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Thread: Starter layout - 4'x'4

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    Default Starter layout (4'x4') - Sam Hill Junction

    The album (linked below) shows some progress pics to a starter layout I'm doing with my son. In looking through the old Atlas "Nine N Scale Layouts", he chose the Monopoly & Octopus. We got started, before I realized what a reverse loop was (we are DC). Whereas he's only 10, I didn't think a reverse loop would suit him being able to operate it easily.
    So I adapted it, removing the loop, but keeping the "over and under" that I know is what drew him to it.
    It doesn't meet any prototypical anything that really makes much sense for operation, but it does allow for 2 trains to run continuously without interfering with each other, has some switching sidings and a pond (a key factor when you're 10, I guess..) And, it's small enough to fit in the living room of the house.
    I am (we are?) learning a lot about scenery, and mentally I'm already preparing for the next big one...
    Progress is slow, especially now that the warmer weather and baseball have arrived.
    I'll try to update pics as best I can. The tunnel portal will be the first "photo ready" section...

    Feel free to offer any suggestions, although the track layout itself is fairly permanent at this point.

    http://www.nscale.net/forums/album.php?albumid=652

    Paul
    Last edited by pwh70; 6th Jun 2012 at 01:35 PM.

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    Looks cute! You don't see many square layouts

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    Thanks, you don't get that mainline "run" with the square shape, but surprisingly enough it does not look like a cat chasing it's tail.
    There's just enough room for a few extra curves here and there to break up what could be a monotonous circle...

    As Atlas (in 1970) bills it: "you can just carry it in, set in on the card table and you're ready to go." Yeah, right!

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    one rule you should never forget - it is your (his) layout! Do as you see fit and have fun. Your relationship with your boy is like mine with my son and fishing. we have been at it since he was 5 and now he is 34!
    Have Fun!
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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    As I mentioned previously, this (re)starter layout is an endeavor with my son, Sam - getting him into trains, and me back into them. We decided on a name for the layout - "Sam Hill Junction"... the hill is the most prominent part of the scenery, and well... the Sam part seemed to fit. He got a bigger kick out of the proposal for naming the pond (foreground of one of the pics... still waiting for water...) - "Paulywog Pond".
    Hey... it's the best way I could think to include the both of us!

    So here's my (2) questions - any suggestions on how to make some small signs? I'm thinking of a (scale) board on a stick, pounded into the ground under the trestle, saying "Sam Hill Tunnel", or something like that. Also would do "Sam Hill Junction", "Sam Hill Campground" (not scenicked yet), etc...

    Second question - is there a simple way to weather the bridge in place? Doesn't need to be fancy...

    thanks,
    Paul

    DSC_9812.JPG DSC_9814.jpg

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    You need some abutments for that bridge, nothing holding it up!

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    For weathering dry brushing touches of rust and mud colors would look good. It's easy to do and won't affect surrounding track and scenery.

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    That's some very nice hard shell scenery technique you've both done there!

    I would weather the bridge with powders, maybe some lighter tones, tans and browns first, to knock some of the edge off the black. Then you could selectively work in some rust tones in spots where you think it looks good. Then I might seal it with some dulcote and paint small, darker rust pits over the powder rust colors. I would also protect the rails with masking tape during the entire process to keep the powders off your equipment.

    Looks like you could even run 3 trains there.

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    Thanks, Gen. I'll check out your site for some powdering techniques. I haven't weathered yet, but I do intend to give it a try. Chalks and powders is what I thought I would start with.
    How would I seal the dulcote in place? Should I strategically place some newspaper to keep the overspray from hitting the hill and portal, etc that sit behind the bridge?

    The layout does allow 2 trains to run independently without having to monitor them. That's why it appealed to me for my son to operate. 3 can be run as long as someone is minding the store. It is block wired for that (DC).

    thanks again - Paul

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    if you have MS word you can print a sign in a font size of say 4 or smaller by highlighting the text then going to the size dropdown. it will only go to 8 but just overwrite that with different values to see what you can get. you can print it out and use a hobby knife to scrape some of the thickness of the paper then mount it with diluted white glue. no need to make decals. if you want a colored sign then make a textbox and put the text in and then use a fill color to fill the box.
    Good luck and it is great to see you working with your son. Mine is 34 and he has no interest in trains but we fish together as often as we can!

    ---------- Post added 6th Jun 2012 at 09:17 PM ----------

    Gen, correct me if I'm wrong but if Paul isn't going to be handling the bridge then I wouldn't think that he would need to dull coat it?
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwh70 View Post
    Should I strategically place some newspaper to keep the overspray from hitting the hill and portal, etc that sit behind the bridge?
    Exactly.

    Regarding the weathering, if you really want to get your fingernails dirty, become a registered member at:

    http://theweatheringshop.com/home.html

    and

    http://protoweathering.com/SMF/


    Those guys are super talented and full of great advice.

    ---------- Post added 6th Jun 2012 at 05:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by epumph View Post


    Gen, correct me if I'm wrong but if Paul isn't going to be handling the bridge then I wouldn't think that he would need to dull coat it?
    Correct, but the dullcote is only to protect the powders during the painting, if he chooses to take it that far. Sometimes you need to remove a mistake made by a paint brush, so locking the powders in place will preserve the work he's done there.

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    Baronjutter,

    You are correct on the abutment(s)... My intent was to use the granite ledge as the abutments. It works on the left side, but on the right side the curve of the track below doesn't allow it. I don't think a true abutment would fit either, for the same reason. It's just the result of trying to squeeze the over/under in the only place it would (almost) fit. One corner of the bridge is held up by the granite on the right side, but you can't see it in the photo. I do intend to do something creative there to make the rest of it look a little more supported.
    It's just a little Sam Hill levitation magic. Sometimes you'll have that!

    Thanks, Paul
    Last edited by pwh70; 6th Jun 2012 at 11:21 PM.

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    Gene - I love this sign idea... I've printed some out using Word and they're great!
    I'll try to get it mounted onto some kind of a backing tomorrow, if I'm lucky. Can't wait to see my son's face when he sees his name on the layout! Of course, his 10 year old eyes will be the only ones that can read this damn tiny font...
    I can tell it's going to be great already, so thanks. I'll post a pic when I plant the sign.

    Gen - thanks for those bridge weathering tips. I think I'm going to give it a shot - powders, dullcote and paint... that might take a little longer but I'll let you know how it comes out.

    Paul

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    Continuing to do some foliage scenicking. I like a lot of the "make your own tree" threads I've seen (twisted wire, etc) but I'm realizing that with limited time, the WS armatures seem to be the simplest for me (and I really do like how they look). We added the Conifers last night.
    I am doing some handmade birch trees, but still refining them. Just don't have a lot of time for the multi-step processes on many of them.
    I need to finish up and move off of this hill!!! But that means starting in on static grass and water, both of which I'm eager to try but procrastinating "diving in" (pardon the pun...) Gotta make one of those grass applicators (and then probably wish I just dropped the $120 on a commercial one).

    One of the things I like about this smaller layout is that we can still run around some trains while doing the scenic stuff and other details...

    Paul

    DSC_9912.JPG DSC_9928.JPG DSC_9930.JPG DSC_9938.JPG DSC_9941.JPG

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    coming along nicely!
    take a look at this:
    http://www.fiferhobby.com/html/general_tools.html
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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    Interesting Gene. Says they have sold 2000+ so maybe someone has used it and can give a report.
    Yes I search first but no joy.


    Ed

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    Woah that grass spreader is so much cheaper than the others? Is this a case where you get what you pay for, or a case of the other models being grossly over-priced specialty items? I'm thinking about getting into static grass so I can be cool like MCF but I'd also love to hear some impressions/reviews.

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    I'll write a review if you can wait the time it takes to get here - thanks for the tip, Gene.
    I was going to lookup those home made spreader tutorials and make one, but... for a couple extra $$ and not having to chase all the parts and pieces around (and put it all together) this looks like a good choice.

    Gen - if you're still following this thread, I also bought some weathering powders for the bridge. I'll let you know how it goes, thanks for the tips on that. I also have to figure out how to extend some support to the outside right corner of the bridge (as Baronjutter noticed earlier). However, it is directly over the inside rail of the curve below. Not sure what I'll do there. Maybe I'll just stop taking photos from that angle.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwh70 View Post
    I also have to figure out how to extend some support to the outside right corner of the bridge (as Baronjutter noticed earlier). However, it is directly over the inside rail of the curve below. Not sure what I'll do there. Maybe I'll just stop taking photos from that angle.
    Think arch or triangular supports from the stone to the underside of the bridge. You could order some plastruct I beams and build up a couple of supports that would allow clearance on the track below.
    Just a thought...
    Edit:
    http://www.plastruct.com/Pages/OnlineProductDetail.lasso?-op=%27eq%27&CCode=B-2

    think something like this but home brew/scratch built:
    http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Branc...-p/bra-874.htm

    use triangles instead of the oval arch segments. again just a thought
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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    here is a link to the company who makes/markets the el cheapo static grass applicator:
    http://www.grasstechusa.com/
    I have no interest, stocks, or anything to gain from this. Just trying to help out...
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

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