Monday, January 30, 2012

Updates for 30- Jan

Was an eventful week, have a few more pictures to publish.  The middle peninsula continued it's build.  As of now deck 1 is roughed in for all areas.  The middle peninsula has benchwork for Deck 1&2.  We also managed to get the Deck 2 portion for Forks Creek in.  Deck 3 middle peninsula is about 60% done.

Here is right side & middle Peninsula, where the orange drill is is Forks Creek.

This is looking from the front - left to right on the middle peninsula.  All 3 layers are shown.  Distance is 11" from deck 1 to 2, and varies on deck 3.  Decks on the walls are 20+ inches in between so plenty of room.  Since this middle replaces a helix it seems to be a good compromise.  As it achieves the height I needed instead of train disappearing for minutes, it travels up the Clear Creek with it's impressive scenery.  The C&S had no tunnels in the branch so the hidden helix would not have served as well in my opinion.

This view is from front of middle peninsula looking left, gives good idea of decks.  The black is blackboard.  Similar to Homasote but 1/4 the price.  It deadens sound well and it can be dug out for minor depressions (like ash pits).  For actual roadbed I'm still playing with Homabed (prepared 1/8" to 1/4" Homasote) or Luan.  Luan is much cheaper and spike hold well, uniform thickness is good and cuts like wood not paper of pressed wood.  Jury still out on final choice.  Will lay some temporary track on Blackboard to determine routes then final mount with whatever choice wins on roadbed.

All in All good progress.  Everything is taking twice as long as I hoped, but better to do it right than do it twice.  Next steps are tp mount wall hard-board (middle deck hides seem, really nice) and begin rest of deck 2.  The work on the middle as shown the 3 deck model to be doable.  Deck 3 will range from 62" (5' 2") to 69" (5' 9") so a little step up will be needed to do any work.  A compromise but I think a worth-while one.

Also put gear lube on the 2-6-0 Mogul and soldered a front wire on.  Ran it back and forth a bunch of times to work lube in.  It is running better.  Next going to follow Scoop's advice and put in extra pick-ups and start preparing to add lights, sound and decoder.  Got my Fast-Tracks Jig in, built first frog today.

A good weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Best Laid Plans

Don't always go as we had hoped.

We cut the section free and moved to the Train Shed.  When put in position some problems developed:
  • Track work was sub standard - there was a rough transition from 1 piece of flex track and another.
  • The roadbed I used at the time was the foam board.  I don't use it any more as I amy not confident in it's holding ability.
  • The quality of the trestle ties was not up to standard.
  • The framework was too fragile.
So decision was made to salvage what I could and bin the rest.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Committed now

Or maybe I should be.

Had an electrical issue on old layout right on the curving trestle.  Did not feel like spending time to isolate on the old layout so I did the next best thing.  I cut it out.  So now I'm committed.  Old Layout is missing about 6' of track so running trains is no longer an option (beside as a test track).

Wife and son helped me carry it to the train shed and it's now sitting at the end on the middle peninsula waiting to be mounted in as part of my deck 1 to deck 2 transition track.  This is a freelance section but I think it fits the character of the Clear Creek between Golden and Forks Creek.

Have one item needing correction, there is a rail joint that I am not happy with, will correct it when this module is integrated in.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Updates for 22 Jan 2012

Busy Sunday. Had to do some cross cultural work at 5 so could only get about 5
hours work in. the Middle Peninsula is really starting to take shape.

Since Deck 1 & 2 of the Middle Peninsula is really a large helix with Scenery
the deck to deck height is limited to 11". This is where the Clear Creek will
run from Forks Creek down to Golden. Put some decking on the supports
temporarily to show path of track and progress. Grade is limited to 3.2%. I
tested my wife's c-19 with 8 cars on a 3.5% 19" radius curve and it handled it
so this should be good.

With all the supports built next step is subroadbed then track. The Blob on
Deck 1 end is where I hope to put my existing trestle. Hopefully that will be
next Sunday if I have time after going lizard shopping with my wife (She wants a
bearded Dragon from down Scoop and Brewers way).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More work on tiers

Tonight put in more middle peninsula tier supports.  I used my Micro-Mark level which shows grade, it is excellent and well worth the cost.  Only had a little over an hour once I was off work.  So far I have 5 of the Deck 3 supports done, and 3 each of deck 2.  Grade is less than 3% so all should be good.

I am concerned about deck to deck distance.  Right now it is only 8 1/2" between support bottom and deck.  To save height I'm going to leave off blackboard.  I tested both luan and blackboard and both take spikes well.  luan seems best.  It is only 1/8" thick so will make a nice roadbed.  If it does not work will get homabed (homasote roadbed) but cost is an issue at roughly $100 per deck.

If it turns out that distance is too big an issue I can switch to metal L brackets.  But this is not a cure all as it would not leave room to mount lighting.

I'll start testing lighting once I have the basic decks for the middle peninsula roughed in.  They make a really nice low wattage light string like used at restaurants but it is costly, roughly 100 bucks per 100ft with light mounts every 2'.  Uses low wattage bulbs.  I been trying t-5 strips from Home Depot, they are low profile and mounted sideways would fit in the space under deck where supports are.

Getting close to trying to work in the Trestle section from my existing layout.  That will be a real high point.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pictures of old layout

I thought it might be fun to post a few pictures of the layout I am replacing.

Coming around the bend and crossing the trestle.  I really like this scene, I may try and trim it down and use it on the new layout.  The Trestle will have to be made much shorter.  I have a spot on Deck 2 middle peninsula where the track does a 180 that may work for this.

Mining Camp - think I over did the weathering

River with rapids using mirror to make it look longer.  Front Trestle was finally finished with all plastic ties replaced.

I'll be able to reuse the mine, I hope.  The trestles may move but will have to be shortened greatly.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Update 16 Jan 2012

Got alot done.  Not quite as much as I hoped but good progress.  The Deck 1 rough bench-work is finished except the right end.  The Middle Peninsula has been begun, the main three supports are in and the 2nd and 3rd tier begun.

Deck 1 Rear Right

Middle Peninsula from back

Deck 1 Left

Deck 1-3 Middle Peninsula from front wall

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Update 15 Jan 2012

Just a quick update, will post pictures tomorrow.  My son and I worked on the front wall and got the rough benchwork done.  Had to make a supply run for plywood and other materials.

With the day off tomorrow for Dr. Kings birthday, I hope to get the middle peninsula roughed in including beginning Deck 2.  Then with some good fortune we will rough in a little track to test.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Newest addition to the family

Keevan was nice enough to part with this Flying Zoo HON30 Shay.  It is the RTR model and runs very nicely, a little oil was all it needed.  Testing I ran it up a 18" ramp with almost a 1.5" incline.  Here is a photo.

I also did the same test pushing 2 flat cars.  Wow!

Thanks Keevan!

Monday, January 9, 2012

More Updates 9 Jan 2012

We're back again with revised plans.  I never realized how many iterations this plan was going to go through.  I think this is revision 23 or 24.

Deck 1 has had the middle peninsula filled-in.  Goal here was to add some prototype elements to make this immediately recognizable as the Colorado & Southern.  One requirement I had in design was to have some long runs with plenty of scenery.  The Colorado Central Book is a big help here.  Main points of interest are tough cuss pass and the passing siding.  I wanted 1 siding per deck on this long run as I can see if we had a few operators working at the same time the traffic could be an issue here.

Deck 2 - This middle peninsula has alot going on.  First I needed to hide transition from deck 1.  Next I wanted to include some really noteworthy natural landmarks (Hanging Rock, Road-master and Mother Grundy).  I also wanted to include Beaver Brook, this presented a few obstacles, one it is on the opposite side of the creek, and 2 it was removed about 15-20 years before I am modeling.  Solution: Rule 1 of model railroading (grin), since this is a freelance-prototype it seemed worthwhile to compromise by putting it on the other side of the creek.  This necessitated putting in a non-prototypical bridge, but by putting it on the corner I hope to minimize the visual discrepancy.  Elk Creek was added, allowing an opportunity for a nice Pratt Truss bridge and passing siding.  Next it was on the Forks Creek.  I added a scene separator which will also serve to hide the second non-prototype bridge.  Forks Creek was causing me fits to get the orientation right.  I think it now has all the tracks and buildings in the right place.  No real changes to Blackhawk and Idaho Springs.

Next real design push will be Georgetown and Silver Plume.  I found a resource with Tram pictures and a reference to a Mill in Silver Plume who also had a bucket tram.  If I can find enough information and it fits the era it would make a nice addition.


Update 9 Jan 2012

Greetings and Happy New Year.

Yesterday we got alot done on Deck 1 of the layout.  It was raining but that did not hamper us overly much.

The back wall bench-work is mostly done, we started on the left wall and have the L-girders and braces in place.  We manage to gain alot of under bench-work storage so that helped reduce the clutter some.  Moving stuff around wastes alot of time.

Back Right corner - Denver Yard and Roundhouse.  Got two Kibri roundhouse kits, they look pretty good, but will require some work to make them look up to snuff.  It will sit in the corner with a return track surrounding it.   The dark is the black-board.  This layer is right at 28", so it is designed to operate sitting.

This is the left back corner.  I had some left over birch plywood, so I used it.  Much nicer than pine.  The Smelter will sit in corner with yard going off to left side.  I'm adding background board as I go to make finding studs easier.  I'll either paint, or use some of the nice photo-murals they have, alot come in 17" high sections so it should work.

Left Wall - The smelter and yard will take up most if it.  I plan to have a switcher dedicated to Mill, maybe a 0-4-0 or similar.  Will include coaling and engine house.  Waer tank will be shared with main-line.

Next will turn the corner and handle the front wall.  Will finish left wall and mount the top.  Deck 1 will be mostly cookie cutter (solid plywood cut out where needed.  Most of outer circle is yards, Industry and Cities.  The middle peninsula is generally only 9" deep so it could go either way.

Trying black-board for Denver.  It seems to work much better as a base than any kind of foam.  Thinking about Homasote for mainline.  Since black-board is inexpensive, I may use it as base over plywood and then use Homabed Homasote as roadbed.

Getting pmped up, hopefully this week-end will see rough bench-work done for deck 1 then I can begin laying Denver Track.  Keevan recommended mounting track with spikes temporarily so I can move thing around as needed.  Good idea, so going to run with it.

Going to post revised track plan next.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bench Work begun

Finally got the bench work started.

Between taking my wife to a birthday dinner and buying supplies, Sunday was a little slow.  Monday went much better.  Right wall L-girders and supports in place.  Middle Peninsula begun with L-girders in and temporary legs.  Back wall supports almost done and 1/2 of the L-girders in place.

The Cold slowed us down, had lots of help with both wife and daughter lending a hand.  My wife helped me build the decks at our house and is pretty good at construction.  She won't always admit it but I think she enjoys it (grin).

Starting was iffy with a lot of "figuring things out" as I went.  I had done L-girder on the previous layout, but not attached to the wall.  Model Railroader has a good book on bench-work and was able to follow there drawings.  Had to reposition bolts in walls due to L-girder postion a few times, but all finally started coming together.

The before:

Progress to-date, Left wall L-girders in. Middle in on temporary legs, Back Braces built and 1 L-girder

Moving stuff around adds to work load and slows progress.  Such is life.  Here is the bracket details.
The paper towels are to catch glue drips from the mending plate.  Each bracket is attached to a wall stud by a 3/8 and 1/4 lag bolt.   I learned from my last layout to make sure all level, so hopefully this one will not have some issues I had before.

Once I have rest of back wall in, I will put down plywood and begin laying track for Denver Yard.

Yard Design completed.

The Deck 1 Denver yard design is completed.  Keevan was a big help, fixing my initial poor design.  Here is the updated view.

You can click above for a larger view.

Smelter yard is getting there.  Trying to base it alot on traffic expected.  Seems it will receive 18 loads of ore, 3-6 loads of coal, coke, and lime, associated supplies (6+ bx cars).  Not sure on numbers of cars for ingots, but I would expect fairly small.

Happy New Year to all.

New arrival

Here is the newest arrival, a 2-6-0 Mogul set-up as #9.  From what I cantell from Robb Book she is in a mid-1910's to 20's configuration.

Only run on test track.  She needs some run time.  Talking to Loco doc about new gears and motor.  Want to change over to DCC.

Hopefully come April will be able to get another one.