Copper Ridge Railway under construction

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by roryglasgow, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Just so you know that I'm still working, here are some in-progress shots of the work on the upper levels. In this view you can see the inclines that I cut from the foam insulation. I had to chop it up in the curves so that the track would lay correctly. The upper level has not been permanently set into place. I still have to cut some pieces for the left and right rear corners. Plus, there is some additional work to be done on the tunnels (like putting fake walls on the inside).

    The track has been pinned and glued down from the base level up to the turnout on the second level. The second level spur, and the track leading to the third level will be fixed down later. After I make a few adjustments, I'm going to power up the line to the second level.

    As you can see, I cut the two upper levels out of the base sheet of foam. The nice thing about this is that it gives me really good access to the underside of the whole layout. The track in the tunnel that leads to the second level sits on a little platform. The track for both tunnels is easily reached from underneath.

    I will either use newspaper wads and paper mache to fill out the hillsides, or I might try to use an expanding foam product like Great Stuff. I want to experiment with the Great Stuff first before I make a commitment! :)


    Attached Files:

  2. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Here is a view from the end. You can see the side of one of the risers that I placed on the crossmembers to hold up the second and third levels. The risers are simply foam that has been cut in a stair-step fashion, and glued and toothpicked to the levels (well, at least the second level for now...the third will be permanently installed later).

    It didn't occur to me until last night that I might have cut myself short on space for the turnout control lever on the second level. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! :)


    Attached Files:

  3. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    And since I decided to go the route of cutting the second and third levels out of the base, I guess I need to paint the rest of the top of the foam! :)

  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    That is AWESOME looking!!:cool:
    It looks like you're in for a ton of fun with this little gem!
  5. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Its progressing nicely Rory. You sure have been busy. Looks like the levels are coming the way you want them to. Isn't foam great to work with!!:D I know it can be messy but it sure makes railroading easier.
  6. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Yes, that foam is terrific! I was looking at the layout a little while ago and thinking that I can do just about anything with foam. It's very easy to cut, and there is very little mess (I use a hobby knife to cut it, not a saw). Of course, I'm using a 1/2" sheet. The thicker stuff may be more difficult to manage...

    I have to cut a number of odd pieces to fit here and there for supports. If I were doing this with wood, it would be a lot more difficult. I can cut up the foam almost on a whim...

  7. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Wow Rory, now that's PROGRESS! Aren't you glad I got your wife to hide the power supply? :) .

    It looks huge and seems to have a lot more space than the original drawings suggested.

    If these are your reclaimed Atlas turnouts you must have removed the throw mechanisms? Will you be using surface or recessed wire through tubing to operate them?

    I can visualise what it will look like when it's all finished (or at least with ground cover applied), I'm really impressed.

  8. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Rory my layout is built out of blue foam, lightweight spackling compound and Great Stuff. No plaster, too hard and too heavy. However let me warn you about the Great Stuff. It expands and expands and expands. When you apply it and get about 2/3 thirds of what you want QUIT!!!! Even though it looks like it has just about stopped expanding it will continue to ooze outward ever so slowly for about an other hour. Other than that it is truly great stuff!:D BTW the layout is lookig good :cool: !
  9. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    Yes, I took the switch machines off. I don't like the way they look, and they tend to get in the way. My SD80MAC would actually bump into the housings on some! It happened in a couple of places where tracks branched off from a "main" line, like the yard. Anyway, my current plan is to go with Caboose Industries ground throws. But, I'm not committed to that. I can operate them the way they are now, but they're not too reliable. I like the look and operation of the ground throws, even though they are oversized. I figured I'd make a final decision a little later.


    Thanks for the info. That definitely sounds like the way to go. And if I can get results like you did...well, so much the better!

  10. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member other question...

    How long did you have to let the Great Stuff cure before you started "decorating" it? Did you have to prepare the surface in some way, or did you apply the ground cover directly to it?

  11. RI541

    RI541 Member


    I'd go with the Great Stuff. I tried the news paper with woodland Scenics plaster cloth. the hills look great but tree planting is not very fun.

    I used Sculptamold on another hill and had better luck with the trees.

    Just dont use the DAP brand Insulation. It takes forever and a day to dry.:) :(

    You lay-out is coming along nicely. I might get some done on mine next week when the two girls are back in school.:) :)
  12. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Rory I let the G.S. cure overnight, then trimmed off any excess (there is always some it seems), then spread lightweight spackling compound over it to get the final contours. Let that cure overnight , then painted it dark flat green (water-based latex) give an hour to dry then you can start adding dirt, grass etc.
  13. eatst14

    eatst14 Member

    Looking Great Rory!

    Please keep those pictures comming.

    Were the SD80 hitting the switch machines both direction or just one? I dont own any 80's but for other equipment i found adding a piece of 1 inch straight sectional track helps.

  14. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    It happened from both directions. And it happened, as I recall, where a 19" radius section came off the turnout. It was hanging on the fuel tank.

    But my reasons for ditching the switch machines were mainly because I don't like the way they looked and operated.

  15. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member

    I gave up on 9 3/4" radius curves. On the mainline I have 19", 16", and 13". I operate 2 (maybe 3 in the next few days) Sd-80's and operate a dash-9. Your supposed to use 12"+ curves on these beautiful engines.
  16. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    My curves are 9.75", 11" and 19". Actually, the SD80MAC doesn't fit in with my plan. It was a gift. I still like to run it, though, because it looks and runs awesome! :)

    If I had my way, I'd be running steam engines. I noticed that N-Scale Division has JNR Class C50 2-6-0 engines. They look American enough to me! Now if only I had money in the bank! :)


    P.S. - Here is a link to NSD's Kato page:
  17. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I've been making some good progress on the layout today! I painted the areas inside the tunnel entrances, installed all three parts of the upper level, glued down more track and painted the remaining blue top-surfaces. And, I made a makeshift backdrop out of the leftover foam!

    I also discovered that my digital camera fits my telescope tripod. This means I can take MUCH better photos because the camera can sit still. They're still not perfect, but I'm very happy with the results of my el-cheapo camera!

    The four photos below were taken from the tripod with the same weak batteries I've been using the past week!


    Attached Files:

  18. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Here you can see a seam in the backdrop... Oh, well! At least it looks better than panelling!


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  19. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I liked the look of the water tower sitting there on the top level. If I can ever lay my hands on some steam locos, then the branchline will go steam...

    I'm using parts from my old service track structures to substitute for the mine.


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  20. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I'll be building trestles for the "bridges" on this end. Look on the bottom level right in front of the second level on the near end: that's where I set a bottle of track cleaner! :)

    Now, let's down the upper tracks, fill in the cliffsides and hillsides, put down dirt and grass, put in some trees, put in a road, place some people, light up the buildings, install the turnout switchstands, build the trestles... Well, I have further to go than I've gone...

    GOOD! :):):)


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