Washington Northern Logo

Washington Northern Logo

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Well today I made a trip to Lowes and purchased some lumber and a sheet of plywood. While at Lowes, I took advantage of having the plywood cut into two (2) 18" x 8' lengths. I also purchased some 1"x 2" x 8' pieces of lumber. I used the lumber and made a box and girder type bench work is a piece of 1/4" project pine board on the top.

The bench work was 8 feet long and 18 inches wide. This replaced my 80 inch by 24 inch hollow core door bench work that was on shelving brackets. I kept the brackets up and blacked the box/girder bench work on top. It's amazing with what 6 inches of width will do! With the 24 inch hollow core doors, it felt like there was too much space. I contemplated taking it down to 16 inches but felt 18 would be enough for some of the industries I had in mind. I also gained 2 feet on each end so now things do not look so cramped.

I also picked up an eBay score, an Intermountain BN P-S 5277 Cu. Ft Box car. I plan on weathering it in the coming weeks after the layout is all set up. This from Intermountain's Pinnacle Series. Very nice car.

Next weekend I hopefully can get a foam cutting blade for a jig saw so I can have nice crisp edges for the foam that I'd like to install. After that I hope to paint the foam and get everything ready for track installation and wiring.

Track planning is coming along and I am hoping to get that mapped out this evening so that way when its time to install on the foam, it will go smoothly.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Hello everyone! I apologize for the absence but work has been keeping me very busy and not helping with hobby time!

Since my last post I have installed some lighting and put down foam on the hollow core doors. I have been tooling around with track plans and it has been the most time consuming, an frustrating, thing. I have seeked help for at least two people for ideas and nothing seems to strike my fancy. My issue is that I want to have minimal amount of industries but maximize number of cars and car spots. HOWEVER, I do not have the space I really want for what I want to do. SO it as back to the drawing board.

I narrowed it down to about 2-3 industries. I wanted something unique but fun. First I drew up an idea for a paper plant. Things were looking great. I was doing research, Google Earth, Bing Maps and even some of the Trackside Industries books. IN the one book I found a plan for a paper plant. I was pumped, until I got the measuring tape out. I couldn't do it for the space I had. SO back to the drawing board.

A few weeks passed and I got the urge to try and get something figured out. So I started hunting again. This time I saw a cement plant. I had a number of cement hoppers and I started looking again. I figured the cement plant would be the center focus, with some smaller industries to keep it fun. Issue was that I couldn't achieve what I wanted. This time the space was too big for what I wanted to model.

This brings me to my other friend Google Search. I just started typing keywords for small HO switching layouts. I dug around and found some of Lance Mindheim's blogs. I have read them before but haven't really kept up to date. Well I poked around and did some reading and I found something that fit the mold. It was a simple "L" Shaped layout that had one siding and a major industry that took 3 different car types. (Boxcars, Grain hoppers and tank cars). I read the article some more and it made sense! Keep it short and simple. Easy track plan with Atlas track that can be upgraded to Micro Engineering (OR Hand-laid track). So I went and dug through the cache of rolling stock to see if I had the necessary items at hand, which I did. ( I had been building for a paper plant prior.) So next step was to start looking for a building kit. I knew I would either need to kitbash or scratchbuild. While looking through the collection of building kits, I found a Magic Pan Bakery Kit. With that I started thinking, maybe I need to make a low relief building of this and go from there.  So looks like a little more research will be in the works for me.

While looking at the picturs some more, I really wanted to have a cement and aggregate facility as well. (I just recently purchased some Blue Star Ready Mix tractor trailers for gravel hauling) SO I will be modifying the plan I saw, but who knows, I may just keep it short and simple.

Photo from Lance Mindheim's Blog
If anyone has feed back they wish to provide please let me know. I have been trying to have a functioning layout for over 3 years and I just keep getting frustrated over track work and a plan.