Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Onward and Upward

Going to Colorado Aug 30 to - Sep 3rd to visit Harry Brunks Layout, meet Keevan my mentor on all thing Colorado and see old C&S sites.

From Sep 4 -11 will be celebrating our Anniversay (2 months early) with my bride of 28 years on a cruise to Alaska.  Returning Sep 11 to Seattle for the Narrow Gauge Convention.  Will get to meet many of the HON3Chat Group including Keevan, Larry, Scoop, and another 20 or so.

Hope to post some pictures from each location.

Looking forward to this trip.  No Layout work for the next 3 weeks.  But hope to come back with lots of pictures to help it be more accurate and with some real inspiration.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday Update 26 August

Sunday Update 26 August.

Spent my time finishing rough Scenery for Deck 1, also add stone wall for Forks Creek.

This is the beginnings of the platform at Beaver Brook. One of my friends over on HON3Chat mentioned using wooden coffee stirrers for planking. I picked a few up at a coffee house and they work out to be scale 16". So ordered 1000 for 8 bucks including shipping. Stained using Silverwood stain for Builders in Scale. Not bad, once installed and weathered I think it will look good, and at less that 1 cent each, makes a good rough lumber. Beaver Brook had alot of plank down for passengers to walk on. Also read an article I think in NMRA magazine on wooden roads. Thinking this would be good for that and wooden sides walks. Might even give it a god for a stamp mill.

This is looking downgrade towards Tough Cuss Pass. Deb on HON3Chat had shown some pictures of her layout and she used a brush with sorta of stipple stroke to add texture, tried it out and I think looks good, effect changes based on how long you wait between spreading Sculpt-a-mold and using the brush.

This is Magpie it had a section house, outhouse, toolhouse, boxcar bunkhouse, and barn. More hills than the verticals further u the canyon. Will cover with grass and a few rocks. Used less stippling here based on pictures I've seen.

This is looking upgrade through Tough Cuss Pass. I tried to put dynamite drill holes into wall but they are too faint, will work on that. Some India ink and alcohol will help add definition.

This is Chimney Gulch with passing siding. Made walls a little more vertical to add rock casting and make room for some support structures if needed.

Sure could use some advice here. Adding the mine and bringing the mountain out so far left me without room for Huntsman which had a Section house,handcar shed, coal, ice,and bunkhouse. This picture is where I was trying moving the mine down to make room for Huntsman. Not sure it worked. So do I skip the mine, ship Huntsman, or try to fit in both?

This is the mine from the other side.

One idea folks suggested was using parts of the vertical on the viewing side of the track to show depth. Since the Canyon gets tight, I think it adds some character to the view and makes the valley seem tight and confined, as it is in most places.

This is part of the front vertical coming just after the bridge (to be added) and going into the curve to Deck 2. This curve will need work to help hide the bench-work. Worse-case I will modify bench-work to eliminate the cross beam by using vertical supports behind the cliff face.

This is the only work I did on Deck 2, since I had the Sculpt-a-mold out I filled in the back and the stone retaining wall and mounted it. Also ran wiring for the Forks Creek restaurant lighting.

Final view is Deck 1 180 turn from Beaver Brook to Huntsman. Cutting creek back and sloping. This will allow a couple of vertical walls to reinforce the front side of the canyon to give more depth and feel of the train passing through a narrow canyon.

Heading for Colorado Thursday, so wont have any updates for 3 weeks. Hope to add some real pictures of the Canyon, Golden, Black Hawk, Georgetown, Silver Plume etc to the posts. From there on a anniversary cruise with my better half, then on to Seattle for the Narrow Gauge convention. Hope to post a few pictures from there also.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dual Gauge?

Thinking of Dual Gauging Denver to Golden, as was the prototype after 1900 or so (before std only). Included the relevant deck to show change I'm noodling.

Pink dashed line is parts considering for Dual Gauge.  Click to enlarge.

Unsure about all the spurs. Some make sense to Dual Gauge, so not so much.

How would Dual Gauge terminate normally?

Will be slow going as I need to get a jig from Fast-Tracks to build turn-outs. Buying commercially is iffy due to wanting to run code 55 and the $40 each turn-out cost.


Thanks Cameron

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday 19-Aug update

Got about 6 hours to work on the layout, made some real progress. Learning to focus on enjoying the journey, instead of rushing to the finish. I'm task oriented so I need something to focus on. Today was Deck 1. Started last week roughing in the scenery. Continued that this weekend. Goal was to Sculpt-a-mold front side and turn, and rough in the back side. Each section is about 15' with the area I'm working on being 13' on each side for 2 decks.

For reference this is the before picture. Track laid and Tough Cuss Pass roughed in. Not a whole lot else done.

Started with the back section on Deck 1.

This is the curve from Golden the section here with cardboard webbing for mountains is Magpie Section house location. Wanted more hills but had to transition to verticals quickly to merge in with Tough-Cuss pass.

This section is Chimney Gulch, it is one of my 2 passing sidings in this section of the layout, one per deck to allow trains to pass. Roughed in to allow a section-house if needed. Not sure who normally threw the turn-outs on a train. If it was a crew member no section-house needed. Advice anyone?

This is Magpie with plaster cloth in-place. I use plaster cloth from Dick Blick. Cost is half Woodland Scenics but it does not have quite as much plaster, so a trade off. Since I use Sculpt-a-mold for strength it is not a problem for me.

This is looking toward Magpie through the pass. Creek on left of photo still needs to be roughed in.

This is looking upgrade from Tough-Cuss pass. While I was working went ahead and secured buss wiring and made LED channels. Still need to back LED's with some kind of reflector.

This is the 180 turn to the front of deck 1. I added another string of 300 led per 5 meter warm whites to help with color balance and increase light level.

Moving around the turn, we continue upgrade. Sculpt-a-mold has been applied here. The mine is set in place but not permenant. Need to drill holes for wiring. Mine has 4 lights in it. One for tunnel, one in main building to show interior, an outside pole light, and one in the building with the bin. May need one more on bin to allow night loading.

Moving upgrade more of the mine is visible along with the siding servicing it. Note the sculpt-a-mold gives nice texture to rocks. Still have a little Plaster cloth to add to mount mine. Have to do wiring first.

Moving upgrade approaching the turn that leads to deck 2. A Steel Truss Bridge goes across creek. Was planning to use Central Valley kit, but bridge is too large and metal girder underneath does not match prototype. Got a Campbell Steel Truss to try in it's place. It represents bridge 613 on C&S.

This is the turn to deck 2. I need to camouflage where the decks meet. I think some Trees will do the trick, maybe with some dark paint behind to hide wood. Base coat installed and creek bed roughed in.

Here is section on front with Base coat applied and creek roughed in.

And finally the 180 turn base coat applied.

This is 180 turn showing deck 1 & 2. Light levels are much better. Not sure why Deck 1 base paint is so much more yellow than Deck 2. Waiting for it to dry to see in I need to repaint.

Next steps are to sculpt-a-mold back of deck 1, rough in creek and plaster coat. Then paint. With that I'll be entering a holding pattern for several weeks. Leaving in late August to Colorado. This trip will let me see first hand and take lots of pictures so I can make the scenery more true to local. Then off to Narrow Gauge Convention. Meeting lots of my HON3Chat friends.

May use a Flat rate medium box to ship myself some dirt to use for the scenery.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday 12-Aug Update

Sunday 12-Aug Update

Was not able to do much last week due to Son's Bar Mitzvah on Saturday. So Sunday is my first day to try and make some real progress.

Decided to work on Deck 1 scenery rough-in and made some headway. Used traditional card board web with plaster cloth. One challenge is Deck 1 to Deck 2 on the middle peninsula has only about 11-12" working clearance, so have to be careful as I work in that space. Since this area is mainly scenery and functions as a open outside helix to go from deck 1 Golden to Deck 2 Forks Creek it is not a big limitation.

Webbing of cardboard where deck 1 transitions to deck 2.

This is looking upgrade towards deck 2. Elk Creek bridge will cross Clear Creek on this section. The Central Valley Bridges are not looking as prototypical as I would like. Trying a Campbell kit I got the see how it looks. Will post results in a month or so.

This is the bend doing a 180 around the peninsula.

This is same rough shot showing transition from deck 1 to deck 2. Plaster cloth in place. Will add Sculpt-a-mold to give strength and texture. Will need to add some trees to block view as train goes into turn.

Looking upgrade, the plaster cloth really gives a rough look at what scene will look like. Built rough in around mine that will go on this stretch. It will help break-up any monotony on this side. Need to add second string of LED's to balance color and make brighter. Using 60 LED meter of warm white along with the 60 led per meter bight white you see.

This is the view with both decks showing, you can see how much more light is needed on deck 1.

Speaking of light, added 2nd string of LED's to deck 2. Existing was 120 LED meter bright white, added 120 LED meter warm white to double light and give a more pleasing color. Made a big difference. Lights are currently attached to bottom of deck 3 horizontal supports. Need to raise them up a few inches so going to drill supports and thread lights.

It was a good day with a lot done in 4+ hours. Really looking forward to getting left side of deck 1 roughed in and the Sculpt-a-mold on both sides. Once painted base color I will be a good position to start detailing both deck 1 and 2. Hopefully once done this will give me the area I need to apply for my AP in scenery.

Turn-outs still a little rough, need to file some and the gaps I have been putting in styrene fillers to prevent shorts.

Off to local Piedmont Division meeting tonight.

Thanks Cameron


Got the short worked out and was able to run train from deck 1 to deck 2.  Still need to work on turn-outs to make them smoother.

Thanks Cameron

Thursday, August 9, 2012

3 decks of frustration!

May need to rename this from 3 decks of fun to 3 decks of frustration.  Went out yesterday to clean track.  Once done wanted to retest.  Sometime Tuesday I did something that caused a short.

Good news it is either the drops I added, last turnout or trunk buss for right side lower deck I spliced in.  Now to troubleshoot.

Thanks Cameron

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ballast Color

Did some experimenting on ballast, and need some advice. Narrow Gauge seemed to ballast sparsely and with whatever local material available.

In the Clear Creek area I'm working you can see the base rock color in the paint. Which of the below ballasts looks best?

This is the grout method using stainloc. Color seems good match but looks a little to uniform to me.

This is grout, starting to add varying mixes of Arizona Rock ballast in for more color and texture.

This is pure Arizona Rock.

Feathering in more Arizona Rock to grout.

Another grout Arizona Rock combo.

So do any of them look good? Which is best.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunday Update 5-August

More Sunday fun.

Was my son's 13th birthday so only got about 2 hours to work on the layout. Also been beta testing software so not as much as progress as I'd like.

Tired to concentrate on a few specific items to get some meaningful progress. First of all worked on turn-out on deck 1 to get it completed. Then added a turn-out to service a mine in Clear Creek. There were some small mines in the canyon, so this is a rule #1 freelance effort, but added some interest to a side of the middle peninsula that had only a bridge to interest. The mine could have a few support structures (maybe a few small cabins, etc.) Finished up by dropping more power drops and beginning to paint the rail and ties.

Here is the turn-out that was driving me batty. Painting also really helped. Turn-out is controlled by a Bullfrog from FastTracks.

Here you can see the difference a little paint makes. Will go back and add some lighter ties and some grime down middle.

Looking at yard painted.

Looking at new spur for the mine.

This is the mine, it is a nice Banta kit. I over-weathered it so need to tone-it down.

All in all happy considering amount of time I had to spend.

Next week son is being Bar Mitzvah'd so it will limit work again.

Thanks Cameron