Started by CVSNE, November 26, 2018, 02:12:48 PM

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Enjoyed the update and the swing bridge is fantastic. Great job on all.

Tom ;D
"If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed."
Thomas Jefferson

Tom Langford

PRR Modeler

Great video Marty. Nice job on the swing bridge.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision




If you looked at Video Update #6 you saw a live demonstration of the swing gate. Actually, the gate in the video wasn't quite complete - so in the interest of full disclosure here are some photos showing that it is indeed more than just a "piece of plywood and a couple of hinges..."
The underside of the plywood "bridge" is braced along most of its length by a plywood brace. Note how the brace gets thinner as it gets further from the hinges - an attempt to minimize sag and at the same time minimize the pressure on the hinges!

That plywood brace is itself strengthened by a couple of pieces of 1 x 2 arranged in an "L".

Next trick is to figure out how to get the track in place. Stic tells me that's my problem.
Marty McGuirk
Manassas, VA


I've been working on the layout pretty steadily for the past few weeks, but nothing particularly photogenic (how many pictures of roadbed and track can anybody stand!).
I did take a short break from tracklaying to make some progress on the Implement Dealer and Paint Store - which is rapidly becoming the never-ending scratchbuild.
I first tried to find garage door castings that would work for the front of the building but nothing was the right size to maintain the proportions of the front wall. So I ended up scratchbuilding my own.
I use two techniques to create the garage doors - see for some in-process photos and a description.
Then I test fitted the doors and the large windows above the two shorter garage doors:

I assembled the walls using some handy braces from City Classics to help keep things square:

Next step is the angled front door into the paint store portion of the building.

Marty McGuirk
Manassas, VA


Assembled all four walls on the Farm Implement dealer.

Marty McGuirk
Manassas, VA


We moved into a new house about 18 months ago. The move meant scrapping SNE# 3(v4).
The layout was designed when we were living in an apartment waiting for the house to be built. I finally came to terms with the fact that I'm really good at some model railroad tasks, I'm okay at some, and stink at others. Layout design and planning fits firmly in the latter category. So I solved the layout design challenge the American way, and commissioned Lance Mindheim to design my new railroad.

Of course I tried "tweaking" Lance's plan as I was building - some of those tweaks were fairly extensive. Virtually each time I've regretted the tweak and ended up re-doing things according to Lance's original design. As I do so I'm more and more amazed at the amount of thought and consideration he gave to each and every part of the design.  In short, I've learned not to outsmart myself.

I started assembling the benchwork on Veteran's Day weekend of 2018, so construction has been ongoing for just over a year:

Here's the progress report as of today:
1. Benchwork: All the layout framework and fascia are complete. And the fascia has been painted with two coats of "Riverway" - the same dark gray/green that's painted on the walls beneath the layout.
2. Trackwork: The mainline loop is complete, in, and operational - including the track across the swing gate. Roadbed is in place on the paper mill peninsula, and I've been finalizing the track arrangement on the large Richford peninsula.
3. Structures and Scenery: While there's no progress to show on scenery as of yet, I have been positioning some structures, mostly leftovers from my previous layout, in various spots. Some of these will be permanently installed, others will serve as placeholders - helping to get the layout to a "finished" or semi-finished state for our open house later this month.
I'm also hoping to get a small area of scenery completed - for no other reason than to show what the layout will eventually look like at our open house later this month.

Yes, the first public showing of the layout will be later this month. The event is a neighborhood holiday open house. The stated purpose is to show off the Christmas decorations in the houses around the neighborhood, but everyone, and I mean everyone in our community, has heard about the "train set" in our basement.So we fully expect we're going to get a bunch of visitors who won't even glance at the decoration upstairs as they make a beehive for the basement!

I will try to do a photo and/or video update at some point in the near future, but frankly "getting the layout ready for visitors" is the top priority!

Marty McGuirk
Manassas, VA



I spent some time playing around with building road/arrangements in the junction scene last night. While the scene is inspired by the crossing of the St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain and Central Vermont in Sheldon Junction, Vermont, the buildings shown are all placeholders.

There are three spurs in the scene:

One (the spur dead-ending at the edge of the layout in the background) is the St. J interchange track. This is hardly a high-density interchange, and will basically be a weed covered track.

The second served a creamery (the white building in the distance). This an old Branchline laser kit that I have left over from the old layout (it actually goes back further than that). It's a creamery, I need a creamery there, so that's an easy one!

Two down, one to go.

This is where it gets tricky.

The third spur served at various times, a team track, feedmill, and a fertilizer plant.

I tried a finished kit for (Laskey Cabinet is the name on the sign). It looks okay, but while a neat building in its own right, I'm a little concerned that it's a two story building in the foreground of the scene. 

[/size]The second building I tried is the low red building. This is certainly a Vermont building - as it's based on one of the buildings in a baseball bat and ski-manufacturing company in Waterbury (for a photo of the prototype structure see HERE. For even more detail on the Derby & Ball Co. click HERE. 

[/size]I'm strongly leaning toward the red building, perhaps with the addition of a shed or some such to actually serve as a warehouse or lumber storage building.

The final possibility, and one I might chose based on expediency, is to add a gravel/dirt parking area and declare the spur to be a team track.


Marty McGuirk
Manassas, VA


I started fitting Threshers Mill into place behind the Williams Creek Bridge. This bridge was the only portion of my old layout that I saved. Here I'm positioning the mill on a few layers of Gatorboard and foamboard to get the relative position correct.

My plan is to build the mill dam, and falls onto it's own diorama base, incorporate that into the layout, and then blend into the already existing water.

Marty McGuirk
Manassas, VA

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