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Patrick McGrath

Layout progress in pictures

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Patrick McGrath

My as yet untitled layout is shaping up little by little and I thought it was time I join the forum, stop lurking, and start posting!

I'd like to start with a few scenes in progress.

Comments and criticisms welcome, of course.

 

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Kiha66

Thanks for sharing some pics!  Great work blending the track into the scenery. 

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Patrick McGrath

A long distance overall shot. This is an area about 12' x 6'.

I guess I need a way to shrink my picture size in order to upload more than 1 or 2.

 

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Patrick McGrath

Here is some hand laid turnout work in place not yet ballasted.This is an aspect I've become quite fond of and I am planning on handlaying a small yard and steam engine facility. The long straight is flex track though. No point in handlaying that.

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Edited by Patrick McGrath
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Khaul

That's very nice! Which type of track are you using? Your layout seems to have reversing loops at the ends, am I right?

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Patrick McGrath

Thanks for the feedback so far.

No, the layout has no reverse loops so far. Just two long double mains that diverge on the far side of the layout for a bit but mostly run side by side.

I am using four types of track, I suppose.

Kato, Tomix, Atlas flex and hand laid with recycled Atlas code 80 rail.

I will incorporate one more loop but am leaving it off the table for now. 

Here's one more in progress scene.

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JR 500系

Wow the layout looks great and the water effect is just excellent! Thanks for sharing!

 

7 hours ago, Patrick McGrath said:

 

I guess I need a way to shrink my picture size in order to upload more than 1 or 2.

 

 

You can shrink your pictures BEFORE you upload them using paint (the accessory in your cpu if you are using windows). I always use this program, and the 'resize' function to shrink the photo, and of course, the size of the photo along with it ~

 

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bill937ca

What scale is your layout?

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Patrick McGrath

Layout is N scale. 

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kvp

Looks great, especially the turnouts! Could you show us how do you hand lay them? It looks like spiked track, not the usual soldered pcb technique.

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Patrick McGrath

I'll make an effort to document the next round of turnouts, which will be a steam engine maintenance yard.

You're right, I don't do the pcb ties and solder. I am pretty well versed in soldering but i just don't like the result. I do solder the head ties' spikes to the rail because you can only spike on one side. And the frogs of course. 

I like the Fast Tracks templates but I don't follow the tie spacing. I space them to match Atlas flex, which is nearly the same as Kato and Tomix.

Here is another pic.

 

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Patrick McGrath

Hello,

After a long time away, I finally carved out some time for n scale.

Still working on this little rural station scene and added some lighting this time. The cheap lights from Chinese sellers vary greatly in quality but I think I found some with pretty good detail. A bit more expensive but still a huge bargain compared to Woodland Scenics or other name brand lighting kits.

Just thought I would share for some feedback.

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Patrick McGrath

I posted a few photos in the Inspirational Scenery thread accidentally, yesterday but remembered my original thread today.

It's been a while so, my apologies.

Just a few pics of my rural station progress. Mostly lighting. Aside from the dent which I'll have to fix and a bit of touch up needed(those paper models lose their color with the slightest rub), I like the effect of the lit vending machines.

Still many little details to fill in but pretty fun so far.

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Martijn Meerts

Quite interesting you found the thread again, because only a few weeks ago I ordered some Fast Track fixtures for my own little project 🙂

 

Any reason why you used so much solder on the frogs? Like seen in that latest close up shot of a turnout.

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Patrick McGrath
Posted (edited)

I'm not sure I understand the question.

I am using only enough solder to fill the gap at the point. It looks pretty clean to me and close to prototype. 

What part is too much? I am still quite a novice at this so maybe I'm doing it wrong.

Edited by Patrick McGrath
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Martijn Meerts

I'm by no means a professional at building turnouts either, I build exactly 2 of them so far 🙂

 

If you look at the video at https://www.handlaidtrack.com/FTV-Turnouts-2 where they build the frog, they do use quite a bit of solder as well, but not quite as much as in your picture. It might depend on which type of turnout you're building, and of course the prototype. I've also been building H0e and H0j turnouts rather than N turnouts, so that's also somewhat different.

 

Did you use the spikes from Fast Tracks / Micro Engineering as well? And if so, how did you install those? I bought a bunch of them, but they're a bit fragile, not sure using a hammer would be a good idea 😄

 

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Patrick McGrath

I use the Micro Engineering micro spikes, predrill each hole, and put a drop of glue on the spike before it goes in.

I find if I just drive it in, the tie will split or the spike will bend.

As far as the solder goes, I watched the video and yes, they use less solder. I don't have a specific reason why I used more, I just did. 

I'm happy with the less than perfect result. 

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Martijn Meerts

Ah right. Do you glue the rails to the ties as well?

 

Also, I wouldn’t say the frogs are less than perfect, I was just wondering if maybe you discovered that using the amount of solder they do in the video would make the joint too brittle for example. And in the end, if you’re happy with it, it’s definitely perfect 🙂

 

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Patrick McGrath

I suppose it's all a matter of experience and this kind of interaction that leads to perfection.

And I do strive to become more refined over time with all the various skills used in this hobby.

Perhaps this conversation will come to mind as I make the next round of turnouts and I'll use less solder, thereby providing some data as to how much is really needed or does it make a difference other than aesthetic.

That might prove useful to others attempting to build their own turnouts. 

 

I don't glue the rails, either

 

Admittedly, my technique is completely unorthodox and probably much less efficient.

 

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, practice is definitely needed when building turnouts, but the fixtures sure make things a lot easier. My first one was a number 6 H0e one where I filed the points a bit too sharp, and had to shorten them a little. But then I took off too much so cars wouldn't run reliably over it. The 2nd one was a number 6 H0j (H0n3.5), which turned out a bit better already. Especially figuring out how far to insert the track into the point forming tool is a bit difficult.

 

It's really cool that someone else on the forum is building their own turnouts though, and even using the same fixtures 🙂

 

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Patrick McGrath

Actually I don't use their fixtures at all. Everything is built freehand only using the free printed templates as a guide.

My Micro Engineering and NMRA rail gauges are indispensable, though.

 

This is my next turnout project.

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Martijn Meerts

Well, even more impressive then if you don’t use their fixtures 😄

 

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Patrick McGrath

I'm working on a new scene with some kit-bash/scratchbuilt bridges.

Going for a Tokyo riverside feel with a walking path on one side.

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Patrick McGrath

I'm also planning to cut my layout into removable sections. In the event I need to move it or we move to Japan (a few years off but a strong possibility), there are at least some scenes I'd like to salvage.

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cteno4

Smart man, plan ahead. I’ve had to demolish a few of my layout and others due to moves and such, never fun. At least if made in sections there is a chance to save some or all and at least feed Murphy...

 

jeff

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