Author Topic: Best Of Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way  (Read 13772 times)

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shark_jj

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Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« on: May 09, 2008, 10:59:01 AM »
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Continuing the series of Interactive Clinics, I am moving on to number 3.  Rather than waiting for a calendar week, I am progressing once I see interest waning in the previous Clinic.  I can only speak for myself, but I have found these to be extremely informative as I have discovered new ways of accomplishing old tasks.  Again, my thanks to all of you who have been posting and sharing.

Topic #3 is the Right of Way.  This includes Ballasting, Culverts, Right of Way Details, and I am including Rock Casting and Carving since in most cases these are visible right along trackside.  Of particular interest in Ballasting would be techniques for securing the ballast, weathering the ballast, and any thoughts on regional differences in ballast size and colour.  Culverts and Right of Way Details is a superdetailing question and again lets us see the materials and techniques that others have used.  Everything from relay boxes, to switch stands, to lineside telephone poles.  When it comes to Rock Casting and Rock Carving the important issues are materials, techniques and colouring.  For castings in the past I have always used Hyrdrocal.  Once the casting has cured you could drive a Mack truck over it and it would be undamaged.  You don't have much working time however.  When it comes to carving this product is not useful unless you are an extremely fast worker.  There is also the question of using real rocks, who has done that, and can you share the results.   
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 04:53:24 PM by tom mann »

DKS

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 11:29:16 AM »
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I first paint the track by spraying it with tie brown, then brush on different rust color paints to the rails, and stain random ties with India ink and various thin cream-colored washes to give the ties individual character. Then I use what might be considered the "typical" process of securing the ballast. After applying the ballast and gently "arranging" it with a soft brush (this takes time and patience), I spray it with a liberal amount of ordinary rubbing alcohol. I will then apply a 50-50 mixture of white glue and water with an eyedropper. After the ballast is set, I weather it with powdered chalks.



This assortment of relay boxes includes two styrene kit parts from Green Max (far left and right) plus Micro Engineering soft metal castings (center two). They are sprayed with silver paint and dipped in Rust All. The walkway is stripwood stained with India ink; the concrete footings are carved from sheet styrene.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 04:54:08 PM by tom mann »

DKS

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 11:51:36 AM »
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For rockwork, I cast in place with Hydrocal stained with black powdered concrete dye. I will build a foundation from chunks of foamcore to keep the volume of the casting down.

[img width= height=]http://lh3.ggpht.com/dks2855/R2Kjy_wJSCI/AAAAAAAABgc/WkIpskaSrzY/s400/IMG_4185.JPG[/img]

After mixing the Hydrocal, I wait until it is about the thickness of pancake batter and then pour it into a rubber mold that has been washed with slightly soapy water. I will tap the mold to keep bubbles to a minimum. I then let the Hydrocal sit in the mold until it is just beginning to harden, and small wet cracks form in the surface when the mold is flexed. Then I will quickly press the mold in place, and hold it there for about a minute.

[img width= height=]http://lh4.ggpht.com/dks2855/R2KkzPwJShI/AAAAAAAABkc/l04nShSOzWE/s400/IMG_4553.JPG[/img]

The mold will start to get warm as the Hydrocal sets, and after a few minutes I peel off the mold. At this point the Hydrocal is soft enough to hand-carve, which I do to blend separate castings together. I use a chisel knife and just jab at the Hydrocal, breaking away irregular chunks.

[img width= height=]http://lh6.ggpht.com/dks2855/R2KkPvwJSRI/AAAAAAAABiY/07XwX7cnmEk/s400/IMG_4529.JPG[/img]

I'll remove the debris with a brush (I often keep the debris to use as talus, since it's an exact color match), and continue carving until the castings are blended. This rock face was made from five separate molds.

[img width= height=]http://lh6.ggpht.com/dks2855/R2Kk1vwJSiI/AAAAAAAABkk/e_tSnDy4cNA/s400/IMG_4555.JPG[/img]

After the Hydrocal is fully cured (I give it a couple of days), I spray it with water and begin applying dyes and stains.

[img width= height=]http://lh5.ggpht.com/dks2855/R2KlWfwJSyI/AAAAAAAABmo/7kUVtU-W8_c/s400/IMG_4606.JPG[/img]

Finally comes ground cover and vegetation.

[img width= height=]http://lh6.ggpht.com/dks2855/R2KlpvwJS6I/AAAAAAAABno/afL-qS8mGiI/s400/IMG_4620.JPG[/img]
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 11:57:17 AM by David K. Smith »

chuck geiger

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 11:54:57 AM »
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POSTED LAST YEAR IN MRF

I have learned to weather and ballast track from some great scenery masters. Louie Blachowitz from the Lehigh Valley and Keystone Model Railroad Club in Bethlehem, PA taught me the "rail brown and grimy black" track weathering method. It still works today, hit the side of the exposed and veiwed rail with Rail Brown and Grimy Black from Floquil. Airbrushing can be done after ballasting and should only be used on yard or sidings and shold be a mix of Rail Brown and Rust. Grimy Black is the closest color to the deep purplish-black you see on mainlines.

Let's get started: Rail Brown or Grimy Black can be used or cheap cans of spary primer in gray, black and rust work great.



One of the best kept secret's I have learned with two layouts, is to build up the roadbed with sifted real dirt. This accomplishes two-fold; Keeps the cost of ballast down and it gives the ballast something to grip.





I use Woodland Scenics Fine ballast in Medium Grey and Fine Cinders. Pill bottles work great for tapping and shaking the ballast (lightly between the rails and on both sides). I think people hate ballasting track because they don't get the results they started out to obtain. Keep it light and work the ballast between the rails with a medium brush.

 

In HO the best product is the 1" throwaway brush from Home Depot. The trick is to make sure the ballast and the dirt roadbed do not cover the tie tops. After tapering and brushing into place, use your finger the clean off the tie-tops.





Next comes the 70% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Hit the area liberally. The alcohol is a wetting agent that penetrates the levels of dirt and ballast.



If it looks a little rough, hit it again with the spray bottle.



Now comes the mixture of 50% water and 50% white glue. Spray it again liberally over the area.



You will need to wait 24 hours for the area to dry. Next we are going to add the grease, oil and tar mix to the roadbed. This was reccomended by Joe Fugate in his scenery articles. This is dry tempra paint from the art supply store.



Dabble the brush inside the container to pick up the paint powder. Dry brush it down the track center and only the left and right tops of the roadbed. I like to wet it with alcohol to disburse it. If you leave it dry, the trucks of cars and pick up from engines will suck it up. This also makes it darker. You can come back with some white dry paint to lighten it.





Above is the finished product and below is the prototype.



Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
ATSF/BNSF San Jacinto District
provencountrypd@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Hrp9-dhSb-Ci0stbcCpeQ

shark_jj

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 12:23:52 PM »
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When preparing ballast I have always used the couple of drops of dish soap in water technique before gluing.  I note a lot of people are using alcohol.  Do you find it a better catalyst?  Do you use it undiluted or dilute it with water?

chuck geiger

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 12:32:25 PM »
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Straight out of the bottle.
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
ATSF/BNSF San Jacinto District
provencountrypd@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Hrp9-dhSb-Ci0stbcCpeQ

DKS

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 12:34:12 PM »
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When preparing ballast I have always used the couple of drops of dish soap in water technique before gluing.  I note a lot of people are using alcohol.  Do you find it a better catalyst?  Do you use it undiluted or dilute it with water?

I use straight rubbing alcohol. I've had superior results to water and detergent.

shark_jj

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2008, 12:45:23 PM »
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thanks guys, I'm getting ready to do a lot of ballasting, so I will give it a try.

wm3798

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2008, 01:21:59 PM »
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How about the ballast itself.  We've had several discussions about this over the years...  Here's a section I did with straight Woodland Scenics fine light gray.


and another section where I blended the same material with a mixture of colored craft sand


I like the finer texture of the sand mixture, and the bits of WS ballast add some variation.  I'm not sure how to mitigate the "translucent" appearance of the sand, though.  I may try using some weathering powders to see if that helps.

For line side equipment boxes, I've used the call boxes off of HO line poles, painted silver and set on a base.  Cheap, decent looking, but only economical if you happen to have a few HO poles laying around.  Sorry no pics of that.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Dave V

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2008, 01:30:22 PM »
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Right-of-way is as much a model as our trains.  I consider it important that my layout look like the Pennsy even when trains aren't present; this is done using a well-groomed ballast shoulder, PRR-style signals, stonework for bridges and retaining walls, and PRR-style structures.

Now, the signals you see here, the NJI PLs, are clearly too big (over twice scale size), but they do establish this location as PRR without question (as do the keystone-style signage and Pennsy two-tone tan structure scheme).  Before Lee or Ed say it, I bought some of Bernie K's true-to-scale signal masts and LED signal heads to replace them.  I expect to install them this fall.

The ballast is WS fine gray blend.  Yeah, it's a bit chunky, I know...  but in person I don't find it offensive.  I weather it using dry tempera paints a la Joe Fugate.  I use Highball fine black as the cinder shoulder and for the platform for the waiting shelter.  I believe the relay case is from Railway Express Minatures.

DKS

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2008, 01:49:16 PM »
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How about the ballast itself.

I used Woodland Scenics in the WR&N pics posted previously, and I found the appearance acceptable at the time. Now, however, after having worked in Z scale for a while, I will likely switch to finer ballast in N scale.

Two alternatives to WS include Arizona Rock & Mineral: http://www.rrscenery.com/
and minitec of Germany: http://www.minitec24.de/

I chose minitec; they have a wide variety of ballast materials for most all scales. They also have an online shop and ship worldwide. The example below is handlaid Z scale track with WS fine grey on the left, and minitec on the right:



The specific minitec ballast here is 50-0321-01 Standard-Schotter Grauwacke Z. The color is a good match for what I've seen on typical Reading lines, which is what I'm modeling:

[img width= height=]http://lh5.ggpht.com/dks2855/R2KLjfwJLbI/AAAAAAAAAk0/dTDJsSN2DNE/s400/IMG_2898.JPG[/img]
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 01:58:09 PM by David K. Smith »

chuck geiger

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2008, 02:03:55 PM »
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Telephone poles: I found an LHS that has packs of some European brand for 25 cents for a pack of 5. They are a bit small, but they work. I am modeling the SP, so I broke of some of the crossbars, lowered some of the poles and have support poles to hold up existing poles. I am going to try to make some of my own soon. Any pics of your poles? Dave V-Are those HO crossbars?



« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 02:06:01 PM by chuck geiger »
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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2008, 02:08:48 PM »
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Chuck,

No, they're painted but otherwise unmodified Atlas N scale poles.

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2008, 02:21:32 PM »
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Here are some ballast shots:




It is both Woodland Scenics and Smith & Sons that was screened through a micron mesh to get pieces no larger than 3" in N scale. I have another screen for 3" in Z scale as well.

Z scale:



I also wet ballast with alcohol.

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 3: The Right of Way
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2008, 02:32:00 PM »
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I use Atlas line poles as well, but I've modified some to get some variety, and to suit particular locations.
Here's some dual poles I made to simulate a river crossing.



I simply took two Atlas poles, clipped the ends then glued them together, using some .1 x.2 evergreen strip to reinforce the joint, and to make the cross members between the poles.  I use a dark brown/black blend of craft acrylics to paint them, with a dot of white to simulate the insulators.

The WM used clear glass insulators for the most part, but my experiments using a dot of Micro Crystal Clear or clear gloss medium didn't yield results I liked, so I went with white.  I don't string wires because I feel they interfere with operations and maintenance more than they add to the visual effect.

Lee
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