Did Santa bring some goodies?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by shamus, Jan 1, 2001.

  1. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Mrs Santa did well this year, a new mini tool kit with small files etc. Just the job for scratchbuilding projects. Plus a new loco from the kids. 2-8-0 Bachmann.
  2. Bill Tidler Jr

    Bill Tidler Jr New Member


    Bill Tidler, Jr.

  3. George

    George Member

    Somehow, Santa managed to get a 27" TV down the chimney without scratching the sides!

    I got an ACF dome car and an RPO in "HO" which I'm absolutely thrilled with. I treated myself to ordering a Bachmann Erie-built A-B-A set, but was told that they aren't even in the country yet. Backorder city again.

    Oh well, Happy Birthday to me when they come!

  4. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    I got a Nikon FM-10 kit with 35-70mm f/3.5-4.8 lense from my parents this year. Plan on getting a few more lenses, 50/1.8 and 70-210, this spring to expand my photography horizions. With any luck, I'll eventually be able to get a macro lense to take better layout photos, too.

    Brian Schmidt
    ICQ #21630753
    AIM - railohio
  5. Catt

    Catt Guest

    This ol furrball got gift certificates to my favorite hobbyshop(one size fits all [​IMG])

    Catt! A freelancer for life
  6. Zephyr

    Zephyr New Member

    Gezzz, all I got were the Visa/MasterCard invoices for everyone else's gifts! [​IMG]
    (time for a pity-party!!!)

    ....Pioneer Zephyr....
    "The miracle of 1934"
  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Zephyr, I feel your pain, The wife & I bought a whole bunch of Gift Certificates as gifts. So now, we wait fort the bills. [​IMG]
    The only train items, Santa brought, were a PRR Calendar, and a Tree Ornament. [​IMG]

    It was still a Great Time!!!!!!

    -- N gauger

    My wife says if I buy One more Train, she'll leave me...
    Gee I'll miss HER!!!! :) -- N Gauger
  8. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    I'll second that George.
    Happy Birthday, whenever it was.
    Have you any photo's of your layout? I am sure members would like to see them. [​IMG]

  9. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    I can't get over wife N gauger, I've got to go around [​IMG]
  10. George

    George Member

    Hello Shamus!

    I don't have any pictures of this layout (#5 for this lifetime, I think) as the pike is barely 25% finished and I have been having difficulty between other commitments and health problems that have prevented me from advancing at the pace I would like.

    Another major problem is I have to get a scanner, which would help!

    To save time on the last move, I managed to save a finished mountain about 6' X 2' X 2', all in one piece. The idea was to integrate it into a new pike to save time, materials, money, etc. So far, it's still in the box I put it inside of in 1995!

    As far as new vs. old techniques, I haven't changed very much over the years. I now prefer using foam from liquid instead of the old chicken wire and paper mache. The foam requires top notch ventilation while setting and I wouldn't recommend anyone using it in a basement for a prolonged period of time. In fact, the best case for that is to try and make the scenery out of doors, then bring it inside in pieces and fit the sections together.

    I take crumpled newspaper in various forms and cover it with duct tape, packing more or less paper for desired contours. When it looks credible, I pour the mixture (Mountains in Minutes) over the tape and let the mess set. When dry, I spray the entire surface with a brown paint and when finished, I pull the newspaper out from the rear and bottom to reduce fire hazard and not give mice a place to nest should there be any. The area should be internally sealed off so that the cat can't get there either, should you have one.
    when I moved, it was the lightest large box of them all!

    Pictures will be fun when there's finally something finished to take some of. I have a video of the last layout which was never finished before moving. A friend who doesn't have space for a layout invested some years back in the Lionel black and white railcam which we had a lot of fun with, but then we didn't have a video camera to plug into the monitor. I wasn't about to start tearing decks out of the wall rack that my wife and I had neatly wired. We're looking forward to that as this run will probably be six times the size of the last one.

    I wanted to build around the wall, as I've always ended up with an island layout. This one's an island as well, as the room was too nice to block several large windows. Major difference is that I'm gearing for putting the controls in the center, though I've been toying with the idea of a wireless walk around.


  11. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Thanks George
    What is your room size (train area) and I'll see what I can come up with in the way of a trackplan. You don't have to use it, but it might give you some idea's.
  12. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Just a reminder to all, the gauge is still looking for articles written on any model railroading subject you care to put pen to paper to. Could even be about how you made a new Athearn loco run smoothly and quietly. Or, How you motorized a manual turntable. So put your thinking caps on. It's be kind to shamus week. (I hope)
  13. George

    George Member

    Hello Shamus!

    The room has too many nice windows, doors and a large opening into another finished room that I wouldn't dare expand into. Regretfully, that was my own choice.

    The layout size is 10' X 16'. Still not large enough, but I've got my hands full with it at the moment. This one's a four track line for running. the last layout was in a spare bedroom in an apartment. A 6' X 8' kidney with two and three feet of clearance to get around and for closet access. From that I swore anything in the future would afford primarily four feet of clearance. You really need this so that you can get back from the layout to take it in, not to mention space to get around someone in a hurry if there's a rare derailment. We had the last layout running like a watch so we could go out on the terrace and barbecue, whatever and see two trains operating flawlessly. It was especially neat to see all lit up at night in a darkened room through the window from the outside.

    The goal is the same this time, except with four trains running. I have never liked layouts that I felt were "overtracked", and I could never relate to these people who spend hours in a small "fiddle yard" as one does lost in a crossword puzzle. I have one area for a small yard for an industry and if I can swing it, two staging tracks inside of one large walk-in mountain. I wish I could replicate a yard I saw in a Xerox club which I have described in another thread here. And as I described the use of mirrors, I haven't quite yet decided where and how I'm going to use mirrors. At one end, as before, I will use a backdrop to divide an urban/rural transition, naturally utilizing a tunnel.

    In the past, I always had the track hugging the edge of the wood for optimum curve spread, and in two places, I have unfortunately done it again. I like buildings and have accumulated a sizeable urban scene, with more kits in the box to assemble. As for scenery, I'm envious of your shots, as I need to develop these skills. Maybe I should go back to plaster!?

    For the most part, the track is going to be a good distance back from the edge this time, and at one end of the layout, two tracks will be hidden in a tunnel. I went to great expense with Shinohara in tracking down #8 turnouts, and the crossings for them do not fit like a glove and have required a lot of shaving. The idea is to portray a division junction on a large railroad, with two tracks shearing away from the other two. I like the heavy mainline look. I never went for narrow gauge, or the branchline scene.

    I'm at the best part. I haven't made any major mistakes...yet!

  14. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi George,
    I'll have a think about your room size 10' by 16' and see what I can come up with. Is it going to be a walk in or Duck under. By the way, I use undercoat plaster for my scenery, easy to carve. Ordinary builders plaster is too weak and will crack. [​IMG]

  15. George

    George Member

    Shamus, thank you so much!

    I printed them, as I couldn't download them from the mail site to where I am. I especially like the 1120X953 pixel image with the liftout.

    What is your experience between liftouts and hinged gates, you must have a preference. There's a topic for a forum!

    The other plan, #2 (1493X1532 pixels) is most appealing. I like the large yard toward the rear of the scene. What did you have along the backdrop along the tracks, buildings, or something else? What was your minimum track radius? I'm trying to hold it to a minimum of 22"-24". Trying to move forward and never have an 18" curve on the main again. I'm assuming these were cab control?

    One basement I looked at was massive, the house on top of it wasn't bad either... I'd envisioned a layout with one long straight Australian style run with the return going into a series of protrusions. The wood alone for the layout probably would have put a nice addition on the house. That dream vanished when we discovered the home was in a flood plain, and a good thing too. It flooded two years later and I would have lost everything down there. When they tell you the place only floods every 100 years, pretend you're in the 99th and move on!

    So, you built both of these? By comparison, my plan is probably very boring by most peoples standards. After years of watching 85' passenger cars bend around curves, I'm going for straight runs and minumum curves, and even then mostly hidden by tunnels.

    Watch, I'll get bored and tear it apart in 15 months!

    Do you use a wireless throttle? I won't go DCC, as I can't solder for beans. With my present inventory I find it cost prohibitive in addition and I don't think the layout's large enough to go that way. Besides that, I just see too much head-on potential with the system, especially on a layout that will have as many blind spots from the cab as this one will. That's why I'm thinking about wireless, except I don't like the idea of getting a shower of RF, no matter how low. Walk around seems impractical for me, especially with four trains. [​IMG]

    I live in the US. UK is a neat place [​IMG] Are you on the mainland or Sodor? [​IMG] I was there when you still had British Rail. Do you miss it or are you glad with the changes? A friend of mine here has an "HO" model, I think it's the APT. It actually leans into the curves. He's had many offers for it but won't part with it.

    So, you like Yankee trains? BIG, aren't they? When they leave the rails and hit a structure, it's hard to find a trace of anything! How's availability of them (them big trains, that is) in the UK? Can you do better ordering stock through the Internet or mail ordering?

    Have a nice evening!

  16. George

    George Member

    Hello Shamus!

    That's the layout size, not the room. I was hoping I could get fit a couch, but nay.

    The sides are oddly shaped as I made a series of modules of uniform height and bolted them together. The narrowest clearance is two feet, and like I mentioned before, mainly four feet. I'm having a swing gate built by a friend that I'm going to put bridges on. The plans are in the Feb 99 MR. If it gets to be too much, I have two places where I can duck under, but I'm relaly trying to avoid duck unders and hatches at all costs. I'm a staunch advocate of the "Nothing deeper than you can reach" philosophy, and the older I get, the harder it is to bend.

    For detailing the plaster surfaces, do you use a dentist's pick or what?

  17. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi George,
    For carving the plaster, I use a small knife, and sculpture away until the desired effect is achieved. I am sending you an email with a couple of attachments (Plans)

    Where do you live, I am in the UK [​IMG] [​IMG]
  18. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi George
    No, I don't use DCC, and my throttles are hand held Feed backs.
    I do have a plan that involves hidden holding rails underneath your layout if that will help.
    What did you have along the backdrop along the tracks, buildings, or something else? What was your minimum track radius? I'm trying to hold it to a minimum of 22"-24". Trying to move forward and never have an 18" curve on the main again. I'm assuming these were cab control?
    The back drop was painted by an artist friend of mine, minimum radius was 24".
    Yes, it was all cab-control, run three at once on the same line if needed. Block Control.
    As far as the lift verses hinged gate, I prefer the lift. For no other reason apart from taking it down to the lounge to work on the scenery and watch TV at the same time.
    I'll email the other plan later today.
    I live in Shropshire, about 200 miles from LONDON


    [This message has been edited by shamus (edited 01-11-2001).]
  19. Drew

    Drew New Member

    OK, I've got to get this Christmas thing off my chest. A lot of model railroaders probably look forward to what Santa will bring, but I'm probably the only one who dreads it.
    My wife & kids refuse to buy any RR related items for me, citing the reason that I buy them all year long, so they're going to get me stuff I "really need".(i.e. socks & underwear) That's fine, I agree with their reasoning, & even model railroaders need socks & underwear.
    This brings me to my mother-in-law, God bless her. She has this idea that if it has a picture of a train, is shaped like a train, or any thing else REMOTELY related to any thing "train-like", then it's the perfect gift for Drew. I've tried subtle hints that I'm really only interested in SCALE modeling (she thinks this must have something to do with weight), to no avail. So every year, I must open up boxes of porcelein ornaments, music boxes, flower pots, ink pens, after-shave bottles, penny banks, & all the while smiling & saying "Gee, that's really nice", & at the same time casting that look at my wife that asks "Is there any room LEFT in the attic, honey?"
    OK, all that said, I must admit, that this year she came up with something really cool. After digging through the usual porcelein junk, I uncover, in the bottom of the box, in pristine condition, a bundle of all 12 issues of Railroad Magazine from the year 1944. This was simply FANTASTIC! I take back anything bad I ever said about her.
  20. Railery

    Railery Member

    i too don't get anything for the layout unless i purchase it through Santa, but i do get calenders, ashtrays, cups, how to books, watches, pins , pens, pencils, rulers, etc. Anything that has a train on it. Oh, i forgot the magnets. But i use it all for decorating the walls of the train room. I must admit, some of the articles make a good conversational piece. The wall clock though, i took the battery out [​IMG]

    Greg's Central

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