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Stock Yard Section

This new section has a Stock Yard on one of the lower level tracks.  It is the last straight section on this long back wall.  I am glad that I had the foresight to gather the tracks together on both levels so that there are less terraces.  The Stock Yard will have a parking lot to it's left and a road that crosses the tracks.  It disappears into a tunnel to go under the upper elevation tracks.  We don't really know where it goes, but that access road must connect out there somewhere with at least a secondary country road that also connects to Irwin's Farm on the next section that I am planning.

In the very back, along the wall will be some basic scenery with a few trees.  Notice that this Stock Yard is right along the tracks and not on a siding.  That may be a little odd, but consider that my whole layout is actually not a mainline.  It is a mostly rural branchline that is not very busy.  It still may be a little odd, but that is the way I want it.

11/30/2010:  I was energetic today and got a lot done.  This new section is all covered with hard-shell and my "oatmeal".  Tomorrow, I'll see how far I get with painting it.

12/01/2010:  I had a tremendous building session this morning and got all of the scenery completed on this section.  Notice that I cut off that ugly pick-up section on the Stock Yard.  I'll build a track trip out of rail when I lay the track.

Up next is to lay down some track.

12/03/2010:  Speed bump!  I ran out of wooden ties.  It is time-consuming to plane down, rip, cross-cut and stain 1X4 cedar into wooden ties.  But I took the time to do it and now I have a paper grocery bag full of them.  I also ran out of ballast.  My truck has been in the garage for a couple days, so I haven't been able to harvest gravel for screening, washing and drying.  However, I do have the track laid down.  I have to paint it and ballast it and drop down some feeder wires to the bus wires.  I also made several trees and "planted" them.  I think I pretty well have perfected making large-area "vegetation mats".

I think while I'm waiting to get more ballast, I'll get a leg up on the next section that I will call, "Irwin's Farm".  I want to maintain my pace of one 8-9 foot section a week.  I have a couple ideas I want to try out on the next section.

12/04/2010:  Hey Box Cars!  I got my truck back and harvested some gravel.  It's screened down, washed,  dried and applied  I will now call this section DONE (for now) and it's time to send in the Royal Blue and K5 LOL!

Up next will be a corner section I will call "Irwin's Farm".  When I make that post, I'll show the roughed-in area I have to work up.  I think NOW is the time to take my technique of creating "vegetation mats" to a HO 'NUTHA LEVEL.  LOL   

Twin Lakes East

11/22/2010:  Today I cut a piece of 1/2" plywood and fit it in for the base of the lake.  Then I wadded up newspapers to act as backing for the places I wanted to cover.  The hard-shell went quickly, working from bottom to top and letting each layer cure a little before continuing upward.  Then I mixed up 3 large batches of my "oatmeal" to cover and texture.  It also fills in large gaps and can be used to tie everything together.  I put a layer on my lake bed, then sprinkled sand over it to level and smooth it out some.  I already had the subroadbeds built and the Erector Bridge installed a long time ago.  I'll need to convert the subroadbeds to deck bridges.  The following pics show all of this in a "raw" state.  Paint, sawdust and ground foams will make a big difference.  Lastly, lichen and or black polyfil topped with ground foams will help to hide the back edge on the wall and anyplace else that didn't work out real well.

11/23/2010:  Today's work went well.  I did some painting and ground covering.  The scenery isn't anything fancy; plain and simple.  I cleaned up and touched up all around.  The lake bed I did yesterday didn't work out, so I scraped it up.  It doesn't always work out, folks.  I'll have some spackling and sanding to do tomorrow.  Right now I'm waiting for the glue to dry and "fix" the shoreline.  I have deck bridges to build and track to lay down.  The last thing I'll do is paint the lake bed, then pour the "water".  Then it will be time to move on!

11/24/2010:  I had a productive morning today.  I made up the three deck bridges.  I cheated.  I just glued slats on the sides of the subroadbeds using CA and my fingers. What can go wrong there!  LOL  I used a paint stirring stick as my gauge for the slats.  Then I spray-painted them with primer and flat black; wet on wet.  Now I have to de-glue my fingers!  LOL  I also got the track laid down, painted and ballasted.  Notice that I have the track on the deck bridges ballasted.  Not exactly prototypical.  I didn't glue it down.  I almost never do.  I just arrange the structures or scenery to "trap" it.  It doesn't go anywhere unless I pound on the bench work under the table.  LOL  Maybe this evening I'll be able to paint the lake bottom and then pour it tomorrow after I have our TG meal well in hand.  I'm the Chief Cook and Bottle Water in our household.  LOL

11/27/2010:  I'll call this section done for now.  Twin Lakes East is a deeper lake than Twin Lakes West.  It will be a popular destination for sailboats, once word gets out. LOL  Twin Lakes West will be a sport-fishing paradise.  The lower water level in the upper region is an excellent spawning ground for large-mouth bass and crappie.  

Time to move on to the next section.  It is about 4-feet long and is the last straight section on the long back wall.  It will connect Twin Lakes East to a corner section called Irwin's Farm.  On this next section will be a Stock Yard on one of the lower elevation tracks.  So I guess I'll call this section Stock Yard (quite imaginative, no?).  I have no idea how the Irwin family will get their cattle to the Stock Yard for transport.  I guess I'll have to build some kind of a road.  Perhaps someone like Billy Crystal could take part in a cattle drive on his summer vacation!  LOL

Timboy Town East

Twin Lakes West is completed for now.  The main control panel is in the foreground.  Timboy Town East is on the upper elevation.  I have one tier with "oatmeal" on.  On the other tires, I'm trying a new technique.  I'm using cheesecloth, stapled to the benchwork and fascia to act as a base for the plaster hardshell.  There will be lots of dripping, but I have newspapers put down on the floor.  Let's see what happens.

This is the rear of the cut-in-half Union Station.  I added a planter in front with some upright arborvitae.  I made them out of some kind of tree blossoms I found.  I stabilized them by dipping them in white glue and letting them dry upside down.  Then I sprayed them with hairspray and covered them with ground foams.  That is the front of the hospital I cut in half to use as a clinic on Timboy Town West.

You can see the rear part of the jail.  I'm using it as a generic maintenance building.  I think the Oil Drum Loader will work okay on the upper level.  It's reliable and usually only needs either more barrels to load or just a little poke to get the barrels down the ramp from time to time.

I made some progress this week-end.  I'll have to continue to run my household circuit to power up the bank of transformers on the main control panel.  Each #15B controls a block.  The #8 on the right will will be a light circuit to the right part of the layout.  The #8 on the left will be for a light circuit to the left part of the layout.  Neither light circuit will interact with the track transformers.  The #8 in the middle will be for my Talking Station, Water Tank and Oil Drum Loader.  None of those accessories will interact with the track transformers either.  Any action cars that I want to activate along this back wall will go to one of the #15B transformers. I have a couple electronic track trips laid out.  I'm not sure if they will get used on this back wall anywhere or not, but at least I see I have plenty of room for them.  OBTW, the cheesecloth experiment worked.  The "oatmeal" will take about a month to fully cure.  I had to be careful when painting this section that I didn't put too much pressure on the scenery.  It worked out fine, tho.

Notice that I kept the scenery rather simplified on this section.  I guess I'll take a little break from all the scenery construction this week to do wiring and lay in some track.

11/19/2010:  I am finished with Timboy Town East - for now.  I still need to paint the buildings, add illumination, etc. - but I will let that for an upgrade.
This is my central control panel.  There is a smaller one at each end.

I am at the half-way point!  Onward to Twin Lakes East!  OBTW; in case that sign for Timboy Town is unreadable, it reads, "Timboy Town East - Please Leave Quickly".  LOL


Twin Lakes West

I have begun working on the next segment I call Twin Lakes West.  This is the westward lake of two lakes.  Admittedly, it is difficult to show with pics and with the four bridges.  One will have to look from several different vantage points to see it all.  I'm okay with that.  It is what it is.  I don't think a good model RR should have everything all up front that one can see from a single commanding view.  I want whomever might come to look at this to walk around to see it all.  I have one side pretty much completed.  The fascia board will need installed before the "water" is poured.

I use sifted dirt, sifted sand, grass-colored ground green foam, lichen, polyfil, etc.

A couple of fascia-board level pics showing the length of the lake, with it's tributary and a side bank.

I remove the middle two deck bridges to work on it.  Otherwise, it would be a nightmare!

This pic shows the other side.  I use wadded-up newspaper with scraps of burlap over it.  The plaster hard-shell goes on, then a thick layer of "oatmeal" to blend in and hold the plaster rock casts.

I did the other side this morning.  I've included a pic or two of the lake and cliffs with the two middle decks out.  I think it gives a clearer image.  I also thought it would be a nice idea to add a couple of islands.

I have to let this dry before I do any more.  Next up will be to wet the edges of the lake and islands, then apply glue-water to stabilize them.  Then I'll paint the lake and by that time, my "water" should have arrived at my door.

I've been looking at these pics and my "lake" and these pics and my "lake".  I'm starting to think that alls I need to do is just pour "water" and let it be "Twin Rivers West".  Sure looks like a river right now!

WHEW!  I was very nervous about doing this water thing on my layout.  Now that it's poured, I'LL TAKE IT!  I'm not gonna make any claims that it's wonderful or whatever.  I'll just say that I will take this effort as a noble attempt and happily move on.  LOL

After it fully cures, I'll need to repaint the fascia board, re-install the bridges and touch them up, lay down the track, etc.  But I can do all that stuff in my sleep and sometimes I do. LOL  I'll rationalize that this is still a lake by keeping in mind that it is the upper-most part of it.  Since it goes to the edge of the layout, the implication is that it keeps on going for who knows how far.  It could be a 20-mile long and 8-mile wide lake. It could join up with Twin Lakes East to form Twin Lakes.  We don't know and we don't care. LOL

DONE!  HAH!  I've got depth!  No one has ever said that about me before! LOL  Look!  Here it is!

Time to move on to Timboy Town East!!!!!!!!!!!