NW 58th St., Miami
A few months ago when my switching layout was almost finished, I thought to have a second layout would be a good idea. After seeing Lance Mindheim’s Miami East Rail layout ( <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.lancemindheim.com">http://www.lancemindheim.com</a><!-- m --> ), I knew what I wanted to do. The bird’s eye view of Live Search Maps and the street view of Google Maps gave me all the information I needed to plan the new layout.

My new switching layout is a combination of scenes I found along the NW 58th and 59th Street in the Miami East Rail District. The trackplan is mostly based upon the tracks along the NW 59th Street. I scaled down an aerial picture to copy the position and length of the tracks for my trackplan. Somehow I like the idea to have an almost prototypical trackplan.

Space is at a premium in my layout-"room", so I decided to have a modular design with a permanent section and two removable extensions. The layout is L-shaped and the overall size is 168" x 70", i.e. the permanent part is 11' x 14" (consisting of two modules), the removable extension on the left is 5' x 9" and the short leg of the L is 2' x 6 1/2'. Both extensions can be attached and removed within a few seconds.

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The track is Micro Enineering code 70 and as I like switching with sound equipped engines, I will run the layout with DCC. The era is modern, though I plan to switch back to the 1950s occasionly to make operation and taking pics more interesting.

As you can see in the trackplan, there is no runaround. To have a runaround that was long enough to be useful would have spoiled my prototypical plan. In the real Miami East Rail district there is no runaround either, the cars are sorted out on the main and then pushed into the spurs. The track at the front of the extension at the end of the long leg of theL will be used as a fiddle yard and represent that sorting on the main.

These two pictures give a glimpse of what I accomplished during summer. I completed laying track and wiring and I started to build some of the structures, though most of the structures are still simple cardboard mock-ups

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I only made slow progress during the last few months, but now as summer is gone and days are getting shorter and colder, it is nice to spend some time in Florida.
Kurt im so glad you decided to start a thread for your layout again!! GREAT modeling and work. I love all the buildings and roads, and the track work looks fine as well Thumbsup Thumbsup
Josh Mader

Maders Trains
Offering everyday low prices for the Model Railroad World
After I had finished drawing the trackplan, I was not sure if I would really like to build the layout, because most of the structures along the tracks in Miami look more or less like shoeboxes with some openings in them. Could be a bit boring to scratch build these structures. So before I even got the plywood for the layout, I built the first two warehouses. To try something new, I used hydrocal instead of styrene. After I found out that I really enjoyed building these two structures, I started to build the layout. Both structures are still not finished yet, but here are some pics anyway.

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A warehouse along the track of the NW 58th Street inspired me to build this model. It is 24" long and I made three hydrocal castings for it. I build the core of .120" cardboard and then glued the casting to it. To build it from hydrocal took much longer than to build it from styrene, but I think it was time well spent.

The other hydrocal structure is even bigger. It is 42" long and consists of nine castings. Like the first one, it is still not completely finished.

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To make it cheap and easy, I used styrene to make the molds. Before I poured hydrocal into the molds, I applied vaseline to the molds with a stiff paintbrush. It was no problem then to remove the castings from the mold.

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The next picture shows three of the castings I made the big structure of.

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From the pictures Lance (Mindheim) posted and the bird’s eye view of Live Search Maps I knew that CSX uses GP38-2s to switch the East Rail district and the downtown spur. So this P2k Geep is my modern era engine.

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Here is how I weathered it. After removing the shell from the chassis and masking off the windows, I carefully airbrushed a VERY thin coat of heavily diluted light gray (almost white) to remove the shine and to fade the colors a little. Next step was to mess up the roof Shoot . I intended to spray a little grimy black to the top and the upper sides of the hood. It went alright on the sides, but I applied too much paint to the top so that it got way too dark Wallbang . To save it, I coated the black with medium grey. Not in the mood to make a second attempt with black paint, I decided to finish the roof with white and black chalks. After spraying two coats of paint, the surface of the roof was rather coarse and the chalks stick very well especially if the paint is still a bit sticky. I like using weathering powders anyway on parts you usually don’t touch (like the walkways). The rusty patches on the shell were made with clear matt paint and rust colored chalk. First I applied the clear paint with a thin paintbrush and then used another paintbrush to put a fair amount of chalk on it. After the paint had dried, I brushed off the exceeding chalk.

For the trucks I mixed light tan with medium gray. After airbrushing the trucks, I put the shell back on the chassis and thinly sprayed some of the tan/gray to the lower parts of the engine to simulate dust from the ballast (they have light gray ballast in Miami). Next I mixed rust colored powder and clear matt paint and painted the trucks using a small paintbrush, making sure not to cover them completely.
This 50' boxcar is one of the oldest on my Miami layout (BLT. 10-74). So I decided to turn this beautiful new Athearn Genesis car into a rust bucket. I started by giving it a wash with white acrylic paint, that I diluted with alcohol (it was more lightly tinted alcohol than diluted paint). The graffity decals are from Microscale. After applying the decals I airbrushed a thin coat of clear matt paint to seal the decals and then sprayed a very thin layer of grimy brown. The rest was done with acrylic paints, a very hard paintbrush and an old cotton t-shirt.

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I am not sure if I really like all these graffities and tags on modern cars, but at least they make modeling and weathering the cars more interesting. Here are two more cars I finished a few days ago.

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Kurt, that is absolutely beautiful weathering work on the boxcars and the Geep!! Eek Thumbsup Thumbsup
Josh Mader

Maders Trains
Offering everyday low prices for the Model Railroad World
I could have sworn I posted an admiring comment about this thread but I don't see it...hmmmm. Any way, I think those utilitarian shoebox buildings really have a railroady feel to them as models , perhaps because we see them everywhere in the real world. I think they create a very realistic classic railroading scene. Your hydrocal buildings turned out very well. Thanks for the progress shots of this beautifully done layout.
Kurt, I'm really pleased to see that you've already got all this information here and updated, along with photos. I'm looking forward to watching this as it develops.


I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting for each post you make on here Wink :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
[Image: sig2.jpg]-Deano
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Thank you my friends for stopping in. I hope to make some real progress soon to make visiting this thread worthwhile.
You sure do beautiful work Kurt. Love the weathering!

Kurt, glad to see the layout thread! Thumbsup
btw...Those cars look BEAUTIFUL! awesome job Thumbsup Thumbsup Thumbsup Thumbsup Thumbsup
I love the hydrocal. It gives those buildings a nice texture, much like concrete.
The weathering is amazing!!! Can't wait to seem more.

Don't follow me, I'm lost too.
Your weathered cars look fantastic , can we get a 5 step how you did it? 2285_

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