Request for ideas to enhance this old table

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by aartwmich, Dec 22, 2002.

  1. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    I have Dads old HO table running again, as some of you have heard about already, and I would like to do some enhancements but am not sure just what to do. I don't want to tear it all up and start over but just enhance what's already there, kind of finish up what he started. I'm not sure of the era or setting he was trying to create, the stock is steam and freight and some town type stuff and I'm no great railroad connoisseur, I'm interested in the modeling aspect more than anything, Im just not sure what to model here. There isn't much room but here are a few of my thoughts, can anyone help me decide by making some suggestions?? I know theres some great imaginations out there with lots of experience and I thought I'd try to tap into some of it. Thanks in advance. :)

    I would like to add some kind of water, a stream or pond.

    I would like to add some elevation, it SO darn FLAT. There isn't much room but thought I could add some low stuff here and there just to break the flatness.

    I don't know where to put the water tower and coal building thingy (I don't know what its really called) it's in the center rear of the pic.

    I plan on adding some raised sides on hinges with a backdrop painted on them, to support a dust cover and add some scenery. The hinges will allow maintenence access. BUT what scenes??? The track is awfully close to the edges of the table.

    Attached Files:

  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    What is the sub-roadbed material??
    Elevate the west side track (bridge) 2" and run the stream under the bridge.
    Use the Woodland Scenics risers, elevate as gently as possible starting soon after the crossover.
    Move the coalmine to the south end.
    Put all the houses on the west side of Main Street on a hill; make it as high as you can get a driveway up (can be pretty steep.)
    I would not hinge the backdrops, just make them removable. It's not a bad idea, I just think they'll be in your way and get damaged when down.
    You can even put the backdrop on the wall if the table can be pulled out for access.
    Use forest/mountain on the backdrops, a few trees on the layout to transition.
    Call it 1950 and don't put no PT Cruisers on it.
    There's about 72,000 other people out here with totally different suggestions, most prolly better.
    My daughter bought me a train set at a charity auction, but she kept it!!! I'm shuttin' up now.
  3. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    cidchase...those are some good ideas, just the kind of brainstorming I was looking for. I was thinking of making the hinged sides hang straight down, it will take some special hinges but I have friends in the sheetmetal biz. I may have to extend the sides of the table by maybe 6'' to incorporate a transition area from the flat to any hills or mountains on the backdrop.

    The subroadbed is plywood with 2x4 on edge on the bottom for stiffening. I built a rolling frame to set the plywood on so it can be pulled away from the wall , one of the dogs sleeps under there on an old futon.

    Attached Files:

  4. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Six inches?!? You're not thinking correctly. Get rid of all the other stuff in the room, build fido a heated doghouse outside and extend the layout across the whole room. Then, when you run out of space, start knocking walls out and slowly "incorporate" the rest of the house. C'mon, what could be more convenient than having a bedroom/bathroom/kitchen/laundry/media room? Wake up in the morning, fold up the sleeping bag you were using on the floor of the shower, turn on the coffee, turn on the shower, do a load of laundry while you start breakfast and watch the news. Man, six things and no more than two steps taken... Now that's progress...:D

    Tom F
  5. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    LOL...oh you're a BIG help!! :rolleyes:

    Nahh..... I sleep upstairs
  6. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Another way to give the illusion of hieght is to "dig" down too.
    It looks like theres plenty of room under there.
    If you raised the bridge 2 inches, as Cidchase suggested, and dropped the creek bed the same amount you'd get 4 inches and a little more drama.

    The blue foam insulation board stacked up and then carved and painted is a painless way to add contuor.

  7. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    I think the idea of raising the bridge is good, but I'd go just an inch or so, a small swampy area with dead trees, and the water draining into a stream under the bridge and off the layout. The flatness can be broken up by building up the ground about 3/4 - 1 inch, or more, and about 2-3 inches wide, with cuts thru it for the tracks. This would be minimum moving of anything but still changing the whole area.

    Just a few thoughts to start your imagination.

  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I concur with lynn about limiting how high you raise the bridge,
    and adding height to the scene. I think I'd let the stream cut through the whole scene, but the idea of a spring fed "swampy"area, being the origin of the stream, also has merit.
    The coaling tower, at the end of the road to the north, and the water tank, could be relocated next to the siding where the loco is parked. Their purpose is to fuel, and water locos.
    The yellow building, NE of the loco, is an interlocking tower. It is here that the turnouts of a yard, and crossover access, are controlled. This structure should probably be moved further East, to preside over those turnouts and crossover. The elevated shack to the East is a crossing guard's shack. It should be located at a grade crossing, like the one at the South end of the road. If the gates here are automated, the shack could be boarded up, because it would no longer be used.
    After relocating the coaling tower, the road could be extended off the layout to the North, and new grade crossings put in there.
    Detail the residence's yards. Trees, shrubs, garages, swing sets, hedges, gardens, wishing wells, fences, etc.. The subject of using a fitted base for each structure, has been brought up in another thread, my memory doesn't include who, or when, but the information is out there.
    There is a lot of roadway. Roadside detail. Sidewalks, fire hydrants, power poles, signs, highway markings, roadside farm stand, gas station, billboards, etc.
    Let's see,,, that's about four lifetime's worth! :D :D :D Each detail is a goal unto itself. One detail at a time. You'll soon find the ones that are fun, and the ones that just "have to be done".
    Have fun with it.
  9. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    t. alexander, yellowlynn and sumpter250, Thanks for the feedback, some great ideas definitely helping the thought process here......

    Thanks sumpter250 for the definitions of some of the structures, I wasn't sure what they were.... do you know what the elevated tank type structure is just to the east of the large loco on the siding?
  10. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    To the east of the loco? Spoken like a true engineer (and I don't mean a train engineer...):D How are we 'sposed to know where east is in a photo?:p
    It looks like a "customized" water tower to me. Considering the caboose "yard office", it would make sense to continue the theme by using an old tankcar tank as a water source for the loco. We really need a better picture to know for sure, preferably a close-up.
    BTW, you never said anything about an upstairs. That changes the whole concept. Now there is absolutely no reason not to knock out all the walls and build a proper layout... This would suffice until you ran out of room and had to build a whopper of a grade to the second floor so you could continue the layout up there. That is when you need to start thinking about the combo room...:D
    Hey Lynn, she can't let the stream drain off the layout, the dog sleeps under there and he'd get all wet!:eek: :D

    No need to thank me for all the sage advice (he, he)...:p

    Tom F
  11. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Heres a pic of the 'mystery tank'. If that's a water tank, what's the water tower (at the NORTH end) for? I don't know what dad was thinking when he built all this...I sure wish I could ask him (hmmm john edwards show?) Maybe its a drinking water wait it's for MOONSHINE!! Tomfassett, have YOU been into the moonshine???

    Well tomfassett, cid established that north was up by citing that the bridge was west, and this makes perfect sense, any map has north at the top and ya gotta have SOME kinda reference point unless youre just talkin nonsense anyway then it doesnt matter. Unless you work where I do and all the building drawings have north down at the bottom. Maggie the dog loves to sit under the dripping eaves so she would feel right at home under the stream.

    Attached Files:

  12. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    could this tank have been a diesel fuel tank, possibly to service foreign diesel power if it showed up on the layout?
  13. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    dripping water

    Tom, it appears like you have got things kinda backards there. We was talkin' RR an' you come up wit' dawg. Lets get priorities strate here now, is it dawgs or injines we talkin? In the first place, it's trains. In the second place, it's trains, and in the third place-----I still don't see no dawgs in the listing.

    Iffe3n you can tell me where a whole lotta waters gonna come from up top, I reckon I can figger a place for it to go in the bottom. Besides, that dog gets thirsty.!!!!!

  14. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Thats what I was thinkin too David....but there never was any diesel running these tracks..I think dad was just playing with trains and we may never make any sense of it all
  15. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Wait! I got it now... It's a fuel oil tank for an oil fired steamer! And a pretty good one at that... I saw something like this in an old picture of (I think) the old SP yard in Globe, AZ. Dad knew what he was doing... ;)

    Hey Lynn, I didn't bring up the dawg, she did! (he, he) :D She said the futon under the table was fer' the dawg so I figured too much of the wet stuff runnin' off the pike would flood poor Rover right out...:eek: 'Course, your idea of putting a bowl or sumthin' under there might make the dawg happy... They seem to love running water...:D
    And lastly, I don't do hooch, I'm already way too goofy naturally. I'd be a'feared o' makin' it worse...:p

    Tom F
  16. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Just an observation, the big steamer does appear to be oil fired. Nice little tank model by the way.

  17. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    yup I think it IS an oil fired steamer..(remember......I dont know sh*t about trains)

    The tender certainly doesnt have the illusion of coal like other steamers I've seen...and I found this reference about a 4-6-2 Pacific(which I learned is what this engine is)

    [New Georgia Railroad
    "In 1986, the State of Georgia leased a steam locomotive for excursion service; this was a very happy circumstance for lovers of steam power, and it seemed to be a very successful venture. The engine, a 4-6-2 Pacific type, began life as No. 80, an oil-fired steamer on the Florida East Coast Railway. In 1935 she moved to the Savannah & Atlanta and was converted to coal, serving till retirement in 1954. Her transfer to the Atlanta Chapter, NRHS and later operation by the Southern Railway set the stage for her operation by the State of Georgia.]

    I learn somtin new ever day!!

    So Dad was right on with his oil tank by this siding.

    Attached Files:

  18. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Hi ima, that tender type there is called a Vanderbuilt, or "Vandy" for short. I've also seen it refered to as a "torpedo".

  19. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Don't ever question Dad again... He was one of us... ;)

    Tom F:p
  20. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    t. alexander........Thanks :)

    tomfassett....I question just about everything ;) Iffen I don't ask....I'll never know!

    Thank goodness there are places like this forum with it's wealth of information stored in the heads of true afficionados to assuage my insatiable curiosity :D

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