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Author Previous Topic: The Town Topic Next Topic: Beginn of a german Railroad Time 1960
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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 06/07/2016 :  3:58:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kumar,

Most of what I've read on the subject has been on a British forum:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/page-54

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 6343 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/07/2016 :  5:45:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Michael.

I checked it out. Looks very promising. I'm setting up the cutter right now and will do some testing this evening. I'm really interested in how it handles fine details.

I must admit I'm feeling a bit guilty about spending so much money ($240) on a new piece of equipment especially after just recently spending money on power tools. Luckily I have a crawlspace full of items which I am selling (electronic drums and some art and paintings which my wife is keen to get rid of!) in order to fund this purchase. Hopefully this tool will be worth the money spent.

I'll post some cut styrene parts as soon as I have them.

Here's the unboxed Silhouette Cameo:



http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 06/07/2016 6:27:48 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 06/07/2016 :  6:01:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I will be interested in how it goes for you. I've considered getting one but really need to get back to my layout and spend less time on structures and rolling stock.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 6343 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/13/2016 :  02:05:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well I've had a busy weekend working on a bunch of projects on the layout. I'm off to Santa Fe, New Mexico next week so I tried to move the various projects along as much as possible. I'm itching to start on The Town but can't start until the majority of projects are done here on The Depot. Any remaining delays are just the result of me waiting for tools, parts or materials to finish off each project.

Weigh House

I've decided to redo this building. It was a quick build originally so I'm not worried about the wasted time. Photographs don't lie and I caught enough issues with the building that made me feel that I could do better.


I didn't have any thin strip styrene to create small details so I ordered some and will continue this project when it arrives. I also sent the front step design to Shapeways to see how well they would produce such a small detail. I may or may not use those steps depending on the result and I am quite happy to build my own steps and railings if necessary.


Also, I'm trying to get to grips the Cameo Silhouette cutting machine. It will cut thin styrene and it also will cut guides which allow you to snap out details. I managed to produce some test cuts and they were very clean and precise and definitely better than anything I could have done by hand. I'm still trying to figure out some of the features but I hope to produce the frame of the weigh house with the window apertures cut out.


Windbreak Trees

Iím nearly done with this part of the project. I'm waiting for more leaves of various shades of green after which I'll will add a few darker and lighter trees to the collection. I'm going to redo the pine trees and once again I'm waiting for some dark green pine leaves to arrive before I can finish the project. Rather than go through the steps of how I made them I've once again created a little animation. The steps are described in more detail in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1xRPnU5-MQ
The trees are not perfect and I definitely want to explore tree making in more detail another time but for the moment they will do just fine.


I'm not ready to put them on the layout yet. Once the new backdrop arrives and is in place I'll be able to place them.


New Backdrop

I've been waiting for the right moment to tackle the improved backdrop. I had a couple of things to fix: 1. Errors in the photo itself - there was some blurring which needed removing. 2. Fade the roadway into the distance.

At some point I would like to write a proper article about creating backdrops in Photoshop but for the moment I'll just post some of the design stages of the latest version.

Although it's my job to know how to use Photoshop I'm not an expert. However I know my way around pretty well and I can safely say that the tools I use to do stuff can be easily be learned by anyone.

This is the original backdrop that I created a few months ago that I've been using on the layout:


For those who have not read far back in this thread the image started off as this:


And after I had manipulated it (I moved the storm, stretched the sky and duplicated scenes horizontally) it ended up looking like this:


Within Photoshop it is actually 72 inches wide by 18 inches high (i.e. full scale) and this is the file that will be printed out to exactly to those dimensions. The printers don't need to blow it up or crop it.


Ok, so with that starting point I fixed some blurring issues and then starting on the roadway.

I found a picture on line of a roadway so downloaded it and extracted it:


I then cut out a slice of the backdrop which I put into a new Photoshop file. I then added the road and printed out the result in black and white to see if I was on the right track:


I felt that was getting somewhere so after some further manipulation I printed out a color version and placed it against the layout:


I tried to match the road color and texture with the layout out road and also adjusted the position of the road. It's still not perfect as the road colors don't match but I'll wait until I get the new backdrop back before redoing the roadway to match the backdrop. I don't yet know what the final color will be until the backdrop arrives. I've sent it for printing to these folks (you can upload it on their website): http://www.posterprintfactory.com/ and the cost is around $45.


Ok finally.....

Cassette Project

Nearly done. I'm going to do a proper write-up on how to build a cassette at later date (I'm still figuring it out myself) but for now here's where I am:

The materials I was waiting for included new aluminum angle bars and new cassette handles. They arrived this week and therefore I had a complete set of tools, materials and supplies to finish the project:


Everything went together very nicely. There were a few small 'gotchas' that I won't go into right now (I'll post another animation this week) but one aspect of the project I ended up being very pleased with was the Shapeways handles: they turned out to be very sturdy, more than capable of carrying the weight of the cassette and also look great.


Anyhow after a day of drilling, cutting, banging and whatnot I ended up with a cassette that I'm very pleased with.



It carries a complete daily freight train. None of my trains will be longer than this.



I still have to finish the wiring and the dock and cradle connection and that is something I'll try to finish tomorrow.

That's all for now. I'm away to Santa Fe, NM next week but before I go I'll try figure out the Cameo cutter and may do a couple of posts this week if I make progress.

Thanks all!!


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 06/13/2016 12:36:41 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2016 :  08:10:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kumar, I'm interested in following your work with the Cameo Silhouette cutting machine. It looks like it has a use in building structures. What is the thickness of the styrene you cut?

Your cassette look very functional and nicely made. How many are you going to need>

George



Country: USA | Posts: 16062 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 06/13/2016 :  11:23:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very interesting. The cassettes look good. I'm hoping they work well. I'm also following your use of the cutter.

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5652 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 06/13/2016 :  12:31:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kumar,

Your cassette turned out nice. I am impressed by the fold-down barriers at each end. Your printed handle components look good and robust; it will be interesting to see it in action.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 6343 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 06/13/2016 :  3:28:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Kumar,

This is coming together very nicely! Lots of great ideas for when I build my elevator track. I didn't even know such a cutter was available, so thanks for the tip.

Take care,
Rob.



Country: Canada | Posts: 1199 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/13/2016 :  5:16:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
George >> I'm interested in following your work with the Cameo Silhouette cutting machine. It looks like it has a use in building structures. What is the thickness of the styrene you cut? >> George. I want to using it for building structures. UK modelers are using it to make structures such as signal boxes, as well as freight wagons and small detail parts such as windows. I think it has a wide range of potential uses. The styrene test cut was made with .5mm styrene. I'm going to test thicker pieces this week and see how well it does. If it doesn't cut all the way through then it will at least score it deep enough to snap out the piece. The cut lines are perfectly straight but may need a quick sand down to remove tiny artifacts left over from the cut.

Your cassette look very functional and nicely made. How many are you going to need? >> Probably three. There will be two freights therefore I'll need two cassettes to hold them. However I may make a third empty one to sit at the other end of the module to receive incoming/outgoing trains.

Bob >> Very interesting. The cassettes look good. I'm hoping they work well. I'm also following your use of the cutter. >> Bob, I'll power the cassette this evening just to make sure the locomotive can move along the aluminum edges. More on the cutter this week.

Mike >> Your cassette turned out nice. I am impressed by the fold-down barriers at each end. Your printed handle components look good and robust; it will be interesting to see it in action. >> Mike, as soon as I picked up the cassette containing the train one of the cars broke away and started rolling down the end. The only thing stopping it from rolling off the end was the 'drawbridge' therefore the end barriers are essential. The handles are very strong. I think they were the right choice in the end. The remaining cassettes will be built using the same handle design.

Rob >> This is coming together very nicely! Lots of great ideas for when I build my elevator track. I didn't even know such a cutter was available, so thanks for the tip. >> Rob, I'm starting the design for the module housing this week so let's see how well I can integrate the cassettes. I hope they will be an adequate solution for moving trains between modules. More on the cutter this week. So far I'm very impressed with the Silhouette Cameo.

Here is a (British) post about the Silhouette Cameo cutter for model railways: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/?st=0


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 06/13/2016 6:26:22 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 06/13/2016 :  7:21:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lots of new things, nice progress, looking really good.


Country: USA | Posts: 3042 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 06/13/2016 :  7:21:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A little color manipulation on the road and you nailed it again.

Frank

Country: USA | Posts: 5858 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/14/2016 :  3:22:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bill >> Lots of new things, nice progress, looking really good. >> Thanks Bill, plenty more on its way.

Frank >> A little color manipulation on the road and you nailed it again. >> Frank as soon as I have the new backdrop in place and have the lighting turned on I'll be able to see what changes need to be made to the road color.

Btw if anyone hasn't already seen great roadway fades, then take a look at this: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/data/INRAIL/200972503859_Image064%20A.jpg

In my opinion Tom Johnson is the master of roadway fades. There are plenty of great examples of his work online and his work has been a non-stop source of inspiration to me.


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 06/14/2016 4:45:15 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/04/2016 :  12:47:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone.

Well after a two week break (trip to Santa Fe) I was able to return to the layout and the various ongoing projects. I've been working on and off all week on various pieces but didn't want to post anything until I had some substantial progress.

Here's the list I've been working on - some items are on hold since they depend on the cassette project to be finished:

1. Weigh House - on hold (see below)
2. Cameo Silhouette - on hold
3. Windbreak trees - finished - more next week on this
4. New backdrop - on hold - it's been delivered it but I still need to fit it.
5. Cassette system - see below

So here's where I am:

Weigh house

I received back my 3D printed steps from Shapeways and they are very nice - it has a high level of detail for such a tiny object. I now realize I could have put in more texture detail (rivets, grain etc) and it would have show up just fine. Next time.

Here's the original drawing:


Here's what I got back from Shapeways:


The material is transparent acrylic which Shapeways uses for fine detail objects. It's very strong and is bendy rather than brittle. I'm sure I could have added finer details to it - I'll try that next time. The cost was $3 plus shipping which is a very reasonable cost. I'm excited about the possibilities of Shapeway but don't want to lose sight of the craftsman aspect of the hobby whereby I make as much as possible myself. It's going to be interesting seeing where I draw the line between Shapeways vs Scratchbuiling.

I'll be making another version of this building using my Silhouette Cameo but at least the steps are done.


Cassette System

This is where most of my time has been spent over the last two weeks. I'm getting to a point of completion at last and hopefully will have a solution that works across all the modules.

The project was divided up into three parts:
1. The cassette
2. The cradle
3. The dock.

Cassette

The final part of the cassette was the wiring. I wired it up in accordance with the original plan:


Here are the steps to getting power plates fitted to both ends. Simple stuff.


Cradle

I spent quite some time thinking about the cradle. Its purpose was to accurately position the cassette with the baseboard dock. If I misaligned it even slightly then I was going to have plenty of derailing issues. Also the cassette needed to be secured so that I didn't flip up. I thought about using dowels but if I made even the slightest mistake fitting them then adjusting them was going to be really tough. I decided to use Sketchup to design a cradle that dealt with some of these issues.

Here are the original drawings:




Then I had an aha moment and realized that I could have Shapeways produce these for me. I sent them the designs and got these back a week later:


I wired them up with power plates and after a little sanding down I fitted them to the cassette.


The fit with the cassette was very good - almost no sideways or vertical movement.


And finally I powered up the whole contraption - feeding power from the cradle - and ran a locomotive along the length. It ran just fine.


Dock

Now the trickest part - fitting the cradle to the layout. The first attempt ended in failure. I couldn't position the cassette and cradle and then screw the cradle down without the cradle moving out of alignment. I realized that I needed to move the layout to the desk and rebuild the dock area.


I cleaned up the dock area.


And added aluminum plates to meet the cassette.


After that fitting the cradle was easier - although I had to use nails to help me position the cradle before screwing it in place.


I've actually redone the dock plates but here's an earlier version. I filed down any slight difference between the plates and tested it. All is good, it's a little bumpy but no derailments. I just need to wire the dock plates and run a train along it. I'll try do that this week.





The nice thing about using these cradles is that they will provide a consistent meeting point on all modules. I can have the cradles made as needed by Shapeways and add them to the modules as they get built.

Anyway all remaining projects are on hold until I get the cassette project done. I just need to build the other dock and finish wiring.

More next week.

Thanks all!


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 07/04/2016 3:14:14 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 07/04/2016 :  11:09:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Youíre just rocking along building those cradles.

Frank

Country: USA | Posts: 5858 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 07/04/2016 :  11:55:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The cassettes and the cradles came out super.

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5652 Go to Top of Page
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