Sunday, December 31, 2017

EVRR as wall art

The EVRR's home will eventually be a wall since there isn't any permanent horizontal space around here for it. That shelf sticks out about 10" from the wall. It provides space for the control box, power pack, rolling stock and loose scenery like unattached buildings, and it helps create a modest barrier to help protect the terrain from being bumped. 
[The nebulous void latter brought into focus by the gravitational pull of a passing EVRR.]

It's held up by two screws and wall anchors. The layout's frame rests on those and the package states they should support around 60lbs. Later I'll add Ikea-style wall plates to the frame to prevent accidental falls - there have been earthquakes here that have shook things from shelves, so better safe than sorry.
At this point it's not beautiful enough to be hung in any prominent place, but once scenery dominates, and the pink and white foamy roughness of this stage is gone, it'll start to look quite acceptable.
After many tests I've started to think of the layout as having two parts: a classic dog-bone folded over on itself (marked with a solid black line in the above picture), and a valley section suitable for simple switching operations if you're so inclined. It could be wired to run with two power packs for 2-train operation. Maybe it was. Mine won't.


  1. There is also another reverse loop nested against the lower dog bone loop. I'll wager this was a real challenge for E.L. to wire. (Perhaps a contribution to his apparent enthusiasm for dioramas?) DCC makes it a bit simpler with three reversing modules and a plethora of rail gaps.

    1. Yes, you're right about the additional reverse loop. I agree it probably was a wiring challenge for him. When he wrote about building the 30x30 N / TT / HOn21/2 layout in '69 he said he had to review how to wire a layout, and that one was quite simpler than the EVRR. I sometimes wonder if he designed this track plan or found it in a magazine.

  2. I remember ELM writing he hated complicated wiring and this layout is probably the reason why!

    You've got one very tight radius inside the mountain side loop. I trust you'll iron that all out before ballasting. I waited till after scenery to fix one of mine, but it did get fixed.

    While it's still on the horizon, let me add this about the water scenery. I first poured my big lake from that expensive 2 part bartop stuff and it looked great. I loved how it reflected the hills and buildings. But it bothered me that the water was so still. It seemed to have no scale. Then I went over it completely with dabs of gloss medium and gave it the "movement" it lacked. This looked far more realistic and its texture gave it plenty of reflective spots. It also negated the 2 part epoxy underneath it. The major reflections of the objects near it disappeared, but it was much more to my liking.

    On my next layout project, I skipped the 2 part epoxy altogether and went right to the gloss medium over a dark painted bottom. It worked every bit as well as the last project. I recommend this for yours as well, but you're free to choose whatever. I'm just saying that the perfect mirror lake just didn't look like scale water to me.

    1. That inner valley curve in the mountain is indeed very sharp. But, I have run the loco and trains over it, as well as the other track blocks in the valley using jumper wires to provide power since I haven't got the toggles and control box made. Trains seem to run ok, but you're right that it is weird and I'm waffling about whether to leave it or pull it out and install another piece.

      Thank's for information about water. On my old HO layout I used Woodland scenics 'water' - both the pourable stuff and squeeze stuff for waves - and it was ok. On lakes I've since up here that perfect glass-like surface is usually only seen early in the morning or near dusk on windless days [well, on lakes before the powerboats arrive :-) ]. I have some old slides I shot years ago in the Utah mountains of ponds. Given that those ponds were probably bigger scale-wise than the EVRR lake, I should dig them up and see what they have to show.