Railroad Line Forums - The Town
Railroad Line Forums
Username:
Password:
Save Password


Register
Forgot Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Sponsors   Support the RRLine   Guestbook   FAQ     Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Live Chat | Avatar Legend | Search | Statistics
Photo Album | File Lister | File Library
[ Active Members: 4 | Anonymous Members: 0 | Guests: 87 ]  [ Total: 91 ]  [ Newest Member: Csarnick ]
 All Forums
 Model Railroad Forums
 Micro & Mini Layouts
 The Town
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Author Previous Topic: Original Kittom Lumber Company. Volume II Topic Next Topic: San Martine and Northern (Texas and Pacific)
Page: of 20

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/29/2017 :  01:03:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone.

Trackwork Continues

A trip to Europe, a frantic work situation on my return, and then a couple of work-filled weekends meant that modeling had to take a back seat for a while. However things are settling back down again and I hope to ramp up working on The Town in the coming weeks.

I left the project with a half-finished turnout so the first thing I decided to do was finish laying ties. I added a couple of long ties to hold the turnout switches but otherwise just continued where I had left off.

Here's the finished turnout on its cardboard backing:


Here's a closeup showing some of the weathering. Since this module represents a poorly maintained branch line the ties are meant to be pretty beaten up. In this picture they look too far apart but they are in fact at a prototypical distance for branch line track.


Now with this done I decided to take a step back. I could have just gone ahead and just started laying rail but I wanted to take a look at different track laying and ballasting methods.

Goals:


  • Secure rail using different methods

  • Work from a photo and try to match the ballast

  • Work in some surrounding landscape to create a more sunk-in-the-dirt feel to the track.

Securing the Rail


I decided to create a test board to test different scenarios. I created four stretches of track:


The first thing I tried to do was lay different sets of ties with different spacings. I have previously laid ties around 22" apart (3.8 mm in HO scale) but I wanted to see what the spacing would look like at 19". The right hand set was laid at 22" and the left hand set was laid at 19". I really like the look of the ties closer together and I'm mulling over using that spacing somewhere else on The Town module. Since I've already committed to 22" on the mainline I may lay the traction lines at 19" just to give them a different look.


Before taking another look at the using copper-plated tie method of laying rails, I decided to try a couple of other methods to see how they might look, where there may be problems and how long it would take me to work with this method.

The first method involved cutting copper-plated ties and laying the pieces between the ties and the second method used screws in a similar way:


I quickly realized that this was not going to work for me. The edges of both the copper ties and the screws stuck out from under the rail and ultimately ruined the effect I was going for. I decided to go back to the copper-plated tie method and try to find a way to disguise them.

In this photo I inserted four copper-plated ties and then painted them a rail brown color. I also scored the surfaces to give them a wood grain effect. It was difficult to see which ties were copper-plated and which were wooden. The tie coloring needs more work but this test convinced me to just go ahead and lay the ties using the copper-plated method.


Ballasting


I've decided to no longer work from memory when modeling or weathering. Instead of creating a proper minature version of real life I feel that my work has ended up looking more like a cartoon. I have been particularly inspired by the work of Lance Mindheim (http://lancemindheim.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Custom-built-model-railroad-LKMlead-e1448826770456.jpg in the US) and Gordon Gravett (http://www.michelle.lu/uploads/7/8/7/9/7879273/3346488_orig.jpg in the UK) to try to do a better job of it from now on.


With that in mind I've decided to work from photos as much as possible and try to replicate what I see. I can take photos of color images from my many color books as well as my library of train images (thirty-two thousand photos and counting!!) and have them enlarged and printed. Walgreens is five minutes away and takes about 2 hours to print things for me. As such I can have a working print in front of me to assist me before starting any project.

Here's the working photo for the ballasting. I really liked the coloring of the ballast and the soil that has worked its way in. I decided to try something similar on my test board.


I have a bunch of materials either found on walks or purchased which I took a close look at. I was looking for materials that had the correct color, texture, and grain size.


By mixing and matching materials I came up with a mix I thought would work


Since the ties needed to half-sunk into the soil I needed to raise the surrounding landscape profile. I added some card with half the height of a tie.


Now the fun part. I buried the ties in Woodland Scenics foam putty. It's a material I've used over and over in different situations but it's perfect for this kind of work because it is so easy to dig out or carve.


I really like the control you have to shape the ballast profile when using foam putty. Once carved into shape you only need a light covering of ballast. I sanded the top of the ties down and began digging them out to about half their height.


I colored the trackbed using earth undercoat. The copper ties have lost their paint covering but I'll add that back later. I then added the first layer of ballast. I used white glue and water to hold it in place. One the first layer had dried I added a second layer of bigger stones and lighter ballast just to give it a kind of pop and improve the overall texture. I used Uhu glue for the second layer since it doesn't discolor the stones.


I added some grass using my trusty static grass device. (Purchased from some bloke in Australia making them on his kitchen table a few years ago!).


Here's the trackbed before sticking down the rail. I painted the copper ties and they currently look too dark and need more work. The picture shows a nice mixture of color and texture within the ballast.


And finally, the test bed with some rail. I used pins to hold the rail in place while I soldered the rail to the copper ties and then painted it where necessary. I need to blend in the copper ties a bit more but overall I think they look fine.




Whether I got close to the effect I was going for I'll leave others to judge. Working from a photo definitely kept me on a solid course through this little project and I didn't have to guess how something should look.

Next up are frogs. I have built one from a frog kit and have a couple more methods to try this week. I'll post more next week.

Thanks all!!



http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 01/29/2017 02:05:22 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 404 Go to Top of Page

Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 01/29/2017 :  07:32:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Fantastic post Kumar!

An excellent primer on laying and ballasting track...Bravo!



Country: USA | Posts: 2426 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/29/2017 :  07:54:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think you hit the right look on your track, Kumard. You've provided me with some interesting ideas.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 14120 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/29/2017 :  08:38:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good to see you back posting again Kumard!

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 01/29/2017 :  10:59:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kumard, please “splain yourself”, you have copper ties and copper spacers between ties. I really like the spacer idea since it keeps all the ties wood. Nice looking track work.

I really like the idea of the copper ties since they can be soldered. Spiking small gauge rail can sometimes move out of gauge due to the nails finding an easier path through the wood grain.



Country: USA | Posts: 4124 Go to Top of Page

Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman



Posted - 01/29/2017 :  11:05:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent tutorial! You definitely have achieved the look you were going for and your post is very informative, thorough, and inspirational!

Al Carter

Edit: Can you specify which type of UHU glue you are using, please? I looked up UHU glue and see there is a variety of types available; which one (or ones) are you using? Thanks!



Edited by - Tabooma County Rwy on 01/29/2017 11:17:38 AM

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

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/29/2017 :  3:27:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks all.

This is just one ballasting profile and there are an infinite number of different effects that one can go after. I'm going to try to vary the ballast and track profiles throughout The Town while making them fit in to an overall balanced scene. There shouldn't be anything too bright or too 'textury'.

Here's a clearer view of some of the photos I've been studying that show a variety of trackbed styles. Not all would work on The Town module but I'll come up with a set of photos in the next few weeks that I think would work nicely in the module setting.


Carl B, George D, Mike >> Thanks. I'm working frogs today and this week and will post results next weekend.

Frank >> Kumard, please “splain yourself”, you have copper ties and copper spacers between ties. I really like the spacer idea since it keeps all the ties wood. Nice looking track work. >> Thanks Frank. I ditched the spacers idea in end and went back to traditional copper-plated ties. 'Traditional' usually means 'it works' and should have known better than to challenge tracklaying orthodoxy!

Al >> Excellent tutorial! Can you specify which type of UHU glue you are using, please? >> Thanks Al. So as mentioned I use traditional water and white glue method to secure the first main layer. The issue with this is that it distorts the colors (making them darker and plasticky) and also diminishes texture (dust disappears and large stones don't stand out as much.) That missing texture is really noticeable in closeup photos. Therefore I put it back where I can. I use regular Uhu glue with a small pot of water. I dab the brush in the water, then the Uhu and then put a light layer on top of the existing ballast. I then drop and place stones and dust where I think the area should 'pop' a bit more. On The Depot the track seemed to come alive where ever I added this extra detail. It doesn't have to be everywhere, just in a few strategic areas.


The final effect shows up best in photo closeups:


Thanks for all the feedback. More next week.




http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 01/29/2017 4:31:55 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 404 Go to Top of Page

Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman



Posted - 01/30/2017 :  11:09:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, thanks for such a detailed answer on the glue question - great how-to photos. I'll be sure to add some Uhu glue to my arsenal of adhesives, and try your method of application. You are right, the finished application of gravel/dust really does look great!

Al Carter



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

quartergauger48
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/30/2017 :  12:16:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
EXCELLENT TRACK WORK!* Your attention to detail is impressive and demonstrative. Would never thought to use a glue stick for ballast details. Great method'..


Ted

Country: USA | Posts: 5052 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/31/2017 :  08:43:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12516 Go to Top of Page

vwrabbit
New Hire

Posted - 02/01/2017 :  09:39:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really nice! That looks very real! Can't wait to see it in place on The Town.


Country: USA | Posts: 13 Go to Top of Page

Socialtrader
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/01/2017 :  3:51:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,

First time reader here...my, that is some fantastic work! I was thinking of making stackable modules about five years ago but my wife and father talked me out of it. Yours look just how I imagined mine would be, right down to the shelving unit. They look fantastic. I'm also enjoying the tracking laying tutorials - although I have used commercial track there are plenty of ideas that you have used that I indent to borrow.

Keep up the great work!

Bede



Country: New Zealand | Posts: 114 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/01/2017 :  4:41:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Al, Ted, Mike, Tim >> Thanks. I'm continuing this weekend so hopefully more to post on Sunday night.

Bede >> Thanks (and welcome!). Let's see how the shelving works out as I progress through the project. I'm planning three modules (the third being the end of the line) representing the same branch line in the upper Midwest. I've worked out how to move trains across the modules using cassettes but I'm not yet sure of the practicalities of operating trains. In the meantime however it makes a fine storage and display unit and I've enjoyed showing guests the layouts housed on their shelves.

More this weekend - I have a frog to build and will be laying the first rail onto the turnout plan.

Thanks all!


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 02/01/2017 4:42:21 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 404 Go to Top of Page

Socialtrader
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/01/2017 :  11:08:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I intended to have fold-down legs under each module so that they could be set up linked together for longer runs. The idea was that I would be able to save space at home, take them out to train shows and also be able to move them easily if we shifted home. Another idea I had was to set them up on three or four inexpensive foldaway trestle tables with removable staging or cassettes at each end - British style. I'm sure you've thought of those option but there it is.


Country: New Zealand | Posts: 114 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/20/2017 :  9:27:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bede >> I intended to have fold-down legs under each module so that they could be set up linked together for longer runs. The idea was that I would be able to save space at home, take them out to train shows and also be able to move them easily if we shifted home. Another idea I had was to set them up on three or four inexpensive foldaway trestle tables with removable staging or cassettes at each end - British style. I'm sure you've thought of those option but there it is. >> All good ideas. I would like to link them at some stage and the trestle legs sound like a good option.

http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 02/20/2017 9:35:49 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 404 Go to Top of Page
Page: of 20 Previous Topic: Original Kittom Lumber Company. Volume II Topic Next Topic: San Martine and Northern (Texas and Pacific)  
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Previous Page | Next Page
Jump To:
Railroad Line Forums © 2000-17 Railroad Line Co. Go To Top Of Page
Steam was generated in 0.41 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000