Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday Dec 24th update

Boy I'm getting slack posting. Lots of indoor projects with one new section of layout getting some attention.

First shot, I am working on another book and some magazine articles. Lighting was causing some issues so I had a choice of going photo box or umbrellas. Ended up trying umbrellas as the kit had 3 nice stands and 3 strong fluorescent photofloods. Remaining shots taken with to of these so results can be seen. Went from 1/4 second to 1/120 second with same f-stop so pretty happy with result and not a lot of heat to contend with.

Next began testing out the Pricom dream player pro. Right now until 31st Dec they are offering 20% off all orders. This unit is a big step up from mp3 players I was using. Fully programmable with multi-track simultaneous play, triggers for input so what is going on on the layout can play specific sounds (example an optical sensor can detect trolley and ring bell, when trolley pulls away, bell stops). It also has outputs so it can make something on the layout perform an action.

Friend over on Narrow gauge Chat made me some spacers for 24"-21" and 21"-18" radius curved turn-outs. They are spot-on and really nice. Use FastTrack jig to position top rail, then solder on pcb ties. Then take out of jig, place the new wood spacer in place and build the remainder of the turnout. Nice smooth curves.

Next project is building a HON2 shay to use on the Gilpin portion of the layout. Shell shown is a HOn30 from Shapeways 3D Printing. The grain is very fine and I think it will finish well, may need some sanding. Idea is to use a z scale flea motor to power rear, or front and rear trucks.

This project needs to be used to test acceptable grade as the section behind the curve outside Idaho Springs is where part of the switch-back to mines around Central City will go. Need to rough in switch-back before I can completed the curve and mainline to Georgetown.

Close-up of shay shell.

Last but not least, re-motoring and adding DCC to 2 PFM brass loco's. Both are tender drive and seem to roll well. Trying both a 750 Tsunami and a WOW 101 on the 2-8-0. It will also have c=sound. The 2-6-0 in very tight. May have to use a digitrax decoders without sound on it, or see if maybe a Zimo sound might fit. Have the "sugar" cube speakers from several companies so I think I could fit it in.

Family out of town so tomorrow hopefully can get some more done.

Thanks Cameron

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Update Dec 15th 2013

Sunday Update Dec 15th 2013

Son and I installed the last adjustable support Sunday afternoon (went to see Hobbit 2 in morning, great flick).

Used the 2x8 spanning between walls (11' 6"). Bolted in a 2x4 with holes drilled thorough the 4" side. Used threaded rod (1/2") through blackboard and plywood sub-roadbed into another 2x4 10'. Spaces rods 3 feet from each side leaving a 5' 6" span between.

The rod is secured with fender washer and double nuts. It is strong and adjustments easy and very precise. Able to control grade to the .02% range.

Now waiting on NN3 motorized wheels to test grade and pulling ability. Once verified switch-back will be roughed in and then we can get back to laying track in Idaho Springs.

Anyone got any good pictures of the Ore Sampling structures in Idaho Springs, please let me know. Going to use the stack on that to hide one support rod.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, December 9, 2013

Update 12-8-2013

Still working, just little to post.

Thought I'd do a quick update on some work-bench projects supporting layout build.

LaBelle kit Gondola about 50% done. Using the kit to help with scratch build efforts. Interesting note, all but about 85 Gondola's had 4 boards, only the very first series has 3. Based on research, if someone has more please let me know.

2nd scratch-built coal-car (Gondola), this is a Phase 2 with 4 boards. Using scale 6x6 for posts. want to put nbw in 2 per horizontal board. Since this is for AP program trying to figure a way to make NBW's instead of buying. Ideas?

This is the first coal car test build. Ended up too wide so it will be recycled for something else. Wanted to show underside and bolsters.

Been comparing new Sergents Sharon couplers with current EN's I have been using. Sharon on left is smaller and looks much closer to the tower coupler used on a lot of C&S equipment. Sharon is colored using neo-lube which is a graphite coating in alcohol that when dry leaves a smooth operating coupler with nice coloring.

This is a test wall for one of the 2 coal houses in Idaho Springs. It is roughly modeled after Crystal Rivers excellent coal house with both sizing and support modifications to better represent the Idaho Springs pictures I have.

So still plugging away. Cold and rainy in HotAlanta.

Thanks Cameron

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Clearing up confusion

Sorry it is confusing. Including a track plot (crude) showing what is going on.

The right upper is begins at 53" and over 22' climbs to 59". The section in the drawing is going from about 56" to 59 1/2".

I used cookie cutter not cut-outs as it works better from most of the layout. The curve on the left is fairly flat to reduce the combined curve, grade apparent grade. There is a lift-out that then spans 4' to Georgetown at 61". It is straight so grade works out to just a tad over 3%.

One complication is the switchback to extreme left which is behind the curve and separated by a backdrop. Having to work on the switchback to get it roughed in before I can finish curve.

Hope that explains better.

The 1/2" extra layer of blackboard was placed under curve extending to Stanley Mill, then grade drops that 1/2" to the singe layer rest of layout. This was done to give creek enough depth without cutting plywood.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday before Hanukkahgiving Update(Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on same day this year).

Tuesday before Hanukkahgiving Update(Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on same day this year).

With book published and new office\workshop mostly done it was time to get back to layout.

Enlisted aid of my 14 year old son Gavriel. Taught him to build stub turn-outs, so he has made 2 for me. He actually enjoyed all of it except the frogs and wing rails. Posted the 24"-21" curved turn-out stub before. A 21"-18" curved stub is on the work bench.

So out to the layout. Finally happy with Idaho Springs plan.

This is two context shots showing Idaho Springs mock-up looking upgrade.

This is a close-up of the area from Stanley Mine upgrade. Hukil mine will be across creek with spur. The parallel lines going to upper section from Stanley will be a wagon road with bridge and toll booth. Plan will become clearer as you see the creek bed cut-out.

Here is roughly the same shot with the removable Mountain roughed in. Stanley is lower right and track goes right to left behind the mountain.

One of the issues I need to work out is how to get the 2-3% grade on the curve and the lower the water for bridge clearance. In past cut out plywood and replaced with a lower section of plywood. Here that is probably not the right solution due to structural issues, needing to increase height of roadbed anyway.

Options are: lower discussed above, cut track roadbed out and raise it (concerned about twist in roadbed), ramps like from Woodland Scenics, or adding another layer of blackboard or foam and then cutting creek out making it deeper and laying track on uncut portion. Leaning towards adding a layer to both raise and allow deepening of creek. May go try foamboard again.

Showing creek bed cut-out on front 1/3 of section. Between Stanley and mainline. Hukil is planned for far side of creek.

Showing cut-outs and where base of mountain goes.

Final shot showing remaining cut-out to be done.

If I go the route of adding a layer it will require redrawing plan on 2nd layer, cutting out creek and making transition from original height to new height. Adding just a 2nd layer for roadbed might be easier but will require more fill-in work.

Thanks Cameron

Friday, November 22, 2013

  Got some complaints workbench was "too clean".  Hope this fixed that.  Two projects on workbench: curved stub turn-out #2 and and kit build \ scratch-build box cars.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Workshop 2

Here is the closet are with shelves and a place to build the air brush spray booth.

Next to tackle is the spray booth, using Louis's plan on Railroad-line Forums and a sealed motor unit made by the same company found for about 10 bucks more.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, November 18, 2013

Workshop Update

As I got into more scratch building and building turn-outs it became apparent my workshop was poorly designed.

So after seeing some great ideas on the forums here; I began the rebuild.

This design has better lighting, more space and one table is only for modeling. Installed shelving and mounting spots for vices, etc.

Next will be closet for spray booth, rolling tool chest and more shelving. Found out using a card board box for spray booth was not too healthy, and storage for kits and scratch building supplies is a must.

Thanks for all the good advice.


Friday, November 15, 2013

First Curved Stub turn-out

Made my first curved turn-out today. It is a stub to go into Argo Tunnel. 24-21 left hand.

Thanks for all the great posts that helped so much!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

First book has been published - Rivers, Rapids and Rushing Water.

Just wanted to share my first book has been published - Rivers, Rapids and Rushing Water.

Front and back cover

Table of contents.

Thanks to all who followed along on the journey, it was really fun.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Stanley Pre-1910 plans and picture

Found an outline of the pre 1910 Stanley mine complex that will be the basis of the Stanley on the Idaho Springs Redesign.

This is a really neat design and gives a spur south of complex. Note boiler with coal storage, processing and shaft.

Picture shows facility prior to 1910.

More changes to design to make both more workable and more like prototype. This will be quite different than Harry's excellent scene set in 1930's.

Thanks Cameron

More WOW Decoder info.

As stated in the above post; the advantages to WOW101 is it can be used with or without keep alive and the keep alive can be put in a different location or different orientation allowing more flexibility to fit to small loco's.

This is the decoder with required wiring harness.

This is the keep alive. You can see size by scale. What I really like is you can choose to use or not use based on your need. If you have dirty track or dead frogs, the keep alive can really help. Another neat result is you can put keep alive in another part of engine, tender, or lay next too decoder on side as I plan on some of my brass conversions.

Next step is a bench test, maybe this afternoon.

Will post and if decent will make a small you-tube.

Thanks Cameron

First Impressions of new WOW101 decoder

Quick WOW Decoder update will post more in DCC section.

Got mine I ordered in Late July in. TCS was really good, I order WOW100 which has Keep Alive. They sent me new WOW101 plus the KV2 keep alive at no extra cost (they are doing for all WOW100 orders). Ordered from reseller.

The advantages to WOW101 is it can be used with or without keep alive and the keep alive can be put in a different location or different orientation allowing more flexibility to fit to small loco's.

This is decoder and keep alive (thicker green object) with wires. If no keep alive needed, one set of wires will not be needed.

This is the decoder only. Scale shows it is about 1.3" and I understand a tiny bit smaller than a Tsunami.

Next step is a bench test, maybe this afternoon.

Will post and if decent will make a small youtube.

Thanks Cameron

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Redesign of Idaho Springs

Lots of redesign going on. Move entire town down 6 inches and widen road by shifting everything to front by 1 inch. Now road looks much better.

Got so really good input over at NarrowGaugeChat from folks who live there. Shopchief had walked that section with an old salt that remembered the C&S tracks. Result was repositioning the mainline north of the creek and making the Hukil spur enter from east.

Original design with Creek south of mainline and Hukil spur from the west.

New design with mainline north of creek, Hukil spur from east and Stanley spur to south of complex.

Overview shot showing curve and spurs. Another removable mountain will be inside curve with the wagon road just under.

Another overview. Still unsure about exact creek course and bridges.

Last overview shot a little closer for details

Still working on creek placement, there was a water redirect from creek to Stanley. Need to determine bridge location and try to work in the bridge over mine (#14 I think).

Once that is drawn in I'll begin backdrop, cut out creek, lay track and mock-up 3d structures.

Thoughts, comments?

Thanks Cameron

Monday, November 4, 2013

Planning Idaho Springs

After all the water work needed a change of pace. The next area down from Argo Tunnel is Idaho Springs. My inspiration was Harry Brunk's UCN. His Idaho Springs is amazing.

The original plan was to base the DG&CCRR on the UCN modifying for space. As I researched more it became apparent that the original plan did not fit my era. Twenty years is a long time and there were many changes. So out came the Sanborn Maps (1907), Harry's 2 books: Up the Clear Creek and More up the Clear Creek, and Mike Blazek's Idaho Springs Workbook. All are excellent resources. Mike's workbooks cover city by city and his maps are excellent.

The Draft Plan:

This is the draft plan. Trying to learn XtraCad but slow going.

So for two days it has been to the train building to try and map it out. My wife came out to see it yesterday and said, why don't you draw it on big paper. Guess I should have thought of that, I just used a marker on the painted sound deadening board.

Here are couple shots:

Stanley Mine complex and Hukil Mine, track sweeps right to left up a 2.5% grade on it's way to a lift out and then Georgetown and the loop.

Looking East from Stanley Mine you can see water tank. Spur on left is for Lumber yard and cattle pen. Where track splits is the depot and downtown.

Looking west from east of downtown. This is taking a lot of fiddly adjustments for clearances. Ending up moving town 6" upgrade (West)towards the Stanley mine to let track follow creek more.

Here are some temporary buildings to try and visualize the main street. The railroad runs through the alley in front of main street (Miner Street in Idaho Springs). Couple of items I'm struggling with:

1. Advice has been to try to slant both rails and parallel street to convey depth. Can't seem to get that to work. Miner Street and the rails do shift north at the depot. Hopefully that will achieve the same result.

2. Buildings against background. They will be shallow, maybe 1/2" so that will be a challenge. Probably will use pictures inside to help with depth.

3. Background, seem to be ruling out photo backdrops. Might be able to do a panorama, photo edit, and print. Timeline works against that, not going back to Colorado until next summer. Painting seems to be way forward, but prospective and never having done make this an open issue to me.

4. Main street width. Right now I have 2" with side walks. Last picture shows it i narrow. How much space I can give up and shift scene towards front on plan is under consideration.

That's about it, starting to come together. Now if I could build my stub turn-outs and get back ground painted I can proceed.

Thanks Cameron

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday brief update


A brief update. Gloss added and a few close-ups of rapids.

The light lets you see the effect of the Mod Podge.

Close-up of rapids with highlighting, may add a little more.

Tried to vary each rapids to make unique.

I really like this one, unique configuration.

Final shot of rapids

Debating adding pillow filler as spray, it can work, but it also can look fake. Still pondering. Issue is how you secure it. if pressed in resin while wet, great care must be taken to ensure no resin gets on fibers. From prior tests tendency is to use too much. Once in place after it dries I have had to thin considerably.

Sorry for quality of photo's, son used my small camera and then forgot where he put it.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Update on Creek

This is a shot with highlighting in-place. Adding 2nd layer of Mod Podge matte seemed to help on the white streaks being to apparent. Will add Gloss hopefully tomorrow.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Update

Goodday all,

Wanted to add a few updates.

This is where we started, First resin pours in place will add more for bridge area and tinted resin.

After final pour and tinting adding Mod Podge matte to cut reflection and give ripples. Dries flat.

Matte gel applied, shows slightly opaque, establishes flow. Will reapply Mod Podge over to fine tune look. Getting ready to begin high-lighting rapids.

Will try to finish 2nd coat of Mod Podge tonight and high-light rapids. Then on to bridge work.

Next Goal is to begin laying track. Struggling with adding and cork road bed as most pictures I see from time period and from Harry's layout appear to be flat, not raised up.


Thanks Cameron