Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Late Sunday Update and need some advice

Sunday was first break to get to the layout again. Between bug bombing house and other chores still got about 4 -5 hours in (Sunday is my modeling day). Spent most time on Black Hawk, really enjoying this section. Got in plans from Mike Blazek for Eagle Mill, Rocky Mtn Concetrator and New York Mill. Will photo copy and make mock-ups to verify spacing.

Pretty much relaid all track, with main piece having every 6th tie removed to allow PCB to be soldered in place. Then will add third rail so will be 3'/2' gauge. Tried glue with no luck. Also completed more creek cut-outs and began forming creek bed. Turn-outs to be dual-gauge in most cases, built in place. 

Idaho Springs to Georgetown curve creek cut out and plaster cloth added.

North Black Hawk with Gilpin Engine House and cardboard to mark warming house position. Not much on warming house to go on, have dimensions and know was stone, that is about all. Creek roughed is with plaster cloth mostly done.

North Black Hawk to right of previous picture. Track laid ready to solder in pcb ties and add third rail. Creek repositioned to allow for Eagle Mill to right of Polar Star in picture.

Looking towards Clear Creek Canyon (Canon). The mine is now removed to make room for New York Mill and Rocky Mtn. Concentrator. Track in place, switches to be built in-place. Did it this way to allow a train to be run since these are dual gauge and will take some time to construct.

By turning track and station a little I can include a partial State Ore facility. No 2' gauge here according to 1898 Map I am using as my reference. This area is designed to really show confines of valley and the density of buildings in that space.

Here is where I need Advice The prototype has concentrator spur coming from behind picture to front. Space seems to only allow coming from front of camera. Also Prototype has 2' entering back of Mill, only way I can accomplish is coming from side. Do alteration like that violate the prototype, or are changes like that considered acceptable generally speaking?

Turn-table and Water Tower area.

Station Area with State Ore to left side. Most track dual-gauge, 2' - 3'.

So far like this plan much better. Next steps will be: adding building mock-ups to check spacing, beginning back-drop and finishing pcb ties and laying third rail.

Comments and advice welcome.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday end of Passover update

Had 4 services to lead so not as much modeling time as I would like.  The rebuild of Black Hawk is continuing with some final decisions made.  Laid-out all track and building positions.  Had to redo about 5 ft of main line including into the canyon.  This went pretty well.  Used alcohol to soften the old ballast and scrapped up with a serrated paring knife and a scrapper.  Cut new creek bed in with new bridge location.  The Dual Gauge 2' & 3' will run past New York Mill and a turn-out added to form a 2 track 2' gauge spur at the mill.

Moving the main-line toward back (Where turntable will go) also allows a good bit of room for the front 1/2 of the Rocky Mtn Concentrator.  There will be 1 dual gauge spur and a second 2' gauge spur.  Prototype 2' gauge goes behind building to enter from the rear.  If I want to use this as a active spur I will have to modify the building a little to allow track to enter from side.  Mainline then moves on to the station and downtown Black Hawk.

Starting to test the water for getting new 20 x 30 train shed.  If I don't post you'll know it went really bad.  I plan to retire in 14 years and my in-laws are leaving their house to my wife and I.  Comes with a 20 x 40 nice shed that would be a good layout room.  If I can pull this off, I can move current layout and then concentrate on making layout in movable sections that when the time comes can be relocated in a u-haul.

The idea of building in modules is really intriguing.  Never seen a 2 level module, but seems doable.  Thinking of using some kind of iron or steel upright with 2 brackets and spacing every 2 ft as support.  The days of massive 3 tier would probably be the biggest change I make if I redo.  One other big advantage besides taking it with me is I think I could build both aisles and side sections wider.  24" aisles are really too narrow (live and learn) and by making Black Hawk and Idaho Springs 6" deeper it would allow more depth to towns, making I think more realistic.

Also working some on adding new motor and WOW 101 to a Lambert Mogul.  It is now running on DCC but struggling to fit Keep Alive in.  Tired boiler, just a tad short so KA hits the gear tower.  Wish the KA from TCS was a 1/4" shorter.  Learning about shimming drive train, etc to make it reliable.  If KA does not fit I will be working to add more pick-ups.

Thats about it, nothing really to take pictures of, maybe next Sunday will be far enough along to take some snaps.

Thanks Cameron

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Still plugging away

Wanted o give a brief update.

Working on Black Hawk laying out buildings.  Went in a new direction.  Black Hawk is a city of mills and mines.  I removed the Cimaron Mine (will put it some place else).  In it's place I'm moving the track and Clear Creek toward edge to make room for more mills.  Ordered the New York, Rocky Mtn Concentrator and Eagle Mill.  Two of 3 were serviced by the Gilpin.  The Concentrator and New York Mill will be near the Turntable.

Trying to focus the Black Hawk section on:
Turntable area
Gregory Street
50 Gold Mine Mill (part will be a lift-out)
Polar Star
Gilpin Engine house.

 This is the turntable area with the New York Mill and Rocky Mtn Concentrator

This is the Depot Area and the 50 Gold Mine Mill.  Gregory street will be the main built city portion.

 The Eagle Mill and Polar Star Mill section.

Making the dual gauge has been a little more difficult than I thought.  The ACC did not hold the rail, so I will ahve to remove every 6 or 7th tie and replace with psc solderd to all three rails to ensure they stay in gauge.  I will then add spikes.  At this rate it might be better just to hand-lay all the track in this area.

Also working on matte board buildings with plans adhered to it.  These will become the future buildings.

Last project is adding a WOW 101 to a 2-6-0 Lambert mogul.  Going slow and testing every step.  Having to put Keep Alive in boiler and decoder in the tender with the speaker.  Just could not quite get them both in the tender.

Thanks for stopping by - Cameron

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Late Sunday Update

Got some quality time on the layout. Worked on Gilpin Tram area in North Black Hawk and Black Hawk proper.

Ripped out old roadbed and started again. Used 1900 Sanborn Map to space buildings. Really had to compress to get turntable in before mine on far end.

Picked up a pristine unopened Machine Shop kit modeled after Harry's (slightly smaller). Have a mock-up for the 50 Gold Mine Mill. Hoping Mike Blazek can do a plan for me, we have been emailing. Room for Gilpin and several other well known structures. Lace house will be close to the TT.

This section will have both 2ft and 3ft gauge track. If I ever get a bigger building will try to make the scene deeper as 2' really limits what I can fit in.

N. Black Hawk
Added a Woodland Sceneics 3% incline. Never used the product and wanted to try it out. Secured with my trusty chalk. Will cut out section by engine house where the trestle will go.

Looking right to left. Incline added, mock-up of engine house from plans Keith published in Gazette. Creek cut-out began. 2' gauge track with 1 soldered rail put down, second rail will be soldered using a track gauge to verify width.

Left side where incline meets switch-back. 3 rail made using ME code 55 and adding 2' gauge rail. Right now just ACC'd into place, may need to add some pcb or spikes to make sure it does not break loose. Little car is a Railway Recollections modified with 2' trucks as a test.

Had to make one compromise, the spur into Polar Star Mill and Ore dump for C&S in prototype came from 3 rail lower track. Looks like it will have to come off incline section as not enough space to add trestle from main.

Looking left to right. 3 rail ends past ore bin. 2' continues on to engine house.

This has been a fun section. Motivation has been easy and getting to try new stuff. Did latest sections on 2' rail using resistance solder station. It really works well. Also made first HON2 turn-out. Used HON2 template from Fast Tracks for 1 rail and tie spacing, then set second rail using z scale gauge.

Religious Holidays will keep us busy through Tuesday so hopefully Wed I can get some time to work on layout.

Going to try building turn-outs in place to fit track plan. Buddy of mine suggested running main and then cutting in turn-outs to allow faster progress. I have so many turn-outs to do it will allow us the added as we have time. Otherwise I seem to get locked into just building turn-outs which I'm much less motivated to do.

Thanks for stopping by - Cameron

New member of the family

Picked up this little beauty on Evil Bay. Got a good price and she runs well with original motor. Plan to swap out for a can and put a WOW and Keep Alive in the tender.

Lambert 2-6-0 Mogul Colorado & Southern. Got this one to name after my mom who passed away about 18 months ago.

Thanks Cameron