Sunshine, Palm Trees and a Food Industry...

Discussion in 'Planks' started by Gary, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    I have been intrigued by the model railways of Lance Mindheim and the simplicity of his layouts. Simple switching layouts serving industries in either California or Miami. If you haven't heard of Lance Mindheim, check out his videos on you tube...

    So, what's this got to do with a new layout thread...?

    Answer : Inspiration !

    As I have a few lengths of track, some old points and baseboard material, I'd thought I 'd have a go at building a simple switching layout, based on operations in and around Hialeah in Miami.

    I have yet to name the layout, but I'm liking NW 37th Ave..., but maybe another name will creep in !

    Here are some photos I took from Google street view to give an idea of what scenery I have in mind...

    An overview of down town Miami showing the tight radius curves servicing different customers.


    These next four photos are of the typical scenery I wish to convey...





    I had originally designed the layout as an inglenook, but I wanted more operational interest. So this plan below was drawn up and it subsequently developed into the final plan...




    The final plan... I added the two points curving off to the front of the layout, similar to what is shown in the aerial photo further up the page...


    The track on the lower right hand side is the lead. I have not decided whether I''ll add a fiddle yard as most of the shunting can be done on what you see here.


    Work has slowly begun after constructing the baseboards over the past weekend. It will become a 'fold over' layout, easy to store and transport...

    This image shows the track plan down on the soon to be baseboards prior to coming up with the final track plan.


    So, I have added a 30mm slab of insulation foam to the board and made some track adjustments and realigned the track for better visual. More pics will come in due course.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  2. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Palm trees arrived today for the layout and they don't look too bad spaced out on the bare baseboard...


    A closer pic...


    ...and when you get closer again, you'll see they need a bit of a clean up to remove the excess flash...


    Overall, they were the right price, $13.00 for 16 palms, ranging from 8cm to 16cm in height. Once cleaned up, trunks painted an appropriate grey/brown and the foliage painted to take that plastic look away, they will be fine.

    Oh yes, I have also added the two spurs off the loop line and re-orientated the track angle to give better visuals. The track laid matches the plan above now. ;)

    Picked up another Power Cab Panel for this layout this afternoon and also a new power socket for a Power Cab Panel I damaged a few years ago. :D

    More as it happens...

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  3. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Today was about track laying and getting the points operating and some wiring. I was hoping to get the layout completely wired today, but I got about 85% of the wiring complete.

    I posted this little wooden track gauge on our facebook page last night and it helps to keep the lengths of flex track parallel. I measured the distance between a fixed point or I should say the junction between two points and marked the piece of timber off cut. Took the saw to it and made two cuts about 3mm or 1/8" deep. It now fits nicely over the rail head giving me constant spacing.


    On flex track...


    The next job was to work the points into operation. Like all my layouts, I opt for wire in tube. The difference here is that the tube is 36 -38 mm below the bottom of the sleepers ! I was hesitant to use a tube and a long wire through the base board and foam as I would assume there would be far to much play in the vertical wire. So I came up with this solution...


    It is 4mm diameter brass tube with a 2.5mm solid brass rod riser. I drilled a pilot hole in a designated spot along the tube then widened it to take the brass rod. The brass rod was fed through the wholes in the baseboard frame and the brass rod was inserted up into the tube in place in the pre-drilled holes in the baseboard. The brass tube runs the full width of the baseboard (13") and the points will be worked from either side of the layout.


    Close up of fitting...


    This was then soldered into place...


    Flipping the board over, I dropped another piece of 4mm diameter tube over the solid rod, marked it and cut it just below the surface of the foam (baseboard).


    Into this I fitted a small length of brass wire which fits nicely into the hole in the tie bar on the point. This was all soldered up and made solid.


    The points just simply slide over the thin brass wire. The tube through the frame will eventually have a brass screw soldered to it on each end. I found that #6 gauge screws fit the tube nicely and the solder will form a nice connection. This will be done further down the track as I don't want the tube handles getting snagged whilst moving the layout about.

    No pics of the wiring yet, but its getting there...

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  4. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Video history of the build so far...



    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  5. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    I'm enjoying watching the creative thoughts and the practical progress of this layout. Glad I heard that a set of points was clipped out, wouldn't want a loco running up that short tight spur and off onto the floor:faint:
    The hinged folding layout is not common, but it is very handy. Mine regularly gets folded up and placed in a very safe space in my garage when I need my workbench back. In my case the safe space is the boot of the car, lid gets shut and it is all protected from dust. I like the way yours gives a lot more height than mine. I am also very keen to see how you disguise the blocks and the hinges especially.
    One funny thing I have noticed that most of your layouts these days starts off using that spare 3-way point as inspiration for a new layout. However, plans change each tome and it does not get used. I rather like to think that this is a good thing, as if you didn't have that 3-way rattling around, the inspiration to build a new layout might not be there.
    Very very interesting to see a different prototype around, can't say I've seen many Florida ones around, and your palm trees look great.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
  6. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Tony.

    Yes you are right about that three way point and not too many were used in the Miami precinct, so I chose to go with normal point work. I do a fair amount of research when designing a layout and I aim for that prototypical feel. The scenery is what will make the layout stand out from any other I have built, making this one quite unique. I could have easily built this as a through line with two simple short sidings, but this plan will allow for plenty of operation. The main industry (food processing) will have 5 x individual car spots, 1 x for either a tank car (corn syrup) or an airslide hopper (grain product), 2 x spots for reefers for incoming/receiving fresh produce and the last 2 x spots for boxcar, or dispatch of manufactured goods.
    The short siding marked on the plan as 'rail served industry' will most probably be for card board as the factory there will be packaging. This means switching out a single box car and perhaps sometimes a tank car, when requested by the customer !

    Speaking of airslide hoppers, I placed an order with Scaletrains (Tennessee, USA) back on the 28th of December. This order arrived today and I can say they are very nice wagons. These wagons were relatively cheap at $19.99 (USD) or $25.90 AUD/£14.75 each. I have now found out that there is a super detailing kit available for them, but these have all sold out !

    Anyhow, here are a few pics...

    They come in well protected packaging...


    They look great...


    Detail is good, but the super detailing kit will lift them. Note there are no grab irons...


    Underfloor detail is pretty nicely applied...


    The wagon info and more is quite eligible...


    The brown hopper will eventually be patched out as this one is used by the BNSF as a buffer car. I intend to use it for its proper service. More on this further in the future....

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  7. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    With my baseboards being an odd size of 12 11/16" (323mm) the insulation foam once cut down is 299mm wide. I am left with a ledge around the baseboard as the foam was glued down centrally.

    The baseboard width...


    The foam width...


    On the way home today I picked up two x 2.7m lengths of 11mm x 30mm pre-painted DAR pine (dresssed all round).


    I will cut the two lengths into four 1178mm lengths. This will edge the foam and being 30mm tall, it matches the height of the foam. The two small left over pieces will be cut to size and fitted on the two ends of the layout between the longer lengths. This will finish the frame off nicely.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  8. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Got all the edge boards in tonight and also trimmed the curved tracks, now I know where the edge of the layout is ! After all that I had glued the tracks down with Gorilla Glue.




    At the moment there are boards and books weighing the track down onto the foam base. After work tomorrow will be inspection time !

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  9. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    I lifted the books and boards off the layout this afternoon, and no surprise to me, the Gorilla Glue had risen and partially attached itself to the boards I placed on top. No harm was down removing the boards, just a slight twist to break the bond is all what was needed.

    Here is what the track looked like after I removed the books and boards...



    All the bubbles of glue have been removed with a scalpel, now I can get on with the sleeper painting. Being quite warm here in Sydney (32*C at the moment, indoors), it won't take long for the paint to dry. I just wish I could paint the sleepers at the speed the paint dries !

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  10. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Well, this evening has been interesting if you like to watch paint dry ! :facepalm: :avatar:

    I have completed 70% of the track painting and tomorrow or over the weekend, I have to turn the layout around and paint the other side of the rails ! The photo below shows the painted side only.
    This is how the track looks tonight. Doesn't look the best and I'm putting that down to artificial light !! :scratchchin::avatar::avatar:


    I'm sure once ballasted, it will come up trumps. I painted all the sleepers withMicrolux #29003 Railroad Tie Brown then whilst still wet, applied some gry here and there to the odd sleeper or in groups of 3 or 4. After this I drybrushed on some Citadel Tyrant Skull (Cream) on the old sleeper and for a newer looking sleeper, perhaps replaced, a couple were dry brushed Citadel Mournfang Brown (Umber).

    I allowed this to dry off before painting the rails with 2/3 Railroad Tie Brown and 1/3 Mournfang Brown. Hopefully I mixed up enough to complete the opposite side of the rails !!

    So, that's it for tonight....

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  11. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Last night I painted the opposite side of the rails. After allowing that to dry, I made up a wash of Tamiya Flat Earth and picked out several sleepers to take that darker look away that was a result of the railroad tie brown.

    This morning I made a wash of light grey and gave several sleepers a wipe over again to give them an older dry look.

    This is the result from above...


    Once ballasted, the sleepers shall stand out that little bit more as the ballast will be a light grey colour and also dusted over along the rail/chairs with an airbrush of orange rust.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  12. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    I have started on the scratch building of the food processing plant and I'll be using this warehouse in the pic below as a guide. I like the rail side flat wall in the forground and the dock style with canopy in the second section behind the tank car.


    I will be making the plant out of 2mm thick card, but I won't be covering this with paper prints, instead the building will be airbrushed.


    I was asked on a facebook group about the door spacings as the plant would have been built when 40' box cars and reefers were in use. These two pics show that two 40' cars can be spotted beside the doors.



    This layout will be depicting 2000-2010, so the use of 50' cars will be required which means only one 50' car can be serviced at a time, at the door on the right.


    Perhaps I can brick up the door on the left with bessa blocks (breeze blocks). :scratchchin:

    More to come....

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  13. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    I made some gains on the food processing plant today...

    After breaky, I started the walls on the second part of the building. This is the section with the platform and awning. This pic below shows the face wall, although obscured by Lego, (my favourite spacing and adjustable square) and the platform and awning in place. Like the prototype pic above, I decided on the I bream awning support.


    Conduits were added to the face wall above the awning. This was made from 0.64mm and 0.88mm Evergreen Styrene rod, supported on small 0.75 x 0.75mm battens. After all this had cured, the whole structure was painted a lovely shade of Mont Marte 'Yellow Pink', straight from the tube, no undercoat needed. I want to give the building weathered paint effect so downward strokes were applied, allowing blemishes to show through.

    The platform was given a coat of grey and after drying, I applied some washes of a variety of grey tones. Eventually the whole building will be weathered with powders.


    Roller door prints from a Team Tracks Models kit were used. I also used this kit as a guide to get my door and window apertures right.


    The window prints also came from the Team Tracks kit.


    The conduits run down from junction boxes above the awning to smaller boxes on the walls. As typical to the prototype, everything is painted the one colour.



    Next up I will build thicker walls that separate the two structures, which will eventually be four sections in total. The roof will also have to be cut to size as well and decorated accordingly.

    To the right of the platform side will be a larger warehouse section and the two silos followed by a smaller building acting as the pump house for the tank cars and air slide hoppers.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  14. James76

    James76 Full Member

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    Gary, using Lego in model making as spacing and adjustable square is rather interesting idea!
     
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