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  • #46
    I'm continuing to work on the west portal area in Bexley. Last week I got the portal's stonework carved, using a carbide-tipped tool I originally bought when I got tired of scoring my 4x8 sheet of .040 with an XActo. One tip is a sharp angle, the other is broader and makes decent mortar lines.



    This kind of granite masonry is all over New England, and in most places all that's changed is the soot finally weathering off 40-50 years after the end of steam (if somebody tells me the RRs actually painted the stone black, I'll be astonished). Here's the portal in place, with the buildings that go atop the tunnel ready for detail painting (this week's project).



    Clearly I need another batch of A&I wash (materials bought Friday). I've got pictures and notes on prototypes on my Arches page:

    http://www.faracresfarm.com/jbvb/rr/arches.html

    There's a good deal of scenery left to do, plus a tunnel lining to engineer, but I think I'll feel rewarded by the resulting pictures.
    James

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    • #47
      James, I like the diversity on buildings they go together but each are unique. Like Mike I like the shots of the loco blasting out of the tunnel.

      I couldn't help but notice the screen wire, do you typically use it for the creating the form? what do you do next, plaster cloth?

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      • #48
        What I plan to apply is "Wood Putty" - It's basically wood flour and fish glue - dries hard without much expansion or contraction. Compared to plaster, it has two major advantages: It sticks to itself, and it doesn't make dust. It's also strong, and over screen wire fairly light. On my Rowley modules, it's held up for 18 years of transportation and shows. Regrettably, Savogran discontinued it a few years ago (I bought a couple of cases).

        I'm not sure what I'll do when I run out of Wood Putty; I'll definitely try Durham's Water Putty, but I don't know how it's made. I've built plaster hard-shell, but I found it brittle. I'm experimenting with foam in another location. I'll probably try covering it with ground goop of one form or another, as the foam is removable, and I'm not sure I can keep a plaster texture layer attached if it flexes.
        James

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        • #49
          James,

          When you run out of the water putty, I think I would try the plaster cloth. It will give you a very hardshell, then apply more plaster or ground goop directly to it. I would think that Durhams WP would be the same as what you been using, so that might be the answer.

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          • #50
            Progress these past two weeks has mostly been on two kitbashed buildings that face Maxwell Sq. (intersection of Railroad, Washington and Lafayette streets in Bexley).



            The left is several different parts of Walthers' "Merchants' Row", the right is most of a Rix "Furniture Showroom". The duct from the hood is .080 x .125 styrene heated in the oven, then bent and mounted with .010 x .030 brass bar from Detail Associates. The roof access way and the chimneys were built from Vollmer brick sheet; the chimneys took only a little less time than it would have to drive to the LHS and buy some castings. I used 91% isopropyl in this batch of A&I, and did not expect what it did to the paint. I will let the paint dry more than 24 hours next time, and if that doesn't help, go back to 70%.

            I'm trying a gravel roof on the Rix building, using WS fine gray ballast. Remains to be seen if I get it to look reasonable (I know what I don't want it to look like), but no pix until it dries.
            James

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            • #51
              Progress in the past couple of weeks has mostly been a pretty much by-the-instructions build of Walthers "Parkview Terrace" for behind the engine terminal.



              All I added was paint and the window treatments (two colors of masking tape). The one glitch in the build was that the back step casting (from the porch to ground level) need another step's height to really reach the porch. I didn't fix it, as it will be well into the background for both in-person viewing and photos.

              I don't know if the layout will get much attention in the next 6 weeks, as I have to get my Rowley modules ready for showing at Hartford National. Also, it's haying season...
              James

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              • #52
                I've had some modeling time (we need 3 days of clear weather to hay, which just hasn't happened), and once I got the Rowley modules jobs mostly done, I started on some benchwork at the north end of the attic (Rowley is visible on the left):



                I'm doing L-girder to reduce the number of support points; a major theme of this layout's engineering is to keep the eaves accessible for storage. I also need to be able to install and remove storm windows and screens under the layout, so there are two legs facing the modules and all other support is from the north wall. The backdrop is hardboard painted with two colors of blue latex, blended.
                James

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                • #53
                  That's a beautiful layout you are putting together.The buildings look great.


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                  • #54
                    Hi James. I really like the developments. Thank you for sharing along the way. That image of the tunnel from the new angle looks really cool. What I used for shaping the ground scenery was pink styrofoam. I painted it black and then added the groundfoam and trees. The nice thing about the styrofoam is that trees and small bushes stick right into it and stay standing immediately. I do add a touch of glue into the hole before placing the trees. Looks great! :up: :up:
                    Mike Hamer

                    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

                    http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca

                    http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca

                    http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

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                    • #55
                      Thanks, Rowan. Mike, I've used a foam base for a lift-out section behind my engine terminal, but I'm still a ways away from finishing the area. If I like it, I may use more, but for now I'm doing screen wire base and wood putty/standard dirt & ground cover over it. The area I'm framing is going to have a road overpass and probably a salt marsh stream. I hope to get the roadbed in place this weekend, but I've got some wiring to do on my modules too.
                      James

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                      • #56
                        Only two sunny days in the past two weeks means no haying and more layout progress. And in 65F rain, the attic is quite comfortable compared to a normal midsummer evening. So tonight I ran the first train on the new track east of Rowley (there will be a bit of Newbury before I get to Newburyport, MA off to the right):



                        The track/roadbed, backdrop and overpass were all originally built several years ago when I had Rowley in the SE corner of my attic, where Lynn is now, so getting them into place wasn't too much work. Next will be hardboard fascia - I'll need a cardboard template first. Maybe I can get it done before I have to pack Rowley for the Hartford National.
                        James

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                        • #57
                          James

                          Glad to See you're making such steady progress on the layout. Looking real good.

                          Peter

                          BCT

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                          • #58
                            It's been a while, what with going to Hartford, but I've got a bit of work in Bexley (SW corner of the attic) to show:



                            The cardboard is standing in for a model of a boxed pony truss bridge I need to get the wood for. But I want to visit Northeastern in Methuen when their hobby shop is open, and that means waiting for Thursday and their evening hours. I'll finish the stonework tonight, and maybe do some ground cover or finish off the end of the flour mill spur.
                            James

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                            • #59
                              Looking good James! :up:

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                              • #60
                                Not a lot of progress since the last post, because we finally got a few weeks of nice weather. Most of what I have done hasn't been very photogenic, like working on switches, cleaning out the NW corner of the attic, building some L-girders and studying how to selectively compress the 700+ foot drawbridge at Newburyport. But while I was waiting for ballast to dry Saturday evening I decided to build a Blair Line GE billboard.



                                The base timbers and the brace across the rear were cut from leftover plywood from the kit. My "finished" photo revealed it wasn't really finished yet (too many contact-cement spiderwebs). Anyway, perhaps this will inspire me to start mocking up the plant's buildings.
                                James

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