Drei Berge (Euro HO)

Update: Rail Tales’ portion of the scenery construction has been completed as of 11/24/2015. We will be assisting the client with weathering the structures and applying additional details but the layout is essentially complete.

This is a conventional DC layout with a European theme, intended for European locomotives and rolling stock. The primary features are the double track figure-8, a long double ended yard serving a large train station, and three prominent mountains that give the layout its name: Drei Berge (German for ‘three mountains’).

The turnouts are all Peco ‘insulfrog’ switches, either #4 or #5 (small and medium radius) controlled by the ANE servo system. This system is easy to install. There is a prominent control board for the turnout switches and block control of the power.  Only two power packs were used at the request of the client.

This layout is a modification of Atlas track plan HO-35 (Berkshire Valley Route). By extending the table by 12″ and adding an L shape 48″ x 60″, we were able to create a loop for the extensive yard in the basic layout and add a third mountain and second town with a looping spur. The track is all Peco code 100 flex laid over cork, painted and ballasted. We painted the track before installation, which makes painting much easier but makes installation a little more time consuming.

CIMG4834

The basic Atlas layout calls for a turntable but this had to be omitted to make room for the large station along the extended yard. The reverse tracks were also omitted at the request of the client due to likelihood that the layout will be operated by young persons.

The maximum grade is 4%, which requires relatively short trains and the minimum radius is just a bit under 18″ (European R-2). Most of the European equipment can turn on 15″ radius track but the passenger cars do not look good on it. The track separation on the turns is 3″ to allow for car overhang.

CIMG4863

The base is our usual foam over wood structure and the layout was built in two pieces at the store and then moved to the client’s house for final scenery and track work. Even broken down and using lightweight materials, this layout was a challenge to move.

Scenery is our usual Scultamold over Woodland Scenics Shaper Sheet. The black material is black foamcore, which is strong enough for scenery support.

CIMG4926CIMG4924CIMG4919

The roads are Woodland Scenics ‘Smooth-It’ painted asphalt. The highway bridges are Rix products modified for the space and the crossings are stained strip wood.

CIMG4964

The big bridge is two Walthers double track bridge kits. This was designed and started before the beautiful Central Valley bridge became available and retrofitting is not possible without extensive reconstruction. The Walthers kits look good anyway.

CIMG4923

The buildings and portals were/are being constructed by the client. The bridges and portals were detailed and weathered by Rail Tales prior to installation. Other structures will be weathered primarily by the client.

CIMG4919

The  section immediately around the river and pond are done. The water is made using Woodland Scenics Realistic Water and Water Effects with the coloration made using Vallejo Premium paint. The buildings have not been weathered or integrated into the scenery yet.

CIMG4966CIMG4961

 

The town on the western end shown in the process of detailing and integrating the buildings into the scenery. They have not been weathered yet.

CIMG4989 CIMG4990

CIMG4998 CIMG4999 CIMG5004 CIMG5000

 

This valley is a rural/wilderness scene separator. Eventually there needs to be sheep and a shepherd…

CIMG5002

 

The windmill has been weathered and is motorized. Yes, the blades do miss trains on the adjoining track (barely).

CIMG5001CIMG5005

 

The town center nears completion. We carved the cobblestone streets out of a Smooth-It base

The town center nears completion. We carved the cobblestone streets out of a Smooth-It base

View of the nearly completed layout from near the top of the vineyard mountain.

View of the nearly completed layout from near the top of the vineyard mountain.

IMG_4293

An overall view of the nearly completed layout.

An overall view of the nearly completed layout.

Finished Views:

Rail Tales will be assisting the clients in weathering the structures and adding details but the layout is essentially complete.

Finished Mill Pond area. The client built the little garden

Finished Mill Pond area. The client built the little garden

The entire layout design centered around accommodating this huge station.

The entire layout design centered around accommodating this huge station.

The center of town. The buildings all have lights using LEDs.

The center of town. The buildings all have lights using LEDs.

The village with the vineyard on the hill. This uses the Busch vineyard kit built by the client. The client also added the guardrail.

The village with the vineyard on the hill. This uses the Busch vineyard kit built by the client. The client also added the guardrail.

Another angle on the city.

Another angle on the city.

CIMG5600

This is a view of the city from the backside showing the approach road/ramp. It is important in layout design to have roads connecting the various locations when the rails go in and out of view. Roads lead the eye.

CIMG5598

It took two tries but the water came out great eventually. We have had problems with Woodland Scenics Realistic Water ‘bubbling’ sometimes. In this case we cut out the bubbles, filled the holes with Vallejo Water Effects, then applied Vallejo Water Effects over the entire surface.

CIMG5592

This view from the end shows the road leading through the landscape and across a bridge. Note how the mix of trees, buildings, and rocks with a variety of colors makes the scene interesting without being confusing.

CIMG5599

The bridge is by Walthers, painted primer green. Technically we should have used bridge track to cross it but that installation proved to be a real pain and the customer did not care so we used regular track.

 

This is the control board. There are switches for the turnouts and for selection between the A and B power cabs plus switches for the lights, windmill and water mill.

This is the control board. There are switches for the turnouts and for selection between the A and B power cabs plus switches for the lights, windmill and water mill.

 

The castle on the mountain- though sold as an HO kit, it is actually N scale!

The castle on the mountain- though sold as an HO kit, it is actually N scale!

CIMG5603

 

CIMG5593