O scale 2 rail exhibition layout
Afternoon everyone!

With my HO Scale Exhibition layout now mostly finished (except for about a million jobs on my to-do list, but what layout is ever finished, right?), the attention of myself and my co-conspirator Ford has turned toward our next project, and the first truly 'joint' layout - this time making use of all that O scale stuff I've been hoarding for a few years.

The working title of the layout is West Box Street (please someone help me think of something better!), as a nod toward my previous layout, as well as the trackplan, which is a modified version of Shortliner's Box Street plan.

The idea is yet again a heavily industrialised urban area somewhere in the South East of the USA. Georgia or Alabama, maybe? That's still to be decided on.

As a departure from my usual slapdash approach to layout construction, every aspect of this new layout is going to be planned from the ground up from the start. Ford insisted on it, and I don't blame him, going on my track record! Big Grin

This will need to be bulletproof before the first piece of wood is cut.

A trackplan has been settled on, and thrown together in SCARM to check clearances. All track is going to be handbuilt, and will follow the "FUnitMad" approach of tracklaying for that added realism.

Here's the trackplan:

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The intention for the layout is to have full lighting, sound, and animated features, and Ford has even been kicking around the idea of an automated (or not) Day/Night cycle to make exhibitions even more interesting.

Whilst the actual construction of the layout is looking to be a while off yet, we've both started working on various other aspects of the build - I've begun work on rolling stock and structure projects, and Ford has been working on the lighting and using Arduino to animate doors, roller shutters, etc.

Photos and videos will follow of progress as and when there's something worth showing. Smile
I don't understand why 2 rail is so unpopular in the USA? I mean, over here we have Hornby Dublo and the like (essentially Lionel type trains but in OO/HO scale), but that is mostly a forgotten medium outside of serious collectors. I don't see the appeal of the unrealistic looking trains you get in 3 rail O scale.

Previously I mentioned I'd been working on structures and rolling stock projects, well - here they are:

My first ever O scale structure kit build - Clevermodels Small Brick Machine Shop. Well it's certainly not small in O scale!!! Big Grin

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Now, seeing as it's hard to find O scale 2 rail in the UK, and considering how expensive it tends to be because of it (£90 for a 3 bay covered hopper? Jog on!), I broke out the artist mounting board and balsa wood, and - working from official Southern Railway freight car diagrams - came up with this:

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The car sides are artwork made from actual photographs of Southern boxcars, skewed in Photoshop and printed to scale. I've got the doors, roof and end walls ready to cut out and apply. Smile
Dan , are you using two different numbers on the same car and doubling the size of the fleet? I think west Box Street is a great name - but then I would! Big Grin
Well spotted Jack, yes I am.

No one is going to see both sides in one run through, and I'll never have the space for a O scale roundy-roundy, so why not? Smile

We settled on the name "Piedmont Blues", which I think will fit perfectly for the thematic styling we're going for. Smile
Last night showed a small amount of progress on the Southern boxcar.

I'm not 100% on it at the moment, but I've just got to have faith and soldier on, once the definition is added to it, and it's weathered up, I think it'll look okay.

Let me know what you all think...

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Okay - so it isn't perfect, but don't beat yourself up about it! When you look at the cost difference, and apply the 3 foot rule, it's fine! IT IS MODELLING MAN, AND YOU ARE DOINGA LOT MORE THAN MOST OF THE RTP (READY TO PLONK) MODELLERS!
To be honest Jack, I think it's just me being me.

Most of my cardstock structure builds look this weird at this point in the build process, when they have their "skin" but without some proper 3d definition.

I'll sort it. Smile
Gotta agree with shortliner on this, I think you are doing a great job.

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
Cheers Mike. Smile

I was thinking about it, and I think it'd due to the compression of the image. The photograph I worked from was taken in the 1970's and was printed in a book. I then photographed it again, edited it in Photoshop, then printed it out.

I think, if I'm honest, the roof of the car turned out the best, and that was made from me taking photographs of a HO scale boxcar of the same type.

I'm considering taking my own photographs of HO models and using those. Of course, the compromise there is that they would need to be weathered after the fact, or the HO scale model would need to be weathered first! Big Grin

Lots to think about to perfect this method of scratchbuilding cars, methinks.
Not too happy with the printout quality of the boxcar sides, I was happy to see that the big laser printer at work has now been fixed and is working again, so I've re-printed the sides and will redo that. Smile

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Sorry for the lack of updates to this thread, I've been working on my HO layout so I've not had the time to post my latest work on my O scale projects.

I've progressed the 50' boxcar some more; fitting the door runners, adding definition to the roof and starting work on the ladders. I've also developed the underframe, though that's not yet finished - it needs air tanks and other details.

What I have done is start working on some pallets and oil drums to add to the inside to simulate a load. A lot more work to do there too.

Finally, I started work on a Quality Craft Models kit of a bulkhead flat car. Having never built a freight car kit before, I'm really impressed with these wooden craftsman kits, and I'm enjoying the build so far.

More to come as work progresses. Smile

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Not much of an update today, however I have both a progress report and a bit of news.

Progress report first...

I've spent some time working on the QCM Bulkhead flat kit - now it's actually starting to look like a freight car now! Smile

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After I took these photos, I've added some Kadee couplers to the car, and permanently attached the trucks. Hopefully there'll be some updated pictures later this weekend.

Now, thanks to Neil at The Little Layout Company, I've traded a Kato, HO scale U-boat which is surplus to requirements, for 5 freight car kits of various parentage:

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They might be bordering on the old considering the layout will be set in the 70's, but I'm thinking of Shortline patching them and seeing what happens. At least one is getting turned into a B&A style woodchip hopper. Smile
Progress on Piedmont Blues has stalled temporarily, but the layout was always intended to be a slow burner, so we can get it 100% bulletproof from the get go.

I'm currently awaiting arrival of a new 3D printer, so I'm going to be spending my time experimenting on printing detail parts, truck sideframes, etc. Smile

I found a free download to 3D print an EMD SW1500 on GrabCad that I am going to have a go at. I've got a couple of old diesel trucks that could provide the wheels, then it'd just need motorising and away we go. Smile

Lots of cool things on the horizon, for sure. If I can 3D print my own window frames, I'll be doing that too.

The possibilities this opens up for us is simply massive.
Just a quick tweak to the layout for anyone who has been following it, I've decided to set the layout in 1965 rather than the 1970's. The reason is threefold.

Firstly, I always set my layouts in the 1970's, so thought I'd shake things up a bit.
Secondly, I want to use all the 40' cars I've collected over the last month (approx 8 boxcars and three shorty covered hoppers).
Thirdly, my road power is a Weaver RS3 in Southern tuxedo green, and a GP35 in tuxedo black. The GP35 was introduced in 1963, and the green tuxedo disappeared throughout the 60's. This will allow me to use the RS3 as is and not have to repaint it. Smile

Today, I've been working on a Weaver kit of a NYC 40ft boxcar I got from Neil at The Little Layout Company.

First up, some prototype photos of similar boxcars I'm using for inspiration:

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Now, here's what I started with:

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After assembling the kit, I gave it a blast of dulcote equivalent, then faded the car with a wash of watered down acrylic paint - a mix that was slightly whiter than the stock NYC Century Green scheme.

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Once this was dry the car got another blast of dulcote - in fact, it gets one after every layer of work is finished. I then added a wash of brown in places to give a base layer for the weathering.

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After this, the dirt was built up using various blends of black, brown, orange and red pastel powders. Once I was happy with the result, I sealed it with dulcote, then gave the whole car side a application of white pastel powder to tone the whole car down.

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Next, scratches and dings were added using brown acrylic paint, working as always from the prototype photographs..

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Finally, for now, the scratches were all haloed using burnt sienna oil paint in a very light application. After this, rust streaks were added in a similar manner. Dab on a little paint at the main point of concentration on the real car, then repeatedly drag the paint down the car side to create streaks.

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Next comes the roof and car ends, which I will document in stages as I have done here so far. Smile
This morning I took a photo in natural light to give a better idea of the colour balance.

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