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T O P I C    R E V I E W
kumard Posted - 01/10/2016 : 2:19:51 PM
Today I'm starting my new model railway called 'the Town'. It will be another location on the same branch line that my other model 'The Depot' (at Carendt) is situated along.

I'll spend some time in the next couple of months fleshing out the universe that this branch line lives within - namely history, geographical, location, time period, other stations/depots/stops etc. For the moment this is what I have:

  • Somewhere in the upper Midwest.

  • The time period is a mixture of the late 50s, early 60s.

  • The branch is over 100 miles long. It's connected to a mainline in the south-east.

  • It's crossed in several places by other railroads.

  • It ends in a small terminus in a small town in the north-west.

  • The branch is a Soo Line branch that was taken over in some kind of merger or purchase and has never been a favorite of the administration. Its financial returns, marginal at best, are now no longer able to sustain it and it has been marked for closure within two years.

  • Passenger travel ended in the early 50s but the occasional fan trip from the Soo Line Historical Society sends a steam engine up the line with eager rail fans every few years.

Here's the photo that will provide the aesthetic foundation for the model. It has been a favorite of mine for some time now. Although the picture is set in winter or early spring I'll keep the model within summertime but with the usual muted colors.
1/12/15 - With the assistance of another forum member I was able to trace the source of the image (thank you Robert Chant). As I suspected it is copyrighted. I've written to the owner to allow me to post it here but in the meantime I've removed it and have replaced it with a link to the official source.

Here's a sketch of the layout. It's of a simple loop but crossed by another line. The other line is the remains of a local traction company that also serviced several industries. The traction company has long gone along with its electric power and a few remaining industrial tracks are now serviced by the Soo.

I'll post more this week. I'm trying to learn a rail design program to produce a proper working diagram. I intend to start construction in March beginning with the benchwork. The size will be 72 inches with 18 inches.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Tyson Rayles Posted - 05/05/2019 : 08:52:00 AM
Nice work on the model. Best wishes on the move.
jbvb Posted - 05/04/2019 : 9:25:40 PM
Yes, good luck and a happy outcome.
TRAINS1941 Posted - 05/04/2019 : 8:34:01 PM
Kumar good luck with the move.

We will be waiting for you to get back to this thread.
kumard Posted - 05/04/2019 : 8:24:22 PM
Hi all.

Apologies to those waiting in anticipation for the next installment of this project. I've been overtaken by events and have had to move all modeling stuff into storage for the next few months. I'm in the middle of selling my house and looking for a newer larger house in the local area. Hopefully the new place will have a dedicated modeling room large enough to be able to lay the modules side by side.

I ended up with about 20 boxes of modeling equipment and another 10 boxes of train books going into storage! Oh and the drum and the modules and the module cabinet!

I'll be back!


kumard Posted - 11/26/2018 : 12:16:11 PM
Thanks all. Waiting for my new windows and doors this week. I'll use the pieces done so far on another building of some sort.

George D >> Lately I've been using a Cricut machine >> George, a couple of years ago the Cricut was not as good as the Silhouette Cameo, but after reading the specs on the latest Cricut I believe it has surpassed the Cameo now.

Will post again soon.
Michael Hohn Posted - 11/26/2018 : 01:57:00 AM
Looks like a good station plan and a good plan of attack.

Frank Palmer Posted - 11/25/2018 : 09:30:08 AM
You're back! Nice work on the station. I too had to discard my work with Grandt Line and switch to Tichy for my latest projects W&Ds.
George D Posted - 11/25/2018 : 08:17:05 AM
You're off to a good start on the station, Kumard. The mock-up is a good way to start the build.

Lately I've been using a Cricut machine to cut walls for my modeling. It's interesting to see that you're using the Cameo Silhouette. I have the same problem with the Cricut not cutting completely through styrene, but scribe and snap works well.

Pennman Posted - 11/24/2018 : 10:41:16 PM
Nice work cutting out the doos and windows with the machine. I'm glad you found the windows you needed too. Keep up the good work.

Bill Gill Posted - 11/24/2018 : 9:31:26 PM
A good start!
kumard Posted - 11/24/2018 : 9:01:28 PM
Hi all,

Slowly getting back to normal and making some progress at last. I started new job in August and have been trying to figure how to fit in my modeling. It turns out that I can do very little in the week forcing me to be a weekend warrior!

After months of procrastination I decided to get started on the structures for The Town. It's not my favorite activity as I prefer tracklaying and landscaping to making structures, nevertheless the whole point of choosing a more urban setting for this model was get better at this part of the hobby - so I just got started.

The first decision I needed to make was simply shall I scratchbuild or just build a kit? I looked longingly at several very suitable kits in the Walthers catalog but I decided against purchasing one. I enjoy learning stuff and figuring out how to do things and I felt that building from scratch would be the best way to improve my modeling skills. I may using kits for the background buildings so I haven't ruled them out completely.

Even though I don't believe my structure will turn out as nice as these - especially on the first attempt - I really don't want to spend over $100 on a kit. Figuring out how to make things from scratch is what makes the hobby fun.

I decided to construct the station building first of all. It's a classic railroad structure and I could easily find prototype pictures drawings to assist me. In particular I wanted to learn how to build a hipped roof with some sort of gable.

I also decided to use styrene instead of wood for this little project. In my last module I build the depot structure from wood. Wood was a very satisfying material and I'll use it again for structures but for this project I really wanted to get better acquainted with styrene. I one of the qualities I wanted was to have sharp edges at small scale which is easier to achieve in styrene than wood.

Drawings and plans

Not knowing where to start I decided to at least get some plans sketched to work from. I looked through my back issues of Model Railroader and eventually came across some plans of a station building that looked just about right.

I don't have the skills to make something exact, but I just wanted to get some dimensions so that I could draw a plan in SketchUp.

At some point I will attempt to do an exact copy of this structure but right now I just need the drawing to give me some working dimensions.

I transfered some dimensions to SketchUp and created a very simple version of the printed plans.

I then built a mock-up from these plans in cardboard so that I could figure out how to put the roof together. Roofs are easy to draw in SketchUp but the real value is that it will then give you the exact measurements and angles of the various roof components saving me having to get my calculator out and try to remember my trigonometry!

This is very crude but I wanted to figure out how to do the gable. I can see that getting the angled pieces to fit together is going to be the biggest challenge. I was also able to figure out that the gable roof section should be a separate section from the base and should sit on the roof (and not go through it).

Windows and Doors

I recently discovered that Grandt Line - (https://www.grandtline.com/) my 'go to' source of windows and doors - has gone out of business. Apparently there are new owners but they have yet to respond to my various emails. As such I had to make do with the random doors and windows I have left over from the grab bags that I own. Not ideal but for the sake of keeping some momentum on the project enough to keep moving. Other modelers recommended Tichy Train Group and they seem to have what I need so I'll get an order in at some point and get the exact doors and windows I need to get the station as close to the drawing as possible.

Instead of adding the dimensions to SketchUp I decided go straight to my Cameo Silhouette and start designing the walls/faces with the openings for windows and doors. It's been two years since I last used this machine and it took a short while to remember out how to use it.

I transferred the SketchUp dimensions to the Cameo software and then used my calipers to measure the window and doors openings.

I marked out the openings and added crosses to them to help me punch them out. Then once I had the four walls and openings marked out I did a test cut with paper to catch any errors - I found several and made adjustments. Then, using .75mm styrene sheet I let the Cameo do its work scribing the plastic fast and accurately.

The Cameo Silhouette doesn't cut styrene - it scribes it deep enough for you to snap out the shapes. But snapping out the styrene is very easy, is very accurate, and needs minimal filing down.

Some of the snapping out needs care especially where the remaining pieces are small. For the windows and doors I deep-scribed by hand the X-marks in the openings so that X's were basically cut free leaving just the square edge attached. I put the styrene into the vice and lined up the vice mouth with the scribe mark and just pushed the piece back and forth till it broke free - very easy and resulting in a very clean cut.

The openings are better than anything I could have done by hand.

Then after some cleaning up of both the walls and the windows and doors I fitted them. All looks good. I made small errors here and there but all in all it came together nicely.


Since writing this post I was pointed (by other modellers on this forum) to the Tichy Train Group where I was able to find windows and doors that exactly matched the plans that I was working from. I've decided to redo the window and door cuts with the newly purchased items but will continue experimenting with these current walls as I want to try to figure out how to add wall texture such as board and batten.

More soon!
kumard Posted - 09/09/2018 : 2:49:09 PM
Busy week and first chance to respond. Thanks all. I'll post some progress soon. Getting back into things this week.
Frank Palmer Posted - 09/04/2018 : 09:17:29 AM
I like the idea of a removeable control panel.
robert goslin Posted - 09/02/2018 : 03:05:05 AM
Kumar, Nice to have you back posting again.
Really looking forward to your updates.
BTW Nice control panel, and very neat wiring, that we've come to expect from you.

quartergauger48 Posted - 09/01/2018 : 9:30:08 PM

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