Re: OsO Valley

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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Tue 2. May 2017, 12:56

Hello all

Thought I'd share my final layout design for the lower deck of the OsO Valle RR. It is N scale, very freemo and loosely based on the 1950's. The lower deck will have a very busy city feel, and the upper deck (almost finished designing it, I’ll add it soon) will be much more sparse and open country. I haven't done anything remotely hobby related in well over 25 years so starting from scratch.

Dimensions are overall 4 meters x 3 Meters (not huge but enough) having liberated garage space at home in the last 12 months. Lower bench work is 70% finished as of writing. It’s designed so I can constantly run trains on both upper and lower deck as well as move between decks when heading West or East and servicing industries as well.

Layout will be DCC with several reversing loops including the helix (green track up, red rack down) and I've managed to convert and test all my locomotives except for one very pesky early production Kato GS4. It needs isolating but that's another story.

Also I have been collecting locomotives and rolling stock a bit so I already have mixed passenger traffic ready to go with the Santa Fe Super Chief, UP City of San Francisco, GN Empire Builder, WP California Zephyr, SP Daylight, PRR Broadway Limited and Illinois Central as well as building up freight stock. 80% of what I’ve acquired is second hand except for track. Nearest hobby shop is a 1000Kms away (no hobby shops in or near Gibraltar) so I've been hammering Ebay and mail order from the UK, U.S.A, Japan, all over Europe and Australia. The wife would probably kill me if she ever finds out how much :-)

Love using Railmodeller Pro on my trusty Macbook and has kept me out of mischief whilst working away from home. Well, that and knocking together the odd Walthers kit so far.

Please feel free to comment, criticize, copy, ask questions or whatever. Thanks for looking.

RH
Attachments
OsO Valle RR.jpeg
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valle

Post by rhopkin » Tue 2. May 2017, 14:38

Quick update, a few photo's of when I was testing various things. I wanted to reduce the depth of the track deck stringers to give me a little more height underneath for storage so quickly put together my first deck with 27mm square horizontal supports. I also wanted to visually test the different radius tracks and inclines and test all my DCC decoders installed and generally mess around with consisting multiples of locomoitves. This proved invaluable in helping me plan better when it came to using RMP.

When I get back Mid May, I'll rebuild the track deck to match the plan and I will use thicker stringers underneath because in 12 months the 15mm thick ply sheet used started to warp ever so slightly underneath which is bad news on something small like N-scale. I've noticed in a lot of American layouts they use 2 inch x 4 inch stringers underneath which makes sense having now observed the potential for wood warping over time. All my wood has to be purchased in Spain so I'll get the closest equivalent in centimeters, probably 5 centimeters by 10 centimeters but I can re-use all the wood bought so far.

The top deck, when I get around to building it, I can re-use the 27mm stringers underneath as the ply base depth of the modules will be less than the lower deck and support about half the weight.
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RailModeller Support
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Re: OsO Valle

Post by RailModeller Support » Wed 3. May 2017, 07:48

Great layout, thanks for the description and sharing it with the community!

It would be awesome to see more photos as it comes along..
:)

Cheers,
Jan
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Fri 12. May 2017, 08:56

Just another update; Attached is the Upper Deck with lower deck baseboard underneath so you can see it is a much thinner footprint which will allow me easy access to the lower deck. Clearance between the two decks will be about 16 - 18 inches (40 - 45cm).

I'm sure this will get revised but hopefully gives you a rough idea of where I'm going with the design. As you can see it's much more sparce than the lower deck and will be a rural setting, in line with Southern or Central California so think fruit growers, small towns etc, localised MOW crews, small mainline station etc.

One other update, I've just placed my track order (4th one) which will be delivered when I'm home next week and have started collecting freight stock and locomotives so I have three 1950's era Santa Fe zebra stripe GP-7's and a clutch of equivalent era wooden refrigeration cars to add to what I've alerady obtained. Also managed one Walthers kit build and paint whilst I've been working away. Results weren't too bad considering I haven't built a plastic kit in about 30 years and could only buy normal artists acrylic paint at the time. Maybe I'll throw a photo up in case it gets squashed in the baggage hold on the way home.

I don't expect to be laying any upper deck track until end of the year or even early next year, see what I can get done inbetween keeping family happy and a possible trip over the next ten weeks whilst I'm home. I'll keep posting though if that's OK.

Thanks for looking and all comments welcome.
Attachments
OsO Valle Upper Deck.jpeg
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Fri 12. May 2017, 09:17

A couple of pictures during the second build of the lower deck which took place in January. You can see the underside stringers which will be removed and saved for the upper deck as I mentioned in the first post due to plywood warping. Also the far side curved base board will also get used on the upperdeck, when I rebuild the lower deck (again) this time it will be squared off to allow for the roundhouse extension and outer double track loop that traverses around it. The only thing is the helix will intrude out a little and be very close to the roundhouse but I'll darken it up to match the lower deck city scape. Not perfect but space is limited.
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valle

Post by rhopkin » Wed 31. May 2017, 16:24

Short Update - Since getting home two weeks ago I've been pretty busy with non-train related stuff but I've managed this week to rebuild (Third time...and last!) the lower bench work. All the old stringers removed and a more traditional framework built and the old base boards re-mounted. much stronger now. One new baseboard was purchased to make the last one rectangualr and then a small peninsula added to for the mainline to run around the roundhouse. A couple photo's attached. I have a trip to Berlin next week but I may sneak out tomorrow morning and buy the rest of the wood to build the backdrop and second level when I return from Germany.
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Wed 28. Jun 2017, 14:35

Update - I have been busy with a trip to Berlin (Visited a super a train shop there, "Turberg" in Lietzenburger Str. 51. Not many American trains but I was drooling over the German OO and G scale stuff; Just fabulous although out of my price range) and an unexpected work trip to Palma last week so not had much time whilst home but I've managed to start test fitting track on the bench work, few photo's for you. I've tried to get the next lot of plywood for the top deck as well but good old Spanish suppliers struck again, no 15mm ply in stock so will try Gibraltar next week and some how get it accross the forntier. Have you ever tried to smuggle 2.5m x 1.22m sheet ply??? I love Spain but honestly trying to get what I need here drives me insane sometimes. It's an adventure if nothing else.

Once the test fitting is done I'll start drilling holes to drop the wires for the switches (turnouts) and feeder wires. Also have obtained large sheets of 2" foam for the back as the entire area will be raised. You can see one sheet placed to test cleareances just in front of the reversing track which will be in a tunnel with a retaining wall that backs onto the four station tracks.

Couldn't resist putting two of my new Atlas Zebra Stripe GP7's and 1950's era wooden box cars on the track. More locomotives requiring decoders I guess.

I wasn't too sure how the small yard area would look but now it's on an I see it in the flesh, it will be a nice area for detailing and making a semi run down indsutrial scene with the two main lines passing through it.

Thanks for looking.
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drbnc
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Re: OsO Valle

Post by drbnc » Sun 2. Jul 2017, 21:12

Very nice! Zebra stripes are awesome, and your plans are ambitious...! :shock:

rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Mon 3. Jul 2017, 16:13

Thank you drbnc! I figure if I'm going to do it then might as well go large within the available space.
Last edited by rhopkin on Mon 22. Jan 2018, 23:16, edited 1 time in total.

rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Mon 3. Jul 2017, 16:16

Couple more photo's of the back side with track and more foam. Since the photo was taken, I've removed the track and will start building the tope deck this week having finally obtained more plywood.
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Fri 7. Jul 2017, 13:04

Upper deck construction underway. I decided to go out on a limb (again) and use 9mm plywood (less than half the price of the 15mm of the lower deck and half the weight) along with the recycled 27Sq mm stringers. First section worked out well so I'll continue. Posted more photo's for you.

I'll try not to use vertical supports at the front of second deck if I can avoid it so the whole top deck is floating. I'm no carpenter by the stretch of anyones imagination but taking my time and measuring at least 3 times and then cutting it all seems to be OK using only a basic jigsaw. No tragic events yet!

Once again, Rail Modeller Pro has been invaluable in helping me design and execute the layout and I keep checking back to cross reference my design at all phases of the build. So far the entire lower deck is still visible with the top deck on when standing next to it so I''m pleased with the 35cm height difference.
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Thu 13. Jul 2017, 17:21

Have been able to put in almost a full week, More work on the top deck, stringers and even more or less finished the helix roadbed. More photo's for you. I tested a four axle GP7 and my new GS4 on the initial climb to make sure the incline and curves aren't too much. I'll do a full test tomorrow with a full climb, full consist (probably 10+ passenger cars from a standing start. Fingers crossed!

The helix was a real labour of love, I'm fairly pleased with the result and used up a bunch of hardware I had laying around so kept cost to a minimum. If you don't enjoy woodwork (fortunately I do even though I'm not so good at it) then think about a helix kit if your designing a multi-layer layout. Building one eats huge amounts of time, wood and hardware plus needs a bit of thought to see it through but hugely fun if you like building.
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Fri 14. Jul 2017, 16:47

99.9% done with benchwork.

Electrics and track laying next. Doubt I'll have time now for it until September but you never know.
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rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Mon 22. Jan 2018, 09:33

Hello again

It's been a while since I posted anything but have made progress since the last time. Updated I'll post a few photo's shortly but I've also got a you tube channel for the build. Don't expect great production quality as it's all shot from my iPhone and I don't edit the video. Average time is 3 to 5 minutes per update. So far I have ten updates but jump straight to updates 9 and 10 as these have been done in the last week.

Thanks for looking.
Last edited by rhopkin on Mon 22. Jan 2018, 23:14, edited 1 time in total.

rhopkin
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Re: OsO Valley

Post by rhopkin » Mon 22. Jan 2018, 23:07

Lower deck DCC Bus line installed as are the drop feeders. Used 4mm cable for the bus line and the default Kato track feeder cables (24-818). So far have used over 30 and have another 20 to install on the helix and upper yard area. First test run everything worked perfectly, no short circuits and no dead spots. Very much worth the effort to make sure you have enough feeder wires and to make sure all turnouts are powered on the in track and the two out tracks are isolated.

Started running out of track so need to order more before I can progress much further. Also made changes to the yards from the original drawing and will now have dual tracks on the reverse loop that runs mostly hidden under the upper section of the lower deck. Added yet more plywood to the lower deck (for the upper portion) and have started experimaenting with cutting/sanding/shaping the foam for scenery. Also messed around with painting the unitrack to get rid of the plastic toy look. Found inexpensive low pressure spray paint in Bricor (local Spanish DIY shop). Easily cleaned the rails afterwards and in fact did the entire back section in two very large pieces, making sure any spray on the rail joiners didn't matter because this occured at sections that were isolated and powered by seperate track feeders. Really made life easy.

As I've mentioned before, please check out my You Tube page or search OSO Valley N Scale, latest are video's 9 and 10 as of writing this. It explains a lot more that a thousand words can here. Thanks for reading and all comments, questions or whatever is welcome.

RH
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