Station Update Part 2

Progress on the station feels slow...but there are just so many little elements that need to go into this that its actually probably about 10 or so different little projects!  So these "10 little projects" are what have been keeping me busy since my last post!  For example, you may be able to make out in some of the photos the elevator shafts, which will have elevators with an SMD light on each elevator car. You can see I've also got the stairs now set up to match my two level platform and retail area. 

Below is a top-down view showing the general orientation of the surface station and the descent to the platforms.  Again, the 'little projects' that go into this are somewhat amazing because its the things you don't notice right off, but need to be done before proceeding to the next step!  Thinks like making sure the paint on the stairway looks like it would (or close enough) to these type of stairs in real life, that the floor is cut correctly, that the elevator shafts and stairs don't land in front of one of the retail establishments....it all seems to add up!

The below photo illustrates that I've got the bottom floor set up and lit, but the second level still needs lighting details, and all the other little things to make it all fit correctly.  Note that nothing except for the bottom level is glued or attached at this point.
The below view shows the platform and station from the opposite side.  Again, the stairways that aren't aligned in the photo are just placed there for the photo...they aren't attached yet.
Here's the main entry/ground level of the station.  Work is on hold on this until the rest of the interior and below ground sections are complete as I suspect modifications may be necessary once all the lower elements get closer to a finished state.
In addition to the station itself, work has been done on the new double track loop that now goes under the terminal area of the city.  Mainly, ballasting as well as the addition of a couple of support posts to hold up the new city ground level above these tracks.  The route that descends from the upper level to the platform level will be attached so its flush with the wall of course.  You may be able to see a bit of graffiti on the walls, which not only felt like the right thing to do, was also kind of fun to apply! :-)
At the opposite end of the loop under the city, I've been playing with the idea of using this Greenmax tunnel portal which I painted and started to weather.  I expect I'll use this as well.  Note also the graffiti on the inside of the tunnel....my,  the taggers are really getting around lately!


Station Update

A quick post on progress on the new station.First, as you can see above, I've painted the benches yellow (the popular answer from the comments a post or so back! Thanks everyone for your ideas!) and I'm really pleased with how they turned out!  I like the color/contrast of the yellow, and they give a nice 'cheeriness' the the platforms that wouldn't be out of place at a real station.

I've been busy working out the inter-connection of the station platforms with the new, ground level station building...which is about two stories above the platform tracks.   The idea, which is a common motif with many passenger stations in Europe, Japan and elsewhere, is that the platforms will be surrounded by lots of retail shops.  Given the distance between the platform level and the ground level, this means that the station is practically three floors, with two of those floors below the surface.
If any of that makes any sense at all.  The big dependency for how all this would work was going to be the stairs.  I finally recovered some stairs that were no longer needed from my Kato Overhead Station (story here) which would work perfect for the descent from the station to to the trains.
The problem is that they are quite long, and if I added them in the way they are now, the stairs would land you out on a platform itself!  Well, that won't work.
So I decided to split the stairs, having a landing with retail between the platforms and the ground level.
This also required me to carefully rip (cut lengthwise) the acrylic sheet with the decals, and transparent sheet applied - Yikes!  A lot of scoring of the acrylic and it came apart nicely.  Whew!

The stairs are in the process of drying after getting a coat of paint, and now that I have all the pieces to start figuring out where things will go, I'm hoping to make more progress on this station - and start to move the trains in!


The Station - Where all this is going

A quick post to share my thinking and planning for the passenger terminal moving forward.  The below photo should demonstrate why I need to get the passenger platforms completed before moving forward on to the 'loop tunnel/station area urban setting'.  
I've got a lot basically mocked up in the below.  You can see towards the end of the platforms some ideas I printed off for some potential shops on the track level of the station.  You can see where the new double track will enter into a tunnel on the left (and come out just to the right in the photo.
Stepping back a bit, you can see a broader view of the station/platforms and tunnel entrances.  Also placed on the layout are the large passenger terminal canopies from Kibri (Item 37760).  I'm waiting on two more so that I have enough to complete the canopy on the area of the terminal closest to the station.  I've debated the use of the canopies which will be a bit more obvious in the below photo....
Behold my next scratch-build!  A bit primitive at the moment as only the basic outline is really apparent, but I think it should be fairly obvious that I'm working on a very modern-style station with a large, curved glass atrium.  Alas, this is where integrating this modern station with the obviously older station platforms above will be quite tricky.  I think it will work...the obvious story is that the municipality of Quinntopia built a new station to replace their old one.  Will it work? Time will tell!

This area will consist predominantly of much older building stock.  While there are a few older buildings in the main downtown area, over here in the new station area, I'm imagining it to be much more like a station situated amongst older buildings.  Fairly typical really!


The Station Platforms - Part 2

The progress on the station platforms is getting more fun!  In this post I get to do the fun part...add the lights!  In the above photo you can see how I used copper tape to provide a continuous contact point for the platform lights...this is a far simpler and cleaner method than actually running wire for each light!
With the lights glued together, and the new bases attached, I then drilled holes almost the exact same diameter as the new square light bases.  This worked out well since I can use the friction of the holes to hold the lights in positive rather than having to glue them in.  This arrangement also helped to make keeping most of the lights in a more consistent vertical positive (one of the banes of light posts is their desire to always lean at different angles!)
Once placed on the layout I feel pretty good with how it turned out!  Now, these platforms need lots of details, so again I decided to go with some 'home made' solutions rather than buying large quantities of the commercial versions!

For the signs that you typically see on these platforms, I measured the basic dimensions of the signs on the old Kibri platforms I got from eBay to invent my own.  In this case, I glued a strip of flat styrene between two round styrene pipes.  I gave these a coat of silver paint, and then made up some signs that look something like the real thing might.
In addition to the signs, I also created by own benches.  For the benches I chopped lengths of 90 degree angle styrene for the seating area, and a section of thicker styrene for the bench base.  The below photo shows the resutl:

What I can't decide on is what COLOR to make the seats!  I originally wanted to go with the dark grey color shown above, but the grey is so dark they just don't look quite right.  Below are some other colors I tried.  I'm curious, which one do you think looks the best?

 Dark Grey?
 Dark Green?
So now that I've got the platform almost done, I can now start to work on walls and edges that will surround the station, and of course, the actual urban surface area!

Please do let me know about your opinion of the bench colors.  I'm not sure I have a favorite (I think I gave myself too many choices!).

The Station Platforms - Part 1

I've been working on the passenger terminal area for the past month or so, starting with the decision to make the curve a tunnel underneath the station and other urban scenery.  However, before I can proceed too much further on working on the tunnel and the new ground, I needed to finally do something about my very rudimentary and plain station platforms.

The platforms, cut from a sheet of grey sintra material, had a base coat of paint but nothing else.  I've wanted to elevate them so they are the type of platform that would be level with the doors of passenger coaches.  I'd also considered using commercially made platforms, but the cost of all those kits for my rather large terminal felt quite prohibitive (easily $100 +).  I also think they many of them are over-priced for what you get.  The platforms in the top photo were a used set I picked up cheaply on eBay as a reference model.
What motivated me was the scratch-built platform job by Alvin at Hauptbahnhof.  I've been inspired by his work many times, unfortunately most of what he does is out of my skill-set.  I still thought I might try something similar and do a passable job although not to the same level of detail.  So I pulled my sintra sheet off the layout, and attached foam core to the under-sides of the platforms.  I then glued strips of .25 inch styrene to the edges of the styrene for the platform sides.  I did no detail to the sides of the platforms (other than some scribing with the knife).
Waiting for a break in the rain, I then primed the entire assembly in white paint....
In terms of appearance, I know I wanted some sort of pattern or design for the platform so that it looked like a railway platform and not long grey strips of plastic.  I added very thin strips of architectural tape just near the platform edges.  These would mask the white paint from the light grey coating and would appear like the sort of 'safety striping' that you often see on the edges of railway platforms.  The outer edges were given a coat of light grey paint.  The interior areas of the platforms will get a slightly darker color.

One of the decisions that also held up work on this specific area of the layout was not only whether to scratch-build the platforms or spend the big money (although there are more economical options such as the platform sides from Auhagen or Peco) but what to do about lighting.  Fortunately some very nice, yet somewhat out of place, LED streetlights I ordered in bulk from China off of eBay would work quite well for the task with some modification.
These platform lights would need some sort of base and I would need to double them up.  Some square, hollow styrene was chopped into short sections and would be made into the light bases.   I found that these lights could also be fairly easily glued 'back to back' with CA glue.  The bottom line is that at $1.50 each, and therefore $3.00 a pair, this is actually much cheaper than buying commercially produced lights - particularly LED versions (and given I needed over twenty, saving me a nice amount of cash)
I gave the styrene bases a coating of light grey paint, and mostly on a whim, dipped the ends in some yellow paint to give a little more character to the lights.

Prior to assembly, and the necessary but tedious task of soldering the resistors to the leads, this is what it all started to look like:
I will follow up with the final look and some other thoughts on how this turned out in my next post.

Happy trains!