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Old 13th December 2010, 06:06   #21
Roy Buchanan
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

Nice little video, Kaustav.

Roy
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Old 16th December 2010, 09:16   #22
kaustav
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

Thanks Roy...


I was tired of working on the benchwork, trackwork and planning on the electrical work, so thought of taking a breather by doing some light modeling. If you look at the plan, the entrance of the layout needs to be covered by something-a building, bridge tunnel... I was thinking about the choice for quite some time, and then settled for a relatively tall building which will also improve the appearance of the town with it's presence.

It's really really hard to model a brick textured building in N-Scale. but they look so amazing, and fit in so perfectly with the era we're modeling, we just had to have them!! So, we eased our work a little by ordering Walther's Modulars (Cornerstone series) for Brick buildings. the front needed to look authentic, so we used the modulars for the front. The back however was mainly made of cardboard, the floor separators in the building's interior was also made of cardboard. Since this building is going to be in the front of the layout, I am planning on some good amount of interior detailing on each floor and exquisite lighting in the interior.

This is how the building looked once assembled:



Now my job was over at this point and I handed this over to my wife for painting and weathering.

She decided to use old fashioned charcoal(colored) powder mixed with a little bit of water and a crop of liquid soap. This highlighted the grooves on the surface, making the bricks prominent. This also gave the building an aged look that I really like...



I used Cornerstone series roof details:



And finally this is how the town looks at the moment.



As I mentioned, I need to add a lot of details to the building yet. The ground floor will have a restaurant/cafe with open air service. It will also have a departmental store, or a clothes showroom.

This weekend, planning for finishing wiring on the layout so that I can finally see the trains running... [
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Old 31st December 2010, 06:55   #23
kaustav
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

Well, this part of the hobby is definitely my nemesis! Though I have enough interest and fair amount of idea about electrical concepts, I definitely lack the hands on skills to do what I actually want to do. Clearly I was anticipating trouble while wiring (especially given I am using DC) and yes, one hell of a trouble it is!

Anyway, somehow I have done the basic wiring to run the trains around the layout, and quite a few tasks are still pending, but overall I am kind of satisfied... well not really satisfied, but relieved that I have finally done it!

I started with the control panel. I used Masonite board (insulation board) to construct the control panel. My wife had drawn the diagram on a black background that I pasted on the board and drilled the holes to fix the DPDTs and Peco Studs for turnout control (Yet to be wired). This is how it looks now after the primary wiring of the blocks.




By the way, this panel is totally removable. Creating this panel also required some carpentry work (again!). But this was required since I had to make the arrangement for easy portability.

Another important part that I wanted to do was avoiding soldering as much as possible because that's another grey area in my skill inventory! Especially soldering to the track. I tried this before and realized that it will be really hard for me to bring the level of perfection that I want to see. Now, to do this, I cut small pieces of thin (.1 mm) copper sheets and slide them between the track and the ties. This makes a flawless connection with the track and is very reliable with less risk of lose connection as compared to soldered joints (especially the ones I do :P). I wired the whole railroad using this method and it is working fine.




Now about hiding these copper plates, it will be pretty easy for me since most of the tracks in the port will be concealed in concrete. Moreover, if you look at the joints, it will be easy to hide these using normal ballasting.

The video below will show the first trial run:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8jalMGCLy0
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Old 31st December 2010, 16:01   #24
mysterd429
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

Soldering isn't too hard once you get the hang of it, but it's always good to see other techniques. The engine and train look pretty smooth in the video. Cheers!
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Old 31st December 2010, 16:40   #25
RW James
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

I agree with Don - after a small bit of practice I think you would find soldering the wire to the track a lot easier than the method you are currently trying.

Another concern: There is a chance of corrosion or alien fluids getting between the copper sheet and the rail through capillary action - first that comes to mind is whatever adhesive you use to fasten down the ballast.
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Old 31st December 2010, 22:44   #26
kaustav
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

Thanks guys... The thing is, may be I gave up a little too easily on soldering, but the truth is, I did try to do it before and somehow I am never fully satisfied with the result. So I had to take a chance to look at other options, and I discovered that connecting the railroad in this way would actually be a better solution for me at the moment. Few reasons: it's not messy, ease of work without traveling across the layout with the soldering iron, no risk of molten ties, and the important factor of all - repairing and maintenance is a lot easier. I will have more than 80% of my track concealed in concrete and that modeling will be done using styrene and cardboard-so if I had to do solder on the finished product it would be quite a pain.

Yes, corrosion is a concern and I am yest to figure out a solution. As for glues or other fluids sipping in between the track and the copper plate, I think that is a thin probability since it's one of the tightest joints I have seen. virtually a gap doesn't exist between the ties and the track for Code 80 N scale track, so sliding in a 0.1 mm sheet between them will make it nearly impossible for anything else to come between the track and copper plate.

Whatever might be the result, I really wanted to give this method a try. If it doesn't work out that well and reliable in future, I can always go back t soldering.
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Old 1st January 2011, 20:29   #27
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

First of all congratulations for your video and the soundtrack too, things seem to go pretty well there!
About soldering let me say that is just a matter of having a good iron and a little practice... anyway if your method works there's no reason to change!
Happy new year
Franco
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Old 2nd January 2011, 08:49   #28
kaustav
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

Thanks Franco... And Happy New Year...
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Old 15th January 2011, 09:08   #29
kaustav
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSH DE View Post
Sometimes people will come here and hjust repeat something they have seen somewhere else, not knowingly mind you, and then you face someone coming along and suing you.
Thanks for the warning! But honestly I have nothing to hide. If you are indicating towards the track plan, I frankly mentioned in the very beginning of this thread (and in detail in my blog and any where else) that this plan is an adaptation of Ian Rice's 1941 Coalport MD plan from his book Small Smart and Practical Trackplans. If I get sued for adapting and modifying a trackplan in a trackplan book whose USP is that you will have some great track plans that you can use without modification, then I have nothing to do rather than feeling sorry for the human race! and I don't really think there is anything else that I have done so far that can cost me a lawsuit-honestly.
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Old 19th February 2011, 13:01   #30
kaustav
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Default Re: Wrightsville Port: N-Scale Waterfront Layout: Staging Yard

Well, it has been a crazy start to the year for me... average 10-12 hours in office, root canal treatment, buying a new apartment... everything is moving in a rocket speed! Eventually, very less time to spend with my railroad.

But I didn't sit idle... the track and wiring needed some fine tuning, so that's done. another important part is taken care of - staging yard.

Initially I had a plan for a cassette and also made arrangements for that. But when I went to build it, I saw that the drawer is not working properly and it's pretty stiff. I tried lubricating it for some days and tried to do some fine tuning, but it never became smooth. Given I had less time in hand anyway, I couldn't really give a lot of focus on the drawer - moreover I badly needed a functional staging to start operating my layout properly. I thought of dumping the cassette and decided to go for turnouts - I had a few insulated type left from my previous layout and decided to put them to use. Two are Atlas manual and three Model Power (remote, but they were damaged when I had to dismantle my last layout in a hurry while moving to Calcutta). I modified them a little bit so that they can be hand thrown. Then it's a simple fork of 4 arms - 3 arm can hold 10 cars each, one primarily meant for loco/RDC storage.






Note that two tracks in the center are always live - ones on the sides can be switched on or off based on requirements. I am planning to put another turnout on the far end and connect the 2 tracks in the middle on the other end to create a siding/runaround. This will reduce the need of lifting a loco and will be particularly helpful for one man operation.
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