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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is just the layout design. The portion inside the red box is completed and I'll pst a few pics as soon as I get a few. The rest is the expansion that will be completed sometime in Febuary. We have to work some storage issue first, the buy and build all the stuff.

Edit: I'm an idiot and hit submit before I was done.
We are using strictly Bachmann Ez-track for simplicity, and since we move often,we need to be able to tear everything down and set it back up with minimal damage and time spent. For now we just have a DC setup, but I have a DCC on order. With three boys, we need everyone to be able to run something on the board with out always swapping locos. We also dont plan to scenic very much, just basic stuff like ground cover and a few trees/bushes. I know ballast and a good cork roadbed is better for both looks and operation, but as mentioned before, we are looking for portability. Plus we may not always have room for the whole setup, hence the two big loop tracks with mainlines running between them.

One side will be "town" and the other "industry" with no particular theme or prototype in mind. In fact we might rebrand all our locos and rolling stock with custom stuff, but for now we are stickig with UP. The kids want a passenger train and freight train, and a few folks here have already given me ideas to run modern passenger cars on my 18"R curves.

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Ok here are a few pics.

The first one is the entire layout as it sits right now. We recently got the roads painted and will work on the rest in the coming weeks. You'll have to pardon all the cars and junk, the kids actually play on this table.

The second pic is the tunnel I made out of oak. Its heavy and sturdy but doesnt look natural. I tried to add some plaster type stuff to break up the contours, but it still needs alot of work. ANd yes the kids painted it:p

The third pic shows two of the buildings we've done. I assembled, but the wife and kids painted. I want to install lighting inthe buildings, but I need a much bigger power source. We hae street lamps installed already and the Bachmann power source doesnt cut it. The lights come up for a few seconds, then fade out and wont turn back on for a minute or so, so I'm assuming its overloading the power source.:confused:

The last pic is of the the train stations. Complete with Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters. Maybe the train is haunted. :rolleyes:

Sorry if the pics are a little dark. The flash was too bright, but the overhead light was too dim. So I opted for dim to prevent washout.




 

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well in one pic i saw some Thomas the tank so i see u must have kids


I remember i used to watch it that's what got me into trains that and they ARE AWESOME
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We have two huge tubs full of wooden Thomas stuff. That was the predecessor to what we have now. Oddly enough, they still play with the wooden stuff. They'll drag everything out and build a layout that takes up an entire room.
 

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Are you all done moving all the time now?:confused:

You could easily add on to your mountain, as you all ready have a solid base.
On the wall side of the mountain, just add some hills. Crushed up newspaper in the shape of little footballs taped with masking tape. Then get some plaster cloth rolls or dip paper towels into a plaster soup and form the hill on your mountain.
Under your road going up the mountain do the same.

Heres a video...you don't have to make a big one, just add a little shape to the one you got. You don't have to make it attached to yours just mold it so it sits on top. That way if your going to move again it will pack nicely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mn9d2TW8Ik&feature=related

After you watch that there is a part 2 and a ton more of different ideas. look through them.

Painting them is a different story.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We're never done moving. Depending on how my job goes, we might be moving again in 6 months. :rolleyes:

I like the plaster and newspaper idea. But someone here used expanding foam which would work really well using the rigid stuff I have now as a base. We'll mess around with it over the next couple weeks and I'll post up what we did and how it turned out.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Update: reworked the tunnel, built the expansion, and setup a hillboard to hide the back track on the connecting table section.

Used expanding-foam-in-a-can to coat the entire thing after scraping off the plaster stuff I had before.



I placed the tunnel on the layout and using a sharpie, marked where excess foam needed cut, then after a few trial runs had it cleaned up so that all the trains cleared the portals.



I had a "road" going to the top of the hill for some farmhouses and such. I shaved a bunch of the foam off the panel meant for the road, but as you can see the bubbles will make it awefully rough. I'll paint it to see how much fills in, but it its too rough (supposed to be dirt anyways) I'll fill in with some wood glue or something like that and repaint.

 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I added a hillboard to conceal the back track that connects the two big boards. This way when the train enteres the tunnel on the left, it goes out of sight until it reappears on the far right, simulating "going out of town". But I didnt want a full tunnel so in the case of derailment or something, I can acess the train and track just by reaching over the board.

Here is the left side of the hillboard, right side of the tunnel. I cut into the foam to seat the board and once it is painted and textured, it should blend in together fairly well.



Here is one half installed. As you can see, when I cut the board I made it wavey so that it'll kinda look like a hillside after paint and texture. Highest point is 7.5", lowest is 4.5".



Here is the other board and the end piece (sorta) installed. There will be some trees in front of that portal so it doesnt look like a tunnel, but rather that the train just came out of a wooded area or something like that.

 

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