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    • March 8, 2019 6:27 AM EST
    • Have you found another pic to extend this,  to cover the open area ?

       Looks great !



    • March 7, 2019 11:46 PM EST
    • I've become obsessed with trim the last few nights. As of this evening I can't find much else to tweak. I guess I'm ready for track...


      Most of the trim is .040 aluminum custom bent and cut to fit...


      Not sure if I should continue to call this Shadow Box or maybe more appropriate Window Box.  Whatever - The center two and the cars are in just for winter. Part of this project was extending the lighting buss up here - hard to see in this light but they are lit...


      I finally sealed up the cold air leaks in this area. Oh, and added some aluminum trim!


      So far I have resisted the temptation to wrap the framing and electrical box inside the door. Probably will give in


      And the obligatory long shot...


      Track by the weekend I hope!

    • March 3, 2019 8:05 PM EST
    • Lighting tests.  The shadow box in blue with very warm white ambient room light. Needs a deflector to block direct view of the LEDs...


      Inside BOX tunnel - lit in blue...


      Turn on the whites....


      There will be one more level that hasn't been built yet.  I will continue the valance that runs around the balance of the layout. It falls about 6 inches in front of the wall - just clearing the ceiling lamp.  It will have RGB, WW & CW LEDs as well to illuminate the foreground.

    • March 3, 2019 11:30 AM EST
    • Track placement has been delayed while I finish the lighting.  I need to climb up on the lower bench to access the back side of the header where one set of RGBWW-CW LEDs are now mounted. They are up and working, but reflect in the mirror treatment on the window, so I need to add some type of deflector so they wash the area but cant be seen in the mirror. That will also require the ceiling of the shadow box to be white, rather than black as it is now. Another fun task as access is now more difficult with the bench in place. Hopefully I can do that without having to crawl through the window again!


      Here is some of the prep work for the light strip I placed inside of BOX tunnel.  Soldering leads to an RGBWW strip.  Interesting that this is mislabeled. Grounding B lights the Green LEDs and grounding G lights the Blue ones. Had to swap connections at the controller...


      I mounted the strip along with some Cool White LED modules on a piece of aluminum which was later installed on the wall inside BOX...


      The entire railroad lighting system is controlled from either a tablet or my phone over WiFi in zones. These controllers are really cheap on Amazon from LEDnet. Probably because they call home to China every 15 seconds to report whatever they report and to get a time update. Very easy to block that in the WiFi router, the only down down side is that the clocks do not stay in-sync. Maybe I could somehow translate the call-back IP to that of a safe Time Server.

      I'll  post some pictures of the effect once I get everything working and reflecting correctly.


      Today I need to extend the timed 12v bus into the new area so I can power up the lights my buildings on the storage shelf have.  I can also finally put the portal and details back at BOX.

      Looks like tomorrow may be a snow day. I need to use the brake at work to bend up a deflector, so snow may delay progress another day.


    • February 27, 2019 6:08 PM EST
    • Thanks.  I don't know if you noticed, but that bottom left piece of trim is a Z Bend with a 3/4" shelf, then a 1/2 inch rise to match the deck trim. It will serve as a shelf to support foam for the wall. Double sided tape will then keep it against the plywood now wrapped in black vinyl.  Going to start on lighting tonight. I need to get my body in there to mount and wire it, so putting back the track will need to wait.


      EDIT to add:  The production manager at work gave me a good size scrap of gloss black wrap vinyl. That white window might just turn black before long.

    • February 27, 2019 6:35 AM EST
    • Jon when you install the stone wall on this piece ^^^^ It will really pop ! Every thing looks great !

    • February 26, 2019 10:42 PM EST
    • Very productive evening tonight. The last of the green is gone and all but ceiling trim is done...



      I think I need to work on lighting soon.  I've had all the parts since Christmas (thanks Marilyn) - might make sense to do that before putting track back.

    • February 26, 2019 10:10 PM EST
    • I haven't decided on car spots yet.  The coal hopper is on the main which may, or may not, be car spot. The foreground track will usually have one or two cars.  The photo angle would not be blocked by the cars when taken from ground level near the right switch.  In my mind, the world down at track level is completely separate from the whimsical world up on the shelf. For that reason the flats on the operating railroad stay below the shelf level.

    • February 26, 2019 8:05 AM EST
    • How often will you have cars set up like this ?

      It looks like the building would be hidden. If it stuck up ... Hey what that in the corner ..

    • February 25, 2019 3:40 PM EST
    • Sean -  The original plan was to go as high as where the paneling ends and the black begins. There is room to go taller, but I'd like the keep the focus below the black trim on the upper shelf.  I will probably go wider - or add a different flat to the right between the black and the book case.


      I commandeered a few more square feet of black vinyl.  The green will be gone forever tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • February 25, 2019 12:48 PM EST
    • In this ^^^^ pic .. how tall is the building originally going to be ? It looks like you can go as tall as you would like.

    • February 25, 2019 10:28 AM EST
    • Looks fantastic, Jon...    

    • February 25, 2019 7:46 AM EST
    • Jon that's coming along nicely..

    • February 24, 2019 10:22 PM EST
    • Jon, that came out quite nice.  A lot of work for three car spots, but in the end well worth the effort.  When you get McGillicuddy's facade and the trestles done you will have a great place for photos and videos.  Thanks for allowing us to tag along on this journey.

    • February 24, 2019 10:09 PM EST
    • Today was track and roadbed day.  Eventually I will build wood trestles, but for now, black PVC roadbed stands in for the trestles. I cut track to fit from 7 foot code 332 aluminum track by Accuctraft. The aluminum track is super easy to cut on the chop saw with just a little clean up with a file or sanding disk. Final track alignment...


      Final switch machine positions...


      The final grade measurement on this short 4 ft section of track is 4%. The box car still fits....



      All of this is just one step above dry-fit. screws are in, but it will all come apart. I want to yank it up now and put down the grass mat and finish the edge trim. I also need to cover that last bit of green concrete block. I can't wait to get back to work on McGillicuddy's to finish this scene...

    • February 24, 2019 12:04 PM EST
    • Pay no attention to the man in the window!  Yesterday's goal was achieved. The large plastic shelving unit that I set up to hold all the stuff removed from this area for demo was emptied out and a home found for everything. Outdoor buildings inside for winter went up in the 'Shadow Box'. A bunch more stuff got loaded in and on the antique book case. The white plastic shelf unit that used to live here was eliminated and both shelving units were hauled up to the attic until they are needed again. The latest long shot shows the progress...


      Construction is now complete, except for a little more fake grass and some aluminum trim to dress things up.


      With clean-up done I turned my attention back to that pesky switch mechanism.  I think Al correctly diagnosed the problem even though I didn't know how to measure the angles; when I looked at the two cranks as a matched pair, I noticed the difference.  The angle error was compounded by a weak mount for the closest crank causing it to lift (as Roo noticed). The solution was to improve the pivot mount so it can't flex and move it to the other arm correcting the rod angles...

      With these changes the throw gets mounted about .75" closer to the camera which now interferes with the throw from the right switch.  I can either go through hell to shorten the rod and cover (everything apart again) or add a short section of rail to move the switch.  Being lazy I'm going with the second option.

    • February 23, 2019 2:17 PM EST
    • Dan not to worry you only see his head .. must be a short guy... 

    • March 7, 2019 9:41 PM EST
    • I even had most of my equipment out on the line, too!  Have to say, the Ultima had an easy time, even when all 3 Aristo engines were sitting with lights on and the Lionel GP was pulling the longer train with lighted USA Trains caboose. 

    • March 7, 2019 9:39 PM EST
    • Here is tonight’s practice run in my classroom. 

    • March 4, 2019 8:42 PM EST
    • Here's the track plan as done in TraxEditor