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Author Previous Topic: Justice City Diorama Topic Next Topic: Loco shed, scratchbuild
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Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/29/2015 :  3:12:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Greg . . . now that's funny! chuckle~

Lance, actually you are the guy who told me such things where available, but I have to admit, I'd have added these details even if I had to hand make them. There's something about the way prototype tracks look that I just have to catch here, I am hoping that the right amount of attention to detail will get me there!

Little things (and I mean little at this scale) like tie plates and rail joiners are just the tip of the iceberg. I bought a book by Mike Cougill, "Detailing Track", that I am using as a guide . . . but I am also doing my own studying of prototypical track as well.

By the way . . . in this picture, you can just see (at the bottom) the rust coloured rails I painted. It will be that and some other touches like oil stains, dirt and lighter rust streaks that I will work into them that will demonstrate the level of crazy I'm into, chuckle~.

A good deal of this won't be all that evident to the casual observer, but as you know, when you get down there with a camera, all of a sudden these details really add to the overall impression!

When this model is done I intend on photographing it 7 ways from Sunday, and then producing a painting of her servicing a locomotive . . . the best thing is, I get to choose the vantage point, I will not have to rely on old photographs of her!

Yea, I know, I'm starting to refer to "it" as a "her" . . . why, because it/she, is getting complex,(hard to figure at times)

Robert Wanka

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

Crew Chief

Posted - 09/05/2015 :  3:39:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit DaVinci1953's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, Robert....nobody will contest your "levels of crazy! You're a black belt! :)

Lance Russwurm

Country: Canada | Posts: 684 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/05/2015 :  5:09:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well guys, I received these from Precision Design Co. a few days ago . . . have not installed them yet.

And a close-up

I'm waiting for the nickel silver ones to be delivered before I go forward with this part of the build.

In the mean time, I've been my head trying to figure out exactly how I will build the abutment at the front end of the Trestle . . .


So after looking at Bridge abutments on the internet and then studying the pictures above I drew up this sketch . . .

Now I think I can build this part properly!

There is a Bent in front of the wooden beams indicated in the sketch, but I did not draw it there . . .

Did it here . . .

So now to build it!

Robert Wanka

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


Premium Member

Posted - 09/05/2015 :  11:37:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Where there's fill in front of the abutment as in your pictures, sometimes the cribbing doesn't run all the way to the ground surface. In other words, it might be accurate to model that with a few driven piles and timbers spiked to them down to about half the height.

Country: USA | Posts: 5711 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/06/2015 :  09:24:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good point James!

I gathered quite a few image profiles from the internet that hinted at that kind of construction. I say hinted, because one could not see how far down into the fill the cribbing went. From what I can tell from the photographs of the Palmerston abutment, it appears to be built like half a box. But you are right, that doesn't preclude the cribbing behind a Bent or Piles, from reaching down about half (or less) of the depth. Its just easier for me to create another replica Bent, same as the others, for the sake of depth accuracy, and then build the upper part of the cribbing/box, as my drawing indicates, so that the stairs fall perfectly as per the prototype. After that I can place the fill, grass, weeds and whatnot as I wish.

At least that's how it seems best to proceed for now.

Robert Wanka

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

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/04/2015 :  10:32:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After a bit of a respite . . . I continue with this project.

In my last post it was the abutment that had my interest and here are some progress steps.

All very nice except for one thing . . . I discovered that my Bents were wrong
This mistake came about because I wasnít paying close enough attention to the unique Bent ďprofileĒ of the Palmerston trestle but got caught up in other examples from other builds and other prototypes.

The one on the right is the incorrect example!

You would think that it shouldn't be such a big deal but getting the proper profile turned out to be more than a nit-pick, it had a lot to do with how the sand bin's roof line fit with the trestle . . . so I made another jig . . .

and went to work putting together 5 Trestle Bents and one more for the abutment.

Now everything fits the way it should.

Back to the Abutment . . .
Cut out a jig to align the Bent . . .

and glued her down!

A quick refit with the trestle . . . looking good!

Tomorrow I'll show you some pics of the tie plates I'm about to install . . . I had a bit of an issue with these as well, but I'll tell you all about that tomorrow.

That's it for now.

Robert Wanka

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

Michael Hohn

Posted - 11/05/2015 :  07:42:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Beautiful modeling based on excellent research. You're providing great reference material for trestle/coal dock building.


Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 4493 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/05/2015 :  08:16:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Robert, it's good to see this project back on track again!
I know for a fact, that sometimes I do my best work the second time around.

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 7958 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/05/2015 :  11:34:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike, thanks!
This particular structure was torn down when I was 6 years old and I grew up in another part of the country so I never had a chance to see it other than in pictures. I was in Palmerston a couple of times as an adult, the first time was in 1991, I was 37 then. Of course it was long gone by then. I took a picture of the area from the iron footbridge . . . that and the train station are all that remains of what was once a busy steam era division point.

In the background, to the extreme left, by the most distant pile of ties, thatís roughly where the coal dock had been . . . at the time I did not know that. If I had known it I would have investigated, perhaps even stumbled upon the foundation, or something.
Making a model of this structure is the only way to explore it now . . .

Hey, Greg,
Yes Iím learning that the best laid plans of mice and men . . . applies here as well.

Okay, so about tie plates . . . as stated in earlier posts, Iím looking at two different brands being offered out there. One is made of wood the other of metal . . .

These were the "Proto:87 Stores" plates that I purchased . . .

And these are the "Monster model works" wood ones . . .

I was all set to use the metal ones when on a lark I decided to compare the two together in a photo . .

To my chagrin I discovered that the Proto:87's didn't fit the track . . .

So I emailed Proto:87 and, Andy, (very helpfully) explained my "mistake" in ordering, and offered to set things right if I but send back the incorrect ones.

So I did and it took a couple of weeks to get the proper sized ones.

Andy was nice enough to include the spikes as well!

By the way, the penny's mint date "1959" was the last year that the coal dock at Palmerston would have been in service before being torn down . . . thought it was a nice little touch

Another little touch is this comparison photo with a real 6 inch spike . . .

Crazy tiny!!

The plates of course must be painted before mounting them . . . I'll do that this weekend. I will show how I mount them to the ties when all is ready.

One last photo for tonight, the Rail Joiners . . . the nickle plate ones!

Such amazing detail in something so small!

That's it for now!

Robert Wanka

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

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/14/2015 :  6:49:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Tie Plates . . . yea, that, and other things . . . in the picture you can see that the tie plates have been painted. I used a mix of Testors Rust, and Floquil Rust.

Found another penny, this one's dated 1953 . . . the Palmerston Coal Dock is 33 years old and I have not been born yet

. . . right, back to work

the strip of wood measures 9/16ths of an inch in width, as you can see I clamped it down. This will serve as a ruler of sorts, a way to line up all 254 tie plates upon which I will glue/nail down the rail upon. According to my measurements, the rail should end up perfectly spaced for HO gage.

I've glued down two plates on either side . . . then put some rail across it to double check for proper spacing . . . fit like a glove!

That's it for now.

Robert Wanka

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

New Hire

Posted - 11/14/2015 :  10:57:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit cn-scale's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Say Robert -- since you seem to be building everything twice, can I have the parts you're not using? :) Just kidding -- they'd probably be a bit too big for N-scale.

As you say, a model is the only way to explore this structure now, and it's inspiring to see your attention to detail and the extent of the research you're putting into getting it right.

I was in Palmerston many times while the tower was still standing -- we passed through there on the way to visit my Grandmother, and #81 (the steam locomotive on display) was a good reason to stop for a break. Unfortunately I never thought to bring a camera, and I have no memory of anything there other than #81 itself, as I wasn't yet 5 years old. :)

Edited by - cn-scale on 11/14/2015 11:00:25 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 38 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/14/2015 :  10:59:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rob, looks like you have a full tie plate in front of you.
I'm certain this extra detailing will look fantastic when completed.

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 7958 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/15/2015 :  5:27:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey Chris,
I'll be doing a bunch of stuff over and over again to be sure!

Back in 1991 when I took these pictures while visiting Palmerston, I had no idea I'd be fixating upon it 23 years later trying to build the coal dock . . .

Above and to the left of the Station you can see a pile of wood . . . that's where she/the coal dock stood.

Damn I wish I had known that then, I'd have pored over that area with a fine tooth comb

That station pic was taken from the foot bridge . . .

I was there with my son Marcus and his grampa/my father-in-law. Ben told me about this place (Palmerston), and about the steam engine on display there.

Down those stairs and to the left . . . that's where she was.

A couple more pictures of her . . .

And this last one . . .

Robert Wanka

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

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/15/2015 :  10:37:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Artman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ensign

Rob, looks like you have a full tie plate in front of you.
I'm certain this extra detailing will look fantastic when completed.

Greg Shinnie

~chuckle, nice one Greg!

and yes, I think putting in the extra detailing will increase this models realism factor.

Which brings me to a little detail I was working on in-between enjoying my "tie plate" cuisine.

The sand bin and house on the extreme end of the trestle are not far from my thoughts . . . even while I tinker with tiny ties I'm thinking "board & batten"!

Again, to my dismay . . . I discovered that the HO Board & Batten I purchased won't do for this build. Why? Well, because it's to robust, meaning too out of scale compared with the real deal.

Remember those drawings I did, the ones with all that meticulous detail? Well, in order to get the dimensions and correct LOOK, of the prototype I literally counted the number of batten and board per foot on that prototype from which I then got the good results I got!

So, to muss that all up by using "standard issue" HO marketed stuff, like the board and batten I bought . . . is to pretend that its "good enough" which it is not when compared to the drawings, which in turn are damned close to the prototype.

I know, at this scale it's prudent to not get to crazy about dimensional accuracy but man oh man, I wants it or as close as I can git it!

So here is what I did . . .

I measured up, cut and then stained me some wood

And I cut some thin strips of bass to serve as the batten . . .

I wasn't feeling the love for that Batten though . . . it was the Goldilocks factor. Too thick, too tall, too short, too not damned right . . . some examples

But then I used some card stock instead of wood for my Batten . . . and the sun began to shine

I could repeat the depth cut I wanted with greater regularity!

And it compares nicely with the Board and Batten of my drawing . . . which is how it's got to be for me to be happy with this project!

needless to say I feel a little bored and battered after having gone through this little ringer of an exercise

More later . . .

Robert Wanka

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


Premium Member

Posted - 11/16/2015 :  10:35:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting Bats....

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7124 Go to Top of Page
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