Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

An Old Man Contemplates an Old Man's Layout

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Good job on the figures, in particular the guy half-way under the car. He looks the way I feel when I have to get beneath my layout.

    Mike
    _________________________________________________

    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

    Comment


    • Dealing With My Old Nemesis

      In taking stock of the current layout situation, it looks like a tornado has come through. There is a clump of uprooted trees, with scattered structures off of their foundations and railcars and vehicles strewn about. While the effect is realistic, it is unintended.

      The reason is my penchant for keeping busy by working on multiple small projects at the same time. While former layouts tended to be technologically superior in their operation, none of them reached a stage of physical completion. As technology kept evolving, it wasn’t a priority. Alas, much to my chagrin, it seems that I have run out of things to bash or build or upgrade.

      As I am not getting any younger, it is time to make decisions as to what stays and what goes and where to finally put things. This also means that it is time to bite the bullet and deal with my old nemesis, which is scenery.

      While it is something that I ain’t not all that good at, modern materials promise to make it easier. I already took a big shortcut by building a flat, tabletop layout covered with a Woodland Scenics grass mat. In theory, all that is needed are trees and shrubs and random tufts of vegetation stuck in appropriate places, as is dictated by Mother Nature.

      Comment


      • Dan,

        When I got back into the hobby, my go-to book was Dave Frary's How to Build Realistic Model Railroad Scenery. It's in its third edition now.

        Mike

        _________________________________________________

        Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

        Comment


        • Dan, My pinkfoam whispers at me daily. A two year relationship.

          Was watching Dave Frary this morning at scenic express! Good teacher.

          Philip
          Philip

          Comment


          • Thanks Guys,

            Frary could very well be the John Allen of his time, but at this point in my life I will stick to readymade or DIY products from Woodland Scenics and a few others.

            IMHO, the greatest thing since sliced bread, scenery wise, are the premade, surface mounting tufts of vegetation with glue on the bottom, available in various heights, widths and colors. The eighth inch wide, short ones are perfect for placing between and around the track ties, while the larger ones make good weeds just about everywhere else.

            Comment


            • Well, I didn't mean stuff like harvesting your own lichen. I meant the layering of earth-colored paint, fine ground cover, coarser ground cover representing weeds and shrubs , and those tufts of vegetation that you describe.

              Mike
              _________________________________________________

              Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

              Comment


              • Philip
                Philip commented
                Editing a comment
                Been there done the lichen drill. Never again.

            • I'm actually experimenting with home grown tufts. I tend to agree with your opinion Dan.
              Philip

              Comment


              • This is the last bash…for a while.

                While doing research for the early tractor project, I encountered, up close and personal, a real 1918 Waterloo Boy. As it was love at first sight, a prototypical reason was contrived so the layout could have one. Although the Athearn 1:50 version is a detailed model, it has simulated metal wheels, thereby restricting it to agricultural work.

                A somewhat damaged one was acquired for a bash that would retrofit the model with simulated rubber tires to make it suitable for road use. As the price was right, there was little to lose, except for the usual hours of sleep in fretting over the project, something that I do not do while installing scenery. Comparatively speaking, I believe the terms “spontaneous” as well as “inexact” apply to my work with the latter.

                I used a pair of rubber tired wheels from a derelict Matchbook truck to replace the model’s broken, molded plastic front wheels and they worked well. However, doing something with the undamaged, large diameter, spoked and cleated rear wheels was a problem. As the clearance with the fenders was quite close and the fenders could not be removed, normal fat tractor tires could not be used.

                As the rear wheels were also plastic, I carefully nibbled off the molded on cleats to make a set of flat rims. On converted prototypes, these rims were fitted with solid rubber tires, thereby making them street legal. Serendipitously, after hours of trial and error, rejecting thick rubber bands, multiple layers of electrical tape, and just about anything else that was imaginable, I found something that was very close to what was needed.

                As I seldom throw anything out that may have a future use on the layout, it is a cylindrical, carboard “core” from a roll of something or another. Some work with my trusty razor saw, combined with some final adjusting with fine sandpaper, resulted in a close fit with both the plastic rims and the fenders. The wheels were left loose on the model for the photos, but they will be aligned and secured when the model is finished. As the model will be stationary on the layout, the inherent fragility of the cardboard tires is not a problem.

                A future spritz of flat clear will reduce the model’s new equipment shine, but it is presently toward the rear of that rather long queue. After that, whenever the urge may strike, this prehistoric looking, big and bulky tractor will be placed at the front of the factory, ready to move things around the brick paved lot.

                Equipment wise, as well as operationally, my layout may be small, but it is never boring. I hope that my upcoming attempt at interpreting Mother Nature will follow suit.

                Click image for larger version

Name:	Waterloo1.JPG
Views:	135
Size:	95.3 KB
ID:	969697 Click image for larger version

Name:	Waterloo2.JPG
Views:	136
Size:	170.1 KB
ID:	969698 Click image for larger version

Name:	Waterloo3.JPG
Views:	132
Size:	102.2 KB
ID:	969699


                Comment


                • I really like these early machines.
                  _________________________________________________

                  Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

                  Comment


                  • Those waterloo's are really beautiful. Saw one at the Lanesville Indiana Heritage show. Your modification looks great!
                    Philip

                    Comment


                    • My rattle can spray paint, auxiliary trigger thing-a-ma-jig showed up.

                      I bought a CAN GUN 1 (02012), which is made in the USA out of recycled plastic and it is protected by two US Patents and a design patent with other patents pending, plus it is ergonomically designed as well as labeled as Arthritis Friendly, so it is everything that I would want.

                      It seems that everyone and their brother is selling them on eBay and the average price is about seven bucks. There are also clones and knockoffs available direct from China for about half that price, but I saw no reason to try them.

                      The attachment also claims to be a universal fit for all standard spray cans, but with a global marketplace, what is “standard” anymore? It does fit the usual Rust-o-leum and Krylon cans presently on the market plus the little 3 oz. Testors cans.

                      While the attachment fits comfortably in either hand and the big red trigger if easy to use, it does take some oomph to mount and demount it to and from the spray can, but if done according to the included printed instructions, this involves mostly the arms and wrists and not so much the hands and fingers, which is good.

                      Normally, a spray can will weigh as much as a pound and is gripped by the hand near the top and triggered by the index finger, so it feels balanced. When using the attachment, the hand grip and trigger are both offset from the centerline of the can by about three inches, so handling the combination does take a bit of getting used too.

                      Comment


                      • Was wondering about those. Pondering changing my kitchen cabinets from knobs to pulls. So much easier.

                        Quality of some products have taken a nose dive. The new Rust-o-leum is terrible. Seems unused portions tend to not spray after the initial use. Propellant leaking perhaps? The paint from Ace Hardware has a newer designed nozzle but work fantastic. Just used my Testors dullcoat tonight on some figures and it has to be 6 years old. Old type nozzle.

                        Philip
                        Philip

                        Comment


                        • Vignette Populators

                          While the three man, car repair gang shows a lot of action, they are only suitable for the car repair vignette. On the other end of the action spectrum, two standing figures, one carrying a spike maul and the other a pickaxe, will be posed with the MOW vignette.

                          As there are a number of changeable vignettes, perhaps it is possible to populate the others with reusable, non-dedicated figures. Loafing guy, the single person experimental vignette populator, has proved quite useful by filling in holes in the scenery where a single figure needs to go. However, what is needed for the layout is a multi-person one. To that end, the checkers playing figure set by Woodland Scenics was acquired.

                          It consists of two older gentlemen, seated on wood crates while playing checkers, with the board sitting on top of a wooden barrel. While one of the players is calm, the other is wildly gesturing, adding some action to what is otherwise a pretty boring scene. There are also two standing onlookers, another old guy smoking a pipe and a young man with his hands in his pockets as well as a big ol’ hound dog taking a nap. All in all, it is a nice set.

                          While the checker board and the barrel are combined, the rest of the scene is in separate pieces, which provided the opportunity to best pose things to match the layout needs. The standing old guy with the pipe looks like an office worker, so he is posed outside of the office door of the factory, ostensibly taking a smoke break. Right now, the young man with his hands in his pockets seems to be as useless as his pose indicates, but he will eventually be sorted out.

                          The checker players are normally posed on the factory loading dock, enjoying a lunchtime game of draughts, with the dog sleeping in front of some packing crates, but they can go most anywhere. For example, when the passenger station vignette is in use at the front of the layout, the people will be moved to the station platform (see photo). Perhaps the young man can be a waiting passenger, on his way to seek his fortune in the big city.

                          Even the sleeping dog can be used in other places. There are some old, in service photos of backwoods steam locos that have a dog riding on the pilot beam. The dogs are there to engage and scare away the more aggressive local fauna from around the track, when the train comes to a stop. While the train crew can usually handle a human miscreant, taking on a wolf, or a bear or a moose, in their natural habitat, is a different story.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	Station Scene.JPG
Views:	116
Size:	65.1 KB
ID:	971928

                          Comment


                          • Pining For A Willow Tree

                            Happy Holidays to one and all!

                            Near to where I live is a fair sized vacant lot, home to a gorgeous Weeping Willow, which is some forty feet tall and about as wide. The reason for the willow and the lot is the same; it is the location of an underground spring. Sooner or later, some idiot with a chain saw will cut it down, hoping to build something on the compromised ground, but until that happens it will remain one of my favorite trees; a landmark in my urban travels. My layout has a simulated spring at the left front corner, so why not model a willow tree?

                            In getting into the Holiday Spirit, without getting into the holiday spirits (not this early anyway), along with doing research on layout scenery, I visited several public train displays in scales from N to G, and there were no model willow trees in their extensive scenery – not a one in any scale! I thought that this was rather odd until I searched the internet and found only one U.S. supplier - www.Scenery Products.com of Garden Grove CA, that offers something in O-scale.

                            Under the name of JTT Scenery Products (I have used their stuff before with success), they market an assortment of handmade, high quality trees, what real landscapers would call specimen trees, as part of their Pro Wire series, so I ordered a 92402, five and a half inch tall, O-scale willow tree.

                            However, when it arrived, its contours followed those of the close-fitting cardboard box in which it came packed. It resembled a shaggy green cube with a stick stuck in its bottom, so it needed a little work. I also used the opportunity to reshape the tree to better fit in the corner spot. Those Bachmann On30 passenger cars running on fifteen inch radius curves have a lot of overhang that needs to be accommodated, but as the tree is trackside, at the very front of the layout, this needs to be done subtly.

                            The tree is now taller and bushier. The branches are arching instead of drooping and their ends look more like tassels and less like clumps, but as the resulting tassels tend to be curled instead of straight, the tree seems to be experiencing a bit of a breeze. While it does resemble a weeping willow tree, it is still a far cry from the beautiful prototype, but as there seems to be nothing else to use, and I ain’t getting any younger, it will do.

                            Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0431.JPG
Views:	113
Size:	113.3 KB
ID:	974956

                            Comment


                            • Good looking tree, how much?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X