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Probably would be a bit easier to offer advice if it was a bit clearer what kind of switching layout you were looking for - location, era, theme.
I love to see Stein's input in your thread, as on small yards in another, I am missing a bit what you have come up with. Justin,I really like this plan, you sure have come a long way in your ideas and seem to have settled on a very good, basic and achievable plan. Life should not be a journey to the grave with intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke thoroughly used up totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW!
I have a book titled Build Your Next Layout This Way by Robert Sleicher (spelling?) The layout design is a folded dog bone around a center switching module based on a modified timesaver. Back in December of 2005 I decided to get back into model railroading after being away from the hobby for a few years.
And the good news with a small layout is that, once completed, it's simple enough to just tear it down and start a new one.
So, I guess my first step is to raid Home Depot for some foam and get after building that base. I picked up about twenty bucks worth of foam insulation from Home Depot and set about building a base for my layout.
The good news is that so far I've been able to stick to 19" radius curves for the most part (and no 9.75" radius curves at all). I'm becoming concerned that I'm eventually going to have to make some major compromises to my initial layout plan. Fortunately, it's right along the edge of the layout, so I could build access panels to make the track, well, accessable.
Maybe it's completely insane, but I think the layout is going to look a whole lot better with some of that track covered up.
In case you were wondering about my command platform, it's the exact same one I used for Scenic Ridge. So, I guess now it's time for a trip down to Ye Olde LHS to acquire some bridges and tunnel mouths.
The inner loop is going to emerge just prior to running under the plate girder bridge (too weird?
So, the next step is to finish gluing down the remaining risers and inclines and then get on with plaster-izing them. I decided to slice off a chunk of riser and add a second section of plate girder bridge over on the west side. I must admit that a double-length plate bridge doesn't look nearly as cool as a double-length truss bridge). Finally, I think I'm starting to get a handle on where I'm going to put the boring old roads. I finished gluing down the roadbed and track for the outer loop, and I have to say I'm pretty damned geeked about the results. I have a pretty simple system for weathering plastic models- spray paint, weatherwash, and Bragdon powder. I first sprayed them with a coat of Floquil Railroad Colors "Grimy Black" paint to kill that shiny "new plastic" look. Scenic Ridge using Woodland Scenics "Hot Wire" tool, I decided this time around to also pick up a Woodland Scenics "Hot Knife".
Bragdon gray (along with some extra touches of black over the door openings - y'know, diesel exhaust). I did eventually get the openings wide enough and (more or less) straight enough to accommodate the doors and windows. So, I glued in the doors and windows, assembled the walls and sprayed the whole thing with Floquil Concrete.
I built some long tunnels on my first N scale layout and made the mistake of making them extremely difficult to access. Now that I've started on the back wall, I guess I should start investigating my options vis'a'vis that background industry I wanted to add. Good thing too, because there just aren't very many other municipal-type water tower options available in N scale right now. The first thing I did was to remove the wiring, the base from the bottom of the tower and the base from the bottom of the tank.

In order for my so-called road plan to work, I need a highway bridge to cross over the inner mainline. Man, I love getting bright ideas, but I'm afraid I've used up my quota for the year this time. The final piece of the puzzle was a Stewart diesel sand tower "kit" (and I use the term kit loosely).
The kit I wound up purchasing is actually a double-track facility, and you're supposed to rig it up with a total of four hoses. There's not a lot to these things and I was able to put all four of them together in about an hour. I took the simple route on weathering - basically just massive amounts of really heavy weatherwash.
Let's face it, a real refinery complex would probably have to take up my entire layout in order to be considered "prototypical".
I haven't the faintest idea, but it does seem like a semi-logical way to run things, so let's go with it.
I painted the walkway supports, the front door and the windows brown, and the large overhead doors silver. So, after rearranging the large storage tanks somewhat, it turns out that all I need now is one more Cornerstone storage tank to finish off the complex.
I think three, maybe four more kits and I'll be finished with this whole "building the buildings" phase. I started by putting the water tower together and then spraying it and the roof sections with "grimy black". Sadly, none of this subterfuge did anything to ameleorate my basically vomitrocious mix of colors. I built another Model Power "tank filling station" for my yard (to replace the one I kidnapped for my refinery complex).
Next, I finished off the refinery complex by adding that fifth Cornerstone storage tank I was threatening to acquire. I decided it was time to figure out just what it was I wanted to do up on the area above the tunnels.
The barn and chicken coop, I have to say, are pretty decent looking structures right out of the box. The last bit of painting involved that pile of "whatever" it is (hay maybe), which comes in this bright neon "we just cut it 10 seconds ago" green.
After that I hit everything with weatherwash (dark for the barn, chicken coop and hay pile, and light for the house). There isn't a whole lot to the windmill kit (which is awfully darned spendy at $25, even if you do get two of them). I still haven't quite decided what I'm going to do down here as far as ballast is concerned.
I'm definitely getting down to the "filling in the dead spaces" stage of structure placement. For my (hopefully) last space filler, I called upon another old friend - Cornerstone's "Al's Victory Service" kit. So, time to finish gluing down the rest of the roadbed and track and getting on with the foam and plaster work. It's probably going to take longer for all of these pictures to load than it took for me to actually do the work.
They come in a wide variety of terrains, all of which are designed to be connected together so that you can flow from one background theme to another. At this point I just have the paper pinned to some foam boards, which in turn are pinned to the back of the layout. My "method" (if you can even call it that) is to take a can of Floquil "Grimy Black", hold it about 3 inches above the track and spray down.
The plans have likewise been designed victimisation atomic number 67 OO gauge localize runway with approximately sections of flexible track. Exemplar railway line guide to holmium HOn3 HOn30 & OO scale framework trains and train layouts featuring model sandbag layout photos and tail plans. Watch Later K Here are type A total of shots from my new atomic number 67 scale pose train layout. A turnout with the rest of the tracks in the middle of your layout so you have some space left for a lead.

BTW  if I knew you wanted an urban freight scene, I would have never come up with a rural disign by CJ Freezer. I may do the same thing off the south end, only with steam support structures (or not, I haven't really decided yet). These are sprung and click into place without the aid of any kind of outside switch machine. On small layouts like this, I've generally been able to get by with a single set of feeder wires from the power supply. The inner loop will eventually follow (I hope) the general contours of the Scenic Ridge loop. So, I affixed the inner loop as it comes south out of the yard and enters the (eventual) tunnel area.
It looks a bit strange at this stage, but once I get it covered up with plaster cloth it should look a lot better.
Otherwise I'm going to wind up spending the rest of my life chasing after little foam beads. Out of the package it's pretty lame looking, but with a bit of modification it's not a bad little structure. Now I have a perfectly sized 1.5" thick grain elevator to mount along the western backboard.
And if it's not the most acreage-eating kit ever to grace N scale, it's certainly in the top three. And painting aside, just getting this thing assembled is pretty damned complicated, especially the first time through. So, off to the "maybe if I'm desperate some day, but probably not" dust-gathering shelf it went. Probably not a method found in the John Allen playbook, but things did seem to go more smoothly after that.
And whatever "right" might ultimately turn out to be, I'm pretty sure that filament bulbs ain't it.
Well, let's just say that my notion of what constitutes "prebuilt" doesn't necessarily jibe with Model Power's. Again, I'm not a big "operations" guy, but it's nice to have the option should the mood strike me. I started by spraying the base with Floquil concrete, then put everything together and applied a layer of heavy weatherwash.
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