Super O Layout Progress

2539 views
35 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Super O Layout Progress
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Monday, August 27, 2018 10:05 PM

Hey everyone.  I'm finally getting started on my Super O dealer display style layout.  It's going to be an L shaped layout measuring 14x6 feet with one end extending 8 feet.  I will be using all postwar trains, transformers, accessories, etc.  Here's some pictures of my benchwork and after I painted the surface white.  This is keeping with the style of the dealer displays Lionel built for stores in the postwar years.  Green paint and 919 grass will be added later.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,621 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 6:46 PM

Sounds like you're not just building a layout, you're building a time machine!  Bow

Please, keep us posted!

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,408 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 7:06 PM

Pics didn't show up.  Can you try again?  Big Smile

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

  • Member since
    April, 2005
  • From: South Carolina
  • 9,343 posts
Posted by rtraincollector on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 7:36 PM

You need a site like shutterfly to host your pictures. Then bring there code to here. Please read Bob Kellers post at the top how to post pictures.  http://cs.trains.com/ctt/f/95/t/270990.aspx 

We all would love to see your progress

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

http://rtssite.shutterfly.com/

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • 195 posts
Posted by Michael6268 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 8:40 PM

If you click on the icons they show up for me.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Thursday, August 30, 2018 12:25 AM

Ok I think I figured this out.  Heres a few pictures of the benchwork and early progress.  As you can see in the backround, the layout isn't the only thing I'm wiring at the moment.  More photos to come...

 

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Saturday, September 01, 2018 10:26 PM

I got most of the first level's track down by now.  There are two main loops that circle the outside of the table.  I've noticed that some engines don't like crossovers and/or switches so I decided to have none of those on these two main lines.   A third loop inside of them will have all the switching and operating accessories.  I also have two point to point lines for motorized units like the #50 gang car and #60 trolley.

One of the hardest decisions I had to make was choosing which operating accessories to include in the space I had available.  I think I've managed to include a good representation of the 1950's offerings without overcrowding.  I wanted to set them up as they were displayed in the catalogs and display layouts of the postwar years.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,621 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, September 02, 2018 11:29 AM

Impressive, VERY impressive!

A question.  Is the table-top color (looks like pale grey) the final color, or is the track plan you've got on it now just a "dress rehearsal" to see how it all works with the final color to be added before the track plan's permanent?

Just curious.

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,408 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, September 02, 2018 7:12 PM

Call Webster's.  We have a new definition for the word ACTION!  Big Smile

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 5:03 AM

Thanks, guys.  The color on the table is a Behr off-white called "smooth silk".  That's going to be the color of the roadbed, roadways, and outline of all the accessories, buildings, etc.  I remember reading that Lionel made up silk screen templates with the track plan and accessories for their different display layouts.  They would first paint the table white and then use the template to paint the rest of the table green before sprinkling on the grass.  The track and accessories were added at the end before the layout was shipped out. 

Since I'm only creating one, I tried a method on two previous smaller layouts where I used blue painters tape to cover all of the fastened track and mark out where accessories will be placed.  After the green paint and grass were added and dried, I peeled off the tape and you'd have nice crisp lines and a layout that looked very similar to the originals.  Here's a small layout I built previously.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,621 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 6:40 PM

Nice!  Yes

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Thursday, September 06, 2018 6:26 AM

I'm not sure if most people build their permanent control panel later on in the process, but having it built now (as I start wiring the first level) makes the process a lot easier for me.  Sticking with the dealer display style, I wanted to recreate one of these simple but nice looking green control panels.  Although using modern toggle switches would be cheaper and easier, I really wanted to use these cool 364C switches along with the other postwar controls.  Although there are only 2 ZWs on the panel, a few other transformers will be under the table to power unphased lights and accessories.

Here are some pictures of the control panel in-progress...

  • Member since
    January, 2013
  • 839 posts
Posted by lion88roar on Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:32 AM

WOW! That is really impressive!

I had to take down my train garden earlier this year in prep for the new to our new house in a year or so. I have enjoyed monitoring this thread as it has given me a number of ideas for what to do next.

Thank you for sharing! I hope to see this in a coming issue of CTT!

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • 97 posts
Posted by Roger Carp on Thursday, September 06, 2018 2:32 PM

Hi,

 

We are CTT would like to learn more about your layout so we can consider publishing an article about it in our magazine.

 

Please contact me at 262-796-8776 ext. 253

 

Sincerely,

 

Roger Carp

Senior editor

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,621 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, September 06, 2018 6:57 PM

Hey Roger, how's Bob Keller doing?  Has anyone heard?

PM me if you have to keep it private.  Some of us are still worried about Bob and hoping he's OK.

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 505 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, September 07, 2018 4:48 PM

Your workmanship is top notch !

Great job !

 

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • 264 posts
Posted by robmcc on Sunday, September 09, 2018 12:05 PM

Great job so far! I still have a small Super O (4'x6'!) layout that I use from time to time. I always liked Super O track, even when the "urban myths" scared many away. Too bad Lionel didn't expand their offerings with it.

Rob

 

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Sunday, September 09, 2018 9:08 PM

Thanks, everyone!  Roger, it was good talking with you... thank you again for your interest in the layout.  We'll be in touch.

Rob, I completely agree.  It would have been nice to have different radius curves. They were also a few years too late on releasing it.  Luckly for me those "urban myths" exist so there's more track out there to buy up Yes

As far as progress goes, I've been getting more wiring done and built this platform for my accessory transformers.  Next to the ZW, the TW is my favorite and I didn't want to hide it under the table somewhere.  The TW and 1033's are great because I have 25, 18, 16, 14, 11, and 5 volt fixed options between them.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 505 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 8:50 PM

Those 1033's are nice.

It's funny, when I go from the 1033 to the LW, I always wind up turning the throttle handle the wrong way.

Things can get real exciting in a hurry....

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Saturday, September 15, 2018 2:24 AM

Paul, I've grown so accustomed to the 1033 and up until now never used the TW so I'm in the same boat.  I have the TW powering my trolley line and thanks to a 364C switch to turn it on/off I just set it and forget it.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Saturday, September 15, 2018 2:51 AM

I've started adding the "grass" over the painted table and wanted to show you all my process.  I acquired 10 bags of original #919 grass over the past few years and each is a little different in color, so I combined all their contents into a bucket and blended them together to get a nice even tone.

  

Then I used a roll of blue painter tape, traced and cut in a 1/4 inch strip using a utility knife so I can peel off the small strip to run along the track and accessory edges.  Using a normal roll of blue tape, I covered all the exposed surfaces so nothing would get green paint on it.  Home-made cardboard templates were used for #71 Lamp Posts and #310 Billboards.

  

Then I paint the exposed area green and immediately sprinkle on a generous amount of the #919 grass.  After it's allowed to dry, I brush off the excess grass and peel off the tape.  A quick pass with the vacuum to get any loose grass and you have the finished product.... ready to add all the billboards, lamps, accessories, etc.

  • Member since
    April, 2005
  • From: South Carolina
  • 9,343 posts
Posted by rtraincollector on Saturday, September 15, 2018 7:10 AM

Looks great

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

http://rtssite.shutterfly.com/

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:53 AM

Thanks, RT.  I had a few extra #70 Yard Lights and thought a cool way to use them would be to illuminate the control panel.  I added a 364C switch to control the 2 lights and positioned them so they illuminate most of the panel.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2004
  • 811 posts
Posted by EIS2 on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 10:34 AM

I am really impressed with your layout.  I really enjoy running the postwar trains.  I have a few Lionel and MTH command control trains, but they are shelf queens.  I only run them occasionally to exercise the electronics and back on the shelf they go. 

I do run some Williams loco.  I like the Williams for their robustness and reliability.  But my heart is still with postwar Lionel and American Flyer.  I like to grab the handles of a ZW or KW and operate the trains.  That is much more satisfying, to me, then turning a little dial on a remote control.

Earl

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 505 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 11:42 PM

That'S a clever use for the yard lights. You've got some great ideas !

I like the postwar trains, too. But everybody finds what they like best, and that's o.k., too.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Friday, September 21, 2018 9:34 PM

Thanks!  Everyone has different things they want to get out of the hobby and there are so many options.  For me, postwar is so appealing because of the simplicity to operate, cost vs newer items, quality, durability, nostalgia, and of course.... the smell of ozone and SP smoke.  I personally love the challenge of not having command control.  Planning out power blocks, uncoupler/control rail placement, etc is half the fun of it.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 1:15 AM

The latest task I've tackled is figuring out a way to get my #132 Auto-Stop Station up and running.... but with a twist.  I have two of the main loops that run through my passenger terminal and I wanted to be able to utilize the auto-stop feature on either track.  Sticking with my theme of utilizing only postwar controls, I was able to wire a 390C (Double Pole, Double Throw) and a 364C (Single Pole, Double Throw) to accomplish this.  Here's a rough diagram:

When both switches are in the UP position, the inside loop's isolated center control rail gets constant power from the ZW's D terminal (otherwise the train would just stop in the isolated section of track) Meanwhile, the outside loop's control rail is powered by the station's auto-stop feature (via ZW terminal A).

When the switches are in the DOWN position, the ZW's A terminal powers the outer loops isolated section and the inner loops control rail is powered by the station (via ZW terminal D).  The auto-stop feature can be disabled by adjusting the lever inside the station.

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • 505 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 8:06 PM

Your wiring diagram reminds me of a little story :

 so, I have the Flyer 326 Hudson from the mid 50's.

Roger Carp did a piece on this engine a few years back in "Focus on Classics", and he talked about all the fine features this engine has, including an electronic whistle. I was at a train show 3 years ago, and I picked up the whistle controller for cheap.

I was so excited to hear this whistle ! I downloaded the wiring diagram off the internet, and proceeded to make this girl sing !

upon completing a fairly convoluted wiring hookup, I pushed, and pushed that whistle button, and nothing happened. What could have gone wrong? Rechecked my wiring, everything is good.

Finally, I opened up the tender to discover some previous owner had removed the speaker !

your wiring diagram looks great, and I know you'll fair much better than I did !

Paul

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: North Texas
  • 4,825 posts
Posted by wrmcclellan on Thursday, October 04, 2018 8:18 PM

Cool looking layout! I like the display layout inspiration!

Paul - good story!

Regards, Roy

            

  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 19 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Friday, October 05, 2018 11:52 PM

Paul,

I had a similar experience with wiring my station.  I tried a few different wiring combinations over a couple of days and kept having the same issue: the inside loop's train would stop and not start again.  I figured out the isolated block wasn't getting power and assumed it was the way I had it wired.  As a last resort I tugged the wire to the lockon and VOILA!!! it worked.  The wire was just loose Sigh  The solution usually is easier than you think...

Not much getting done on the layout right now but I did pick up a Lionel Stool for the control panel.  Also found a good spot to display some of my boxes in a window sill.  Never had any water get in since its covered by a deck and slightly above ground so they should be fine.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month