Friday, September 16, 2011

On30 Layout Revisited and Logging Critter Update

I'm getting anxious to get started with the new layout(s). My goal is to take the "limited" layout space and make the best of it for both my HO scale Big Island Rail layout and the new On30 Logging/Harbor pike.I think the concentrated space will help me centralize layout plans and keep me in check. In my Colorado bedroom HO layout (before the move to Minn.) I was able to zero-in on the limited space and get the layout  "close to completion." Good enough to take some great photos and get a layout feature accepted by Model Railroader Magazine (not yet published). I'm hopeful I can accomplish the same with my combo layouts concept.

I'm thinking of using the top HO scale layout as a valance, so-to-speak, for the On30 layout below. I want the room to look beautiful, finished, comfortable and a joy to spend time it. Since this is going to be a "permanent" layout(s) working on room finishes and lighting will be a must. I plan to finish the front fascia of the layouts in a nice "bead board" paneling, painted in a nice "Depot" green and trimmed to add a touch of class to the finished layout room. I want a seamless, curved background panel as well. Lighting the On30 layout will come mostly from fixtures under the HO layout bench work with additional lights in the room to highlight extended section of the On30 layout.

Pondering a Change of Theme 
The more I ponder my new On30 project during the countdown to a new basement, I'm starting to think about dropping the whole "Sugar Plantation"  railroad concept and unifying the layout into an "All Swamp Logging and Lumber" railroad. I've modified my operations concept to have logging trains run through from staging wing through the woods camp and then into "town/harbor" and off to the other staging wing to the "mill." This will add more actual running of the trains along the layout.

With this idea, my thought is to use the Pier 1 portion of the layout as a tidewater harbor. Instead of handling mainly bagged raw sugar, I would run lumber cars from the "mill" to the Pier 1 area for loading onto cargo steam ships for travel to market. General freight shipments will also head to the harbor to keep the local trains busy.

I think this is a better concept for the layout so I can keep the backwater Bayou feel to the entire layout giving better continuity and purpose and not dividing the small layout into two even smaller parts. I can still use my On30 scratch-built sugar boxcars as lumber company supply cars between mill and woods. I will run passenger trains or mixed trains to the harbor and rail bus operations from harbor to the woods camps for added interest and operations.

Critter Nears Completion
Interspersed in this blog dispatch are the latest snapshots of my scratch-built On30 critter. Still to do - run the lights into the headlight housings, add some "steps" at all four corners, add 'No. 6' to the cab sides, weather the loco a bit more, add a bell and more detail parts and goodies in the cab and on the engine itself. When funds allow, I'll purchase a small speaker that will squeeze into the short hood and a sound unit for the DCC.

1 comment:

  1. If you're looking for outside opinions, the swamp theme sounds pretty dang cool. But then again I lived in Hawaii for 20 years so sugar cane feels "same 'ol same 'ol" to me. On top of that, having seen the On30 swamp layout @ Caboose Hobbies in Denver it's a tempting theme even for myself seeing how well it can be done. I'll try to remember to take a picture of that diorama next time I'm there.