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NMRA AP Civil Eng.Certificate__"Support" Thread

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  • steveb919
    replied
    There has been a significant change in the merit award portion of the civil engineer AP certificate. The scratch building part remains the same. You must build the frogs and all other parts of the track work. Building the trackwork with Fast Tracks fixtures is allowed. Here is the BIG difference. You will earn 88 points if the trackwork meets NMRA gauge standards for all parts and you run a piece of motive power through the trackwork. That's it, period. You do not have to spike track to ties other than the ones need to hold the trackwork in gauge, no rail painting, ballasting, spikes, super detail etc. If you want more points go ahead and do all the extra work. The NMRA site does judging form does not reflect those changes but it will, at sometime, be up on the NMRA site. Make sure that when you are submitting the form you have the judges vouch that the gauging was correct and the motive power successfully ran through the trackwork.

    Most judges are not aware of the change but the NMRA AP officials are.

    Steve B.

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Mike,

    Your "dive right in" sequence sounds good to me. Get the little beastie working first, then make it pretty. None of this "lipstick on a pig" stuff!

    One additional step I find helpful is to paint the sub-roadbed before I lay track. This ensures that it doesn't show if I miss a space when I lay ballast. Or more correctly, it's hard to see where I miss....

    Charge on in, enjoy the process, and learn new tricks! Be careful to gap things where necessary, and check the gaps to make sure they're not hiding a sneak circuit somewhere. Shorts are easier to find when it's the last thing you did! Don't ask how I know this.... :erm:

    Have fun!

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • Mike_Engler
    replied
    Thanks Pete- a real help. i'm going to dive right in. My sequence may be out of whack, but I'm thinking it would be nice to have this wired and test-run before I detail, paint, weather, ballast, etc.

    Andy, thanks for the specifics. I returned the Krylon to Ace Hdwe and went down the street to Home Despot and bought the Rustoleum.

    Next week I hope to bug you guys with some questions about building the crossing.

    Leave a comment:


  • hunter48820
    replied
    Hi Mike, Krylon is usable and I have used it in the past and will in the future if I can't get Rustoleum. Krylon stinks up the room worse and appears to leave more of a fog than Rustoleum and is not as easy to work with after spraying the track, in my experience.

    Leave a comment:


  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Mike,

    First and foremost, please remember that I am very definitely NOT the Supreme Arbiter of Cool. In fact, other than at times when I'm shivering, I'm not "cool" at all. That said, I do spend a lot of time paying attention to what I see around me.

    First question is "What was the modeler trying to do?" You'll need to cogitate on that one, because "Earn a Merit Award on Scratchbuilt trackage" is not one of the approved answers!

    So let's think in terms of building a turnout for a Class I railroad in, say, 1954. Mechanization was approaching rapidly, but there was still a lot of hand labor involved, and the section foremen took their jobs very seriously. Their pride in their work showed in the quality of their work; things were neat and clean. Ties would have been relatively evenly weathered, and although none were precisely the same color, they weren't the jumble of different colors I've seen on a lot of contest models either. I'd keep them similar, with perhaps a new one or two here and there. Ballast lines were sharp and straight.

    There are any number of ways to paint the assemblies. Brushes work, and are tedious, rattle cans work and are global, and airbrushes work, with a more selective reach. Your call.

    I know one guy who sprays everything with the rattle can, adds some acrylic weathering quickly to the ties, cleans the rails and calls it good. Another guy sprays the ties from above, then sprays the rails from the side, blends in the over-sprays and calls it good. A third guy paints the ties, paints the rail, adds ballast and dusts everything to blend it together. All of the methods work.

    Your structure work shows quite clearly that you have "an eye" for this stuff, so don't get bashful-- fire away! Brand preferences are preferences; your mileage may vary....

    You can add various tie plates, etc. for detail; just make sure they don't interfere with operation. And as to the switching mechanism, it's your call. The turnout must have some sort of way to change its routing; the 0-5-0 shoving the points isn't going to cut it for your LPs-- they need a stand or a motor somewhere to move things around! That said, a "remote" Caboose Industries throw, for instance, connected to the throw bar with a long rod will work, but you need a switch stand and/or a motor at the "normal" location to provide the proper "ambience" (read: "Prototypically correct mechanism").

    The major requirement is that a locomotive must operate under its own power with no assistance over all possible routes. If you do that and things look good, you should be golden. You can add items like flanger signs and so on, too. Photos, drawings and so on are always helpful for the evaluators, too-- don't forget them!

    Good luck!

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • Mike_Engler
    replied
    Thanks to Pete for your help- it is much appreciated. And also to Andy and Jim. I got to the Ace Hdwe Store and the good news was that I remembered it was either Krylon or Rustoleum in their Camo brown.

    The bad news is they had Krylon and that's what I bought. Since I am not in a big hurry it should be easy enough to find and replace with the Rustoleum. I am a consumer products marketer so I am curious as to why the Rustoleum is the preferred brand.

    Some track detailing questions- 1) Do you spray just the turnout skeleton? 2) Do any of you and if you do use the plywood Twisties spray them brown as well? 3) If you use ME or cut your own ties, don't they stick out like a sore thumb next to the PCB ties, since they can't be grained or stained?

    I experimented using Monster's tie-plates, and even to do the several feet of track for the NMRA Civil. Eng. requirements their use would seem to be prohibitive from both a cost and time perspective. And then at least four spikes per tie to look right!

    I was pleased with how the weathered ME ties looked after they were glued down and then the tops sanded fairly heavily. I then brushed on gray, brown and tan pastel powders. I haven't tied the pastels on the sprayed brown PCB board ties- hopefully good results.

    I'm looking for some points in whatever details I can reasonably do. Should I use ground throws- remember this track work may never get beyond this display board? Decorative switch stands? Other details?

    Thanks fellows (and girls). Incidentally, with the fine tip and thin solder my soldering is becoming quite serviceable.

    Leave a comment:


  • jbvb
    replied
    I bet the difference is prefab track vs. plain rail. The injection molding techs would object to putting oily rail in the dies. Solvent paint will usually do an OK job of cutting the oil on plain rail. I'd clean it thoroughly if I was using acrylics.

    And to answer Mike's question from a few posts ago, messy solder joints usually indicate you could have applied less solder. Radio Shack has a product called "soldering braid", copper wire braided that will suck up excess solder. It costs a little more to buy a vacuum solder sucker, and they work a little differently, but you don't have to throw out pure copper...

    Leave a comment:


  • Orionvp17
    replied
    No contest, Andy. The fifteen or twenty scratchbuilt turnouts that I have built over the last year or so with ME rail have all had the alcohol treatment before starting, and have all needed it. :yuck:

    Not sure whether or not rail is cleaned before it's mounted into plastic ties, but doubt it. Clean, clean and clean are prerequisites for good solder joints.... And you should clean the rail, too. [^]

    As to the Rustoleum brand, I sit corrected. You're right. Rustoleum.

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • hunter48820
    replied
    Not to argue the point but just to let you know that the couple of thousand plus feet of Atlas code 83 that I have laid and painted was never cleaned before painting with Rustoleum dark brown camouflage which I recommend over the Krylon brand. Just my experience!! [^]

    Leave a comment:


  • George_D
    replied
    Good tip on cleaning the rail, Pete.

    George

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Mike,

    One more thing before you try to paint rail, or in fact, use it for anything. Pull the rail out of the bag, dump some isopropyl alcohol (70% is fine) on a rag, and pull, don't push, the rail through the rag to clean the oils off it. You'll be pleasantly disgusted at how dirty that stuff is right out of the bag.... :yuck:

    Pete

    in Michigan

    Leave a comment:


  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Mike,

    Relax! All is not lost! I just searched "Handlaid Curved Switch" in the Mid-Scale Forums and pulled up Karl's thread. It's that pesky computer terminology that is in the way here -- it wants an exact match for stuff.... [:-irked]

    As to Rattle Can Brown, well, there you have lots of options, depending on how brown "brown" is.

    You might look at the Krylon camouflage colors -- they have a very nice dead flat cammo brown that is useful for certain applications. And you can spray any flat brown and then when it has cured, go over the ties with various shades of acrylics (this is faster than it sounds) and run your favorite rail color up the edges of the rails with a brush. If it slops over some, no big deal-- drop some water on it to wash it away and leave it to dry. You'll have another weathering effect at no cost.

    As to Mr. Warris and his offerings, well, cheer up. I own most of what he sells, use it, like it and will probably set it aside somewhere highly visible, forget where it is, look all over and buy a replacement. It keeps him in business.... [:-irked]

    While you're rattle-canning away, don't forget that you will need to solder feeders into the stock rails between all those fancy turnouts, so leave space for that or else clean the rail really, really well before you try to solder! And no, don't ask how I know this. :erm:

    Have fun!

    Pete

    in Michigan

    edit: Change the brand to Rustoleum.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike_Engler
    replied
    I'm soldering away at my turnouts, and they are looking OK, but they should considering I now own just about every line-extension product that Tim Warris ever dreamed of selling. I'm experimenting doing some in place and just using the point forming tool and the three-pronged track gauges. And my wife says she could probably make a turnout blindfolded considering how many times she has had to listen to the Fast Tracks videos.

    I'm having a hard time looking at the solder joints, as even the best ones look messy. So now I want to color the rail. I really liked the color of the ME weathered rail, but was talked out of it by everybody when soldering turnouts. Tim suggests spraying the Turnout skeletons black, but I dislike coloring anything plain black in a model since you just don't see it in prototypes. Does anybody have a good rattle-can spray color they can recommend? Hopefully something close to the old Floquil "Rail Brown" or even "Rail Tie Brown". Brush painting is way too tedious, and I haven't found any felt-tip "markers" that I like.

    I also hope to spray my nickel silver rail before I hand-lay it for the non-turnout track work. Any ideas (I am air-brush challenged) are appreciated. Learning soldering, wiring, and how to use my airbrush all in the same summer would be way too much.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike_Engler
    replied

    quote:



    Pete, I think this it the thread that you were looking for: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=42720


    I don't understand this at all. I can click on this link and it is a great thread, but the only way I can get to it is through this link that Bruce posted here 5/28/14. If I go to the "Mid Scale Model Railroad Forum" there is nothing in the index for "Handlaid Curved Switch" by k9wrangler.

    What gives? Bruce? Pete? Anyone?

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Good advice, James.

    Pete

    in Michigan

    Leave a comment:

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