Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Layout Extension

I've started construction on the layout extension!

I stopped moving forward on the subway section a while back after running the longer KATO train for a while and loving it. ( the dirty track issues) I was excited to get longer runs with wider curves in that didn't happen to be UNDER my main layout only. After looking at several options from grand to minor, I went for the "bust into the next room" option.

•• I wrote a post about the plan...and promptly forgot to publish it. :) I just saw and published it today. It can be found here: 

I'm making an effort to do things a little smarter this time. I was so excited about my main layout that I crashed into the project like a bull on steroids with six six-packs of soda in him! HAD to get it done so I could play! This time, I'm slowing things down and thinking through both what I want and the various ways I can get it done. I've been measuring, tinkering, and thinking through the various needs and execution stylings that are involved here.

With all that in the works and wood sourced from a few areas (...for the grand price of $7 since some of it was free!), I started in on the building.

The first step was to line up the extension platform that was going to run from the current subway section over to the wall to the other room. I had this section from the original layout plan which used it to join two tables. I changed that plan around when I saw that I could get more space by making use of a larger section between the tables. So, with a mere 2 inches cut from it, it spanned the space perfectly.

Now that I knew where my hole was, I got to chopping. No small task seeing as I didn't have all of the proper equipment lined up. I had to...improvise. :)

I still have my old old layout module piece that I played with using for this section at one point.

Bouncing around a bit, I moved over to my outermost area of the space. Here I planned to use the free wood as a super solid base for more wood later. This is super thick pine that was given to me by a neighbor. He was happy to hear that it was going from "never used raised garden bed" to "used n-scale layout base"! :)

I have a much photographed module / section that I had at my old office space. It was one of the first pieces I had done and I really like it a lot. My plan was to keep it together as is and build it into the space, but after playing with it, the new tack will be to pry it up and off the board it's on, then build the parts into the scene separately.

The track will run under the current layout and be built out as a subway section still. It will have a side track on it for additional train storage so I can switch things up a bit without having to toss trains on and off tracks all the time.

The main subway station platform may be moved from the current location. I need to think about how it affects the layout above it. It may just stay right where it is and leave me more space for my KAIJU MONSTER scene - the military discovering and battling a giant monster underground! :)

The background is being done and placed as well. THIS TIME, I'm NOT going with canvas. It was a nightmare last round! hehehe  I'm using this panel board and I just tacked it with one nail so i can go in later (post-planning) to repaint it and rehang it properly. Super easy to lay in.

I went with a super basic paint up - not stressing over the overall look this round. It was a far more pleasant experience for me.

Once I have a better idea of what is going where. I can block things in, pull the backgrounds, repaint, then rehang them with the background matching up nicely.

I've taken a new approach to the deck as well. As I said, I had some donated wood and wood that I got for $7 from URBAN ORE here in the East Bay. I'm not building this to last for years. As it currently stands, my wife keep talking about moving in a few years, so I've built this to be in place and workable. Especially since I'm not a craftsman. I'm a flighty, art type. The bench work just needs to stay up under my scenics! :)

I tossed in the wood bits on top of the current shelving that's in place and the "raised bed wood" I placed just so I could start playing with the track on top of it. This is allowing me to see if I like the overall space of it BEFORE bolting things down. ((Filed under: LESSONS LEARNED FROM ROUND 01 OF BUILDING A LAYOUT))  

This has been a fantastic way for me to plan, personally. Really getting into the space after playing with the track in real time on the living room carpet to get an idea of what I want. I can moving things around, get down to deck level to see how things are working, and move around the space to see if the room is still "livable", as it were.  This has been huge and I plan to take time with it for sure. I did a little playing with track with my current layout, but didn't think a lot of things through and paid for it later with my tight curves. Now, I'm folding things in that I missed in round one and also things that I didn't get to include due to lack of space in the first layout planning.

I'm planning on several items for this extension:

• An additional station that can support the longer trains
• Track running through an area of hills and water with lush green around it
• More road scenes running through countryside and more rural areas including an underpass
• Homes close to the track 
• More small detail areas out in the middle of sections
• More raised areas of track running past lower areas 
• MAYBE even another small planted area! 

Reference photos. (SO MANY photos in SO MANY folders! :)  )

 I love these patchwork areas of land. I'm thinking about adding in a few at the layout edge to imply that it goes on further.

 Trains on hillsides with lush green all around them - another favorite of mine that was left on the "cutting room floor" in round 01 of my layout. 

Again, more train hill action. Here, I like the steepness of the area and the greenery on the retaining wall. Very cool. This is my target for the area by the "hole-in-the-wall tunnel" area of the layout.

I might have to fit in something like this little series of scenes. Small, industrial spots with little details like the ramp to the right of the green gate and the little service road with thin, two story house. I compile all these wants and needs and ideas, I start to see that this is going to take a long, long while to get things where I want them. Phase one will be setting the track like I want it, building it out with the base for it like I want it, and making sure all the track is working properly. (UNLIKE last time where I had track in place that just wasn't 100%, but started working on scenery anyway! hehehehe)  And the money behind it. Whew. I need to pick up more freelance work! :)

The nice thing is that I have SOYOKAZE and SHIZUKA to work on for scenery and the like. I'll be able to juggle between the locations depending on what I feel like doing.

Now...what to NAME the new section.....?   :)



  1. Woa, a super long extension!

    1. LOL, Rios! got a little crazy. :)
      I really wanted to address things that got left out f my original layout design due to space or bad planning. This seemed like a good way to both do that and use the space in my office that was just...sitting there doing nothing but collecting dust and spiders! heheheh