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Author Previous Topic: Franklin Junction Layout Progress Topic Next Topic: NMRA AP Civil Eng.Certificate  Support Thread
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sjconrail
Engine Wiper



Posted - 07/08/2015 :  11:04:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit sjconrail's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Looks like a good start Mark. I'm always amazed at the many different ways the guys in the area (and in model railroading in general) do scenery work,

Phil



Country: USA | Posts: 299 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 07/08/2015 :  4:11:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Good start Mark. Are you going to use sculp-ti-mold or plaster/hydrocal? What I would recommend is tinting it so won't be white that could show through if chipped or drilled into. I use brown acrylic paints. It will always dry lighter than you tint it. I add a bit of black to it to darken it some more. When you put this coat on the plaster cloth your landforms will jump right out at you. One other thing. Cover your track and remove the industry building so you don't splash plaster cloth plaster on them. It is easier to remove blue tape or damp paper towels then trying to clean the track and ties. Just talking from experiences I've had years ago before building my layout. If you are going to use static grass also use wet paper towels to cover the track. It will stick to the paper towels and not the track and will come off when you remove the towels. Bill

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/08/2015 :  4:39:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Looking great so far, Mark. I agree with Bill...cover everything. Bill suggestion to use brown paint with black added is a great one. In fact, I use straight black myself...either will work just fine.

As for quick and easy trees, I use the flower from the spirea plant and my layout has over 1000 trees in an area of 11x13! So, you can see how even a small area gobbles up the trees. I did the flower in a glue/water solution with a couple of drops of dish detergent which allows the glue and water to mix properly. Then I did the armature of the flower in the solution...spin most of the glue off in a garbage can filled with a plastic bag. Finally, I apply Woodland Scenics ground foam. The last step is to take an x-acto blade and clean some of the ground foam from the "trunk" of the tree.
Mark, I also have a few store bought trees on the layout as well.

Anyway, whichever route you take with the trees, ya better get a work crew together as you'll be making a ton of 'em!


Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

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keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 07/08/2015 :  5:14:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark not sure how you are doing the plaster cloth but a method I found that works great and makes much less mess is to cut the cloth to the shape you want then put it down dry. Then using a spray bottle with wet water spray the cloth. Then using a 1-2'' wide paintbrush dipped in water gently wet the cloth and paint it with the water.Much less masking required and less mess overall. No dripping plaster cloth to deal with. Ken


Country: USA | Posts: 63 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/09/2015 :  12:39:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks to everyone for all the great info! Bill, you are right. I need to cover the track and move the buildings. I should know this from past experience, but my enthusiasm got the best of me last night. Going forward, I won't be so quick.

With regard to prepping the surface, Mike I'm like you. I paint everything black first. Someone taught me this trick on my old layout. It's an old theater trick. I remember experimenting with it and was amazed at the difference it made, so that's the approach I will take this time around.

Bill, yes, I will be using sculptimold in certain areas. I've never used it before but I've seen how it, and Bruce's goop is used so I know I'll have plenty of opportunities to experiment with it.

Ken, I've never thought of putting down the plaster cloth dry. That's an interesting idea. I'll give that a try.

With regard to trees, well Mike, I know I'll need a few. Rick (Harsco) has threatened he will be my chief tree maker and I intend to take him up on that offer. One time we kidded around with having a tree making BBQ here. Who knows, I may just do that!

My favorite trees are made with the Scenic Express armatures. I also have a ton of Woodland Scenics trees, and plan to also experiment with tree balls as Vagel has done on his layout. We will experiment and see what looks best where. I'll probably be planting trees for the rest of my life!

Thanks again for all the valuable input gents! I do appreciate it.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13128 Go to Top of Page

keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 07/09/2015 :  1:23:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark if you have guys that WANT to make trees let them do it !! I had people like that years ago but now when I mention the idea I get blank stares !! I've been thinking of a tree upgrade program for the railroad. Some of the scenery and trees are 24 years old and showing their age. I have made a number of the Scenic Express Super trees and put them in a few areas. My idea is to replace some of the foreground puff balls with more detailed trees. Big problem is the number of trees required and the square footage !! Right now there are over 20,000 trees on the rr .
So for now the cab simulator is next to be built and the trees will have to wait !!
-------- Ken



Country: USA | Posts: 63 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/10/2015 :  12:24:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well Ken, I'm not sure how much they WANT to help make trees. I'm certain there will be some sort of high level of negotiation taking place well before the first tree ball is created!

As for your situation, knowing how captivating the tree making process can be, and comparing that to the fun it will be to have a cab simulator, I think I'd have to side with the cab simulator.

I do agree that the Scenic Express trees do look great. And that is my plan; to put mostly scenic Express trees in the foreground and at the edges of the forest, and use some sort of tree balls in the background. At least that's the plan. Stay tuned.


Mark

Edited by - MarkF on 07/10/2015 12:28:45 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 13128 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/10/2015 :  12:34:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't know how much White Pine there is in your part of the Appalachians, but it's pretty quick to make a decent-looking grove from Phragmites reed head, as Louis (desertdrover) showed us in photos of Dave Sias' layout: http://www.railroad-line.com/discussion/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=41840

[edit] fixed the url to show the topic right



Edited by - jbvb on 07/10/2015 08:32:54 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5054 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/10/2015 :  7:48:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that link James. To be honest, I'm not sure but from my memories of my last visit, I don't recall seeing much pine in the area. That's neat technique though.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13128 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/10/2015 :  8:22:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The web tells me White Pine occurs throughout PA, but more common above 500' elevation. Because it's valuable as lumber, it's often the first thing cut, so big trees are less common in easy-to-access areas. It competes well with other trees on sandy soils.


Country: USA | Posts: 5054 Go to Top of Page

Twist67
Engine Wiper



Posted - 07/15/2015 :  08:10:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Twist67's Homepage  Send Twist67 an ICQ Message  Reply with Quote
Hi,
great looking progress is going on here....This will be a nice scene when finished....And it´s an easy way to build some terran up with your method.....I´ll do it the same way on some parts of my own layout....Keep the pictures coming.

Cheers,Chris



Country: Germany | Posts: 274 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/15/2015 :  10:10:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Chris! I've made some progress but not much this week due to working some extra hours. With what is done, it's really cool to see the train snake its way around the new hillside and I can envision what it will look like once I start getting some ground cover down and finally lots of trees!

I have an op session coming up this weekend so I'll spend most of today cleaning up and getting things ready for that, then more progress after that.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13128 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/28/2015 :  12:14:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A little bit of a progress report. In my previous post, I mentioned that I had purchased several structures from a collection sale. I have placed these around the layout to give me some ideas, and boy, the ideas are now flowing!

Many of the structures that I picked out were commercial structures and houses. I have a big need for this type of structure for both Shamokin and Sunbury. This first picture shows the town of Shamokin, Pa. Again, these have been simply placed in the area for the time being. This town, when done, will be on a slight hillside, so I have to lay out the base first and then begin to arrange the buildings to my liking.



This next picture is of Sunbury, Pa. In Sunbury, commercial buildings line the railroad’s right of way while residential buildings will be in the background, also on a slight hillside. Many of these buildings will require some detailing and weathering down the road, but for the most part, I have a great selection to work with and they are also helping me to better visualize the finished scene.



Also in my previous post, I showed how I was finally starting hard-shell around the area of Selinsgrove Junction. While I have made some progress here and got about half of the hard-shell down in this area, I had to stop and clean up for my last op session which I held a week ago on Saturday. Here is a picture to show my progress so far.



Since that op session, I got slightly side tracked! Those of us who have operating railroads will appreciate this. So during my last session, I asked everyone for input for items that needed fixing, tweaking, etc., as I am always looking for input to better enhance the operations on the layout. While I got the usual ‘easy fixes’ such as couple issues, track joints, etc., the one suggestion that has been repeated after each session is to install switch machines in my staging yards, something that I have been planning to do for a while. So, in an effort to keep my operating crew happy, my attention has shifted towards this big task!

I have two staging yards; one twelve track staging yard on the lower level and one six track staging yard on the upper level. So over the past week, I started this project by designing the four matrix boards, one for each yard throat, and began assembling the diode matrixes that will route trains through each yard ladder into and out of staging. Here is a picture of the first two diode matrix boards I have completed for the lower level staging yard along with the sheet I used to design the diode matrixes.



So the task at hand involves finishing the last two diode matrix boards and then installing the 32 switch machines for both staging yards. Once I have finished that, I have to design and install two control panels that will control the staging yards, each having a rotary switch that will allow the operator to select the desired track and with the push of a button, line up the routes and also power that track.

This project should keep me pretty busy over the next couple of weeks as I am hoping to get this done before my next session. Unfortunately this means that progress on scenery is temporarily on hold until I get this project done, but hopefully the effort will be worth it.


Mark

Edited by - MarkF on 07/28/2015 12:17:18 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 13128 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/28/2015 :  07:57:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What did you use for the boards themselves?


Country: USA | Posts: 5054 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/28/2015 :  08:44:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow, Mark...electrical work, new urban scenery plus the rural landscape initiative...you're rolling along! It's amazing how just the placement of a few scenery items starts to bring the layout to life. As you mentioned, even though these structures were made by someone else, you can find enjoyment adding your own personal touch to the area with signs, parks, alleyways, sidewalk and street detailing. Yup, lots of fun activities ahead...and it's nice to take a little "recess" break and run trains once in awhile!

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Country: | Posts: 11295 Go to Top of Page
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