The LA North Layout

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Yannis

Active Member
Hi all,

After many months in the design/making i managed to clean up parts of the layout and take some decent photographs and finally start a layout thread.

The story: Santa Fe Railroad in California, mid-sixties to early seventies (1965-1968 with current equipment). North of Los Angeles (undecided on how far north... I had to decide between Golden-gates and San-Diegans and i picked the Golden in a hypothetical situation where they actually reach LA by rail and not by bus, hypothetical scenario (since ATSF did not have full rail connection between LA-SF), or i might just pick a fictional town in-between LA and SF and be more prototypical.

The Layout:
Track: Code 83 Peco tracks with both insulfrog and electrofrog turnouts, on 5mm cork roadbed and 15mm plywood sub-roadbed.
Minimum Radius: 27.5"~28",
Minimum turnout #6 on mainline, #5 on yard and industrial sidings.
Type: Loop to Loop folded dog-bone, double track mainline.
Size: something like 4.5 x 4 meters (14.5 x 13.3ft give or take)
DCC: Marklin DCC

Track-plan:
Track_Plan_Final.jpg

Main Yard: Under construction (nailing tracks, modifying ladder turnouts), with some rolling stock in order to reduce the emptiness. the plastic sheets will be the (removable so that i can work on the workbench) base for my town plots.
Yard1.jpg

Scenery under construction leading to the scenic/cement plant peninsula (scenic construction details later):
Tunnelexit1.jpg

Cement Plant (very raw form... 10 storage silos, 2 loading silos and a bagging building):
cementplant1.JPG

Further photos on my next post...

Thanks for looking everyone and many many thanks to all the forum members that really helped me out so far with precious advice and information!
 

Yannis

Active Member
And a couple more photos...

Road on the hill which is behind the cement plant. Tunnel is scratch-built (mold made of plaster using textured styrene sheets in order to capture the cement look).
RoadTunnel1.JPG

Closeup of the road and the static grass. Noch Static grass blends (2-6mm with 6mm the majority, in layers) with some Heki tufts, blended-painted on specific parts with the airbrush. Going for a late summer - early autumn look in California. Must add road details, and trees/bushes, so despite being the most finished part of the scenery it is still work in progress....
Road2.JPG

Many thanks for looking
Yannis
 

jim81147

Member
It looks good Yannis . I like the way the mountains turned out , very natural looking . What did you use to do the road ?
 

jwb

Member
Yes, it looks really good and seems to make very good use of the space. Looking forward to more pics!
 

Yannis

Active Member
Jim: Thanks for the comments! I started with a cork (5mm) that was cut to the correct shape / path that the road would follow. Below the cork-sheet, pieces of foamboard gave the various incline variations. On top of the cork, i layered plaster-cloth. Afterwards i added a layer of plaster/pva glue mix which i use for layering on most scenery. This layer was flattened and sanded when dry. Painting was done with gunze acrylics. Weathering with post-shading of acrylics and enamels along with use of pastel chalks. "Luckily" the texture of my plaster mix was spot-on for a scale asphalt effect (with a bit of sanding). If i had to work with a "too smooth" plaster surface i would have to airbrush paints in a different way in order to get the "asphalt" effect using paint.

Jwb: Thanks for the feedback and comments! I appreciate it John. More pics will follow as the layout progresses (working on a couple of tunnels now)
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

After many months in the design/making i managed to clean up parts of the layout and take some decent photographs and finally start a layout thread.

The story: Santa Fe Railroad in California, mid-sixties to early seventies (1965-1968 with current equipment).
Those Santa Fe painted in pin stripes sure do look good. Are those GP35s correct? What brand are they?
 

Yannis

Active Member
Those Santa Fe painted in pin stripes sure do look good. Are those GP35s correct? What brand are they?
Thanks for looking Iron Horseman! Yes they are GP35, the consist is Kato units (i haven't installed details and i still need to finish up renumbering them and repainting the trucks to black... i wonder how to disassemble the trucks though...). The locomotive in the yard picture is an Athearn RTR.
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
If I recall correctly, Kato trucks are a bit difficult for me to disassemble. I am not out in the train shed right now but I think that they are held together by four clips that engage four tabs. I have broken a few of the clips over the years but I know from experience that the trucks still work with two of the clips intact, as long as they are on opposite sides. Good Luck.
Willie
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Thanks for posting he photos. Looks like you're off to a good start. I love to watch a layout come together.
 

Yannis

Active Member
Willie: Thanks for the heads up on the trucks. I will seriously look into it when painting time comes closer. If it is too much trouble i might just mask as best as i can and paint them while installed.

Chet and Lynn, thank you for your comments, i am looking forward to progressing and posting more photos and receiving your feedback.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Thanks for looking Iron Horseman! Yes they are GP35, the consist is Kato units. The locomotive in the yard picture is an Athearn RTR.
Oh, I had forgotten Kato had produced a GP35, but now that you mention it I might have a couple of those painted for GN in a box somewhere. I would not have ever guessed an Athearn RTR as that photo doesn't show how wide the hood is.

My favorite unit in the pin stripe is the SD45. That scheme really shows off the flaring of the radiators on the long end. And now that I think of that, the last AT&SF SD45 unit I saw in that paint scheme was a "B", about a year after the merger. I assume it was headed for scrape since all the pumpkin SD70s in heritage scheme were appearing. About that same time scheme I also saw a set of 5 U33C in Cascade green on the point of a coal train. I assume they were also just about making their final run, as the norm had become three SD70s in the executive scheme were doing the coal trains. Three of those could do that same amount of work.
 

Yannis

Active Member
Oh, I had forgotten Kato had produced a GP35, but now that you mention it I might have a couple of those painted for GN in a box somewhere. I would not have ever guessed an Athearn RTR as that photo doesn't show how wide the hood is.

My favorite unit in the pin stripe is the SD45. That scheme really shows off the flaring of the radiators on the long end. And now that I think of that, the last AT&SF SD45 unit I saw in that paint scheme was a "B", about a year after the merger. I assume it was headed for scrape since all the pumpkin SD70s in heritage scheme were appearing. About that same time scheme I also saw a set of 5 U33C in Cascade green on the point of a coal train. I assume they were also just about making their final run, as the norm had become three SD70s in the executive scheme were doing the coal trains. Three of those could do that same amount of work.
Yep the Kato is a recent release. The Athearn RTR (again relatively recent release) is 0.4-0.5mm wider than the Kato. Hood width is approximately 20.9mm on the Kato and 21.3mm on the Athearn (maybe an older tooling was much wider?). If you see them side by side it is tough to tell. The GP35 is my favorite as i quickly bought 4 units :), having said that i really like the SD45s and the SD40s and might get some if the layout becomes larger...(remember my old thread...). By the way Athearn has a new SD45 in book-end colors coming up in future releases.

Lucky you that you got to see them live, i bet the sound of the 645 must have been impressive.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
When I first started custom Painting locomotives for my freelance railroad, I had done a couple of the old Athearn GP-7's and really did notice the wider hood on then which they needed due to the size of the motors at the time (in the early 80's). These were all remotored and NS wheels were also installed along with other modifications. Atlas then came out with their Alco rs-1's, RS-3's, RS-11's and RSD4/5. Never bought another Athearn locomotive until I recently picked up a Genisis FP-7.

A few years before that I got a couple of GP-7's from Life like proto 2000's and they had a proper width hoods and they look so much better. I was never really impressed with how the early Athearn locomotives ran wither. Even with replacing the old sintered iron wheels with Nickel silver wheels, they had a lot to be desired and that's why all of my older Athearn locomotives were remotored. Thay now operate as good as any new locomotive on the market even though they are over 25 years old.
 

Yannis

Active Member
A long overdue update...

Layout has changed name (city) and it is now San Diego North and now serves the purpose of a training layout (made me lost my drive for finishing this layout though...but training comes first) before moving homes.

Aspirations for moving this layout and making work in a bigger space have been dropped and i will start from scratch on the next house...but that's for a different topic / thread...a preliminary trackplan has been created though :) .

I have finished all the ground work as far as foam-carving / plaster-cloth / plaster carving goes. All main single tunnels have been cast in plaster with interior linings (hand made molds for representing concrete tunnel portals).

The following is the development of a scene with twin single tunnels where the trains return from lower level staging
Twintunnel1.JPGTwintunnel2.JPGTwintunnel3.JPG

The next is some sort of small canyon / cut in the groundwork in order to have two bridges. The upper bridge is 50'-30'-50' spans all scratch-built using just girder plate components, styrene and brass (each exterior plate girder panel is separate in order to have a plate as long as one desires). Tunnel portal made using hand made molds again.
BridgeScene1.JPG

Next image on following post.
 

Yannis

Active Member
Following up. Next picture with the bridges. The new brewery can be seen in the background that replaced the previously seen (planned) cement plant. The brewery will be posted in a different thread.

BridgeScene2.JPG

Hopefully soon i ll be able to tidy up the other side of the layout in order to take a few snaps of the main street with some assembled buildings.

Thank you very much for looking!

Yannis
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
It's a shame that you can't move the layout, but can you salvage any of it to incorporate into you next layout?? Looks like you made quite a bit of progress. I'm glad that moving is not at all in my future. Not going to go anywhere.
 

Yannis

Active Member
Chet thanks for posting, i will be able to salvage everything except for the already glued into place flextrack and possibly some lumber. Ground work, scenery and tunnel portals have been all made removable and turnouts are all nailed into place instead of being glued. Buildings are already being built in a way so that they will fit the next layout.
To be honest with you i wish i had taken the decision not to move this layout when i ll move from the beginning. Making things removable has cost me a LOT of time and i could have avoided the effort needed and put it towards faster progress elsewhere. Live and learn as they say.

Lloyd, thank you for the kind comments / feedback. It is HO scale.
 

jim81147

Member
Looking good Yannis . Remember that sometimes speed is not everything . You are learning/honing lots of valuable techniques and also learning a lot of what you don't like or want to do again . Either way , fast or slow , it is looking really nice.
 



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