You said in today’s post that your inbox was getting low, so I thought I’d send this short photo story. I
I’m mostly working on an inside-HO-railroad-in-a-closet. I’m not yet ready to send an update to my two earlier posts, but this is something quite different.
It’s a G scale out and back setup in our driveway, about 40 feet in length.
The photos show the complete line.
We’ve had a train set in the driveway and into our back yard since the mid ‘80s. I had worked for a few years in Europe and came home with some LGB and Marklin Gauge 1 track and trains.
We built the railroad up over the years and a lot of time has passed.
Our girls grew up, moved out, got married and we now have five grand kids, and grand they are. The four oldest are boys between 15 and 22 years old. They have long outgrown the backyard trains but will no doubt remember all that we did together over the years.
Lately I’ve downsized the layout to the small setup you will see in the photos.
At Union Station.
Leaving the station area:
This morning, our granddaughter Lily came over. She wanted to set up the modern Playmobil town for the first time this summer! While she did, I cleaned the tracks and powered up the LGB railcar pulling a Playmobil coach. It runs using the LGB out and back shuttle. Great fun. And a nice break from the detail work demanded by HO scale modeling.
So that’s my story for today. Thanks for all you do to keep your site running on time.
Now, I suspect one or two of you are staring at these playmobil pictures in disbelief – but if so, I think you are missing the point.
Anyone reading Jim’s narrative can see it’s glowing with fun. And if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?
Also, I really do enjoy the posts where memories have been made, here’s a line from Jim’s narrative that made me smile:
“The four oldest are boys between 15 and 22 years old. They have long outgrown the backyard trains but will no doubt remember all that we did together over the years.”
And as Jim says, it’s nice to work on a layout just for fun, rather than detail.
So what about his HO scale?
Here it is:
(If you want to get up to speed, here’s Jim’s first post: Jim’s HO railroad story.)
“Hello Al, again.
Thanks for the daily info and stories from your readers.
I wrote my first story to you about 8 months ago. I had started on a small HO scale layout with an up and over design in December, having just retired from a teaching job and having some space and time to begin this project.
I’m enjoying the work (work?) and consider this both a challenge and a welcome journey.
The inspiration is the real world Pipers Lagoon and Shack Island in Nanaimo, British Columbia, my wife’s home town.
The curves have 18-degree radius and the grades are 3% up and 4% down running counter-clockwise.
The base of this railroad is a 1 meter plus (4 foot square) foam pallet that once held a new dishwasher!
I had gotten this far by October but the track was not reliable. You can see there are no straight sections in this design.
The curvature and grade is always changing. Using Atlas flex track was a challenge because it tends to spring back to straight, not holding the curve as shaped. I had several bad track joins and could see no easy way to smooth them out, so… let’s start over!
I decided to bite the bullet and redo the track. First step, scrape it clean!
And then clean up the now bumpy roadbed, make it ready for new track.
This is with new Micro Engineering track which can be curved to the desired radius and will hold its shape well.
I got started on some buildings and scenery. Then I was able to clear out a 2.5 meter (8 foot) closet for a permanent home for this little scene.
Here is a view of the new location with some mountains and a few “Bob Ross” happy clouds in the backdrop.
You can see “Shack Island” on the left of the lagoon, and the fictional town of Pipers Corner over on the right.
I’ve tried a few HO kits as well as your print out buildings which are perfect for this scene.
Next, some real clouds, thanks to artist and friend Tom Devine who was visiting for a few days.
I was dissatisfied with the mountains beneath the clouds so made some changes to my work, not Tom’s.
Still not happy, so another try…
And the current, final version. I modified the mountains a final time but kept the overall outline. Tom returned and “touched up” the clouds using some black and yellow paint to add some “drama” to the scene. He also framed the mountains with some very distant tree lines.
It’s a compelling look and I hope he will come back soon a time or two as there is more black and yellow paint to add to that gathering storm.
Now, I’m about 18 months along and here is my first YouTube video showing the layout in operation.
It is a bit rough and too long so I’ll have to do some edits for next time.
And yes, it just circles at a slow speed but that’s all I was aiming for in this first phase. There is more detail that can be added but I’m ready to start something new.
You will see turnouts pointing off to the left and that’s where expansion will take place. I can move more than a meter (4 feet) to the left and then another meter out into the room.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this will turn out. At my pace of progress, I think it will take 3-4 years if all goes well but I see this more as a marathon than a sprint.
I’ll send updates when there is some progress to report.
With thanks, Al, for all you do to keep this great web site running…
A big thanks to Jim for sharing the problems he had with his HO track.
I think we’ve all ‘started over’ at some point – and as Jim says, it’s half the fun.
For me, the key is to start, and then carry on.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.
And if today is the day you get started on your layout, just like Jim did, the Beginner’s Guide is here.