Author Topic: Tehachapi, BC  (Read 200340 times)

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GaryHinshaw

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1620 on: December 27, 2018, 12:29:37 AM »
0
Thanks James!  Fresh inspiration to get back out to the "shed" and work on the layout.   With the holiday break, I decided to break out the oscillating tool again and do some more foam landform work.  To get back in the groove, I'm starting with a simple scene: the east slope of the Pass as it descends into Mojave.  At this point I'm just shaping foam panels, painting them a base colour, and fitting them into place.  Once I get the signal wiring done, I'll go back and glue these in and apply a skim coat of plaster/joint compound/sculptamold (TBD) to fill the crack and get the final surface.  In the meantime, painted foam goes a long way towards finishing a scene.  Here's the view looking towards Summit, from above the entrance to south staging:



The area around the cement plant in the background is still pending, and the mess of backdrop photos will be discussed below.  The bit of track in the lower right is part of the Loop shelf - a completely different scene. 

Here is an overview from the other direction:



The section visible in this photo is about 11' long and is intended to capture the open desert flavour of the east slope, in strong contrast to the scenery on the west slope.  It's not nearly as expansive as one might hope, but it's the best I could manage in the available space.

There are three layers of photos in this section of backdrop: the original one taken back in 2012, and two versions of a newer photo taken by my son on a trip we took a few years ago.  The new photo is much higher quality and I've been using low-cost grey-scale prints to test sizing and composition:



(I kind of the like the grey scale effect as a backdrop, but not for keeps.)  And I've been printing smaller sections in colour to test colour balance:



I think I'm finally ready to pull the trigger on a professional large-format print for this section.  In the meantime, I'm going back to the Loop shelf to tweak the landforms I put in last year and paint them the base colour.  More on that soon.

-gfh

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1621 on: December 27, 2018, 03:30:45 PM »
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Gary, that will look soooo good!
Amazing how a rough shell and a good backdrop bring a proto scene to life...
Looks like you're getting a good start into the New Year.
Hope it's a happy one for you and yours!
Otto

robert3985

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1622 on: December 27, 2018, 04:52:14 PM »
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Gary, I agree that this looks GREAT!  Very prototypical looking track alignment with long straights leading in and out of curves placed where they need to be.  Maybe eastern prototypes are different, but this "look" is very western-railroading appearing.  Can't wait to see your scenicking efforts bring this section to life...

A fine example of the excellent scenery-to-track-ratio that N-scale permits us to have.  This scene in HO would be highly impractical and not nearly as effective because our viewing distances are still the same...even though the scales are hugely different.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1623 on: December 27, 2018, 05:45:06 PM »
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Thanks Bob.  I'm really looking forward to making more scenery progress.   BTW, the track alignment on this section of the layout was inspired by this aerial photo taken from the space shuttle transport.

And thanks to Otto for the offline backdrop printing tip:  Bill Brown of LARC Products.   I'm going to drop him a line.

DKS

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1624 on: December 27, 2018, 05:55:25 PM »
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A fine example of the excellent scenery-to-track-ratio that N-scale permits us to have.  This scene in HO would be highly impractical and not nearly as effective because our viewing distances are still the same...even though the scales are hugely different.

This.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1625 on: December 28, 2018, 05:54:39 PM »
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Those backdrops look stunning.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

coldriver

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1626 on: December 29, 2018, 08:50:25 AM »
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great!  How did you manage to find a photo spot without any of those pesky windmills - seems like they're everywhere on the Tehachapi east slope?

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1627 on: December 29, 2018, 11:37:44 PM »
+1
Good question Dean: Photoshop!  (actually Gimp).  Here are a few before & after screen grabs comparing the raw panorama to the shopped one.  I also greened up the colour balance a bit because it was quite dry the summer we took these photos.







This is one reason I cut the sky out of my photos...

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1628 on: December 30, 2018, 08:15:31 AM »
+2
A little more progress to report.  Here was the state of the Loop shelf as of a few days ago:



Some of the tasks I'm in the process of knocking off now are: tape & mud the seams in the sky board (finally), sort out a better treatment of the backdrops, and finish up the basic foam land-forming. 

Sky board taping and the first two coats of mud are now done.  Re the backdrops: the tired old test print shown above finally came down and has yet to be replaced.  I repurposed some of it to size up the free-standing backdrop that separates the main Loops shelf scene from the tracks into Mojave staging (the helix) that sneak around from the right and across the back.  Here is a new mock-up of that separator:



You can see the tracks from the desert shelf coming in from the right.  The separator is a good height to block the view while being short enough to allow easy access behind it in case of stalls or derailments.  The separator photos are stand-ins until I can get back to the Loop to take some new photos, this time with a drone.  :)

I decided to arc the front of the separator as shown because it gives a much better view of the vanishing point of the desert tracks without blocking the Loop scene too much:



I may cut the height down a bit more, and I will mount another bit of desert photo with sky on the white portion.  BTW, the prototype location of the classic (and now gone) signal bridge at MP 377 is right where the end of the stack car is.  I shopped it out of my backdrop photo, as you can see here:



Now if I can just get @TrainCat2 to follow through on his plans to produce a kit of this bridge....   8)

Moving on to the back of the shelf we see the 2 Mojave-bound tracks sneaking under the scenery in the back, while the track in front of the separator is the beginning of Woodford siding, which leads to the lower deck:



Scenically, this is the most challenging section of the layout, but it is starting to take shape.  Thanks for looking - more soon.

jagged ben

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1629 on: December 30, 2018, 11:08:52 AM »
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Why edit all the windmills out of the picture if you're modeling the present era?

Looks great though.

DKS

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1630 on: December 30, 2018, 11:38:21 AM »
+1
Why edit all the windmills out of the picture if you're modeling the present era?

Well, for one thing, they'd never turn... :trollface:
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

ednadolski

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1631 on: December 30, 2018, 01:40:02 PM »
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Fantastic work as always!

Ed

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1632 on: January 16, 2019, 09:09:09 PM »
+4
Minor update to report.  Before I go much further with land-forming, I wanted to finish up the last major wiring project I have left to do: signal controllers.   I'm using the RR-CirKits Signalman boards, each of which control four 3-colour signal heads, so typically one board per control point.  So far I've installed 4 boards, with 6 more to go to complete the upper deck.  The wiring and jmri programming goes pretty quickly now, so I should be able to get most of the rest done in the next week or so.  In parallel, I sorted out a few more steps in the signal build and installation.  I have the first two signals completed (except paint) and installed on @Wutter 's base boards:



I just need to add a short pigtail to these to connect them to the controller leads (lower right) and mechanically mount them to the layout, but they are otherwise operational now.  :)


GaryHinshaw

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1633 on: January 16, 2019, 10:28:49 PM »
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Why edit all the windmills out of the picture if you're modeling the present era?

Mainly Rule #1: I didn't really want to deal with cutting the sky out around them (and I don't want to keep the sky in the photo).  Also I don't really care for how they look... even if they are Green.   :|

C855B

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Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #1634 on: January 17, 2019, 01:12:53 AM »
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I see you're facing the same dilemma I am - SA signals in a Darth Vader world. Decent vertical color colour signals are just not to be had in N, and I've had no luck convincing our friends at Showcase we need a good Type D. IIRC you had mentioned before you were wanting to model current or nearly so, but the proto's signal upgrade tied your era hands.

UP in my era was snow hoods (dimensions are different than modern Vaders), but until the availability problem is solved - hopefully by somebody beyond my own scratchbuilding efforts - I'll be sucking it up and doing searchlights as stand-ins.
...mike

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