Layout Update – June 15, 2024

Once again it’s been a while since I’ve updated the page. A lot of things have happened, and there’s been some significant work done on the west side of the layout. Some of that was hinted in the post on the Class 158 but since then there’s been even more work done.

I still haven’t filmed running video of the Class 158, sadly it’s down. While it had been running great, the power car has started experiencing power drop outs and I’m not sure why. Shell on, shell off, pressure on the chassis – doesn’t matter – it’ll run for a few inches and then just die. All of the connectors appear tight, so I’m not really sure what’s going on with it.

Off the layout there’s been a major upgrade on the 3D printing bench. Last year I purchased a Creality Ender 3 and as I’ve mentioned before printed a handful of items for the layout. The Ender has two problems though, first it’s slow and second it can take quite a bit of tweaking to get it printing well. There’s also been some projects that I’ve wanted to tackle that the Ender just wasn’t great for. I pulled the trigger in March and picked up a Bambu Labs X1C, and just in the past 4 months I’ve printed more things, and bigger things than I did in a year of having the Ender. In every single way the X1C is a better printer, it’s a lot more expensive than an Ender 3, but it’s worth every penny.

Then there’s the West Side of the layout, it’s been an area that I’ve been slowing trying to decide how I wanted to really build out the landscaping and the scene.

Some before pictures:

Things have been really barren over here. After building the brick walls and the area between the tracks in the yard I was a bit stuck with what I wanted over here.

While there’s still more to do, today that entire side of the layout looks a lot more complete.

I’ve been making my way from the South to the North on the layout, but it’s come a very long way since the start of the year. A few of the buildings on this side of the layout are from my old layout that was dismantled over 20 years ago now and a few are actually wired for lights and lighting effects. At this point I haven’t wired them into this layout, and I’m not sure I ultimately will but they’re there if I want them.

I’m also trying to decide how I want to handle the North side of the yard, as I’ve been putting down ground cover I’ve discovered that the field here is larger than I was expecting. I plan on extending the fence to the end of the programming track (the isolated track furthest on the right above) and run it along the black “path” that runs along the track to delineate the edge of the museum area and then put in some buildings to fill in some of that green space.

Overall though, I think this now represents the largest portion of they layout that is largely complete.