Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Building a layout on a rotisserie

30935 views
686 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,934 posts
Posted by rrinker on Saturday, April 25, 2020 11:05 PM

 Not sure why Walthers can't get their new stuff to work on smaller curves. Rapido is just better engineered I guess. They have FAR more detail than any Walthers car ever made, yet the trucks do not snag on it. And they don't have any sort of odd geared swivel coupler mount like Bachmann used on some cars (maybe all? I don't do passenger trains). There's a reason Rapido costs a bit more. I almost want one of those diners even though they aren't even close to anything my railroad would run - china and silverware on the tables, and WATER PITCHERS! Not to mention a fully detailed kitchen even though on some cars there aren;t even any windows on the kitchen side so you can't see in there unless you take the shell off!

 Please do some standard Reading cars (not special ones like the Crusader set) and I will run a passenger train or two in my schedule.

                                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, April 25, 2020 11:58 PM

mbinsewi
I know NOT to buy Walthers passenger cars.

Hi Mike,

I wish I had known that a couple of years ago when I bought eight Walthers CP passenger cars. I already had a set of Con-Cor cars but the Walthers ones were much better detailed including having interiors, and they were ridiculously cheap. Now maybe I know why!

So now I have to make a choice. Either I mess with the track plan which I am very happy with, or I mess with the Walthers cars to get them to run on 22" if that is possible, or I get rid of the Walthers cars and buy something more reliable.

Hmmmm....

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 26, 2020 1:23 AM

hon30critter
So now I have to make a choice. Either I mess with the track plan which I am very happy with, or I mess with the Walthers cars to get them to run on 22" if that is possible, or I get rid of the Walthers cars and buy something more reliable.

After studying the plan I realized that I could get 24" radii curves on the outer loop without having to change much, and I would still not have any track that is running right next to the fascia (which I really dislike).

I also recalled that I had attempted to run the Walthers Canadian cars on my old club's portable layout a while ago and three out of eight cars had problems. That was on 32" radii so the odds on getting them to work nicely on 24" curves are pretty low. I will have a look at the three cars that had problems to see if there are any solutions, but quite frankly my current feelings are to just get rid of them and invest in something that will work. I'd rather spend my time on other projects.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 26, 2020 1:43 AM

Further to the issue of having to mask 126 windows and doors on the City Classics Baum Blvd. building, I'm going to try a different approach to the problem. I tested the masking tape method but I found that getting the tape into the right position was very difficult. In particular, it had a tendancy to sink into the window openings and not sit smoothly on the frame. It occurred to me that I might be able to use thin styrene to mask the windows instead. It should be fairly easy to cut the styrene to fit snuggly, and if I use several very light coats of paint and let the paint flash off between coats, I should be able to avoid having the paint bleed under the styrene masks.

Then I had another thought! (Amazing - two thoughts in a row!). I can paint the walls in segments. If I do only two storys at a time I will only need to cut 16 styrene masks, and I can re-use them for each succeeding two story segment of the building.

I'll let you know if this turns out to be a disaster or not!Smile, Wink & Grin

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 19,551 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 26, 2020 5:11 AM

Dave, you will probably find this advice unwelcome, but I think that you are approaching the painting of the window frames in the wrong way and, therefore, wasting your time.

In my experience, masking the wall areas around the window frames or inserting shields into the window frames while painting the walls around them is futile. Leakage and bleeding of the paint will inevitably occur.

Again, in my experience, the only way to do this right is to paint the window frames first and then hand paint the walls around the window frames.

Just my My 2 Cents

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    May 2010
  • 7,127 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, April 26, 2020 7:17 AM

hon30critter
or I mess with the Walthers cars to get them to run on 22" if that is possible,

I had to do some "butchering", to get a couple of the Walthers cars to work good on my 24"r.

It was ugly, making any prototype modeler cringe.

I buildt a GN train, in the "Big Sky Blue", and it is a mixture of a couple of Walthers cars and the rest Rapido.  The blue on both manufacturers was a close enough match for me.

The Rivorossi cars worked, but they also have the talgo style trucks, with the long coupler.

On my "Fantasy" passenger train, still in the works, I'm using the Athearn 72'er's

Mike.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,618 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 26, 2020 8:48 AM

hon30critter
I wish I had known that a couple of years ago when I bought eight Walthers CP passenger cars.

All the passenger cars I operate are Rivarossi, IHC, or Athearn. The detail is not the best, but they operate fine, and that is more important to me.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 26, 2020 8:47 PM

richhotrain
Dave, you will probably find this advice unwelcome, but I think that you are approaching the painting of the window frames in the wrong way and, therefore, wasting your time. In my experience, masking the wall areas around the window frames or inserting shields into the window frames while painting the walls around them is futile. Leakage and bleeding of the paint will inevitably occur. Again, in my experience, the only way to do this right is to paint the window frames first and then hand paint the walls around the window frames.

Hi Rich,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I do not find your advice to be unwelcome in any way!

I was hoping to avoid hand painting because my hands tend to shake. Painting a straight line is an exercise in frustration. I have thought of using a clear coat to try to seal the edges of the masks and then, after the colour is applied and dry, using a #11 blade to cut the seal before removing the masks. I'm sure I will have to do some touch ups.

It's worth a try. If worse comes to worst, I'll just paint everything the same colour.

I need about a dozen downtown buildings. The City Classics kits will make three of them. I plan on using the Lunde Studios buildings which are similar in appearance  to the City Classics for three or four others. The Lunde kits come with separate windows so getting different colours is easy. Unfortunately, they are three times the price. I have had the City Classics kits for years so I figured I would see if I can make them work. The fringes of the downtown area will have buildings like Saulina's Tavern and the Flop House by Bar Mills as well as a couple of Blair Line kits.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 27, 2020 1:48 AM

I got the masking pieces for the windows and doors on the Baum Blvd. building cut out. They fit very snuggly. I used an old trick of mine (I'm sure others have done it too) to get the cut lines exactly parallel. Instead of using smooth styrene I use 'V' groove sheets. To get a strip that is exactly the same width all the way down, I simply cut along the grooves. In some cases the spacing is perfect. That was the case with the windows on the front of the building. In other cases the strips had to be trimmed very slightly but that is easy to do with a proper straight edge. Once I had the strips at the proper width it was easy to cut them to the proper length. I have a machinist's square with a very shallow base that allows me to make the perpendicular cuts quite precisely.

I was surprised that it didn't take me very long to make enough pieces to mask two storys at a time. Unfortunately I will have to wait for warmer weather before I can test the masking process. I do my painting in my garage and it is still too cold for the paint to flash off quickly. I believe that having the paint flash off as quickly as possible will be essential to my masking method.

Stay tuned!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 27, 2020 3:17 AM

I have a bunch of things on order. Most of the stuff is building kits and there are some turnouts as well as a bunch of styrene and detail parts. I added the on-order stuff up and it just makes it into the four figure bracket ($Cdn.).

There is still a ways to go. I still have to buy the benchwork materials as well as all of the scenery supplies. However, the total cost for the layout would appear to be well below what I had estimated so I am happy with that.

Now if only this darned Covid-19 thing would go away I could actually build the benchwork and end supports and have something to work with!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 19,551 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 27, 2020 4:55 PM

Dave, check out this new thread. I should have thought to mention a product to you that I mentioned on this other thread.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/282142/3239333.aspx#3239333

DAP makes a product called Seal 'N Peel Removable Caulk which peels away easily and won't damage painted surfaces.

You might try using it to mask your painted window frames.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 27, 2020 9:27 PM

richhotrain
DAP makes a product called Seal 'N Peel Removable Caulk which peels away easily and won't damage painted surfaces. You might try using it to mask your painted window frames.

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep it in mind if the styrene masks don't work.

I got the masks to fit pretty tightly so the biggest challenge will be to prevent the paint from bleeding under them. I was going to use regular brown rattle can primer for the brick colour, but I have decided to use my airbrush instead. The rattle cans put out a lot of paint so applying very light coats is difficult. The airbrush on the other hand is perfectly suited to applying light coats of paint.

Today I painted the backs of the walls black so light can't bleed through. I should have done that before painting the window frames but I didn't. Now I will have to repaint the window frames.Grumpy I was smart enough to mask the areas where the walls will be glued together.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 11:33 PM

Major progress on clearing out the garage today!!!

I returned six cases of empty beer bottles!! I got $15.20 back to spend on the layout!!

Seriously, we were restricted from returning empties up until a couple of weeks ago, so I finally got off my butt and did it. I have just enough space to start building the layout end supports so I'm going to order that lumber in the next few days.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    May 2010
  • 7,127 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, April 30, 2020 7:00 AM

Excellent!  Yes

Mike.

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 1, 2020 10:17 AM

I just asked for a quote for all the lumber for the benchwork. I had to go to Barrie to find a lumber yard with everything I needed. The local lumber yard wouldn't cut the plywood for me and they didn't have any select pine so they lost out. I will have the order delivered. Now I have to find space in the garage to put it!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, May 4, 2020 7:03 PM

I just got a quote for all the lumber and foam and the price is just about what I expected. That is amazing considering that I usually underestimate what things will cost significantly!

On Tuesday I will phone my Visa # to them and get the ball rolling. The garage is going to be a bit crowded until we can get rid of some junk, but that has to wait until the Covid-19 problem goes away.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 7:03 PM

Well, apparently the lumber company is extremely busy! I have tried for two days to place my order and the best I have gotten was a promise to "call you back in 10 minutes". They did call back two hours later but I was in the middle of taking a shower so I missed them.

I'm not complaining. I understand that they are working their butts off. In fact the call back came an hour after they were supposed to be closed, so they are trying. I just find it frustrating, now that I have decided to bite the bullet, to still be chewing on it!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 11:18 PM

Last night I drew up the plans for the control panels. There will be two control panels, one on either side of the layout. The south side which is where the service yard is will be able to control all the turnouts on the layout. The north side will be able to control everything except the service yard. I don't see the need for dual control in the yard since I will be on the yard side of the layout when I am switching the service yard.

The control panels came out smaller than what I had anticipated. I spent quite a bit of time making sure that there would be enough space between each of the LEDs and enough space for the toggle switches. The full sized prints appear to be fine in that regard. We shall see.

The wiring will be a bit complicated because almost all of the toggle switches on one side of the layout will be connected to the toggle switches on the other side of the layout. It will be interesting to see how neatly I can do that.

Here is the control panel for the south side. The upper half is the track on the opposite side of the layout. The panel is 22.5" x 8". Click on the picture for a larger image:

The picture shows red and green LEDs but they will all be bi-colour. For purposes of the diagram the green indications are for the normal route and the red indications (obviously) show the reverse route. The orange circles are the toggle switches and the purple dot above #21 is where the rotary switch will be to control the double slip.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,934 posts
Posted by rrinker on Thursday, May 7, 2020 10:39 AM

 Depending on how many toggles you need to cross over, I was going to suggest getting a hunk of 50 pair phone cable - although that appears to be way overkill in number of wires needed. Plus there is the issue of there being just 25 wire colors - so in 50 pair, there are two of everything, which gives you a 50-50 chance og hooking up the correct green pair the first time - in reality, since this is Murphy's favorite hobby as well, there's pretty much a 0 chance of getting the correct one.

 However - instead, you might want to get (usually fairly cheap since it's not used much any more) Cat 3 network cable. 4 pairs per cable, so obviously you will need more than one cable to connect the two panels. But - take each cable, and then bundle the individual cables into one bundle crossing under the middle of the layout to the opposite side and you'll have a fairly neat wiring system. The telephone/network wire is heavy enough for Tortoises and LEDs, no need to go with thicker wire for that. And with 4 pair per cable, you cna combine a couple of toggles into one cable, reducing the number of individual wires crossing the layout. 

 There are places online that sell 25 pair cable as well, by the foot. Worst case i can see is you might need 20 feet, which works out to a whopping $25, plus shipping. But that's just the first place I found, not sure if they ship to Canada. If 25 pairs is enough. The 50 pair is slightly under double the price. 

Edit: Looks like there are 29 total LEDs and toggles on the smaller panel, so a 25 pair plus a single 4 pair cable would do it. Depending on how you are hooking up the LEDs, maybe some will have a common connection, using 3 wires per 2 LEDs, instead of 4, in which case the 25 pair would be just about perfect. Once single cable stretching from panel to panel under the layout, neatness defined. Under the face of the panel might be a different story Big Smile

                                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 8, 2020 6:03 PM

rrinker
the 25 pair would be just about perfect. Once single cable stretching from panel to panel under the layout, neatness defined.

Hi Randy,

I like the idea of using either the 4 pair or 25 pair cables. Thanks for the suggestion.

rrinker
Under the face of the panel might be a different story

I'm not too worried about that. I'm going to use terminal strips at the bottom of the panels so the wires between the terminal strips and the toggles can be routed into groups as their proximity allows. This is how I did the panels for my old club:

These switchs are not doubled up so there is only one wire per toggle leaving the board. Doubling the toggles will require two wires per switch but I think I can still keep it fairly neat. We shall see!

Dave

Edit:

When I did the club panels we were unaware that we could use much lighter wiring.

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,934 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, May 8, 2020 7:54 PM

 That would be my suggestion then, link the panels with the multiconductor cable, and then run all lines out from just one of the panels. The runs from the panel to the Tortoises can use the 4 pair cable, since each pair is tightly twisted, you have the neatness out to the first Tortoise int he area, then you cut off the outer sheath and have 3 more twisted pairs running to nearby Tortoises. Or if you are using the Tortoise contacts to drive the panel LEDs, you need 2 pair plus a wire, so you might as well just use one length of 4 pair per Tortoise, you're only 'wasting' one pair in the wire, and in bulk the cost of the wire isn't prohibitive. For a crossover where two Tortoise need to change at once, you could use the extra pair for the motor terminals of the second Tortoise and parallel the wires back at the panel. Then if you find out one is backwards, you just have to flip the polarity of one of the pairs at the panel, not under the layout at the Tortoise itself.

 Bundle these wires when possible and you'll have the neatest install of Tortoise wiring possible, all sleek neat cables linking everything together. You can save the messy wiring for the DCC bus Laugh

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 8, 2020 10:18 PM

I just ordered 100' of Cat5e four pair cable through my local Home Depot. They don't stock it locally but HD will ship it to the store for pick up for free. That was the best deal I could find.

I looked for 25 pair cable but I couldn't find any short lengths. I think the four pair cable will actually be much easier to work with.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,934 posts
Posted by rrinker on Saturday, May 9, 2020 12:19 PM

 Yes, you can just wrap them together - maybe use some of that plastic spiral cable wrap to bundle all the individual cables in - plus that lets you peel one out anywhere along the run to head over to the Tortoise it needs to control (I'm keeping track of what I am mentioning so I can use these ideas myself).

 The 25 pair, what I mentioned previously was from a supplier who sold it by the foot, so you could get anything from 1 foot (in 25, and especially in 50 pair - I'd love to see how they pull that off, talk about unwieldy) up to 1000 foot (a full spool).

                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 10, 2020 8:26 PM

Randy and everyone,

Thanks again for your input!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, May 11, 2020 5:34 AM

I got the four position rotary switch for the double slip turnout a couple of days ago. At first I thought that they had sent me the wrong switch because I could only turn the switch to one other position and that took a huge amount of force! I decided to mount the switch in my vise and I was able to get it to move through the four positions, but it took an incredible amount of force to move the switch. I was not happy to say the least. I figured that the beast would tear itself loose from the control panel if it was that hard to change routes.

I decided to lubricate it, and I chose my Nano Oil 85 weight oil for the task. At first I just oiled the balls that lock the switch into each position. That made a small improvement but the switch was still extremely hard to rotate. The next step was to lubricate all of the contact points. I was a bit concerned about the possibility of the oil being heated up when the contacts were live, but I realized that we are talking about the current going to Tortoise switch machines which is max. 30 milliamps. It will never even come close to warming up the contacts.

The bottom line is that the switch now rotates fairly easily and I'm sure it will loosen up a bit more over time. I'm no longer worried about it tearing itself loose from the control panel.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,618 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 11, 2020 6:12 AM

I ordered a 12 position "Break Before Make Heavy Duty" rotary switch about a year ago, and it was very hard to turn.

Good to hear you might have worked your issue through to resolution.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 3:33 PM

I finally got the order placed for the lumber. It will be here Thursday.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 4:43 AM

Still too cold in the garage to paint structures so I have been working on these. I'm still waiting for some Tomar parts to complete them. There are 12 single head signals on the left and then six double head signals which are waiting for ladders before I can install the lower signal heads. There is one three head signal on the right which is also waiting for parts:

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 16, 2020 4:56 AM

As those of you who follow the Diner will know, I got the wood delivered on Thursday. It took the lumber company two trips to get it mostly right. I had asked for a 3/4" plywood sheet to be cut into six various sized panels but the sheet arrived uncut. The first delivery was also missing all the 2" foam and about half of the lumber order, and apparently they don't know what masonite is. I got 5 mm plywood instead which is too warped to use for the control panels.

The second delivery seemed to correct all the problems except for the masonite which I gave up on. However, tonight when I was sorting all the boards I discovered that one crucial piece of 1 x 8 x 12' was half an inch short.GrumpyAngryBang HeadBang HeadBang Head Half an inch doesn't sound like much but it leaves a gap in a major structural component and compensating for it will require a whole bunch of fussy trimming of foam and plywood to make things fit.

I decided to ask the lumber company to deliver what I paid for. Their service has been pretty shoddy so far and I am not going to let them off the hook. I don't care how busy they are.

Sorry for the whining!

On a more positive note, I re-drew the layout frame in exact detail so now I know exactly what size every component has to be.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    December 2019
  • From: San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • 78 posts
Posted by CapnCrunch on Saturday, May 16, 2020 6:04 AM

Hi Dave,

I feel your pain.  After all you've been through, I suspect the lumber yard will bite the bullet and do the right thing.  If not, I've had great success with two-part epoxy adhesives and you might consider using some to splice in an extension.  Good luck!

Tim 

Tim 

          Late to the model railroad party but playing catch-up.....


Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!