Building the Wilton Sub (long and continuous)

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Aerojet

Active Member
Here is where we start the build if the new sub. So to keep the thing together, I am going to do something I do not normally do - add on to this as it progresses along.

Let's start at the beginning and go from there. First up was the massive clean out of the area, then the clean up. That oil mess under the washer turned out to be tougher than I thought. It seems it hardened down into a gooey mass. A 4 inch scraper was needed to get most of it up, then TSP cleaned the rest off the floor. It still has stains, so don't ask.

Next a good cleaning and get all of the cob webs and other trash off the floor, then over to Home Depot for paint.

WHAT color to paint the back wall? What color is "sky blue"? I read thru several of the Scenery books on this subject and nobody seems to agree on what that color is. So I did something like this -- took a bunch of blue samples off the rack, then stepped outside in the clear November afternoon and compared them to what I saw there. Here is the result ---



LIKE the color? It is Glidden paint, flat, and the color is Blue Note. If you want some, Home Depot ...

Sunday the grand daughter brought my old car over and we went for lumber. About a C note later we got the wagon loaded up and over here. Now the real build begins.... Next series of photos later in the week...

Until then --

The Aerojet
 

new guy

Active Member
Looking good. Nice color. The urge to run trains NOW will be strong! Take your time with the bench work, "as above, so below" a solid table will provide a solid layout!
 

Steve S

Member
What color is "sky blue"?


The Aerojet

First, the sky isn't a single color. It's lighter near the horizon than it is overhead because you're looking through more atmosphere when you look toward the horizon.
Also, clear blue sky in the Rocky Mountains will probably be a deeper blue than a hot, hazy summer sky in Atlanta. So what are you modeling?

Steve S
 

Aerojet

Active Member
So what would you have me do? Paint it several bands of different blue shades? All I want is a colored background which is not steel shelving, the rest of the compact mess, the furnace, the hot water heater, and worse of all, a big gray concrete wall... This is the compromise. As one other poster said someplace - it's my pike, and it only has to please me.

II -- I ran into a real problem yesterday while building the frame and all ... the original pike is not LEVEL ... which is causing me a problem. Level up that, then the second phase should follow, then it will fit the new build height, which should have been the same as I originally did back in 08 / 09. I am using the same materials and build technique on this new phase that I did originally, so it should be the same height. -----> THE PROBLEM??

----->> Floor drain, <<----- and the slope to get it to work. The new board is 3/4 inches low on the drain side and 1/4 low on the opposite end, Shim both, and it is now level, but when I shove board 3 up against the 1 - 2 assembly, it is way too high. Checking the original work needs a 1/2 inch shim to get level. Then I can jack and bolt phase 2 to match if necessary. If it is not one thing with this new work it is another. Punch list items 1 thru 6 completed. Time to start the track work, photos to follow, maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday ...

The Aerojet
 

new guy

Active Member
So what would you have me do? Paint it several bands of different blue shades? All I want is a colored background which is not steel shelving, the rest of the compact mess, the furnace, the hot water heater, and worse of all, a big gray concrete wall... This is the compromise. As one other poster said someplace - it's my pike, and it only has to please me.

II -- I ran into a real problem yesterday while building the frame and all ... the original pike is not LEVEL ... which is causing me a problem. Level up that, then the second phase should follow, then it will fit the new build height, which should have been the same as I originally did back in 08 / 09. I am using the same materials and build technique on this new phase that I did originally, so it should be the same height. -----> THE PROBLEM??

----->> Floor drain, <<----- and the slope to get it to work. The new board is 3/4 inches low on the drain side and 1/4 low on the opposite end, Shim both, and it is now level, but when I shove board 3 up against the 1 - 2 assembly, it is way too high. Checking the original work needs a 1/2 inch shim to get level. Then I can jack and bolt phase 2 to match if necessary. If it is not one thing with this new work it is another. Punch list items 1 thru 6 completed. Time to start the track work, photos to follow, maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday ...

The Aerojet
Don't sweat it, it looks good and everything you do will be "not quite right" for somebody, if you like it then THAT is the way it is!
 

Aerojet

Active Member
III - To answer Steve S. what am I modeling? Nothing. This is set in the Kickapoo River Valley of Western Wisconsin. Google Kickapoo River Valley, Wisconsin and learn about our natural history. This is the unglaciated part of the state, the drift less area, meaning the glaciers never got this far south. Kickapoo is an Algonquin Indian word meaning "One who goes here then there." The head waters of the Kickapoo are just north of Wilton, at one end of the Tunnel Trail bike path, Elroy Spartan, and it flows south to Wauzeka, where it flows into the Wisconsin River. It is one of the oldest river valleys in the world. It goes thru the Ocoche Mountains. Have fun learning about my favorite part of Wisconsin!

The Aerojet
 

new guy

Active Member
III - To answer Steve S. what am I modeling? Nothing. This is set in the Kickapoo River Valley of Western Wisconsin. Google Kickapoo River Valley, Wisconsin and learn about our natural history. This is the unglaciated part of the state, the drift less area, meaning the glaciers never got this far south. Kickapoo is an Algonquin Indian word meaning "One who goes here then there." The head waters of the Kickapoo are just north of Wilton, at one end of the Tunnel Trail bike path, Elroy Spartan, and it flows south to Wauzeka, where it flows into the Wisconsin River. It is one of the oldest river valleys in the world. It goes thru the Ocoche Mountains. Have fun learning about my favorite part of Wisconsin!

The Aerojet
LOL! Ambitious and hilarious! "What am I modeling?" "Nothing!" LMBO! I hear ya, the location of my layout will be " Planet Earth", the "industry" will be running trains and the "timeline" is continuous!
 

Aerojet

Active Member
First photos of what is going on down here --

Well Punch list items 3 - 6 are done. Here is the result --



The is the base of the whole shebang. It is built like the one I did for the River Pass section. See my previous photos for that one. Here I needed a 4 x 7 board to build on. Reason? That stupid soil stack is in the middle of the floor. So -- cut the runners 7 feet, the stretchers 46 1/2 inches, and assemble. Centers are 14 inches for this size board. Carefully draw the centers on the side boards so you space correctly, then anchor with a 4 pound finish nail. Once on side is done, run a pair of 3 /32 holes thru the assembly as a pilot, this will keep the wood from splitting as the screw goes down into it -- then run the 6 x 2 1/2" wall board screws home with a power driver.

Next add the pontoons for the legs. The pontoons are 16 inches long each. Those go 18 inches from the sides, so they are in the middle of the board and provide a solid base to work on. I can stand on the board now, and at 195 pounds it is not tippy or scary, It is solid. Those are banquet table legs. Get the whole thing over at Home Depot. now to flip the board upright.

Now to cut the plywood to 7 foot and the foam as well and attach to board.



Nothing is moving on this board. The plywood is attached to the frame with 6 x 2 1/2 inch wall board screws as well. ON the foam, once I got it squared out, then I ran 1/2 dozen of the wall board screw thru it with a washed under the screw. It is not moving at all.

The 3/4 inch board on the side is the check of level between the phase three section and phase two. I had to put 2 3/4 inch blocks under the phase 1 project to level up that section and then the yard, phase 2 came up as well. Now it is level section to section. So trains will roll thru this new area like glass.

On to the first lay of track ... we will see how that goes.

Until then I am building the Wilton Sub ...

The Aerojet
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
No problem with a single-hue wall with me. That's what I did. After all it's just a representation and looks better than bare plywood. Probably wouldn't stand on that foam though. LOL

Willie
 

roofintrash

Active Member
You could JB weld a nut in the bottom of each leg and use a bolt as a leveler. It would make it easy to compensate for the uneven floor.
 

Aerojet

Active Member
The Start of track laying ...

Well last night after dinner I spent a couple of hours down here working on the pike. First, spread out the track kit, then see what I got to work with. In the track kit are 7 - 15 inch curves, and 6 - 22 inch curves. Neither will work on a 4 x 7 - 4 x 8. First the 15 inch are too shallow / short to work with today's longer cars. I tried with a 70 foot spine car and it went off the rails. So no go. the 22 inch are too broad for this size table. It makes a semi-circle of 44 inches which does not allow for any switches or other track fun in the curve. So IT is back over to Hiawatha for some 18 inch curves.

The first thing I need to do is to tie the two boards together. This will make for what I want - a long run with a switching portion. This is the switching portion. Now to pull the curve out of the yard, phase two, and start working ....



Because the two boards are going to meet at 90 degrees in a corner, we need to get the "offset" of track to line up. But first it has to lie on the axis of the straight track coming off out of tunnel 1 on River Pass. First thing is to draw a grid on the new board. This will give you an idea of how to lay the track. There are no dimensions on any layout plan, just grid lines. So you have to guesstimate where the track will lay from looking at the plans, and then trying to put it on the right spot. Lots of fun!

Okay, so now we know where the track need to sit on the new board, now to get the tracks over from phases 1 and 2 onto this board. So start by dropping the straight run in, and adjusting the boards, moving the new board so that the track comes in at the right place for the new track. Here I am taking a curve out of the original plan and substituting this so I can join the two boards. The next thing to do is get that offset to work.

At what angle will these two intersect? Well it is obvious that 90 is out. Looking, 45 is too. So 60 is the answer. Well not really but that is what they make and there is nothing else in between unless you want to lay your own tracks and make your own crossing. Not me. So adjusting the crossing to suit, it was placed on the straight track until I got that far, I started to work the offset curve.

This is what I came up with. Yes the big cars go over it without a problem. It is on that white board just to get the track somewhat level with the original for placement and how it lies. That will come out later.

Once you get that far it is time to start the real track laying. Into the track kit, and looking at the Atlas Blueprints for this unit, "Dispatchers Delight" I start to lay the track per the print.

Two things about kits, or lay out plans in general, they try to fit as much track as they can into the space they have. In this case they put 15 inch curves in the inside run of the circle, and 18 in the outside, at least in the original 1960 prints. Perhaps they were thinking of 22 in here? Won't work. Trust me I tried last night. So it is back to the 18 inch curves. Also there is a funny "wiggle" in the upper corner of that section, that will come out with a half 18 curve later on.



The rest of this first part is laid out and tested with the two cars shown. So far so good, I think. I need to tighten up the track work so this is not the final yet. The next part starts with the far lower left curve. I don't have enough 18 inch curves in house to complete that yet, will pick some up today and start to-nite on that part.

That tunnel exit is important, as i am having two track come out there. So we need to get that group of track close but not too close.

AND for the trolls who keep on reminding me that I need a NMRA gauge, I have two of them. A Mark 2 and a Mark 4. I haven't been building pikes for 40 years without one. The 2 is from about the 65 era, and the 4 is about mid 70's. If you need to know.



AND here we see the problem. Too close, so we have more adjusting to do over here.

Will move things around as this track laying continues. Just at this point this is where I am in the project.

The Aerojet
 

new guy

Active Member
Looking very good, I found a 25 (degree?) angle crossing in a box lot of what I now think was mostly European stuff, Atlas makes a 30, I think.

"VIVA FLEX!" It's a saver when trying to meet up sectional sections!

A gage is something I need very much and will be getting the first of the month, I've gotten along without one so far but it shows in some spots.

Looking awesome and I like your methods, keep it coming!
 

otiscnj

Well-Known Member
MRL(I think) makes a gage that you can use to lay parallel tracks.

Just another thought, don't have the track towards the front of the table parallel the layout edge so much-angles are more interesting. Another option, would be to have the crossing closer to the middle of the new extension, as though you were making a figure 8, with the extension being one lobe of the 8, and the loop of the old layout being the other lobe of the 8.

Any thought to throwing a siding off one of the elevated tracks of the old layout, to service an industry on the new layout?
 

Aerojet

Active Member
First lay of track, first run of consist ....

Okay, so I got the kinks out, and the main line run. Now to run the train and see what happens. I did this with River Pass as well. Once the track is out and "tight" so there are no gaps or kinks in the rail, it is not fastened down yet, so go slow - run your train to see how it works. As this is DCC, once the tracks are connected to the original lines, the power is there.

This is turning out to be like it's name sake - Kickapoo, One who wanders here then there. First it turned out that I was squashed in the back up against the wall. I needed more room back there. My big butt was tight in this area. Time for the first major change - offset the main by at least 5 inches.

This was done with a reverse curve, made from 22 inch curves, and a six inch straight. This moved the new board forward 5 inches, and I took out the 9 inch straight on the line coming over and fitted up the new space. Reverse curves should be avoided if at all possible due to the derailment problem. Here the trouble is the body mounted couplers being stretched and stressed to the max as one car swings into the curve and the other goes out. Talgo mounted couplers solve most of this problem, which is why they are on cars longer than 50 feet. This is so the things can go around a standard 36 inch curve, read that 18 inch radius. Now having said that - you can however make up short s curves out of 1/3 and 1/2 curves and join them together to make up an offset problem, where the track just won't fit in the space allowed. Just work at it and you will find that if you are within say a track width off, the reverse s trick will join up the rails.

This pike ended up with quite a few of those small reverse s couplings. It will run you will see shortly. Which is also why I say it "Wanders here and then there." ...

Next problem was in the actual layout and the kit as provided by Atlas. it came with 15 inch curves. Nothing except shorty card, like 40 foot and under will ever go around those. Toss those into the track back and label them for later usage in spurs or something like that. I built this out of the standard 18 inch curves, and it fits well. Yes I am close to the edge in a few places. Mostly those will have scenery behind them so it won't matter. Where it becomes a problem, a fence like I used in the yard area will cover my tail for things falling off the table.

So with an afternoon free before Thanksgiving, I got the main line down, all problems worked out, kinks out, track tight and now it was time! RAILROAD! Made up racks and stacks, which is basically big cars, 65 foot Huskys at that - and got on with the show.

With bell ringing, and horns sounding the F45 slowly rolled down onto the new track. One car uncoupled due to the track height difference but other than that ...



Here we go! The new sub just had it's first train over the rails. It goes around all the reverse s sections without a problem. i ran it for a good half hour, all the way around, and thru all the cut off tracks. No problems. Fun watching it go back on to the phase one tracks and then coming out of tunnel 1 heading for the new sub, and carefully entering. I fixed the drop off problem, and the second time around it did not uncouple. WE HAVE A WINNER!!

This is Dispatchers Delight MY WAY ... all 18 inch curves. # 4 switches, and lots of work to make it go.

So this is the final lay of track for the new Wilton Sub ...



NOW you do not see my notes and build guides I worked up - so here goes. Some of the industry and track usage is shown as is where is. Two of the Tyco "action" units went into the end of spur # 1 -- the next set over is the intermodal yard as shown with the crane and the truck ramp to load trailers circus style, end to end -- that 9 inch flat in the loop after the intermodal yard is for stock unloading..... so far you with me?

Onto the back spur - note it is two spurs on one switch. the one which follows the track is the "back" of the building spur and the other one is also back but we see it more. A street will run down the middle of this area, and the building will be in between those two legs. Now what about that funny straight coming down towards the stock pen area?

That is the loading area for the Swift Meat packing plant. A stock pen served on one side and the rail siding for the outgoing meat on the other side. Here you will find my Genesis mechanical refer with sound sitting, running. Nothing like making the pike come alive with sound of the area!

So what is next?

Well, for one, taking a "Sharpie pen" and outlining all the track work after one final measurement and alignment check, and outline all the track on the new board. This is where the 1/2 in Woodland Scenics risers will go. That will give us railroad ditches and make the track stand out more than a plywood central.

Next is tough - some of the buildings will be served by the rail line, so they will also have to be sitting on 1/2 riser blocks to match track height. This means after I get the track risers down, I need to have built the main structures to be served, and also outline those so I can add a foam block to where it is going to sit.

THEN?? Plaster cloth time! Cover the entire 28 square feet in the stuff and start tunnel construction. Mean while the train can run with temporarily tacks down track and we can test and revise things, I know late, but this is where before the plaster comes in we finalize the track work and make sure everything is good to go.

For the Royal Point and Western

The Aerojet
Chief "Engineer" and President
 

Aerojet

Active Member
Okay, track is down. Well sort of, this is continuously being changed. Little things here and there, an angle changed, track moved over, things straightened out - it is coming along slowly. After i am happy with the lay of the track it is time to start setting this in cement. As it was ....

I am using Woodland Scenic 1/2 risers on this section. In the River Pass, it went the other way around - a 1/2 in foam base, then 2 inch risers. Here the 2 inch is the base.



Basically, you decide where you want to risers, then anchor them down with these foam nails. These are left over from the river Pass project. in fact everything is see,s is left over from that job. Once the risers are set, you then use the hot glue gun to lay a bead of the stuff along the sides of it which when cool anchors it to the foam table. Trust me, you do not want to hold the thing until it sets, nor get any on your hands, it is HOT!! It will set in about 5 minutes ...



Okay, here I am fixing a problem., The grade between the two boards is not exactly right, and rather than screw around with trying to jack up one board, or force the other one into place, I am just using a few of these wooden sticks, stacked, to give me a "trestle" set up so the train can go smoothly from one board to the other. You will not see the shimming in the final, as this will be covered by plaster cloth.



Here you see the process in action. I did the outside ring as it was first, then the inside loops. Here the risers are held down with the foam nails and then hot glued into place. You do not need to be exact - the risers are bigger than the track by about half width, so just get your lines you drew earlier somewhat in the middle and swim the track on the top later on to align it. We are not done, so there will be more minor track work done yet.



Now we are getting someplace! This is the intermodal yard under construction. I moved the stuff over here as I work to get an idea of how this is going to look and work later on. One of the posts back said to make the cross back the center of attention..... WHY? I am going to bury that thing deep in trees and other stuff later on. the star of the show is the pike, and the Royal Point and Western. Not the track work.

Now right behind this yard will be the main hill / mountain as in the original view "A" Mountain Pass. It will cover this part of the board behind the yard, and come out where the two tracks do on the right. One track in and two out. Yup, switch underground.

Now that the main and sidings have been done, the next thing is to complete a good hunk of the buildings. Anything served by the railroad needs to be on track height. Since we are up 1/2 inch due to the risers, the buildings need to be 1/2 inch up as well. So those I need the footprints for to build bases for them to sit upon track side.

Once those piers are in place, we can look forward to covering the whole mess in plaster cloth and then moving on to other projects, like tunnel building and hill work.

For the Royal Point and Western --

The Aerojet
CEO // Chief Everything Officer
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
This is turning out to be like it's name sake - Kickapoo, One who wanders here then there. First it turned out that I was squashed in the back up against the wall. I needed more room back there. My big butt was tight in this area. Time for the first major change - offset the main by at least 5 inches.
A new name for the area then "Kickinthubutt".
 

Aerojet

Active Member
Just so you do not lose interest ---

Going Verticle

This is on the River Pass, but the same technique will be used here behind the intermodal yard. There is only so much room on a board, and when you are covering most of it with something - the scenery needs to go the BIG UP! So here we go ------->



A good part of the area I am working in as it was is sand stone, so this reflects that geology. It looks like the area to me at any rate for what I know of it and remember. So don't be surprised when you see the start of the high mountain / hill work that it will enclose the yard, and the industrial park behind will be on the other side of the thing ...

Kind of like a cut off / one of those scene view blocks, but not as solid. It will be high enough to cover a good part of the thing, but not enough to totally cover it and be a tease to come on over and see what is going on over there.

NOW here is the plan - it rises fast behind the yard, and goes about two feet over in both directions. Where you see the blank wall on this unit, there will be the double wide tunnel opening. the other end you won't see until you get over an the other side of the board ...

Coming late December / Early January at this time. Punch list items 7 thru 12 have been completed....

The Aerojet
Royal Point and Western
 

Aerojet

Active Member
Your weekly update --

Building boom!

Well it is time to move on and start building things and moving things over here from the garage. So what a surprise! Those buildings I built over 35 years ago? They are coming apart! That right -- the glue has failed on most of them and now in the box are not "models" of anything - just piles of parts .... Well in this there is a silver lining.

One of the buildings I wanted to use on this pike was the old bakery - it was a Revell model. I am not sure if you remember this oldie, but it was a blue brick affair and this basic building was made in several colors and designs and came out as an engine house, in red brick, and a printer / newspaper plant in brown brick. Same basic building -- different colors. Blue bricks suck big air. So I repainted it brown and made other changes to the old thing to sort of update it to a more modern look or should I say less toy look.

That station set was also brought down and used -- built in 1988 -- you will note it is prominent up front. I built that from a mat board kit. Which was a nightmare - like I am currently building the Swift Meat Plant from a mat board kit. I swore up and down I would never build one of those things again - and - here I am at it again. WHY?

Because there is no other building in this scale which is what I need, or would want to convert to this.

Other stuff is an old Dyden kit from Woodland which was part of the original town and factory building set, 2008, bits and pieces from the box of parts out in the garage, and finally a couple of new buildings just for this pike.

ALSO straightened out the small "S" curves. I thought that would look cool snaking thru like an old timey right of way, but even the mid sized cars revolted going over the thing, so it had to come out. Flex track fixed one spot, and I relaid the track in another to make it work. Also you didn't think I was going to let that large section in front go to waste? The main line comes in a good foot above the bottom of the board. Now what to do?

Split another siding and make it a two fer one deal. This one you will see at the bottom of the photo.

Expanded the oil tank farm, and brought over some castings for the junction to fill out that spot... IN general - the track is pretty much as you saw it last time with a few noted changes.



And so here it `tis! I added the tunnel exit to show where that will be -- about -- and moved buildings onto the pike to show their locations and places on the sidings.

Those "action units" which are Tyco are being shoved further down the track with every revision, and may drop off entirely if I can find something else to shove in their place -- Dyden 1 is over there now, and I am not sure what else to do with this other than trees and stuff and make it a scrub area, read that rough area for hobos I guess.

Every building which is served by the railroad will sit on piers which are a 1/2 inch thick to match the track height. this will also give you an interesting look to ditches, building area surrounding them, and other things like that -- Now that you see the photo, the beige building in the middle of the thing is the bakery under construction. the paint on it is too sticky even after two days to assemble the thing. Grrr... HOW long does it take to dry anyway? (Model Master Sand Tan) ... Like the power plant? That is two kits bashed into one. don't ask, it was fun but I have enough stuff left over for another sub station if the box yet -- where that might go?

Road can now be seen as the thing is taking shape. Figure one down the center of the middle buildings where that heavy black line is and one going around the bend over by the flour mill.

Other than that - it is just about ready to cover in the first coat of plaster cloth. Just a few more things to do then ......

It is at this time the back boards have to be in for the high work. This is the "container" which will take the hills materials. This is what makes it work without the carpentry and the complex cookie cutter work. Usually this is done with foam back boards, but since I forced this 4 x 6 on to a 4 x 7 then jammed it full of track - the thing goes right to the edges. There will be an edge plastered in with with the track covering - you will see. This is to give me a little protection if the thing goes over the side. I works on the River Pass - it will work here. The thing will cover the three other corners. This will make a frame of hills in which this valley scene will sit nicely.

So what about that middle part? Where there is nothing?

Hills. Remember I showed you the dramatic cliff face behind the intermodal yard -- that will be part of it, and of course if the tunnel isn't much larger in height and width then it looks toy like, and I could just plop a paper mache one on the pike and be done with it. How droll!

The tunnel goes from that second switch in the back, yes there will be another one underground all the way around to where the exit arch is. About 34 x 22 or so. AND connect to the yard section. It should be about 18 inches high at the top and I am leaving a flat on the top for something else to sit on. Watch for it.

And with that you are updated on what is going on down here. I hope you are enjoying this little journey. I would love to hear your thoughts on what is going on and where I am going later ...

Catch ya track side....

The Aerojet ...
Royal Point and Western
 




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