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T O P I C    R E V I E W
leeflan Posted - 03/15/2005 : 4:45:44 PM
Hi All,

Here's the start of my humble contribution to the Construction Forum showing the progress on the Louisville & Wadley Southern Railroad, a 10 mile Georgia short line in HO scale.

This version of the L&WS got started after I became rather bored and disaffected with my previous layout, the Georgia Southern (featured in April 2001 MR), a fictitious Georgia mainline patterned after the Georgia Railroad. Simple reason: lack of space to effectively model mainline operation. So it was back to the third version of the L&WS.

When I started the new layout, I had a couple of friends who asked me to document the construction process, which I did. Here's a summary of the process to date.

Here's the trackplan and room layout. As you can see, the room is quite "spatially challenged," less than 10' x 10'. The Louisville portion of the plan is a modified 4' x 8' John Armstrong plan from the book 101 Trackplans, and approximates the actual trackage at Louisville (sort of, kinda). I had originally planned for the Wadley section to approximate the trackage at Wadley, but when I laid out the track, it didn't work right, so I changed it.

After demo on the old Georgia Southern, I gave the room a thorough going over. I cleaned the carpets, painted the walls, and rearranged the lighting. I also sealed off one of the windows in the corner. Notice that I painted the sky background directly on the walls, with the blue fading down to white at the "horizon." In a larger space I would have mounted the backdrop.

There's nothing fancy about the benchwork; just plain ol' L-girder salvaged from the GS. The only difference is that the legs fold (for when I move again), and the joists are laid flat to provide more support for the Styrofoam sub-roadbed.

Speaking of foam, here is the first layer of foam glued onto the roadbed. I use 1" sheets of foam stacked and laminated 3 layers thick. This is the second layout on which I've used foam for the sub-roadbed and I just love it!

The third and final layer is being laminated. I use a foam compatible glue by 3M for laminating the layers. My collection of RR books weight the layers until the adhesive dries.

OK, the foam is all down and the backdrop is finished. I used a photo of some "Georgia pines" I took in Georgia for the tree backdrop. Again, if I had a larger space, I might paint the backdrop as I have on other layouts, but I've never been able to paint trees as good as those.

The track is all down and wired. I use Walthers Code 83 Shinohara track on Woodland Scenics N scale foam bed, for a thinner profile. I glued the roaqd bed to the foam and the track to the roadbed using silicone adhesive caulk. All turnouts are hand-thrown using Caboose Industries high-level switch stands.

This is my entire control panel! One of the things I hated about the old days was wiring for standard cab control; toggle switches, terminal strips, control panels. To me, that's ! So I was an early convert to DCC, even though I run only one train, simply because the wiring is so simple even I can do it. I started with the MRC Command 2000 but now I use the more advanced NCE ProCab unit. The reason: SOUND!

Here's my progress as of February 2005. The Wadley section is about 50% finished, with all the rough scenery in place. The town is pretty much finished and detailed, now I need to start working on the engine terminal. Most of the structures for the Louisville section have been completed.

A slightly different view showing a bit more of the layout on the right of the Louisville section. BTW, the structures for the pulpwood yard you see in the track plan I scratchbuilt in 1967 from an article in the March 1966 MR; they're the oldest anything on the layout.

Here's a shot of downtown Wadley before I installed the grade crossings. I didn't try to model the real Wadley, but rather capture the flavor of a typical small Southern town. I wanted it to look "lived in," but not decrepit. And, yes, the lack of space forced me to resort to "ye olde mirror" trick to create the illusion that the layout extends beyound the wall. The tall water tower helps disguise the corner.

Here's an overview with labels for the various structures I've used for Wadley; basically a combination of simple plastic to craftsman type kits, with a lot of kitbashing. The two foreground tracks are my "manually interactive visual staging tracks." OK, fiddle yard. The L&WS mainline branches off to the right behind the mixed train.

Here's a Georgia Southern RR freight heading east toward Augusta. I decided to keep using the GaSo on the new layout as I had a lot of custom painted and decaled (Rail Graphics) equipment. The spin: GaSo has trackage rights over the CofG through Wadley. The well traveled GS Geep was on the cover of the Apr 2001 MR.

Baldwin Meets EMD. An L&WS mixed train meets a CofG freight headed east toward Savannah. The 2-8-0 is an old brass PFM Ma&Pa prototype, and it's the second oldest anything on the layout. But it's also the most technologically advanced...it has SOUND! I know there are mixed feelings about sound, but I gotta tell ya, for this veteran modeler, it makes all the difference in the world. It is absolutely awesome.

Anyway, that's about it for now and you're up to date. I'll continue the series if you like; just lemme know.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Dutchman Posted - 10/23/2014 : 11:30:55 AM
Okay, Steve, I think that I know the next step.

Tabooma County Rwy Posted - 10/23/2014 : 11:16:24 AM
Right on, Mark! Steve's model building and the way he presents it, with his great storylines, is very inspirational!

Looking forward to watching v5.0 unfold, Steve!

Al Carter
MarkF Posted - 10/22/2014 : 5:47:48 PM
Always a good sense of humor Steve, but you can't fool us, we've seen your work! I do hope you start a thread and document your progress on version 5. I not only enjoy your builds, but your narratives as well!
Cowboybilly Posted - 10/22/2014 : 3:59:32 PM
looks nice , a lot of wood and now...?
reed the instruktions

leeflan Posted - 10/22/2014 : 3:53:27 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Gents. Much appreciated. I'm happy to say that work is progressing on the Louisville & Wadley Southern v.5.0, albeit much more slowly than I had originally hoped for. This time I'm focusing on the "Wadley Southern" part of the corporate moniker with different scenery and all new structures. Here's a preview:

Stay tuned . . . film at 11:00, or as soon as I get around to it.

Steve Flanigan
jbvb Posted - 10/22/2014 : 09:05:05 AM
I hadn't joined the forum when the retrospective was posted, so it's all new (and nice) to me. Thanks.
MarkF Posted - 10/21/2014 : 11:55:54 PM
What a treat to see this thread pop up again. What a great layout and fantastic modeling.
robchant Posted - 10/21/2014 : 7:07:55 PM
Hi Steve,

Very, very enjoyable and entertaining thread with lots of ideas.

Take care,
Mario Rapinett Posted - 02/28/2008 : 10:43:25 PM
I just had a look at the first page... love the way the scene ( photos ) grew from nothing to something...

leeflan Posted - 02/28/2008 : 10:59:26 AM
Originally posted by Miles

Also I've never seen a better resturaunt interoir in HO than that, any way you could provide a list of parts for the details used in the Cafe?

Dorthea Lange and GRITS seemed to be strong running themes throughout.

All-round awesome. By the way, what cover photo DID MR use?

Thanks for the kind words, Miles, glad you like the series.

Actually, most of the detail is commercially available. The food (eggs & the breakfast), dishes, tables & chairs and figures are all from Preiser. The stove & sink are modified from SS Ltd. The counter and stools are from an IHC drug store kit. The coffee urn and cash register are from Campbel/Weston. The shelves & such are from the drug store. The foam decored flower bowls are from "I don't remember where," as are the trash cans. In fact, the only things that are scratchbuilt are the refrigerator (from styrene; the industrial strength handles are staples) and the flooring and wall covering (generated on the computer). The mirrored stuff in the kitchen area is from the drug store kit.

Yes, there is a lot of inspiration from Dorothea Lange, as well as from Walker Evans. And the subject of GRITS has been a running joke on the Forum ever since I've been on board.

Unfortunately, the L&WS did not place in the layout contest so there was no cover photo. I did get a cover photo in the April 2001 issue when the layout previous to the L&WS layout won their first small layout contest.
paulbrockatsf Posted - 02/28/2008 : 09:05:35 AM

Thanks for bringing this thread back to life. I had lost track of it but know i have bookmarked it so I can find it again.

Great modeling.

Miles Posted - 02/28/2008 : 04:28:31 AM
Absolutely TOP NOTCH MODELING! WOW! I too read from page one forwards, it was quite a journey, and now I've already ordered a couple of the kits you used for my layout. You're an inspiration, and innovator, excellent kitbasher, and scratchbuilder. You tie everything together with a good eye for detail, just enough to add alot of interest and tell a story, without cluttering a scene. Also I've never seen a better resturaunt interoir in HO than that, any way you could provide a list of parts for the details used in the Cafe?

Dorthea Lange and GRITS seemed to be strong running themes throughout.

All-round awesome. By the way, what cover photo DID MR use?
LynnB Posted - 10/12/2007 : 10:11:21 PM
First and foremost thanks Rich for bringing the thread back to the frontline. Steve this was an awsome thread I spent the past few hours reading through the thread and me being the way I am didn't want to jump to the last page to ruin it, then came the announcement that the layout has been put on hold or how it was you had put it , anyway I sure did enjoy the reading and really look forward to the new thread for the upcoming layout.
leeflan Posted - 10/12/2007 : 2:05:09 PM
Hey Michael,

Welcome to the Forum. You'll find a lot of great stuff in ALL the different scales. Thanks for the kind words on the L&WS. Even though it's not around any more, feel free to sneak in and steal, er, that is to say, "borrow" any ideas, techniques, or photos you might find helpful. That's what they're there for.
MOPHEAD Posted - 10/12/2007 : 1:40:02 PM
I snuck over from the small scale side and found this unbelievable
layout. It is one the most awesomest layouts i have ever seen, regardless of scale. I am at awe as to how much you have in such a small space, yet it doesn't look like every inch is covered by track.
THIS is the kind of layout I have in mind. Your photos are excellent,some of them look like old b&w photos.
I'm just going to have to sneek back here again, and again, and again.


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