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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 04/16/2008 :  8:57:11 PM  Show Profile
Welcome!
We will be starting our International Shoebox Challenge on April 19th and it will run until January 1st, 2009. The guidelines for the challenge are few and simple:

1- You must use a shoebox that when in the closed position does not exceed 13 inches long by 9 inches wide by 5 inches deep.

2- It has to be a layout not a diorama. Meaning you have to be able run laps or switch a car to a track different than the one the loco is on.

3- The layout has to fit in the box with the lid closed.

There are some exceptions to make your life a little easier:

If you are using turnouts/turntables/traversers that are manually controlled this means you probably will have a handle or lever that sticks
out past the edge of the layout. This is O.K. as long as the handle or lever is removable so the layout will fit in the box. The handle or lever doesn't have to be in the box with the layout.
Transformers/power supllies, locos and rolling stock do not have to fit in the box with the layout.
Any tall objects like a tree or tower that can be preventing the lid from being closed can be made removable so they can be laid down. But there has to be room for them to still be in the box with the lid closed.


The layout can be any scale or gauge from Zn15 to G
It can be steam, diesel, traction, rural, urban, any time frame, any place.

This post will be made a sticky and all entries should be posted here.

If you have any other questions there is a seperate Q & A thread please post them there.

Thanks

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12516

TrainClown
Fireman



Posted - 04/19/2008 :  4:54:26 PM  Show Profile
Well, we are off and running. I know I'm excited about this project. I have been designing plans and I will be glad to share my first ideas and flesh out where I want to go with this.

Personally, I am not a big fan of "point to point" layouts, so the big stumbling block for me was to find an idea that would allow me a continuous "loop" type of a plan. Plus the fact I wanted to stick to my favorite scale of HO.

Then I had an idea that I think will combine lots of my favorite things and now I can't stop thinking about it.

As I read the rules, my project could be any scale or any type of track mounted conveyance. With that in mind I came up with;

The Haunted House Amusement Park Ride

My plan is to make my own cars and hand lay the track. Basically N scale track or HOn24. The cars will be towed up a lift hill by a magnet and chain and gravity will do the rest (at least this is my first idea. experiments needed!).

I hope to incorporate animated scary type displays among the twists and turns of the ride.

Here is my first track plan I like. If you can imagine a rickety house facade with 2 balconies the train pops out front on, that cuts across the bottom of the plan on the 2" grid line (the grid is in inches)



This first 3D view is an over all one. The black line box represents the size of my shoebox.



This is a view from the lift hill end. The mechanism will be below the lift hill.



The last view is from the other side and better shows the elevation and drops of the track.



The tricky thing is to design the plan so it is open and you can see all areas from above.

When I was a kid I always wanted to design a ride like this. This should be some scary fun.

Christopher


Clowning around with trains.


Edited by - TrainClown on 04/22/2008 02:18:22 AM

Country: Canada | Posts: 1584 Go to Top of Page

acousticco
Fireman



Posted - 04/20/2008 :  10:46:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit acousticco's Homepage
Well Folks,

Here's a first view of my entry for The Great International Shoebox Challenge 2008!


It's 12 x 8 inches, built on a chunk of 5/8" plywood which just fits into my shoebox. The plan is simple, but fun to operate. A train pulls out from the fiddle yard in the back, around a really tight curve, then clears the switch. Once the switch is thrown, you back the train onto the spur, which will have some kind of loading platform next to it. Then just take the train 'off stage' and repeat.

The fiddle yard in the back will be covered by a hillside and a small office or sheds or something...

I plan to use Roco and Nigel Lawton's tipper wagons and some kind of tiny diesel locomotive. Grandt Line's boxcab & endcabs have no problem with the curve, nor do any of my diesels built on Kato pocket mechanisms, but I'll have to do some tinkering with couplings if I want to be able to pull any cars.

More soon,

-Cody



Country: Canada | Posts: 1671 Go to Top of Page

acousticco
Fireman



Posted - 04/23/2008 :  01:28:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit acousticco's Homepage
Greetings Folks,

I managed a little work on my still un-named micro over the last day or so. I built up the basic hillside shape with cardboard and plastercloth, incorporating into the hill the foundation and terrace for the office, which is a Downtown Deco kit. The roof will be modified from the kit version to have a more English look to it. From the top of the hill I hope to build some kind of gravity-fed flue that will load the skip wagons on the spur at the bottom. But I'm not sure yet what the railroad will be hauling though...

The office roof almost exactly at 4.5 inches high, so I'll have to make it removable to be able to close my shoebox. Any building or structure on the top of the hill more than an inch or so tall will have to be removable too.

Overall view:

I'm not sure if I'll keep the shed at the top of the hill. I might move it to the bottom right, on the outside of the curve... The top left area, above the tunnel portal will also be thickened a bit as it looks a little thin to me. I'll probably also try and come up with something to block the view behind the layout from the tunnel portal.

A close up of the office:

The foundation is actually a loading dock that came with the kit, with the ramp section hidden inside the hill. I had patched the seams with plaster and carved some new stones to blend the corners, but then broke it into four pieces by holding onto it too hard while I was working on it. It glued back together well, but you can still see some cracks. I painted the windows and doors today (green) and will hopefully have time to install them tomorrow, and maybe get started on the roof.

I also ordered an OO9 (4mm scale, 9mm gauge) Orenstein & Koppel RL1c Montania locomotive kit from Nigel Lawton today, which I think will be a challenge in itself (the locomotive is 32 x 17 x 20 millimeters!), but will provide small enough power to handle the sharp curves and short lead track for the spur. If I can get it to run...

Christopher,
I had considered adding another track to the fiddle yard, but I wanted to keep things simple, and use up leftover materials I had on hand. Plus, since it's a fiddle yard, i have no problem moving stuff around by hand...

Dwight,
It's Peco OO9/HOn30 track, 9mm gauge.

Ray,
I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with, I suspect the crowd is friendly.

More soon,
-Cody



Country: Canada | Posts: 1671 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/03/2008 :  2:45:14 PM  Show Profile
In case there are some who aren't following the other challenge and think I am goofing off on this challenge here is where I'm at so far with my loco and freight car:



Buford (the engineer) is a metal figure and with the loco being a split-frame type we had a problem. One foot was touching the left half and the other foot was touching the right half which if power were to be applied would cause a dead short. How to solve the problem? Easy, I amputated both his feet! . I'm happy to say he took it like a man with nary a whimper! But then that is how us railroaders are, tough as nails!


Mike

Edited by - Tyson Rayles on 05/03/2008 5:24:49 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/13/2008 :  8:23:26 PM  Show Profile
O.K. folks we need some progress reports! Even if you don't have anything to take a picture of yet please check in and let us know how you are progressing. Thanks!

I have taken a break from working on the loco to work on the layout itself some. I still haven't been able to locate a Peco #4 RH code 55 turnout yet so I have been playing around with a #6 and I think I can make it work (famous last words ). I'm thinking right behind where the loco is sitting, a small structure of some type to offer some shelter for the loco. There will be a mine entrance where the tunnel portal is and a chute of some type on the middle track so the ore (not sure what kind yet ) can be dumped into a waiting On30 car (bottom track). That's right folks dual gauge in a shoebox!
Fred over at 2guys told me I needed to recheck my math as N scale track figures out to 18" not 15" and he was right (as usual ).



Mike

Edited by - Tyson Rayles on 05/14/2008 12:03:34 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page

acousticco
Fireman



Posted - 05/17/2008 :  7:31:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit acousticco's Homepage
OK, I'll be honest, I have been goofing off quite a bit and not working on my micro

But I have managed to get some work done on the stone building:

I got the windows and door attached, painted and glazed, the roof on and shingled, and a little bit painted. The two posts on the roof will hold a sign with the railways name, which I think will be the Tammen Estate Railway, named after my favorite German guitarist Hans Tammen (since it's set in Germany...)...

I also received my order from Nigel Lawton, so I have some skips and an Orenstein and Koppel engine to build!

More soon!
-Cody



Country: Canada | Posts: 1671 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/18/2008 :  9:05:06 PM  Show Profile
Well I just hit my next snag! On page three I posted the shoebox with the track laid out. I had the On18 on the upper level so a ore car could dump into a On30 car on the lower level. Now I didn't have either car so I couldn't compare the heights to see if I had enough elevation. The On18 I knew I would have to scratch and I ordered a On30 14' ore car:




34 pieces just for the two trucks! . Well I figured I better check out the clearence before I spent 2 weeks building one 14' ore car. Sure enough the On18 track needed to be raised at least another 3/4th's of an inch. Of course with a shoebox that is only 4.5 inches tall to start with that is out of the question. So now it looks like I will have a 14' barge instead! Here is my first mock-up. The hull needs to be lowered a tad more but I now will be able to dump. I hadn't really thought about the mine being near a river orginally but any ol' port in a storm as they say!




Mike

Edited by - Tyson Rayles on 05/18/2008 9:09:31 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page

acousticco
Fireman



Posted - 05/19/2008 :  04:17:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit acousticco's Homepage
And as promised, here's a (not very good) picture of where we're currently at with the layout:


I guess I've got quite a bit done (comparing it to the picture on page 2)

So far I've:
Thickened the area above the tunnel portal.
Added three retaining walls (one made of stripwood and old rail, one plaster of paris cast in a stripwood mold, and one that was a leftover piece from the station kit).
Ballasted the track with dirt and added some dirt to the hillside.
Ground down the area in front of the track with a dremel tool, and added a stripwood foundation for the shed.
I also added some yellow grass...

My order came in from Nigel Lawton, so I began with one of his skip kits, this one is a braked flat wagon, (It was actually pictures of this kit on his web page that inspired me to build this one in O scale: http://miniaturerailways.blogspot.com/2007/06/buergerianum-tram-ore-car.html )

This thing is seriously tiny! It reminds me allot of assembling Jordan kits, where you have to handle it very lightly..!

I have Monday off for Victoria Day, so hopefully I can put in some more time on this project...

-Cody



Country: Canada | Posts: 1671 Go to Top of Page

TrainClown
Fireman



Posted - 05/19/2008 :  8:28:18 PM  Show Profile
Mike, I know I got ambitious with my plan, but height should be no problem as I plan to put weight in the cars. The thing I am most concerned with is the cars going so fast it derails or fails to look real. I could have the whole track chain driven except for little thrill hills, but this could prove a pain to construct.

I have been fooling with alternative plans.

Here is a simple one.



A 3D view.



I don't know what to expect really, so I will need to do some experimentation to determine the final track plan and number of cars, etc.

Thinking back to years ago when I went to the Pacific National Exhibition and saw my first Haunted House type ride, I remember a detail that I didn't know what to call it at the time. Now I would call it a traverser. A section of track near the entrance that would shift the cars over to a storage track where they would store cars. When traffic was light they would run 2 or 3 cars and when things picked up they had another 3 or 4 cars on the storage track they could quickly put on the track to help keep the wait time down for the crowd. I think I should incorporate this detail as it will make operations more interesting.

I also think I can make the cars slow down by using brush bristles strategically placed so as the cars go over, the brush bristles wipe over the cars bottom and slow it down without derailing it. I saw somewhere how a fella used this idea to spot box cars on sidings that were not perfectly flat to keep the cars from rolling around. Might work for me, too.

Christopher


Clowning around with trains.


Country: Canada | Posts: 1584 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/29/2008 :  1:31:27 PM  Show Profile
Just a little more progress, the barge is now pretty much done:






Next project will be to make the On18 ore car.


Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page

TrainClown
Fireman



Posted - 05/30/2008 :  04:07:07 AM  Show Profile
Great barge, Mike.

Trust you to just barge in here!

I was goofin' around with track plans again and came up with number 5.



There would be a balcony above the entrance track and the car comes out onto the balcony twice.

Here are a couple of 3D views. I like aspects of this plan, but I think I will try something like it using Z scale track just to see how it would look with a track that is more narrow.






Dots eat fer nows.

Christopher


Clowning around with trains.


Country: Canada | Posts: 1584 Go to Top of Page

acousticco
Fireman



Posted - 06/01/2008 :  7:31:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit acousticco's Homepage
Great stuff going on here folks!
I'm really enjoying watching everyone's project unfold!

I've been putting down ground cover on the Tammen Estate:

I'm using the usual WS stuff, with a good dose of natural dirt!

And here's a couple examples of the type of rolling stock that will be employed:

The flat skip is by Nigel Lawton, and the tipper is from Aalcraft Co. (a Japanese manufacturer)...

Next I'm going to work on the tunnel portal...

More soon!

-Cody



Country: Canada | Posts: 1671 Go to Top of Page

BigLars
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/05/2008 :  5:05:31 PM  Show Profile
Great work here everyone!

I started my shoe box layout to get me off the armchair. I figue it is only a square foot I should be able to finish that.

I used foam core for the base, old Arnold N scale track I had been saving for something and some HO buildings that I had stored in funny enough a shoebox.

Here is the track plan nothing fancy. Even HON30 four wheel engines fight this tight of a curve.



A picture from the front, a lot of detail additions are in the plans. I hope they see that bear in time to get out of the way!



A pic from the back, I am going to claim that the cook made them put that siding around the building so he could unload the food closer to the pantry. The workers went along with the plan fearing what might end up in the next batch of soup!



I have started building a vertical boiler climax using a KATO pocket line power truck and a life like steam donkey as the starting point.





Edited by - BigLars on 06/05/2008 5:54:21 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 10968 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 06/07/2008 :  3:59:12 PM  Show Profile
I have started on the ore car, still a long ways to go:







Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 06/14/2008 :  3:21:00 PM  Show Profile
I added the brake rod and wheel from the ore car turned barge, installed channels on the side facing the camera so the side can be raised to empty it out. Extended the footplate on the right end so a worker has a place to ride. Still needs handles for the side and paint and weathering. The guy riding is Buford's albino cousin from the big city! Don't guess his complexion will get any better working down in that mine.



Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page
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