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Author Previous Topic: Erie & Pittsburgh Line Construction (n scale) Topic Next Topic: looking for switch machine
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Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 04/26/2016 :  08:15:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been saving up the meat trays, Mark. Now I just need to actually use them on the layout.

Your wall sections look good.


Bruce

Modeling the railroads of the Jersey Highlands in HO and the logging railroads of Pennsylvania in HOn3

Country: USA | Posts: 30174 Go to Top of Page

Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 04/26/2016 :  09:05:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What a great idea for a free source of material...bravo Mark!

Looks good- is the "sheen" I see intentional?...or do they need a shot of Dullcoat?



Country: USA | Posts: 2416 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/26/2016 :  1:09:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your comments guys. I learned the 'meat tray' idea years ago and its amazing how easy it is to work with. Without any work, it makes a great concrete texture. And as I mentioned, with a little practice, you can 'scribe' just about any texture into it you want. It just takes a little practice.

Bruce, don't save them. Use them! I think once you start playing with them and experimenting with this material, you will be surprised how much fun it is to work with.

Carl, no, that sheen is simply because its the first coat of paint. When done, they will be flat.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13544 Go to Top of Page

Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman



Posted - 04/27/2016 :  10:48:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great tutorial, Mark, thanks for sharing! I've recently become an advocate for Balsa Foam, and I'll have to put Meat Trays on the list of new techniques to try. I have to build a retaining wall for a friend's layout, so that will be a great opportunity to try this technique. (Better to try it on someone else's layout first, eh? <grin>)

Al Carter



Country: USA | Posts: 4630 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/27/2016 :  11:39:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Al! Yes, as you can see, that's where I'm using it. Let us know how it works out for you.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13544 Go to Top of Page

keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 05/01/2016 :  01:51:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can see this now. Two mice Louie and Vern have taken up residence in Mark's basement. Being railfan field mice they take a evening walk along the ROW every evening after Mark turns off the lights. Louie remarks Hey Vern !! come over here and take a look at the scenery that he has been doing. Looks really nice. Vern comments Yeah !! with more scenery in and those nice retaining walls we won't have to worry about falling to the floor like our late friend Zeke did here last week.
Vern then comments that Mark did a really nice job of making the walls look like the PRR walls they had seen in some of Mark's pictures. They are both amazed at the progress on their Northern Division home layout.
Then Louis says Hey Vern do you smell something ? Vern says Yeah I think I smell chicken !!! And it is coming from this stone wall over here !!! Then Louie say Hey Vern this one over here smells like Beef !!! Oh boy dinner is served !!!

So goes the retaining wall diner on Mark's RR !!!----------- Ken --who fed some mice with Golden Rod trees years ago .



Edited by - keystonefarm on 05/01/2016 01:55:22 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/01/2016 :  08:33:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ken, I loved your narrative! A great story of Louie and Vern! Entertaining, and a good message as well.

Perhaps I didn't mention it in my earlier post, but the first order of business with these trays is to clean the trays thoroughly! Between that, and after a few coats of painting, I would hope this would eliminate any possibility of 'odors' that may attract visitors such as Louie and Vern. Fortunately, I do not have any rodent problems in my house, at least of yet.

You do bring up an interesting point that I frankly never gave any thought to, and that is the materials we use on our layouts and their ability to attract pests. Some of the materials we use for scenery, such as Golden Rod, are things to consider. I did not know Golden Rod would attract mice! Did they actually eat the trees?


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13544 Go to Top of Page

keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 05/02/2016 :  01:47:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yup the little suckers like the seeds that are on Golden rod. A few years back they went thru Sunbury and pretty well wiped out about 40-50 trees. I still have some in place behind Kase tower . It was mentioned to me that they look like trees that have been attacked by bugs !!! I even had one take some bites out of a in plant gon in the steel mill. It was one that Dean Freytag did many years ago and the only gon they decided to chew on. -- Ken


Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 06/14/2016 :  01:01:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are all you Jersey guys asleep ? Has not been a peep out of anyone for a long time ! --- Ken


Country: USA | Posts: 66 Go to Top of Page

Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 06/14/2016 :  2:48:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Its steam season for me, The other guys need a kick!


Country: USA | Posts: 1757 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/14/2016 :  11:43:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, it has been a while since I posted an update, hasn't it? Thanks for checking in Ken. I started a new career in real estate a couple of months ago and have been devoting much of my time to that recently, leaving little time for the railroad. This is only a brief suspension in activities but rest assured, I will be back! In fact, I was recently talking to Harsco throwing around ideas about starting some scenery in Glen Burn! Who knows, I may start on that next. I have some free time this weekend that I plan to devote to doing something downstairs.

Now, as for the other guys around here, I guess we will have to blame the summer weather!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13544 Go to Top of Page

BessemerBob
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/14/2016 :  2:57:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Thats a good point about the weather. The one thing we have had very few of over the past couple months in Western PA is rain outs. Model railroading aside we could really use a few days of good rain!

Hope the new career is going well, always exciting trying something new.


"the sleep of a laboring man is sweet"

Country: USA | Posts: 129 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/15/2016 :  12:13:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your thoughts Bob! Yes, the new career has been eating up a lot of my time, and I'm really enjoying it. But things are starting to settle down, allowing more free time again. That, combined with the usual summertime activities has limited my time in the basement, so progress has non-existent! I do have an op session coming up this weekend, so that may motivate me to resume some work on the railroad.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13544 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/29/2016 :  9:06:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It has been a busy summer and quite a while since my last post! Since my last post, I hosted another operating session which went well, but I didn’t take any pictures. There was the usual minor maintenance issues that arose and needed to be taken care of, and were! But other than that, I have made little progress in any of the projects that I have started. Recently however, with summer time temperatures in the 90’s and high humidity, seeking refuge in the cool surroundings of the basement seemed like a good idea and has resulted in some recent progress!

While I have several projects underway, I figured why not start another one! It keeps things interesting. After all, they say ‘variety is the spice of life’, right? So I recently turned my attention to yet another area on the layout that caught my attention; the Glen Burn Colliery area. This will be a big project which I’m sure I won’t finish anytime soon, but I thought I’d at least document my steps along the way, at least until I start another project.

I’ve been studying pictures of the prototype complex for a while now, wondering how I would model this area. Let me start off by saying that my goal here is not to model the complex as it was. That would be next to impossible. Rather, I hope to capture the flavor of the complex and it's operations.

Glen Burn Colliery was a large complex that serviced several mines in the area. There were several mine shafts right in the complex itself, as well as a narrow gauge line that brought coal in from surrounding shafts. Raw mine coal was also brought in by hoppers from more distant shafts. In its heyday, Glen Burn sorted a lot of coal, but by the late sixties (the period that I model), most of this volume had been cut way back to the point where the complex only shipped out about 12-18 car loads a day. Modeler’s license has allowed me to change the rules a little, keeping Glen Burn the busy facility that it was in its earlier days.

In this picture of Glen Burn Colliery you can see several elements of the complex I plan to model; the conveyors, including the one that enters a shaft to the left of the complex, the narrow gauge cars in the lower right of the photo, the dorr thickener, the support structures such as the power house, and of course the one element Glen Burn is probably most famous for, the huge culm pile located directly behind the complex.



Needless to say, I need to use some serious modeler’s license while trying to do this some justice. One big sacrifice I had to make is that due to the way the layout and track work is configured, I will be modeling a ‘mirror image’ of the complex. So to aid me, I took the above photo and reversed it to put it into the proper perspective. This photo gives a better idea of what my version of Glen Burn will look like. Here you can see the road bridge at the far end, the offices and of course the rest of the complex.



The next few pictures are some views of the area I have for my version of the Glen Burn Colliery. This first picture is of the left hand side of the complex. On the very left side of the picture is where the Route 61 road bridge will be located. The driveway into the complex will descend down from Route 61 into the complex from left to right. I have arranged some buildings to get a feel for the area and how things might fit.



This next picture is a view of the right hand side of the complex, again showing some buildings laid out to get an idea of what it might look like. The track works is all in and working. You can see the hole in the backdrop where the Shamokin branch appears from the helix. This will be hidden by a hill side and trees.



And finally an overall view of the area.



As you can see from the above pictures, Glen Burn was on a hill side. Over the years, the hillside grew as well as a result of the culm (waste of rock and minerals from the mining operation) being taken to the top of the hill and dumped. This is a signature element of Glen Burn as this became known as one of the largest man-made hills in the world! Needless to say, I can’t model this huge mountain of waste, but I certainly want to represent it. So the first step was to mock up the area with foam core, determining the various levels of the complex along with a profile of the hill side. Either side of the culm pile will transition into other hills.

In this next picture, I have started by mocking up the Route 61 bridge over the branch line (on the left), and then the various levels on the complex trying to determine the height of the roadways in the complex.



With the heights determined, I finalized the base of the complex and cut out foam core pieces that will eventually become the concrete retaining walls.



Next I had to determine the size of the culm hills and surrounding hillsides. This was difficult because as I mentioned above, one of the signature features of Glen Burn was the sheer size of the huge culm pile. I could just paint the wall black, but decided it would look better to represent the hill with a 3D version that was scaled down somewhat and more in proportion to what I was doing. I started this process by cutting out some boards from foam core and putting them in place to try to get a feel what the hill might look like. I decided that having some sky showing above the hill looked better. Keep in mind that this area is on the upper level of the layout, so when standing in front of the complex, you are looking up to the top of the hill!



With the height established and roughed in, the next step was the profile boards. I have a total of 3 feet of depth in this area, which sounds like a lot, but once I laid out the branch line, siding, and yard tracks, that left me about 18” to work with to place the buildings and a footprint for the culm pile. The base of the culm pile is about 8”. I cut out profile boards to help me visualize the slope of the hill.



Needless to say, the slope is a lot steeper than the prototype, but I hope that by applying a variety of texture sizes (larger at the bottom, smallest to the top), I can create the illusion of distance and depth. At least, that’s the plan!


Mark

Edited by - MarkF on 08/29/2016 9:18:28 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 13544 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/29/2016 :  9:14:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Continuing work on the culm pile, I decided to leave the culm pile sections removable so I could work on them on a table instead of standing on a step stool and leaning over everything. This has made this project a lot more enjoyable! Once everything is complete and in the final stages, I will glue them into place and fill the seams between the sections.

I finished the profile boards, spacing them about every 3”. I then decided to try something different with the hill. Instead of using plaster gauze for the hard shell of the culm pile, I am using masking tape! I first put on a web of tape as I would when I use plaster gauze, but over the web, I apply strips of 3” wide masking tape, overlapping each piece by about 1/2”. While the resulting shell is surprisingly strong, I wouldn’t recommend it for foreground scenery. This hill is in the back and will only be supporting cinders and textures.

This first picture shows a work in progress on the first section.



Here the first section is completed with the masking tape hard shell.



And finally, two sections completed.



The next step is the third section to the far right which I hope to have done in the next day or so. Then I will paint the entire hill flat black for now while I continue work on the rest of the area, creating the hills on either side of the culm pile.

Funny thing is, these started out as mock ups, but they may end up being permanent!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13544 Go to Top of Page
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