Looking really nice there Dustin! I really like the river and also agree with you once the cables are tight it will look sweet! 

Side question, how do you change the date on your updates for the title?

mike g. posted:

Looking really nice there Dustin! I really like the river and also agree with you once the cables are tight it will look sweet! 

Side question, how do you change the date on your updates for the title?

Mike,

If you go back to the original post in a thread, go to "take action", and then hit edit  you have the option to change the post title when editing that post.  Nothing fancy or automated... I just update it when I make a progress update to the thread.  

-Dustin

The lift bridge (Cantilevered Cable Stayed Drawbridge?) is complete!   I secured the underside of the cables with a staple gun earlier today.  Here it is immediately after install, in the "up" position.  I had pre-cut a slot in the foam for the peak of the bridge to sit inside:

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Now that the bridge is done, it was time to paint the top of the layout in prep for track installation.  First order of business was to alert the boss that her nap would have to be re-located:

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I went with an army green color for the top, choosing from the selection of "oops" paint and mistints at Home Depot.  I picked up this green as a base for the horizontal surfaces, as well as a nice dark gray for rock.  The blue/gray bridge abutments are also a mistint find.  Here's the top freshly painted:

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Good angle on the bridge:

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...and all the buildings and bridges and whatnot have been temporarily re-located to the guest room while the top is painted and track work begins: 

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Hopefully tonight I can get the switches prep'd for install, finish up some bridge piers, and paint some of the "water" areas on the table.

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really nice to see an example of modern bridge engineering on a layout.

A lot late-but I finally found my bookmark to a method of pivoting a lift up bridge that makes a nice hidden look. I think that this is thread where I got the idea of the 45° cut of the rail for a closely mated seam. Note that somewhere he mentions that his spouse is an engineer.

Thanks again for sharing your progress.

 

Dustin, things are looking really good! Great job on the fin bridge! I like that you shared the story about the paint. I know I can get it cheaper from there screw up shelf then the new stuff you have them mix. I will have to keep that in mind!

Thanks for the information on how to change the title also! You rock!

Moonman posted:

really nice to see an example of modern bridge engineering on a layout.

A lot late-but I finally found my bookmark to a method of pivoting a lift up bridge that makes a nice hidden look. I think that this is thread where I got the idea of the 45° cut of the rail for a closely mated seam. Note that somewhere he mentions that his spouse is an engineer.

Thanks again for sharing your progress.

 

Thanks!  That's a neat thread -I like the way he made the whole lift bridge into a self-contained scene.

--------------------------

Snow Day!  We're off to do some sledding soon, but this morning I did get a chance to paint the water and finish up the bridge piers for the gray bridge.

Snow, as viewed through the window:

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Here's the water.  I did a wet blend of two different shades of blue I had on hand to give it some variation.  This won't all be water, of course, but figured I might as well give myself max flexibility in land and waterfall placement:

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Went ahead and did the creek too:

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..and couldn't help doing a test-fit of a small bridge.  I need to paint the rocks along the bank later:

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Here are the completed bridge piers for the gray bridge, now clad in brick:

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-Dustin

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Dustin, have a great time in the snow with the kids! The water and river area is looking great! Now I know how to do my river! I really like the little walking bridge, good job!

Alright, I haven't had a lot of train time lately (and the weather had been nice!)... but I took some time to make a little more progress this weekend.  Here's the latest:

 

First, about 80% of the track had been installed (including the track over the list bridge).  I added a layer of foam roadbed underneath to make it as quiet as possible, which took quite a bit of time to cut and install. You can see the double crossover in this shot:

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Here's where the track ends right now...  but the bridges are in place and ready to go, at least

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The yard area has track in place too, though the main loops lead off a cliff pending completion:

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Back side of the layout, with siding.

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Lift bridge down and locked in place.

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Test car, checking the rails over the bridge

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We made a template for our two mountain tunnels.  Here we've traced it onto the foam:

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..here's the mess part way through cutting.  Jigsaw worked great, but the side effect was that (thanks to all the foam particles) I looked like a pink cherry blossom tree afterward

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The kids did a rough stack of both mountains for me.

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after bed time for the little humans, I went and glued the mountains together, kind of making up the top portion as I went.  These will, of course, be textured and painted.  The larger mountain is 38" tall at the point.   I wanted it to be tall, but also (1) have space for structures of some kind and (2) Not exceed the height of the backdrop.

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Track bumpers.  I was pleased how well these came out & may weather them a bit:

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...and, of course, after a days hard work there was an inspection of the work completed (to include the bridge capacity test, shown below)

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Dustin, great looking work there! I cant wait to see how you put the river in the mountain! I sure am glad you have all those helpers, I bet it sure makes things easier!

Dustin, Excellent progress!!  The bridge looks great, and the kids did a great job with the mountains!!  That is great that they are involved!

Excellent thread...lots of good information on this thread from OP and everyone.  I bookmarked this page so I can keep tabs on the progress and use information as I start working on my layout soon.  Great job!

Looks great so far and that bridge really turned out great! It looks really nice!! Also, happy to see the crew is still on the job, happy and doing well, and the fearless, bridge testing supervisor is too! Coming along very nicely.

I must say that figuring out all the pieces to the mountain and how they would go together looks a bit complicated for me. You must have a very good sense of what things will look like when once assembled. Please keep posting updates and pictures.

frizzinbee posted:

The lift bridge (Cantilevered Cable Stayed Drawbridge?) is complete!   I secured the underside of the cables with a staple gun earlier today.  Here it is immediately after install, in the "up" position.  I had pre-cut a slot in the foam for the peak of the bridge to sit inside:

IMG_2603

Now that the bridge is done, it was time to paint the top of the layout in prep for track installation.  First order of business was to alert the boss that her nap would have to be re-located:

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I went with an army green color for the top, choosing from the selection of "oops" paint and mistints at Home Depot.  I picked up this green as a base for the horizontal surfaces, as well as a nice dark gray for rock.  The blue/gray bridge abutments are also a mistint find.  Here's the top freshly painted:

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Good angle on the bridge:

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...and all the buildings and bridges and whatnot have been temporarily re-located to the guest room while the top is painted and track work begins: 

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Hopefully tonight I can get the switches prep'd for install, finish up some bridge piers, and paint some of the "water" areas on the table.

So I'm not the only one that has to do this! Ok, now I feel better.

rtr12 posted:

I must say that figuring out all the pieces to the mountain and how they would go together looks a bit complicated for me. You must have a very good sense of what things will look like when once assembled. Please keep posting updates and pictures.

Thanks!   ...as far as the mountain, I can't take too much credit for how forethought in the assembly.  We used  a  large sheet of brown paper to do a template for each mountain.  We just laid it over the track & marked the shape we needed to fit the space & give train clearance.  The first 6 or so layers of each are identical cuts from the template (minus a tunnel gap on the bottom 4 layers).  Above the template parts, we just used scrap pieces and just kind of made it up as we went.

As a further indicator to my lack of mountain forethought, it occurred to me today that the big one will likely not fit through the doorways to get back inside and downstairs.  We'll have to burn that bridge when we get there... 

The kids dubbed the larger mountain "Fat Fish Mountain" due to the shape of the template.  Unfortunately, I think the name will stick.

-Dustin

That makes it sound a little easier, but still the idea to make the templates is a good one and I am sure needed some thought. And then having it all come out looking nice too. I bet the crew is sometimes good with new ideas too. They might have something to suggest for the very minor detail of doorway size as well.  My grandson has had some good ideas for things we do around here. The crew's naming ideas are good too!!

Last edited by rtr12
frizzinbee posted:
rtr12 posted:

I must say that figuring out all the pieces to the mountain and how they would go together looks a bit complicated for me. You must have a very good sense of what things will look like when once assembled. Please keep posting updates and pictures.

Thanks!   ...as far as the mountain, I can't take too much credit for how forethought in the assembly.  We used  a  large sheet of brown paper to do a template for each mountain.  We just laid it over the track & marked the shape we needed to fit the space & give train clearance.  The first 6 or so layers of each are identical cuts from the template (minus a tunnel gap on the bottom 4 layers).  Above the template parts, we just used scrap pieces and just kind of made it up as we went.

As a further indicator to my lack of mountain forethought, it occurred to me today that the big one will likely not fit through the doorways to get back inside and downstairs.  We'll have to burn that bridge when we get there... 

The kids dubbed the larger mountain "Fat Fish Mountain" due to the shape of the template.  Unfortunately, I think the name will stick.

-Dustin

Assemble Fat Fish Mountain in 2 sections. Only glue the pieces for each half. Top and bottom. Use some nails with the heads cut off to hold the top in place for carving and finishing and such. Pins between the two layers. Then,  pull it apart, take it downstairs and reassemble it in place. If the seam is too visible, hide it with something.

frizzinbee posted:

The lift bridge (Cantilevered Cable Stayed Drawbridge?) is complete!   I secured the underside of the cables with a staple gun earlier today.  Here it is immediately after install, in the "up" position.  I had pre-cut a slot in the foam for the peak of the bridge to sit inside:

IMG_2603

Now that the bridge is done, it was time to paint the top of the layout in prep for track installation.  First order of business was to alert the boss that her nap would have to be re-located:

IMG_2590

I went with an army green color for the top, choosing from the selection of "oops" paint and mistints at Home Depot.  I picked up this green as a base for the horizontal surfaces, as well as a nice dark gray for rock.  The blue/gray bridge abutments are also a mistint find.  Here's the top freshly painted:

IMG_2607

Good angle on the bridge:

IMG_2612

...and all the buildings and bridges and whatnot have been temporarily re-located to the guest room while the top is painted and track work begins: 

IMG_2614

Hopefully tonight I can get the switches prep'd for install, finish up some bridge piers, and paint some of the "water" areas on the table.

I'm sure SWMBO just loves all that stuff on the bed.....LOL

Quick update!  I've been working on wiring all the feeders to the track & am just about done with that task.   We also spent some time building the last section of bridges (including the big curved span) & beginning to fill-in some of the rock detail.  The track gap across the truss bridge and the green arch bridge is all the track left to be laid.  Once I am able to detail some of the rock (that parts which will be inaccessible once the bridges are locked in) I'll be able to fully install the bridges and complete both loops of track.  Both the inner and outer curves are O-72 on this end.

For now, were just getting the track laid with the basic bridge structure.  I have some ideas about how we'll dress it all out in the future, once all the basics are done and we have an operational layout.

...as you can see in the photos, my smallest & furriest helper was there the whole time for moral support.

 

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Wow! Good progress!

Are the littles bugging you about when they will be able to run trains?  Time to get a line operational.

 

You are really making good progress! Things are looking very nice! Good to have the supervisor around too, for quick decisions when problems arise.   Good luck and keep up the good work and same for the crew. 

Moonman posted:

Wow! Good progress!

Are the littles bugging you about when they will be able to run trains?  Time to get a line operational.

 

Thanks!   Yes, the kids are anxious to get trains running - but as of this morning we now have both main lines in operation    Don't have any pics of that yet, but I do have a few shots of the rock work around the last bridges to go in.  Had to do the rocks that would be hard/impossible to get to once the bridges are in place:

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You know, the work you do with foam is just Amazing! I wish you would do a how to video! Great work ! I love watching every aspect of what you do!

mike g. posted:

You know, the work you do with foam is just Amazing! I wish you would do a how to video! Great work ! I love watching every aspect of what you do!

Thanks, Mike    I'm pretty new to the foam shaping thing.  To carve the rocks around the bridges, I actually just watched some youtube videos myself and then went to town with a steak knife.   I think they came out better than I had any right to expect.

_________________________

It was a momentous day (late night?)  on the train layout, as we now have command control trains running on both main lines.  Just DCS so far... plan to hook up the legacy base in the next few days.   Being done with the bulk of the track work also meant that I could set the buildings back where they go.

 

I've been checking the wiring of each section as I go using this old conventional K-Line S4.  It's my sacrificial lamb, should anything be wired horribly wrong, power cutoffs not work as expected, etc.

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Here is the moment when both transformers are powering all mains for the first time:

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The Blue Comet running in DCS, checking out the inner loop:

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...and here's some scenery from around the layout.   First up is Thomas:

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I think I'll probably keep the tug boat passing under the bridges looks good there:

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A view from the Sweaty Palms trailer park:

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This explains how the Menards engine house burned down:

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...and what layout is complete without a boy and his elephant?

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...more to come as we get the yard wired, install power switches, finish the tunnels, trim out the tables, etc.

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Congrats on the first run Dustin! Looks like many years of fun ahead for you and the train crew.

Thanks for the compliments, guys!

We haven't done as much train stuff lately as the weather has been turning nicer and nicer.  However, we did manage to play some trains the other day, finish-up all of the track wiring (including siding power switches), and test an idea or two.  Here goes:

Here's a shot from the first run with the kids.  I have the first PS2 engine I ever got (the Railking Blue Comet) and my premier Pioneer Zephyr running in the below - both worked great on the track!

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I also tested some ideas for lighting the hinged bridge.  Here's a remote control LED light strip that can be set to any number of colors - I just kind of set it there to get an idea.

  Looks pretty neat when lit (pics don't do it justice), but not sure if that's the route I want to go:

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By popular demand, we also ran the pink GG-1 set:

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The boys driving the Zephyr:

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Layout shot:

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Looking for hidden minions:

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More train driving:

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This is generally what I find if I go down at night to work on the layout:

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My daughter working on her HO layout:

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My lighted power switches for sidings.  I will eventually build panels to hold these.  I think they came out great, and were very cost effective... but I made one miscalculation.  In the interests of safety, I try to ensure everything is over-spec'd.  In this case, I got switches capable of handling a lot of throughput (15A, 250V) to make sure layout voltage and current would be no sweat.   I failed to consider, though, that 18V may be insufficient to light the bulb.  Bummer, but no biggie.

Also in the pic you can see the space clips I used to connect to the switches.  Should be handy if I need to re-arrange wires or remove a switch.

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More power switches!

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The Crusader, my only recent roster addition, makes is maiden run on the layout:

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Next up, wiring buildings, dressing the viaducts, completing the mountains, and trimming out the layout edge.

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Dustin, things are really looking great! But then again with such a wonderful crew what else would one except! I like the LED on the bridge, just a thought is there anyway you can move the light strip to where it is under the cables?

It's nice to see the trains running and the boys having a blast! But what I think is cool is you have a pink train for your daughter! Very cool!

Just wondering do you have to clear the track of fur balls? LOL

Keep up the great work and most of all keep having all the fun you can!

Looks great Dustin. The kids are certainly enjoying themselves. Glad the chief inspector approves too.

Everything looks great, Dustin!  I love the photographs of the kids!  They really seem to be enjoying it.  Our girls never had any interest in trains.  Now that they are married adults, they both will buy me something train related, but it is still a lonely time in the train room.  

Mark Boyce posted:

Everything looks great, Dustin!  I love the photographs of the kids!  They really seem to be enjoying it.  Our girls never had any interest in trains.  Now that they are married adults, they both will buy me something train related, but it is still a lonely time in the train room.  

I know how you feel Mark, I am the only one in my family!

It's been a while since I've made any layout progress...  Trains tend to be more of a winter sport for us, and we've been out doing summer activities (and summer yard work!).    However, this week I did finally order some Phillips Hue bulbs and get them up and running over the layout.   As you may recall from previous posts, the 3 lamp shades above the layout were intended for smart lights so I could dynamically control the color/tone of lighting over the layout as a whole (or by section).  The idea was that I could easily simulate daytime, sunset, dusk, etc.

Set-up was surprisingly easy, and I now have three bulbs that I can change to pretty much any imaginable color combination with my phone.   Some of the pre-built "scenes" are pretty darn neat.  I can also turn them on/off with my phone, or by voice using our Echo.

I played around with the lights briefly this evening.  The pics don't really do it justice as the effect looks better in person, but I think they will give you the idea.

First, here's a broader view showing all three lights:

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Next, here are some shots of the left half of the layout, showing some of the color variations I tried out.

This one is a pre-built sunset:

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Here's a more daylight setting:

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And these three I did just to explore some of the range.   There are darker variations on the purple (includng some pre-builts) that provide a neat night-time effect...  will be great for doing night scenes without having the lights completely off, especially once the buildings are wired.

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This looks less "night vision green" in person...  

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I like the lights! That's a really good idea. Looks real nice and I bet it is a lot better in person. How's the crew and supervisor? All well I hope.

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