No. 15: Ackley 2.0 Begins Construction

I began construction of the “Ackley 2.0” layout on Fourth of July weekend, 2016.  The family went up to Hamburg for the weekend and left me at the house specifically to get this job done.

The visible layout is 16 x 2, with a 12-14-foot staging “wing” on each end.  The main part of the layout will consist of two 8 x 2-foot sections (16 feet total).  On each end, there will be an additional 2-1/2-foot section that serves as a lead to staging yard.  The lead–one on each end of the layout–conceals a 24-inch radius curve to a staging yard.  Each staging yard will be about 14 feet in length and include three staging tracks.

The track plan is below.  I’ll get something more professional posted soon.

Golden - Ackley 1 (1)

The new layout incorporates a few changes that were discussed in a previous post.  I changed the orientation of the lead to the cannery (a lesson learned from my previous layout)y, omitted the fertilizer siding (it wasn’t there in 1950 anyway), and changed the location of the interchange (a tough decision, but I did not have the room to depict it prototypically).

The benchwork plan for this layout was simple.  So simple that I scribbled it out on a piece of scrap paper the night before buying the lumber.  Here is that drawing:


The benchwork plan for the Ackley 2.0 Layout.  The two eight-foot modules at center will contain the town site.  The 2-1/2-foot sections on each end will contain the leads to staging on each end.  The staging “wings” are on the right and left side of the drawing–two three-track yards each.


I did all the wood cutting at the wood shop at the air base.  They have all the tools I needed, but I had to haul everything over there.  Below: This is what all the layout lumber looked like after I cut it all to size.  It only took me about 90 minutes to make all the cuts.


Above. I used solid, high-quality pine bought at the local Obi home superstore in Kaiserslautern.  The total cost was about 70 Euros, roughly 80 US dollars.  I used four-inch boards for the sides and ends, and two-inch boards for supports.


Darn German lumber…it’s a little longer than eight feet.  8 feet, 2-1/2 inches to be almost exact…

Below.  I have now brought all the lumber home and have easily assembled one of two 8 x 2-foot open-grid sections.  The section at center is the eight-foot module and the 2-1/2-foot section at the far left is the curve module that leads from town to the staging yard, which will be on the wall at far left.



Below.  Now both 8 x 2-foot open grid sections are complete, and laid out where they will go in the room.  You can see the right-hand curve module at the far end against the wall.

All total, about three hours of work.


Below.  Here is the beautiful part of the layout.  Meet my friend, Mr. Finnvard.  He cost me 25 bucks at Ikea.  He is easy to build, super-solid, and is height adjustable.  Thanks to Mr. Finnvard I did not have to design and build benchwork legs on my own.  I used three of these sturdy fellows as the legs for the two eight-foot modules.


Below.  This is one of the eight-foot modules loaded up on top of Mr. Finnvard.  Total Time Invested in benchwork: About 4-1/2 hours, including a nap.



Above.  Test-fitting the module on the sawhorses.  Looks good so far.

Below.  Here, Mr. Finnvard is supporting the center of the two eight-foot modules.  So the modules won’t slip off the deck of the sawhorse, I put a small “pin” on each end of the deck to keep the modules in position.


Below.  A better view of the sawhorses supporting the layout.  You can just see the sawhorse on the far end.  The uprights at back are the backdrop supports.


Below.  And, at last, a final photo showing the main 16-foot town site, including both eight-foot modules being supported on the three sawhorses.  Meanwhile the sawhorses have been named Finnvard Left, Finnvard center, and Finnvard Right.

Total Time Invested: About six hours; that includes lunch, a nap, and a break to watch some European Cup football on TV.


Next post: Adding Styrodur.

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