Category Archives: Updates

Updates to recently published layout designs

Evans Hollow Industrial: Build Update

Yeah. It’s been a while. Don’t worry, it’s me, not you.

So what’s been happening on the layout of late? Not a whole lot to be frank. We’re in the middle of packing prior to a move back to Melbourne (Vic not FLA). As a result I’ve been clearing, cleaning and packing, books, models, tools and so on, while still trying to fit in holiday time and work.

I’ve not been completely idle; just short of available time to write and blog and post stuff. I’ve yet to complete Part 3 – building trestles – but it’s close. For now I’d love to give you a quick update on where I’m up to: putting down cork and track laying.

As shown in previous posts the track outline, feed points, frog wiring and so on is drawn on the foam prior to lifting all of the track and prepping for cork to go down. A couple of weeks ago I got the mainline, and the spur into scrappy’s completed one day. Then sanded the entirety of the laid cork to get it smooth.

Here’s an overview of what that looks like to date:

Click on the image to go full size. The spur into Scrappy (lower right) had two separate heights of cork laid. The higher one for the mainline and the thinner one for the spur itself. They were then sanded (power) to blend them in so that the spur drops from the mainline to the spur height and on the end of the spur I sanded it right down to the foam height as I want to have the track disappear into the scenery here.

You’ll note that I’ve dug the trenches in the foam for the wire-in-tube switching for the turnouts. These will be operated by double pole – double throw switches from beyond the end of the baseboard. These will be wired from under the board and will switch frog polarity also. Some more images of this below:

I’ll sign off for now. I’m expecting an enforced period of recovery later in the week, where I hope to get more work done on the layout. I aim to be at running status before we move in late november so I’d better get my tail in gear.

Later gator

Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

Site seeing – Op till you drop – Blue flag “Video” edition – August 26, 2018

In my August 18 post we looked at modelling and using Blue Flags for your operating sessions. Thanks to Charles Malinowski’s timely reminder, there’s an additional video for context.


MRR Video Series – Taking Care of Business

Model Railroader magazine has a series of videos (most are pay to play). However some of the best of them are free for you to watch. One of these focuses on the SMS Rail Lines industrial park in New Jersey.

I did try to embed their video (as they offer this as an option – like YouTube) however, it didn’t work. Instead you’ll find below the link for the video. THis will take you straight to the page and then play away.

The video is narrated and professionally shot and edited. It is really well done and shows the operations in the Industrial Park and the blue flag in action. Thanks to Charles for reminding me of the video. I hope that you all enjoy watching and learning.

Don’t forget to comment on and share this post with your friends.


Resources

Taking Care of Business: SMS Rail Lines

Site Seeing – the I’ve got a model room edition – April 1

I’ve been without a modelling space, a dedicated out of the line of fire, not on the kitchen table, leave all your stuff out, style space since the late 80s. A recent move has seen us in a larger space with two spare rooms and a space for our library.

Over my 2 week break from work I’ve gone through my boxes, trying to find all of my collected modelling tools, and I have for the most part succeeded. I’m still missing some critical stuff like my Chopper 2 and Duplicutter along with my set of beading tools that I use to cut a range of river heads. There in a box somewhere but for the life of me I cannot find the blessed thing. Same goes for the NWSL products. I know they’re there, I just cannot say quite where that is for now.

I’ve emptied my mobile toolkits (large and small fishing tackle boxes, and carry totes) to get all of my tools and bits out of the dark and onto the table – making the space look like a the remains of a tornado. So no photos yet – I do have some pride. However, in the short space of time I’ve managed to part complete three little rebuilds from Athearn BB kits, which is more modelling that I have been able to complete in quite a while.

There is a bit of work to get the room into shape. I have a list of honey-dos among them is to build bookcases for our library room. I will add to that list as I need some in my modelling room. These will serve their obvious purpose as well as a base for the switching layout that will be permanently setup in there. More on that in a couple of weeks when I find a tape measure to measure up the room and begin to design something that fits inside the house, and not in the soon to be very cold garage.

I managed to pick up a glass top work desk for $35 Aussie from a local thrift shop (similar to the image on the left). A couple of twists to tighten screws and the judicious use of my allen keys to tighten everything up and the thing is as good as new. The glass top will aid in making scratchbuilt items too.

It has been fun working with my Waldron punch sets and the Historex Hex punch sets and I have to restock all of my depleted punched out bolt heads, and circle plates (great for diesel detailing) from the different grades of styrene.

I’ll post some photos over the next week or two as I get things sorted out. All the best.

 

 

Site update – 20 March – Updated 12 foot home layout design page

There has been a lot of thoughtful experimentation going on at Andrew’s Trains of late. While I was ‘reasonably happy’ with my Mk 72 layout design I wasn’t joyous about it. Recently while rediscovering some of my older layout designs I came across the design for ‘Industrial Park East’, as shown below, from somewhere about 2006-7.‘. Something in this design called out to me and so I set off on a slight redesign from the Mk 72 to Mk73 version. The changes I made have allowed me to get the ‘flow’, and the look that I wanted. I know this all sounds like something ‘the Dude’ would say from the Big Lebowski at this point but if it doesn’t work for you while you’re designing it, then it sure won’t work for you once you’ve committed track to plywood.

There’s a lot more information on the what, the why and the wherefore on the additional layout design page (yes I added another one to keep it all straight in my head). If your interest is peaked and you’d like to see more click the link in the line above and head on over to read on.

Thanks for reading – now it’s back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Site update: 02 December – More weathering photos

I’ve completed the remaining weathering of the body of the 40 foot Hi-Cube. There may be one or two more minor tweaks that I’ll make to get that just right look, overall I am very happy with this cars look. As an experiment using multiple techniques that I’ve not used altogether before I’m very happy and will try this next on a HO scale car. Where are we up to?

Flash on showing most of the car completed
Flash on showing most of the car completed

The second round of body and roof weathering has gone on. Keeping in mind that this car ran mostly in the dryer states and most of that in Texas in my modelling location there is a preponderance of dust and rust and not a lot of rain weathering. I believe that I have another of these cars in my O scale stash and will document the weathering as I go in the next week for all of you.

Interior shot showing the walls and weahtering
Interior shot showing the walls and weathering

I am particularly pleased with the internal look of the car. I hand painted the interior since I wanted a little tooth on the interior of the car, adding some Acrylic Painting Medium to the cheapo acrylic paint to thin and help it settle.

Close up of the wall and floor weathering
Close up of the wall and floor weathering

Minor touch ups to the door openings remain, to add the dings and rusting, prevalent around boxcar doors. Overall I’m pretty happy with the outcome. There are still the trucks to do, but we’re getting close. More again soon.

Site update: New modelling page

Ballarat - May 2013
Ballarat – May 2013

I’m slowly working to catalogue and curate all of my railway and modelling related images. I’m doing this in part so that I can share them all with you here; also to allow me to find the photos I need for modelling when I need them.

Site update 1: Modelling Page: High Cube Shipping Containers

There are several useful resources available on the above link. These include:

  • A gallery of detail images of a 40′ HC container taken in 2013
  • A downloadable PDF for all HC containers sizes in metric and imperial should you wish to make your own (especially for the 3D printer)
  • Details of suppliers in most of the popular scales including some free through more paid resources

I hope that you find this useful for your modelling purposes. Drop me a line if you make use of any of the resources.

If it’s August, it might be Robot month (August 8)

Work has kept me busy the last few weeks, and I’ve only posted a few times over the last couple of weeks due to that busyness. However, today I took the time and modelled some long overdue projects (I’m hoping to get them completed for the April 2016 MoB show – I was aiming to get them ready for April 2015 but there you go) .

On the table today was:

  • The Warhammer 40K Dark Vengeance starter set (My son got into Warhammer a couple of years ago and so for his 9th birthday I got him the starter set. Building stalled due to the complexity in the set models and issues with Games Workshop’s glue. So I’ve begun to help out by building the rest of the set up for him and fixing the build issues with some of the larger items in the set.
  • Robby the Robot (from the movie Forbidden Planet) which is a reissue of the old Polar Lights kit. It certainly shows its age, but I have always wanted a model of this iconic robot and so I now do, and finally
  • A very old Nitto kit of a powered suit PKA SF3D original. I’ve been working on this kit the longest and somewhere along the line lost the instructions (if there ever where any). So I got the building bug and figured the kit out. There are lots of moving parts and the kit is position-able. I wish I’d bought more of these kits when the chance was there.

August is Robot Month

Image 1: Robby, one of the Warhammer 40K pieces by Robby’s leg, and the Nitto kit left

The Warhammer stuff seems to scale out around 1/64th scale; The Nitto kit is 1/20th and Robby is 1/6th scale. The Nitto kit is getting a complex and time expensive camo paint job.

Well the sun was out, the skies clear, and temperatures actually got into double digits for the first time this month. All up a good and productive (if not a railway) modelling day. All the best.

Site seeing – July 7

A local site seeing tour today of the newest pages uploaded to the blog.

Site 1: Small Layouts [Follow the link —>]

This is the small layouts section of the old HunterValleyLines.com/gallery website that is now offline as mentioned in my post yesterday. There are over 30 layout designs in this section.

Site 2: Medium Layouts [Follow the link –>]

This is the medium layouts section of the old HunterValleyLines.com/gallery website. There are 13 layout designs in this section.

Site 3: Large Layouts [Follow the link –>]

This is the large layouts section of the old HunterValleyLines.com/gallery website. There are 3 layout designs in this section.

Site 4: Ideas and Scribbles [Follow the link –>]

This is the most interesting and fastest growing section of the website. The Ideas and scribbles section is the storehouse of all of the doodling and noodling that I’ve done over the years. There are narrow gauge loco designs, industry designs, layout ideas and designs but all are drawings only.

  1. Layout Bits
  2. Layout Ideas
  3. Other Stuff
  4. Track Diagrams

 

Broken down into four major sections follow the links and find some hopefully useful ideas to kickstart your own modelling process.

New article and download available

Been a busy modelling weekend in Ballarat. I’ve added a new page to the modelling articles section about my rolling stock standards. You can find the Rolling Stock Standards page here.

I wrote this after reading Dennis Storzek’s excellent article from 1982 (I recently found a copy in a bargain bin in one of Melbourne’s bookshops) for the club I belonged to at the time. I’ve reworked the document over the last couple of days to allow you to use this for your club (if they do not have a modelling standard) or for yourself if you need one as I do.

Grab the PDF here. The document is copyright, but released under a Creative Commons license. Read more about that in the PDF. Happy modelling and let me know if you come up with any improvements.

Why I chose not to design my layout – Part 4

I did some measuring on the new track plan (version 3) today and the result is pleasing (at least to me). On the HVRR we use a XAF10 Railbox car as our standard measure for cars; These car’s measure 190 mm over coupler faces – that’s right on the 54′ and some change that a real car has for door spacing if it is recorded as a 50′ car. With the numbers in hand I tried a few calculations to see how everything fit.

Yard Tracks

With measurements now completed on all of the storage and “yard” tracks our holding ability on all tracks suggests that the:

  • Main (at 1400 mm) can clear 7 standard cars,
  • Loop (at 1500 mm) can clear 8 standard cars.
  • Classification track 1(at 1800 mm) can clear 9 cars ,
  • Classification track 2 (at 1300 mm) can clear 6 cars, and
  • The total on-track yard capacity is 30 cars (not including the interchange as I consider the interchange loadings to be a part of this number).

Yard Occupancy

I don’t want to flood the yard on any one day so I expect that the total yard occupancy at maximum will be 50% of the total – leaving me with 15 cars maximum. So that even with a full train of 9 cars coming in from the interchange I can use Class 1 & 2 to store all of the cars and leave the main and the loop free to work. More on this though below.

Industry tracks

On the main board there are two industries:

  • Industry 1 is 800 mm long and can manage 4 cars
  • Industry 2 is 1600 mm long and can manage 8 cars
  • Interchange track (at 2400 mm) can clear 9 cars plus the loco. The interchange track is considered an industry also.

The trackage on the base of the L are to be built based on an article in Model Trains International #58, page 106 by Bruce Petty. While this was essentially an article on scratchbuilding the Strongheart Packing Co. there was also a track diagram included. While I cannot post the magazine article here for you, I can point you to Bruce’s website which has the same information and track diagram (link here)

The current track layout in this area bounded by East 49th and E 50th Street is somewhat different from that of 25 – 35 years ago, this is reflected in the two images here:

Strongheart Packing Co - Vernon CA

Image 1: Block bounded by 49th & 50th Street, and Gifford To Corona Ave

This is an overhead view of the same block as in the article, but several of the buildings have been removed; specifically Union Malleable and Strongheart Packing. Otherwise the track for the most psrt seems to be intact.

Vernon CA - 49-50th Street - Gifford to Corona Ave - Track Layout

Another overhead view showing a slightly different angle that puts the article map in perspective.

I’ll be leaving building’s in place at Ingle Bros. It is a nice, generic building, plain brick that will be easy to model. It will have the two car spots as on the plan. The Chase Bag Co will go. In it’s place I’m going to put a team track. This will ensure that I can have a range of cars in that spot, and in addition give a great view of the remainder of this section of the layout.

The other buildings will be changed slightly to give that 1970’s renewal look of tilt-up concrete construction so prevalent in Texas.

Industry occupancy

Just as for the yard, I do not want to flood the industry tracks with cars. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I like that industries are not always blocked with cars – this is also very prototypical, and
  2. I am aiming at maximum to have industries be 50-60 percent occupied

Thus the total car numbers of the main board will be:

  • Industry 1 holds on average 2 cars with a maximum of 3 cars
  • Industry 2 holds on average 4 cars with a maximum of 5 cars
  • Interchange holds on average 5 cars (rounded up from 4.5) to 7 cars.

As noted earlier it can clear up to 9 cars at any one time if needed; this ensures that the interchange and the yard tracks should never be flooded with cars to stop the operations of the railroad.

The industrial park (bottom of the L) boards will hold on average 7 cars using the same occupancy rate. In total then the maximum cars in and out of the layout (should all of the occupied spots be switched on one day) would be 17 cars. Luckily that is not going to happen because these car movements would be spread over 6 days.

I am hoping the average will be in the range of 4-5 cars per session. This meets my goal of a short switching session, but with plenty of interest for me as the crew. More on this later.