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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I cronical my continuing efforts on my shelf layout I starting building over 23 years ago. I had grand ambitious plans as I finally had a finished basement to fix up and showcase a shelf railroad that friends and family would love to visit.
This is my 3rd engineered road with childhood experiences from serious modelers. I did the loop, and point to point in homosote and cork. I was a member of a modular club and learned all I could about DCC. If you ever want to learn DCC or modular design, joining a club and learning how to's from a lot of educated afficinato's is the way to go.
In those early days, being transient, I was relaglated to "N' scale and grew to dispise the micro-issues the scale presents. So this 3rd layout...is working to.....fulfill the dream!

The plan was to have a BIG yard to park a vast collection of rolling stock and Engines and a loop or duel main that could transit separate zones and climites based on my favorite railroad, namely the Santa Fe. I wanted at least 2 trains to be able to roll without much guidance while I could manage switching in a yard and making consists. I'd switch out consists on the main and drop off deliveries off the main while avoiding the 2 trains rolling on the main.
That takes a lot of track and basement space so the shelf layout was the ticket.

The Design....


Font Line Parallel Pattern Watercraft


I spent two years building the shelf, cutting out track bed, homosote, laying track, wiring in the DCC wiring, hardwiring locomotives from DC to DCC, and finally running trains. I had even tried to run a overhead main track high in the ceiling around the drop ceiling...it was enough to "burnout".
Building Sky Shade Automotive exterior Gas


But there was so much more to do! I had very little buildings, no lighting, very little scenery.
So I kept plugging away...and life happened and I had to rethink everything as I feared I would have to tear it all down and move. So I abandoned my overhead line with a helix to connect the shelve unit and I shortened the mainline in order to be able to move it all. And then it sat, waiting to see if I would have to move it or not.

10 years later and it looks as if time passed me by and now I see myself retired and needing a winter hobby.
How about a railroad...I so wish I still had that drive I had in my youth, time has taken it toll on me too. I am in my 60's, FYI.
But I am trying to do more and more.
View media item 22955
I found some sweet deals on used buildings at the train show and am making them "mini diaramas" to plug and place on the layout all ready to go with people, furnishing, LED lighting and the such.
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Today, I get excited with nano LED tech and am working between the building diaoramas and the streets that define the spaces the diaramas plug into. I purchased nano street lights and building nano leds....
Twig Creative arts Art Font Fashion accessory


Engineering street scenes to work with a "popout panel" for loop access....
World Urban design City Landscape Wood


Mounting street lighting...so exciting!
Vehicle Wood Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Gas


I had a dedicated hi amperage 24vdc power supply for use on the layout and I am going to use it for all the lighting, adding several circuits of different adjustable voltages to mimic different brightness of street lights, home lights, store and sign lighting....a very ambicious lighting project.
Circuit component Motor vehicle Passive circuit component Urban design Electronic engineering


And a glut of used recycled builtings to embellish and make into mini diaoramas. Placing then to see how they may fit in the town area around the bottom of the loop....
Train Toy Urban design Track Engineering


And a general view of the "L" shaped layout...
Toy Urban design Wood Engineering Landscape


This top loop is a module that can move and disconnect to the shelf layout in order to gain access to a storage area door....
Train Toy Motor vehicle Urban design Vehicle



More to come soon.
I am wanting to start my own thread about my layout to document future progress and appologize in advance to those viewers looking for progress during the late Spring, Summer, and early Fall months as this is mostly a winter hobby for me.
 

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I think you are way ahead of us that are just starting out, I love your layout and am glad that you chose to get back at it. I appreciate you documenting your layout and look forward to watching it grow again. You are helping to keep me motivated at the same time !

ps, did you have any steamers that you converted to DCC, I do not think that this will be an easy undertaking if I choose to go DCC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
.....did you have any steamers that you converted to DCC, I do not think that this will be an easy undertaking if I choose to go DCC.
I've seen bigboy steamers in N scale that are fitted with DCC and sound, so it is possible. The trick is the tender is a big empty box. Empty enough to put a DCC module into it.

This past week, while working on a building diaorama, it tryed my best to make a few outdoor vending machines for the gas station I am working on. Again I am trying to incorporate every detail into the diaorama so if something breaks, I can unplug it and remove it from the layout without trying to fix it where it stands. IMO, you end up damaging other parts of the layout like strung telephone poles, neighboring trees, signs, etc.
The printable photo paper was a mistake as the design peeled off the paper as I was handling it so next time I will use card stock. But I did manage to make a few....
Rectangle Fixture Font Home appliance Carbonated soft drinks

I am really trying to detail the gas station with as much stuff as I can . The island has nano LEDS as does the signs and station permeter. Below, I cut out minature blocks and pushed toothpicks into them and painted them black, stuck them into a clay base to allow to dry. Some are also sign bases. Then cut out the paper vending machines and wrap them around the painted blocks, remove the toothpicks and place in the scene....
Motor vehicle Table Automotive design Automotive tire Gas


I also plan to do "Ice" machines...it's going to be a busy gas station....
Rectangle Font Material property Parallel Auto part

Feel free to copy and save the images. depending what you to to print them you can scale the up or down depending on your layout scale.
I am also working on a restarunt now too, trying to detail the interior including adding flooring, tables people and lighting. Since the building has a pitched roof, I can use cheap normal sized LED's to light the interior. A work in progress....
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I really have to stop soon and regroup by cleaning up my hobby bench.
It's just a mess!!.... a modelers work is never done.
Table Desk Engineering City Machine
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Today I got the bench cleaned up enough to mess it up again, isn't that always the case?!?!
Here's a pick of the coke machine I am not too happy with because the ink is flaking off of the photopaper.
I will try to reprint it with card stock but you get the idea....
Urban design Lego Gas Engineering Building sets


The gas station needs a lot of work still, mostly detail painting, I know.

I also finished the diner lighting, just have to print out some people at tables and install them and then I can finish the gas station.
Gas Facade Event Electric blue Light fixture


Progress...no matter how small, it's something!
Automotive lighting Rectangle Wood Flash photography Gadget
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
....maybe it's just me but the Coke machine looks a bit big.
Might try scaling it down a bit. ❔
Good eye, I caught after the fact whe n I put it up to the building, I will be remaking it, a bit smaller....thanks.
BTW they do sell lighted coke or Pepsi machines I know I just bought a cpl of the Pepsi ones.
OOOOO...I would love a link to a lighted Pepsi machine!!! I did find a slew of vending machines on E-bay here.
You all sure know how to spend my money!!!! I think the lighted machines are awesome....I will definately buy a few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
....maybe it's just me but the Coke machine looks a bit big.
Might try scaling it down a bit. ❔
Good eye, I caught after the fact whe n I put it up to the building, I will be remaking it, a bit smaller....thanks.
BTW they do sell lighted coke or Pepsi machines I know I just bought a cpl of the Pepsi ones.
OOOOO...I would love a link to a lighted Pepsi machine!!! I did find a slew of vending machines on E-bay here.
You all sure know how to spend my money
 

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Good eye, I caught after the fact whe n I put it up to the building, I will be remaking it, a bit smaller....thanks.

OOOOO...I would love a link to a lighted Pepsi machine!!! I did find a slew of vending machines on E-bay here.
You all sure know how to spend my money
Good eye, I caught after the fact whe n I put it up to the building, I will be remaking it, a bit smaller....thanks.

OOOOO...I would love a link to a lighted Pepsi machine!!! I did find a slew of vending machines on E-bay here.
You all sure know how to spend my money

Those are lighted if you look at the description. I've got them thry look ok way better than I could have ever done lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, this frugal one is going to give the home made coke machine another try...working on that and a few other machines and signs tonight....
Rectangle Tablecloth Wood Flooring Creative arts


The last machines I made were a bit too big so these are a 1/2 inch smaller,
I printed them on card stock instead of photo paper so the image will not flake off the paper.
The card stock is beefy too so the road signs will last a while.
Those lighted scale machines we chatted about above are nice but my money could be better spend during these inflationary times. Trying to use what I currently have. Maybe in the future, a upgrade will be prudent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well working on my 2nd attempt at a smaller coke machine, I needed my scroll saw to cut down a block I could wrap the paper printout around, but my Craftsman scroll saw was in the garage.
I had my tailgate table already in the work area oppisite my craft bench so I moved over my mini paint booth and table sander to make room....
Wall Gas Table Machine Office equipment


On a side note.....
Under the table I have a very special train gifted from Grandma...it went under the tree for at least 10 years, in the 1950's, before I was born. I got it back in 2000.
Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle registration plate Automotive lighting Automotive tire Grille


I put it all together about 10 years ago and it ran and also chugged smoke as oil was still in the chimney!
This is a complete train set with buildings and in pretty good condition considering it is close to 70 years old!!!
As you see, I still have some boxes from the era.
After testing all of it, I took it apart and bubble wrapped it all up to preserve it.
Wood Shipping box Brick Box Event


The loco has cloth wiring so I am thinking of taking it to a hobby shop in the area that has a train hospital...they rework old Locomotives...or I may just leave it alone. It need to be evaluated and valued by a professional.
Dress Embellishment Sleeve Pink Ingredient


A future thread on the train to come but it looks like I will be making a mini layout for it under the tree this Christmas.
Stay tuned for that story.
Getting back to my current HO layout.....
I have my soda machine drying...working on a bagged ice freezer and a coffee and candy bar machine.
Sizing to the right scale has been trial and error.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am using MS Paint and yes I am using the MS Paint ruler to measure when resizing, good suggestion BTW.:)
So yesterday, I found I measured based on a different building and found the my Exxon gas station is smaller is stature than other buildings in my layout!
Check out the below pictures of my first coke machine and my second machine looks like I got the new size right.....
Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Wood Machine


BTW, the macro lens really show the fault of the pixel print but from a foot away, it okay in my eye.
Now when I put it up to a different building, well the larger one looks to size!
Building Asphalt Road surface Gas Art


So I tried a building with people....
Property Building Window Door Toy


and it seems evident that the gas station is a bit undersized....here if I keep the gas station in the fore ground and the restarunt in the background, they look close to the same size....
Table Wood Engineering Gas Electrical wiring


The size differences isn't that noticable until you start making accessories for the display!
BIG SIGH! So that's what I am dealing with ...I will be making 2 sizes of accesories for the layout to keep the aspect ratio equal depending on the building. The gas station will be in close to the viewer and need a lot of paint work and finishing. I already painted yellow on most of the curbing, added flat black to the roof and started painting labels on can in the oil can displays...no pictures of that yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good point about the gas station. This model was one of 10 buildings I picked off a train show table for $30, already built and used and abused, why am I trying so hard to make it work?
I suppose I already have invested some time to light it, painted the inside so light didn't bleed through the plastic, and I do have a prominant place on the layout where it fits logically at an intersection.
But I did make the base to fit that place so putting a different gas station on that footprint could work!
Starting over "is a option!"
Hmmmm, you sure got me thinking...now I have to find a scale correct and affordable gas station to be able to chuck all I did to get this far.
Thanks for your thoughts Magic, got to keep a open mind ....with an eye on the budget especially when everyone here on the forum, loves to spend my money! 😁
 

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Good point about the gas station. This model was one of 10 buildings I picked off a train show table for $30, already built and used and abused, why am I trying so hard to make it work?
I suppose I already have invested some time to light it, painted the inside so light didn't bleed through the plastic, and I do have a prominant place on the layout where it fits logically at an intersection.
But I did make the base to fit that place so putting a different gas station on that footprint could work!
Starting over "is a option!"
Hmmmm, you sure got me thinking...now I have to find a scale correct and affordable gas station to be able to chuck all I did to get this far.
Thanks for your thoughts Magic, got to keep a open mind ....with an eye on the budget especially when everyone here on the forum, loves to spend my money! 😁
Or....you could place it in the back of the layout to give the illusion of enhanced distance, maybe?
 
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