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Grizzly Valley N scale layout

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  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 1,565 posts
Posted by angelob6660 on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 6:53 PM

Robert, 

No its not overkill to have 4 blocks for a small DC layout. Numerous books has stated that's a good thing to run more than one train.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 8:02 AM

Thanks for the replay, I am actually using the NEC power cab to power and control my layout. 

Robert

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, March 25, 2018 8:56 AM

Everything is looking great, Robert! Thumbs Up

If your wife thinks your work area is a disaster, she would pass out at the site of mine!,  and I'm talking about about my work bench areas.   When my layout was under construction, it was a cluttered mess!

But that's just the way construction sites are, an organized mess  Laugh

Mike.

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    January, 2018
  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Monday, March 26, 2018 1:08 PM

Thanks Mike.  My work bench is also just as bad. I tend to clean it off before a new project and by the time I finish it i am working on the area of a postage stamp. :-)

Robert

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    January, 2018
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Posted by RWSlater on Monday, April 02, 2018 8:01 AM
It’s time for the weekly update to the Grizzly.  Finished laying and wiring the track for the main oval and the logging spur.   I also installed some of my caboose ground throws and a blue point switch machine. I had bought some Caboose Industries 224S switch machines the ones with the contacts. I could not get them to stay together so I just cut off the contacts and will use frog juicers instead to power my frogs. I still need to install the pull rod for the blue point.  I ran my engine and cars around the layout forwards and backwards for about 2 hours everything is working great. Now that I said that Murphy is going to come out and play.
 
 
 
 
Started to work on the back mountains because I will never say that the reach is to far but I will need to make sure the back corner mountains are completed before I can do any of the front scenery.  I keep reminding myself that was the compromise I made for this track plan. Still like the plan just need to do things just a little different.  I also learned that I need to make sure if I want to use rock molds I leave about ½” and 1” of room between my right of way and the foam. I did not do it so I am experimenting with carving the rock face into the foam and putting on a plaster wash over it.  After putting on the plaster I think it might work. We will see when I paint it. Also started on making some pine trees with furnace filter material, keeping my fingers crossed everything works out.
 
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Posted by swisstrain on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 12:25 PM

Really like the progression of your layout.  Your wiring is well organized and very neat.  Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to work on my layout now for several weeks.

I am curious to see how you will install the rodding for the Bluepoint switch machines.  Like you, I am planning to use Caboose ground throws for easily accessible locations, and a couple of Bluepoint machines for locations that are accessible, but which would require reaching over terrain.

Please keep the updates coming!

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  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:54 AM

swisstrain

Really like the progression of your layout.  Your wiring is well organized and very neat.  Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to work on my layout now for several weeks.

I am curious to see how you will install the rodding for the Bluepoint switch machines.  Like you, I am planning to use Caboose ground throws for easily accessible locations, and a couple of Bluepoint machines for locations that are accessible, but which would require reaching over terrain.

Please keep the updates coming!

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and I will make sure and put stuff up for the blue point switch machine.

 

Robert

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  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Sunday, April 15, 2018 12:58 PM
Another exciting updated from the Grizzly Valley.  I finished up with the plaster and sculpt a mold on the hills and rock face along the back of the layout. The plaster work was mostly a skim coat over the pink foam. I used the sculpt a mold for the hill that the wife calls plumbers crack mountain. It did have that look when it was first carved.   I did really like using the Sculpt a mold it was easy to work with.
 
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  • From: Phoenix, AZ
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Posted by bearman on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:32 AM

Looks really neat, and you beat me to the punch.  I was going to suggest that you completely scenick the mountains before you did anything else.  BTW, I might have missed it but what curve radius are you using through the mountains and the tunnel?

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by RWSlater on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:44 AM

bearman

Looks really neat, and you beat me to the punch.  I was going to suggest that you completely scenick the mountains before you did anything else.  BTW, I might have missed it but what curve radius are you using through the mountains and the tunnel?

 

 

Thanks Bearman.  No problem on the curve radius I don’t think I had said what they were.  I am using 11.25” radius curves through he tunnel and mountains. The radiuses of the curves going around the mountain in the center of the backdrop are 15” and 12.5”.

Robert

  • Member since
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  • From: Phoenix, AZ
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Posted by bearman on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:44 AM

Before you buy any more locomotives and rolling stock, Check to make sure that they will make it around those 11.25" curves.  

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by RWSlater on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:30 AM

bearman

Before you buy any more locomotives and rolling stock, Check to make sure that they will make it around those 11.25" curves.  

 

Thanks Bearman for the heads up about the engines and rolling stock. I knew I would be limited on what I could run on the layout.  For this current layout it is set in the mid 1930 and I am using 4-4-0 and looking for a shay for the logging camp.  The cars will be 40’ verity.  
 

 

Robert
 

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  • 478 posts
Posted by trwroute on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:22 AM

Impressive!  Great attention to detail on everything.Yes

Chuck - Modeling in N scale and anything narrow gauge

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  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Sunday, April 22, 2018 1:03 PM
Time for the weekly Grizzly Valley updated.  It’s been a very productive week managed to build 30 trees from scratch and get the far corner of my layout sceniced.  IT came out very nicely but I still need to work on the trees some more as I work on the next 100 I will need.
 
The first thing I did was to put down my dirt ground cover which is comprised of tile grout and dirt.  I did not have a set ratio just mixed it by eye till I liked the way it looked. Put down some glue and then hit it with some alcohol and water and let it dry.  It is nice and hard when dry.
 
 
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Posted by swisstrain on Monday, April 23, 2018 3:01 PM

I love that scene with the logged area, looks incredibly believable.  Makes my fingers itching, and wanting to continue work on my layout, but it has stalled for the moment due to some home improvement projects that could not wait any longer.

Keep the updates coming, very inspirational!

Urs

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    January, 2018
  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Sunday, April 29, 2018 4:25 PM
Its time for another update on the Grizzly. The tree making is going slowly and no new scenery was done.  I did work on a kit for the layout instead of the trees. I built the RSlaserkit Saw Filers Shack it will be used in my logging camp. It is a nice little kit. It has some very fine details and it was a little challenging for me to get it all to gather.  The kit comes with a milled L- corner trim pieces and it looks great on the building. I decided to paint up a figure really quickly and put him into the shack with him working on a saw.  You would never know he is wearing lederhosen, I did wonder were I would use him.
 
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Posted by RWSlater on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 5:18 PM
Quick update on the Grizzly.  Finished up more of the landscape against the back walls.  Here are some quick shots.
 
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Posted by RWSlater on Sunday, May 13, 2018 7:25 AM
It’s time for another exciting update to the Grizzly. Actually it has been a little slow between procrastination on building trees and the fine weather here in Arizona. I have managed to complete some trees and the rest of the pine trees should be finished today. Then I can install the next section of forest.
 
I also managed to design my timber tunnel portals and the southern timber retaining walls. I am using a CAD program called QCAD. There trial version is free and if I like it I can purchase it for $44.00. I am finding it a easy program to work with only down side is the trial version only operates for 15 min. at a time.  With the design done I ordered some scale lumber to build the portals and walls. Of course it would have been cheaper to by the readymade portals but they just don’t look the same.
 
So that is it for now. Hopefully there is more update by next weekend.
 
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Posted by RWSlater on Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:17 AM
It’s time for another great grizzly valley update. 89 trees later and I have finished the background area I will have difficulty reaching. Now I will just have to finish a Kit I am working on and then I will be moving back to laying the rest of the track and testing it so I can run some trains again. Once that is finished and I get my scale lumber it is time to build some tunnel portals and build up that side of the layout.
 
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  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Sunday, May 20, 2018 1:29 PM
Just finished up one more building for my logging camp. It is the RSlaser kit Logging/Kitchen shack.  It was a nice kit to work with. I am quickly deciding that only the brave work in N-scale. My fine motor skills are coming along so I have a soft touch when I hold the kit and don’t crash it in my big hands.  Only had one mishap with the kit and that did not happen till I took it out to photograph it on the porch. It decided to jump off the porch railing and fall 10’ to the ground. Great news is that wood glue holds great bad news I lost my ice box that I had installed and I am not getting it back into place. You might notice one shot with just a black hole.  Note to self find a new place to photograph my kits that don’t have a 10’ drop.
 
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Posted by swisstrain on Monday, May 21, 2018 10:50 AM

Really like the way how this comes together, and in particular the way you are blending the back end of your your layout into the backdrop.  Will keep following along!

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Posted by RWSlater on Saturday, June 02, 2018 11:03 AM

Thanks a lot for following along on this adventurer.

 

Robert

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    January, 2018
  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Saturday, June 02, 2018 11:04 AM
It’s that time again for another exciting Grizzly update. Finally go t the entire track down that I can. Still have to more small sections but they are waiting on me to make up my mind on what I want to do with those to sidings.  Have been running the model power 4-4-0 around the layout testing the turnouts and track. I have found that the 4-4-0 is very choppy at speed step 10 and slower it will not move  bellow speed step 8. In time I will have to play with it some more and see it I can get a little smoother action out of it. Here are some shots of it in action.
 
 
 
 
Only had two problems with the track in one section of track I was having some slippage of the drive wheels going at slow speed at speed step 11 and slower. After some investigation I found that that end of the layout was about ½ a bubble out of level. Re-leveled that corner at it is working better. Still need to do some more work getting that corner level problem is I have some very thick carpet and thick carpet pad and the legs keep settling just going to have to keep adjusting them.
The other problem I have is with my #5 code 55 atlas turnouts.  When I got them they were bowed in the center it was like all eight had been stacked on to a wood dowel in the center and had weight put on them.  In my naivety I figured when I installed them on the layout I could get the bow worked out. Well it mostly worked.  I am having difficulties with some of the turnouts at slow speeds after looking closer the turnouts bowed both directions and sometimes at slow speed (speed step 10 and slower) both tender trucks will be raised on the frog and lose power to the engine.  So the good news is I think if I power the frogs everything will work out or I can just make sure I am going at speed step 11 or higher. I learned a valuable lesson next time I order turn outs and they are bowed back they go to the vendor.
The great news is the Blue point switch machine went in great and it works very smoothly. I have the frog powered up through the switch.  I never really appreciated how fast the underside of the layout can get really crowded with the electrical until I finished my wiring. I am glad I tried to stay organized.
 
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  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Sunday, June 03, 2018 1:57 PM
Just a quick update for this weekend.  Made some forward progress on the layout just not allot. I installed the Caboose ground throws on all my switches and wyes. I also worked on the engine house for the logging camp. I got it drawn enough to prepare a mock up to see its shape and how much space it is going to take up.  I like the way it is coming out. I figure another couple days on designing and drawing it and then it will be ready for construction.   So what do you all think about it?
 
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Posted by swisstrain on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 1:35 PM

Hi Robert, as always enjoyng your updates.  That mock-up stands for a handsome little Engine House, I think it will look good.

Also like the pictures of your wiring, looks neeatand orderly.

Since I made some progress over the last couple of weeks on my own layout (will post in the next couple of days), I have some questions on your wiring, if you don't mind:

  • In some of the pictures, I am seeing two buses, I am assuming that they are feeding two separate blocks, as you mention in an earlier post(?).  What size wire are you using for the bus?  Guessing AWG14?
  • The connectors to the bus that you are using, are they the Wirefy T-Tap kind?  Assuming you like them, or you wouldn't use them?  Any negative experiences with them re: making connection? I don't want to go under my layout and solder, and from the pictures, I like these better than the usual suitcase connectors...
  • I am assuming the green wire from the bluepoint machine is powering the frog, correct?

Thanks again for sharing the progress on your layout.

  • Member since
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  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 6:07 AM

swisstrain

Hi Robert, as always enjoyng your updates.  That mock-up stands for a handsome little Engine House, I think it will look good.

Also like the pictures of your wiring, looks neeatand orderly.

Since I made some progress over the last couple of weeks on my own layout (will post in the next couple of days), I have some questions on your wiring, if you don't mind:

  • In some of the pictures, I am seeing two buses, I am assuming that they are feeding two separate blocks, as you mention in an earlier post(?).  What size wire are you using for the bus?  Guessing AWG14?
  • The connectors to the bus that you are using, are they the Wirefy T-Tap kind?  Assuming you like them, or you wouldn't use them?  Any negative experiences with them re: making connection? I don't want to go under my layout and solder, and from the pictures, I like these better than the usual suitcase connectors...
  • I am assuming the green wire from the bluepoint machine is powering the frog, correct?

Thanks again for sharing the progress on your layout.

 

 

I am glad you are enjoying the updates.
  • I am running AWG #14 in 4 power districts. Each Power districted is marked with a different color electrical tape so I can easily see which district they are.  It is probably a little over kill but it has helped when I have to trace a problem.
  • I am using wire taps and quick connectors. I have found them to be reliable so far and they allow me to easily track down any problems. I just disconnect everything along the power district and then one by one re-plug them back together.
  • I am using green wire for all my frogs. I soldered a green wire to all my switches before I installed them.

Hope this helps out a little. any more questions just ask.

Robert

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  • 29 posts
Posted by swisstrain on Thursday, June 07, 2018 9:19 AM

Thanks for the responses/confirmations.  I will probably go with just one power district, maybe two.

Was meanwhile able to post some progress on my own layout.

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  • 61 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Monday, June 25, 2018 9:04 AM
After needing some TNT to get the work crews working again on the Grizzly Valley we are making some forward progress on the logging camp. I have currently built all 5 building of the RSLaser Kit Consolidated Timber Camp.  I still have to finish up the roofs and weather them. 
 
I have made the lumber camp in a removable section to make it easier to work on and I can reuse it on another layout if I want to.  I am working on the retaining walls and walkways before I put down my sculpt a mold so everything can be set into it. Don’t want the buildings hovering above the ground.
 
I am hoping to keep making steady progress on this and not have the work crews go on a strike again.
 
Thanks for stopping by
Robert
 
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Posted by RWSlater on Sunday, July 08, 2018 12:48 PM
Its that time again for a great update on the Grizzly. I have been slowly working away at the logging camp this weekend.  I got the base sculpted and installed the retaining walls. Then I put down a layer of sculpt-a-mold that was colored with some acrylic craft paint.  Finished up putting on the roofs and smoke stacks on all the shacks now I just need to weather them and they are done. The roofs were painted in different shades of gray using a flat brush that was a scale 36” wide.  I was not patient or accurate enough to cut up that many 36” wide panels. I think I am going to keep my eyes open for a paper cutter.
 

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