Railroad Line Forums - A "European Christmas" Diorama Build Thread
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 A "European Christmas" Diorama Build Thread
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Author Previous Topic: GIMPing a scene Topic Next Topic: DSP&P Reefer in HOn3
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Section Hand

Posted - 11/09/2017 :  9:16:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl great job on all the builds. I especially like the new wiring set up Question are you using 21000 ohm resistors? They look to be Brn, Blk, Red? @1/2 W?

In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it, thou art a fool".

Country: USA | Posts: 75 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/10/2017 :  01:59:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another great update Carl

Look forward to the base.

Country: South Africa | Posts: 2815 Go to Top of Page

robert goslin

Premium Member

Posted - 11/10/2017 :  03:17:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, really excellent build going on. You sure do work fast. I'd still only be up to building No 2. After recently visiting France, I can tell you, your muted cream & tan colours are spot on.
And as good as the internet is, visiting Europe in person is the only way to go.

Here are some shots I took around Paris. Might give you some ideas.

Looking forward to your next update.

Regards Rob

Despite the cost of living, it's still popular.

Country: Australia | Posts: 1844 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/10/2017 :  09:23:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Frank- Actually I was in Europe for 10 days, for a TV show I worked on in 1987- but I don't remember much of it!

Carter- Welcome! Thank you. Those resistors are actually 1000 ohm, 1/4 watt. Here's a handy resistor color code chart I use when I don't want to think too hard.

Wes- Appreciate that. And the base is going to take a lot of pix to explain what I'm doing.....Sheesh.

Robert- Thanks so much, good to hear from you! Those pix of Paris are very nice- makes me feel like we're on the right track.
I'll show those to the "boss".

Country: USA | Posts: 2884 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 11/10/2017 :  10:25:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Rob, by the looks of your Paris pictures Carl needs to get busy building more structures. Carls choice of colors is darn close to the real thing.

Country: USA | Posts: 4718 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 11/10/2017 :  11:57:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Having traveled to many European cities and lived in England for two years, I can say that your colors are spot on, especially for buildings in historic districts.

Like the others I eagerly await the full scene.


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

Country: USA | Posts: 3955 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/10/2017 :  6:42:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Frank- Thanks for the compliment, but I've finished up the structures. You'll see in the next update- there's no more room!

Mike- Thank you. For the first time, I actually wrote down the paint color names & combinations, in case I ever want to repeat them.
And I will get a shot of the buildings together next time, albeit on bare plywood!

Country: USA | Posts: 2884 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/10/2017 :  7:52:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
another beautiful and very practical wiring job, not to mention your excellent modeling and coloring schemes. I look forward to seeing all theses buildings lighted and showing their exquisite details...Very nice work Carl!

Nice conversion charts Carl'. Very helpful'..Thanks for sharing.


Country: USA | Posts: 5605 Go to Top of Page

ed k

Posted - 11/10/2017 :  9:00:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More color in Spain and Italy. Germany very boring in general. Parts of Greece are vibrant.
Beautiful architecture every where. They tend not to tear it down. Paris pictures warm my heart.

Country: USA | Posts: 1091 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/11/2017 :  09:20:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Ted, and you're welcome.

Country: USA | Posts: 2884 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/12/2017 :  2:22:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The base will be key to getting this much lighting on the model, and to give me access to power, at least during the construction. The bottom layer is a 23/32" sheet of BCX plywood cut 24" long by 12" wide. The top layer, which will hold up the street and buildings, is a 1/4" sheet of smooth-sided plywood. I cut the 1/4" to follow the contours of the street and water. The "back" portion of the 1/4" will be elevated approximately 2" from the base. The middle portion about an 1/8" below that, to accommodate the sidewalk and street.

The back row of 5 buildings will be on their own separate "shelf", separate from, but just behind the middle. I first supported this with lightweight balsa scraps.

Electrical is very simple, but must be robust enough to supply voltage to possibly 50 LED lights, including future street poles and the building windows. This display will be "on" a few hours nightly- or like some other decorations in our home, on 24/7 !. I used bare 14 gauge solid copper wire for positive and negative, supported with wood brackets & ran them along both sides of the street for light poles, and underneath building access spots. The gap in the front allows for three water tunnel portals.

I mounted some wood forms around the perimeter, under the buildings and along the sidewalk to contain and level the drywall compound to come. This will be carved to represent block, cobblestone and sidewalks.

The two levels temporarily shoved back together to check heights. The finished sidewalk will meet the buildings on the back shelf. That's why the two sections are separated, I can work on lighting and wiring on this middle section, and then slide the background building shelf into place. Also the front will be covered with a stone wall, which will be one of the last steps in construction to "close her up".

And at the request of Mr. Oakleaf, the completed buildings in place for a test fit ....As you can see, Darlene made a decision about the two building- the coffee house won...

A better angle on the sidewalk, the back shelf, and wiring access.

Tinted the drywall mud a reddish grey as an experiment, applied with putty knife and screeded it along the top of the "forms". My mixing of paint and mud went awry. It dried a putrid purple-ish.... -... am going to cover with a basic gray.

After thoroughly drying, began "carving" stones surrounding only the coffee house area. A ruler, the Exacto and a brush to push away the dust...is all that I used. Tedium and slow progress. This will take a while.

I painted gray over the depressing "purple" drywall mud. The rest of the base is now being carved to simulate large block following the street curve. I purchased a brand new dental tool which came in a tooth care kit from the drug store. Unlike the Exacto, a very comfortable grip. One side a thick and strong point, the other a thin and flexible point.

Drywall mud worked well, crumbles nicely, but a few areas here were too thin. My fault. But the main drawback is too much paint/water softens the top layer easily, and will fill in or obliterate your carving work. This is only a base color, and not the final look or weathering...it also needs more cracks. All "joints" were cut deeper than necessary to accommodate coloring agents, which will fill them in some...

Till next time....I need a few plaster molds...

Country: USA | Posts: 2884 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/12/2017 :  6:17:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, looks like you have definitely joined the drywall mud carvers club.
Your row of buildings looks impressive already.
And your underground electrical system looks bomb proof.
Have you thought about building a storage cover that fits over your base, for off season protection?

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 7693 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/12/2017 :  6:28:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A fine job your doing there young man!


"And in the end, its not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 10604 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/12/2017 :  10:04:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, that is some very nice carving'. Something I have trouble with. Hats off to you on such diligent & tedious work'.. Bravo'..


Country: USA | Posts: 5605 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  07:21:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit sgtbob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Carl, It just keeps getting better and better !!



Country: USA | Posts: 3474 Go to Top of Page
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