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mark6399

River Canyon Railroad

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Hi all, 

I've recently come out of my dark ages and decided to get back into Lego trains! One thing I've always found fascinating is mountain railroading. I remember looking for the old railroad grades in the mountains on family trips to Colorado, and I enjoy reading about how they were constructed through the mountains. (The Denver, Northwestern & Pacific's standard gauge line over Rollins Pass is pretty incredible). 

This project takes inspiration from a Denver and Rio Grande Western Line between Buena Vista and Leadville, CO as well as the Yosemite Valley railroad in California. I'm planning on creating five sections for this. The railroad will pass over the river at some point (still playing with a couple ideas!). It won't  be a full loop, but I enjoy making dioramas. With the space I have available, I can add a lot more detail to a diorama display.  

Two questions for you guys:

1) Getting the slopes to line up is pretty tricky. What's really tough is making the supports line up to brace the upper mountainside. Has anyone made any references for these kinds of things? I was thinking of making some basic models to really figure out how to line things up. I was hoping to avoid going into calculating LDU's and such, but with all the angles, it might be necessary.

2) Has anyone made wide radius curve L-draw files (R56, R72, R88)? I searched the forum and found links for the ME-models library and R104 Bricktracks on Lgauge.org, but I found the ME models ones to be kinda finicky. 

Let me know what you think! I played with a couple different methods for detailing and attaching the trees and grass, etc so I'm open to feedback and to other ideas as well! I plan on updating this thread as I finish the other modules.

Thanks! 

49873111822_7f376008f4_z.jpgRiver_Canyon1_3 by Mark, on Flickr

49872800181_e936d06db0_z.jpgRiver_Canyon1_2 by Mark, on Flickr

49873111977_7f7a6c73ce_z.jpgRiver_Canyon1_1 by Mark, on Flickr

49872422248_32142d564a_z.jpgRiver_Canyon1_5 by Mark, on Flickr

 

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Posted (edited)

Looks Good.  May be a bit pricy- bricks wise.  To lower cost I would take the grey end caps off and only use them on a corner or when needed.   Also as a suggestion you could put transparent tiles over the water to get a more shiny/water effect.

 

-Coal Fired

Edited by Coal Fired Bricks

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Thanks! Yeah, the dark grey bricks on the ends were added mostly just for aesthetics for rendering the pictures. I'd go through and try to cut down on total brick-age before building it in real life. The transparent tiles do give water a good look. I wanted to see what it looked like without them in this build because the amount needed for this project would be pricey. Hopefully I can find them on a PaB wall when the stores open up. I'm lucky enough to have 3 within an hour radius of me so fingers crossed.

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I like it. The trees are small, but that may be the intention. As you have already found out, mountains require tons of bricks. Adding a rail road to it increases rather than diminish the need for bricks. I am speaking from experience, as one of my childhood dreams was to build a mountain of Lego. I completed one a few years back (see below), and to be honest, much of the understructure had to be made from wood supports, special shelves as well as a couple of tables. However, the croud loves such displays at shows, the headache begins only in transporting it to and from the event as well as the tedious setup. Good luck on your module development. Let us see the finished product:classic:

3 level layout under construction

 

 

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On 5/9/2020 at 1:46 PM, mark6399 said:

It won't  be a full loop, but I enjoy making dioramas. With the space I have available, I can add a lot more detail to a diorama display.  

That looks REALLY nice. And one thing to think about would be making an open-loop layout, with a bit of switching on either end of the line so you could still operate and play with it.

 

On 5/9/2020 at 1:46 PM, mark6399 said:

1) Getting the slopes to line up is pretty tricky. What's really tough is making the supports line up to brace the upper mountainside. Has anyone made any references for these kinds of things? I was thinking of making some basic models to really figure out how to line things up. I was hoping to avoid going into calculating LDU's and such, but with all the angles, it might be necessary.

You already answered your own question in terms of making it work. Using the slanted plates not only makes it more interesting to look at than a pure slope build, it also saves on part count. As others have said, using non-lego behind the scenes would save you a lot of money. You could use duplo or quatro, but they don't have good clutch.

 

11 hours ago, mark6399 said:

Thanks! Yeah, the dark grey bricks on the ends were added mostly just for aesthetics for rendering the pictures. I'd go through and try to cut down on total brick-age before building it in real life. The transparent tiles do give water a good look. I wanted to see what it looked like without them in this build because the amount needed for this project would be pricey. Hopefully I can find them on a PaB wall when the stores open up. I'm lucky enough to have 3 within an hour radius of me so fingers crossed.

Ha ha, if you want to save money don't attempt the hills. If this is a multi-year project you could also join your local LUG (if you have 3 lego stores within an hour's drive you probably have at least one LUG in that same radius) and aim for next year's LUGBULK. In this program Lego gives a deep discount to the LUG on up to ~80 different parts. If you need a few thousand of something it is hard to beat LUGBULK. Unfotunately LUGBULK comes but once a year, with the cycle starting in December and delivery roughly the following summer. So if you want this built before next summer LUGBULK is not an option for you.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2020 at 1:46 PM, mark6399 said:

It won't  be a full loop, but I enjoy making dioramas. With the space I have available, I can add a lot more detail to a diorama display.  

You could put a loop in that is 1/2 scenic by having the track go into tunnels then behind the diorama then to the front again. 

 

On 5/9/2020 at 1:46 PM, mark6399 said:

Yosemite Valley railroad in California

This may be some inspiration.  It is a model of the railroad town for town, building for building. 

 

 

1 hour ago, zephyr1934 said:

You already answered your own question in terms of making it work. Using the slanted plates not only makes it more interesting to look at than a pure slope build, it also saves on part count. As others have said, using non-lego behind the scenes would save you a lot of money. You could use duplo or quatro, but they don't have good clutch.

Same, it looks great the way it is. 

 

On 5/9/2020 at 1:46 PM, mark6399 said:

Has anyone made wide radius curve L-draw files (R56, R72, R88)? I searched the forum and found links for the ME-models library and R104 Bricktracks on Lgauge.org, but I found the ME models ones to be kinda finicky. 

For track planning, you could use BlueBrick but it is only for PC. :roflmao:.

 

-Coal Fired

Edited by Coal Fired Bricks

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Posted (edited)

@SteamSewnEmpire Haha, yeah, its a bunch. ~2000 for that section. That's including the Dark bley 2x4 end caps. It's a lot, but fairly reasonable, I think, for what it is. I'm not sure if I'll ever make it ABS, but I'm keeping in mind how I would cut down on bricks if I ever do.

@baard Thanks! Yeah, I saw the tree technique somewhere on Flickr, I think. I liked that it was light on parts and decided to try it out initially. Thanks for the tips on the wood structure. That's a great idea. That mountain is incredible by the way! I've had it faved on Flickr for inspiration, haha.

@zephyr1934 Thank you! Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to play with the switch idea. I've been able to do pretty well with the PaB wall in the past, but I doubt I've done anywhere close to the value you can get through LUGBULK! I'll have to look into local groups.

@Coal Fired Bricks Thanks for the link! That's an impressive layout. Haha, Bluebrick is great! I found the TrixBrix files for that software, but haven't come across any R72 files for Studio 2.0.

@Brandon Pea Thanks! 

Edited by mark6399

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11 hours ago, mark6399 said:

Haha, yeah, its a bunch. ~2000 for that section. That's including the Dark bley 2x4 end caps. It's a lot, but fairly reasonable, I think, for what it is. I'm not sure if I'll ever make it ABS, but I'm keeping in mind how I would cut down on bricks if I ever do.

You could put a base plate that is cut down on the sloped section, that could cut down on some of the bricks on the sloped section and a need for fewer supports. Also if you go on BL and find the cheapest part that you want is in the wrong color there is always a can of spray paint at Home Depot ready for some recoloring. 

 

Bye Bye Everybody,

Coal Fired

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I might of missed it but you can create alot if under structure with duplo ... A quick Google search will show you how to connect them to system bricks.  This can save you alot of weight and brick under the mountain ... If your like me and buy friends sets for the parts there is alot of pink and purple to be used under a mountain.

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On May 9, 2020 at 1:46 PM, mark6399 said:

I played with a couple different methods for detailing and attaching the trees and grass, etc so I'm open to feedback and to other ideas as well!

I meant to take these pictures when I first read that, but just now got around to it! Hopefully this csn give you some inspiration for small conifer trees.

Small Conifer TutorialSmall Conifer Tutorial

Looking forward to seeing more of your awesome layout!

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Thanks for the suggestion @Pdaitabird! That's a nice design, I'll have to try it out! I'm hoping to have the next section done in two weeks or so. It has been a lot trickier than I expected to make plates line up to make smooth hillsides and interesting gradients. 

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