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My Underground Railway, a New Home and a New Name

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Topic:


Topic author: CN6401
Subject: My Underground Railway, a New Home and a New Name
Posted on: 08/31/2012 12:10:28 AM
Message:

In this thread I hope to show you my journey into building a second HO layout.
My first was called the GMR Underground Railroad. I will explain the roots of my first layout and why it got its name and how my new layout got its new name.
Ralph

Replies:


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 08/31/2012 12:12:23 AM
Message:

My Underground Railroad gets a new name.
Let me explain! About twelve years ago my oldest son asked, “Dad when are we going to build a permanent layout?” He was 22 at the time. You see, up to that point the only track time anyone got was at Christmas when I would put a loop around the tree and remove it the day after New Years.
We’ve been in three other homes since my two boys were born. When we moved into our present home there was a room in the basement that was about 20 x 10, which I made my hobby room. I was doing custom model cars and trucks at the time.
After introducing both the boys to competitive modeling, my youngest decided that he wanted to move to the basement. My wife and I agreed and I took over his as my hobby room, a much smaller room for me and a huge room for him. He ended up becoming a Sound Engineer so we turned that basement room into a sound studio and he moved his bedroom into our spare room upstairs,

So, in answer to my oldest sons question, I told him, “if you can find me the space I will build one”.
His response showed me just how much he wanted a layout. It took about 4 days and multiple conferences with his mother and what he came up with was just short of amazing. He had slowly and methodically moved things around in the crawl space and cleared a space 25 x 8, I couldn’t say no after he worked so hard. The crawl space was 5’-6” floor to ceiling and with a little work on my part was doable, so I operated there for the better part of 10 years slowly growing my Underground Railroad.
The layout was a J-shaped dog bone with 16”shelf and 48” turn around on either end. The GMR logo was based on the CN noodle logo. GMR was the initials of our first names, the my two boys and mine
Shortly after I got started building my oldest moved out to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Well two years ago December 2010 my youngest went to work in Australia and I got my room back in the basement (halleluiah). So work on my underground railroad was suspended, which I figure was a good thing since I made some mistakes that I was glad to leave behind and use as a learning experience.

-Work on the new layout started immediately.
-My new layout is bigger and better.
-I corrected the problems I discovered on the first layout.
-My grades now are 2% not four
-My curves and helix are broader.
-I’ve allowed for future expansion to an upper deck on one side
-Allowed for double track on the helix if need be.
-I’ve added DCC to the new layout unlike the DC on the underground layout.

The following photos are the birth of the Fourty Creek Railroad, a fantasy line loosely based on two coastlines and the Canadian National Railway.
I hope you enjoy my journey and photos depicting my Fourty Creek Railroad.
I’ll explain later how the name came to be, but for now, enjoy the Fourty Creek Railroad.


Reply author: MarkF
Replied on: 08/31/2012 01:15:41 AM
Message:

Looking foward to seeeing what you have Ralph.


Reply author: Tyson Rayles
Replied on: 08/31/2012 08:18:11 AM
Message:

Great back story, best of luck with the new layout!


Reply author: Rick
Replied on: 08/31/2012 12:22:21 PM
Message:

Sounds interesting Ralph.
Looking forward to the pictures.


Reply author: dallas_m
Replied on: 08/31/2012 1:36:45 PM
Message:

Congrats on the new space and the opportunity to start fresh!


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 08/31/2012 2:04:58 PM
Message:

Looking forward to following along, lots of pics I hope.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/02/2012 2:47:17 PM
Message:

Well guys, I was hoping to post some completed photos of the Underground Railway, but didn't realize until this morning that when my hard drive crashed & died last summer it took all my photos with it. I did however, find some of the build photos. The thrust of the UR was scenery.
This layout was 30 inches off the floor and I had special office chairs that I altered in order to save my back and head.

Soooo...here we go.













OK, Ok, I know it's not the Forty Creek.
I will start that tomorrow, it's my wife's Birthday today and if she knew I was writing this now she would have me shot. Well maybe just a few nights in the dog house.
Ralph


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 09/03/2012 10:18:12 AM
Message:

Ralph your progress looks great so far.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/03/2012 12:40:14 PM
Message:

The first few picture are a little blurry do to lack of lighting.
I laid out the trackwork 1:1 on the brown paper which I hung on the wall before I started to build the open framework. All the white patches on the brown paper are either proposed buildings or Fast Track templates.
Tim Warrus, if you're reading this, Thank you for making you're turnout templates available online.

I have a problem using track plan software so I drew my trackwork full scale on the paper on the walls. It worked out great, it helped me calculate angles and measurements for the open frame benchwork.
The framework is is supported from the walls except for the helix and the loop around the engine facility and yard. those areas have legs to the floor. I mused a laser level and built the benchwork 54 inches from the ground.

So here are the first pictures.
BTW-The stuff under the framework is some of my sons furniture which I had to work around.





The far left in the second picture I built a box frame from the floor up to the top of the framework. This was to support the swingout access to the wine cellar. Yes, I make my own wine so I need easy access to the room for maintenance and care of my wine during the early months of the wine making process.
The next picture is of the swingout access door.


Reply author: cprfan
Replied on: 09/03/2012 7:18:01 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by CN6401
In this thread I hope to show you my journey into building a second HO layout.
My first was called the GMR Underground Railroad. I will explain the roots of my first layout and why it got its name and how my new layout got its new name.


Looking good Ralph, hope you don't mind me following along...

Alan


Reply author: cprfan
Replied on: 09/03/2012 7:30:37 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by CN6401
Well guys, I was hoping to post some completed photos of the Underground Railway, but didn't realize until this morning that when my hard drive crashed & died last summer it took all my photos with it. I did however, find some of the build photos. The thrust of the UR was scenery.


Ouch !!, I wonder if that's why I keep all data on the computer backed up...

Lets see, mag articles, images, photo's, financial data, a lot of it 10 years old or more and irreplaceable, plus a system install what would take 5 some months to restore, losing all that data would be catastrophic for me...

Fortunately, I have a backup solution which works well...

Alan


Reply author: cprfan
Replied on: 09/03/2012 8:05:44 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by CN6401

The next picture is of the swingout access door.




Lately I've been working on the design and concept of a future layout, including two swing out access gates, each one carrying four decks, this one that you've built looks really nice. :-)

Alan


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/03/2012 8:07:54 PM
Message:

Allen,
Absolutely and ask question too if you want.

It was 12 years of proto photos, data, my seminar presentations, Business data and specific notes that I've created regarding Weathering How To's, gone in a heart beat.
Needless to say it's now backed up in duplicate.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/03/2012 8:31:21 PM
Message:

Allen, the gate has built in terminal block and power cut off when the latch is opened. It has a magnetic door switch used originally for building security but adapted to kill power to the track on the gate and 4" of track on either side of the gate when the gate is open.
The blocks of wood you can see on the left are for alignment. Even though I used a piano hinge there is still some droop when you open the door. The blocks are set on a sloping angle up from front to back. The top one is fastened to the gate and the bottom fastened to the benchwork.
In efforts to limit the weight it is built with 1/2" ply with a 5/8" ply deck and the hinge face is 1 1/2 x 8 pine since I needed something hefty to bed the 2" hinge screws.

I drilled a hole on either side of the Wine Cellar door frame to route wires for my track power bus and tortoise power bus. The wires thread thru the wall on the hinge side of the Wine Cellar door into the Wine Cellar and go up and over the frame and come back into the train room on the latch side of the door.

Ralph


Reply author: Rick
Replied on: 09/03/2012 8:51:38 PM
Message:

Very nice looking benchwork.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/03/2012 11:46:25 PM
Message:

Here is the Wine Cellar gate again with some rockwork and bridges.





If you look on the left you will see the latch which is connected mechanically by pushrod that is just visible on the right end of the latch. The rod goes through the fascia and connects to a switch that controls the power.

http://youtu.be/pYSBec_BEto


Reply author: MarkF
Replied on: 09/04/2012 02:34:50 AM
Message:

I love your Wine Cellar gate. It looks well constructed and very nicely scenicked. How does it open? Is it part of the door, or open seperately?


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 09/04/2012 12:56:30 PM
Message:

Ralph thanks for all of your pictures. I will be redoing my layout as well in a few years, and I already have picked up some great hints.


Reply author: elwoodblues
Replied on: 09/04/2012 8:10:22 PM
Message:

Ralph, looks like you are off to a great start, I'll be following along.


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/04/2012 8:35:50 PM
Message:

Hey Ralph,I just discovered this thread.
Great background story, kinda sounds like my house with daughters here instead.
This must be a very exciting time for you now!
And you seem to be off to a great start.
The wine cellar gate looks really great!
I think you have the wrong backdrop though, shouldn't you have a vineyard in the distance behind your bridge?
Best of luck on this new layout!

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/04/2012 9:07:11 PM
Message:

Thanks guys!
Greg, I was experimenting with printing some pictures.
Here is the Plan of The Fourty Creek Railway.
I did this with MS Paint which I'm very familiar with.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/04/2012 9:44:39 PM
Message:

Greg,
I like that idea about the vineyard. Now i'll just have to find a picture of a mountain vineyard.
I have to get Chris Lyon involved maybe he can come up with some thing for me.

In one of the past issues of Modelrailroader and Craftsman they published some photos that inspired me.
Here is the one that was in MR in the trackside photos.



I love waterfalls and bridges so I'm trying to create a waterfall something like this and I have a scratch built wooden trestle to pass in front of the waterfall.
Here is the photo that appeared in Craftsman in an article about lake barges in British Columbia. The article photo shows what looks like a CP Traimaster on the barge but had to run through water to get there, The tracks are submerged at the bottom of the loading ramp.
Here's the picture.



Two major projects that I think I can pull off. The rails in the water will have to be altered so that the water level only comes up to the bottom of the rails maybe a tad higher, enough to clear the wheel flanges.
My waterfall is going to drop about 16" to the riverbed below and I have already completed the trestle, it's an 'S' shape and about 24" long.
In the next series of pictures I will show both.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/04/2012 11:33:27 PM
Message:

I have the waterfall and trestle almost done so I can show you a series of progression shots. This is in the NW corner of the room so there was not much that could be done to the walls because of the window. The north wall is our sauna and the west wall where the two meet has a window so my aim here was to take your eye away from the window. I think the waterfall and trestle will do that just fine.

Building in Styrofoam is amazing it is so lightweight and durable. The method I chose you may not be able to tell the exact method from the pictures so let me tell you my technique.
During the trial and error stage I use drywall screws to hold it together and once I have determined the final positioning I use a product called "No More Nails". Don't use carpenters glue, I found that when I was taking the old layout apart that there were some areas that I glued with Carpenters glue that were still wet after 10 years. No More Nails seems to cure solid in a much shorter time. Once I have the basic shape I want I cover it with plaster cloth and then Sculpt-a-Mold if required for added texture where I 'm not using rock molds. I do my rock molds like a jigsaw puzzle, the only difference is, I'm making the pieces and trimming them to fit. I mount the pieces with drywall mud or compound and fill the gaps with it as well.







In the next shot you will see the rockwork starting to take shape. 90% of my latex mold I made from the rocks I put in the back yard for my wife's rockery. Maybe a few of you will remember my thread on 'How I Hate Yardening'. That's were my wife gets me to help, in her garden, where she gets me to do all the grunt work...

I digress!

I also added an N scale Danish farm scene, I had to do this, my wife is Danish.
What a conbo eh! Danish and Italian and thanks to her heritage I got to meet Troels, his lovely wife and Tango the great dane. Oh yea! and see his amazing layout.





Someone told me a long time ago that when you build your layout don't keep moving aong leaving everything white, sooner or later you will get discouraged and think it will never end. If you do some scenery as you go it won't be so overwhelming.So this is how it looks now, it's not finished but at least it not all white.




Reply author: MarkF
Replied on: 09/05/2012 01:35:04 AM
Message:

Ralph, your rock work is amazing! That will be a very dramatic scene when finished. And that trestle is gorgeous!


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/05/2012 01:35:07 AM
Message:

Hey guys, I added a YouTube link to the post at the top of the page showing the gate in action.
In case you missed it here it is again.
http://youtu.be/pYSBec_BEto
Sorry I was trying to post it from photobucket but it didn't work so I sent it to YouTube.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/06/2012 12:32:59 AM
Message:

Here is a link to a Quick Tour of The Fourty Creek.
The benchwork is open frame with 1/2" ply where necessary like the yard and engine facility, the lower section of the waterfall and the barge ramp.
I used the 2% Woodland Scenics risers starting at the waterfall end of the engine facility yard, circling around the engine facility and back towards the waterfall, under the hydro panel, across the wine cellar door bridge and over toward the barge area. By the time the rising track got to the barge side of the room it was about 10" high.
For the rail barge I took a tip out of Troels book and made it out of blue styrofoam and covered the sides with styrene plastic and added an 1/8" wood deck so I could fasten the rails.
So here's the link to the tour,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW9HydD3IPQ&feature=youtu.be


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/06/2012 08:39:37 AM
Message:

Hi Ralph,your track plan looks interesting and real professional by using MS Paint.
The trestle already looks impressive and your rock scenery is excellent!
With the amount of work you have accomplished already, you can tell you are really on a mission!

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: railman28
Replied on: 09/06/2012 09:40:00 AM
Message:

I really like the trestle Ralph


Reply author: LVN
Replied on: 09/06/2012 10:29:55 AM
Message:

Hi Ralph. Nice to see your photos of the Forty Creek RR. Great story and I will be following the progress.


Reply author: shortliner
Replied on: 09/06/2012 11:12:34 AM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by CN6401

Here is the photo that appeared in Craftsman in an article about lake barges in British Columbia. The article photo shows what looks like a CP Traimaster on the barge but had to run through water to get there, The tracks are submerged at the bottom of the loading ramp.
Here's the picture.






I'm intrigued - I have seen that picture before in RMC, but have only ever seen it in Black & White - thanks for posting.
Jack


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/06/2012 1:18:11 PM
Message:

Jack,
Near the end of the last video is my barge area and you can see how I sloped the tracks down so that I can bring the water level up to meet the rails like in the picture.
Here is a video of the barge area and the boardwalk beside the loading ramp.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2OiOqDr7Dw&feature=youtu.be
My plan is to make the barge my programing track since there is a natural gap from the ramp to the barge and I have to power the barge separately anyway.
I'll post some photos of the area progress since that video.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/07/2012 11:44:30 PM
Message:

When I made the gate I wasn't sure how I was going to treat the transition of the track from the benchwork to the wine cellar gate. It sat for about 2 months before I came up with this.



Once I established track location I decided to go with the blank PC board. I used a Dremel tool to cut a line down the middle for electrical separation, I then used a piece of flex track about two inches longer than the PC board on each end. While soldering the track to the PC board I used a Track Gauge to hold the track in place while I soldered. After that was done I added guard rails using a wooden rail tie as a spacer for the wheel flanges. I then closed the gate and made sure it was in the position where the Sliding lock on the fascia fit into the latch perfectly. Once this was done I placed the PC board track straddling the gap from the benchwork to the gate. I made sure it was properly aligned with the trackwork and then fastened it down. In my case there is six of these plates and with them installed as is, the gate will not open and shouldn't even move. The next order of business was to use the Dremel tool and cut the gate gaps in the PC board and rails and filed a slight bevel on the inside corners of the cut rails to allow for any misalignment.
It works like a charm!

Once this was completed I was able to move onto the Barge area and plan out some track. Because of my idea to submerge part of the rails I had to come up with a way of bending the track and not the way it normally gets bent. It had to bend UP, So thought I would try using the railbender from Fast Tracks and instead of bending it right or left I put the crown of the rail towards the bending roller and the bottom rail flange to the stationary rollers and se what would happen. much to my surprise the darn thing worked...Bonus. When I put it together I used one of the Rail fixtures from Fast Tracks to hold the rails in scale as I soldered the PC ties to the rails.
Here is the result.



You know if someone had asked me when I got into the hobby if I thought I would be scratch building special rail features, I would have told them they were crazy, No way. Well here I am doing just that making my own Turnouts Crossovers and hand made Gauntlet track (28 feet of it) I'll show you that when we get closer to that area.
Here's some more on the barge.





In this picture you can see the drywall screw that I used to fasten down the barge. This area is open on the front of the layout and on the back end of the barge so I will have to Dam the two edges so I can pour some Envirotex Lite. I was hoping to be able to remove the dam and polish the edge of the Envirotex to be able to see fish in the water from the side. Well that's my plan, I hope it works.





Oh yea! Here is a picture I almost forgot about, it's left over from my days in the crawl space. The Brown Chair. This chair was my back and knee saver. The Crawl space being about five feet floor the rafter. I made three of these chairs by cutting the hydraulic and lowering the centre post then replacing the seat and centre mount. The seat is about 12" from the floor. The chair now serves as my mobile support while doing the wiring under the Fourty Creek layout.





Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/08/2012 12:03:20 AM
Message:

That is some very impressive track work going on there Ralph!
Your solution of using the PC board on the wine cellar gate is fantastic!
The same for your track work approaching the car barge.
Though I'd like to see how engines & cars go through that dip.
I am certain you have tested it and it works just fine.
Definitely,no yardening going on at your house these days.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: Mike Hamer
Replied on: 09/08/2012 08:35:59 AM
Message:

Hi Ralph, it was great seeing the tour of your developing layout. It was also nice to read the history and how the previous layout was such a family endeavour. I really like the construction of the movable section at the entrance to the wine storage area. I also really like the barge you made following the advice from Troels. Can't wait to see a train running! Great job, all around!


Reply author: LVN
Replied on: 09/08/2012 2:09:40 PM
Message:

That car ferry scene is super. I guess you will be trying some of Troel's water techniques soon.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/09/2012 11:09:02 AM
Message:

Greg,
Thanks for your comments, the PC board plates on the gate would probably never happened is I had not worked on making my own turnouts. As for the approach to the barge I may have to reduce the bend on the submerged track section slightly. I have a couple of critters that I plan to use for loading and unloading of the barge. The pilots on the longer engines get stuck by gounding out on the railheads.

Mike,
It was as you suggest, Troels who gave me the idea of the foam board for the Barge. However, being that it is made of foam board I had to fasten it to the wood deck below so that it won't want to float on the Envirotex Lite. If you go back and take a look I have 4 - 5 manhole deck covers over the fastening screws.

Chris,
Yes, I will be using Troels' technique for all my water effects. For the barge area I will have to use Envirotex first in order to build up the water level to cover the rail ties. The water will be the last thing to go in.

Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/09/2012 4:14:24 PM
Message:

I think I mentioned earlier my affinity for water and bridges and have been trying to encorporate both in my layout. So far I have shown you my waterfall area that has both water and trestle, the barge area and wine cellar gate. I was going to have water in the backdrop of behind the gate, but I like Greg,s idea of a Vineyard for the wine cellar. Thanks Greg.

The gate has three truss bridges and I don't know if you noticed but behind the barge along the wall is an 8'-0" steel girder & trestle bridge that will join up with another bridge that will span over my harbour and lead into the top of my helix.



You can see the steel bridge here in the background. In order to span the gap I bought an 8'-0" length of aluminum channel from the automotive supply store here in Canada called Princess Auto. I tried Home Depot and Loews but all they could provide was 4'-0" pieces.
What I did was cut some score marks on the sides and top of the channel with a Dremel cutting disk to help 5 min epoxy grip the channel and hold the girders to the sides. I'm currently working on the bents for the trestle

The bridge over my harbour is going to be a real challenge. I want it to be an arched steel bridge with a long enough arch to span almost 4'-0". I have a book from Kalmbach called Bridges for Model Railroads. In this book there is an article on Bear Creek Bridge and how to build it. This bridge is similar to the Stoney Creek Bridge in BC. Here is a link to a Google search of images of Stoney Creek Bridge.

www.google.ca/search?q=stoney+creek+bridge&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=Nk9&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=dvdMUNfjJ8Pb0QGawIDwBg&ved=0CC0QsAQ&biw=1261&bih=781


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/12/2012 8:50:57 PM
Message:

OK, so the next area along the rails is the gauntlet track and harbour.
I chose to install a gaunlet track solely for the purpose of saving real estate around the helix. Without it there would be little room to walk past the helix.
Here is the description I posted in another thread asking about Gauntlet Tracks.

quote:
Originally posted by CN6401

Well, I finally have a Gauntlet track, all 28.5 feet of it surrounding my helix. One end starts with part of a #6 curved turnout and three feet of hand laid straight track 25 ft of flex track and ending with part of a #5 turnout.
Making the straight track was getting to cumbersome and time consuming so I ended up using flex track, removed every tenth tie and soldered in a PC tie to which was soldered the second and fourth rails. Gaping both, for (lack of a better term) positive and negative as well as track one from track two. Throw in a reverse loop module, AR-1 and a mono frog juicer, some (a lot) of cursing and swearing and voila, IT LIVES. All in the name of saving valuable real estate.


So here we go, here is the entrance to the Gauntlet track.



Here is how I started out making the gauntlet track.It ended up being a real chore to add all the ties.



I finally ended up realizing that for the length of track I wanted would end up taking forever to solder all the ties in place.
I racked my brain for month trying to figure out how to accomplish my goal. I finally stumbled on the solution while laying some track in the corner where my harbour. The answer to the problem was simple, use flex track. I removed every 10th-13th plastic tie from the flex track and solder in a PC tie hold the 4 rails in place. I joined the flex track the usual way and made sure for the gaunlet that the rails were joined on top of a PC tie.









More to follow, stay tuned.
Ralph


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/12/2012 8:55:43 PM
Message:

I guess you could say Ralph, that you have thrown down the gauntlet!
Nice Work again!

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/12/2012 9:02:40 PM
Message:

You're right Greg I did just that! Thank god it's finished.
The worst part is that the gauntlet is also a reverse loop times two. So one AR-1 handled both tracks and a single or Mono Frog Juicer handled the frogs at either end.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/15/2012 10:29:15 PM
Message:

Well, my Wine Cellar gate got a good workout today.
I made my wine my wine today all 200 litres, which I will have to baby for a couple of weeks.
Can't wait 'til Christmas now to sample and bottle it.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/17/2012 5:48:13 PM
Message:

I did this little drawing to help explain how I isolated the reverse loop in the Gauntlet Track.
I personally don't like plastic rail joiners and I don't trust the the air gap cut into your laid track won't move so I came up with this.



Once I determine where the gaps need to be located I remove the plastic ties and replace them with this little device. I solder into position first and then cut the gaps.
Works like a charm! Perfect alignment.
Ralph


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 09/17/2012 10:56:56 PM
Message:

Ralph,
I have been lurking. The scene with the CP fm and the tracks under the water has been on my bucket list to model. I am glad you are taking it on first. Now more than ever I need to stop in when I get to TO. Great stuff keep the posts coming.
Larry


Reply author: nhguy
Replied on: 09/18/2012 02:51:49 AM
Message:

Its looking great. The solution to your wine cellar door should work out well. It looks to be a nice solid joint. I guess my question, and the million dollar question, is how are you going to model 'submerged' rails to the barge? Low tide with water lapping up against the rails but not totally submerged? Gloss medium or varnish brushed on in layers for control or Envirotex which is less controllable? W/S water effects might be a solution also. I think that is how I would try and tackle this. It looks very challenging.


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 09/18/2012 08:42:45 AM
Message:

Hmmmm! 200 litres of wine x 6 glasses of wine per liter. Ralph we may not be hearing from you in a while. Just kidding! Look forward to your continued progress.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/18/2012 3:03:45 PM
Message:

Chuck,
It sound like you know your way around a bottle of wine.

Bill,
I've considered various methods,
- I thought of the Gloss media route but feel it would take too long to build up.
- I thought of the varnish, again same problem only longer.
- I've tried w/s water effects but don't like what happens down the road if the house get too dry in the winters, it will crack and lift. (seen it happen)
- As I mentioned earlier, I want to use Envirotex for a few reasons.
1) It will find its own level and fill the gaps between the ties with out me have to intervene.
2) I would be able to pour it in layers like some of the others, so that I can place tiny shards of tin foil to represent fish and place the at varying levels.
3) When I remove the dams on the edges I can polish the sides to a glass like finish so you can see the fish from the side as well.

I can later add Gel Media to eliminate the glass like finish of the Envirotex.
This will be one of the last thing to be done.
Ralph


Reply author: jbvb
Replied on: 09/18/2012 4:27:19 PM
Message:

Given my experience with Envirotex, I wouldn't try to pour it higher than maybe the top edge of ties you want to submerge - I like it, I plan to use it again, but it does wet surfaces and creep up them a bit, certainly 1/16", maybe 1/8".


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/18/2012 10:55:45 PM
Message:

Here are a few pictures I forgot to post regarding the Wine Cellar Gate.
The first one shows the terminal strip buried in the jamb of the hinge side. If you look closely you will also see a white dot on the jamb and another on the gate. These white dots are a magnetic door jamb switch which is an open circuit when the gate is open. the switch controls about 6" of track on either side of the gate and kills power to both side when the gate is open to ensure none of my engines take a nose dive when the gate is open.



The next photo is taken from under the gate looking up. It shows the like from the front latch to the hidden switch that controls and kills power to the bridge track when the gate is open. The switch itself is an actual wall switch for room lighting, all I did was drill a hole in the switch toggle for the connecting rod from the front latch.






James,
My plan was exactly that, the envirotex was going no higher that the top of the ties. Mind you I am using code 100 track so I can afford just a tad higher than the ties before it interferes with the wheel flanges.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/21/2012 9:30:02 PM
Message:

When I was doing some research and gathering photo for inspiration I came across a website that had almost everything I was looking for including the work of a few exceptional modelers like Chuck Doan, Brian Nolan, Troels Kirk, Steve Pettit, Dave Revelia, Mario Rapinet and many more.
Thanks to one of our own members, Mario Rapinet, the work of all these modelers can be viewed on one site, here is the link.

http://www.modvid.com.au/html/body_worldwide__miniatures.html

There is one in particular that caught my eye, actually there's more then one but I chose to use an idea from Marcel Ackle.
I had an area around the waterfall that I wanted to try to copy the work of Marcel by adding an Abandon Mine entrance. I've gotten into the habit of adding hidden gems for the visitors to find.
You all know what I'm talking about, the little details you don't always see the first or second time. Below is Marcel's work in the first photo. I believe his work is in 'O' or 'On30', it could even be 1/24th I'm not sure. Never the less it is exceptional.
I model in HO so some of the details are a little weak but then again it's not finished.
So here is Marcel's Abandon Mine Entrance.



Here is mine, remember it's still a work in progress.







Mario, (K27rgs), Thank you for having the insight to post this wonderful collection of modelers.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/22/2012 02:08:44 AM
Message:

You saw the picture above by Marcel, OK, so here is the little Abandon Mine and how I did it.
I had a small opening in the rock work and wasn't sure what to do with it, after seeing photos of Marcel's mine I knew I had to have it.




First I had to alter the opening by adding a new rock lintel above the opening.



Next came the wooden rock crib platform.



Next I took a Tichy Double Warehouse door and cut a new Four Pane Passenger door into one of the warehouse doors. Of course I couldn't just leave it alone, I had to take out some loose and cracked boards to make it look old and abused.



At last years FSM Expo in Peabody, Mass., I fell in love with this stone wall so I had to buy the mold from Sterling Models.



Next I took a piece of basswood for the wood lintel and steamed it to get the bend I wanted. When that was dry and I was happy with the shape I used it as a template to cut a piece of plaster that I carved the soldier course of bricks above the lintel.



Then it was just a matter of cut, trim, & test, trim & test, trim & test. Then paint and fit and voila! Add some weathered rails and a trestle.
There it is, just needs some more vines and roots and a bit more debris






Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 09/22/2012 08:55:40 AM
Message:

Neat mine Ralph! Looks like it should have Hobbits from the shire standing out front. I really like the curves they give it so much more interest.


Reply author: mabloodhound
Replied on: 09/22/2012 4:26:09 PM
Message:

Yes, Larry, I kept looking for Bilbo Baggins to pop his head out.
Nice job Ralph.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/23/2012 3:02:59 PM
Message:

Well here we go again,I'm going to bypass my harbour area for now and go straight to the Helix.
I chose to use biscuit joinery to glue the sections together. I cut some 3/4" strips of plywood notched to support the radiused helix roadbed as it goes up. I also chose to use 1/4" threaded rod to elevate the rings and hold them in place.



The nice thing about using the threaded rod is that I can fine tune it to achieve super elevation in the loop.
The tools and glue make the helix look kind of small. The benchwork is almost 6'-0" and the helix itself is actually 5'-2" and there is room for an additional track if I decide to go to another loop to a shelf. The rise in the helix is 2% like the rest of the layout. The threaded rod lets you adjust the grade without having to take it apart and re-cut supports.



I cut all the roadbed pieces and glued them all together, one piece at a time with biscuits. Then I attached the notched supports all in the same locations from one level to the next. Once all that was done I drilled the 5/16" holes for the threaded rod and started raising the roadbed and Bob's your uncle.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/23/2012 8:20:42 PM
Message:

I've been trying some experiments with Caspia, Furnace Filters and chop sticks.






Reply author: dallas_m
Replied on: 09/23/2012 9:30:23 PM
Message:

Ralph --

Marcel's work is fantastic, and you've done a wonderful job of adapting that inspiration to make a gem of a "hidden scene" on your layout!

Here's a link to Marcel's own web site:
http://www.feldbahn-modellbau.ch/bau/inhalt.php

The mine construction is listed here:
http://www.feldbahn-modellbau.ch/bau/anleitung.php?id=281

... with links at the top of that page to an album of photos and a forum area with discussion and photos of the project construction. (You can use a browser with translation options to translate the German text ... or copy-n-paste the page addresses into google and select the "translate" option in the results)

Again, wonderful job of adapting that inspiration to fit your layout -- looks great!


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 09/23/2012 11:18:12 PM
Message:

Ralph,
They have chp sticks in Scarberia? . I like the trees.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/23/2012 11:35:38 PM
Message:

Dallas,
Thanks for posting those links.

Larry,
Yes we do but they keep changing.

Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/25/2012 12:53:06 AM
Message:

In the first picture of the helix above I was gluing all the sections together using biscuit joinery.
Here is a diagram that better describes the process.



1) Take section A of the helix and fasten it down to the benchwook and place a piece of wax paper under the joint.

2) Attach gluing block to helix sections about one inch from the edge of the joint on sections A and B.

3) Apply glue to biscuit pocket and insert biscuit and push sections A and B together.

4) Apply wood clamp jaws on either side of the gluing blocks and tighten clamp.

5)The above step may cause Section B to lift off the bench top drill hole and insert screw through section B into benchwork top and allow to set for about 30 minutes then reverse the process and start over on the next section until you have a spiral helix ready to be elevated.


Reply author: Rick
Replied on: 09/25/2012 08:13:22 AM
Message:

Nice job on the mine entrance.
And you've posted yet another example of sturdy furniture grade benchwork.
Thanks for sharing your pictures and how-to's.


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/25/2012 4:19:44 PM
Message:

Hey Ralph,just doing some catch-up of your most recent work.
I love the abandoned mine scene!
It must be recently closed though, because you sir have really been getting the lead out of it lately!


Greg Shinnie


Reply author: Mike Hamer
Replied on: 09/25/2012 6:31:35 PM
Message:

Hi Ralph, the layout's coming along beautifully. That's a very creative mine entrance. I am very impressed with your mini-diorama with the coniferous trees that you are experimenting with. They look great!


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/25/2012 11:40:27 PM
Message:

Gentlemen, I need your help with the helix. Whoever wants to chime in with a possible solution please do so.

Here is my dilemma, I have been building up the scenery on the front edge and Short of putting a scenery dome over the top, I'm not sure how to hide the inside and back of the helix. It is two levels and rises about 10 inches to meet my arched bridge over the harbour.
The landscaping and scenery would have to be almost 6'-0" to stop the eye from looking into the centre.

Oh! before you tell me some of my spelling is wrong, remember I'm Canadian and we spell things differently

I plan on having some of the track work in tunnels and some on mountain cliff roadbed. I'll try and post a better photo tomorrow.

Any and all help will be appreciated.


Reply author: jbvb
Replied on: 09/26/2012 07:06:21 AM
Message:

The tunnel portal on the LH side of the upper level commits you to a mountain across the back curve on the top level, which pretty much commits you to making the rest of the scenery the lower slopes. Without the tunnel, the hill could be much lower, and some of the helix track on the side closer to the camera could be on bridges or fills.

The fundamental decision is what kind of scene you want in that area. You seem to be headed for tall rocky mountains. An alternative would be a much lower, forested hill in the center like the L&N's Hiwassee Loop uses to gain elevation. Tehachapi climbs up some minor lumps in the bottom of a valley with not much rock visible. For only two turns, you could also do an urban helix, with a cylindrical backdrop around the center opening if you didn't want to build that large an area of city.


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 09/26/2012 07:32:06 AM
Message:

Nice job on the hidden gem ( mine entrance) and caspia tree, the helix turned out great. Back when I was looking for a way down to the hidden yard on the lower level of my layout I had conciderdd a helix but came across the same problem of try to hide it. You have enough build up area for the most part around the edges if you want to do a mountain. Just had another thought as well, how about builing the elevation up on a steep incline in a step pattern and place ho scale at the bottom and n scale up toward the top for illusion. I probably just had this thought because we just came home from sicily where there are many communities on the cliff of a mountain.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/26/2012 2:33:21 PM
Message:

Lynn thanks for the input.
Just of to the right the helix is where I plan a town using HO and N scale buildings. I want to do a town like Mark Dalrymple's Telenotte modual so N is not out of the question. I''ll put that in the memory bank for now.
Thanks Ralph


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/26/2012 3:47:41 PM
Message:

Hey Ralph, I've been reviewing your track plan again on page 2.
And also going back to read again what you wanted to achieve with this new layout.
You mentioned that you wanted this layout to be "loosely based on 2 coastlines & the Canadian National Railway".
The reason I mention all of this again, is to try and find an answer for what to do with your helix.
I really like (jbvb) James,suggestion of the urban helix.
I really believe you could hide most of the helix with a "Tellynott corner module" inspired City scene.
You already have lots of rocky and forested areas shaping up.
You need a large urban area to really represent what lies between the 2 coasts.
It may take you a little longer to build this, but in my opinion it would add a lot of visual interest to this portion of your layout.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/26/2012 8:53:30 PM
Message:

Greg,
Lets assume the way the layout photo is oriented, that the top is north the bottom is south, left west and right east.
Along the north wall behind the engine facility will be the inference of a town in the backdrop.
In the southeast corner along the south and east walls is where I want to put the Telenotte simulation module on a raised platform hiding the corner tracks. The roadways will wind there way down to the harbour and off into the hills/mountains around the helix.
Hopefully I will have some photos before we go on our Cruise of the Mediterranean.
In the mean time here are some updated photos of the helix.










Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/26/2012 9:27:30 PM
Message:

Well Ralph,by the looks of things you already have some idea where you are going with this helix cover-up.
I noticed the Lord of the Rings poster hanging on the wall in the background.
Perhaps a HO scale version of Minas Tirith could sit on top of the work you have already done.
I am a big Tolkien fan aswell, can't wait to see the first part of The Hobbit, due out this December.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 09/26/2012 10:00:06 PM
Message:

Well I am a little late but I rode the go train down the don river for years and I think you could have used the lower line as the track on the bottom of the river and the upper crossing as the CP bridge. Not mountains but there was a real difference in elevation. Jmho.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/27/2012 11:30:42 AM
Message:

Lynn thanks for the input.
Just off to the right the helix is where I plan a town using HO and N scale buildings. I want to do a town like Mark Dalrymple's Telenotte module, so N is not out of the question. I'll put that in the memory bank for now.
Thanks Ralph


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 09/27/2012 12:23:40 PM
Message:

Great to see you have made up your mind and have moved forward. Have fun on the cruise, something I've never had a desire for but we do enjoy the Mediterranean and Caribean, just got home from Sicily.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/27/2012 2:01:49 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by CN6401




Lynn,
I haven't moved on, the last photo actually shows the problem I'm talking about.
When you stand anywhere in front or to the side of the helix that's what you see, the backside of the helix.
Even if I do all the fine detail work in the front scenery, the eye is attracted or distracted by the back of the helix.


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 09/27/2012 3:03:45 PM
Message:

I think you may be looking at building up the forward scenery on the helix and push it toward the middle holding maybe a waterfall and then make access holes in the scenery for any nasty derails which really we don't like to talk about but we must be realistic. Are you any good with photoshop, it may help with some imagination. Anything can be accomplished with imagination. I think what I would do is get a wack of newpapers and crumple them up and throw them all in the middle void area building them up high enough so you can no longer see the rear helix tracks then go from there to work in what ever will replace the newspaper. You gotta crack a messy egg before the finished omelette comes into view.


Reply author: nhguy
Replied on: 09/27/2012 3:10:47 PM
Message:

How about a foam or Gator board type lift out with on a hill with some homes or a quarry on it? It would give you a scenic element and hide the helix at the same time. If you need to stand in the helix for maintenance you can just lift it out and set it aside.

This is what I did with mine although it is a double deck layout and the helix is totally behind the sky back drop, this could give you an idea.





Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/27/2012 10:28:28 PM
Message:

Bill,
I like the circular backdrop idea. It only has to be 3/4 of the the inner circle to hide the back.
I thought of the lift out but once in the centre there is no place to put the lift out without damaging some tree I have planned for around the inner perimeter.
I will put this in the memory banks and see if anyone else has any ideas. I will make my decision when its time to landscape.

In the mean time, here are some prelims of the harbour area.
At the southwest end of the harbour is where the gauntlet track starts. You can see it in the third picture, the train is exiting the gauntlet.










Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/28/2012 11:41:56 PM
Message:

You've seen the rough in of my harbour, well I have very specific ideas on how I want this area done.
Remember that stone wall I used to build my Hobbit Mine, as Greg put it. Maybe not those words exactly but you get the idea.
This one,



Well my original idea was for the retaining walls around the Harbour. I did a test of the wall and a boardwalk to go with it.

There is only problem with the wall, when you make multiple casting each one is designed to be stand alone. Unlike the Chooch stone wall, which meshes together like finger joints.
In order to make this work I took the liberty to add square rough cut wood pilings to hide the vertical joints.
The colouring of the stone wall I happened to fluke upon it. I use a Home Depot paint called Berre Thorny Branch which I use to paint all my scenery to get a dark colour in all the crevases before I start adding my various shades of grey. I wandering, anyway when I put the thorny branch on I usually dip my brush in clean water and before it dries I then dab at the dark colour with clean water trying to thin out and lighten up the high spots.
Here's the fluke part, I just happened to have a loose piece of hydrocal stone wall lying in the area and I knocked over the dirty water put with the rinsed thorny branch in it. My first thought was that I ruined a perfectly good stone wall, but to my amazement it actually looked pretty good. The only thing left to do was to try colouring the wall intentionally to see if it would work in a controlled procedure.
It worked!

This may be my last post until the about the third week of October. My wife and I will be leaving on Sunday for a Cruise of the Mediterranean. I will continue when I get back.
I may check in occasionally to answer any questions that can be answered easily while we are away.






Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/29/2012 09:31:46 AM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Biglars


Neat mine Ralph! Looks like it should have Hobbits from the shire standing out front. I really like the curves they give it so much more interest.





quote:
Originally posted by mabloodhound

Yes, Larry, I kept looking for Bilbo Baggins to pop his head out.
Nice job Ralph.





Ralph, aren't my jokes are bad enough already.
That you must credit me for ones that I have nothing to do with.
Mind you, I did get my dig in about your mine,but never mentioned Hobbits.

Now then, this stone retaining wall for your harbour looks great.
I guess this must be your way of stonewalling us, until you return from your cruise.
Have a great time and a safe journey!

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: George D
Replied on: 09/29/2012 10:13:03 AM
Message:

I like the idea of the pilings hiding the seams, Ralph.

Have a good cruise.

George


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/02/2012 6:00:11 PM
Message:

Well guys I finally in Rome arrived safe and sound Monday evening. We had a great first of 4 days here in Rome.
This shows how much I know, I didn't know they had subways and streetcars here in Rome. Our apartment is a five minute walk from the Coloseum.
I won't bother you with anymore detail except to say it's 24 degrees C and sunny, the food is great (just like Mama used to make and the is just as good (cheap).
Maybe tomorrow I will try to post a couple of photos.
Ciao for now
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/02/2012 6:00:43 PM
Message:

Well guys I finally in Rome arrived safe and sound Monday evening. We had a great first of 4 days here in Rome.
This shows how much I know, I didn't know they had subways and streetcars here in Rome. Our apartment is a five minute walk from the Coloseum.
I won't bother you with anymore detail except to say it's 24 degrees C and sunny, the food is great (just like Mama used to make) and the price is just as good.
Maybe tomorrow I will try to post a couple of photos.
Ciao for now
Ralph


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 10/03/2012 12:14:25 AM
Message:

Hey Ralph, wife and I just got home from Sicily, we were in Rome a couple years ago and I too was quite surprised when my wifes cousing parked the car in an underground garage and we took escalators down I don't know how many levels to the subway and got off close to I think the coloseum.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/17/2012 11:57:41 PM
Message:

I'm baaack!

What a great trip, more about that later.

Here are some photos of the entrance to the harbour where I have laid the foundation for my Lighthouse and to the right is the boat launch ramp for the boat builder that lives next door.







I managed to get some floor plans and elevation drawings of a real lighthouses so it will have to be scratch built. Now I just have to find a cheap source for the flashing beacon.
If there is someone out there that can send me a schematic of a flashing unit I may be able to build it myself.

I have a Campbell Warf for the centre area of the harbour. I also have a tug boat, which I have to modify for along the south side of the Warf.

I think the warf and tug will be some of the last things to be placed on the layout. Right now the harbour is the last flat surface on the layout I have for working.

Ralph


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 10/20/2012 5:03:42 PM
Message:

Hi Ralph, and welcome back home! I hope your cruise with the wife went well.
Now regarding the the lighthouse, I have a circuit designed to be used with a flashing LED light for a lighthouse.
It's produced by Ngineering.





I know you could probably build your own, but i just thought I could show you this if you are interested.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/20/2012 7:36:46 PM
Message:

Thanks Greg, I knew someone would come up with something to save me the headache of making it.
Thanks again.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/27/2012 10:55:37 PM
Message:

Has anyone seen a backdrop with a Vineyard/Winery?

I found this video on YouTube the other day and I thought it would be perfect for my wine cellar gate, all I need now is a vineyard backdrop to go with it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq-vIdVK20g
I'll even take any and all suggestions as well.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 12/18/2012 02:31:19 AM
Message:

I should have some new pics in the next few days. I've been working on my helix and doing the dreaded Yardening. Today it stopped raining long enough to put the roses to bed for the winter.

I have spend sleepless nights thing how am I going to build a wood and gravel retaining wall and a wooden tunnel portal. I just have to get them off the camera and onto Photobucket.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/05/2013 11:21:09 PM
Message:

So, I've been all over the place over Christmas and lost a lot of build time in preparation for the holidays, but it seems to have settled down now.
The basework for the harbour is completed, here are a couple of shots.







I spent a lot of time wracking my brain trying to come up with a way to hide the back inside side of the helix and I think I found it. Here is how it developed.
My idea is to have an small N scale town abouve the back of the helix.



Two levels of track and the top is where the town will go.
I also thought of some sort of diversion to lead the eye up to the town and away from the vertical wall in front of that section of helix. I found an old Life-Like arch rail bridge that with a little work I could pass it off as a highway bridge. So I cut some styrene strips to cover the railbed and form the road, then added some narrow strips on either side to form the walkways.



Next was to build the vertical wall to cover the face of the helix. I have to keep it as light as possible and still be sturdy enough to take some abuse. The base is 1/2" ply for toughness and the back wall is corrugated cardboard, a few blue foam formers and cardboard webbing strips, then covered with 2" masking tape and then plaster cloth and I will finish it with Scuplt-a-mold for texture.
A special note here for what it's worth
I was told a few years ago, after I had already started my layout in the crawl space that I should have covered my wire screen and the cardboard webbing with 2" masking tape. That it would prevent mold dew to basement moisture from forming on the backside of the scenery.



I've run out of empty space on the layout so there is no space left to do any work. So I had no choice but to work on top of my engine facility trackwork.





I added a couple of N scale dual tunnel portals and altered them to suit, here's the result.



Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/09/2013 12:53:06 AM
Message:

From this...



...to this



I think this will work well to hide the view of the inside of the back part of the helix.
To the left the bridge will lead to the N scale village above and to the right will lead to the HO scale town.
I don't have the N scale vehicles yet but I hoping when I place the on the bridge it will look convincing enough to pass off an HO rail trestle for an N scale highway.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/09/2013 11:57:51 PM
Message:

I find this quite amusing, I originally posted my first photos in this thread 08/31/2012 and to this point there has been 4746 views and in that number there are 88 posts and of that 43 of the 88 posts are mine. Which means 4701 are lurkers.
Out of that many views someone must have some comments or questions.
Ralph


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 01/10/2013 12:57:47 AM
Message:

I think the great helix cover-up has worked tremendously Ralph!
That's my comment.
Now my question.
Have you seen part 1 of The Hobbit yet Ralph? Wow!
Yes it can be frustrating when your looking for feedback on your work, and no one says anything good or bad.
On the other hand, no news is good news!

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 01/10/2013 06:15:09 AM
Message:

I guess N scale is good for something after all.

L&N scale
Jon


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 01/10/2013 08:28:54 AM
Message:

Ralph I have read somewhere on the forum that the number of lurkers vs posts on this discussion is normal. Feel good that you have that many people/lurkers interested in your layout. I like how you have supported your helix. The bridge looks great, but I can't figure out where you are planning to plant your "N" scale buildings. Maybe I need more coffee.


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 01/10/2013 08:41:16 AM
Message:

How easy is it to lift out that bridge and mountain when you have a derailment in the helix?
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/10/2013 3:21:42 PM
Message:

Greg,
Thanks for the feedback. I can't wait to get some N scale transports and some cars to put on the bridge.
Not yet, but Jane and I are hoping to take advantage of a cheap Tuesday matinee. Kind of looking forward to it, actually. (my precious)

Chuck,
If you look at the before the bridge photo the town will go on the top platform from about the center and off to the left.

Jon,
With everything in place I can still get into the center from below for derailments. The bridge section weighs about 1.5 lbs so weight is not an issue. I designed it so the two add-on sections on either side are only about 14" long and can also be lifted and moved down below the deck and out of the way.

Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/15/2013 02:51:06 AM
Message:

OK, I've been working on the side pieces to the helix cover-up and pretty well have them done but I ran out of plaster cloth. I'm going to have to go back to my local Art Supply to get some more.
The art supply store sells it cheaper then Woodland Scenics. The woodland Scenics rolls are 8" wide and the art store is 12" wide for the same price. 30% more, guess which one I chose.
Here is the photos.





Over Christmas with Visitors from Denmark and family descending on our house I couldn't get out to my LHS to get a Woodland Scenics Timber tunnel portal so I had to revert to scratch building a timber portal here is how it turned out.




Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 01/15/2013 08:54:44 AM
Message:

I think that looks better than a Woodland Secnics item. The crib retaining walls look good too.
Some of your photo bucket links are not showing up.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/15/2013 5:27:29 PM
Message:

Jon,
I couldn't find any pictures that are not working, sorry sport.

I'm going to to tread on new territory by using a new product. I want to hide the joint lines for the three helix panels. So my idea is to use some weather proofing spray foam to create overlaps to hide the joints. The trick will be to do just enough to hide the joint but not so much that the panels can't be removed.
One of the things I plan to use to make bond better is some self adhesive drywall mesh tape. The idea is to give the foam a bit more to bite and to help form the shape I'm looking for.
If you look back at my last posted photo's you'll see sin the first photo, a thin strip of blue foam between the panel and the helix landscape, this is one of the areas I'm trying to hide and blend in. If I get the opportunity tonight or tomorrow morning I'll post photos as soon as possible.
Ralph


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 01/15/2013 6:10:53 PM
Message:

Hi Ralph;
On my screen on your 1-15-2013 2:51 am post there are three boxes with the message "Sorry this person moved or deleted this image". The message shows up in Firefox and Chrome.
Oh well. Sorry I can't comment because I cant see the photos.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: jbvb
Replied on: 01/15/2013 10:24:09 PM
Message:

In your Jan. 15 post, I could see all four photos this morning, IIRC, but this evening the first three are the same Photobucket "Sorry" messages Jon reports.


Reply author: clif
Replied on: 01/15/2013 10:54:38 PM
Message:

Using firefox, only the last photo shows, the rest say;

Sorry this person moved or deleted this image.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/15/2013 11:13:33 PM
Message:

I think I fixed the problem.
I was able to see all of the photos until this afternoon and then I could see only the last one. I can finally see them again.
Ralph


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 01/16/2013 08:24:26 AM
Message:

Ralph your tunnel portal turned out really well!


Reply author: lazerman
Replied on: 01/16/2013 10:19:20 PM
Message:

I like your swing door idea vs a lift out.


Reply author: lazerman
Replied on: 01/16/2013 10:45:58 PM
Message:

wow you are well into it now ,I went thur all the pages ,nice landscaping, love the rock work.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/16/2013 11:17:21 PM
Message:

The pictures disappeared again today, so I spent two hours trying to figure out why. I narrowed it down to new software on the part of Photobucket. When you upload pics to there site all the pictures go into main album and then it's up to you to move the pictures into the desired picture album. I have an album labeled 'My Layout' and when I transferred the pics they did not pic up the album name. As soon as I added 'My Layout' to the tag they appeared on the forum.
The photo tags that we add when we post, directs the forum where to find the picture and in my case it was directing the post to look in the main album but the pictures were no there. They where in the 'My Layout' album with a wrong tag.
I've got my fingers crossed so we'll see how it goes in the next few days.
Ralph


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 01/17/2013 06:47:53 AM
Message:

That expanding foam will will work fine if you want to permanently bond those areas to together. That stuff is super sticky. I is almost impossible for it not to over expand so it will require trimming afterwords. You will have to put some saran wrap on each side of the joints you do not want permanently bonded. I have worked with this expanding foam in a can installing exterior doors and its tricky stuff. I can verify that the photos are fixed on my end.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: Twist67
Replied on: 01/20/2013 7:48:38 PM
Message:

Hi there,
I can still see the pictures and they show a great layout.Your solution for the helix is well thought and looking fine...
Great work...
Cheers,Chris


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 02/03/2013 11:24:31 PM
Message:

I'm not a lurker I just lost all my subscriptions when the site when cuput a while back. I'm glad you figured out the helix hiding, they are a great tool but can become super complicated to hide. Good job on helix and everything else.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 02/06/2013 12:12:46 AM
Message:

Jon, Chris, Lynn,
Here is the next progression of the helix bridge module, it needs a bit more work but here it is anyway.





Ralph


Reply author: George D
Replied on: 02/06/2013 07:52:04 AM
Message:

Nice job on the bridge module, Ralph. It will be nice to see how it all fits together.

George


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 02/06/2013 08:10:11 AM
Message:

Hey Ralph,your bridge scene has turned out looking really great!
Looks like the perfect place for bunjee jumpers to hang out at.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 02/06/2013 08:13:33 AM
Message:

Great looking bridge. The water is impressive.


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 02/06/2013 7:12:38 PM
Message:

Does it have a sort of bluish tinge intended to convey distance? Or is it just my monitor?
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 02/11/2013 02:31:44 AM
Message:

Now that I have the Helix Bridge Module 90% complete I can now move on to the other areas leading into that area. One area is the Helix and Gauntlet Portals, here's a before and after.





I still haven't figured how to weather between the Gauntlet rails. I know that one of those Walthers Rail Weathering pens won't fit between the rails.

The other issue I'm dealing with is a removable mountain section where the helix lower level exits. I have a turnout there and need to have access. What was it that Murphy said, "If anything can go wrong it will", and you know that if I close it up permanently it will definitely fail.
I'll try to get some pics posted of that area as soon as possible.
Ralph


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 02/11/2013 09:03:20 AM
Message:

Your rocks have a nice limestone color.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: George D
Replied on: 02/11/2013 09:50:26 AM
Message:

Ralph, have you thought about trimming the tip of the weathering pen with a razor so it will fit between the rails?

George


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 02/11/2013 12:16:21 PM
Message:

Ralph I can't help to always start at the beginning of your thread and reviewing all your work, spectactular.
If I might suggest something for the verticle sides of the helix hills, maybe some brick wall here and there and the neatest stuff I've came across is the ws polyfiber, you stretch it out give it whiteglue/water drippings and build up the ground work.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 02/23/2013 12:34:18 AM
Message:

I've been trying to get as much done as possible but got distracted. My wife's mother went into the hospital, it'll be two week on Monday.
So my time has been limited at the moment.

I had to build a new Timber Tunnel Portal and buy some more Foam board for the helix transition to the town and harbor area.



I've used the blue foam up to this point but when I went to buy more at Home Depot I could only get pink. It's not quite the same as the blue but it works.
Under the area where the Timber portal is a turnout to enter or exit the portal, so I have to create a removable section in order to access the turnout. I know if I don't do this Murphy's Law will inevitably take over.


Reply author: Twist67
Replied on: 02/23/2013 10:24:34 AM
Message:

Hi,
your work is looking very fine...I´ve never seen that foam curved like you did...Did you make cut´s on one side for it to work?

Regards,Chris


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 02/24/2013 12:01:24 AM
Message:

Chris, the answer to your question is yes. Much like you would do to bend a piece of, lets say 1" x 4" (20mm x 105mm). I sliced about 2/4 of the way through the foam and pined it in place. I then forced white carpenters glue into the cuts and let it set. I did the blue foam as one layer and the pink as two layers. As you can see in the photo the blue form the inside of the tunnel and the pink has to be strong enough to be removable.
You can see the cuts in the next photo.



I use a product called No More Nails to glue the foam together. This product come in a squeeze tube as well as a caulking tube for larger jobs.
I mentioned in my previous post about a removable section to help counter Mr Murphy's laws. The next picture shows the section removed and the turnout exposed for access. It's not quite finished but it does work as planed.



I'm not sure if I mentioned earlier in this thread regarding the use of masking tape before the plaster cloth or the Sculpt-a-Mold.
I was told by a fellow modeller many years ago that one thing that can happen is the growth of mold under your layout in a damp basement and that the application of the masking tape does two things.
First - it creates a barrier to moisture for everything above it, Plaster Cloth, Drywall Mud (Joint Compound) and Sculpt-A-Mold.
Second - it helps to strengthen the cardboard webbing used to form the base for the scenic effect we try to achieve.



All of my scenery has been done in this way. I was a little skeptical at first but when I started to disassemble my Underground Layout in the crawlspace I noticed the beginning of Mold in the very first section I built, which was without the tape. I was convinced that buddy was right.
Ralph


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 02/25/2013 5:54:13 PM
Message:

I intend to use the cardboard lattice and two inch masking tape base for my scenery if I ever get to expand my empire.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/15/2013 9:44:14 PM
Message:

Ok, I've been busy moving furniture for my mother-in-law over the past two weeks. We put here in a retirement home because she can't be alone anymore @89 and still going but needs someone checking on her regularly.
Even though my daytime hours were tied up doing that I still managed to spend my evenings doing some work on the layout. I do have to admit though I spent a lot of time creating a cell phone camera care for my Samsung Galaxy S3. I got the idea from Minute Man Scale Models who make a car for the iPhone. I'll try and get some picks up tonight even though it's not finished along with some layout progress shots.
Ralph


Reply author: Mike Hamer
Replied on: 03/15/2013 11:06:03 PM
Message:

Hi Ralph, the bridge scene is spectacular as is the scene of the two tracks heading into the tunnels. Great planning and modelling. Yours will be a great model railroad! Hey, looks like we'll be sitting near each other at the show!


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/15/2013 11:21:57 PM
Message:

Someone on this Forum talked about one of these in one of the threads, so I went to investigate.
I surfed on into http://www.minutemanscalemodels.com/Default.asp to see what they were talking about. Well to my dismay, Minuteman only makes the car for iPones not for Samsung SIII. I sent an email to Minuteman asking if they intended to make one of these cars for other phones, specifically my Samsung. I have been waiting for a reply to my email for about two months now, nothing, so I couldn't wait any longer.
I used their photo to build my cellphone camera car.



I had some scrap mini plywood pieces in my scrap bin so that is what I used.





It's still not finished, I have to install the optical mirror, that's a scratch builder's term for scrap or scrounged piece of mirror.

In my preliminary test I've found the some of my tunnel portals don't have enough clearance. I can't lower it anymore, the bottom of the camera tub is about a 32nd of an inch above the rail heads.

Mike, that's great news.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/15/2013 11:47:57 PM
Message:

OK! Here is how my Murphy's Law Removable panel is working out.





Ed Traxler got me thinking about making rocks with foam, I think I like the results. When I'm ready I'll add some various sizes of debris.



I've started to add the plaster rock work and the arcade style retaining wall. I couldn't help it though, I had to open up one of the arcades so I could see the turnout without lifting the Murphy Panel.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/22/2013 01:24:32 AM
Message:

I've added some plaster rock forms and sculpt-a-mold. I felt I needed to open the both arcades so that I could view the hidden switch. That squarish thing on the top doesn't belong there.



You can see in this photo I've also been working on the boat launch ramp. I'll post some better picture of it tomorrow.




Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 03/22/2013 06:57:35 AM
Message:

Ralph
That is a neat cell phone car and your mountain is taking shape. I will keep checking in on you progress and look forward to a video soon.


Reply author: Geezer
Replied on: 03/22/2013 07:04:20 AM
Message:

Neat idea on the phone car....you gonna make extras? LOL!


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/22/2013 11:13:05 AM
Message:

Lars and Geezer,
When I started to build the camera car I never even thought my Samsung would be too big, if I had used my wife's smart phone I wouldn't have the tunnel portal problem I'm having now.
I think I mentioned above that Minuteman Scale Models make one for the iPhone, which is considerably narrower in width, and its going for $24.95.
I it's not that I don't want to make one for you guys, I kind of wish I had never seen it.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/23/2013 12:32:30 AM
Message:

I'm still working on the helix but have been consumed by some family matters. I keep telling my wife I'm not going to get old and if I do push me in front of a bus or a dump truck. Her mom is turning 90 this year and she is quickly going down hill. She was so independent up until about January.
Enough of that, its my problem not yours.

The last time you saw my Harbor Area I have added the boat launch rails and colour to the base of the water. Here is a quick review of what I've done so far.















I Had some help here, I borrowed a bit from Troels for my boat launch ramp. But since mine is a little wider I added a rail system for the ramp.








Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 03/25/2013 10:06:23 PM
Message:

I really like those extra openings on your tunnel portal.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/29/2013 9:04:28 PM
Message:

Well guys I got distracted again, but I thought this was worth sharing.
For those of you that have any water scenes that can benefit from this, here it the intel.

I found a local company, (Osborn Model Laser cut Kits), they makes scale planes of different types.
The plane I bought was a De Haviland DHC-2 Beaver, I think you'll like it. It sells for $14.99 and comes with stickers to make it as a civilian aircraft.



Now I have to tell you that it will take a bit of work on your part sanding to shape the fuselage and the pontoons.
I had some decals in my decal file leftover from my Aviation days.





I'm very satisfied with the results.
Ralph


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 03/30/2013 8:31:19 PM
Message:

Nice little plane. You need a few oil streaks around the cowling. Those radial engines were notorious leakers.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/30/2013 9:07:55 PM
Message:

Jon,
It's interesting you say that, I thought the same thing, so I spent 2 1/2 hours going though photo after photo with no luck. Not one had any exhaust or oil stains what so ever, I even searched bush planes,they were all like new with nice shinny paint jobs.

One of the things I specialize in is weathering and it bothers me to see it so clean but it will have to wait until I get a prototype picture showing the grime, grease or rust/weathering. I learned a long time ago to work from proto photos only.
Ralph


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 03/30/2013 9:41:33 PM
Message:

Maybe people only take photos of the new shiny rebuilt ones, and not the real work horses. Maybe the new gaskets are better. Updates and fixes are created for chronic problems.
L&N nut
Jon


Reply author: George D
Replied on: 03/30/2013 10:01:35 PM
Message:

Ralph, Jon is right about the oil stains. I've flown Beavers on three continents and they all leak a little oil, as all radial do. It doesn't take much hot oil to spread onto the fuselage. It tends to gather on the bottom and if you weather the aircraft, do it lightly. Bad oil leaks should ground the aircraft and aren't common.

George


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 05/18/2013 11:49:24 AM
Message:

Well it's been a while since I posted, during my absence I attended the Ottawa Train Expo and had a great time. The boys in Ottawa sure no how to do things right. After the show on Saturday evening they arranged a layout tour of four layouts and it was absolutely marvelous.
The show itself is held in the indoor soccer field at Carleton University. I had a display of my weathered railcars and engines.
On Sunday I put on my Weathered Sign clinic which was well excepted. I networked with a lot of people and manufacturers so overall it was a great show.
I reconnected with one young fellow I met at last years show and received what I feel is the biggest compliment for my work. He attended my weathering clinic last year and was really paying attention. He has adopted my method of weathering and asked if I would weather a couple of HO vehicles for him.
I'll try to post a couple of photos later tonight.
Ralph


Reply author: Socialtrader
Replied on: 05/18/2013 11:54:32 PM
Message:

Hi,

I've enjoyed following along with your build to date - I particularly like your stone retaining walls. I’m looking forward to seeing how you handle the water in the harbor.
Also, thanks for the link to World Wide Miniatures. Hugely inspirational!

Bede


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 05/19/2013 01:31:24 AM
Message:

I promised some pictures, so here are some that Mike Hammer posted in the Ottawa Expo file on this forum.
Here is Brad, one of the Ottawa boys who was gracious enough to let me place my DeHavillin Beaver on his modified dio' of The Delwin Boatworks.







Here is a file photo of the Grimsby Ontario Station that Imagine That Laser Art puts out, I shared my table with Nick so that he could show off his work.



And finally the Tractor that I weathered for Lucas,the young fellow I mentioned above.




Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 07/21/2013 11:18:16 PM
Message:

Sorry guys I've been busy building a 1/35th German WR360 C12 diesel loco for a military book of model building.
So you're probably saying what is a train guy doing building a model for a military book. I was asked as a result of my weathering techniques.
I can't show you the the whole model yet as that was one of the agreements we signed, not until the book comes out but what I can do is show you a couple of progress shots.
This engine even though it's a static model it did not include an interior under the hood, but since I will be modeling the rear doors to the engine compartment as partially open, I had to fabricate the generator on the backe of the engine and some of the electrical cabinets.
Here is a few pics I can show you and of coarse the weathering is not finished yet.
Ralph








Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 08/22/2013 10:51:12 AM
Message:

I've been sidetracked again. At this years Ottawa Train Expo I convinced Chris Lyon (Cnlyon) to let me weather one of his BNSF SD70MAC for him. I could tell he was a little apprehensive about letting me dirty his pristine engine.
Here is the result,




Chris and his wife were here in Toronto for a visit and I presented him with his completed engine.
I think he was thrilled, judging by his comments like, WOW Lela, look at this and look here.
I think he was Happy.


Reply author: nhguy
Replied on: 08/22/2013 11:37:46 AM
Message:

Very nice weathering job Ralph. Now that looks like a BNSF engine in service! You can tell Chris there are worse ones out there I see everyday on the La Junta line. Some of the orange has faded to pink. Just look at photos of the older Santa Fe war bonnet AC4400's and SD70mac's they have not rebuilt yet.

You have a lot of irons in the fire.


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 08/22/2013 2:20:38 PM
Message:

Hi Ralph,beautiful weathering job, on that diesel!
Glad to see that the Renzetti shrinking ray gun is still operational.
BTW,your spiderman is on it's way to your house.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 08/30/2013 02:15:41 AM
Message:

Mike & Greg, thanks for your comments guys.
Greg, thanks to you Spidy has a new home.

I can finally get back to my layout!
Check this out my ebay purchase arrived today, someplace for Spidy to climb and play.
This bridge is to traverse or to go over the harbour. Unfortunately I will have to alter it to make it longer to clear the water area and make room for CN's #6 Tugboat. Thanks to John Elwood (jbelwood), he answered my cry for help and sent me the article and plans for scratch building CN #6 from RMC Oct, '99.



Looks like I have my work cut out if I want to make this fit. I'll try to add some graphically altered photos to indicate my intentions.

Thanks guys,


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/01/2013 12:54:17 AM
Message:

Well I put the side frames together to check and see how much longer I have to make it.
I think it's going to work if I can get the Manufacturer to send me a few extra parts, of course I would pay for them.
The only questions I have is;
- Since I have single track mainline do I narrow the double track bridge to single track?
- Do I replace the deck with Plate Girder?
I open to suggestions.
Ralph






Reply author: dallas_m
Replied on: 09/01/2013 08:10:11 AM
Message:

No idea how to answer your questions ... but I think that shape is going to frame your scene VERY nicely!


Reply author: nhguy
Replied on: 09/01/2013 1:36:56 PM
Message:

That will frame the scene well, I agree. You could build it as a double track bridge and 'suggest' that at one time there was another track. You can see this on railroads everyday today with double track bridges with just a single track on them.


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 09/01/2013 7:52:54 PM
Message:

Ralph, this is the first time I’ve run across your layout. I guess the name through me off. It’s quite impressive. I’ll have to make a note of it and keep in touch. BTW great trackwork.


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/01/2013 8:35:18 PM
Message:

Hey Ralph,wow that's quite the bridge!
Perhaps I should have sent you some Bungee jumper figures too!


Greg Shinnie


Reply author: Empire of the Air
Replied on: 09/01/2013 9:14:36 PM
Message:

Ralph,

I would replace the deck with a plate girder for a more North American look. The bridge reminds me of one I saw on the old BC Rail line many years ago, I think on the electrified section.

I also agree with leaving it double tracked to suggest either there was a second line in the past or there will be one in the future...

Regards,
Wallace


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/04/2013 01:50:55 AM
Message:

Well guys, thanks for the input. I decided to keep the double deck and also add some plate girders.
Wallace the bridge that inspired me was also a bridge in BC on the CP line at Golden, it's called the Stoney Creek Bridge, here is a photo.



I found a guy on the internet that built this bridge with a 3D printer, the only problem is he wanted over $1000 for HO here it is below.



So I decided to go with double track instead of single. The second track could double as a passing track.
The bridge abutments are stone and are very Euro looking so I will have to do some creative scratch building in the same stone as the harbour walls. One of them will need a arch to allow my harbour track to pass through.The other end will be a straight up stone bent that will also support a through truss approach to the arched bridge.
Needles to say I have my work cut out for me.

Greg,
That's a good idea, never thought of bungee jumpers. Maybe even Spidy, but that's for later.

Frank,
I'm glad you found my layout build and please follow along. Thanks for the compliment.

Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/09/2013 02:00:19 AM
Message:

Well here's where all the bashing starts.
It's taken a few days now to build this bridge to this point. Now that it's together and larger then life so to speak, it still looks like a European bridge. My thought here are to add some plate girders on the top something like the Stoney Creek bridge above.
The bridge abutments are going to be a real challenge. The current track sits 8 5/8" above the regular benchwork and 11 1/4" above the harbour floor, and then there is the existing trackwork around the harbour that I have to work around.
Here is the bridge so far.





OK, so I still don't feel confident enough to leave as is so what I have done is add a 1"x 3/4" channel and epoxied the plate girder to the sides of the channel. This way I can glue the girders to the plastic deck the aluminum channel will give additional support to the bridge.



Now the real fun begins with the abutments and a Through Truss to the left leading up to this bridge. In the first and last photo above you can see the board that currently supports the rail that will be replaced by this bridge.
I'll try to get some pictures of the kit abutments tomorrow.
Ralph


Reply author: elwoodblues
Replied on: 09/09/2013 09:21:49 AM
Message:

Ralph,


Bridge is looking good and will be a focal point on the layout. To make it less "European" looking you could att the bents between the top part and the curved part as shown in the photo of the Fraser Valley Bridge shown above.


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 09/09/2013 09:33:56 AM
Message:

Hi Ralph,I agree with Ron,I think adding some bents between the top part & the curved part would make it look more North American.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: jbvb
Replied on: 09/09/2013 10:00:16 AM
Message:

When working with the plate girders, keep in mind that the depth of the girder is proportional to the span & the load - ME's 50' (which it looks like you're using) isn't as deep as CV's 72'. Individual girders only need support at their endpoints. Vertical bents could replace the truss end spans entirely if you wanted.

Also, whatever you build for piers will look best if it is made to take the horizontal thrust that the angled side trusses will generate. The Stoney Creek arch is bedded in rock at both ends. Hell Gate in NYC is an example of a freestanding arch; its piers are quite substantial.


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 09/09/2013 10:57:46 AM
Message:

Ralph I also agree with Ron and James regarding the addition of the vertical bents, and having substantial concrete piers supporting the horizontal and vertical loads of the bridge. I am looking forward to your solution.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/09/2013 12:40:52 PM
Message:

Hey guys, thanks for the input.
I don't think these pictures really convey the actual size of this mother of a bridge. It is 37" overall.

James,
You stated it looks like I'm using 50 foot girders but in actual fact what I have sitting on top this thing is three 80 foot ME sections.

I agree with you all on adding vertical bents on either end to make it look more North American.
I have a lot more work to do.
Ralph


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 09/09/2013 7:07:55 PM
Message:

Ralph, you've got the tiger by the tail.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/09/2013 10:35:33 PM
Message:

Thanks Frank but that Greg's Magic Shop thread.
Just kidding, I know what you meant.

Here is what the kit abutment looks like and what I want to rebuild to suite my trackwork, without the little finger stones.



Here is the bridge held in place with some twist ties and the plate girder in place.



I mentioned that to the left was going to be a Through Truss Bridge leading into my helix, so here it is, temporary of course.


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 09/10/2013 07:02:24 AM
Message:

That is an impressive bridge.


Reply author: Mike Hamer
Replied on: 09/11/2013 11:22:59 PM
Message:

Way to go, Ralph! You're bridging the gap in tremendous style!


Reply author: Mike Hamer
Replied on: 09/11/2013 11:29:01 PM
Message:



Say Ralph! In no time at all, this fabulous looking puppy will be able to cross the bridge. I gotta tell ya...the 125 people at OVAR's dinner Tuesday night were drooling over your weathering abilities while looking at the display stand! How will ya tackle the weathering of the bridge?


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/12/2013 01:29:55 AM
Message:

Larry, it will be something to look forward to seeing when you come home next.

Mike, I glad to see Chris is enjoying his newly weathered engine. He's obviously proud of it to be showing it off at the OVAR Dinner. Did they have a show and tell type of thing?

I'm getting sidetracked again, the FSM Expo is coming up in November and I decided to enter the 2"x 2" diorama contest at this years Expo. Two by Two any subject as long as its railroad related.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/15/2013 02:18:55 AM
Message:

Here's a sneak peek of the 2" x 2" diorama.
This is just rough at the moment.



It still needs to be painted and landscaped.
I can't tell you the theme or what its about without giving it away, so you'll just have to wait till Nov. 8th or there after.
Ralph


Reply author: elwoodblues
Replied on: 09/15/2013 11:04:51 AM
Message:

Looks interesting. Seeing as the cab is open, will it have a full interior?


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 09/15/2013 11:36:25 AM
Message:

Operation Life Saver? Or will it be coming out of an underpass?


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 09/19/2013 02:06:20 AM
Message:

Maybe Larry,

Here's a bridge update.
I have epoxied the Girders to the aluminum channel and have started to deconstruct my harbor walls to make way for the concrete foundations for the bridge.






Reply author: elwoodblues
Replied on: 09/19/2013 09:20:00 AM
Message:

Those concrete foundations are going to be massive.


Reply author: northern6400
Replied on: 09/19/2013 10:06:53 AM
Message:

Looking forward to seeing the final Installation.


Reply author: Empire of the Air
Replied on: 09/19/2013 10:16:12 PM
Message:

Ralph,

Looks good!

Wallace


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 09/20/2013 11:12:33 AM
Message:

Holy Smokes there Andy, that’s some piece of hardware.



Kind of on par with this one.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/07/2013 01:30:20 AM
Message:

Thanks Frank, Wallace, Chuck & Ron for your support and approval.

I have been working hard to get the bridge supports just right.



I got one of them done, I just have to figure out how to do the bi-level concrete caps.



If anyone has any ideas on how to do the concrete caps, I'm open to suggestions. At the moment the cap that you see is foam core board.
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/10/2013 9:06:37 PM
Message:

I can't stand not having track to operate trains so I'm working to get that resolved as soon as possible. So as soon as these bridge piers are done I have to build a Hunterline 75' Howe Truss that will allow for the transition from the 6' Micro Engineering Girder Bridge.
So here's a pic of the right side pier.



One of the decisions I made when I started this layout was to use code 100 Flex track and the ME bridge track is not available in 100 so I'm forced to make the transition from one to the other, the only problem is I can't find 100 to 83 rail transition joiners anywhere. I've tried three hobby shops and the internet with no results.
Does anyone have 8 that I can buy or maybe someone know a trick using code 100 joiners.
Ralph


Reply author: jbvb
Replied on: 10/11/2013 07:33:44 AM
Message:

I showed how to do it without joiners here: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3878&whichpage=8

I'm not sure what to do if you need to be able to disassemble the joint later - even the made-for-the-purpose transition joiners won't slide out of the way like conventional joiners.


Reply author: MarkF
Replied on: 10/11/2013 09:37:40 AM
Message:

Ralph, your making great progress. As it concerns the railjoiners, I never buy them. I make my own as well, using pretty much the same technique as James. I slide a Code 100 railjoiner halfway onto a piece of Code 100 track. Then using a pair a needle nose pliers, I flatten the other half. I test fit the Code 70 side, making sure the railhead height is the same. Sometimes you have to file down part of the flattened side to get the railhead height to match up. Then I solder it all in place. I've never had problems with this approach.


Reply author: nhguy
Replied on: 10/11/2013 6:05:08 PM
Message:

Ditto! I do the same with code 83 to 70. It's coming along quite nicely Ralph.


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 10/11/2013 8:17:56 PM
Message:

Ralph, it looks like you have a handle on the bridge to pier connection. Can’t wait to see the first train over the new system.


Reply author: Carl B
Replied on: 10/11/2013 8:51:10 PM
Message:

Wow! Talk about BIG?!

Amazing project Ralph!


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/11/2013 10:19:58 PM
Message:

Thanks guys for your input regarding the concrete, but I was hoping to get an answer a little quicker so I sent a couple of PM's out and got some neat ideas. Thanks Frank and Larry.
While I was waiting a found a jar of textured paint my wife was throwing out. So I put on a couple of coats and then applied a coat each of some Model Flex acrylic paint, 16-11 Concrete Gray and 16-103 Armor Sand.



OK, so be honest do you think it looks good?
I can take it!
Ralph


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 10/11/2013 10:41:45 PM
Message:

It is a good start. Once you weather it it will be great.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 10/11/2013 11:38:04 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Carl B

Wow! Talk about BIG?! ...


Carl B,
The Bridge is 9.25" tall and spans 37", it's 7.25" longer then my wooden trestle. Thanks for the Thumbs-up.

quote:
Originally posted by BigLars

It is a good start. Once you weather it it will be great.


Larry,
Thanks but the weathering won't start for a long while, I still have a lot of railroad to build. Who knows, maybe the bridge will rust and the columns will weather on their own.

Ralph


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 10/12/2013 09:03:38 AM
Message:

By Jove I think you’ve got it.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 11/04/2013 01:42:48 AM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by CN6401

Here's a sneak peek of the 2" x 2" diorama.
This is just rough at the moment.



It still needs to be painted and landscaped.
I can't tell you the theme or what its about without giving it away, so you'll just have to wait till Nov. 8th or there after.
Ralph


OK, here's an update.
In keeping with the time of year, ("Halloween") I chose to make this a "Train Time is Anytime" and I hope I never have to alter another HO figure again. I took a WS figure and cut off her limbs and rearranged the to a sort of spread eagle and then used some two part resin to make the clothing. Even the broom was an achievement. Wow, that EZ-Line is great stuff.



I was hoping to get some 'F' unit decals in CN Yellow, Black and Green. But for some reason Microscale couldn't come through so I had to mask and paint.
Remember 'Train Time is Anytime'.





If your going to Expo you'll see my finished Dio.
Ralph


Reply author: dallas_m
Replied on: 11/04/2013 02:07:07 AM
Message:

Awesome! Hilarious ... and great job on those figure modifications!


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 11/04/2013 07:16:41 AM
Message:

Ralph,
That is very funny.


Reply author: elwoodblues
Replied on: 11/04/2013 07:37:43 AM
Message:

Love it.


Reply author: George D
Replied on: 11/04/2013 07:51:57 AM
Message:

Very clever.

George


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 11/04/2013 08:21:39 AM
Message:

Very funny Ralph!
All you need now is a Jack-o-lantern with an engineers cap on inside the cab.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 11/04/2013 10:34:56 AM
Message:

that's great Ralph, how about an orange headlight.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 11/04/2013 11:33:58 AM
Message:

I'm glad everyone likes my Witch. Thanks for the comments.
I may regret saying this, but, "Women Drivers"!

Greg,
Wished I had shown this to you sooner, I like your idea but its a little too late.

Frank,
I also like your idea but I already have an regular LED glued in with an on/off switch in the base.

Ralph


Reply author: boomer44
Replied on: 11/04/2013 9:27:10 PM
Message:

Ralph,

Quite original thought. Looking good. Definitely thinking out of the box.

Gordon Spalty


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 11/06/2013 11:37:52 PM
Message:

Well, here is a picture of the finished 2 x 2 dio just before I knocked over a bottle of dark stain. All over my desk, computer keyboard, carpet,file cabinet, myself and worst of all the diorama.





It just took me two hours to clean it up. Thank god for carpet tiles and lucky for me it came off my diorama, almost all came off. I think what is left on the base has enhanced it.

For those going to the expo, see you there and for those that aren't, I'll try to post some pictures while I'm there.
Ralph


Reply author: BigLars
Replied on: 12/11/2013 10:56:54 PM
Message:

How did I miss the end of this story? Very cool use of a few square inches of space.


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 12/11/2013 11:30:56 PM
Message:

Ralph you've come a long way since tackling the helix , nice workmanship.


Reply author: LynnB
Replied on: 12/13/2013 07:28:48 AM
Message:

Ralph I'm always intrigued by your layout and only in my last page 1 did I wonder how large is the actual room or rooms that your layout is in? There's a lot going on.


Reply author: Mike Hamer
Replied on: 12/13/2013 09:40:19 AM
Message:

That was the wicked witch gettin' back at ya, Ralph...the spill that is!

The layout is coming along beautifully. Sure glad the Ottawa Train Expo is back on so we all can work together on our modelling. Should be tons of fun!


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 12/31/2013 01:37:18 AM
Message:

Thanks Mike,
Well the FSM Expo is over and I'm disappointed they didn't like my Witch on a Broomstick.
I entered it in the 2" x 2" category I asked specifically how strict the 2" square rule was, I was told nothing can extend beyond the 2" by more then .125".
Here are the winners,
First is the fish seller,


Second is a Crane and the track itself is 2x2 with an overhang of over 1"


Third


I guess they are still sensitive about the old which hunts in Massachusetts even though it was just after Halloween I guess they didn't like my Witch on a Stick. At least I thought it was amusing and more interesting then a bunch of guys looking at fish.
If anything third place deserved better then third, I actually felt it should have been first. Done and over with I'm moving on.

My next post will be layout related.
Ralph


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 01/02/2014 11:08:50 AM
Message:

Bum deal, that witch was hilarious. Nice crane but it should have been disqualified, 2” is 2”.


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 01/02/2014 9:54:37 PM
Message:

Ralph,how is your massive bridge project coming along?
Ditch that witch,that's so last year now!
We need some construction updates!

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/02/2014 11:47:57 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Ensign

Ralph,how is your massive bridge project coming along?
Ditch that witch,that's so last year now! We need some construction updates!
Greg Shinnie


Greg, your right!
OK, here is the scoop. I've been working on the bridge piers and the transition points from ground to bridge and back.
I have to make the large bridge removeable so that I can work on my HO town and access the hidden track if needed, so on the left side is an 18" Through Truss bridge that shares a pier with the large bridge, on the right is a Curved Wooden Truss with two small bents(to be made) and to the right of that is a 12 7/8" Hunterline Wooden Howe Truss bridge that leads into my 6 ft long plate girder bridge and they will have to share a pier as well.



















I'll have some more soon.
Ralph


Reply author: grlakeslogger
Replied on: 01/03/2014 01:52:00 AM
Message:

Ralph, that looks positively awesome! Massive too ...


Reply author: George D
Replied on: 01/03/2014 08:39:50 AM
Message:

The bridge with the stone abutments makes a very impressive model.

George


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 01/03/2014 10:13:04 AM
Message:

Ralph,that looks spectacular already!
Quite a feat of model railway engineering that you have in the works there!

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/06/2014 01:05:31 AM
Message:

My next piece of trackwork wiring will be the Fast Tracks Double Cross over.
Here is the wiring diagram I got from Tim at Fast Tracks.



It's bad enough that the big bridge has broken the continuous loop, if I don't get the frogs and diamond of the double cross over done I can't run trains when the bridge is finished.
Ralph


Reply author: dallas_m
Replied on: 01/06/2014 04:52:06 AM
Message:

Really like the way the bridges are framing the scenes! Kinda giving me a "John Allen moment" there ... good stuff!


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 01/06/2014 11:47:23 AM
Message:

Yikes, atsa’some bridge. The stone work looks terrific; you need to post some of those pics in this month’s photo section on stonework.

I'll pass on the wiring.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/24/2014 01:55:29 AM
Message:

Thanks everyone for your comments!

quote:
Originally posted by Ensign

Ralph,that looks spectacular already!
Quite a feat of model railway engineering that you have in the works there!
Greg Shinnie



Greg, I'm working hard to make it look as realistic and believable as I possibly can.

quote:
Originally posted by dallas_m

Really like the way the bridges are framing the scenes! Kinda giving me a "John Allen moment" there ... good stuff!


Dallas, thanks for the comparison even though its a fleeting moment, Thanks

quote:
Originally posted by Frank Palmer

Yikes, atsa’some bridge. The stone work looks terrific; you need to post some of those pics in this month’s photo section on stonework.


Frank, did you expect anything less from an Italian. Stonework is in my blood, literally. My Dad was in the monument business and I worked for him for a few summers.
Don't worry I think I got the wiring. I wired it above the layout now all I have to do is install it under the layout and test it again.

Thanks guys!
Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 01/24/2014 02:08:07 AM
Message:

The next thing I'm working on is the HO town in the corner beside the helix. The idea is to model the town using some of the techniques I learned from a dear friend Earl Smallshaw on forced perspective and try to emulate Mark Dalrymple's multi-level technique he used on his corner module.







My idea is to make three or four removable town modules just in case there is a derailment under the town. So what you see here is the hand holes for access to below just in case.
Ralph


Reply author: Frank Palmer
Replied on: 01/24/2014 10:06:53 AM
Message:

Jeez, I'd better leave you alone, you have plenty of work to do.


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/07/2014 11:15:40 PM
Message:

I haven't post here for a while but that doesn't mean I haven't been working. I took a little break to take part in the S-B-M Challenge and building this Lighthouse. I've sort of put the bridge on hold while I figure out the connection to the mainland/hillside of the helix. The Through Truss goes from the main bridge, over a Highway Bride and into a tunnel portal.



I have almost completed the Lighthouse here is a couple of videos of the light beam in operation.

[URL=http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w304/rrenzetti/My%20Layout/20140303_215224_zpse8d63e33.mp4][/URL]

[URL=http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w304/rrenzetti/My%20Layout/20140303_223046_zps85fc5bec.mp4][/URL]


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 03/14/2014 11:48:09 PM
Message:

Now that I've got the Lighthouse 90% complete I can concentrate on the surrounding area.
I have used a technique that the Aussies use called Frocks.
For those that don't know the term, Frocks are made from upholstery foam. I changed the process slightly. Instead of gluing the foam in place and brushing on a soupy mix of drywall mud, I chose to use Plaster of Paris(PoP).
I would take a piece of foam by just tearing off the main piece, dipping it into a soupy mix of PoP and then place it on the layout to cure.

Drywall mud has to air dry and PoP is thermal cure product.

I let that cure overnight and then used a brush to paint on a soupy mix of PoP to seal the surface and eliminate the foam bubble look.
Here is what it looks like after its cured and dry.



Ralph


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 11/06/2014 5:26:46 PM
Message:

Here's a little bit of an update.
This summe, starting in late spring, my attention went to two major home renovations in preparation for us to host a wedding here at the house. My oldest son and his then, fiancé, decided to tie the knots here, in our back yard, with the reception in the house. Those renovation along with some alteration to the water supply lines to my pond in the garden have taken up almost all my time.
I just recently got back to working in the train room.
Just this past Monday, Chris Lyon and his wife Lela came to Toronto and stayed over for very nice visit. During our time together, Chris and I did a little interview with me and my layout as the topic.
Here are the links to the interview,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVEUDyI3G_8&list=UUULTCQtnLTx64zXBS38Rzfg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip_t90Fovfc&list=UUULTCQtnLTx64zXBS38Rzfg

It was fun and painless, I hope you enjoy them!
Ralph


Reply author: Ensign
Replied on: 11/07/2014 5:42:17 PM
Message:

Hi Ralph, great interview by Chris, and it was nice to see your layout that your working on there.
I kept looking for Spiderman, but could not see him anywhere.

Greg Shinnie


Reply author: CN6401
Replied on: 11/07/2014 11:47:34 PM
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Ensign

... it was nice to see your layout that your working on there.
I kept looking for Spiderman, but could not see him anywhere.

Greg Shinnie


I'm glad you got a chance to see my layout, a work in progress. Like Chris said, lots of stuff and until I progress a little further, no place to put that stuff.
As for Spidy, he is on a special assignment, lokking after my unfinished buildings on the backside of that wall that I talked about.
Ralph


Reply author: LandNnut
Replied on: 11/12/2014 3:42:55 PM
Message:

Great interview and layout visit video.
Thanks;
L&N nut
Jon


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