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Author Previous Topic: WATER Topic Next Topic: Logging line reno
Page: of 11


Premium Member

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  5:55:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After pondering this for quite a while; I have finally decided to post a thread about my layout. A little disclaimer, I am probably the slowest builder around. I procrastinate a lot.

What you are about to see started back in 2005. I was working quite a lot of overtime and did very little work on the layout for years; plus I only work on it for a few hours during the weekend.

A little side note, this is the first real layout that I have ever built, other than the traditional 4x8 sheet of plywood.

Enough apologizing for now; here is the story of my layout from the get-go complete with mistakes.

We moved to Indiana from Oregon in 2005 (Work transfer). This is the first house that we've owned that had a basement. So now I can build that layout that I've always wanted.

First the wood to finish the basement:

After considering everything that I wanted to do with the basement, my layout size shrank from the full basement to it's present size of 12 x 20 feet.

I've layed out my space, hung up furring strips and put drywall up for the backdrop

Joan's sewing room is on the other side of the layout room. I hung drywall on the back of her shelving for the backdrop

I've painted the backdrop sky blue and am ready for the framework.

Wrong! This is not the way to build a railroad. I needed solid walls for the train room. So I ripped everything out and put up 2x4s for the wall then insulated it to keep it toasty.

The floor was cold so I put in some carpeting. I figured that if I built a layout, the ceiling would be hard to install; so I put in lighting and AC/Heating ducts into the room.

I put up furring strips and installed tempered hardboard this time instead of drywall for the backdrop. I lost a little layout space in the corners because I curved the hardboard instead of butting it up to the walls. I think it will look a lot better.

I've painted the hardboard skyblue again and am back to where I was a few pictures back; but this time I started out on the right foot (I hope)

This process probably took 4 months. Remember, I work very slow.

I would appreciate anyone's comments about anything that you see wrong here. I might not be able to correct it though. Somethings are locked in stone.

Next comes the trackplan. At this point I really don't have a plan yet; although I leaning towards one in particular.

Country: USA | Posts: 5807

Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  6:22:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey John,

Looks like you're off to a great start. Look forward to following your progress. Best of luck with the railroad.


Country: USA | Posts: 217 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  6:22:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John, can't comment on if anything looks wrong. I'm not a carpenter, so it all looks good to me. Congratulations on getting the layout started.

I finished my basement over a year ago and still no layout. I wanted to build more structures first, which I'm finally doing now.

Country: USA | Posts: 24334 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard

Premium Member

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  6:37:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great room preparation, John. Looking forward to see the beginning of the layout now.

Country: France | Posts: 17652 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  7:19:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the comments.

We are now looking at December 2005. I am need of a good trackplan here and I needed a little step-by-step instruction to go along with it. I found the Kalmbach Book: the Pennsy Middle Division by Dave Frary published in 1996. It's a little hard to get now; but well worth it for begineers.

With track plan in mind. The framework begins. Standard L girder construction. Using 1x2s, 2x2s, 1x3s and 1x4s

I put some plastic down first to keep the carpet clean. Note to self: Don't put plastic under legs next time. You can't get plastic out.

This is my standard train building garb; sweatpants and a t-shirt.

Starting to build the framework for the mountain area.

I added a little fiddle yard to the basic trackplan. I didn't particularly like the yard location in the original plan

I got some 2-inch foam for the layout support.

I cut out a temporary section for a future access area.

I transfered the cutout section onto the foam and placed it onto the framework to check the fit and looks.

I've built it but can reach it. Maybe if I lose 40 pounds and then....well that isn't going to happen so I have to come up with something to be able to reach hard to get places on the layout.

Next comes more benchwork and foam laying


Edited by - jaynjay on 10/11/2009 7:22:36 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5807 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  01:07:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John, I'm glad you started this thread. I feel your pain about finishing off the basement as that is exactly the stage I'm in now. It looks great though and you will be very happy that you went back and did it right! It looks great!


Country: USA | Posts: 13755 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  05:18:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We've made it to 2006.

I've come up with a tentative trackplan. Don't remember why I drew the arrows on the plan. Missing in the trackplan is the single track in the top of the plan going around the mountain into the business area.

I've cut the foam and put them in place. I've even cut out the future water ways.

Here we see all of the support pieces for the mountain area.

Looking at the framework, I notice that there is no access area to build the mountain. The mountain sticks out 6-feet from the wall and there would be no way that I could reach the elevated track that will be put in this area. I've cut out an access area and started cutting the mountain track supports out of 1/2 inch plywood. I bought some Woodland Scenics inclines to raise the single track to enter the mountain.

Another shot of the plywood trackwork supports

Here we see the plywood supports being screwed/glued in place. They had to be placed in at the foam level. So they are all placed at 2.5 inches above the framework. The 1/2 inch being the plywood base.

Around-the-walls type layouts utilize the available area pretty well; but you have to allow for room to build them. I only have enough room to stick my head up in this shot. But once the work is done, this area should be maintenance free (I hope)

Here we see the double track return loop mainline in place under the mountain area. You can see the upper single track in the shot. This single track will eventually go over a trestle and come into a business area. Unknown type of business at this time. I've also glued the double-track main cork roadbed in place

I'm gluing down the cork roadbed in this shot. Yes, that's a computer that I using for a weight. Hey, I had to use something. You can see the upper single track section better in this shot

This is a pretty good photo of the mountain access area. It is large enough for two skinny people or me; but not both.

This is the single track going around the mountain to the proposed business. I want to place a trestle here; but haven't found one yet. This area will remain like this for a very long time.


Country: USA | Posts: 5807 Go to Top of Page

Red P

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  08:27:42 AM  Show Profile  Send Red P a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Its looking great. I look forward to following your progress.


Country: USA | Posts: 1040 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  09:17:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Nice progress. I look forward to following the thread.


Edited by - Grubes on 10/12/2009 09:18:23 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 629 Go to Top of Page

Neil M

Premium Member

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  10:37:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looks nice John. I'm looking forward to more progress pics

Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22161 but now making a start in On30 in Australia http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52273

Country: Australia | Posts: 2502 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  1:40:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Always nice to watch another layout being built. Your doing great for being a pro-cras-tin-a-ter

Country: Canada | Posts: 2365 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  4:13:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit LVN's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I will be following this one. What nice benchwork. Looks like there will be lots of interesting scenery challenges ahead.

Chris Lyon

Country: Canada | Posts: 5293 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/13/2009 :  07:43:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the comments.

I didn't do much for a whole year. I was hospitalized and in recovery for about 6 months. The layout just sat for a while.

I've cut a piece of foam to make a cover for the access hatch. You can see a waterway cutout in the picture. I've bought a Rusty Stumps Ships Chandler to put in this space.

Here we see the upper-level business area. I bougth a Micro-Scale Clothes Pin and Broom Handle Factory for this area.

I still had the problem of building the layout to wide for my reach. Some how Joan came up with the idea of maybe the was some sort of contraption that would allow me to extend my reach. That lead to an internet search, and we found this: Topside Creeper. They are a little of the spendy side; and they do take up some space; but the Topside Creeper will more than pay for itself by solving the reach problem. I seriously don't know what I would have done without it.

This shot shows the single track upper level route to the first picture. At this time, I am still thinking about some sort of trestle. I also have my Dremel table saw out. It is set up to cut trestle bents.

Next comes trestle building.


Country: USA | Posts: 5807 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/13/2009 :  08:58:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I promised to show all the mistakes that I've made along the way; so here are some big ones.

I've decided on having three waterway cutouts ina various places on the layout.

I've cut away a little streambead here. I've cut wood dowels on my Dremel tablesaw and made some trestle bents and am roughing the two single-track trestles in.

Another shot of the cutout. You can see the Woodland Scenics foam Inclines in the background to get an idea of where we're at on the layout.

I have carved away the foam to make a more realistic looking watercourse. I've plastered the sides with a combination of Sculptamold and drywall mud. Not very happy with the way it looks. Something's wrong here; but I can't put my finger on it.

A straight on shot of the streambed. More drywall mud applied. Something just doesn't seem right though.

I've painted the stream bottom a dark color and I'm just not happy with this. It just doesn't look right. Maybe adding something to it might help. I bought a Sierra West Shelby's Marine Service and started carving out an area to fit the two structures.

This is starting to get a little ridiculous. I've decided that I don't like the two little trestles going over the waterway. They look stupid and I don't like the results.

I'm starting to get a little case of Gorre & Daphetid envy here. My best efforts don't come close to looking like what I've seen in magazines and online.

I decided to fill in the trestle area with foam and make some sort of piling wall. I bought a FSM Pile Driver and thought that would look nice driving in piles along the wall. I've started to plaster in the cutfoam to make a nice straight-up and down form so I can glue wood dowels along it to represent pilings. I used a little dumbell to hold the puttyblade against the drying drywall mud.

Still not very happy with the outcome.

A little afterthought here. I have to keep telling myself here that I am not in competition with other modelers and that my layout will never come close to John Allen's or George Sellios' layouts. I only have to make myself happy and not worry so much about how others see my layout. As long as I'm having fun then everything will turn out right. I probably should make a big sign of Model Railroaders' motto: Model Railroading is Fun.

At this time though, I haven't learned this lesson. More mistakes to come


Edited by - jaynjay on 10/13/2009 09:13:59 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5807 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/13/2009 :  09:28:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John, everything looks good to me. It may be a little late, but the water way may have just needed some rock castings along the sides to make it look right. Just a thought... Look forward to future updates.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7237 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/13/2009 :  1:20:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi John,
The layout is looking great. You are definately building a quality product. I look forward to photo updates in the future.

Look out for #1, but don't step in #2!

Andy Keeney
Dewitt, MI

Country: USA | Posts: 6117 Go to Top of Page
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