A Christmas Window Display Layout

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martin
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A Christmas Window Display Layout

Postby martin » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:33 pm

I decided to go ahead and give the Christmas Layout a go, If I finish it in time, great! if not it might be ready for next year...

Image

I wanted multiple level running, originally I wanted a rabbit warren but as was suggested this might be a problem on a layout that left running un attended.

I fancied a great big impossible bridge like the Bastei bridge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastei or the Andermatt bridges http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotthard_P ... Ccke01.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Josep ... er_028.jpg

I'd had various thoughts about what the railways does and the final plan is that it's Father Christmas's Sleigh launching station... elves will be loading trains with toys from the workshops to load onto the sleigh.

The hot chocolate tub is going to be the location of a Air Traffic Control Tower. I'd like to build a better sleigh but if I don't have time i'll go with the wooden one

Image

Image

The single turnout is operated by a mercontrol wire and tube lever system.

The wiring is rather rough and ready as I plan to be slathering on lots of snow!

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Original Post: I seem to always be thinking 6-8 months ahead of myself at work... I recently had a planning meeting about Christmas and the topic of our Christmas Window Display popped up. Last year we had an LGB Stainz with a shuttle module

Image

But it gets a little boring after a while. Then today I realised i've got a Smallbrook Harlequin, a Pepper7 Wasp and 4 or 5 Pepper7 wagons, so why gnot Gn15 in the window?

I thought a rabbit warren layout with wintery mountains would be fun for the local children (our shop is opposite the pre-school) So far this is what i've come up with track wise

Image

the space we have is limited so a true CJ Freezer style warren is out of the question due to the height of Gn15 stock, but I wonder is the above even possible? Height could be achieved in the long approach to the spiral (from left to right) though the descent might be quite steep.
Last edited by martin on Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby martin » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:45 pm

Edited with new image as the gn15info site seems to have garbled the trackplan
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:29 pm

looks very nice. My advice would be to keep it simple. Window displays need to be low maintenance, and any hill climb can fail. To give display some height, have continuous circuit on low level and some form of shuttle on a higher level. In fact adding more shuttle lines would attract more attention and chances of every line breaking down is low.
The 3 train auto circuit mentioned on another thread might be an idea.
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Postby martin » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:21 pm

rue_d_etropal wrote:looks very nice. My advice would be to keep it simple. Window displays need to be low maintenance, and any hill climb can fail. To give display some height, have continuous circuit on low level and some form of shuttle on a higher level. In fact adding more shuttle lines would attract more attention and chances of every line breaking down is low.
The 3 train auto circuit mentioned on another thread might be an idea.


Lane Stewart's three tier showcase at Caboose Hobbies sprung to mind http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php ... orum_id=17 when I first thought of a window display... keeping it simple does have appeal!

auto circuit thread, this one ? http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t= ... ht=circuit
I turned to the darkside, I moved to Gnottinghamshire! http://suttonboningtongallery.com/soar-valley-garden-railway/
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Postby martin » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:47 pm

Edited
Last edited by martin on Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby martin » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:51 pm

A month on and there has been progress! Work halted on the layout for two weeks while we had a painter doing our exterior woodwork... but that gave me time to start making the "people" that work at the Sleigh Launching Station... however more about them later!

The painter all done and woodwork looking all shiny I reclaimed my shed and got back to the layout. I realised at this point that if I kept up this rate of work I could potentially have the layout ready for this Christmas... that in turn meant committing to extra spending. In particular some whizzy electronics for some animated elements.

However today's update is just about more blue foam carving (Hurrah!)

First of all an shot showing pretty much everything:

Image

The two buildings on the lower half are on there way to being ready to paint, the Air Traffic Control Tower on the top left was freshly carved today and awaits the start of detailing but does have some wiring in place.

I've still got the MDF sleigh.. I'd really like something much nicer, ideally i'll build a rocket powered sleigh but it's a matter of time!

Most of the rockwork is finished and the outline of the rear viaduct is ready for detailng.

Image

A closer look at the two lower buildings. For the sake of speed and time I decided to make them from foam... not the cheapest option but it's fast and light and I need this layout to be both! The doors, blacksmith's hforge and balcony are made from polymer clay.

Image

A closer shot of the House

Image

And the Blacksmith's

Lot's of gaps here and there... I keep telling myself I'll hide it all with snow!!

Image

And a shot showing the left Tunnel.

I've told myself I need the layout to be ready for November. The biggest hurdle for me right now are the electronics... servos and geared motors are all bought for various animations... now I just need to figure it all out!!
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Postby Bob Roegge » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:17 pm

Inspiring...... the winter atmosphere is already evident. I can imagine the snow and scene. Can't wait to see what animation you create.
Bob

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Postby martin » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:39 am

Bob Roegge wrote:Inspiring...... the winter atmosphere is already evident. I can imagine the snow and scene. Can't wait to see what animation you create.


Thankyou Bob... if I could have just one tenth of the sense of atmosphere that you've created in "Old World Charm" i'd be over the moon!

http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t= ... ight=charm
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Postby martin » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:58 pm

Some Painting Progress:

Image

Overall view. I've used a fairly "fast" wet process with some final dry brushing for the rocks. The rocks under the viaduct and to the rear left are still unpainted as i've only just finished creating a steps from the "lake/ice rink" to the air traffic control tower. Hopefully these rocks will get painted in the next few days

Image

The left side under the air traffic control tower... I need to build a bridge. The easy option would be a trestle bridge but i'm not sure it would fit in well... I do quite like the idea of something supported from the rocks to the side rather than from below... if anyone has some whimsical suggestions i'm all ears!

Image

The side under Santa's Sliegh launching station.

The Viaducts... have now been painted black... they we're grey but the plan is to use a dry brush effect on them. I perhaps ought to have painted them black before working on the rocks but i find such large black areas can be quite offputting and I wanted to make sure I got the rocks right first!
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Postby Broadoak » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:32 pm

Martin,

I think the rocks look superb. they really look as if they are very heavy. 8)
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Postby Bob Roegge » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:45 pm

Your rock work and color is excellent. Very impressive!

One option for the bridge near air traffic control would be a spindly metal trestle similar to the one on my High Trestle Creek layout. It was simple and would fit well with rocky area. Mine was made from card stock with some balsa support and glue dot rivets. Supports made from bass wood and card stock. A rickety rusty bridge would represent permanent construction yet still suggest a dangerous delapidated railway.
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Postby david colley jnr » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:10 pm

Martin, you're rocks looks stunning! Would there be a chance of a short SBS on how to achive the effect when you do the last bit?
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Postby martin » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:54 am

Bob Roegge wrote:Your rock work and color is excellent. Very impressive!

One option for the bridge near air traffic control would be a spindly metal trestle similar to the one on my High Trestle Creek layout. It was simple and would fit well with rocky area. Mine was made from card stock with some balsa support and glue dot rivets. Supports made from bass wood and card stock. A rickety rusty bridge would represent permanent construction yet still suggest a dangerous delapidated railway.


Ah yes I do recall your brilliant layout... who could forget the rivet counters!

I agree something metal and rusty would seem a good fit, an dyour spindly trestles do suggest that.

For anyone who has not seen here is Bob's terrific layout http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t= ... highlight=

------------

Motor shafts/Axels. I've got a 6v 30rpm motor that I plan to use to power the air traffic control radar... but I need to extend the shaft. Does anyone know hwere I might get collars and extensions?
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Postby martin » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:55 am

david colley jnr wrote:Martin, you're rocks looks stunning! Would there be a chance of a short SBS on how to achive the effect when you do the last bit?
David


I'd do a write up as it's a farily easy process... but as it's all painted now i'm not sure I can do photos. I'll have a google for a similar technique though!
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Postby Bob Roegge » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:08 pm

To extend the motor shaft you might want to use brass tubing with an inside diameter that fits over the motor shaft. For a collar to secure it look in the model airplane hardwaare section of your hobby shop for "wheel collars" that fit over the tubing. The set screw should crush the tubing on the motor shaft. Inexpensive and easy to work with.
Bob

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Postby martin » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:21 pm

Bob Roegge wrote:To extend the motor shaft you might want to use brass tubing with an inside diameter that fits over the motor shaft. For a collar to secure it look in the model airplane hardwaare section of your hobby shop for "wheel collars" that fit over the tubing. The set screw should crush the tubing on the motor shaft. Inexpensive and easy to work with.


Sometimes you just miss the simple things... i'd been looking at specially made shafts and shaft extenders! Thanks!

Progress feels slow this week as it's mainly been about electronics and wiring and more figure making.

I painted the viaduct in a very naturalistic fashion and was rather happy with it. However it was too dark. I'd considered at one point in going for very cartoon like snow and rocks - it would have made for a very quick job but I wanted them to look real. I think it can work but having a naturalist painted viaduct things just look a bit "Lord of The Rings"

So i've tried something a little more cartoon like. The stone retaining wall at the bottom of the layout is still fairly natrualistic but as you move up into the centre of the display where all of Santa's Elves will be working things become more... magical?

Well I hope it's going to work, I may toen it down with a light wash... I don't think I'll really know until it starts snowing!

Image

You may also note that the layout has now moved indoors.. paint drying time having increased due to the cold weather!
I turned to the darkside, I moved to Gnottinghamshire! http://suttonboningtongallery.com/soar-valley-garden-railway/
Gn15 Santa's Sleigh Launching Stationhttp://gn15.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9815

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Postby martin » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:13 pm

Work continues!

I think last time I posted I promised to share some photos of the inhabitants of this wintery world!

Here's our little fisherman: he's sitting on a hinged box and hopefully (electronic ability allowing) will be fighting a catch!

Image

I'm not entirely happy with his face... I chose painted on faces rather than sculpted simply because of time restraints... but of course that means I have to paint them!

He're the first elf i finished... he's loading christmas presents

Image


Here is a family of Tomten...
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a kind of Swedish gnome. Nice and quick to make. They live by the railway and keep to themselves... they are often puzzled and bemused by the busy elves and don't really understand Christmas!

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The whole group together

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I took the pictures in one of the cabinets in our shop.. the ceramic work in the background is by a local artist

finally a photo of one of the structures

Image

Just waiting for some snow!!

The shop has been busy recently so i'm struggling to get work done. Fortunately my wife told me to take no more jewellery commissions as i'm still not fully recovered from surgery last year... instead of course i've been working on the Christmas Window Display!
I turned to the darkside, I moved to Gnottinghamshire! http://suttonboningtongallery.com/soar-valley-garden-railway/
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Postby martin » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:06 am

Been a while since I updated... We got the window installed yesterday. Why is it that when you come close to the end of a big project the goal seems further away than ever before?

Not too many photos i'm afriad as the shop has been really busy today as we Have an early Christmas event on. The highlight of my day was the local Preschool coming to see the window display, they all queued up t take it in turns to press the button that operates the layout.

Image

Image

The only photos I was able to snap today

Here's the wiring I was quickly putting together last night

Image

The black box is a transformer, a relay, and a power router offering 4, 6 and 12 volts. Some of these or controlled by a wireless doorbell (attached to the exterior of the shop window) while others are constantly on (Building lights etc)

There's still so much to do: No sleigh yet, plenty of Elves to make, No Father Christmas, more rolling stock to finish, and other scenic elements.

Also lots that neaxt year might get rebuilt. Hopefully If I have a quieter day tomorrow i'll get some more snaps!

A quick video: doesn't show much i'm afriad! http://youtu.be/VwDiHMiHG_0
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Postby Jon Randall » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:35 am

Very gnice Martin, will it still be on display between Christmas and New Year and if so will you be open :?:
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Postby martin » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:16 pm

Jon Randall wrote:Very gnice Martin, will it still be on display between Christmas and New Year and if so will you be open :?:


Hi Jon,

Yes I imagine we'll keep it a little way into January.. the local children complain when we take down our railway windows (we also have one up for our village Garden walkabout)

We're open 12pm-5pm on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of December where (weather permitting) we'll also be running trains on our G scale garden railway, after that we revert back to being open Thursday - Sunday 11am - 5pm from January 2nd.

Mind you if you're just passing and the window display isn't running just knock on our door!

Some more photos (shot while trains we're running so not the best quality... I need to find time to sit down and get good photos and some video of the animations!)

Image
Comet exits the tunnel with a train of Hot Chocolate and Presents

Image
Rudolf carrying a precious cargo - The Launching Ramp seen just to the left. The brickwork on the viaduct here is quite crude but as this is seen from the back I never really expected anyone to see it!

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Rudolf carrying a precious cargo - The Launching Ramp seen just to the left

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Rudolf passes under the Sleigh Launching station

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Rudolf rolls gingerly out onto a perilous bridge - photo taken through the window so sorry for the reflections!

Image
Comet passes a family of Tomte

As you can see I went a bit gNuts on the icicles... but I figured it's supposed to be magical!
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Postby Broadoak » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:38 am

That has turned out very nicely I think.

I don't think you have overdone the icicles, about right I would say.

Very nice indeed. 8)

Regards Peter
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Postby Tomo » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:08 am

Lots of charm and character!

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Postby RoGNer » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:20 pm

That is excellent! I like the Hot Chocolate tanker - very gnice indeed!

The icicles looks wonderfully real

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Postby marter1229 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:24 pm

Layout of the year! Nicely done.

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Postby Chris18 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:39 pm

marter1229 wrote:Layout of the year! Nicely done.
Terry

I totally agree with that !

How did you build this very nice steam loco ? It's a Bachmann 0-4-0 Porter, I guess.

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