Rebooting the past

SDVike Mar 6, 2021

  1. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Unfortunately none of this in Northern Minnesota. I guess I’m not faithfully following the prototype so I could add them if I wanted.


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  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, when we visit relatives in SLC UT, it's like that. Just get in the shade, and it feels nice, even on a hot upper 90's day. The sun can be pretty brutal, though. And I drink water all day long, like it's going out of style!

    Here in Arlington TX, not so much. The humidity makes hot hotter and cold colder. It's funny, when my wife's sisters from SLC visit us for her birthday in January, they freeze to death! We keep the thermostat on 68-70, and they have every spare blanket in the house on their beds!

    And here is nothing like Houston, where I grew up. I used to shower in the morning before breakfast, and then walk to school, and my hair would still be damp through 1st period!
     
  3. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    More Train stuff. I built out the tunnel and hill.

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    The hill under the bridge is glued in. The foam on the left of the tunnel is just propped in place while I wait to do scenery.

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    This hill was originally meant to be a gradual incline for the trestles to build up. I changed my mind when I decided to extend a road down from the town. I lose the longer trestle but I gain the interest of the road.

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    With a railroad bridge representing the road bridge.


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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
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  4. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I added a deck to the trestle. I also didn’t like the way the hill looked so I built it out some to give it more curves through the canyon.

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  5. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Finally, I built some supports for the trestle using basswood from Hobby Lobby. Here is the progression of how I designed it in my head.

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    First I built a pier based on a Google search.

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    After placing it, I realize I wanted a short one next to the road. The cross bar was in the wrong spot for that.

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    So I moved the original pier to the left and placed two new piers in the middle.

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    I tied the middle piers tied together. I need to build one more on the far side of the road.

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    A couple of views from different locations.

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    This shot shows near bridge without the deck.

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    I think I’m finally caught up with the progress.


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  6. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    This end of the layout is going to be very photogenic when it's done. Very nice.
     
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  7. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks.
    I was wondering if I made mistake putting the lower tracks inside the the upper tracks. Most of the time it’s the opposite.

    On paper I thought this would look good but you never know. I know I am violating several design rules of forced perspective. Given the room, the only change I would make is to make the river wider. For the space I have, I am very happy.


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  8. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Rules are one thing. I would think the reaction a scene evokes is more important.
     
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  9. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I would like to hear some opinions. I finished adding the deck two my last two bridges. I also built a center support for one of them. The other is where I would like your opinion.

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    Do I need any supports for this bridge? It will support trains just as it is. It looks slightly naked without a trestle of some kind but the cliffs are too steep for a trestle to make sense. I’ve thought about building in some slope and making the bridge longer. I’m just not liking it in my mind.

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  10. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, one other question. I think I may have made a mistake glueing all this together without weathering the wood first. Has any ever dipped something like this in a stain?

    I’m not sure if I want to try weathering it if I can only reach part of the structure.


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  11. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    The only real drawback of closed "bowl" layouts is that they raise the viewing angle (to see over the near edge of the bowl), which can make long railcars and locomotives look less ideal on our sharper-than-scale curves. But they can still be very effective in creating that "isolated valley" look.

    Especially for a layout that really has only one viewing side (i.e. the layout is up against a wall, in a corner, etc.), an open-sided bowl layout is very effective scenically, by elevating the rear-most trackage above the obstructions in the foreground, and preserving the "ideal" low viewing angle. For example, this is a good way to "terrain" a folded dog-bone style layout (my favorite), letting the "upper" end of the bone rise gently around one end and along the back side, to clear the other, underlying bone-end at the opposite end.
     
  12. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    As far as the bridge goes, steel girders with one steel tower in the center might be quite effective. As far as the viewing question goes, the views looking under the various bridges are intriguing. Some spectacular scenery and details like fishermen, campers or canoeists on the river could make this scene a real focal point.
     
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  13. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I like the wooden trestles, but how are the rail ties usually supported/fastened to the trestle?

    As shown, some of the ties fall between bridge cross-beams, leaving those ties floating and unsupported (not a physical problem for MRR, but one for 1:1). Do they (1:1 railroads) use longitudinal beams between the bridge cross-beams and the rail ties?

    Just curious...
     
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  14. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah. These bridges were always meant to be temporary so I can get the branch line in. I still want them to look good. They are not real prototypical though. Two issues.

    One. The beams support the bridge deck are way too tall. It’s almost 4’ deep. That’s more like a steel girder.

    Two. I should lay the rail directly to the decking. I’ve never hand laid track so that’s an adventure for another day.


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  15. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I continue to struggle with what to do. First, the other two bridges nearly complete.

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    Now with out any supports

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    With a center support.

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    With a side support.

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    I like the center support because it doesn’t make the stream narrower. I like the side supports because it frames the view still. Without gives the best view but it’s very unrealistic.


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  16. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I continue to work on the bridges and canyon. I added another layer on foam to the lake area because it felt too deep. I built a center support for the bridge which doesn’t block the view as much as I thought it would.

    Finally, I’ve been experimenting with rocks on the wall next to the lead to the yard. I also mocked up a road bridge. What I’ve really enjoyed about this setup is it feels like the train is running through 4 scenes in the distance of 8 feet.

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  17. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Its been a while since I posted as I feel all the posts have been about the bridges that i am building. Also, December was busy with Birthdays and Christmas related events. I was hoping to put some good time into the layout Christmas week (which I had off). I got covid instead and spent most of Christmas break on the couch sleeping or watching TV. I did design the next phase of the layout which probably won't get built for another 3 years.

    So over the last couple of weeks, I have been finishing up the bridges. The tops and bents were already complete. I buiilt bases for all the bents and made it so that the ends of the bridges wouldn't move.

    Base added to the middle bridge.

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    I created a damn at the top of the canyon.

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    And carved out the canyon to make it appear more realistic.

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    Along with the carved out canyon I finished the bases of the high bridge.

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    Finally I added a retaining wall next to the road going under the rail bridge. I’m find the more bents I add to a bridge, the harder it is to get the set at the right height. I’m sure there is better method to building these than what I did.

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  18. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    The whole reason I have been so focused on the bridges is because I want to connect the lower loop with the upper town. To do this, I need the bridges placed so I can lay the last 3 pieces of flex track. In order to glue the bridges in place, i need the majority of scenery around them complete, thus rock and water work.

    I'll be honest, I am procrastinating on the rock walls of the canyon as I have never done that before. I'm in uncharted territory now.

    My first attempt was on the walls between the yard lead and the branch line. I glued pieces of foam to the side of the woodlands scenic risers. I then covered it in drywall mud. I wrinkled up some aluminum foil and stuck it to the mud to see how that would turn out. Guess what, drywall mud does dry unless exposed to air. The mud was still soupy the next day. I then just used my wetted fingers and a knife to try cleaning up the mess. While it looks better than pink foam, the cracks definitely show this technique is not the desired route.

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    My next attempt is carving the foam as seen on several youtube videos. I tried to introduce angled lines to the rock here. Once I carved it up, I covered it in a light coating of drywall mud that I smoothed out with my finger and water. I do like this result a lot better. I think it will pop once painted.

    I made two mistakes though. I realized after I finished that I carved the rock strata the opposite that I was planning on. I also needed carve more strata. I'll see how it looks once its dried and painted. This may get redone if I get better at it in other areas. I think in other areas, I will try and place the foam blocks at the angle I desire. This will make it look less like just flat layers of foam.

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  19. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I wasn’t thrilled with my foam rock carvings from yesterday so I hacked away some more. It needs paint obviously, but I think the 2nd attempt gets me to about 80%. I think I’m going to to paint it and see how it turns out.

    I also added a couple of boulders to the stream. Now I need to buy paint. Any suggestions from a place like Hobby Lobby?

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  20. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I decided to hack up this hill.

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    I want to add rock contour that matches the out cropping by the lake. This is my initial trial.

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    I’m pretty happy with this. I need to figure out how glue it in place and then fine tune it through carving. Finally, I need to decide if I keep the rock in the middle of the cut.

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