“Woods Furniture” – part 2

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 18 September 2018 with 1 Comment

Let’s go to part two of the furniture works.

I rearranged the walls of the building from the original idea to a 2×4 pattern, which fits better into the space I have available. The first ideas came out to big in my opinion.

The two wall segments without windows got cut on the table saw to make the small side wall segments of the relief structure. Next, I glued each floor level together and finally both wall segments together. So enforce the whole structure, I added plastic channels and triangles on the inside.

Before I installed the windows and doors, I gave all bricks a wash of thinned brown paint to blend the bright cream bricks more into a brownish-yellow. Finally I installed the roof and main structure is mostly done.

Still missing is the foundation and some details parts.

Cheers, Gerd

“Woods Furniture”

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 with No Comments

Good morning,

since I’m still unsure about the final layout plan in the upper garden, I spend some more attention to Ronja Springs. At the right loading spur, I announced some industry. So let’s get started. Piko had a special offer for the furniture works “Franz Huber” (aka Mr. Mann’s Cannery). Since the space allows only background relief building, the Piko kit is a perfect base for kit-bashing, while the building is build from modular pieces, which can be rearranged very easily.

Beside the kit, I ordered a bag of additional columns to attach the wall segments together. While the cream-uni-colored structure looked somewhat boring, I decided to paint all the embossed bricks. It was quite some work, but turned out very nice. I also painted the corner and connecting columns.

The last photo shows a first test-fit. The whole structure will get a foundation to raise the door in the center to the level of the freight cars. This will become the loading door for boxcars.

Will be continued next week.

Bye, Gerd

Taking the grade to the upper meadow

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 4 September 2018 with 2 Comments

Hello friends,

today I’ll show you the first stretch of track reaching from the raised station Ronja Springs to the upper meadow of our garden. The first grade has 3.5% and is 11 meters long. The line leads into the upper meadow and through an S-curve to the right of the garden. This is where the rails end at the moment. In future, the track will continue to “Feddyville” at the end of garden. In the curve where the track hits the meadow, the Louise Valley Lumber Co, logging division will divide from the main line.

The track sneaks along the fence and a concrete wall, rounding the playground. As on the station, I used wood for the benchwork.

The curved segments are made from trapezium pieces, which were screwed together with 50% offset.

The rails in the meadow are laid on concrete slaps used for lawn edges. The tracks them self are not fixed to them, but the clayey soil holds them in place very well. I also like the look of this “ballasted” tracks. Maybe I’ll use this technique for the whole layout since the light grey ballast won’t fit into my eye.

Here’s a 4-car-train climbing uphill towards Feddyville.

Cheers, Gerd

“Ronja Springs” station & track work.

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 28 August 2018 with 2 Comments


once the first buildings/facilities were done, I directly moved on to build the station building for “Ronja Springs”. This time, I focused more on the joy of building, so I don’t have much “in progress” photos. I build the Pola kit mostly to the plan, but I cut off the rear section of the roof and floor, to make place the rear wall of the building close to the neighbors fence. This way I’ll have enough clearance in front of the station building for the trains going by.

I decided to make us of the “take apart” solution provided by the Pola-kit. The walls are build separately and are holt together by bolts on the inside. This allows to take the structure apart for storage. To add more stability to the lift-off roof, I added triangles from water resistant plywood. The roof segments got nailed on top of the wooden blocks and nails are covered with paint.

If I’ll use the disassemble function for storage is not sure yet, but it’s very handy to separate the walls while working on them i.e. installing signs and details.

The original layout plan placed the station building close to the water tank and loco facilities. Anyhow, when I first set the structure in place, it looked crowded to my eye. Especially while a two car passenger train is stopping to close to the water tank and switch. Finally I ripped of the two inner tracks and rearranged them.

The long combined spur track for team track and industry was split into two separate tracks and the station building took place in the middle. The short track to the right will connect a furniture factory, while the two car spur to the right will feature the team track with freight platform. The new arranged spur tracks are making switching also much more interesting.

Today I met Louise Valley Lumber Co. Shay #5 at the new depot. The LVLCo. sawmill is also located in Ronja Springs (at the far left end where the small yard is – it’s not actually shown by the layout). The LVLCo. uses the same grade up to the top meadow as the Daisytown & Southern, before she enters the Louise Valley on her way to the logging camps.

I’ll show you more about the grade to the upper garden next week. ;-)

Cheers, Gerd

Water Tank and Sand House

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 21 August 2018 with 1 Comment


this week I like to show you the first structures for the station of “Ronja Springs”. I already bought the kit for the water tank some month ago, even before I started on the garden railroad. I got it cheap on eBay. The kit is produced by Piko and represents a Rio Grande Southern style water tank, even if it’s not 100% scale. As often on large-scale buildings, they are a size reduced to make them fit better to different scales and spaces. Finescale structures made from real wood would be much nicer for sure, but I’ve also to deal with the German weather, so I think the plastic kits made by Piko and Pola are a good compromise.

BTW, these are my first plastic kits in this scale and I’m very impressed by the detail and quality. The structures are rigged and I look forward for a long life on my layout. The water tank can be build functional for real water, but I didn’t in my case.

The second kit comes from Pola. It’s the “Silverton”-style sand house. Brake sand is dried and stored in a bunker on top of the structure from which it will be filled into the domes on the locomotives. And I couldn’t resist to spend some weathering and color details to the plastic parts. I painted the bricks of the bunker walls for example and gave all wooden parts a dry-brush with gray paint. It improves the look of the plastic structures a lot.

I’m very proud about the sand house, which is a rare kit as it’s not longer produced as well as all other “Silverton” kits by Pola. So it was a great that a bunch of such kits got offered on eBay some while ago and I was able to get all the kits I was looking for in boxed and new condition.  Next project will be the station building.

Cheers, Gerd

The first tracks are laid

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 14 August 2018 with 4 Comments


I’m proud to tell that the first tracks are laid on my new garden railroad.

As mentioned before, I covered the whole wooden base structure with roofing felt to reduce water on top of the wood. Later I’ll add some “ground scenery” from dirt and gravel, so waterlogging would be bad for the plywood below.

At the edge of the plywood sheets, I bend the roofing felt downwards and attached an aluminium profile. I also did a first section of ballast just for testing. Here’s a sneack preview for next week.

Before I finally install the old LGB R3-turnouts, I did some modifications to them. I cut the tie-strips behind the frog on the curved track and bend the last portion straight. Together with a matching curve behind, I now have 20-25cm of straight track in between the curved section, which looks much better as the direct S-curve provided by the standard track. It also helps longer cars to negotiate the turnout easily.

While the Piko-turnouts have a spring to keep the turnout in position, I added such a feature to the LGB-turnouts as well.

That all for today. I hope I can continue with the first section of RoW up to “Strawberry Hill” this week.


Building of the lower station

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 7 August 2018 with 1 Comment

Hello again and welcome to the first report of my garden railroad build.

Last week, I went directly to the DIY shop near by and got a car full of stuff. I use weatherproof plywood and laminated timbers. All raw surfaces as well as cutting edges got sealed with elastic acrylic paint to keep water outside of the wood layers.

I started by cutting shelf braces from plywood and installing them on the fence’s uprights.

To suport the plywood deck, I added two length of timbers between the braces.

Once the basic construction was found, I quickly continued around the corner to get the foundation for the lower station done.

This week, I await some used tracks to start track laying for the station. Stay tuned for the next update ;-)

Plans & ideas for the Garden rairoad

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 31 July 2018 with 2 Comments

Hooray, let’s build a garden railroad ;-)

Since we moved to our new home, I’ve ideas in mind to build a 1:20.3-scale garden railroad in the backyard to run my Romanian and US logging trains. After finishing all remaining work at the house as well as basic gardening complete, it’s time to get the railroad started as well.

At the beginning, our property has some heights steps and a narrow shape and I’ve to leave space for kids playground, vegetable gardens and family space at all. So my railroad will be limited in space as well as in the design. But I’m sure, my railroad will become something special.

There were at least some facts, which were more or less clearly defined. The lower station and starting point of the railroad would be mounted to the wooden fence along the neighbours terrace in the lower portion of our garden. The height was determined backwards, coming down a 3.5% grade from the upper portion along the fences. This way I got a raised station which allows good access to live steam locos and for switching.

The further route, fact #2, should run to the north end of the upper portion to a second terminus station to create a point-to-point operation with approx. 100′ (30 m) of track in between, mostly on 3.5% grade. A continuous loop layout was difficult to create, since the grades in the ground are hard to negotiate as well as the coming veggy gardens to be installed.

Some while ago, I used SCARM to create a model of our garden for railroad planing. After tons of discarded plans, I came to this one which seem to be the best I can get.

The stations are designed to hold 11′ (3,3m) trains. The lower station has a short 2-track yard at the end, which can be used as log dump track or storage track for cars. The short track in front will be used as tie-up-track for locomotives, especially live steam. The lower station will be mounted to the fence and the first 3,5% grade to the upper garden will bend along the fence and concrete wall round the kids playground. The upper station will be raised on cinder blocks, to have better access for switching. Once the upper garden is reached, I like to embed the railroad into the garden for some nice scenery. Along the route, I may add 1 or 2 logging spurs or camps for additional operation.

That’s it for the moment, let’s get some material to get the railroad started in real.

[LVLC] Woodburning Climax

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 24 July 2018 (Comments Closed)

Good morning,

since I got the two Bachmann “geared steamers”, many years ago, I was in trouble with two different fuel types on a single logging railroad. While the Shay was equipped with a wood load, the Climax was a coal burner. Now I found the time to rebuild the Climax as well.

I still need to touch up the weathering, also to blend in the re-newed road number.

Cheers, Gerd

Vacation time !!!

Posted by Gerd on Wednesday, 18 July 2018 (Comments Closed)

Hi folks,

we just returned from a spontaneous short vacation trip yesterday evening, so I don’t have any news to show on the blog this week. But I got some new ideas for future projects. So please stay tuned and see you next Tuesday as usual with some new logging railroad updates.