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to2leo

Ecosys is coming out of the closet

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to2leo

Yikes, I guess I should update my thread.  I got quite a lot of things since. :grin

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disturbman

Yay!!!  :icon_cheers:

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to2leo

Hi guys,

I really wanted to expand my layout especially after the Japan crazy shopping spree.

 

However, I have to put my project on hold right now because....yes, you guessed it.

 

I am going on my month long travel for 2010, happening from Feb 15 to Mar 11.

 

This time I will be going back to Hong Kong during the

Chinese New Year, maybe Thailand in between and then heading to Australia's East Coast.

 

In Australia I will be taking a full guided tour so I don't think I will be able to do much.

 

However, my other hobby is to collect architecture models of the country in close n scale. 

Does any one know where I can get them?

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disturbman

Ok... it's like you allways are traveling. And I still want to see more pictures before you go on your vacation spree. ;)

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to2leo

So after a long dormancy since November due to 2 trips (one Japan, one HK and East Australia) and new job responsibilities, I am able to finally find some time to incorporate what I had purchased into my existing layout.  The layout stay basically the same but the position of some elevated section are altered to make way for a future urban tram layout.  Please excuse the mess btw.

 

Pictures:

1) My new 4 platforms Kato Suburban station set with Tomix wheel cleaner track on the left siding.  The viaduct section is now relocated close to the station so that I can build a higher level platform for future tram layout at the back while taking advantage of the lower portion for a hidden train yard.

 

2) I twisted the double track line so that it will provide better vantage points for trains going down to the ground level on the upper deck and vise-versa on lower

 

3) New redevelop same direction, wye style train terminal with 8 platforms.  What's unique about this set up is that I am taking advantage of the figure 8 track layout so that the 2 mainline tracks will approach the station in the same direction.  Thus both east and westbound train will go head first into the station.  The station is also made higher than the Kato Viaduct pillars so that my trains can take advantage of the force of gravity to back out the station.  The Unitram basic set will sit on top of the half exposed terminal.

 

4) The ugliest part of my layout will have a new background by photocopying the backdrop provided by Kato in the Unitram set.

 

5)  This is about the only thing untouched so far since they are hard to take apart.

 

More will follow.  :grin

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KenS

Very nice.  What are you using to hold up your viaduct station above the other track?\

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to2leo

Very nice.  What are you using to hold up your viaduct station above the other track?\

 

I had contemplated on that for a long time.  At first I was thinking of stackable shoes shelves.  Then, Kato viaduct pillars and finally decided to use cash receipt discarded cores because they are durable, perfect height and free to obtain.  Also in my workplace, the cores comes in various shape and sizes, so I can use them from pillars to supporting beam to my skyscrapers.

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Bernard

Very nice Leo!  :icon_thumright:

What are the dimensions now of Ecosys layout?

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Martijn Meerts

Do you have a general sketch or something of the track plan?

 

P1030598.JPG looks quite spaghetti-ish, and it shows an interesting placement of turnouts directly left of the dupont box  :grin

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to2leo

These are very good questions because, you are going to dislike me for this, I never did any measurements or track plan for Ecosys.  I created a big picture of what I want to accomplish and try to turn that image into reality by meeting my goals.

 

My goals for this current layout are:

1) Stackable heavy duty shelves for easy assembly or disassembly and to put the layout on.

1a) The shelf's plates has to have holes to fit the wires through, hence the packing paper under my tracks.

2) 2 mainline loops going opposite directions.

3) 2 Terminals and 2 stations.

4) Incorporate a wye layout in a train terminal so that the whole train consist can change direction...just like in real life.

4a) In this case, I am using Kato's double crossover so that I can park two trains into it.

5) Have enough hidden sidings to fit my growing collection.

6) Hidden sidings should be reachable by hands with ease.

 

Update 2010:

7) Incorporate a urban tram layout.

8) Setback style layout so that all the taller structures will be located at the back.

9) Layout should have the ability to evolve overtime.

 

Setbacks of my method:

1) Forever relying on Kato or Tomix tracks for quick and secure assembly.

2) Constant trials and errors for type of track use, fortunately Kato and Tomix have tons to choose from.

3) Will drive friends or partner insane if they wanted to help.  :laugh:

 

What I like about my method:

1) Can begin as quickly as possible.

2) Love the method of trials and errors.

3) Love the challenge of reaching my goals with limited resources and space.

 

BUT for you Bernard and Martijn, I will give you the answers but it will take some time  :laugh:

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Martijn Meerts

Ah, I thought it was a static layout, but it's more or less a modular one ;)

 

And there's nothing wrong with experimenting, I do it quite a bit. I'd probably do it even more if I had more Finetrack.

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Bernard

Leo - It's all about having fun and it looks like you're having a ton of it!

I like comment #3 in "Set backs in my method" category...."will drive friends and partner insane if they try to help"

That could be a thread by itself.  :grin

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to2leo

Hi everyone,

Sorry for not posting for at least 120 days from my layout.  2010 has been quite a ride for many of us.

 

But I am now able to balance between my work and my social life and so I am back.

 

The first item of business was figuring out how to add another level so that I can incorporate Unitram into my layout while not resorting to nails and wood.  The reason is because I like and adopted Kato's modular concept.

 

Believe it or not, I found stackable shoes shelves as a good solution.  As a result, I started adding to my central terminal to see if it works.

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to2leo

I then quickly added a quick backdrop from Kato and some diorama buildings from HK to test it out.

 

I also found that some the cardboard boxes have gaps big enough to plug the leftover barriers from Kato's Viaduct Station series that I got.

 

So I decided to use these cardboard boxes as the new upper level base.  No nail, no wood needed!

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to2leo

Next, I used my recently purchased blue Tomix Vacuum car to suck up all the dirt that lingered on the tracks for months.

 

Pictured here was also my recently purchase SBB engine from the HObbytraiN IC2000 set and my trusty 'old' Tomix Vacuum car.

 

And yes, I would highly recommend these little suckers!  They not only suck but also polish your rails, with the right accessories of course.

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to2leo

Then, I reconnected all the tracks and began testing the height of my bridges, viaducts and station to ensure my tallest cars, in this case the Kato Gunderson MAXI-IV Double Stack car, can safely pass through.

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to2leo

After, I test ran some of my favourites and newly purchase trains around Ecosys.

 

Such as the Narita E259, Fleischmann ICE-T and TGV Duplex.

 

Next item to work on, figuring out how to create platforms for the train terminal.

 

Anyone has any good platform templates with yellow line and tile that I can print out...or suggestions?

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to2leo

I am also interested in figuring how to create a dramatic glass roof with simple craft skills.

Some of the design that I am looking at are these.

 

Feel free to add yours if you are interested!

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KenS

I'm not sure I followed that, but the cardboard is the first level and the shoe shelves are the second, right?

 

I think the shoe shelves are a neat idea.  I'm less certain about the cardboard.  My concern is that even if it's good to start, over time it's going to sag anywhere it isn't supported.  Still, I expect you could find a way to fix that if it happens.

 

All in all quite interesting, I'll be interested in more details as you move ahead.

 

As for the station roof, one idea that leaps to mind is the thin plastic diffusers sold for large fluorescent light fixtures (typically 2' x 4').  This is usually thin enough to bend into a mild curve, and one with a pebled texture bent over some kind of wood frame (painted to look like concrete), might form the kind of curved structure you're looking for. You'd need some way to clamp it in place, or to heat it evenly and bend it to shape, which would be harder.  The hardest pare would be cutting it to size, but the scribe-and-snape technique used on sheet plastic might work.

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to2leo

Hmm interesting, I never would have thought of looking into the light fixture section of my local home building store for materials.

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scott

FWIW, I used very narrow yellow pinstriping tape (normally used for RC aircraft, iirc) to make yellow stripes on our platforms.

 

I'll be curious to see what you come up with for glass roofs. I'm in the midst of a similar search for ways to do green roofs and interesting roof shapes.

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Martijn Meerts

I'm pretty sure Evergreen plastic has sheets of clear plastic in various thicknesses. Those could be used as the basis for some large window roof structure, you can glue on plastic strips/profiles to simulate some support structure. Of course, you can also make the support structure first and put in the windows afterwards.

 

To create colored glass, various brands have various clear paint colors. I've used Humbrol's clear orange (enamel paint in this case) to color white LED's to give them a much warmer tint. Using clear paint on larger pieces like a roof would probably require them to be thinned and spray painted to get a good, even result.

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to2leo

@Scott, interesting suggestion for the yellow line or ADA Platform Warning Band with Yellow Line.

 

Apparently Wheels of Time is going to sell them for $20 for four sets of 8"!

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ETA 2010/11

 

@Martjin, I am also eyeing those plastic see-thru poly file folders that are available in local stationary stores.

 

I especially like those sky blue or tinted green colours!

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cteno4

Most of these glass features are either clear or partially tinted and color is from colored lights. Might be fun to try with some LEDs and some colored filters on white LEDs.

 

Many of the clear acrylics you can bend by putting them in very hot water then pressing over a shape.

 

You can also make small mullion lines in thicker acrylic with a plastic scriber ou by dragging a matte knife blade backwards.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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