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Guest Bernard

Bullet train layout USA

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Guest Bernard

To All,

I have been working on my Bullet train layout for the past 3 years. It started when my wife & I purchased a house with a large basement. My agreement with her was "you can have any rooms you want to decorate I just want half of the basement." She jumped at the deal. One of the problems I saw was that there are a lot of storage shelves in the basement and we planned to use them so I had to design a layout that would be in the middle of the room. The dimensions are 16'x12' and in a "U" shape. I decided on a continuous running layout with 4 main lines and a yard. I knew I wanted to model "N scale" because of my interest in Bullet trains and most are manufactured in N, plus it gives me more room to run trains. I went with Altas flex track code 80, combined with Kato Unitrack bridges and viaducts. Here is one of the blueprints for my layout which latter was changed to make the yard bigger and more efficient getting on and off the main lines.

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Guest Bernard

I don't know if you can see the entire track plan but I decided to use 2" thick foam on a plywood base. The reason is not so much for noise reduction but to be able to cut out river, lakes, and any other terrain that I might want to do in the future. The layout is built on four 4'x8' tables and I drew a grid on the foam tables with a yellow marker so I can transfer my plans. I used WS foam risers and atached them with "Liquid nails for foam projects" and use quilting straight pins to keep them in place until they dried. Here are some photos of the early progress of the West side of the layout. You'll notice that since the bridge in the fore ground is going to be hidden in a mountain, so I made it out of black poster foam board. 

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Guest bill937ca

Good stuff.  How do you like Woodland Scenics risers so far?  I hope you're not planning any level crossings on your Shinkansen line.

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Guest bill937ca

Also all your signals will be cab signals.  Human hand eye co-ordination does not allow wayside signals at 250-300 Km/hr.

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Darren Jeffries

I cant wait to see this layout progress.... looks like a dream layout.

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Guest Bernard

Here are more photos of the layout in it's early stages, I was playing around with positioning of buildings. In some of the photos the track hasn't been put down.

Bill - the WS risers are great in the fact that they don't take a lot of time to put down. To cut costs, I used 1" or 2" foam for level areas or cutting out level curved sections. One thing I learned when after you put down the risers and they set in place, use hydocal cloth to cover the openings, then lay down the cork roadbed, it makes it a lot easier to ballast. I put down the cork roadbed and then had to cut stripes of hydocal cloth to put between the open area on the risers.

The layout is DCC and I'm using the Lenz system. I use Digitrax & lenz decoder but I noticed that Newhall Station has the Kato decoders for their passenger trains. How do they install them?

Okay, I'll post more photos soon.

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Guest Bernard

I started working on the large mountain in the upper left corner (or Northwest) part of the layout. If you look at the plan you can see that there is going to be a hidden bridge inside of the mountain, plus all four mainlines will enter it. I needed to design the mountain so that it will be easily accessible in case (and there will be) derailments. Photo #011 shows the inner structure. I airbrushed the walls black and used blocks of foam to support the top of the mountain. One decision I have to make is that since the top is about a 3' round oval do I want to cut it in half for easier or lighter removal and if I decide to do this how will it effect scenery or any other changes I might want to make in the design. Photo #009 shows the track installed on the WS riser and what I said before I wished I had used Hyrocal cloth before laying down the cork roadbed.

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Darren Jeffries

This is looking great. I take it that the airbrushed black track is to stop reflecting light inside the tunnels?

 

Are you planning to use any lights other than those on the trains themselves (street lighting, building interiors) ?

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Guest Bernard

I've been working on the yard and if you look at the original plan i made some major changes from the plan. With the help of some friends, they suggested some changes that would make the yard easier to get trains in and out of the main lines plus I would be able to store a lot more trains. Here are some of the photos.

 

Oh, and I do plan to light the structures on the layout but that is a ways off, I still have to ballast the tracks, and that is a long process and not one of my favorite. Any members have a favorite method for ballasting?

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Guest Bernard

Here are 2 photos of the developement of the large flat mountain. After thinking it over, some I realized that some of my older trains were going to be difficult to change over to DCC, so I made this DC oval on top of the mountain. 20/20 hindsight, I wished I did more with this design, but in the end, I didn't leave myself a lot of room to work with. (Maybe a figure 8 going in to the hills of the mountain and being hidden for a while would have had a better effect but the radius would be too tight.)

 

The other photo show the area covered with hydocal and getting ready for an undercoat. I'm still thinking about running another track, a double viaduct, from the mountain to the city area I'm planning. I'm thinking along the lines of a "tennis racket" shape with and automatic return system, just like shuttle trains to an airport.

Does anyone know of the type of system I'll need? This line will also be DC.

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Guest Bernard

Here is work on the West/southern end of the layout. I finished building the small mountain and experimented using different materials. It is mostly carved foamboard but I used expanding insulating foam with mixed results. What I liked about the foam in a can is that you can easily shape it and it's quick. Negatives, it smells, it takes longer to cure than I realized, especially in the center area. Personally I won't be using it again.

After I used hydocal, for the first time I spread "scultamold" to make the terrain uneven. I liked the results and it is very easy to use. It solved the problem of having a "flat" look on the layout.

The second photo shows the small mountain with it's top off for access to trains. I put rock casting around the mountain, this will be a country scene to contrast to the city and town areas on the other side of the layout.

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Guest Bernard

To continue with the progress of the Small mountain area. I used a mixture of Elmer's white glue with a drop of dishwasher soap and water, with water to glue @ 3:1 ratio. I then coated the hydocal with a sponge brush then I sprinkled on the WS ground cover. I experiment with a mist spray of lite alcohol to see if the ground over would soak up the glue, I found it wasn't necessary but I do recommend it when you ballast track. Here are some more photo of the layout. In the last photo you will notice the beginning of a river which weren't on the original plans.

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Bernard

I started working on the river and since I used 2" foam on plywood it was easy to carve with a bread knife. I then airbrushed in the base colors for the riverbed and then used WS brown talus with model rocks and boulders. For a test I make a gorge next to the 4 main lines on the curve and filled it with rocks. I later fill it with WS Realistic water. Since I never used the product, the gorge will be my first test.

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Bernard

Anybody have any photos of Japanese bridges for autos? In these 2 photos of the layout I need to scratch build a bridge over the river. As you see next to the RR bridge is the shell of the bridge for cars.

Thanks

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Guest bill937ca

Anybody have any photos of Japanese bridges for autos? In these 2 photos of the layout I need to scratch build a bridge over the river. As you see next to the RR bridge is the shell of the bridge for cars.

Thanks

 

This is described as a traditional Japanese style guardrail.  I've never seen this along a road so it must be a bridge railing:

 

http://regex.info/i/JEF_028479_sm.jpg

 

You'll find more road pictures on this web site.

 

http://www.illi-indi.com/JapanRoad-4.html

 

To model a modern concrete pillar supported bridge you could adapt a Kato or Tomix elevated track support.

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Bernard

Bill- Thank you for the links to the bridges now I have an idea of what I want to do for a bridge  especially the hand rails.

Here are 2 photos of the river area and the town I designing. I'm going to have to change the buildings which were from a previous layout. Right now they're there for spacing.

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Bernard

Here is some work that I've done on the large mountain. I've scratched built a curved bridge over a waterfall I plan to make. The track here will be DC for older trains that I've had problems converting to DCC.

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Bernard

I started making a waterfall to a lake as a run off from the mountain. Here are two photos showing a before and after.

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CaptOblivious

Nice! What are you using to model the water?

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Bernard

CaptO,

This is something I've never done before so it's new territory. I've decided to use WS Realistic water. I've heard good things about it and it look fairly easy to apply. I'll test it on a little gorge I've made before doing the lake and then the river. I realize I'm going to have to block up the sides of the river so the Realistic water doesn't flow out. I also have a bottle of WS water accents which hopefully will help the waterfall.

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Bernard

Here it is, I finally put Realistic water into the river. Has anyone used WS water effects? I tried creating waves on the shore.

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CaptOblivious

Looks good! How did you add the waves?

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Bernard

CaptO - I actually found a demo I a DVD I got from Model RR, but here is the link to WS. Go to the "How-To-Demos" on the left side menu and you will see it.

http://www.woodlandscenics.com/

 

What I did was use WS "realistic water effects" I drew lines of the effects on the shoreline an then used a small paint brush to dapple the lines into a wave formation. Then I added realistic water on top of it. I'm not sure if you add the waves before you put down the realistic water or after. So I experimented and tried both ways, I tell you which way I like best.

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Martijn Meerts

I don't know how, but I seem to have completely missed this thread until Bernard pointed it out in a different one =)

 

It looks good so far, I like the new yard (I've always been a sucker for lots of tracks ;)) It might be me, but the scenery strikes me as more European rather than Japanese. Of course, I don't know much about Japanese scenery, so I might be totally wrong here.

 

Don't think there's really a fast way of ballasting. Or at least, not one that'll get you good results. What I tend to do (I think I've mentioned this before), it to put down the ballast, usually using a brush and my fingers to sculpt it a bit. Then use the water/dishwashing liquid mix to make everything nice and wet, and then thinned white glue (just mix with water, or use scenic cement). You can still move it around after it's wet, just make sure you only use your finger, not a brush.

 

The secret here is to not use something like Woodland Scenics scenic sprayer. The water "droplets" coming out of one of those would be about the size of a human head if you take scale into consideration, and they'll blow away all your ballast. I use a smaller on that turns the water into a mist. It's kinda like one of those sprayers you see on a bottle of perfume for example. The ballast will move around a little when it gets wet, but that's just because it's settling into place after getting heavier from the water, you're not blowing it away.

 

The track can get wet without problem, you can even spray white glue on it without problem, it comes off real easy. (Personally, I always quickly sand the top of the rails after rusting up the sides, I always spill paint) To keep the surrounding area's from getting wet (where needed), I just use painters plastic sheet or old newspaper or something along those lines.

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