Anyone into New England HO freelance?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by papasmurf37, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. papasmurf37

    papasmurf37 Member

    Old coot, papasmurf from NH here. Was in local, now-defunct HO modular club for about 6 years. One ex-member and yours truly are building[very slowly, due to family commitments, illness, the weather and lack of funds] a portable sectional [as opposed to modular] HO layout, using combo of steel stud and hollow-core door construction, with 17" depth on each side of skyboard and 48" track height. Due to the shallow layout area, many building flats will be used. Using Lenz DCC for power and will run point-to-point on a variation of the dogbone, with continuous running an option. All turnouts to be hand-thrown with operator his own switchman.
    MAY eventually go to local train shows with layout, maybe giving clinics, as have had lots of experience with that.
    We're freelancing a ficticious northern NE east-west branchline, running from ME, thru upper NH, VT, into NY with short branch into Quebec, set in late 50's/early 60's era. We are using combo of Fallen Flag, active road locos[B&M, MEC, BAR, CV, CN, RUT, D&H, etc.] and rolling stock, on the premise that we bought what surplus stuff we could find on our shoestring budget.
    Really like the modeling of Mike Tylick, Lou Sassi and others who model in the same era and geographical area.
    Was just wondering if anyone here was doing the same?
    Have one question:
    What small industry, if any, might have been located near US border in Quebec during our era [lumbering, drywall or plywood manufacturing, gypsum mining, others]? TTFN...Tom.
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Tom,
    A syrup shed might make a nice addition, hang some
    buckets on the trees!
    Of course, a small sawmill, how about some boat-building,
    especially if you're close to the river.:) :) :)
  3. papasmurf37

    papasmurf37 Member

    HI CID!
    FUNNY you should mention maple syrup! In the Dec. '03 RMC, there's a SUPER article on a VT short line RR, which we read and re-read. It had a ton of GREAT modeling ideas for us and fit right into our locale and era, with a list of the products line handled.
    There is a VT Maple Syrup factory with it's own spur, noted as existing in a town along r-o-w of the short line in article and we have already planned on having that on our pike. Sawmill and boat builder are also neat ideas!
    So far, we are planning to have : small rural coal/oil dealership, firetruck repair/restoration facility, feed and grain mill, commercial bakery, scrap metal dealer, team track at each village station and a variety of small industries along the wye at one end of our main[just like 1:1 did in many places across our country]. THANKS for the speedy reply! TTFN.....
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I'd love to see what you guys come up with. If you want a "funny" industry, I have an old RMC article for a molasys mine, done quite well.
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    While not exactly New England, most of my inspiration comes from northeastern areas. Sag Harbor Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., named for Sag Harbor N.Y., has elements of Harvey Gamage's facility in South Bristol, Me.. Much of my scenery is based on the Casco Bay area in Maine, with influences from eastern Long island.
  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    How are you dealing with the turns using doors. And since you said 17 inches I assume you are doing 1/2 door scenes (1 on each side). I do modular but mine are close to NMRA HO specs. FRED
  7. David Rosser

    David Rosser Member

    In one of the 2003 issues of Classic Trains mag. there was a big article, lots of pictures, on NewEngland type ball signals. I built one from scratch and it really was not that hard to do. It is not an operating signal but it is very correct and looks unique. It would fit in your project. Dave
  8. papasmurf37

    papasmurf37 Member

    DASH10: We opted a long time ago to use the hollow core door for several reasons.
    1. They are light [we intend to eventually go to train shows again with our UNIQUE layout!]. And we also use 2" extruded foam on doors, also light and this gives us about 14 1/2 feet of HO space for UNDER-TRACK scenic detailing [fill, culvert, low trestle, road underpass, etc.].
    2. They are pretty stable, take legs well [we only put legs on ONE end of each as next door holds up end without legs; saves $ on materials] and as long as you are selective when purchasing them, you can get well-built ones [I imagine some may not be constructed very well].
    3. They can be very cheap [if you search for good buys at local lumber yards, etc. and sometime a damaged one, which is still quite useable, can be a REAL bargain!].
    4. By limiting the depth of each half-door [split by skyboard] one needs to be MORE CREATIVE with their r-o-w design and a 17" depth [in our case] saves a TON OF $ on scenicing materials needed on layout! With skyboard, Gary and I will be out of visual contact with each other. He can control entire east side with Lenz set 90[also PD 1] and I, on west side with XPA/cordless 900mhz phone[PD 2]. Can't wait!
    As stated above, we plan to use building flats where they'd be applicable [example: two flats, one on left and one on spur switchback, on right. One a commercial bakery and the other, a ladder, barrel, outdoor furniture and picnic table manufacturer -'all things wood']. You design your geographical features in the area to justify switchback[cannot run two separate spurs here because of river, large rock outcrop, other buildings, etc.].
    5. IF DESIRED, you can cut access panel(s) on underside of a door and run buss/feeders inside, out of harm's way. Also, covers can be installed over these openings, if desired.

    Now, module vs section in HO [we were in HO club about 6 years]:
    MODULE: was usually 2' by 4', had 42" track height, mains 3" and 6" on center, running parallel to outer edge with electrical connections at each end for inter-connection and would also make connecting to any other club's modules possible at train show. Rear areas can be used for towns, industries, scenic areas, etc.

    SECTION: Any section size or shape, any track height the modeler desires, double track main NOT necessary, track can be run anywhere desired[example: main in rear with an industry in foreground], industries can be located anywhere, units are almost always unique[can only be mated to the adjoining section from same layout and NO electrical connection capability to any other layouts needs to be built in.

    Getting off my soapbox now, LOL!
  9. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    But I'm still in the dark on how you do the corners. FRED
  10. papasmurf37

    papasmurf37 Member

    I can see that you are still thinking 'modular'! I apologize for not including this in my last post!
    We have constructed a pair of REVERSER [layout end] SECTIONS, which are:
    48" diameter circle of 6mm luan plywood, mounted on a steel wall stud which has been notched and bent [all 45 degree angles] into an octogonal shape[actually had to use two pieces to achieve this as the studs we bought were only 8' long [longer ones are available] and each flat, notch-to-notch measured 18 1/4". Then we installed 4 steel stud legs with a short 2 by 4 insert piece at top and bottom [for attachment of legs to octogonal top section with carriage bolts and lower ones to hold threaded leg adjusters] and a pair of lower cross braces which are bolted together in center, where they cross at a 90 degree angle. Legs were cut to give a 48" track height atop the 2" extruded foam we are using on the luan.
    We then cut the luan flush to steel stud along one 18 1/4" face and notched hollow core door to fit snug against reverser unit. You need to install a square filler strip inside door[heavily glued] after notch is cut to maintain door strength AND to allow a 2 by 2 mating strip to be bolted on bottom there. Then this same 2 by 2 is bolted to stud flat on reverser[ it is necessary to notch the luan on both sides of reverser flat to clear door end 'wings' and maintain exactly the same foam top height]. Lastly, a pair of legs is added to other end of door and you now have a mated reverser/door unit. Foam is also attached to door full-width and we then decide WHERE to run our skyboard. We DO NOT run skyboard down center to create equal 17" r-o-w areas, but use angle-mounted pieces, in a roughly chevron shape. This gave us MORE center room behind main on one side of first door, for our coal/oil dealer, trestle, tanks, office, conveyers, trucks, oil piping, parking lot, fence and gates. etc. Other side, at point of 'chevron' is a steep foam rock outcrop, extending to section edge, with main passing thru tunnel there. The two triangular areas on other side of door allow for a pair of industries of our choice behind main. Using large cardboard pieces as temporary skyboards helps to envision where permanent luan one should be mounted, as we design an industry's spur layout, etc. ONLY THEN do we cut the continuous foam sheets atop door along skyboard mounting line. This saves false cuts and you only need to do it once to get it right!
    I KNOW this all sounds confusing to some one not actually seeing our layout units but will be glad to explain further on it....Tom
  11. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    You mean like this? EXCUSE MY DRAWING. FRED

    Attached Files:

  12. papasmurf37

    papasmurf37 Member

    HI FRED:
    You've got it pretty much right except that there are a pair of units [reverser/door] and they will be joined by an angled center section. This will set unit center lines at about a 30 degree angle to each other. We may even make a LONG center section[longer main r-o-w, more industries, another town] and end up with about 40' of main on each side of skyboard [we have about 25' now]. Of course, if we do that, we may have to locate ends at 90 degree angle to each other to fit layout in garage. TTFN.....
  13. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    It's a layout made for dog. LOL FRED
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Hi Tom! Check your private messages.

Share This Page