Building the Gage, Portage & Western...from the very start

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House looks great! Looking forward to more postings, when you're able to add them.
Thanks! The summer months take me outside a lot more than keep me inside, so it's been a little slower-going, but I'm in the process on another one of the buildings...and I'm due to post an update on it. Maybe soon! Thanks for staying tuned!
 
I’m back ... and lesson learned already!

Time to get back at it! I’m laying out my track to test it first. I’m just thorough, I suppose. I’ve got plenty to do, but here’s the progress thus far. I’ll lay the track and mark centerlines for the cork roadbed, then come back through, pull it up and glue down the cork, then nail the track down through that.
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I learned an important thing about turnouts that I didn’t know too...those #4 turnouts you buy at the swap meet because they’re inexpensive? Yeah, well, they won’t work when they are Atlas snap variety switches. Had no idea they were different from the standard #4 switch, and was totally confused and frustrated when laying those crossovers you see and they wouldn’t line up! Thought I was doomed until I happened to find that factoid online somewhere. Of course, now I need additional, CORRECT turnouts!

Off to the store I go...again!

Thanks for reading and expect more updates for sure now that I’m rolling along again!
 

Attachments

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Andy? - Yeah, Atlas makes two #4 switches, the Snap Switch which you have unexpectedly gotten and the #4 Custom Line which is a true #4. Use the Snap Switches elsewhere on the layout and plan. Or use them where you intended and use some flex-track to make things meet up if possible. No sense in throwing money away. I use them to lead into industrial sidings where it makes little difference.

Willie
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Time to get back at it! I’m laying out my track to test it first. I’m just thorough, I suppose. I’ve got plenty to do, but here’s the progress thus far. I’ll lay the track and mark centerlines for the cork roadbed, then come back through, pull it up and glue down the cork, then nail the track down through that.
Smart move, better to take the extra time and know everything is right before committing to permanency.
 

cajon

Active Member
Don't use cork roadbed on sidings. industry spurs, yards, etc as real RRs didn't do that. If you don't believe that go look @ real RR rights of way. Also run the beegesus out of your plan to work out any bugs & to see if it does what you want for operations BEFORE you "cast it in concrete w/ ballast & glue!

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
 
A hard month of work, paying off

Phew! Been hard at work on this layout since I last posted, and have made SERIOUS progress. I actually have running trains!

Of course, I feel "bad" for not updating -- I'm sure many of you know how it is: You get working and moving, and you just stick to it, keeping the momentum and going.

I'll have some pictures to post soon. I've got my grades and raised track done, cork glued down and mainline track laid and nailed down. I got two MRC Tech 4 220 power packs for $20 and $30 each, both pretty much new, and I've temporarily clamped wires to the rails and run engines and cars of different lengths and "quality" around both loops with little issues thus far.

That said, my locos are going to need to TLC, I think, to get them sounding a lot quieter. I guess years of sitting in their boxes could take a toll.

I also built, painted and weathered the Walthers City Apartment building, and I'm pretty happy how it turned out. Only problem is that where I was going to put it originally isn't going to work, so I've moved it to its intended use, which is a background building much further back that I originally had planned.

Today I went to the Grayslake train show and was able to pick up a bunch of Caboose Industries 202S turnout throws. I got 13 or so of them for $18, so that's cool. I don't have too many switches (compared to a much larger layout), and most of them are in the same general vicinity on the layout, so I decided to not mess around with electronic switches this time around. On top of that, I was able to find two Atlas Selectors (4 zones each) for $5 apiece still in the package.

Next up will be ballasting and working on the sidings. Knowing that, I'm going to have to build some more of my buildings and start in on constructing the "mountain/hill" soon too. Among other things. The best thing is, I'm pretty excited now.
 
I've been painstakingly painting the rails and ties lately...it's somewhat tedious, but also somewhat therapeutic, ha ha ha! I also dug out my structures in order to lay down the bases of the ones that HAVE bases and plan my sidings, "main street" area and roads. Also, I've decided to build a viaduct for one of the roads to pass under the tracks behind "main street", so trying to figure out where and how that will go has been a mental project. I want it to hit the tracks and the backdrop on an angle, so that I don't have to sweat the backdrop too much because it'll be out of the direct line of sight of anyone viewing it (rather than having it hit at a 90-degree angle). But we shall see how it goes. Gonna be "tricky" either way.

Off I go to paint more track...more soon! Thanks for reading!
 

cajon

Active Member
I've been painstakingly painting the rails and ties lately...it's somewhat tedious, but also somewhat therapeutic, ha ha ha! I also dug out my structures in order to lay down the bases of the ones that HAVE bases and plan my sidings, "main street" area and roads. Also, I've decided to build a viaduct for one of the roads to pass under the tracks behind "main street", so trying to figure out where and how that will go has been a mental project. I want it to hit the tracks and the backdrop on an angle, so that I don't have to sweat the backdrop too much because it'll be out of the direct line of sight of anyone viewing it (rather than having it hit at a 90-degree angle). But we shall see how it goes. Gonna be "tricky" either way.

Off I go to paint more track...more soon! Thanks for reading!
A viaduct goes "over" the tracks, not under them. So you'll be able to hide more with it that way.

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
 
A viaduct goes "over" the tracks, not under them. So you'll be able to hide more with it that way.

Ha, here in Chicago, we always called the bridges where the streets passed under the tracks a viaduct. Like this...probably thousands of these around town: https://flic.kr/p/dsVxXU
Local dialect, I suppose. :) Whenever there's a huge rain, even the news talks about how the viaducts are flooded near such-and-such intersection.

Either way, it'll hide the road's intersection with the backdrop pretty well. I'm using through plate girders for both tracks, figuring it will help "block" as much of the backdrop as I can. These were all over the South and Southwest sides of Chicago, near where I grew up, and I've grown to like them. https://flic.kr/p/ocU55L
 
Had to share -- wanted to take a picture, but didn't want him to get distracted. My 9-year-old son helped me by painting the ties (with the WS Weathered Tie marker, so it was "easy") on about four pieces of flextrack the other day. He stuck through the entire laborious (for a 9yo) task and didn't even complain one single time. I was pretty happy about that! So there is hope for the future, I suppose! :eek:

I'm done painting all the track and ties. My next two steps will be to begin to build my mountain/hill/tunnel structure, and I need to build a few of my structures so I can get my sidings placed properly. I'll probably flip flop between the two tasks. I'll try to take pics and post -- I don't know how many folks are reading this (since I apparently should have put it in the Layout Construction section, but ah well...ha ha ha!), but I appreciate it!

Also, I know it's not "prototypical" to put the sidings on roadbed, but in the space I have, the grade would be too jarring to the eye for my liking. Unfortunately, that means I'll probably have to put the buildings that touch the sidings on foundations in order to be at the proper height.
 
After much trial and error with a variety of colors, I'm finally liking how this is turning out. This is one wall of my American Hardware Supply kit...In person, the orange doesn't look as strikingly bright, and I can dull it down further once I weather it. But at least I can move forward on getting these walls painted and assembled now. I was stuck in the "I don't know what I'm going to do because I can't find the colors I like" mode!

Oh, and those are the paints I used...acrylic Dark Tan for the base on the bricks and for the main concrete portions, and then Polly SP Daylight Red over that for the bricks.

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Walthers American Hardware Supply building finished...

Wooo! Yes, I'm still here, and yes, I've been super busy. But, I've finished (well, about 99% finished) my Walthers American Hardware Supply kit. I'll figure out the actual industry and put signs and stuff on it later. For now, it's done, so I can see how it will fit in the spot I've allotted for it.

This was definitely a painting challenge...lots of little spots, lots of detail. But, still, lots of fun. I have to say, the kit fit really, really well together.

I made one significant modification, as you may have noticed (other than adding the roof details and roll-on roofing material). On the short, facing wall, I wanted to put a set of wall-mount dust collectors. Originally, I was going to tuck it around the corner where the wall isn't visible, so that it would be out over the siding. But from this angle, it would have been barely visible, so I looked for another option.

This kit comes with the option of making the wall section where I have the truck docks set up into that or windows, or solid brick walls. So, I took the solid brick walls and cut them to fit the upper level window sections and glued them in place. I figured, even if they'd be stupid enough to install these dust collectors over a window, I didn't have the desire to figure out how to detail just inside the window to match what was outside! So brick walls it was.

I'm probably going to add another layer of darker pastel powder to the roof and some of the other sections that are maybe a bit TOO orange in the fluorescent light downstairs. But generally, I'm calling this kit done.

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