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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I've been reading and planning a new HO scale layout for the past few months. This will be the third layout I've built. My first was a classic HO scale 4x8 ft sheet of plywood that I built as a kid. My second layout was N scale and was 4x6 ft with moderately elaborate trackage and plaster skin terrain. I didn't finish that layout before I had to give it away before moving cross country. Now 9 years later, I have space opening up where I can build another layout in a spare bedroom. I'm going to go back to HO scale since N was just a bit too small for me.

I searched for a long time for the right plan to build. I found the Peace River RR Layout that was featured in Model Railroader magazine of March 1987. I liked the continuous running design and the ability to do some operations with it. I had to modify it slightly to fit in my space. So here's the plan for that I'm going to build:



Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I recreated and modified the Peace River RR layout on my computer with AnyRail software. I then split the layout image into 3 strips and printed them full size at my local print/mailing shop. I could then use the full size print to make sure it would fit and to trace from.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Benchwork construction begins. I have a few requirements for this layout. I want to be able to deconstruct it and move it to a new house at some point in the future. So I'm building 4 modules for the benchwork that will be bolted together. I also realize that I won't be able to reach the one corner of the layout, so I'll need to mostly finish it before I can put it in the corner and finish the rest of the layout.

Here's a few pictures of the benchwork construction:











The one section is lower than the others so I can build the river area at a lower grade and have the steel viaduct bridge be about 10 inches above that terrain.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have started working on the river canyon area in the far corner of my layout. Since I won't be able to reach this area when the layout is fully assembled, I took apart 2 modules of the layout from what you saw in previous photos and leaned them against one of the walls in my room so that I have space to work on just this section. I'm using pink rigid foam board and shaping it before I apply a plaster skin over it. I'm planning to use rock molds to form the details of the canyon walls. Right now I'm working on just the basic form. Here's where I'm at:







You'll also notice that I've cut out the track support plywood from where my steel viaduct bridge will go. I'll have to get started on that soon so that I can accurately locate the exact start and end points of the bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've been working a few days now on building the steel viaduct bridge that I am putting in the corner of my layout. I'm building the kit from Micro Engineering. I'm going to be working on this for a while since it has lots and lots of parts. I've got one of the support towers just about finished. I've got to build 3 more just like it. Bridge length will be about 310 scale feet (~42 inches) when finished and needs to both curve and rise slightly. Here's my progress so far:



 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm nearing completion of my steel viaduct bridge. I was traveling a bit over the holidays, so this has taken a little longer than I expected. I've been able to put in some hours over the last couple of days, so that made up for some of the travel time. I've got the bridge towers finished and I've assembled and glued the bridge girders. I also made up some bridge piers from wood which I'll paint concrete color and glue down to the foam land forms. I still need to do some weathering on the bridge and I haven't yet glued the towers to the piers or the girders to the towers. I've copied the idea from others here on the forum that suspended the bridge girders from an upper support. I'm using plywood here because my bridge is on a 24" radius curve and it also rises on a 2% grade. Here's a couple of test fit pictures to show you where I'm at:





I think I now need to shift my work to the land forms around the bridge. I need to cast some rock walls for the canyon and form the river bed with rock and sand next. I'll then need to decide if I should pour the water for the river first before final installation of the bridge or do that after the bridge is in place. I think it would be easier to work on this area without the bridge in place, so that's the direction I'm leaning.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've been working for the last several weeks on the landforms of the canyon on my layout. If you remember, I need to finish this area of my layout before I can push it into the corner and put together the rest of the sections since I won't be able to reach this area once its in final position.

I decided to use Bragdon Enterprises rock molds and their casting resin process for most of the rock walls you can see in the photos below. I bought 2 different molds that I've been using repeatedly. I've also used a little bit of paster of paris for some of the rocks that are situated above and below the rock walls.

Everything has been covered in white primer at this point. I'm hoping to start coloring the rocks later tonight when the primer is fully dry.





I'll be putting talus at the base of the walls later and of course the bridge will sit on top of the multiple piers you see in the foreground.

This phase has been taking longer than I expected, but I'm pleased with the results I'm getting.

Mark
 

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Mark, I can't wait to see this with some color, I think it will be an awesome view watching a train roll across that viaduct bridge.
 

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I've been working on coloring the rock walls of my canyon over the last week. My first attempt didn't work out so good. The coloring was fine, but I had hundreds of small white spots that the paint washes wouldn't adhere to. I just couldn't get the paint to stick to these hundreds of little spots. I must have had some contamination on my rock faces. I think it could have been the release agent used when molding the rocks. After debating what to do, I decided to strip off the paint and clean the rock faces as best I could, re-prime the rock faces, and then do the paint wash coloring all over again. I'm so glad that I did. I just wouldn't have been happy with my original results. Here's what attempt #2 looks like when done:











I'm extremely happy with the results. Much better than I was even hoping for. Taking a more critical eye, I was maybe a little heavy handed with the dark strata in the rocks. I could have also had the strata followed the rock fault lines a little better on the one side of the cliff. But it looks really nice in real life and I doubt many people will really notice.

Now on to the more level ground work and then the river itself. I'm itching to get this section of the layout done so that I can push it into the corner and then put in place the other sections and get some track down and trains running.

Mark
 

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