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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

Gulf, Atlanta & Eastern - into the second decade


Barry Ten
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I haven't done much on the GA&E this year other than run trains but as I have just dabbled for an evening I thought I would start a new topic and begin with a brief recap. The original layout thread is here:

http://www.rmweb.co....php?f=67&t=8420

I started this layout in 2008, having had a few false starts since beginning to dabble in American N a few years earlier. By the end of 2007 I had homed in on a round-the-walls design that would fit into my 12x11 foot train room. This is the basic track diagram, as it stood at the start of construction:

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The layout hasn't deviated too radically from that plan, although inevitably I've had a few rethinks and bright ideas along the way, mostly to do with the left-hand side of the plan. More on that later in the thread.

The layout is bracketed off the walls and is set at about 48" off the floor. Early on in the design it became clear that I would also be adding a second layout above the American one, which is why I added additional brackets at this stage. They now support Shillingstone, which in turn is the lighting rig for the GA&E.

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After some discussion on the old forum, I was encouraged to add a gentle gradient to the mainline, such that the track rises and descends by 1 inch between the hidden and visible areas. This was achieved using Woodland Scenics foam sheets and inclines, with a ruling gradient of 2%. The basic track layout was soon down and running:

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Later I began to work on the scenic development at the lower right corner, where the track enters a tunnel and turns through 180 degress before scurrying back under the removable scenery:

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My approach to scenery is very low-tech and lightweight although since building this area I have made much more use of loft insulation type foam. At the time I didn't know of a good source for it.

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As time went on I began to push the scenery towards the swamp.

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And add water and detail to the swamp (including scratch built alligators):

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Finished fascia: not sure about the brown now; may go for grey or green at some point:

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That'll do for now...

Edited by Barry Ten
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Excellent stuff, Barry!

I think i can spot one 'gator a couple of inches or so from the viauct pier, close to the lower middle of the pic!

Looks like the layout is developing very nicely - i like!

That's some classy stock you have there, the 'Southern' always was smart, i thought! What livery is the F-M though?

Cheers,

John E.

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The Southern is one my favorite railroads! Spectacular scenery you've made there. A very nicely composed layout.

 

As for the fascia, I'd opt for deep green to complement the scenery.

 

Don't overlook that the Southern also ran coal trains, and one or two unit trains of black diamonds from southwestern Virginia would not be out of place, passing through from the mine to their destination, with empties going the other way.

 

Here's a site that might be of interest: Appalachian Railroad Modeling

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I really like this! The landscape is so spot on. I would however say that you should go for a black fascia, as the human mind has a way of deleting black frames.

I tried dark gray myself but I will either go for black or maybe do like Tim Warris and custom paint it to resemble rusted steel.

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Excellent work there, it has come on leaps and bounds, would also suggest very dark grey or black fascia . The girder bridge in front of a cliff face works very well, solving the problem of the water disappearing into the backscene,always an awkward scenic situation .

 

Regards Trevor .... :D

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Guest 30-something

Cracking layout this!!!

 

Im considering a US N layout myself, and this ticks even more boxes!

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Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, all - I'm knocked out!

 

Jon: not the best pic for 'gator spotting. Try this one:

 

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6026: The F-M is in Central of Georgia olive green - a very nice livery, although I also like the gray/blue/orange

that the CoG used.

 

Signalmaintainer: I would like to run coal trains, but it'll be a while before I have enough coal hoppers, unless

someone does some bulk runs one of these days. TBH the scenery probably looks more convincing for Virginia/Appallachia

than it does for the deep south, as it's perhaps a bit hilly and dramatic. I'll admit to being ignorant of the geography

until fairly recently.

 

Here are a few shots of the industrial area, as it stood about a year or so ago:

 

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I haven't done an awful lot to it since other than add details and grime and a couple of new industries. Pushing the scenery along to the left takes ages - it's so much easier to do a square metre of field or hill than it is factories and industry, which seem to soak up months of modelling time. But it's all good fun ultimately and there is no deadline.

 

From now on I'll be updating on new progress since the old thread was locked.

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Cracking layout this!!!

 

Im considering a US N layout myself, and this ticks even more boxes!

It is good, isn't it? It's one of those rare UK-resident US-outline layouts that looks like it was built by Americans, if that makes sense?

For "trains in the scenery" N scale is hard to beat; my first forays into The Dark Side were in N, and there are occasionally times I wish I'd stuck to it. If ever I can't continue in O scale, I'll go back to N.

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I still can't see the gator, but an N scale gator would be hard to spot. They look like floating logs even in 1:1, unless they've gotten onto the golf course, in which case animal control has to come out and get them.

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It is good, isn't it? It's one of those rare UK-resident US-outline layouts that looks like it was built by Americans, if that makes sense?

 

I'm well pleased if it looks that way, but I'm sure there are lots of things which don't look quite there to American eyes - as always, it's the "unknown unknowns", the things you don't know that you don't know, that trip you up - like regional uses of stone versus brick, for instance. I've put quite ornate walling around one of the factories, too, before noticing that you don't see that sort of thing all that often. It's not necessarily about going to the States or looking through books, either - you can get a lot of good detail tips from watching cop shows, especially ones with car chases around the seedier parts of towns.

 

One thing I hope I've steered clear of is that syndrome of American layouts built by Brits which don't seem to set anyhere in particular and which have things like grain elevators in one corner and Wild West type shop fronts in another. On the other hand there are some British (and non-North American)-built layouts which do have a great sense of place, such as the ones on this area of the forum!

 

JWB: the gator is in the lower right corner of the shot with the family on the fishing boat. You're right - they do just tend to resemble floating logs - I could probably not have bothered doing the legs.

 

Phil: cheers!

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Regarding ornate walls and factories, there's an exception to every rule.

 

 

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"The crenulated concrete wall, which is approximately 80,000 square feet and 12-inches thick, is decorated with heraldic griffins and bas-reliefs of Babylonian princes carved into the stone between impressive pillars and towers. The design, dedicated to the civilizations of Sumeria, Akkadia and Babylonia, conveys strength and style."

 

This is -- where else? -- in Los Angeles. Bob Smaus sometimes came close to this kind of thing in his model work. But the US can be quirky anywhere!

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Thanks, JWB - yup, I guess that counts as ornate in anyone's book! And thanks all for the continued encouragement.

 

Here are some pics of recent progress on the industrial area. The foreground siding descends steeply past the fuel depot to serve another factory which is as yet on the un-scenicked area. The gradient on the siding is about 1 in 20, so it's a struggle for a small loco to haul anything more than three or four boxcars back up to the level.

 

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The edge of civilisation - this is about as far as the scenery has reached - we're up near the top left corner of the layout now. This is the Walthers "Interstate Fuel and Oil" kit in the foreground. At the moment I'm a bit undecided about what will go over the wiring visible in the background - it might be a hill, a factory, or a retaining wall with a factory on it. Somehow or other I've got to disguise the exit of that road.

 

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A welcome return of an old friend,it is good to see this layout on the new RMweb.The overall design has provided some inspiration for the rebuilding of my own N-gauge layout.

As for the fascia,I'd try dark green.If that doesn't work out you can paint it black later.

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I used black on Cogirep but eventually decided it was too stark. I think I need something that's a balance between not drawing the eye, and not sucking too much light out of the room. One benefit of using green is that if a bit of the fascia intrudes into a photo, it doesn't necessarily look amiss as it can pass as a bit of out of focus foreground .... ?

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Lateral thinking time.Take the last photo from the first post (or something similar) and using photoshop (or similar) change the colour of the fascia and see what works best.

That said,I agree with what you just wrote.It could just be a case of finding the right shade of green.

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Lateral thinking time.Take the last photo from the first post (or something similar) and using photoshop (or similar) change the colour of the fascia and see what works best.

That said,I agree with what you just wrote.It could just be a case of finding the right shade of green.

 

Someone actually did that, on an old thread about fascia colour. That's why I've got green in mind! In fact I painted the sides of Paynestown with a nice neutral mid-green and it looks pretty good, I think. One thing's for sure, I don't like the nut brown anymore, and it's far too glossy.

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Very nice, I especially like the pics of the F's heading through the industrial area. Have you got some pics of the Gators?

Considering another dabble in US N gauge as the HO stuff needs so much space for running trains in the scenery and this shows how effective N can be now.

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Very nice, I especially like the pics of the F's heading through the industrial area.

 

Thanks, Paul - just been drooling over your Rhatisch Bahn stuff - wonderful!

 

 

Have you got some pics of the Gators?

 

 

Here they are just after being made:

 

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I actually just winged it and guessed the sizes. Later I checked and found that they're pretty good for the

American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Males of this species average about 13-15 ft in length, whereas

females are smaller at about 10 feet long. I therefore ended up with two females, two males, and finally a 20 ft

monster - about the size of the largest American Alligator on record (19 ft, 2 inches).

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