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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So this is my first layout, but I always get a bit carried away when I'm doing DIY projects. Originally this was to be much smaller (and less expensive), but oh well.

It's basically 11' x 13' with a twice around arrangement with a return loop at the top and bottom and a wye in the middle. I made it to accommodate 12 car trains and the max grade is a little over 2%.

The pics posted are a bit old (April) and I've made a fair bit of progress since then, I just need to take some new pics.

This all started with me 30+ years ago with a Cox Army train (which I still have). My dad has been collecting RR stuff forever and is involved in the Lansing Model RR Club (LMRC)

I probably won't totally finish this layout (does anyone), but the plan is to build it until I decide to change houses, then one of the rooms in the new house will become a permanent layout room (I'm hoping for a bonus room over the garage for a nice big layout space.)

Have picked up some decent rolling stock - P2K GP38, P1K GP15 and I'm waiting on an Athearn Genesis SD60M w/DCC & Sound (should be delivered today or tomorrow.) Layout is DC right now, but I'm pulling together everything I need to update to DCC this winter. I'll be adding a helix off of the top return loop to bring trains back down to bottom level without coming back downgrade and I plan on adding a few staging tracks to allow trains to enter and leave the scene.

How do I get the pics to post directly in the thread (instead of a link)?









 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks....had the wife let me, I would have taken over the entire basement. The layout table separates into 4 pieces, each small enough to go up the basement stairway (in theory.)

Benchwork was mostly 1x4, with 1x1 legs. A total of (5) legs were used and I cantilevered the layout over the legs. It's strong enough that my 260 lb father sat in the middle when we were wiring it up.
 

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dude, this is epic! pulling up a chair and patiently waiting for the next update!

ConGrats on going big, even tho you say you could have gone bigger.

I would love to rock out my whole basement, makes me want to pawn off the weight equipment now haha.
 

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Wow great looking layout. Definately loving the long sweeping curves and the height differences. (total newb here, sorry for the terminology)
 

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I like it, too. Very three-dimensional ... not you're typical "flatland" layout.

Glad the kids are onboard, helping to manage the show!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sstlaure, I think your layout is looking great, I really like that Reid Milling building. Good to see another Michigander here on the forum, there are a few others as well. I to am from SE Michigan.:thumbsup:
My father built that one (Red Wing Milling background kit) it came with a front and a back, so he made the building longer by using both. The seam between the fronts is reinforced with styrene strip. He modified the decal to read Reid Milling for my oldest son. He's also working on an Evan Mfg for my youngest out of modular building parts.

I think he uses Floquil paints in his airbrush. I've been using rattle cans so far as I didn't feel like doing the clean-up associated with the airbrush. I'm going to have to break down soon though as there are colors I want to use that aren't readily available in cans. He does nice work.

I'm in Brownstown....how about you?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Here are some pics from last night....I'll have a few more a little later (my wife is emailing them from home)....got the image posting thing figured out.....

Walthers Cornerstone Glacier Gravel (not yet painted/weathered)
Walthers Cornerstone Cement Coaling Tower (not yet weathered)
Walthers Cornerstone Diesel Fueling Facility (painted/weathered, but not installed)








 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Some more pics.....My 3 year old likes the Thomas trains - we have an assortment of those to run on here as well. Percy dropping his ashes after a hard day at work.

Walther's Cornerstone Cinder/Ash pit
Atlas Roundhouse and Turntable (powered)
Rix Overpass kit (2 sections - 12" long total)










 

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Discussion Starter #12
And then a few more.....whew!








 

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My father built that one (Red Wing Milling background kit) it came with a front and a back, so he made the building longer by using both. The seam between the fronts is reinforced with styrene strip. He modified the decal to read Reid Milling for my oldest son. He's also working on an Evan Mfg for my youngest out of modular building parts.

I think he uses Floquil paints in his airbrush. I've been using rattle cans so far as I didn't feel like doing the clean-up associated with the airbrush. I'm going to have to break down soon though as there are colors I want to use that aren't readily available in cans. He does nice work.

I'm in Brownstown....how about you?
Ahh I guess that would be downriver. I am from the north side, Richmond, it's a fairly small town.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ahh I guess that would be downriver. I am from the north side, Richmond, it's a fairly small town.
Downriver is correct...you've got all the good shops up by you. There isn't anything Downriver. Closest is Nankin in Westland.

Looking at these pics - I need to improve the lighting on my layout. I think I'm going to add some florescent fixtures above the table.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Added 3-80W florescent fixtures above the layout - MAN what a difference. When I turn them off I can hardly believe I was working in an area so dimly lit. Camera is doing funny things - I'll post up pics when I can.

Finishing up a couple of Atlas water tower kits. Built the first one wrong (some almost symmetrical pieces put in upside down.) but I was able to salvage it. I've got them both built and painted, just adding the weathering/finishing touches before putting the dull-cote on them
 

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SST,

As I look at your layout's substructure, one thing jumps out at me that I really like: you've put your leg supports inset significantly from the edge of the table, with the "deck" cantilevered out from there. I really think that'll make walking around the table (and sitting near the table) much more comfortable that a traditional edge-leg setup. Normally, I'd caution someone about too much cantilever, but your leg cross braces and deck framework appears to be quite sturdy.

I like it ... nice job!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks TJ....I'm a mechanical engineer by trade, so I understand triangulation and bracing, etc. I used a book (I believe "How to design/build model railroad benchwork" - i want to say it's a Lynn Wescott book) for the basics. It had recommendations of lumber size and maximum unsupported span. I could get the exact title if anyone is interested. I was able to stay well within the recommendations in the book.

I was very surprised at how sturdy the 1x4 framework is. I typically would build something like this from 2x4, but I decided the actual weight of what is going on the table is fairly minimal (compared to the weight of the table) so I figured I'd give it a shot. Saved me a fair bit of money too.

I had to add the 5th middle leg after I got everything together as it wanted to sag in the middle due to the 2' x 4' hole in that part of the table.

Originally I designed this with a second lower deck, but as the cost of the first deck rose....I decided to cut it off with that. The plan is to add an ~5' diameter 2-track helix that would connect the top loop back down to the first level. I'll put the legs on the corners of that one so that I can access the whole inside of the loop. Look for action on that one around x-mas time as I usually have a couple weeks off at the end of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Weathering complete

Here's a few pics of the weathering & models I've finished up lately. I've been using a couple of those Tamiya weathering kits (rust/black/silver & mud/sand/dirt)

2 - Atlas Water Towers - built and weathered
Glacier Gravel Co. - built conveyor and weathered everything
Coaling shed for Walthers concrete coaling tower - weathered shed - tower still to go....



















 

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Discussion Starter #20
Some pics of the new lights, a close-up of the leg structure, a couple overall pics (now with improved lighting....) and my new Athearn Genesis SD60M (Dual Mode DCC/DC w/sound)













 

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