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Thread: German 4' x 9.5' layout

  1. #81
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    The LED strip (25') has a sticky back. I enhanced the adhesion by gluing with clear silicon adhesive. I applied a dab on each edge of the LED strip about every 6th light at the cut marks. A small blob on top of the strip, overlapping onto the wood.

    The feeder wires are supported at each end to keep weight off of the lighting strips.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Thanks , mine have the sticky back too , but it lets loose after a while. I will try the silicon adhesive.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    One thing you might add is a tent top.
    It will pretty up, the raw lighting strips and wiring. It will also bounce more of your light onto the layout. Made of cloth, it will be light and easy to transport. Sewn like a fitted sheet or pop up tent cap, it would be simple to add to the layout. Another plus would be to add the layout name to the short side panels, kinda like letter boards, a way to draw more viewers.
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  4. #84
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    The cloth tent is a good idea. Too bad my corner molding (to which the lighting is attached) is too flimsy to support even one more ounce of weight! A pale gray cloth, perhaps randomly sprayed with a bit of white paint, would give a good impression of cloudy German skies.

    A better idea is installing name boards. They would need to be removable, of course (my wife says, "Don't add anything that makes it any heavier!). Since I rely on her help and forbearance to load it into her horse trailer and to set up and tear down at shows, it behooves (that's for Moose!) me to pay attention.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Foamcore and Gatorboard are about 10% of the weight of the equal thickness of plywood and are totally self supporting. It is another possibility for a topper, but because it is rigid, it would not travel as easily as cloth would. It would be like a tabletop you could lift with a couple fingers. But it could replace your flimsy trim pieces and only need a support rod in each corner, with a plug for the LEDs.

    A simple box will do the job and the sides would eliminate any sagging. Because no wood is used, heat and humidity have no effect. The paper on the surface, can be painted or have other stuff glued to it.

    Here's something I did at my old job. I started with a 4x8 sheet of 3/16” Foamcore, a battery operated clock and the design toys. A variation for a traveling display layout could be an old fashioned Arrivals/Departures Board.

    The sign is so light, it is being held up by two pieces of fishing line.

    Many pieces I created like that have lasted for years. My Snowton layout is still going strong and it is a simple box lid of Foamcore glued together.

    Gatorboard is also called Signboard. Because wood fibers are mixed into the foam and the paper or thin styrene used on the surface are a little thicker, it can be as tough as plywood. Although I have cut it with an Xacto, a saw works better. Both Foamcore and Gatorboard can be bought in white and black. I have purchased smaller sheets in other colors.
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  7. #86
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    That is one very nice façade!

    Interesting about the Gatorboard, but when I looked it up online, a 60"x120" piece (as needed to cover a 48"x114" layout) runs over $1,700. Ouch! That's more than I tell my wife I have invested in the layout.

    The purpose of my lighting is to illuminate the layout (with day/night transition capability) at the rare show that has poor lighting. Think, "Minimalist." Since building the lighting, I have removed it from the layout and stored it on racks on the shop wall.

    I don't really need to attract more attention to the layout - I'm generally mobbed at any show. I've had numerous people cruise through, and after viewing all the layouts and vendors, spend their entire show time at the Rheinland Bayern Bahn. Kids pull their parents back so they can push the buttons that activate the fire scene, the carnival, the dragon's cave, and we will see if the salt mine gets any attention at the next show at the end of the month. I especially enjoy the service brats (I'm one) who look at the trains and exclaim, "Oh, look! There's an ICE train!."
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    A quick look on the web tells me that is the price for a case of ten. What makes it so high is the way oversized shipping cost. Weight is not the issue. The amount of attention the carrier has to take is huge. A shipping company had to eat the price of a case of 4x8s because they slightly wrinkled a corner of one shipped to my old job. The seller, who replaced it, said to toss it out, so the slightly damaged case came home with me.

    I can definitely see, a lot lower cost, by using three 4x8 sheets. Buying directly from the local sign shop could cut out shipping costs. Using Foamcore would be even cheaper.

    But it would just add something extra, you have to haul around. So I don't blame you for nixing the idea.

    Thanks for the compliment, doing stuff like that was the fun part of my job. I think some of my coworkers were jealous, while I was making stuff like that. They were busy creating catalogs, specifications and instruction sheets.
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  9. #88
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    I very much appreciate your suggestions and comments, CNW. I am always interested in new ideas - no telling what concepts might be sparked.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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  11. #89
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    I was rather surprised, while reading Dave Frary's Blog. He does a lot of operating museum displays in the New England area. Instead of plywood he is using Foamcore or Gatorboard as the base. The stable manmade material is not subject to factors like humidity or temperature.

    Dr Klyzlr down in Australia and New Zealand, does entire layouts with built in canopies, using a snap-together aluminum frame for legs. In the real world he is involved in traveling entertainment like concerts and shows. His display layouts are highly sought out on the local model railroad show circuit. His super light construction methods and meticulous attention to mechanical details make them easy set up and survive the long distances between shows.

    The only drawback to the stuff I have found, is that 3/16" Foamcore the not best thing to poke trolley poles into. I used brass tubes for support and hot glue has a hard time adhering to the brass. The European system with a base would probably work better.

    Can you post close up shots of your catenary? Right now it is too expensive to get any to experiment with.
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    Here are some close-ups of the catenary. Please excuse the poor photography. The first shot is of my upper deck, where I used Viessmann brand. The bases screw to the deck with tiny wood screws, and the masts can slide in the bases for adjustment purposes. The overhead wires snap onto the arms of the masts - very simple and easy. The downside of Viessmann masts is that they are a bit fragile - but very easy to replace if you break one.



    This second photo is of my mainline. I used Sommerfeldt catenary. The masts are sturdier than the Viessmann masts, and through-bolt to the deck. You can get longer spans of wires with Sommerfeldt, also. This is important going through stations. The wires need to be soldered to the arms of the masts - no big deal. The biggest downside is the bright copper color of the wires. And you better have your positioning right on the masts, because there is no adjustable base.



    This last shot is also of Sommerfeldt catenary, showing their model of concrete masts. These do not bolt or screw into the deck, but you drill an undersized hole and simply push them in to the right height. Otherwise they are the same as the latticework masts.



    Can you identify that yellow thing next to the rail, in the foreground?
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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  14. #91
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    Wow great work on your layout!

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    Two more details for ChicagoNW. The first shows how the Viessmann catenary clips onto the arms of the masts.



    The second photo shows one method of tensioning the wires.



    You will note the spring. I have also screwed and glued a screw into one end of a spring, which lets me adjust tension. Springs are wound the opposite of right-hand screws. If I turn the screw conterclockwise (anticlockwise for our Brit cousins), it tightens the wires. I used the screw method in 6 or 8 places, with the stationary spring at the other end of that line of catenary.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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  18. #93
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    Are you actually using the overheads for power at all? All the catenary work is one of the main reasons I've never wanted to do a european layout.

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    No, Baron. The catenary is not continuous. I don't have it in the tunnels. I especially did not want it in my U-Bahnhof, which is my staging yard. Also, I am told that the overhead wires do not give sufficient continuity for DCC operations. But I wanted the wires to be tight enough to allow me to run trains with pantographs up.

    The catenary is not at all difficult to install. One just needs to remember that the wires run straight between masts, so the tighter the curve in the rails, the more closely spaced the masts. I remember Marklin had curved catenary back in the 1950s and even to an 8 year old it looked terrible.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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  21. #95
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    Thanks for the pictures!

    I did not realize that the brands had such different poles. But I see the mounting mechanics are similar.

    The bright copper color is pretty easy to get rid of. Plus you can make it look very realistic in the process. Most craft stores have kits for Faux Aged Metal Finishes.

    The brand I have used is Sofisticated Finishes by Triangle Crafts. I have seen copper, silver, bronze and iron/steel. The system consists of two parts, a paint with real metal suspended in the carrier and an aging solution.

    That roof on the small building was done in copper. First the metal paint is applied to the surface. After it dries, the aging solution is applied. It is a weak acid that mimics weathering. That roof has had multiple applications producing that nice verdigris color. Fewer applications age it less.

    Because there is real metal and acid reacting together, the effect is much better than just applying paint. While it may not show in pictures, there is a nice blotchy finish. In a couple other places I used the finish, I didn't go as heavy. Because the aging solution is watery, it mimics rain and settles in crevasses.

    Since the the catenary is already copper, just use the solution to give the wires a nice weathering. But the paint is nice to use on all kinds of details and roofs. You would need to copper pair the solder, before aging the wires.
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  23. #96
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    After taking the layout to Loveland for a show at the end of November, I've been repairing damage from the 280 mile round trip. All has now been fixed.

    This weekend I'll be trying something different. I've been invited to display the Rheinland Bayern Bahn at a "Chocolate Festival" here in Colorado Springs. It is a one day event, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Event Center at Academy and Palmer Park. Saturday only. Chocolate - how could I refuse?
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Chocolate? Did someone say CHOCOLATE? It is a health food, you know! DO torture us with photos!
    Northern Pacific and Black Hills RR in N, of course!!
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    Gordon,

    Your layout is incredible. The detail and amount of activity in it is incredible and can see why it would get a lot of attention at shows. Most impressive indeed.

    Have to ask, how long did it take you to do all of it? Sorry if this has been answered and or asked already.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"

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    Tony,

    I started this layout February 12th, 2015. But I cheated. I already had a 44x96 layout on which I had made a number of serious mistakes (town blocking kids view of the trains, not enough room for a hand under the mountains to retrieve trains).

    I had already spent months in design work. I came back from a trip to Germany (Miniatur Wunderland) and built the benchwork, and laid the Peco track. That was another mistake. I should have built the bus route first. Because of that error and using latex paint on the road instead of the Faller paint, it took me 2 months to get the bus running reliably. Then I cannibalized the previous setup. I only had to build about 12 new structures. Some I carved out of foam, an idea stolen from MiWuLa.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    My gosh, you have done a remarkable job with your layout Gordo!

    Thanks for posting your progress photos. I enjoyed browsing through your thread with my coffee this morning.
    Rob

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