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The Depot (at Carendt)

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  • #16
    Here are some more pictures of the overall layout.

    The layout is in HO scale.

    I really liked the idea of a cut-out well for areas that were not going to be modeled - it was an idea taken from a couple of the layouts featured on Carl's site.

    I also wanted curved flowing track on the layout including turnouts. Even if they look straight all the turnouts are all curved to some degree. The idea of curves was taken from an early model railway influence of mine: Iain Rice - a British modeler. He was a big promoter of the atmospheric small layout and produced a series of landmark layouts in the Eighties that influenced this layout. The proscenium arch which is to be installed next week is another idea taken from those layouts.

    A view displaying the cut out well

    A view showing more of the rear side of the layout. Note the curved track. There are wings at either end that act as staging areas for trains arriving and departing.


    • #17
      Looks Great! Thanks for posting the overall layput photos.

      Great inspiration for those lacking some space!

      How big? Looks like about 6' x 18"?


      • #18
        Good guess! Yes the size is exactly 72" by 18". I can't remember why I chose that size - it might have been either space allocated to me by the 'local authorities' or the default size of some of the wood but anyway it felt just about right for a mini layout.

        I want to build smaller at a later date and have a few ideas for a genuine micro which I will share at some point.

        Actually now that I think about it, it may have been the size of one of Iain Rice's small (American prototype) layout plans that I adapted for this layout.

        Here are some close ups showing the trackwork around the yard.

        Showing the overgrown siding leading the grain installation. The main line is on the left and is in better condition, though both ultimately are in need of an upgrade.

        The crossing. I tried to get some grainy effect on the road to show it as heavily used and rarely maintained but only half succeeded. I used a mixture of sand and paint and grout and Woodland Scenic's foam putty. It took several attempts to get something passable.

        A close up of the road and the sidings and mainline. There may have been ballast beneath the track at one time but now it is mostly mud, grass, weeds and stones.

        I always liked the look of roads running parallel to track, especially when the rail is slightly sunken below the road level. This is the effect I was going for here.

        The turnout to the mill on the left - the yard on the right.

        A better view of all the elements of the yard and mainline this time showing the track leading to the milk platform.

        A close up of the track. I always wanted realistic looking track. I didn't use any ballast. I just filled the space between the ties with Woodland Scenic's foam putty and then carved it back until I had the correct profile. I then used real mud and stones from a variety of sources to sit atop the profile. I 'finger' colored the ties by rubbing fingers on chalks and crayons and then on the ties. The height of the ties from the ground can vary - in some locations the surrounding ground is at the same height as the ties while in other areas - where there is no ballast or filling at all - the ties sit on top of the ground.

        A drones-eye view of the yard and track.

        Once the ties and ground coloring were in place I added vegetation here and there to create a decrepit, little-maintained effect for the track. Sometimes I laid the rail after all the ties had been 'landscaped'.

        Showing the differences between the mainline and the side track. The ties of the overgrown track are either completely covered or poke through the vegetation every now and then. The colors look flat under certain lighting conditions but I wanted an overall flat and dry look for the whole layout to reflect the summer heat. I kept the green to a minimum and mostly used dry grass colors.


        • #19


          • #20
            The backdrop arrives in the next week or so from the printers. I have built an archway and back scene to place it on.

            In the meantime I did a quick test using Photoshop to figure out how to fade the roadway into the horizon.

            Here's the test, it's very rough but hopefully the real thing will come close to looking like this.



            • #21
              Your modeling stands up well in those extreme close-ups, but you might want to look at the joint bars I used about half way down this page:


              I painted mine yellow to mark gaps for operations, but you could use pretty much any color/weathering on the laserboard material.


              • #22

                I really like your layout. You are spot-on with track weathering.

                Your use of different ground textures looks terrific. I am trying to achieve the same look on my layout. What textures, and, from what manufacturers, did you use?

                Again, very well done.




                • #23

                  Originally posted by jbvb

                  Your modeling stands up well in those extreme close-ups, but you might want to look at the joint bars I used about half way down this page:


                  I painted mine yellow to mark gaps for operations, but you could use pretty much any color/weathering on the laserboard material.

                  Thanks James,

                  I really like those joint bars you use. I use fake joint bars throughout the site but they are so small you can hardly see them. They are whitemetal so I can't use them at turnouts because of the poles switching that has to occur. I'm going to have find plastic ones somehow to put across many of the glaring gaps in the rail.


                  The camera never lies and for the first time close up I can see a whole bunch of areas that need more attention. Gaps need to be filled in here and there and the turnouts look really shaky - I have to say a little prayer each time the rolling stock goes bumping over them. I may end up relaying them (famous last words!) over time.

                  I also need to lay more sand and dirt and greenery here and there. Things are looking rather flat in the current room lighting. That will improve when the cover goes on but I discovered that Uhu glue allows you to stick things down without discoloring the materials and I'm going over the layout adding texture and color. The flatness in color was deliberate but I may have gone a bit far and need to add more color to let the layout 'pop' a bit more.

                  Anyhow thanks for the feedback. I need as much advice as I can get.

                  Here's a close up of some track. The gaps need join bars and there needs to be more dirt between the ties:



                  • #24
                    If you keep taking pictures this close, you're going to wind up hanging out with the people who use scale tie plates (I'm slowly painting tie plates here and there on my railroad; that's quite enough effort for me). Micro Engineering's 'Micro' spikes may also be in your future. In my experience, they work better if you pre-drill the ties. The Central Valley plastic turnout detailing kit includes some joint bars, but that might not be good bang for your buck unless the other parts are also useful. I bought the laserboard joint bars expecting them to not conduct and indeed they don't.


                    • #25
                      Hi Michael.

                      Sorry for late reply I can only do this once a day due to work commitments. Anyway, yes as you gathered, weathering and track landscaping is an important part of the realism as well as realistic ground covers. With regard to track I don't believe in stopping either side of the rails when it comes to landscaping. Track is as much a part of the landscape as buildings, bridges, embankments and cuttings etc. A realistic model should reflect the wear and tear of the track as well as the effects of weather and surrounding geography.

                      I also spent a lot of time staring at different surfaces such yards, roads, concrete pavements etc thinking about how to model those surfaces realistically. That doesn't mean I have succeeded but I gave it a go where possible.

                      With that in mind I tried to use color books to study the full range of colors and weathering that can occur to track in certain areas and under certain weather conditions as well as what kind of use the track was getting. Branches and sidings are obviously less well maintained and the model should reflect that if possible.

                      Regular ballast is your starting point and is perfectly fine in most conditions but to reflect areas where the ballast has been overshadowed by dirt I used Express Scale Natural Soil and Dirt - the 3/4 cup. It comes in three grades: fine, medium and coarse. Medium being the one most often used. You can use a water-white glue mixture with alcohol sprayed first to secure it. It loses some of its grain effect when water gets on it, and to bring out texture you may have to go over with Uhu glue sticking a second light layer just to get stones showing up or more of genuine dust effect. After that you have many choices: real soil and dirt gathered during walks with my wife are one source which I use, another are the wonderful sands and powders from Arizona Rock and Soil, I went an bought a whole bunch of colors and textures which I used throughout. You have to experiment. I'm currently going to give the track another layer of colors and textures because the weathering came out quite flat in the end and there just needs to be 'more' to sparkle things up a bit.

                      Great book:

                      Written for O scale but everything is doable to some degree in HO.


                      • #26

                        Thanks for the tips regarding track detailing. Yes you're right I seem to heading down that path regarding track plates. I've scratching my head recently wondering how to add them to the track. I'll check out Central Valley. There are actually several websites to purchase track detailing parts. I'll dig them up since it's been a year or two since I last visited them.

                        The next layout will have track-laying done the proper way.

                        1. I'll use Templot software for the design and printing out of the track layout.

                        2. Turnouts will be laid with wood ties but also with occasional copper-plated ties instead of spikes to secure rail.

                        3. Track will be detailed if possible with plates and rail joiners.

                        4. Realistic tie bars. Mine are crude and pretty ugly and need upgrading.

                        I'll start planning a new layout in a few months and will be applying the above standards to the track.

                        Poor maintenance, age and weather have caused the ties to sink into the ground over time.


                        • #27
                          Mostly scratch-built, the grain elevator was based on a Canadian prototype. I wanted something with a lower profile/height than your regular tall elevators. It's made from plasticard and basswood. The piping probably makes no sense to anyone who knows how these things work. I did a little research but ended up throwing the installation together based on what I thought looked plausible. The freight house and the grain elevator were my first attempts at scratch-building.

                          I based it on this picture.

                          From the front. The corrugated building and the concrete block building are made from plasticard. I found the girders in my local model shop and the rest of the piping was taken from the numerous leftovers of other plastic kits lying around.

                          The unseen back. I felt like detailing the back even though it is going to be hidden most of the time.


                          • #28
                            Hello Kumar, Thank you for joining the forum and sharing your wonderful modelling with us. I love the low angle shots showcasing the trackwork and the natural elements that invade these spaces. Your road crossings are beautifully done. It is very difficult to tell if it is a model or a real life photograph. It's also nice to see your track configuration of both trailing and facing sidings making spotting and lifting cars a challenge...just like the real thing! I'm looking forward to following along on your future projects. Brilliant modelling! :up: :up:
                            Mike Hamer

                            Ottawa, Ontario, Canada





                            • #29
                              Your use of Templot explains the nice flow of your trackwork. The program has a pretty steep learning curve and I still haven't climbed it.

                              The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.


                              • #30
                                Thanks Mike,

                                Joining the forum was just what I needed to reinvigorate my daily hobby routine. I'm excited to share new developments and it's been great getting feedback from fellow modellers. I don't have any pals in the hobby so it's been nice to meet other like-minded souls.

                                Carl Arendt was quite clear that the model should be at least an operating layout. I can't remember what he said exactly but the takeaway for me was that, yes it should work (ie not be a diorama) and that it should be fun to operate. The track plan was designed around the arrival and departure of the daily freight (only one train a day at most, alternating in direction - east on Monday, west on Tuesday etc). There are four sidings to deliver something and pick something up from, so there is plenty to do once the train arrives. Also there are a variety of freight cars to deliver: hoppers, boxcars and flat cars would make up the majority of cars being picked up or delivered and who-knows-what cars staying with the train for delivery elsewhere.

                                I'll post video of an operating session soon. I haven't yet come up with a timetable (not hard to do so though as there is only one train a day!) and I have to look at Soo Line train naming practices to figure out what to call them. I still have to paint the locomotives and weather the rolling stock so I may wait to do the video till after that.

                                Wow a trainspotters dream photo - The New York Central in the middle of the upper Midwest (apparently being leased by the Soo for use over summer). I'm a big fan of FM diesels - however NYC never had this version with rectangle windows which is the second version of the Phase 1 H-16-44. I painted and added decals to it myself and then realized that this was a later generation than the NYC versions. It may get another paint job at some time.