Crawford and Cherokee Layout Update

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by rjthomas909, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I like it too Jim.
    Something I need to do is get some static grass down. My whole MRR looks like it had been recently mowed.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  2. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks guys for the feedback. This weekend, worked on adding "Main street" and "Oak Street" to the Weir City Modules, and raising the ground level for the industries around Cherokee. Also, adding a small ditch and culvert under the tracks south of Oak Street. Sorry, no pictures, but plenty of cork and sculptamold.

    I have also been working on a way to best integrate the "Lighting Creek Mine" module into the layout. This is the module that is from the original Crawford and Cherokee, and which was salvaged when it was dismantled. My earlier track plan to incorporate this section required too much modification of the benchwork's structure.

    I have altered the mine module to have a narrow 90-degree interface, cutting off its formerly pointy end.

    With a short connecting module, this design will permit it to be part of a small switching layout and also part of the larger layout. I have entered such a plan into the "Model Rail Radio" small layout design contest (HO scale, with 1440 square inches or less). It will look something like this.


    It is a bit further along now, with connecting plates, pink foam, and cork is down on the small two-track section. This narrow rectangular section will have space for a small depot and a few other structures. Will definitely be some good fun when the larger layout is stored, or for a show. I might even build a second segment for the two-track section with another short yard track, but that would not fit in the contest rules.

    In order to connect the mine module to the Crawford and Cherokee, I have the following most recent plan:

    You may note a new ~4-ft module with a 45-degree corner and with three turnouts. It will connect the town of Cherokee to the now modified Lightning Creek module with a tw0-track interface. This gives the layout a slightly more prototypical track layout in Cherokee, with two ends for what I am calling a yard track (was actually a passing or interchange track in real life). I went and grabbed the lumber for this module over the weekend, with the goal of working on it during the upcoming three-day weekend. Also received additional GapMasters from American Tie and Timbers to put all of these together.

    Well, I hope you all had a good weekend (Go Chiefs!)

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Bob, I have been enjoying your wonderfully systematic and sensible approach to layout construction. It is beneficial for me as I work new things and ideas in my own land grant.

    And wish the Chiefs had pulled it out. Regardless, it was a fun season.
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  4. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Always fun to watch a layout come to life. Thanks for sharing you efforts with us.


    The Chiefs are young and inexperienced. I thought good adjustments were made to get them back in the game in the 2nd half.

    It was ours to win, but IMHO, that offside penalty (again: inexperience) was the killer. As soon as I saw the turnover, I knew we had the game won (we could run the clock out). Getting it called back because of an offside was so heartbreaking.

    Maybe next year!

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  5. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks guys. A good year overall, I guess. Hopefully one to build on.

    On the road this week and much of the next couple, so won’t have much progress to report for the layout.

    Take care,

    -Bob T.
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  6. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening Frisco Friends,

    Over the past couple of weeks, there were a few short bursts of progress on the Crawford and Cherokee. Mostly worked on assembling cars:

    However, some progress on benchwork. The Lightning Creek Mine module, which will turn off of the main line south of the Cherokee module (see plan above) is a carry-over from the old layout and did not have matching benchwork in the form of the "waffle" modules built more recently. Worked to change it from the 1"x3" framed version above (post from the 13th of January) to this version with matching structure:

    This will allow it to attach to the rest of the layout, with one module between Cherokee and the mine module left to build. It still needs some paint and legs, but I think it is turning into a good save from version 1 of the layout. The small cartridge module was created to allow this pair to be used as a small switching layout, independent of the larger garage-surrounding assembly.

    Something like this:

    Also need to assemble the bridging module that is a rectangle with a corner cut to the dimensions of this mine's end plate. It is shown in the plan above from the 13th of January as well. You can see some of the parts in the background. Hopefully, will get to it over the weekend. Finally home from travel for most of February, so I look forward to seeing you on our favorite site.

    Take Care All,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  7. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening Frisco Friends,

    A nice 3-day weekend does wonders for the soul, and for the layout. I was able to spend some time working on the Cherokee diamond section, taking it from brown-painted foam blandness to the start of something that is planned to be a key scene on the layout.

    The Cherokee diamond module is going to hopefully result in this scene (from


    to see a nice album from Cherokee, KS.

    The station is on the North-South line between Fort Scott, KS and Afton, OK. Not sure what train this is, but the notation says between 1895 and 1905. The curved track is the interchange between the N-S line and the E-W Parsons Sub, and leading to my modeled branch line to Weir, KS. You can see that there is a depressed region within the area captured by the tracks, so the flat-foam top received some terraforming.

    and as of today, looks something like this:

    A bit of mocking up a scene that will eventually include the Cherokee station, you get a view from 2nd Street something like this on the layout:

    Although I don't have a passenger train to put in place, here are a few photos from that section.

    This gives a 5th (and a half?) section that has a reasonable amount of initial scenery, with the big modules of Cherokee and Weir to go yet.

    Happy Presidents Day to All,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  8. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Presidents Day Addendum:

    The weekend layout work included a traffic jam of modules set up for various reasons:

    From this picture, you can also see that some work was being done on the switching layout version of the Lightning Creek Mine module. The picture shows that I was able to get it up on some legs with casters and paint the fascia.

    The small town/cartridge module had the track glued down with some DynaFlex caulk:

    And the Gap-Masters installed and track gaps cut with a razor/jewelers saw.

    The resulting switching layout is going to be a nice diversion when I can't set up the whole layout:

    (The paper cut-out is the size of the Weir depot, which I will eventually scratch build.

    The shortest track is just long enough for a locomotive and and two 40-ft cars:

    which I think will be good for just pushing some cars around. Just ran out of time to get the track painted this weekend, but pretty good progress over all.

    Take care all,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  9. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Looking really good, Bob!

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I agree with everyone's comments this is a great thread. I enjoy the builds and weathering and such, I especially like the color of the static grass used. color of the rail/ties and all.
    Sirfoldalot and modeltruckshop like this.
  11. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks a million, guys. Your support means a lot to me, and I enjoy sharing progress and getting great suggestions from you all. While the scenery is progressing, I am going to need some advice in areas where I have less confidence.

    It would be great if I could get some input on weathering my steam locomotives. I picked up an couple of unlettered (2-8-0, 0-6-0) and need to re-letter/number a Bachmann 4-6-0. It has been difficult to start on this at the risk of destroying paint jobs.

    The other challenge is going to be creating structures / town scenes that are as realistic as the countryside scenery. Input here would be very much appreciated.

    If I could get this layout to sufficient maturity, I would like to take it to shows to set up for demonstrations of simple switch list operations with JMRI. I think that it will all fit in a 8-ft bed pickup truck with a camper shell.

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  12. Bob I really like the look of your layout. I'm sure any of us will help if we can.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  13. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    I haven't had the guts to weather any of mine, but I have this book, and there is a chapter by John Pryke on weathering steam locomotives:
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  14. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening All,

    A little progress this weekend. I was able to get feeders and switch machines in and the track painted for the small town section of the switching layout version of the Lightning Creek Mine module. The Ballast is also mostly done. In the final bits, I ran out of ballast. There seems to be a drought of Arizona Rock and Mineral out there and I am beginning to think that something has happened with them.

    This was also a chance to spruce up some of the scenery on the mine module. I had removed the trees while working on the carpentry of changing the module structure. A bit of static grass and new trees and it now looks like this.

    Track and ballast need some touch up. Now for an actual mine and maybe some buildings in town. Later some of the structures will be part of Weir City.

    I hope you all had a great weekend,

    -Bob T.
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  15. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Just outstanding builds, weathering and display. Some great ballasting I see here as well. Over-all a great image and concept.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  16. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening Friends,

    I am afraid a one-day weekend this week and then off for work travel most of March. Not sure that there will be much progress on the Crawford and Cherokee, but maybe a few projects will sneak in.

    Today, I started to build a small depot that will be used in Weir City and on the switching layout that I described in recent posts. This will be a stand-in until I can scratch build one that is more prototypical.

    I started with this Lake Junction Models kit for an M-K-T depot that I picked up last year at Des Plaines Hobbies in Chicago.


    I think it will be a reasonable approximation with proper color and a bit of styling. Today, I got this far in construction:

    The depot still needs some touch up (my masking was a bit poor under windows and corners need fill/paint on edge of trim). There are a few detail parts yet to install (roof brackets, window sills, and shingles). Also the two peak windows are to be installed.

    I was thinking about what could be done to style it a bit more. The Scammon depot from a few years back that I built:


    included the peaked window details and wood shingles. Any thoughts here? Green shingles?

    Have a good March, all. Going to have model train withdrawal for the next three weeks.

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  17. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Really impressive work you've got going. Nice to see someone making a great layout of such an interesting area.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  18. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

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  19. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Happy Friday Frisco Friends,

    Stuck on the road for 11 days straight. Spent some time at the hotel with AnyRail working up a plan for my next module for the Crawford and Cherokee.

    In Weir, there was a wye, that was used to turn the locomotive (train?) on the branch line. I had not planned to add it, as I thought that it would take a rather strangely shaped module. However, it looks like a small bump to the Weir module and another 4-ft module which would mate (for storage) with the south Cherokee connector to the mine branch will allow it to fit, and there would be plenty of walking room in the aisle.

    Here is the Sanborn map of approximately my era:

    (Sorry, turned sideways)

    And the updated track plan.

    Since I had not yet scenic-ed the Weir module or ballasted the track...only some starts on roads and cork for structures, I think this is still quite doable. Input is welcomed.

    Take care all...only 6 more days 'til home and work resumes.

    -Bob T.
    gna likes this.
  20. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    I like it. It really adds to operational flexibility. I can't remember if you are DC or DCC, but you will need some sort of reverser for the wye.
    I noticed on the Sanborn map that one leg of the wye near Polk and Main comes very close to a building--the corner is cutoff. I like stuff like that, so I'd add that building. That's just me, though.
    rjthomas909 likes this.

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