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As I'm on nights this week, I've been unable to work on the track any further, so instead I've been building a craftsman kit - Broach Supplies, by Kitwood Hill Models.



Verdict - it's a lovely kit, very interesting design, but it's been fiddly as all hell (even N scale craftsmen kits are easier than this!) and the instructions could do with a couple of improvements here and there. The functioning sash windows are definitely a highlight. :)



I've also added some of Kitwood Hill's furniture items to the annex of the building, make it look a little more interesting. :)







































Not much further to go on it before I can start painting it up. :)

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It looks very rustic, Daniel.

What is it?

Danielb
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I'm not sure what it's supposed to be, a freight house/warehouse I guess.

The stock model comes with a loading dock underneath the 'stilts', and a pair of staircases coming from either end of the building down onto the loading dock.

I'm omitting one staircase and the loading dock, and using it as a lumber merchants, with the office/warehouse being sat on top of the lumber storage racks.

The staircase and loading dock will be repurposed elsewhere on the layout.

The original kit can be found here:

http://www.kitwoodhillmodels.com/broach-supplies/

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It looks good in conjunction with the larger building.  :cool:

Danielb
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Well... it's been a while, but I've not been idle.



Trackwork is done done. I've soldered the power droppers to 2 of the boards, however Ford has taken the board that will house the sector plate away to build and fit that, and he's also working on building some servo-actuated switch machines for us. As such, the rest of the wiring will have to wait until the layout is back together.



I've also made a start on the scenics, and have used lightweight filler to build up the ground contours on one of the boards. One down, two to go.



Structures have been started and the majority of them are in a state of the basic walls being complete, I just need to get some wooden beams that I can use to brace the corners before I build them up, but I need to wait until payday for that.



I have, however, been working on one of the buildings that will hide the sector plate from view - a mixed media version of the Clevermodels music store. I wanted to ensure that - in O scale - any part of the kits that should be wood are made from actual wood. I figured this would add to the overall look of the layout.



So here's the version of the kit I built in HO scale:







Whereas here is the progress so far on the O scale version:











Last edited on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 08:51 am by Danielb

Danielb
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Oh my god, an update!

It's been a while, but with literally 2 weeks to go before the Mansfield show, I figured it best I actually get started on the scenery! :P

This is about 30 minutes work.



Two of the three boards have been wired, myself and Ford just need to find some time to get together and get them all linked together.

More scenery work when I get home later this morning. :D

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Hi Daniel,

What took you so long? :lol:

Nigel

Danielb
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Nigel, a house purchase that just last week fell through. :(

One board, at least, will be completed scenically before Mansfield show. :)







Loads of time left! :D

Danielb
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What a difference a day makes.

Ford stopped by with the current progress on the traversor. This very clever beast is controlled by a simple IR remote from an old CD player.




He also returned the sector plate board so I can work on wiring it up. As such, I took the opportunity to mock up the sector plate.



Finally, I spent some time working on structures for the end board, which is the one that will connect to the traversor.

It's really coming together now. :)





















More to come tomorrow, with any luck.

Danielb
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Progress on the merchantile building :D















Danielb
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Well, Mansfield Show is over for another year, and Piedmont Blues worked out much better than I had anticipated. :)

The to do list has expanded, as is to be expected after the true test of a two day show, but overall the layout performed fantastically.

During the show, further work was done on the layout, as was always the plan. I worked on the scenery whilst Ford ran trains, and then Ford worked on fine tuning the arduino controlled servos and lighting of buildings whilst I ran trains.

I can't claim to understand how it all works, but Ford used an arduino control board to work both the lights and the servos for the points.

Connected to it was an infra-red sensor, which allowed us to use a TV remote to switch the points - allowing for both switching of the points individually, and route setting - throwing multiple points with one button push to line up set routes for the locomotives to take.

For the Bingham show on 14th and 15th of April, we're hoping to have the point frogs wired up to polarity changing switches, so that when the button are pressed to change the routes, it also throws a SPDT switch to change the polarity of the frogs.

This would have been a massive benefit at Mansfield. As it stood, the frogs were dead at the show, which prevented us from using the Atlas Plymouth, and caused the slightly shorter wheelbase GP35 to stall when going one specific route, as it ended up with a truck each on two of the dead frogs at once, meaning it stalled out.

The RS3, having a slightly longer wheelbase, didn't have this issue.

There wasn't much in terms of things to buy on the trade stands for the layout - US O scale isn't exactly all the rage here. That said, I did managed to get a 3-rail K-Line flat car, which will need converting over to 2 rail, as well as a Lionel/Corgi Greyhound bus, which you can see in some of the photographs below.

So here we are. Roll on Bingham show in April! :D













































Danielb
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Over the last couple of evenings I've started working on weathering the CoG boxcar, using prototype photographs as a guide.



First off, the prototype reference photo for one side of the car:







Next, the progress so far on replicating it. At this stage it's had a base rust colours applied with acrylic paint, then the rust built up with oil paint, and then weathering chalks added to the still wet oil paint.







The next steps for this car is to seal the work so far with dulcote once the oil paint has dried, then hit the whole car with a wash of isopropyl alcohol and india ink to dull down the shine on the car sides.

Danielb
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Whilst bored at work, I've let my mind wander, and taken the rough shape of the "layout room" in the house I've just put an offer in on - 19'9" x 8'9" - and had a bit of a play in SCARM. A "what might be" flight of fancy, if you will.



Now I've been forced to use the templates for the O scale track already in SCARM, so the dimensions are going to be off, but with handbuilt track I should be able to get it all in a bit better, give or take.



So here's the daydream imagining of what PB could look like in that space.



Whether that happens or not (spoiler alert - probably NOT!), it was a fun little exercise that killed a boring lunch break for me. :D



Streetrunning. Streetrunning everywhere!



Danielb
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Progress last night and today has been a bit scattergun in it's focus, so rather than explain it all I'll show photos. :)

Further weathering on the CoG Boxcar:




Coupler repair and weathering on a BevBel New Haven PS2 hopper:




Painting and weathering on a scratchbuilt corrugated metal lean-to shack:










Interior added to the Hoosier Mama building's loading dock:



I've also added bricked up windows and capping stones to the same building, then I've cut out one of the boarded up windows on the Habbaker's building, and I've been working on finished the garage with the wooden tower added to the top. I'll get photos of that later, when it' done. :)

Danielb
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Work over the last couple of days has been on the 3 story brick/wooden tower building. Here's the latest progress:







Danielb
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Today I've been working on the scenery on the centre board. I'd say it's about 75% complete for now. Once the scenery is done, I'll get started on the structures.



The caboose in the photos is a Lionel 3 Rail model which I am in the process of converting to 2 rail. So far I've done the trucks, next I need to do the couplers and the underframe detail. After that it'll need to add a rooftop solar panel and battery box, then the correct paint scheme to represent a "Local" assigned cab.















Danielb
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Weekend update time, I guess. :)



Mostly I've been working on scenery for the centre board, however I've also done a bit of structure and rolling stock work.



First up, I've turned this K-Line 3 Rail boom car...







...Into this 2 rail flat car:







It still needs a brake wheel, then the lettering painting out and replacing with something more fitting - probably CB&Q :)





Next, the loading dock at the back of the layout. I've been working on a building to go here, but decided instead to put a loading dock here and then potentially add the building in as a flat building by fixing it to a sheet of plywood which would bolt into the side of the benchwork once the layout is set up at shows. Mainly because space is a premium in my car, and I'm not sure I could fit the originally planned building in the car!








Finally, we needed a way to hide the servos used to power the turnout throw bars. I made a ballast bin out of scrap wood and styrene, and a stack of ties from strips of suitable sized balsa wood.








Close ups of the ballast bin. Stanley Knife (box cutter to Americans :) ) for scale.









The hinges, latch and padlock all need painting still.





Hopefully I can get the fencing for the lumber yard finished today.

Danielb
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With the centre board almost complete, I've turned my attention back to the end board to get that finished, so I can focus my full attention on the sector plate board for the last few weeks before Bingham show. :)



Danielb
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I've been quiet on the layout front as of late, because I've been working on one of the more mind numbing parts of the build - laying cobbles between the rails, and carving the roadway. There's about 30" of this to do, and I'm about half way through it.

Afterwards it'll get sand between the cobbles, then the whole thing will be getting painted and weathered. I am hoping to have it done by the end of the week. :)

Once that's done, I can get get started on the Georgia Hardware Company building which will go over and around the cobbled street/tracks.

Between these, I'll be working on ground cover on this module, which will hopefully complete the basic scenery for the whole layout, and with loads of time to get it done ready for the Bingham show in 10 days time. ;)

Danielb
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Bingham show is now over, and it was a truly great little exhibition. Definitely worth the visit for the public, I think.

Piedmont Blues did us proud. With only small issues of dirty track and an overexited servo powering one of the turnouts, plus rusty wheels on the RS3 and GP35 needing a good clean, the show went really well.

All the minor issues were fixed respectively with a thorough cleaning with a block of wood and some isoproyl alcohol, disconnecting the servo and operating the turnout by hand for 20 minutes to allow it to cool down, and then running the layout using the Plymouth switcher for a while whilst the two 4 axle locos had their wheels serviced.

Not many changes were made to the layout whilst we were at the show - with the exception of a couple of crossed ties at the end of the Georgia Hardware spur to stop cars running off the end of the layout.

Instead, we were focused on taking turns running trains, and whilst one of us was doing that, Ford would work on lighting the buildings, and I was working on freight car projects.

Speaking of:



With the exception of adding the running numbers to the car ends, this one is now ready for weathering. Hopefully I'll have that done, and a full loose load of woodchips done by Seaboard Southern in September.

The car was set up on the end of our layout tables as a display piece for the public.



We're planning to have a full information display ready for September as well, showing prototype photographs of the area we are modelling.

On the subject of photographs, here are a bunch I took showing the layout set up in it's (current) entirity...

































Lots to do between now and September, but before anything can happen with the layout, I need to finalise purchase of my new house and get moved in, as I'll have the space to have the layout set up permanently so I can work on it. :)

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It's looking excellent, Daniel.  :thumbs

Danielb
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Thanks Max! :)


                 

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