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Author Previous Topic: Erie & Pittsburgh Line Construction (n scale) Topic Next Topic: Construction of the new PRR Northern Division
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Premium Member

Posted - 01/26/2014 :  07:48:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The depth of field is good. The 'washed out' parts appear to be mostly paper background flats and backdrop structures. If I look for it, I can see it in earlier photos on this page of the thread. It would be interesting to experiment with lighting a bit to see if that changes it. Also, see if you like the pictures better with a few clicks of exposure compensation. But this may be pointing up a need for a light dusting of ash-gray on some of the 3D structures that contrast most.

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Posted - 01/26/2014 :  1:06:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Looks like another fun night at HARSCO Steel on the PRR. I liked the "blue foam project" for a quick back drop. It shows the 'growth' of the area and maybe a re-purposing of the Coyle hotel as apartments. Great photos Rick and Mark. Thanks for posting.

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

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

Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/26/2014 :  5:22:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great photos guys. Looks like a good opps session. I really like the retired box car serving as a M&W shack. Ive come across a good bit of these in my travels for the 1 to 1 scale. Always think they are cool old forgotten parts of the industry.

"the sleep of a laboring man is sweet"

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Posted - 01/26/2014 :  9:23:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Appreciate the comments, guys...and Bob, thanks for for the much-needed reminder that I have been remiss in not properly crediting the builder of the trailer. Joe C (dnhman) graciously "donated" it to the HTRR sometime back but up till now, I could never come up with a good location that would showcase the level of detailing and weathering he put into it. The area where it now resides in Market Street is the last one foot or so of a fairly long team track, so I reasoned that the prototype might have wedged in a small M&W or RIP facility. The light bulb came on and after retrieving Joe's creation, I gathered up all the little MOW and RIP details I had accumulated and scattered them around.

Here's a close up of Joe's handiwork:

Edited by - Harsco on 01/26/2014 9:24:55 PM

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/27/2014 :  4:10:09 PM  Show Profile  Send vzjtothalo an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Love that FW1! And the additional G39's! :D

John Loesch

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Posted - 01/28/2014 :  10:28:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Felt motivated to get my futz on and try a variation of the grout roadway process, but this time making a small concrete pad for the GE Service Shop in Market Street.

Since the siding runs through the pad, the first step was to establish the flangeways by gluing down two strips of Evergreen .060 angle, butting the vertical side against the spike heads. While the resulting gap is probably a bit wide by prototype standards, experience has taught me that a little wider is a lot better than a little narrower:

After measuring the height of my Atlas Code 83 flex track, I custom cut 5/32" high (just a whisker below the top of the rail) formers from .060 sheet styrene, then glued them in place using my favorite all purpose adhesive, Welder

Before getting to the actual concreting, I painted the exposed edges of the angle with a rust color, in this case Americana Raw Umber:

Preferring my concrete to be a bit more tan, the grout of choice was Spectra Lock Part C Sand Beige, but there are other shades if you like your concrete grayer in tone (Mocha):

As with the roadways, application is via Dixie cup and requires a little patience; the best method to control the rate and location is by gently tapping the tipped cup and moving it methodically back and forth; since the consistency of the grout is very fine, the idea is to build up the surface layer by layer and not dump large amounts (which can be a bear to get smoothed out):

Having built formers this time, I went a tad bit heavier with the grout, then used a screed between the rear former and the rail to level things off:

Again, because the grout flows almost like water, it's important not to touch or futz with it once you're got everything smooth; holes and dips aren't easily repaired short of vacuuming everything up and starting over. Once satisfied, I used one of the CFO's hair products pump sprayers to mist on 70% isopropyl alcohol as a wetting agent, starting a ways back, then moving closer when the grout was wet enough to remain stationary:

Next, dribble on your white glue and water mix; my preference is a 60% water, 40% glue proportion:

Once the glue is applied, I then went back and lightly misted on some more alcohol to encourage the glue to sink down into the grout:

Moving right along, I repeated the above steps for the other side....

..then shielding the back section with a piece of plastic, repeated the alcohol and glue on the front:

The last "pour" was done down the center between the angles, then screed off. NOTE: be lighter rather than heavier here, since the excess tends to drop in the flangeways. If you don't apply glue directly to the affected area, in theory you can vacuum it up when everything else has dried. Remember, I said "in theory":

Let everything dry for awhile before going onto the next step of scribing expansion joints; if you attempt it too soon, the grout will literally tear away in clumps, but if the glue has set up enough (and you use a sharp #11 Xacto blade), it can be scribed. NOTE: the edges on both sides of the line might bulge up a little as you scribe; just gently push them back down...the gap will close a little, but it can then be opened up later when everything is rock solid:

Here's a shot of the finished expansion joints:



Once everything was done, I ran the knife blade along the top and bottom of the formers and gently pried them away.

A note or two about weathering; feeling adventurous (oh-oh), I tried applying the usual India ink/alcohol mix but not satisfied with the results, spritzed on some the alcohol to hopefully dilute and dissipate the weathering stain a little. What this did was two things: 1)somewhat dilute the splotched weathering and 2) loosen the top layer of grout, which then began to peel off. After stringing together a impressive variety of colorful oaths and expletives, I picked, pushed, prodded, and poked the offending areas until they resembled (in my fevered mind at least) chipped and spalled concrete.

I would recommend chalks...NOT a liquid.

Thankfully, the loosened grout re-dried and re-bonded nice and solid by the next morning, so no harm, no foul.

As mentioned previously in an earlier posting, I like the grout method for flat roadways due to it's ease of application, color, and texture....not sure if it would work on an inclined surface since the grout would probably roll right off. More futzing is needed....

Edited by - Harsco on 01/28/2014 10:40:22 PM

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Posted - 01/29/2014 :  01:00:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Nice futzing again there Rick. I would call it Insta-crete.

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Edited by - nhguy on 01/29/2014 01:01:12 AM

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

Tabooma County Rwy

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  10:19:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent tutorial, Rick. I have been wanting to try the grout method of paving some of my roads and your tutorial "paved the way" (groan) for me <grin>.

BTW, I think I heard some of those colorful words you uttered way out hear in the Pacific Northwest. I thought to myself... "Must be a model railroader..."

Al Carter

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  10:24:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit sjconrail's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Excellent Rick. I think you need to start giving clinics to the NJ Division on grout techniques and card stock,


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Premium Member

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  10:33:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great use of the grout, Rick. I like the results very much.


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

Country: USA | Posts: 30531 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  11:20:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice work on the concrete!


Chambers Gas & Oil -- structure build
Quality craftsmanship with a sense of humor!

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Premium Member

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  2:00:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love it! Seeing Rick's grout results first hand, I can tell you it looks awesome. And when he gets to his futzing and experimenting by mixing different textures together for weathering, it looks even better! Great tutorial Rick. Thanks for sharing.


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Section Hand

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  7:22:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Rick. This may just be the motivation to move some of my own projects forward.

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Posted - 01/29/2014 :  8:19:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys...as a weathering post script, I should mention that the grout color will typically shift a little when you glue it down; not radically, mind you, but noticeable. In this case, the nice light tan turned a shade darker and dare I say, pinker, so the pad got a light dusting of gray chalk to add a bit of contrast in the "post-weathered" picture.

"BTW, I think I heard some of those colorful words you uttered way out hear in the Pacific Northwest. I thought to myself... "Must be a model railroader..."

Al: Having been raised by a man who served in both the Merchant Marine during World War II AND the U.S. Navy during the Korea Conflict, as well as being around the fire service for thirty plus years, I have managed to accumulate quite an startling inventory of scatological invectives, trust me...which to me is a form of aural artistry that unfortunately the HTRR CFO has little appreciation (nor tolerance) for. On one particular evening filled with modeling mishaps, my repertoire was especially evocative, prompting a summons to the bottom of the basement stairs to be asked: "Really?"

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  8:34:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Twist67's Homepage  Send Twist67 an ICQ Message  Reply with Quote
very nice work and progress on your layout...Nice Photos of the ops sessions...
Thanks for the short step by step about weathering rails and the grout thing....Grout is the material to fill the joints between tiles in the bathroom for example????

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