Acton North (N)

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actonnorth
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Acton North (N)

Postby actonnorth » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:34 pm

Hi guys,

Moving this into the ‘under construction’ section no worries as most baseboards are down and it’s nearly at the track design and laying stage.

So, where are we?

The name:

Acton North was also the name of my OO layout on the old house. Even though this will be a new layout and in N gauge, I’ve kept the name due to primarily ease of not having to come up with a new name.

Area of model:

This is still undecided. My previous layout comprised of a ‘London outskirts’ location on the WCML. This time, I’m not sure of where exactly my layout will sit in ‘the real world’ as I expect there will be some un-prototypical trains. I still want to do the WCML due to living near that line and thus getting my inspiration, however, at £500-£600 per set as well as being very limited edition, I don’t expect many pendolino rakes to be featuring. Therefore, I’m still undecided exactly what to do. As I don’t have much rolling stock yet, I’m even considering a US themed layout, possibly California/Las Vegas sort of direction (have spent a lot of time in those locations so can draw inspiration.

Where I am so far.

As said, I have 3 more baseboards to do, and then it’s down to track laying.

Here are some progress shots so far:

Image

This is the embankment section. If I do a UK layout, this will be an urban scene. If I go down the US route, it will be a beach area, with a Pier.

Image

This is the ‘thinner’ side of the layout. It will contain a tunnel section to which the main line follows one path, and a single track pulls to the right to go to a hidden fiddle yard. The scene will be mostly countryside regardless if it’s a U.K. or US layout.

That’s where I am so far, and I’ll try and update when I can.

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Hymirl
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby Hymirl » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:40 pm

Not a bad start at all!

I like the idea of N gauge but can't afford to start from scratch. Interesting to see which side of the atlantic Acton North ends up on.

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Mountain
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby Mountain » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:54 pm

Its only when you see N gauge like this that you realize how small it is, buy boy, what potential for scenery! What a great start to your layout.

actonnorth
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby actonnorth » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:03 pm

I do love the scenery potential.

I chose to go down to N as there wasn’t going to be enough space for what I want to do in OO. I’m a fan of larger, more realistic rakes of train. A 5 car pendolino (due to space) next to a 5 car 221 voyager just doesn’t work for me.

I would rather stay ‘in the UK’ for the layout as its what I know best, it’s the familiarity and the instant ability to draw inspiration by driving a mile up the road to see the real thing. The only thing that holds me back is the ability to pick up British rolling stock at reasonable prices, and with relative ease. As said, a Pendolino can set you back £500 easily, and they seem rarer than hens teeth to pick up. Graham Farish intermodal seem quite tricky to get too, and with rakes of 12 wagons, I need to get quite a few.

On the other hand, American stuff seems to have more variety. I particularly like the car transporter wagons the US use, and scenery would also be easier to come by.

It’s going to be a tough choice, and if going down the US route, then a name change is needed too, ‘Acton North’ in California just doesn’t have that ring to it....

Lots to ponder.

Harringay Dave
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby Harringay Dave » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:10 pm

You say that but there’s a town north of LA called Acton! Not near a beach though :lol:

I always marvel at the space N gives you, but in some ways I’m equally daunted by it - I already try and do too much in OO - if you gave me this space for N I’d be trying to build whole railways...!

Don’t think I mind which one you choose, because whilst I’d love to see the WCML, I was in Northern California at the start of September and aside from the scenery, the railway network is extensive and there’d be much of interest!

Bookmarked :D

actonnorth
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby actonnorth » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:41 pm

The decision has been made. USA it is. I was swayed by some of the great rolling stock available, and the lack of reasonable U.K. stock. Also, model railway building is a form of escapism for me, so, why not escape to another continent. I do love the US too after many, many visits, so modelling it should be great for me.

I have purchased a set of ‘Amtrak superliner’ Coaches by Kato. It’s a 4 car set so a great starting point.

Lots of rolling stock to get, lots of scenery to get, but most importantly, a track plan to get sorted.

I know the ‘embankement’ board is going to be a beach scene with small station, the embankment will now form a hill down to the beach. The area for inspiration on this section will be ‘San Clemente’ in Southern California. The long thin section will now be a very hilly section with trees and a canyon for the track to traverse. There will also be the tunnel to enter the fiddle yard. I’m not entirely sure what will feature on the other 2 boards yet, there will be a yard and some goods sidings for sure, but, not exactly sure what format yet.

I’ve also brought the last 3 boards, will lay them tomorrow when the little ones are at ore school.

Once the last 3 boards are down, track laying and scene setting can begin.

Acton North has gone stateside!

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Chops
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby Chops » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:47 am

I have been going through each member's layout- no two the same- the variety and scope is astonishing. Kato is a fabulous manufacturer of N scale. Back in my day, the early '70's, N scale was no where near what it is today. All the stuff had two speeds back then, a bit like the venerable Sopwith Camel, full on and full off. Full on was about the speed of a Bullet Train. I am charmed that whilst most model railways in the USA have preponderance of goods wagons, as you chaps say, British layouts lean heavily in favor of passenger service, and rail platforms and booking halls abound, and you have again kept to what I see as a UK model rail tradition! Bravo! Can't wait to see this passenger consist sweeping along those main lines. The use of that gentle curvature will add much to the dramatic effect as it sweeps the countryside. If of interest, Amtrak runs along the old Southern Pacific Coastline route, and much of it within yards of the Pacific ocean. I've taken it once from LA to San Francisco, a delightful ride.

The whole state used to be a province of Mexico/Spain in the early years, before the discovery of gold, and the "other gold" was in the form of buffalo hides, which in the decades prior to transcontinental rail, or any rail, for that matter, west of the Mississippi River, was manually hoisted by sailors, one hide at a time, unto landing boats and rowed out to sailing vessels at anchorage. The hides were then compressed in the ship's hull by means of a jack screw. Then the whole affair, literally almost splitting at the seams, was sailed around Cape Horn to eastern seaports, such as Boston. A round trip from coast to coast took all of two years. All this activity took place on the very beaches just around the humble adobe Spanish village of Los Angeles.
I don't care what they say. I believe in Nessie.

actonnorth
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:58 pm

Re: Acton North (N)

Postby actonnorth » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:36 am

No progress on the actual layout build this week, as been a busy week at work and also needed some more wood (which has now been purchased)

However, some rolling stock has arrived this week. The first is this Kato superliner coach set (ordered direct from the USA)

Image

I have to say the quality of these coaches are outstanding. Kato really have raised the bar with this set, they look incredible. I was worried N gauge meant a downgrade in detail, but with Kato at least, this certainly isn’t the case. I need 2 more coaches to make this set complete (for me at anyway) and I have requested the Loco for this consist as a Christmas present. Very happy indeed.

I have also ordered these 3 little guys:

Image

With so many wagons to get, I’m grabbing the bargains as and when, and at £6 for all 3 wagons, couldn’t let these guys slip through the net. I estimate I’ll need 100-150 individual wagons, so, no harm in getting the collection started.

I need to buy some more track and a few sets of points to be able to start the track laying, but for now, a summary of what’s next:

-currently researching how to make hills/cliffs/canyons. My skill set isn’t fantastic so really need to research this as want to get these bits right.

-need to finish the last corner of baseboards. I have a week off next week, have all the materials so should get the work done.

-want to lay the track around the sea and canyon scene. Whilst I have a reasonably final track plan, I still want to play about with a few areas like the small station to see what I can achieve, and also want to add a few goods sidings dotted around the layout, so, again, need to see what I can achieve versus what’s drawn up.

-all the wiring. The bit I dislike most but I’m going to use tap splicers and pre-soldered/wired fish plates this time to make the job that little bit less tedious and easier.

After that will then obviously be the scenery.

One question for the board. Now the layout is West Coast USA based, what should the name be? Really not happy with Acton (even though it’s been shown there is an Acton in California haha),but thinking San-something, but, not sure what the ‘something’ could be? Any thoughts?

Onwards and upwards.

actonnorth
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby actonnorth » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:38 pm

The base boards are finally done!

This is the full beach scene board which gave inspiration towards the west coast USA scene. I’ve placed the wagons and building to give a sense of scale.

Image

And this is the opposite end of the layout where the (hidden) fiddle yard and a basic desert scene will be. To the left will be a city/urban scene with a few goods sidings such as an oil depot and warehouse branch. To the right will be the canyon and tunnel scene.

Image

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Chops
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby Chops » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:08 pm

Your's will be a smashing layout. Being that California was once a Spanish, then Mexican, province one can tack on "San" or "Los" ad infinitum. I agree, I'm not sure I've been to, or through, Acton, but it is probably another grubby industrial suburb of Los Angeles full of prefab steel ware houses- about as romantic as a cistern.

San Pueblo ("St. Town", or perhaps "Town Blessed by the Saints") comes to mind. A book was written about a U.S.N. patrol craft during the Boxer Rebellion called "The Sand Pebbles," as it was referred to by its crew, putting the official name "The San Pueblo," to a diminutive parlance. Later made into a film with Steve McQueen, both excellent; book and film.

Further up the coast, there is Los Gatos ("The Cats," referring to mountain lions that once reigned supreme there). It is a lovely sea side town. And of course, San Luis Obispo (Sainted Bishop Luis) which is north of LA directly upon the mainline of former Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) railway. Santa Cruz, in the same neighborhood as Los Gatos is another beautiful beach town. Famous among surfers.

Out here there is Las Cruces (The Crosses) to north the of El Paso (formerly "El Paso del Norte," "The Pass of the North," as it was the only place one could get from the east side of the mountain in Mexico to the western side of the province of Tejas on the way to Santa Fe ("Trusted Saint), and some distance to the east lies San Antonio.

Every now and then I come across some ridiculously cheap N scale. I imagine your's will have Kadee couplers, so if I come across any I will certainly forward them to you (gratis). From what I've seen, the current crop of N scale is superbly detailed, and the running characteristics of the better N scale, like Kato, and Atlas, is fabulous, from what I see at the N scale part of our local model train club.
I don't care what they say. I believe in Nessie.

actonnorth
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:58 pm

San Clemente (N)

Postby actonnorth » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:16 pm

Image

Milestone reached!

First bits of track are now laid. The single track section at the beach scene, as well as the bits above.

The track with the superliner wagons is to the tunnel and hidden fiddle. The track with the MKII’s is the main loop, to which this section will be the canyon scene. (The MKII’s are my ‘sacrifice’ wagons to keep the little ones amused while I lay track, not too upset when they break them then!).

This is about as much as I can do for now. I need more track and more points. We are going away next month so no reserves in the pot on next payday, so, probably be a month or 2 before the next push can be made.

At least we have a start though! I’ve also settled on San Clemente. It was afterall, the area that gave inspiration for this layout.

actonnorth
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San Clemente (N)

Postby actonnorth » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:36 am

Image

The beginning of the Canyon scene. The polystyrene will form the base, then it will have a layer of texturing to make the rocks.

Image

I’ve also began to tinker with the beach scene. They will be cliffs, beach, rocks etc. There is a small car park at the top of the cliffs, followed by a ramp down to the beach. This design is by no means final, I may take out the promenade bit, but, it’s a start.

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glencairn
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby glencairn » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:44 am

An interesting gorge in the making. Watching with interest
and looking forward to further instalments.

Glencairn
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End2end
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Re: Acton North (N)

Postby End2end » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:51 pm

If there's one thing I like about USA based layouts it's the canyons and your's looks to be shaping up nicely indeed! :)
Some nice rolling stock there especially the passenger cars.
Thanks
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actonnorth
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San Clemente (N)

Postby actonnorth » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:33 pm

Thanks guys.

My skill set isn’t great (not trying to be modest, it really isn’t), so, I’m not sure how realistic these canyons are going to be. But, the below image taken from a USA based modeller is essentially what I’m aiming to achieve.

Image


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