Box Street 4x1 feet HO scale switching layout

Discussion in 'Members Personal Layouts' started by James76, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. James76

    James76 Full Member

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    Thanks for your comment, Echidna.

    I shortened the covered hoppers purely so they would be easier to switch in the confined space and tight curves of my various micro layouts. I hadn't thought of the lower axle load for a shorter car being better for lighter laid branch line use, but that makes perfect sense.

    Re Carl Arendt's website, all of the micro layouts I currently have were inspired by his website, but often with slight differences from his originals (maybe an extra siding somewhere, or slightly wide / longer, often a different scale). I purchased two of his ebooks as well, and spent a number of enjoyable hours perusing them for ideas to fit the spaces I had.

    Re the "other industries" building, a lot of the buildings in post 13 are also in post 1, so I have included the overall view of the layout from post 13, with letters to indicate buildings and a list underneath of where they were sourced from.

    box-street-industry-legend.jpg

    • A: Evans Designs ( https://evandesigns.com/products/model-builder ) printout glued to thin foam core.
    • B: Walthers modular building pack with a custom triangular section for the roof (basically a bit a thin ply painted roof color). Platform it rests on as scratchbuilt from chipboard and painted light grey on top, with coffee stirrers and matchsticks on the sides.
    • C: Scratchbuilt from corrugated card, match sticks, and coffee stirrers.
    • D: Walthers Hot Mix Asphalt plant.
    • E: Scratchbuilt. Chipboard with brick paper on the side and top painted light grey to simulate concrete.
    • F: Scratchbuilt. Similar to E.
    • G: Part of D, but I have used it as a separate silo instead of as part of the Hot Mix plant.
    Hope I've labelled the "other building" you referred to, if not let me know.

    Regarding inglenooks, I had a large-ish modular model railway a few years ago (see post #16) which had a module called "Illinook" (named for Illinois + Inglenook), and this had an inglenook on it, but also had an extra track or two for more switching interest. I haven't really tried a (successful) inglenook apart from that, but the concept certainly intrigues me. A number of channels on YouTube have featured inglenooks. I think if I was going to try an inglenook (which I still might in future) it would probably be using cars that are close to the same length, and a short locomotive such as a Peckett 0-4-0, Ruston & Hornsby 48DS, Plymouth ML-8 or NSWGR X200 rail tractor. I already have at least one of each of those, except for the Peckett 0-4-0, so it would be easy to experiment with them to see how short an inglenook could be.

    Regards, James
     
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  2. Echidna

    Echidna Full Member

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    Dear James76,

    thank you for your detailed response. The Evan's Design Printout of the "International" style factory/warehouse is interesting as it can be an approriate fit on most model railways, irrespective of it being located in North America, Europe or Australia, and probably a number of other places as well, hence my query.

    Thanks again for an interesting article,

    Regards, Echidna.
     
  3. James76

    James76 Full Member

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    Hi Echidna.

    I have found a lot of the Evans Designs do have a fairly 'generic' look and as a result work quite well with American layouts. I have used a number of them over the years, making my own building styles using the available textures since I purchased the product. I think only 2 of the buildings I have created were full buildings or full-ish.

    ModelRailway_Illinook_1010125.JPG
    Above: a low-relief-ish building (currently in storage) on the defunct Illinook module.
    Below: a 2 storey house currently in use on my Ruston layout.
    P1020222.jpg

    All the rest I built from their product have been low relief background buildings of which the one on Box Street is the only one I am currently using.

    Regards, James
     
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  4. James76

    James76 Full Member

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    Since I built the HO scale Box Street micro industrial switching layout, I have had a number of structures at the front of the layout, between the track and the front edge of the layout. When I placed them there, I felt it was a good way to add a scenic break, allowing the trains to partially disappear while moving around the layout. The structures performed that function well. But one thing I didn’t count on was the potential for damage to the structures I placed at the front of the layout.

    01-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030757.jpg

    The Hot Mix Asphalt Plant structures in the front of the layout, shown at the bottom of the photo above, have been knocked loose, bumped, and generally damaged, a number of times since their placement there. Partly this was because they were high compared with the fascia, and they were directly in front of some of the turnouts. So each time I needed to change the position of turnout blades, there was potential for the structures getting knocked and damaged. I thought it was time I did something about that. The first thing I needed to do was figure out what to put in that space, if anything, once those structures were removed. I could have just removed the structures and had a nice stone covered area, but that seemed a little too plain. I wanted something of visual interest there. I also wanted the hot mix asphalt plant to be at least hinted at, as it is a source of traffic for the train crews.

    02-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030765.jpg

    The photo above shows the empty space after the Hot Mix Asphalt Plant structures were removed.

    In the past I have made a number of low-relief or background buildings for use on various layouts, using the Evan Designs “Model Builder” software. I found this to work very well in the past so I decided to try building a small shed for the empty space. I created a building using the available textures in the Model Builder software, and built it using card as the walls, and coffee stirrers and matchsticks to add some extra internal strength. I also felt that the asphalt storage tank in a position right near the edge of the layout would be suggestive of the Hot Mix Asphalt Plant and so decided to include that in the empty area. Once I had added the completed shed and the asphalt storage tank to the scene I scattered a light coloured sand (from a nearby river bank) around the objects and fixed it using the usual diluted PVA glue mix. Then I filled in any left over areas on the edge of the scene using a mixture of sand, small bushes, static grass and real dirt.

    03-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030780.jpg


    04-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030782.jpg


    06-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030784.jpg

    I purchased a 1:87 scale backhoe to suggest the need for aggregate for the industry – previously the need for aggregate was suggested by a stone container above a mixing conveyor belt. Delivery of the backhoe would take a while, it being ordered close to Christmas.

    After some further mulling over the new scenery arrangement I felt that a pile of broken up asphalt suitable for recycling awaiting pick up could be added, so I added that to the area near the asphalt storage tank.

    I feel the end result looks ok and it still suggests the need for the same commodities to be delivered or picked up from that part of the layout so has not negatively impacted on traffic requirements on the layout.

    08-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030788.jpg

    But wait that’s not all…

    While I was waiting for the backhoe to arrive, I decided to make some further scenery changes to the layout. The area I felt needed changing was around the freight platform and silos at the back of the layout, as shown below before the changes.

    09-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030792.jpg

    The platform was just a little too short to have the doors of a 40 foot boxcar nicely aligned to it, and so I decided I would change things there around a bit to be able to add a bit of extra length into the platform. This meant I had to either remove or change the position of the silos. This would give me an opportunity to enhance the scenery in that part of the layout a bit too. I decided to keep the silos, but re-align it as the silos are a nice feature to have at the back of the layout. So I re-aligned it so it isn’t on an angle, added an extra section to the freight platform, and sceniced around the platform and silos.

    10-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030793.jpg

    There is still a little more to do, but apart from adding some grass between the silos and the brick wall at the back of the layout, and maybe some future 1:87 inhabitants, the changes are now complete.

    Eventually the backhoe arrived, and as it was quite expensive I’m not going to glue it down to the layout. This means I can place it wherever it looks like it’s needed. Here it is waiting patiently for a gondolla load of stone for the now mostly off-scene Hot Mix Asphalt plant.

    11-ModelTrains_BoxStreet_1030809.jpg

    (This post derived from: https://www.jimsmodeltrains.ws/2021/12/23/minimising-structure-damage/ )
     
  5. Vinylelpea

    Vinylelpea Full Member

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    Nice compromise. Turned out to be a nice scene. :thumbs:
     
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