thinking about trying my hand at scratchbuilding…..

So I have an odd distance from the front of my layout to the closest siding, and I was thinking that a long, narrow warehouse would fit in real well. I was thinking about making it a sale 50 feet wide, 200 feet long, and have three car spots, with roll up doors. I plan to model a pair closed, and have one open. I was thinking about having a concrete floor foundation that is the same height as a boxcar floor, and appearing like this:

I was thinking of using plain styrene for the concrete and “board and baton” for the metal parts, and with the door being open, having a styrene floor with boxes and maybe a forklift inside. I have been trying to figure out the roof material and how to make all of the interior roof braces., other than with a jig…For the roll up doors, I was thinking that corrugated roof styrene would be perfect, with styrene strips for the frames.

Does anyone have a recommendation for styrene products to use that will look best in N Scale?

How do I convince the wife….

Yesterday morning, I met Terry, the owner of Ohkwari Sales, an E-Bay store. He is also here in Central AZ, and close enough to the UP main that we watched a pair of GP40’s (including a HLGX Rent-A-Wreck) switching from his yard. Terry is modeling the now underwater Rio Grande Black Canyon Route in On30. I have ALWAYS loved narrow gauge steam, and as a kid, I had to ride the Calico and Ghost Town Railroad. Little did I know then, but those gaudy steamers were really Rio Grande Southern #41 and Denver and Rio Grande #340. Hell, I STILL drag the wife and kids on that train whenever we go to Knott’s Berry Farm!

Anyways, back to the subject, Terry’s layout is running a NCE DCC system with sound, and soon I found myself with a throttle in my hand pulling D&RGW C-16 #271 out of Cimarron, CO. Even without scenery and a VERY short mainline, I saw the benefits of DCC, and more importantly, the incredible sound of the steam escaping the cylinders, brakes squealing when slowing down, and a steam blow-off when sitting still….with a little coaxing, I am sure that I could have figured out flange squeals! The only thing that was missing was the bass of the sound, and with a small speaker in the tender, it’s not hard to see why.

In 2011 and 2012, Lance Mindheim wrote in his blogs about this very issue, and he discovered that computer desktop speakers helped it out, to an extent. He eventually wound up using a Tsunami decoder and wireless headphones to get the desired effect. Just his sound system is worth more than what I have in my layout!

Being the cheap bastard that I am, I figure that I could switch to a Bachmann Dynamics DCC for $87.50 shipped, or a NCE Power Cab in the $150 range…the Power Cab offers walk around capability. A decoder for my GP35R would be in the $30 range, and with a possible 6 locos to convert, that can easily get up there quickly. A Soundtrax Tsunami is in the $115 range, while a MRC decoder is in the $65 range….a simple pair of computer speakers are around $10….

thinking about an addon….

Well guys, today for gits and shiggles, I took 16 freight cars, a loco and a caboose on my 86″ long layout and pulled the train a whopping 8 inches before I ran out of track. I have decided to use the pair of #6 switches and the flex track that I have left and make a super-sized Inglenook to use as staging and maybe add another industry or two….I think that I will be happier that way. Too bad I only have a pair of lefts left SPCGaddon