Start of My Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Ginns, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Hey guys, I thought I would post a layout thread where I can put down all my layout stuff and help motivate me to complete this layout :thumb:.

    Well, to start off, I am working on a simple 4x8 table now, but this will hopefully serve as the learning grounds for my future expansions and so forth. I believe I had posted this once upon a time, but the username and password are long lost to me. SO.. I decided to just get a new one and start all over.

    My track plan is below, and I currently have all the wiring and everything else done for the lower portion:mrgreen:, except for the upper portion, which will include an incline and trestle leading to a coal mine or other industry and then off the layout. Once all the track work is near flawless and running smoothly I can start the scenery and paint the track. Also managed to install some decent lights above the table to help see during the long winter nights.:cool:

    I havn't fully decided the era or location, but it most likely will be a fictional railroad somewhere along the Appalachian mountains. I have a Western Maryland locomotive now, but hopefully some Boston and Maine and others can look somewhat at place on it in the future.

    I will try and update some more on the weekend and will post some earlier progress pics. And dont worry, this will probably become a pretty interactive thread with all my rambling questions :p


    Attached Files:

  2. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Here are some tunnel portals I did. I still have one more stone portal to do, but i am having trouble darkening the stone. I have been trying a black wash, but it only seems to make the portal fade. They are plaster woodland scenics ones, so I am not to confident with the permanent coloring yet, but I guess ill have to get over that :rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  3. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    And here are the current, up to date shots of the layout. Sorry, it isnt pretty yet but I'm working on it :p The only real improvements are the completed reversing loop and right fascia. No need to worry though, I'm workin on it :thumb:

    Also, does anybody got any good suggestions for visual aid on the reversing loop?. I was thinking of installing a LED in the switchmans house close to the operators controls to see if the train could go through. i.e. Red for opposite polarities, green for go. Could I use a signal or something as well? It seems I fried the other LED when testing it out. Would a switch fry as well? or does it have built in resistors and such to save it? Either way, I would really like something there and any recomendations of an early prototype signal would be helpful. :cool:


    Attached Files:

  4. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    That's a nice layout. Those portals are nice, did you make the wood ones yourself?
    What are you using for a black wash? In my experience it's better to paint the entire plasterwork in an acrylic color and then go for the wash. The acylic paint gives the wash a little 'tooth' to grab onto.
  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Looking good Ginns! I liked the series of progress shots. You're moving right along!
  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Lookin real nice!

  7. wpyr

    wpyr Member

    Are you using foam for all your layout and not just the base? Or are you using plaster? I myself prefer to use un all foam layout. Looks Good!:drag1:
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Nice start Ginns. Looks like a fun track plan.

  9. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Thanks for the input everyone

    Glen Haasdyk, the wood ones are from woodland scenics as well. They really make some fine stuff over there and the detail is great. Acrylic paints are my preferred medium, and all three of these tunnel portals are entirely acryllics. I have been trying to use a diluted black acrylic paint for a wash, and that seems to be the problem as to why it washes off the color underneath. It appears that once you go past 50/50 with the water it doesnt make it darker any more.

    wpyr, I intend to make the layout with a cardboard weave and plaster covering, mainly because of the cost. I want some pretty decent mountains and it would cost a lot more to make them out of the foam.

    I mainly installed the foam to dampen sound and give me something to cut into for rivers and elevation changes.

    This weeks project will be finishing up the fascia and *gasp* maybe starting some cardboard mountains

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Do you have an air brush? If you do, paint your tunnel portals your rock color, and then highlight it with light passes with your air brush.
  11. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Hey everybody,

    I figured i should probably update what I've been up to in the last month. I can never remember to take pictures or log my work but I'll try and be more consistent :rolleyes:. I've been working on my layout 3-4 hours on the weekend, and have managed to get all the track done and begun to start some scenery. :cool:

    I built up my cardboard mountain and then proceeded to cover it in some paper towels dipped in a fairly thick soup of plaster. I didn't use the cheap, heavy duty brown kind that most people recommend, but I had acquired a large amount of the other kind and decided to use them. They seem to work well and are very strong after only one layer of plaster, and I put on two for good measure. After the primary layer of plaster, I used the second layer to really sculpt and define the scenery to try and get it to the final stage.

    I painted on a base layer of paint as well, but I think it is a little too dark. I plan on covering the entire surface with dirt and hopefully this will make it lighter. At the very least i could just paint on a lighter coat.

    Next post will have pictures! :mrgreen:
  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    WOW AWESOME start Ginns!!!!! I like the track plan and the weathering on the tunnel portals looks fantastic!!! :eek: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Lets see some more pics!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  13. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Here is the mountain that I built. You can see the stages of it from right to left. On the far right is the paper towels, no plaster. Then the plaster and paint and finally rocks are added.

    By the way, sorry for some of my pictures being too dark. They turned out really red and darker than they look to me on the layout. I am new to photography and still learning quite a bit. I will try and light it better in the future.

    Attached Files:

  14. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    SWEET the mountain is comeing along nicely!! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  15. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    That is one nice lookin layout.:thumb:What size grade is that incline?
  16. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Here are the rocks, I am pleased with how they came out. They are about 50% molds from Woodland Scenics and 50% carved. I mixed up a soupy batch of plaster and just kept on working it with a plastic spoon until I thought it looked good enough. It took a while but I kept on wetting it with a spray bottle so I could reshape it a couple times. After the paint was dry, I then poured construction soil on the rock. I brushed off the faces of the rock to keep some of the detail. This was secured with some diluted white glue.

    I still have to clean off the portals a bit as well. I was a *little* messy when putting on the paper towels and a few drops of plaster fell on the faces, and quite a bit is on the sides :cry:. Fortunately it comes off fairly easy with a stiff brush but some repainting will be needed.

    Attached Files:

  17. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Thanks for the comments, any encouragement at this point is appreciated :thumb:

    The incline is a little over 3%, maybe 3.15% I think. The trestle on the other side of the mountain will be my next big project. I hope to get that started over Christmas break. :mrgreen:

    I also would like to hear some people's opinions on ground cover. I am planning to do model late fall, and I would love to get some dead leaves on the forest floor. Any ideas for this? I was thinking maybe blending a brown paper bag, coloring different bags differently and then spreading this over the ground. Not sure if this would look alright though, am I better off with just using ground foam?

    EDIT: I would love nothing more than getting some ground cover to look like this :smile:

    Thanks in advance,

    Attached Files:

  18. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    looking good ginns its motivating me to start. Soon I will start. thanks
  19. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Your rock work looks really good. Nice job!
  20. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I like the late fall colors you have chosen. That is a big order to fill! Brown paper bags, manila folders and yellowish resume paper all blended together might fit the target.

    Would you use a blender or a food processor to mix them? My wife found the Cornerstone Stockyard on sale for me and I am thinking of using real hay for the floor on top of the dirt I already have on it. I dont know if I should blend with the blender or food processor to get the pieces to be wee tiny.


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