Piedmont Blues - US O Scale (2 rail) switching layout

Discussion in 'Members Personal Layouts' started by danielb, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    Evening everyone,
    After selling my last HO scale exhibition layout, I've had nothing to take to shows. Myself and my second operator, Ford, have been knocking around the idea of making an O scale layout for a long while now, and decided that it was the right time to get the project off the ground.

    We decided early on that we wanted to make an urban industrial switching layout, and that it would have lighting, signals, ambient sounds, and animations. The track would all be hand built, and we have started looking into dead-rail as opposed to DCC, though if this doesn't pan out it can easily be wired for DCC if needed.

    The maximum size for the layout would be 16', as this would be about the maximum size we could transport to shows between us.

    After looking at many suitable track plans, a modified version of Jack "Shortliner" Trollope's Box Street Yard was chosen, and construction of the layout began.

    It's been a long while coming, but we've finally gotten to a stage where there's something to show!
    The benchwork/baseboards for the scenic section are done - three 4'x2' boards - with the final board being a traverser table which may also end up being fully scenic eventually.

    The track plan has been mapped out full size on the boards, and dimensions/footprints for the structures have been worked out too. I've cut out the roadbed - 5mm foamboard topped with 4mm cork - and I've been ferociously cutting ties from coffee stirrers ready to start laying the track.

    The design of the structures is such that the layout will be viewed from all sides - so no backscene required. This means that thought has had to be given to ensure the illusion of realism isn't broken by viewing angles which would allow the sector plate to be seen, or the traverser table. Fingers crossed this will all work when it's built! :D

    For now, here are the photographs of the baseboards showing the plan, with a few pieces of rolling stock to give an idea of scale.

    The traverser table will go on the left end of the layout as seen in the photos, which will allow us to add 4'x2' extensions to the layout in the future, should the ability to transport them become available to us.

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  2. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Looking good Dan, just curious, whats "dead-rail"?

    Cheer's, Pete.
     
  3. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    oooooooo ........... now Pete you've asked a good one :avatar:

    Basically there is no power to the track - the loco's use on board power souces, batteries, steam etc, etc.
    Control is normally by radio control, but several wifi based solutions are starting to appear.

    Anyone thinking of using R/C I would recommend 2.4Ghz digital systems, as these have 70+ channels available, and will go into a safe mode if they cannot get a free channel or get severe interference.

    Those looking for a bit more info try here -

    Dead Rail Society

    Paul
     
  4. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    I half suspected that was the answer, I had a play with a gauge 3 test track at a show earlier this year with on board batteries and radio control- an 08 and a 14XX tanky, lovely big models that made the right noises going through point work and track joints, I must admit I was very very tempted :scratchchin: :avatar::avatar:.

    Cheer's, Pete.
     
  5. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    Well, it's been a while, but swinging by the C&L Finescale stall at Warley exhibition allowed me to pick up a bag of PCB ties to allow me to progress with the tracklaying.

    Unfortunately I underestimated how many I would need, so I'll need to grab another bag before I can finish preparing the roadbed.

    I started ballasting the sections that I had enough PCB ties to get done, and here's the results (though it's very much still drying in the photographs).

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    It's a slow process, but it's getting there. :)
     
  6. Gary

    Gary Will the real Gary please stand up... Staff Member Administrator

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    Can I ask what code rail you are using ??

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  7. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    Hi Gary,

    If I'm honest, I've no idea. I bought a load of hand built track on eBay for £16 - it wasn't in the best condition but for that price who cares?

    I'm going to salvage it for parts and build new track myself.

    Two of the turnouts I bought from a model shop second hand, along with another large curved turnout, for £10 each.

    Couldn't pass those over!
     
  8. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    Well... it's been an interesting last couple of weeks after my father in law was taken into hospital, so there's been little progress recently. But after some free time yesterday, this is what PB currently looks like:

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    Hopefully I can get the trackwork finished before I go back to work on Monday night.
     
  9. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Coming on well Dan :thumbs:. I wish I could work as quickly :avatar:. I've got 6 points to build, fingers crossed they shouldn't take too long.

    Pete.
     
  10. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    Truth be told Pete, I only built one out of the three myself, the others I got from Geoffrey Allison's shop in Worksop for a tenner each! :)
     
  11. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    As I'm on nights this week, I've been unable to work on the track any further, so instead I've been building a craftsman kit - Broach Supplies, by Kitwood Hill Models.

    Verdict - it's a lovely kit, very interesting design, but it's been fiddly as all hell (even N scale craftsmen kits are easier than this!) and the instructions could do with a couple of improvements here and there. The functioning sash windows are definitely a highlight. :)

    I've also added some of Kitwood Hill's furniture items to the annex of the building, make it look a little more interesting. :)

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    Not much further to go on it before I can start painting it up. :)
     
  12. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi Dan

    Just a question on the track, are you just securing the rail to the copper clad, or are you also securing the rail to the timber sleepers ?

    Paul
     
  13. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    Hi Paul,

    I fully intend to spike the rail into every wooden tie. You can see where I've done it already on the centre track at the top of the last photograph. :)

    Though it works perfectly as it is, I just think it'll look much better, be absolutely bulletproof, and be worth all the effort in the end. :)

    Cheers,
    Dan
     
  14. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Someone has been busy. Looking good. :thumbs:
     
  15. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Dan that looks like a very nice kit of parts going to look super when it's finished :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  16. danielb

    danielb Full Member

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    Well... it's been a while, but I've not been idle.

    Trackwork is done done. I've soldered the power droppers to 2 of the boards, however Ford has taken the board that will house the sector plate away to build and fit that, and he's also working on building some servo-actuated switch machines for us. As such, the rest of the wiring will have to wait until the layout is back together.

    I've also made a start on the scenics, and have used lightweight filler to build up the ground contours on one of the boards. One down, two to go.

    Structures have been started and the majority of them are in a state of the basic walls being complete, I just need to get some wooden beams that I can use to brace the corners before I build them up, but I need to wait until payday for that.

    I have, however, been working on one of the buildings that will hide the sector plate from view - a mixed media version of the Clevermodels music store. I wanted to ensure that - in O scale - any part of the kits that should be wood are made from actual wood. I figured this would add to the overall look of the layout.

    So here's the version of the kit I built in HO scale:

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    Whereas here is the progress so far on the O scale version:

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    steve likes this.
  17. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Young layout's going to have character in spades Dan :thumbup::thumbup:

    Ian vt
     
  18. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Great looking building Dan, nowt looks like wood than the real thing, well done :thumbs:.

    Pete.
     
  19. Vinylelpea

    Vinylelpea Full Member

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    Incredible detail. Job well done
    Phil
     
  20. Gary

    Gary Will the real Gary please stand up... Staff Member Administrator

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    That building is a superb copy (well almost) of your HO scale Clever Models one. Excellent work. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

    Cheers, Gary.
     

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