Buicks on the train set

Discussion in 'The Hobby Lobby' started by sean Buick 76, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    Re: There are tricks to make it "mor' bettr'" (Re: Buicks on the train set)

  2. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Go modular! (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Marc and V-8 Buick fans of da' iron rails . . . .

    Are you going to let a little thing like a lack of space keep you from having a model railroad? If anybody did that - nobody - would have ever had a model railroad!

    If you don't believe me, take the dimensions of even a small switching yard and reduce it to scale. I believe it is extremely difficult to make a prototypical model railroad in any house. Even the smallest elements of a real railroad end up being very large if you reduce them only by 1:87.

    If you are really feeling "da' itch", consider making some modules that will fit into your future empire. My model railroad "empire" is 3 4'x4' sections - period! It isn't much space, but it has a storage yard, engine servicing facilities, passenger station, and even . . . . believe it or not - a Christmas tree farm!

    So you can get started on a small part of a future layout and make that a project that gets as little or as much attention as you can spare. There is a lot to learn from starting small. I learned that - da' hard way - after trying to do it big and . . . . biting off more than I could chew time after time!

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  3. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Post up some pics??
  4. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Pickering Lumber tourist railroad - layout overview (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Sean and V-8 Buick fans of miniaturized steel rails . . .

    [​IMG] . . . Remember! Youre askin for it! . . . [​IMG]

    Okay, but some caveats. This layout is 1/3 to 1/2 finished (as if any model railroad ever actually gets finished.) Also, it has sat neglected for a few years while I have been busy with . . . other things . . . [​IMG] So some of the images show a lot of dust. However, . . .

    First the premise: Sometime during the 1960s, some zillionare decided to preserve the history of steam logging, starting off by saving and restoring the equipment of the Pickering Lumber Company which was working the Merced river area close to Yosemite national park. He located a property with a small brick roundhouse and turned it into a logging equipment museum and tourist railroad.

    Here is an image of the track layout made with RailModeller:


    You can download a PDF file with a larger version of the plans here:

    http://www.canebas.org/misc/Model Railroad stuff/"L" Tourist railroad printout.pdf

    The other thing to keep in mind is that this a Christmas layout intended to come up into the living room during the holiday season. Here is a photo taken in this configuration:


    Here is another view of the overall layout:


    The roundhouse and engine service area is in front, the logging camp exhibit is in the middle and at the far end is the passenger station.

    Here is a photo taken at the back of the logging camp showing the camp water tower, the railroad crane, and a Dolbeer steam donkey. All three are so-called craftsman kits. The crane is a plastic kit, the other two are laser-cut wood and metal castings. The water tower has been modified to look like Pickering water towers.


    Here is a view from the other side of the layout showing a tourist train stopped at the passenger station:


    There is a train in between the station and logging camp with Kadee logging cars and craftsman kit for the Pickering caboose.

    Here is a close-up photo of the baggage combination passenger car:


    This is a ready to run car from Roundhouse. Lucky for me, Roundhouse made a batch of these cars with the passenger service provider that connected to Pickering: the Sierra railroad.

    Here is a photo of the end of the logging camp exhibit showing the office car.


    Logging railroads trying to make camps as mobile as possible. So instead of buildings, flatcars were converted into mobile buildings. Here is another view of the end of the camp:


    The cars on the left include sleeping, shower, and other conveniences. The cars on the right form a 3-car dining system with a kitchen car in the middle and two dining room cars on each end. All these cars were used in Washington state and were laser-cut wood craftsman kits.

    Here is a close-up of the Dolbeer steam donkey:


    This is another craftsman kit. You can barely make out the ruler at the bottom of the skids. Here is the shelter that I scratch-built for it:


    Here are an additional set of photos taken today, sorry for the dust. Here is the passenger station - another laser-cut kit:


    Youll notice in the background a forest of trees waiting to be planted. I decided to hold off on all scenery until the structures are completed.

    Here is the switchyard water tower:


    Pickering shared with a few other western railroad this odd square roof design on a cylindrical water tower. This is a kit-bashed creation. I have the engine facility water tower still to build.

    Here is a loader steam donkey. It is another craftsman kit that sadly was very poorly finished. I put months of effort to get a decent model and in the end, the results were only fair. You can barely see the legs and torso of the operator just to the left of the front support for the shelter.


    Here is the roundhouse and turntable:


    They are both Atlas products. The turntable is really amateurish and will be replaced (while incorporating into the new turntable the very reliable Atlas rotation and indexing mechanism.) On the other hand, the roundhouse isnt so bad if you put some effort into detailing it. Although eventually it should be replaced with a wood roundhouse.

    Finally, here is a view of the logging camp from the engine house. It shows the skid cabins that would have been loaded for transport on to flatcars. In between the cabins is a shelter for the wood supply that would have provided all the fuel for the logging camp in the days of steam. All these are laser-cut kits as well.


    So thats an overview of my tiny, if densely-packed, model railroad. If you have any questions - shoot!

    Cheers, Edouard :beer

    P.S. If you look at the plans, there is still a number of structures to complete.
  5. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Wow that is fantastic!! Amazing work!!!! Your my hero for getting the display in the main living area I thought I saw lucky to get a spot in the basement!
    BuickV8Mike likes this.
  6. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Well, there is a story behind that . . . (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Sean and V-8 Buick fans of steel rails,

    Thanks! :) I faced a steep learning curve because logging isn't a very popular topic to model. So the only kits out there are these craftsman kits produced by "mom and pop" vendors. It isn't that difficult if you take the time to learn, but going from a few sheets of basswood and a few metal castings to a completed and painted model does take some effort.

    Well, there is a story behind that also. 20 years ago or so, I wrote a Christmas short story about a crew of a logging train hauling Christmas trees during the depression. I was bold enough to manage to take a picture of one of my logging locomotives with the twilight sky and crescent Moon as a backdrop. I submitted the story to the National Model Railroad Association Bulletin and they actually published the story!

    So this layout is kind of the realization of the story. It really is supposed to only come up for the holiday season and spend the rest of the time in a downstairs utility room. However, it is a real hassle to move it and space downstairs is now piled up with auto parts (imagine that? :Brow: ) Occasionally, there are threats to evict it, but so far the rest of the household are living with it. It's been there so long that everyone has gotten used to it.

    Best of luck in advancing your own railroad empire!

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  7. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    Still looking at the pictures; - wow, good work!

    I know what you mean about small space. I'm going to have to see if I have a couple of a tiny HO layout I built years ago; - it was on a 4 x 8 sheet covering over the bed intended for when the mother-in-law came to visit. It served it's purpose...gotta find the book and scan them in...there was a European town and a factory on it, along with a spur to an airport, which was over a desk. The track was only and oval and there was one spur. It started as a test track for some cheap East German made trains I picked up, and then just kind of developed a life of it's own afterwards.

    Just had a test track and some 50s vintage Marklin 3-rail stuff running on my desk. Had just enough room to see that they work.

    I do want to build, but the state that things are in right now, I'd only have to take it apart, ...again! And man, do I hate doing that! So the plan is to have the basement renos done by next spring and then commence with founding the Empire...still working on track plans and building layouts. I've got a 20' square room to use, the idea is to have 2 major layouts, one a European layout, circa 1950-70, and the other a Western Canadian layout, circa the same period. It'll be a perfect compare and contrast...if I ever get it done!
  8. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Cool Mark thanks for the info about your past and future train set... I like the hobby because you can easily do 5 minutes of work at a time without getting greasy...
  9. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks and planning, planning, planning! (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Marc, Sean, and V-8 Buick fans of micro steel rails,

    Thanks! I really didn't have much of a choice. Lucky for me there are now inexpensive laser wood cutters so that kits of unusual subjects could be produced.

    That's a huge area to fill so if you want to go that route I would definitely recommend that you get a model railroad CADD program and start planning. I certainly was much better off because I could try many concepts before starting to lay any track!

    Cheers, Edouard
  10. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    Re: Thanks and planning, planning, planning! (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Do you have one in particular that you'd recommend? I was using the old very low-tech method of scaled down paper track on a piece of paper, I'd love to be able to use some decent planning software. Can you also plot out buildings, terrain and roads with the one you're using?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  11. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Golly! lots of choices! (Re: planning, planning, planning!)

    Hi Marc and V-8 Buick fans of micro steel rails,

    Well, . . . For starters you need to tell me if you are a Windows or Mac user. Since I'm a Mac guy, I only have experience with one program: RailModeller


    It isn't too expensive, it has a nice collection of templates so you can use track from any manufacturer, and will allow you to design in 3-d. I thought it was the only program for Mac. However, I found this thread on the Model Railroader forums (Oh no! Another possible forum where I could waste my time! :Dou: )


    That thread mentions a bunch of programs for PC and even another one for Mac that I didn't know about. On the PC side of things, there is a program made by Altas and even an open source program, so you can explore this stuff without spending a penny.

    The first PC program that I ever heard of is Cadrail by Sandia Software:


    It appears to me to be roughly the PC equivalent of RailModeller with the same functionality. It is somewhat expensive, but it might be a good investment if you have big ideas about multiple levels and want to be able model in 3 dimensions.

    If you are a PC guy, I suggest that you download the Atlas Right Track or XtrkCad software and try them out. Since both are free, that certainly a good way to explore the waters.

    Here is the link to download the Altas software:


    You'll find XtrkCad on this page:


    Just one thing, don't come back complaining to me about how much time you are wasting in trying to come up with the "perfect layout design!" :Brow:

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  12. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth

    I've got a PC, I'm certainly not a Mac person, probably never will be. I have enough trouble with an iPhone, but that's neither here nor there.

    Thanks for the tips Edouard, I'll be looking those up...and yeah, you're probably right, it'll cost a lot of sleepless nights trying to do the "perfect" design; I have to try and keep in mind that life and humanity is very imperfect and spontaneous or reactionary to an extent, so the scenery can't look too contrived!
  13. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Try out those freebe rail CADD programs! (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Marc and V-8 Buick fans of mini steel rails,

    Well, to be perfectly honest, I really like the original user interface of the Mac, but even Steve Jobs screwed up a few things, and the iPhone doesn't have anything that could be called a unified user interface. I wish I could recommend the Mac, but since Tim Cook took over Apple, it has been downhill . . . :(

    Remember that you aren't the first to have tried to build a model railroad empire. So if you need a little inspiration, go ahead and buy one of those sample layout track books from Model Railroader and others. It is amazing how looking at other layouts doesn't tempt you to copy so much as, try to improve upon them. Every new idea is fresh inspiration for your own empire!

    I'm sure you aren't having any trouble dreaming, just try to make the effort to figure out how to make one of those dreams - a reality! :)

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  14. Red Skylark

    Red Skylark Well-Known Member

    The building that's Batman's Hot Rods. Where did you find that? I would like to find something like that for a display for some Hot Wheels.
  15. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Hi there, I will try to find out the model number it was from "walthers"
  16. cpk 71

    cpk 71 im just a number

    I just picked up a 4x8 h-o layout this weekend for my 5yr old and me,done 20 plus years ago but it's a great start! Will post pics soon
  17. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Sounds good Chris keep us posted!!
  18. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    NMRA award winning HO gas station (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear V-8 Buick fans of micro iron horses,

    In this month's National Model Railroad Magazine there are photos of the winners at this year's annual convention. This model by Jim Allen caught my attention:


    This guy is really good at making award winning models, several of his models won this year. Here are some pictures of them all:


    I don't know if there is a prototype of this Flying-A gas station. I searched the web for a gas station with a DC 3 but I couldn't manage to bring anything up. It is surprising, it is the sort of gimmick I would have expected someone would have built.

    Enjoy! Edouard :beer
  19. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Shane is almost 2 and he loves playing with the train and the cars:







  20. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Good progress! (Re: Buicks on the train set)

    Dear Sean and V-8 Buick fans of micro iron horses, . . .

    That's plenty of progress on your layout! Congrats!

    Cheers, Edouard

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