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Grumbeasts ongoing work and new video


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Well I got sick of not running trains, so I temporarily set up my unitrack on the three shelves I have.


I've decided to close of the fourth side and have a all around me layout with a twice around with a nice operating

well in the middle. 


As I plan and get the benchwork ready for that, I thought I'd make a film of my new Shinkansens.  I've always thought the

movies made by people like Silipheena and Active65 on Youtube have been inspirational so I've tried to edit things together a little.


This was done quickly, with temp track and no nice layout, OK lighting, a cheap camera, and this is my first attempt at putting a

loop together in Garageband so while flakey, I hope its a little better than plain ol trains past the camera.




hope you enjoy, I'm sure they'll get better as I get more stock and build parts of the layout.



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Thanks for the kind comments!


I just used iMovie on the Mac, and GarageBand for the audio.  I have some heavyweight software too (We have CuBase for Audio and Final Cut Pro for video) but this is a fun little project and I find that iMovie really does a fine and very easy job!  The additional benefit is that you can just say share on youtube and it'll convert and upload the whole thing at the click of a button.


Bernard, there's nothing like running trains, since I converted to unitrack I've run more trains in the last 6 months than I  have in the last 16 years!





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Nice Vid and, if you really want to do like Silpheena or Active65, don't forget to cut off the original sound.


I'll be happy to see more.  :cool:

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Actually I lowered its volume and left it in deliberately (some of the video's by silpheena and active65 do have a low level track)

I think it'll depend on what's going on and whether I'm happy with my crappy loop mashup :)



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I guess I must have wiped these parts out of my memory. I just remember the music and the trains floating by. I do think it will be best if the sound of the running trains is kept for the breaks. Or maybe you could put the real sound, the one from the actual trains, instead. Could make for great effects.  :grin


Now, I have to try that!!!  :cheesy


ps: can you share some plan of your future layout?

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Yeah those ideas are good, next time I'll turn down the sound :)


I'll be doing up a simple plan at some point, right now I can tell you that I'm going ot be building a twice around with a central operating well

I have the three walls of the room with suitable shelves, I'm going to close that off.. so total size would be around 11' x 9' say, with a big operating well in the middle.  As for track details I have to work that out, but I am going to need some storage and a few stations



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OK, so I managed to get a few hours in the basement, and have built the benchwork I need to close off the layout.  I then setup a temporary twice around track to get a sense of how long the mainline run would be.  Here are the pics, they show the sort of space I'm using.


The layout is pretty high (around 54") as I'm 6'3 myself so the duckunder isn't too onerous.






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I've cleared the temporary track out from along the wall and have started using foamcore forms and risers for the track and interface with the the viaduct track.  its not fixed down yet, but here's some pics of the space and process.  This part of the layout will have a high line in the back on the risers, and the lower line right below it.  Infront of this will be a stub-yard that can hold 5x8car shinkansens.  The last picture shows the way I plan on building the yard throat so that I can get trains from either line to to the yard.  I'm having to compromise on complete accessability to inner and outer lines but I'll have a crossover somewhere else on the layout so that I can exchange tracks.  While this is a storage yard, I'm thinking of scenicking it fully, maybe with a few of the Kato long train sheds end to end and some interesting retaining walls at either end.











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Grum - I really like seeing photos of the overview of a layout, it tells so much about the layout. At 6'3" I can understand why the legs are 54" since the layout looks to be a duck-under. Good use of foam core boards. :icon_thumleft:

I forgot if you said something earlier but are running DC or DCC?

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My CN North American stuff is DCC, and I was about 1/2 way through the conversions, but I have a bunch of older European and British stock that would just be too much to convert.  Also I found the conversions and the programming unreliability was stressing me out so much that I wasn't enjoying it, so I'm going all DC with the Japanese layout.  I just want to run trains and I'm convinced that unless you want to do a bunch of shunting  / switching its not all that useful (I really want to watch trains (esp fast passenger trains!) run)


the combination of easy wiring and unitrack reliability has made this really fun again!.


I'm going to try and take "in-progress" shots throughout development and I'll post them here.  I've got a bunch more foamcore left over from our last film and with a hot glue gun construction is so fast!  which is a realy bonus when I can only get an hour here or there!


I've always balked at the idea of a duckunder, but finally went for it when I got sick of the fact that suitable turn-back curves filled the room anyway, plus this way I'll be able to have more bookshelves / storage under the duckunder half!



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Well I've listened to the advice around the twice around and have enough track to do that, I plan on extending my station when I get more track to introduce a single line at some point.  I have a few new pics of progress that I thought I'd post butplease excuse the European locomotives!! (There is a series 0 in the yard!) I was just playing a little :).


Picture 1  -  The suburban station with the extended platform ends


Picture 2 -  BR Hymek coming around the curve testing long 2 axle freight train on the grades 9those little Dapol Hymek's can really pull quite well


Picture 3 - The station closeup


Picture 4 - Same as above


Picture 5 - The yard around the other side of the layout with assorted stock (incl the series 0 and my brand new E103.1 with Rhinegold cars!)


Picture 6 - My temporary grade using stacks foamcore under the roadbed.  This let me test the grade and adjust it (hence the variety of locomotives and trains on the layout)


Picture 7 - Once happy with the grade a custom cut risers from foamcore and hot glued them in position


Picture 8 - my new E103.1 withthe rhinegold :)


sorry about pics, but getting used to the new camera











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What I really like is your use of the foamcore boards. I had to take a few looks to see that you traced the track onto the boards and cut the outline for it. Outstanding job!

How do you like the Minitrix E103 in the way of performance and pulling power?

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Thanks Bernard!,


  the foamcore is really working for me, and the nice thing about unitrack is that you know exactly what the track geometry is going to be like.  I used WS inclines at the very ends to give a smooth transition.  I'm hoping to try another new idea this afternoon with heat-shrink plastic sheets to give a nice base for some plastercloth to cover some of this.


As for the e103, well its very sweet, I'd say as quiet as my Kato stuff, but a little different sounding (I find it sounds a little like a watch, but very quiet).  Hauage-wise, I've no complaints, it marched upgrade with no difficulties at all hauling the 5 long Rhiengold cards and I'm sure it could take more (despite a curve and a later s-curve on the grade)  With my Kato stuff, it was the best on the grade.  Interestingly I have an older Minitrix Crocodile that also marched up the grade with no probs which suprised me given the fact its jack-shaft driven, maybe the low gearing and weight helped.


I've yet to try the 700 / Sunrise Express or Series 185, maybe i'll get to try that this PM



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Graham - I also have the Minitrix Crocodile, a unique looking engine. The one thing with the Minitrix trains is that they have 3 poll motors unlike the Kato's which have 5 poll, which adds to their pulling power. If your Minitrix trains can make the grades on your layout, I make a bet all your Katos will too without any problems.

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  7 car trains work pretty well, although I think I can fit another platform section in as it is a little tight, it just looks a little cramped, so thats on my shopping list.




Tried my J-trains this evening and they didn't even slow down on the grade :)  though I did have a few derails with the 700 on an S-Curve, I've run that problem down as a slightly poor connection so that'll have to be fixed.


I can't wait to get the tunnels blocked in to break up the run a little.



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One mor ething, I did get a pic this evening of a lineup of my J-trains (sans one Series 0)


Here it is :)


Sunrise Express


Series 0


Series 700


Series 185-100


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That is one cracking layout! I am looking forward to seeing how this progresses, keep up the great work pal! :grin.

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AArgh... some bad news..



we're having new windows installed and I'm going to have to tear apart a significant portion of my layout and benchwork so the workmen can get to the windows.  *sigh*.  Still I think I'm going to use this as an opportunity, I have found that the around the walls type had shelves that were really too narrow, so I might try a 10 or 11x4 layout in the middle of the room, what do people think? 



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I built my layout in the middle of the basement and now I realize that if there is a plumbing problem a portion of the layout is under the pipes. I think once the windows are installed you should be fine where ever you want to set up your layout as long as you don't obstruct anything that might need repairs someday.

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Argh--sorry to hear about that.


I guess the redesign depends on how much room you. We had to do around-the-walls (sort of) because there wasn't enough room around all sides of a middle-of-the-room design.


I hope the removal and replacement or change goes relatively easily...

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Mudkip Orange

I love that y'all are bemoaning "needing" to construct an around the walls layout, the de facto standard for all "serious" North American modelers.


But Japan was made for spaghetti bowls...

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