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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Engine Wiper

Supporting Member

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  08:51:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now thatís a plan - nice job.

Country: USA | Posts: 253 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  09:28:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Love your work and very impressed with your speed in putting this beautiful diorama together.

Country: USA | Posts: 1482 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  09:57:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wait a minute - what are you going to do with the other 4-sided building?

Aside from the omission of the other 4-sidded building you're doing a dang fine job of street paving. Now aren't you glad you didn't make it 8-feet long?

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

Crew Chief

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  11:42:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been following along in the background, Carl. It's impressive.

Country: Canada | Posts: 662 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  1:00:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you Greg, Jerry, Ted, Bob, Jim, Dave, Frank and Jeff.

Greg- Drywall mud is always around the house...I can think of a lot of things to do with it!
I made the power busses that way because I wasn't sure when I was going to stop on adding more lights!
Over-engineered for sure, but it makes the soldering much easier, similar to layout power drops...

Frank- the "other" building is sitting on a shelf- left out and feeling sad.
And I am certainly glad this thing is only 2 feet long!

Country: USA | Posts: 2885 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/15/2017 :  07:10:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A curving triple stone arch wall in front is the next major scenic element, and it's going to be large, covering nearly the entire width of the dio. I couldn't find anything commercially, so I challenged myself to create it from scratch, block by block. I knew it would be a HUGE undertaking. Besides, it has 2 opposite curves in it!

I first made a 10" square of crumpled common kitchen aluminum foil framed with wood, to pour a sheet of Woodland Scenics lightweight Hydrocal. This was an experiment to see how thin I could get the sheet and, to check if the foil "rock" impressions would look any good.

My ratio was 10 tbsp Hydrocal to 3 1/2 tbsp water, that quantity just filled this form. No color tinting. I added a drop of dishwater detergent to the mixing water to help on release. I did not "wet" the foil.

I also built a separate frame with multiple rows of the exact height of the blocks I wanted for the front wall below the street. More experiments on the right side included very thin cap blocks and pilasters.

This time, I tinted the mix with some brown color paint- it only darkened it some. These forms took 2 batches of Hydrocal.

Once dry, I separated the rows, which broke into various length chunks, and chopped them into blocks. Each block is a scale 4 ft long x 18" high, or 5/8" x 3/32". A long, boring, repetitive, dusty and crumbly endeavor. The foil peeled away cleanly, and the impressions were good. Unfortunately, some cap blocks I poured were so thin they couldn't stand up to the most careful handling. Trashed. And the entire first frame pour I made was too thin, it was mostly trashed too. Oh well, sometimes, you just gotta try.

The front wall under the street will contain 3 arches. I am making the sub-wall from 4 laminations of common poster board, a total of .10" thick...- to give me a strong, but flexible backer for the "stones". I drew the arches by starting with a compass for the top curve, then just carried the left and right lines straight down. I just eye-balled their sizes. The wall is about 22" long and a bit over 2" high.

The stones around the arches themselves were too small to cast or cut individually, so I built curved forms to contain drywall mud. I was hesitant to use Hydrocal for this, maybe unnecessarily. The forms are just some thick styrene sheet. I will carve the stones in when dry.The foil was only being used to contain the mess.

Getting the soupy compound into the forms was a challenge.

Compound dried overnight and shrank (it's primary weakness), extra was added. After that dried, forms removed.

Scribed in the arch stones with the dental tool, painted and A/I stained.
For the main wall, I painted about 20 individual blocks at a time 5 different tans/beiges, then started the "choose, align and glue" procedure, in a brick pattern..I'll cook up some mortar later on...This will take quite a while....

Till next time....more of the "wall"

Country: USA | Posts: 2885 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/15/2017 :  07:16:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit sgtbob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What a GREAT start on that wall



Country: USA | Posts: 3475 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill

Posted - 11/15/2017 :  07:35:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lot of ideas + Lot of experimenting = Nice Wall! Good colors on the blocks.

Country: USA | Posts: 2288 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Supporting Member

Posted - 11/15/2017 :  07:49:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It keeps getting more interesting, applaud your skills.

Country: USA | Posts: 253 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/15/2017 :  08:21:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow that really looks great Carl. Coloring is right on.

I wonder if that's how they built the great wall in China??


"And in the end, itís 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

Dave D

Posted - 11/15/2017 :  08:51:53 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Dave D's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Just caught up on your thread Carl.

Wonderful work on everything!

This wall looks very cool.

Country: USA | Posts: 1055 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/15/2017 :  09:11:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, deck your walls with lots of arches Fa la la la la la la la
Looks like a lot of work, but the results look worth it.

Greg Shinnie

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


Posted - 11/15/2017 :  10:04:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fantastic progress on your project Carl, and your how-to on the curving stone wall arch, and the blocks, helped me on how to built myself some Beehive coke ovens. I can already see how the oven front could look. Thanks for posting.

Country: USA | Posts: 17279 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/15/2017 :  1:24:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit kebmo's Homepage  Reply with Quote
the wall is looking great!
tough way to do it, but the results speak for themselves.

if you don't know where you're going any road will get you there.

Country: USA | Posts: 1326 Go to Top of Page

David Clark

Posted - 11/15/2017 :  1:44:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, that stonework is an impressive undertaking. I know I would just cast a flat piece and carve the bricks in but you went and made each piece individually! Good on you! The look with the buildings in place holds good tidings for what is to come. Can't wait.

Country: Canada | Posts: 1087 Go to Top of Page
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