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June 19, 2018, 11:40:51 PM
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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: May 02, 2018, 04:26:28 PM
I can tell you right now that the dimensions of the L shape are 11x8 feet. It was originally going to be a 12x8 C shape, until we compromised on the size. I will see if I have to modify my old C shape diagram of the layout to show the current L-shape. Once I find it, I'll upload it.
2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: April 29, 2018, 09:29:19 PM
Just curious.  What was the movie?

The first and third pictures are just drive-in intermission trailers/advertisements. The second is a clip from "Dracula, the Dirty Old Man," which is a really cheesy adult horror film from 1969. Definitely feels like drive-in movie fare, even if it has nudity (the clip I showed doesn't have any), and even has a scene taking place at a drive-in theater!
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: April 26, 2018, 10:37:27 PM
The Skyview Drive In Theater is up and running!


Yep, I got the ticket booth and the snack bar built!


A train passes by the drive-in as a cheesy horror movie plays at the drive-in! It may not be "Hot Shot Eastbound" (as the train is too modern), but it still looks cool!


An attempt at taking a photo without the flash as the Amtrak train speeds by the drive-in as a snack-bar advertisement plays during the pre-movie intermission.
4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: April 16, 2018, 10:45:40 PM
New photos again...


Just a couple of blissful family moments can be seen here.


A funny sight, courtesy of Woodland Scenics's "Accident Waiting to Happen" HO figure set.


The TYCO hopper car unloading set getting some use.


Both the BNSF freight and Amtrak passenger train pass each other.


Another shot of the BNSF freight in the railroad yard.


Testing the drive-in theater screen with a tablet that fits into it!
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: April 14, 2018, 11:31:58 PM
I was at a train expo in Bridgewater MA today so I bought some more stuff...


Not all of it I'm using right away though. (The TYCO Pak I am keeping handy for if I need more power for lights and accessories, of course.)


I'm glad I can now label my Bachmann remote switches (using a supply of old Atlas remote switch labels); at the actual turnouts I will mark them either on the side of the platform, or find another inconspicuous way (like a small signpost.)


Yeah, I know it's kind of gross, but I thought a dog about to mark its' territory on a fire hydrant would be yet another funny sight on my train layout. (Plus, I figured it'd work since my dog is obsessed with hydrants.) And yes, these are Bachmann SceneScapes figures.


Some of the wildlife seen on my train layout, with deer and wolves. The buck and wolves are from Woodland Scenics, while the doe and fawn are Model Power.



Just a couple of railroad crossing action shots.


The obligatory overview shot. I've moved the main freight and the Amtrak train back to their original track loops with virtually no fuss.
6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: April 11, 2018, 12:02:56 AM
I have one more question for you (Not trying to be a pain but I really like the layout you are building) You said you but knuckle couplers on all your cars.  I see that many of them are older Tyco, Life-Like, etc.  Are you just popping out the horn hooks and putting knuckles or are you converting to body mounted couplers?  If the former What couplers are you using and how is it working out?  Can you backup without problems?

I generally just either install E-Z Mate knuckle couplers (preferably Mark II) with Kadee talgo truck adapters into the talgo coupler pockets, or I would use Life-Like's SceneMaster knuckle couplers, which Walthers unfortunately discontinued a while back (too bad; they were pretty good for a quick-and-easy way to upgrade old AHM, Life-Like and TYCO rolling stock.) On this layout I don't have very many problems backing up the trains with these couplers either, and for the most part they work pretty well with the Bachmann under-track uncoupling magnets.
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: April 09, 2018, 10:28:22 PM
Will the Tyco autoracks handle 18 curves

Yes they can; same with the Athearn and Life-Like auto-carrier cars.
With that said, here's some more pics, which also include the auto-carrier train in action.


Recent picture of the control panel for my train layout. I now have six remote switches hooked up; I plan to hook up two more soon. Now if only I could find some kind of labels for the remote switches...


I reconfigured the track for the coal tipple siding so that the bumper isn't sticking up above the ground now.


Another shot of the woods on my layout, with a couple more trees "planted."


Another shot of the main BNSF freight unloading logs into the TYCO dumping bin. Now that I've got all the turnouts in that rail yard area wired up to the control panel, it's easier to do all the action just from the controls!


Trying out switching operations with the three trains on my layout. It did take a little planning, but I was able to get it done without much hassle. Maybe I'll shoot a video of it some day.


The auto-carrier train at the downtown station alongside the Amtrak train.


Another picture of both the TYCO freight unloading depot and the lighted signal crossing in action, now that the main freight is on the outer track line that passes through the residential area. Too bad Bachmann never made an action accessory similar to that freight unloading depot, and that their past attempt at a light-and-sound crossing was pretty lousy.


The auto-carrier train on the Amtrak's tail, now waiting for the Amtrak to clear the turnout and the switch to be thrown so it can move onto the outer loop and park there.

8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: April 06, 2018, 10:14:39 PM
It's been a while but here are some more new pics!


I found that those holes I make when drilling to run the Bachmann E-Z track switch wires under the platform can be easily filled with leftover bits of insulation foam. (I have to make the holes be elongated and rectangular-shaped due to the rectangular plugs Bachmann uses for their remote switches.


Here is one of those filled holes after the wire is run through it, with the ballast ground cover sprinkled over it.


The two holes from the first image with ground cover applied.


For my most recent demonstration of this train layout for some relatives, I had my auto-carrier train be hauled by my Bachmann Bluetooth-equipped BNSF GP35 diesel! They got a kick out of that.


In the residential area and near the drive-in theater I've applied the Walthers SceneMaster adhesive roadway. It's actually made by Busch, but the paint job is modified to look more like an American roadway. Now they just need to make intersection roadway sections as well...


Here I've placed the Woodland Scenics "Cop'n a Kiss" AutoScene on the "Lovers' Lane" ledge.


A bit of leftover Woodland Scenics roadway placed in front of the TYCO Lighted Signal Crossing.


The main freight unloading crates from the TYCO operating boxcar as the Amtrak train passes by on the other track.


Another shot of the freight train having one of the piggyback truck trailers unloaded. As I said, one fun thing about these operating freight car accessories is how even though they were clearly aimed at kids, they do allow for being able to actually load and unload cargo on freight trains and make for a more realistic operation! Too bad Bachmann doesn't make anything like that anymore (I know prior to 1994 they had their own log-dump car and an electrically-operated "action depot.")


Both trains passing each other at the railroad crossing near the Lovers' Lane.


The BNSF freight is flagged down due to a switch problem. (I fixed it after taking this photo.)


I have my Model Power 3-light signal wired up now, currently set on red to prevent any other trains from crashing into the back of the BNSF freight.
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: March 24, 2018, 08:30:30 PM
Yep; I plan to do that once I can find my old Android 7.9" tablet that was misplaced during our move to the current house. If not, I'll just buy a used/refurbished iPad Mini 4 (probably with 32 or 64 GB; I don't really need 128 GB) and use that in the screen. I found some nice ten-minute drive-in intermission montages on YouTube; I'm thinking of running this one...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRXC8Nvyqgg

But anyways, here are some more new pics!


I thought this looked like a cool sight, seeing the freight cars on the Bachmann blinking bridge like that.


I now have a third train placed on the layout as well; an auto-carrier train! I took my Bachmann BNSF GP40 and matching caboose and hooked them up to my Athearn, TYCO and Life-Like auto-carrier cars. I know from the 70s to the 90s Bachmann made a tri-level auto carrier car, and I do have one, but it's much too big to run alongside the other auto carriers, and I need to find the appropriate knuckle couplers for it (it's not as easy as replacing the couplers on the rest of my older rolling stock.) I am not surprised Bachmann hasn't updated the tri-level auto carrier with knuckle couplers and such and is still selling it with the rest of their product line! Either that, or make a new auto carrier in HO scale.
As you can see in the background, I got out my Walthers Trainline BNSF "Fakebonnet" Dash 8-40BW locomotive to pull the main freight, along with a matching Trainline Santa Fe caboose.


Here I have the main freight train in the foreground. There's just something neat about seeing a much more modern diesel locomotive like the Dash 8-40BW pulling a freight train that includes older TYCO cars.


Here's a creative use for TYCO's old blinking traffic lights. They make great fire station traffic signals! (I haven't wired it up yet, but I plan to soon.)


Placed some cars on where the drive-in theater is going and put in another row of those old speaker posts. After Anime Boston and my next payment comes in, I'll buy a few more paints so I can build the ticket booth and the snack bar/projection booth structures (I hope I can find color photos of Brockton's old Skyview Drive-In for inspiration on how to paint it!)


I finally got around to replacing the burnt-out bulb in my Life-Like flashing light storage tank. I used a red Model Power blinking LED. It looks a lot more realistic now, too. When I first got it, the whole tank seemed to illuminate, so I painted the interior black except the red translucent dome on the top, and that helped a bit. But thanks to the new Model Power blinking LED, it looks more like the real thing!


I learned how I can drill slots to fit the Bachmann E-Z Track Simplimatic remote switch plugs through my control panel. It looks less cluttered now for sure. (But I am still having trouble trying to get it through the main platform with its' extruded foam. Any turnouts near the edge I will just run the wire to the edge of the platform and down, and then hide it with landscaping ground cover.)


It's hard to get a clear shot of my model trains in motion on my phone, as they look a bit blurry, even when running at a slow speed! But it does seem to create a neat motion effect.
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: March 22, 2018, 11:58:22 PM

Here's the Amtrak train stopped at the Arlee Station.


Doing some more realistic railroad switching/right-of-way operations here so I can move the trains from one loop to the other.


I am now placing the speakers into the drive-in theater layout (remember drive-in speakers?)


The BNSF freight stopped at the Plasticville freight station as a hobo sits in one of the boxcars.


People can board the Amtrak train from both platforms at the downtown station when it's on the inner loop!


The TYCO freight-unloading depot in action!


Here's the BNSF freight rounding through the woods.


The semaphore signal is adjusted to red so the BNSF freight can pass by here.
11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: March 22, 2018, 12:43:43 PM
I am thinking of painting the track to make it more real-looking. I saw some tips on how to do so in one of the Bachmann Model Railroad Club online magazines without having to apply additional ballast (but maybe I'll try that for the in the rail yard to match the rest of the gray ballast ground cover.) It even mentions how to clean the tops of the rails after painting. As for fastening it down, I plan to use some double-sided tape underneath the track in a few corners to keep it firm for normal operation.

And yes, I chose the nickel-silver track due to its' better conductivity and being easier to keep clean. On my TYCO crossing gate, it had a removable straight track section when I got it so I replaced the original straight brass track section with an Atlas Code-100 nickel-silver track section to allow for better conductivity and electrical consistency when I last installed it on the previous layout.
12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: March 21, 2018, 08:36:37 PM
Good idea. I will definitely try that.
But in the meantime, here are more updates!


I also now have illuminated the Life-Like Ace Super Market!


And I got the TYCO log dump bin working as well!


Another shot of my hoboes together.


I found my Bachmann Plasticville swimming pool accessory and set it up behind the Plasticville split-level house.


The Bachmann LED blinking oil tank all wired up and in use now.


It's a bit hard to tell but I also have a light in the TYCO Arlee Station as well; one of those newer Bachmann LED ones. It has a yellowish color, most likely to emulate an incandescent light.


And of course, a shot of the layout in the dark showing most of the illuminated action!


Here's a workspace I've set up for building structures and such.


Just another shot of my current BNSF freight consist. I was able to stick a piece of plastic sprue from a building kit into the windmill seen there to keep it attached to the platform.


I have been able to stick my NJ International Griswold crossing signal on the layout. Once I get a crossing signal controller for there I will wire it up and such.


I've also been working on putting together the drive-in movie theater, even though I don't have the right-sized tablet to fit in the screen yet. Also note the Life-Like Al's General Store; the older version that had labels of actual products instead of the fictional counterparts Life-Like came up with later on so they wouldn't get sued.


Now for some Bachmann trivia! Did you know that back when Bachmann introduced the E-Z Track line in 1994, it was initially called the "Right Track" System? Then they shortly changed the name to "E-Z Track," which has stuck since. Maybe it was due to Atlas using the phrase "You're on the right track with Atlas!" or something. Back in 1994, all they had in E-Z Track was 18"-radius curves, 9" straights, left and right remote turnouts and a 9" straight terminal rerailer. It makes sense, since they were just starting out. That was all they also had for sectional steel track in 1994 as well, before finally phasing that out in 1997. Today, the steel E-Z Track lineup has some more options than that, but is still small compared to the wide variety of lengths, radii and turnout configurations in the nickel-silver E-Z Track line! (Which is why I used the nickel-silver E-Z Track on my current layout.)
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: March 18, 2018, 11:51:52 PM
Well, I got me a couple of extended-length drill bits, allowing me to now run wiring underneath my layout to power lights and accessories!


The TYCO Lighted Freight Station and the Life-Like KFC are the first to come on, wired up to the TYCO Pak on the control panel.


The TYCO Freight Unloading Depot is wired up now, too. I disguised the wire going from the back into the hole with lychen.


The control panel is neater-looking on this end, now that I re-routed the wiring to underneath the panel. I'll still need a way to drill slits to fit each of the Bachmann remote switch connectors though, due to their shape.


I also got the TYCO operating boxcar working on this layout as well! (Too bad Bachmann didn't make anything like this back in the 70s or 80s.) I plan to soon wire up the log dump car bin as well.


And here's the manual TYCO piggyback loader/unloader at work.


More lights on at this end! The TYCO Lighted Factory and Life-Like Lighted Yard Tower, and lights inside the TYCO Center. St drug store, furniture store and school.
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Bachmann "Scenic Classics" kits on: March 17, 2018, 07:40:32 PM
Time for another post from me about a vintage Bachmann model train product! This time it's about their "Scenic Classics" line...

In 1979, when Bachmann started making landscaping products as part of their model train line (a precursor to their SceneScapes line) they also came out with the "Scenic Classics" line, which included a Plasticville building kit or similar accessories and some landscaping (to be set on a small square grass mat).
It was a pretty neat concept, especially for young model railroaders who were starting out in wanting to do landscaping.


The back side of the box; same as on the boxes for their action accessories of the time. Believe it or not, Bachmann still sells some of their operating accessories in the older late 70s box style from time to time, just with the product number updated. At the hobby shop I often go to, I've seen the Wayside Steam Whistle Warehouse sold in the original 1980 packaging style, complete with the back showing some of those long-discontinued products. Talk about a throwback! (The only products seen here still made by Bachmann include the dual crossing gates and blinking bridge (now modified to work with E-Z Track) and the diesel horn oil tank.)

Here are links to old catalog images showing different Scenic Classics kits...
http://hoseeker.net/bachmanninformation/bachmanncatalog1979pg17.jpg
http://hoseeker.net/bachmanninformation/bachmanncatalog1980pg28.jpg

Then in 1982, Bachmann refreshed the line into the "Lighted Scenic Classics," where the included Plasticville kit would also include an interior light unit to be set up in the building. Bachmann also made them in O-scale as well.
Bachmann eventually discontinued them after the 80s. But I know Life-Like had also come out with their own equivalent in the 80s, with their "Build-a-Scene" kits, which remained available until the early 2000s.


Here's how I put the vegetable garden together on my layout! I didn't need to use the little grass mat, since I already applied ground cover to the layout (i.e. I paint the foam surface in an earth color and sprinkle on the ground cover material while the paint is still wet.) It was kind of tricky applying the "vegetables" to the garden, but I am pleased with how it came out. The kit was missing the little wooden poles to apply tomatoes to, but I suppose I can make them myself. It also came with a couple of unpainted figures, wheelbarrow and a PINK tree. (What was Bachmann thinking back in 1979?) Maybe I'll get around to painting the figures at some point; I already have the paints I would need...


I think it'd be cool if Bachmann brought back something like this on the market. Of course the landscaping materials would the newer (and much better-looking) SceneScapes variety, and several of those Plasticville kits and accessories are still in production. After all it's neat how Bachmann makes some interesting kits and packages for beginning modelers to expand their train sets (like the new E-Z Track siding sets coming out this year.)
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A new layout for the new house! on: March 17, 2018, 07:24:50 PM
Thanks! And there's more where that came from...


I've added a vegetable garden to the farm! It's from a Bachmann "Scenic Classics" kit from cira 1979. It was kind of tricky applying the "vegetables" to the garden, but I am pleased with how it came out. The kit was missing the little wooden poles to apply tomatoes to, but I suppose I can make them myself. It also came with a couple of unpainted figures, wheelbarrow and a PINK tree. (What was Bachmann thinking back in 1979?) Maybe I'll get around to painting the figures at some point; I have the paints I would need already...


Some action at the commuter train station platform next to the coal yard and gas station.


Since the switches and trains were currently configured not to run on that outer curve in the photo, I placed my TYCO crane car and boom tender there for now. (Again, I went with the Santa Fe versions from the 70s to fit with my BNSF freight trains.)


Camping underneath the railroad line here! The brakeman figure you see is, again, to mark an undertrack magnet for any freight operations with the nearby logging mill.


An overview of the residential area, along with the gas station, some of the coal yard, two of the schools, the library and church, and the TYCO Freight Unloading Depot and Lighted Signal Crossing.


I thought seeing the Amtrak train going around the curve through the woods looked pretty cool, so I figured I'd get a shot of it. As for the trees, I may get pins to drill into the bottom of the trunks after clipping the bases to "plant" them into the ground firmly.
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