Crawford and Cherokee Layout Update

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

  1. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Nice shots. The whole thing is really looking nice.
    Have you found a mine tipple yet? If so what are you using?
  2. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Hey Ethan,

    I have purchased an AMB Martinsburg Mine kit. The plan is to extend the tipple to span two tracks. I have been looking for some sheet stock that approximates the look of vertical plank siding. With the weather turning hot in San Antonio, I will likely work on a few structure kits inside and not do too much on the benchwork.

    Kit No. 164 Martinsburg Coal Mine #1

    Look under structures for that kit. I could not get to a page that was just the mine description. I found one on eBay for about $30 if I recall.

    Take care. Good to hear from you.

    -Bob T.
    Sirfoldalot and Ozarktraveler like this.
  3. Looks great Bob.
  4. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Very nice modeling! This is among my favorite threads.
  5. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks guys. Always great to have encouragement! Stuck in a 5 hour flight delay on the way to Dayton. Thought I would post a short update to pass the time.

    Put some time in Friday night and Saturday to get the track down on the South Cherokee module. I was able to go from the pink plains of:

    To an alignment and install of roadbed, of turnouts, and track. Was also able to get GapMasters at the end plates that included bridging the yard track from Cherokee yard.

    The size and angles of the connector to the mine module did not work out according to the AnyRail drawings, and my Peco curved turnout would not give the alignment to the small spur track that is used for an interchange on the switching configuration layout shown earlier in the thread.

    The result was to use one of the #5 yard ladder turnouts from Micro Engineering and model the short track on the mine module as an abandoned spur. I might try to build a FastTracks curved turnout to fit the space. A lot of work though, for a largely cosmetic feature.

    Anyhow, a bit of foam was added to make a scenic ridge which will be planted with trees. I am hoping to use it also to serve as a background for photos by placing parallel to other modules.

    Maybe a little unnatural in shape at this point. Will add a few rocks to represent a cut, and need to carve down a depression on the near side, and fill in with sculptamold.

    Maybe some wiring and scenery over the next few weekends, and then can focus on Weir City.

    Have a good week all,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  6. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    You are forging ahead with vigor. I’m really enjoying this thread.
  7. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    I’m new to this discussion having recently joined the group . But this layout could have been mine.....a point to point branchline with interchanges and ag branch industries like co op warehouses, oil dealers and team tracks. I was out of model railroading for 41 years for a dozen good and bad reasons and finally started it 10 years ago, my rookie adult layout. I made many mistakes and constantly think about starting over with a new layout. However, this layout operates perfectly, scenery about 90% done, and I “am” 71 years old. I’m thinking about starting a descriptive discussion like this one to show the flaws if nothing else.... although my craftsmanship is nowhere near Bob’s layout.
  8. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter


    Thanks for the kind remarks. Message me anytime, I would be happy to discuss construction techniques, etc.

    -Bob T.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  9. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    Bob, you live in San Antonio? That looks like an un-air-conditioned garage. Right? Are you able to operate in the summer? I’m envious of the roll up garage doors that can probably be opened a lot of the time. What’s it like modeling in a semi exposed space like that?

    I’m getting ready to build a little L shaped switcher from 2 2x8 tables up under our other house, raised up on columns 2 blocks from the MS Gulf Coast. It is open air but covered, out of the rain, and a nice big 30” fan keeps it pretty comfortable down there most of the time. Can only have plastic buildings on it, minimum ground cover scenery, and you have to take all the rolling stock off if you leave for any length of time, all because of heavy salt air humidity plus roving raccoons and feral cats. I learned all of that the hard way on a little rinky dink 1x8 I had down there before. Cheap sectional code 100 track is the way to go on a basically disposable deal like this.

    What’s holding it up is that I already have most of the track left over from other projects.....but I can’t find it!! I put it “somewhere safe” awhile back and boy is it safe! It’s 3 or 400 bucks worth of stuff so I really want to find it if I can.

    Who else has a model railroad black hole like this that things have gone into?
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    So, a premature announcement for the Crawford and Cherokee. Yes, this is a garage in San Antonio TX, which can be unpleasant on a 100-degree day. However, it is an attached garage and I have put in insulation in the outer walls and attic space. I have louvered vents which can be closed. The garage doors are insulated foam core.

    The big news: Split A/C system is scheduled for installation as a Father's Day present. If successful, this 18,000 BTU cooling unit (+heat) should make this a full-fledged, year-round man cave. I do put the modules up in order to get both vehicles in the garage. Especially when gone from home on travel. As you have seen, the workbench area is plenty large for a 7+ foot module to be worked independent of the setup. The approach allows me to work on a module at the workbench when the balance of the layout is not set up. I do store the rolling stock and structures most of the time.

    The goal is to have a layout that can be transported to a show or other meet. I am almost to that point, with one major module remaining for wiring and scenery (Weir City). At that point a basic operating session could be demonstrated (including Weir City and Cherokee). Other refinements will include construction of the wye module, segmenting districts with circuit breakers (currently I operate one locomotive at a time), and more structures and permanent detail scenery that will be transported with the modules.

    Regarding weather/humidity/temperature: The garage shares a door with the house, so when closed up, it has conditions somewhere between the house interior and the outside world. These modules are almost entirely built with plywood, and have foam sub-roadbed, cork roadbed, and Code 83/70 Micro Engineering flex track glued down with caulk. I leave the turnouts held only by ballast (mostly). I have not had issues with expansion or contraction other than the legs, which are built from a good quality, but solid, pine. When there is an extended humidity season (it rained all of last Sept/Oct here), the legs swell a bit and will not so easily go into the slots that accept them on the module. Since the longest module is only about 7ft, I have left a few rail joiners with gaps unsoldered on the long modules to allow for expansion. The shorter ones seem fine. They are never in direct sunlight, though. I am sure that would cause havoc.

    Hope this helps,

    -Bob T.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  11. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    I had my double track main layout in our two car garage and the only problem I had was small spiders in the trees. They were very tiny and I called them eagles. Some bug spray took care of the problem.
    Most of the time I was working on the layout in the mornings I would open garage door and enjoy the weather. Having a indoor job most of my career opening the door was a treat.

    Photos of the double track layout can be found in my albums page.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Happy Fathers Day All,

    A quick summary of progress on the South Cherokee module that connects the yard at Cherokee to the Lightning Creek Mine. Largely finished up the basic scenery last night and let the glue dry until this morning. While it still needs a bit of touch up on the ballast, and the turnouts detailed with switch stands, I think it is pretty much there.

    The module is designed to have a ridge of trees that can be viewed from either side. This allows it to be used as a backdrop for photos. The modules for the layout are only about 18-inches wide and look a bit plain with just a blue background. Eventually, I will find a backdrop photo of a rural area, or figure out how to take a photo outdoors (not a likely scenario here in suburbia).

    The past couple of weeks have taken the module from the pink plains:

    To the following:

    Edit: Forgot photo example of using west view of module as a backdrop. Here is an example, placing behind the MoPac Interchange module:

    I think that I have now used up most of the trees that were saved from the previous layout. I did not remember making so many! Flower patches (yellow and white) are from a product given to me from @djpayne804 a few months ago. Thanks Dale!

    From the thread above, you might recall that I could not get a curved turnout in to accommodate the second track toward the mine area. It is just a short spur to nowhere on the Lightning Creek module, used as the main through track when configured as a switching layout. I have modeled as a removed spur and need some ideas on how to dress it up a bit. Maybe more weeds, and some ties across the rails?

    Anyhow, will try to connect into the remainder of the layout and get a few more pictures posted. For now, out to paint the back of the house!

    Take Care All,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  13. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I really like your scenery results. Nice progress.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  14. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    Bob what static grass product and color are you using? And what brand and color trees? I’ve been using Heki tear apart grass mats but they don’t look nearly as good as this.
  15. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Hey Patrick. It is mainly Silflor "Late Summer" static grass. I mix in a couple of other items (see previous page for a summary) to give some variety. I like this material better than the Woodland scenics, as it is a much finer material and stands up well even with my home-made applicator. The trees are super trees from Scenic express, with a variety of their SuperLeaf's added. I usually paint the stems various shades of brown and grey.

    -Bob T.
  16. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

  17. Great stuff Bob. Your scenery is top notch.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  18. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Yes it is! I wish I could get mine to look that good, I am gonna try to get a similar static grass recipe, and try it. Bought one of those Noch static applicators, so far collecting dust. Bob is doing a great job.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  19. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Bob. Have you tried a Shinohara or Walthers curved switch, for your curved switch issue? I have made switches fit by cutting the plastic sprue/type spacers between the ties (avoid under point rails, and frog) and bending to fit just trim where need, sometimes the points need trimmed and the joints at either end. Or custom make your own switch.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  20. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter


    It may be possible to find a fit. I was going to print the various FastTrack templates and see what could be used as a close match. I have most of the tools to hand build or perhaps borrow the fixture from a friend. Not super urgent, as the second track was put in on the mine module for the switching layout, and is a fairly short stub.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.

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