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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Coaltrain Posted - 10/13/2010 : 09:14:03 AM
This is the first official post for my new layout I am building in On3, the Slater Creek Railway. I became a fan of the Manns Creek Railway while researching information on coke ovens for a project on my HO railroad, the Roanoke and Southern. Shortly after discovering the MC an article on building MC hoppers in On30 by Sam Swanson was published in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. For fun I built one hopper with the intent of it being a static display. One thing led to another and I built the car to have operating unloading doors controlled by a DCC decoder. Wanting to see the car in action I started to consider building a layout in On30, but since I had only one small space to model railroad in would mean that my HO layout would have to be torn out. My HO layout met all my goals, was published in Model Railroader, and was complete, so I decided I missed layout building and decided that I would tear out the HO layout and try a new modeling adventure.

While I really enjoy modeling prototype railroads and their equipment, and swore that the next time I would model a prototype RR, I decided to once again do a fictional railroad. My reason is I like to have a little freedom to take pieces that I like of other railroads and put them together to form my own railroad that I believe will give the viewer a good idea what form of railroading I am modeling would be like, which I do by carefully picking features of railroads that do what my railroad does. I would do not pick "one of everything" to be on my layout, rather I pick features that would have been typical of railroads that are in my area and do the same work.

I liked many of the features of the Manns Creek railroad, I liked the area where the MC was located, but I wanted to be able to do a few things differently. I wanted to have a couple Rod locomotives, I know the MC did have some at one time but I want something a little bigger than they had, and I wanted to have a few different pieces of rolling stock and do a little more than haul logs, lumber, and coal. So using Google maps I searched around the area of the MC to find a location that I could place my railroad. I found another creek a little further up the New River called Slater Creek, located along the New River at a town called Thayer on the C&O.

From what Google showed Slater Creek looked a lot like Manns Creek and was close enough to each other that I could say that coal was discovered in Slater Creek canyon as well. Actually there was a coal mine there at one time and my story is that as that coal was mined out a narrow gauge RR was built up Slater Creek to reach new seams of coal. I am using many pieces of the Manns Creek on my railroad, one of which is the car shops which I plan on building to scale.

Now I know that some of you expected me to build this layout in On30, so did I, but just recently I decided to switch to On3. I switched to On3 after having a conversation with a fellow HO modeler, who after listening to me describe what I was going to do, what scale I was going to use, and how I was going to scratchbuild almost everything and he asked me why I was going to build it in the wrong gauge. I told him all the reasons why modelers choose On30 to represent three foot gauge railroads but he said that if I was going to hand lay all my track, scratchbuild all my rolling stock, and maybe even scratchbuild a locomotive or two why would I not just build it in scale three foot gauge. I decided that he was right, all the reasons to model in On30 did not really apply to my situation, so I switched to On3.



Here is the final track plan of the Slater Creek Railway. My room is very small so I had to pick a few key scenes that I wanted to model. the first scene along the top wall (by the room door) is the coal dump trestle. I struggled for a long time with this section because I wanted to have a place to dump the coal that could justify the need for lots of coal. The MC first dumped coal into a bin that was used to feed their coke ovens, later as demand for coal increased they built a sizing plant just above the coke ovens. In the later years the coke production decreased and most of the coal went to the sizing plant. I decided that I only had room for one place to receive coal and figured that the sizing plant would be the better choice. I had a hard time fitting in the sizing plant because in O scale the structure would be huge. I condensed the sizing tipple as much as I felt it could but it was still a huge model that took a lot of layout width, pushing the narrow gauge track way to the back of the layout. I decided to try flipping the sizing plant so that the standard gauge loading tipple would be at the back drop and the narrow gauge coal dump house would be at the front edge of the layout, which puts the operating track close to the front where it is easy to reach and watch the hoppers unload coal. Flipping the tipple around also allowed me to use trees to hide the fact that the entire tipple is not modeled, cutting down on the layout width required.

Flipping the coal sizing plant will allow me to model the Manns Creek Ray’s stone engine house close to the front of the layout where it can be viewed up close. I also located a storage track here so I can have a place to store a few freight cars or work equipment. In the later years the MC did not use the stone engine house, they had built a new wood engine house at a different location, so I am going to use the stone engine house to store a passenger car and something else, maybe a locomotive used at this location, not sure yet.

The one strange feature of the flipped sizing plant will be the scenery, which will fall as it moves toward the backdrop. The narrow gauge track at the front of the layout will be at the top of the hill and the scenery will fall 16" actual inches as it goes to the backdrop. I don't know how this is going to work out, I hope it gives the operator a feeling of being high on the side of the mountain but we'll see, this will be a bit of an experiment.

Where I did have to deviate from the MC is where I located my switch back and which direction my RR leaves town, a forced compromise caused by the constraints of my room. My SCRy travels clockwise around the room as we leave the coal dump trestle, across Slater Creek and around a tall rock cliff and out of sight. As the tracks turn to the right wall they will be running along the wall of my layout room where my work bench will be located under the layout, this is the one spot there the benchwork supporting the visible track can be thin and high to provide enough room for a workbench. In the middle of the right wall there will be a turnout, one leg will continue along the south wall without an elevation change to a three track storage yard, the other leg will turn along the south wall and start a stiff grade up to my switch back located in the far left lower corner of the room.

At the switch back I believe I will have some room to model either a mining camp or a lumber camp. I think I can get a siding in here but I am not sure yet how I want to do it so I am leaving that off until I get to that point. the track plan makes it look like the switch back continues on behind the furnace and connects back to the coal dump area, which is how I intended it to be to give me a running loop, but a furnace duct passes too low to allow this and the switch back track will stub end in the wall as far as I can go. Instead the staging tracks that are located under the switch back will come back together and travel behind the furnace to form the running loop.

From the switch back the tracks will climb a slight grade to the car shop and foundry. There will be a spur on this slight grade that goes back next to the switch back to a coal mine. I am going to have a small earth loading ramp and dirt road on the mine spur where just about anything can be loaded or unloaded from railroad cars, like mining equipment, building supplies, and whatever else I can imagine.

The car shop will be the MC car shop located at Cliftop and it will be built to scale with full interior. The tracks around it follow the prototype pretty much to scale. Just pass the car shop will be a run around and a strip coal tipple, also built to scale from the MC's tipple at Cliftop. The strip tipple will be built to actual load coal into the hoppers. I am a little concerned that the tipple will somewhat block the view of the loaded hoppers but I may be able to work the scenery around it to make it work better.

Just past the run around tracks is the new wood engine house, also built to scale to match the MC's engine house at Cliftop. The engine house can hold two geared locomotives. And just as it does on the MC, there is a company store located at the end of the engine house spur. The company store will also be built to scale and have three stories above the road level in front with the scenery falling away to form what we would call a "walk out" lower level, which has a set of doors to allow the narrow gauge track to enter the basement for freight car to be spotted inside for unloading.

I know it seems like operation may be limited, but this layout was meant to be a test to see what I think of O scale narrow gauge modeling. I wanted to have it be a place for me to have some very detailed structures get a taste of this new gauge / scale. I would like to move someday to a get a larger modeling space and if I continue in this scale I can use the structures and scenes from this layout on the next. I made some changes to the room since my HO layout was torn down, one was the enclosure built around the furnace, that somewhat reduced the size of my layout space but will provide a nicer room to model in. I got very tired of the narrow aisles of my HO layout and I decided to run the layout only around the walls of the room to give the largest open space for people in the middle. I also wanted to make sure I had a running loop to be able to test and break in equipment, something I really regretted not having on the HO layout.

Well, that got a little long. I will be starting to benchwork soon, I am still doing the room remodeling. I did install the tracks behind the furnace already because once the walls are completed around the furnace because it was easier. I will be able to reach the tracks from one side if there is an issue but there was no way to install them if I had not done it first.

Jeff
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Bernd Posted - 11/17/2020 : 09:21:17 AM
Nothing wrong with the lighting. Looks good.

Bernd
Coaltrain Posted - 11/17/2020 : 07:49:55 AM
thanks everyone. It's done! (for now). I installed a TCS Wow decoder but I only set the address to #4 for now, I can fine tune it later when I get a layout and actually have to run it more than 36". It has been a long road with this one and I am glad to be done.

here is a quick run by, sorry about the bad lighting
https://youtu.be/LQybn6IOm8c









TRAINS1941 Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:48:50 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Tyson Rayles

Impressive work!



I'll second that for sure!!!
George D Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:48:23 AM
Looking forward to the Heisler video. That's a fine weathering job on the tank car.

George
Tyson Rayles Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:21:49 AM
Impressive work!
Michael Hohn Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:20:44 AM
Your Heisler looks terrific with the striping.
Coaltrain Posted - 11/16/2020 : 07:28:45 AM
GOOD NEW (for me), The Heisler runs, and runs good. It took me several tries to find the magic combination of drive lines and gears to get what I was looking for but I finally got it.

here is just a sample of the many gearboxes I printed for testing, this is about half of the total I tried because some I already threw away.



I also decided to do a "fancy" paint job instead of the black dip job. I had started weathering it so I just sandblasted it again and repainted it black added the strips around the cab and tank. I changed the paint job because I felt the strips made the engine not look so long and lanky, I know that seems funny but the eye can play funny tricks with the brain.





I have some final parts to add, like headlight glass and brakes, then I will touch up the chips and finish the weathering and call it good, I am so glad to be moving on. However, as much of a pain this was to build and get running I learned a lot and I think I now have the drive that I want to use on my shays.

Speaking of shays, the first on the table will be shay #8, but first I have to do some small projects to cleanse the pallet. I need some quick project before I jump into another hard job like the Heisler was.

This week I will get a video of the Heisler once all the little items are wrapped up.

On a side note I did start a weathering test on a tank car that I am not using. Years ago I saw a San Juan Car Company tank car that I just had to buy. The car just sat on the display shelf I had in the old layout room. this tank car is actually responsible for helping me with a design issue with my original operating hopper cars. I thought it would be fun to try and weather it with Mig military weathering washes.

here is the progress so far.
acousticco Posted - 11/08/2020 : 3:35:46 PM
Yep, looks sharp! I'm also impressed with your track work and ground cover, very realistic!

-Cody
quarryman Posted - 10/28/2020 : 07:26:47 AM
Jeff-

The basic black paint job looks very industrial. It seems to "shrink" the apparent size of the locomotive ... at least that is the impression I get from the photos.

Since the Heisler was probably delivered with nice striping and lettering and is now basic black with a stenciled number, you could come up with a backstory about an accident or major repair after which the shop crew repainted it.

Saw your weathering techniques on the videos you posted. Looking forward to seeing what you do with old #4.

Mark Chase
Richmond VA
Coaltrain Posted - 10/28/2020 : 06:44:13 AM
thank you!

the paint is mostly done, I still have to do the side rods and some detail paint, then it is weathering time. I decided to do a very drab basic all black paint job. I was looking through the "Trackside West Virginia" book and saw a few all black locomotives and I really liked the understated look. I also saw a locomotive in that book with what looked like a wet smokebox that I tried to duplicate a color called "fresh engine oil", but I think I am going to paint over it, to me it is more common to see a flatter finish on the smokebox and more sheen on the rest of the locomotive.

I tried something interesting for the number, years back I was sent some laser cut stencils from Quarryman (Mark) and I used them for the number on the tender. I decided that this is going to be a logging locomotive and I didn't want to have any railroad name on it, as if it was just another tool for them to use and its life expectancy is short.






here is #4 with shay #8, they are about the same size now.


acousticco Posted - 10/26/2020 : 10:22:29 PM
Looking quite fine already. Can't wait to see it painted!

-Cody
Coaltrain Posted - 10/26/2020 : 10:57:52 AM
I finished all the brass work on the Heisler and sandblasted it for paint. After sandblasting I saw a few areas that needed some more attention with the wire wheel. next up is paint and weathering.






thayer Posted - 10/15/2020 : 9:31:03 PM

Very nice videos, thank you!
Coaltrain Posted - 10/15/2020 : 06:42:06 AM
had a busy summer with 1:1 projects, but this week I am back to the basement.

one thing I did do over the summer was make a 2 part video of painting a casting (I used a Bachmann On30 side dump car) to look like wood using washes. Part one is how I paint the wood parts, part 2 is how I paint the metal parts.

Part 1
https://youtu.be/gMYtCSczCH8

Part 2
https://youtu.be/yYA3y6fP-Vs
Coaltrain Posted - 09/04/2020 : 5:21:54 PM
progress on the Heisler has been slow. I did get an order from PSC for some parts and I am now able to push the project forward. I started add the bead around all the roof and tender, I added the window frames to the sides (still have to do the front), and I started some of the piping. The steam dome has been an issue for a while, I had to significantly modify it but now I think I have it as good as it is going to get without just switching it out for a new one (which I do not have). I still have to add the hatch to the top of the cab and then a little more piping and I will pretty much be done. The generator and the air tank will be fun details to add due to their uncommon locations.

while I was photo etching the window frames I made these interesting perforated plates that are on the sides of the firebox on Cass Heisler #6, I thought they were interesting so I added them to mine, they are just ahead of the cab and below the walkways. I also needed to find a way to reduce the height of the stack, which I ended up hiding by building up a spark arrestor that I made from more photo etched parts, it might not be prototypical but it helps visually reduce the out of scale size of the stack.




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