Author Topic: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')  (Read 23918 times)

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M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2012, 03:49:33 AM »
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Here's a shot of the Anderson Powerpole connectors:
 


[That's not a gang tattoo or snake bite on my right thumb, just a benchwork-building battle scar]
 
In Free-moN, the track bus wires have the red connectors stacked vertically and following the "Left Over" rule: looking from the end of the module the left track bus is over the right.
 The accessory bus connectors are black and joined side-by-side.
 At first I was crimping the inserts, but they were slipping out.
 Took me 6-8 tries before I realized I should just solder them.
 (D'oh!)
 
After drawing in the main and laying down cork, I played around with some track until the shoofly had decent curves and distance from the main:
 


Didn't want a big arcing loopy thing, but also didn't want it too close to the main.
 N scale cork roadbed, like N scale Caboose groundthrows and so many other N scale things, seem to be sized more for HO than N, so I trimmed off a little less than 1/8" from both inner sides to narrow it down just a bit.
 
In the above photo you can see some of my references: Armstrong's drawing on the right and a photo of a two-track shoofly around a four-track main that Chris333 shared.
 Lots of little details will make this pretty cool.
 
To transition from the main down to the temp siding for the work train & crew I sanded down into the foam to create the grade and then laid a short section of cork into that:
 


A bit of sanding tomorrow will smooth the cork out.
 
So here it stands tonight as the caulk cures:
 


Looks a bit boring, but that's because it's flat and it looks more like a passing siding.
 The main will have track taken up around the start of the shoofly, effectively isolating it, and all the scenery will be carved out of the foam.
 The stream will be around where the UTP panel is, so there'll be about a 9" section of that main missing.
 
I also want the main and the shoofly track to be slightly different, with the main older and the shoofly newer, so I need to figure out how to represent that.
 Was thinking maybe having the main a basecoat of grimy black with the Free-moN standard grey ballast while the shoofly is rail/tie brown on the dirt bulwark, but I'm definitely open to suggestions.
 
Tomorrow, while my wife & daughter are at Japanese school in SF, my son & I will embark on Quest For Dirt: the stuff that's around here that I used for Mt. Coffin & Columbia River is a little dark. The perfect dirt is actually just across the street right next to the BART tracks, but I'm not climbing that barbed-wire fence to get it.
 Hopefully there will be some good tannish dirt at some local parks, so we can scoop dirt between games of tag and frisbee (supposed to be another 70 deg "winter" day: gotta love California!)
 
Comments and suggestions always appreciated.
 Thanks for looking & reading.
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
http://sv-free-mon.org/

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2012, 02:40:40 AM »
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With the cork caulked down & sanded, I gorillaglued four pc board ties to the ends of the module:
 


I had soaked the cork & endplate area with woodglue, so that was rocksolid, and with the gorillaglue that track wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
 Seems the pc board ties drifted a little to the right under the weight while curing: the black marks are the actual track centerline (nothing some cosmetic surgery can't fix way later).
 
I also spray-painted the area that will be under the turnout Floquil grimy black: as Floquil is a solvent-based paint and will attack the foam, I taped off the area around the cork.
 Even still, you can see a little hole on the left reminiscent of the affect of the alien's drool through the Nostromo's deckplates.
 
Also drilled 1/8" holes for the Bullfrog throwbar actuator rod as well as for the wire to power the frog.
Probably should have soldered the frog wire before laying the track (D'oh!), but it'll work out fine.
 
Laid down some caulk, but left some space on either side of the gap between the sections to lay down some gorillaglue:
 


[The section line is at the 11 o'clock position]
 
I love gorillaglue (must be the funkey monkey in me).
 
Tacked everything down with T-pins, got everything aligned (thank goodness for caulk having a long working time!), and then soldered the ends:
 


I had already sanded the cork flush with the endplate.
 The rails stick out about 1/16", and I'll carefully file or dremel those later after everything's cured.
 I really hope it matches up to the other modules.
 
So all of the operational track is down and the caulk is curing:
 


[the weights are holding down the section being gorillaglued at the section seem]
 
I probably won't lay down the mainline track until I carve out the stream and figure out how "built" I want the abutments.
 (Right now I'm leaning towards one done and the wood frame being taken down while the other is still encased).
 
Also, my son & I had a successful Quest For Dirt--found primo tannish dirt right across the street from our LHS!--so we baked some while playing Monopoly, sifted it, so I'll see how it looks soon on a test diorama.
 
But tomorrow I'll install the Bullfrog for the turnout, drop some feeders to the bus, and hopeful have some trains (or a train) running by the end of the day.
 (too bad the only place they can go is a 666 scale-foot drop to the concrete)
 
Thanks for looking.
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
http://sv-free-mon.org/

C855B

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 02:38:07 PM »
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Quote
I love gorillaglue (must be the funkey monkey in me).

Yep. Good stuff. I'm using it on my own module project, but for the module base. My biggest issue is when you're using it for structural stuff in lieu of mechanical fasteners you really don't want to disturb it until fully cured, and that can be 24 hours. Slows the project down quite a bit when you're having to wait for one bit of joinery to set before working on the next. Hopefully I'll be able to show a pic or two of the progress next weekend. Right now it's a bit amorphous.
...mike

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M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 04:38:05 PM »
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So track is caulked, cured & secured to the roadbed.
 I dropped in the feeder wires, and managed to sneak the frog wire next to the guard rail:
 


Doubt anyone will see it in a couple weeks.
 Test car rolls through smooth everywhere.
 
Went to cut the rails where the two sections meet and found out why you should wear safety glasses:
 


The thin Dedeco cutting disc grabbed some gorillaglue I guess.
 The other part bounced off my forehead (no cut or bleeding).
 I wear glasses anyway, but next time I think I'll slip some safety goggles over them.
 
The Dedeco discs are fragile, but do give a nice thin cut:
 


See also the isolation gaps on the frog in the first picture.
 
So I wired everything up using suitcase connectors for the feeders to the bus.
 Also installed & wired the Bullfrog:
 


Everything worked great until the frog wasn't getting power in only one direction.
 Took awhile with the multimeter to figure out that one of the suitcase connectors failed.
 Changed it & everything was ready to roll.
 Which means: TRAINS!
 

Time to get serious about scenicking!
 Thanks for looking.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 05:02:40 PM by M.C. Fujiwara »
M.C. Fujiwara
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seusscaboose

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2012, 04:52:56 PM »
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mmmm..... TRAINS....
"I have a train full of basements"

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nscalemike

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2012, 06:22:19 PM »
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This is really coming along and I can't wait to see your scenery work, it's going to be great!  Giving my some ideas on one area I have free . . .

Do you have an era or location in mind or did I miss that earlier?

Mike

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2012, 07:26:26 PM »
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Loving the status updates.

Zox

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2012, 07:26:42 PM »
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Nice, clean work. I'm jealous. Nobody will see the feeder wire "in a couple of weeks"?--I can barely see it in your photo now! :)

The Dedeco discs are fragile, but do give a nice thin cut:
 


Are you planning to put anything in the rail gaps, to make sure they don't close up and short out? We've used gap-filling superglue to seal some "air gaps" on one of our club's modules, and it's worked pretty well so far. (Normally we require insulated joiners--this was a retrofit situation.)
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davefoxx

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2012, 08:20:56 PM »
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Are you planning to put anything in the rail gaps, to make sure they don't close up and short out? We've used gap-filling superglue to seal some "air gaps" on one of our club's modules, and it's worked pretty well so far. (Normally we require insulated joiners--this was a retrofit situation.)

I always had success gluing a scrap piece of styrene in the gap and lightly filing it to match the rail profile.  It disappeared after the track was painted, except for the little white spot on top of the railhead where the paint came off when I cleaned the railheads after painting.  Oh, did I mention you should probably use black scraps of styrene?  :D

Looking great, M.C.!  I can't wait to see you begin to rough in the scenery forms.

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M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2012, 09:57:51 AM »
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Thanks, guys.
Mike: Most Free-moN stuff is "modern", but I'd like to make this as era-unspecific as possible.  Of course the type of bridge being built will tip off some time. 
I'm leaning towards Marin / Sonoma, as it's SF Bay Area, I love the green, and it'll give me an opportunity to try out a lot of different static grasses as well try my hand at a vineyard.
Something in the ballpark of:









Rob & Dave: thanks for the tips on filling the railgaps.
The cut I showed is at the point where the two sections of the module butt together, so 1) don't want to fill it and 2) don't need to fill it: even if the rails touch they're the same polarity and are hooked up to the same track bus underneath.

With the same thin cuts in the turnout to isolate the frog: I've had turnouts in the garage for over a year in a wide range of temps (under 30 to over 110) and never had a problem with that gap closing.

Last night I started building a 4"x24" clamp-on extension / staging: it'll allow me to 1) run more than an engine into the siding and 2) act as a test diorama for paint, dirt, & static grass combos.
Should get that done today.
Thanks again for all the feedback and tips.
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2012, 11:48:03 AM »
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I've always thought the tracks up around Napa and Sonoma are pretty cool. That's the California Northern now, right? I've seen the tracks off in the distance both of the times I've been to the valley, but never had a chance to really explore them.

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2012, 12:20:10 PM »
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Went to cut the rails where the two sections meet and found out why you should wear safety glasses:
 


The thin Dedeco cutting disc grabbed some gorillaglue I guess.
 The other part bounced off my forehead (no cut or bleeding).
 I wear glasses anyway, but next time I think I'll slip some safety goggles over them.

Very nice work, sir, I am envious. Regarding this incident, my suspicion is that it wasn't glue the disc hit. The track is laid on a slight curve; if the flex was not pre-shaped by over-bending it beforehand so that it attained a curve in its relaxed state, then the rails were (are) under tension. When the disc made it through, the rail attempted to straighten back out again, and likely pinched the cutting disc. You may want to check the rail at the back of the photo below; there appears to be a very slight kink evident at the cut, plus some deformed plastic spikes, likely due to the force of the cutting disc snapping. It may not cause any problems, or it might lead to spikes snapping near the ends of the rails over time.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 12:57:27 PM by David K. Smith »

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2012, 02:29:05 PM »
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Thanks, David, for pointing that out.
You're right about the rail on the curve.
Usually a put a little dab of gorillaglue or CA where the rails touch the ties around the area I cut (especially on the sliding rail).
Totally forgot about that while excited that the caulk / gorillaglue under the ties was cured and so I'd be running trains soon.
I went back and secured the rails & ties around the cut.
There's a slight visual off-angle, but everything runs through fine.
Another thing I hope disappears into the ballast / dirt . :ashat:

Thanks again, and feel free to keep the "oops report" coming.
I get way too excited about building and so usually skip a couple steps (just count the number of "D'oh!s in this thread so far: could be a new drinking game  :facepalm:)
Cheers!
M.C. Fujiwara
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M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2012, 09:58:14 PM »
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So now I have an operating Free-moN module, albeit a "pinkfoam prairie".
 While waiting for the caulk under the foam to fully cure (takes awhile as there's no air down there), I set about constructing a 4"x24" detachable extension so I can "stage" as well as have room to use the siding:
 


All built outta scrap wood, and will just clamp on (though I may drill one hole for a dowel later).
 The vertical support is off-center to allow space for the wires to pop out of the endplate hole:
 


The triangular gusset is centered, though.
 
I ran a section of buswire under the extension with Anderson powerpole connectors on one side and U-prongs on the other (after about a 2' length of wire) to connect to either a DC powerpack or DCC panel.
 Caulked some pink foam strips on either side to create some low landforms to both prevent cars from falling the 666 scale feet to the concrete as well as give me more "test diorama" to try out different scenery techniques:
 


[You can see the bus & suitcase connectors for the feeder wires at the bottom of that picture]
 
The turnout I found in the parts bin that I made probably three years ago when I was just starting out back in the hobby, so needed to refurbish it a bit.
 Spray painted the "main" grimy black while the siding is "rail brown": never used that before, and seems a bit too brown. We'll see.
 
I just put down a layer of the "new" dirt my son & I found this last weekend, as well as some old dirt, gravel, and ballasted the tracks.
 After it dries I'll post some more picts.
 
Also "built" a small hill out of scrap foam & caulked it down:
 


[Even after benchwork is completed, your drill and circular saw come in handy!]
 
I'm guessing I'll carve about 80%-90% away to create a gentle hill (it'll look taller, too, as the surrounding foam will be carved to slope down & the stream goes next to it), but my experience with the mountains of Mt. Coffin taught me it's easier to get the foam in way taller than you think at the beginning, because you can always carve it down faster than adding foam can cure.
 
And a video showing off my curves with a lovely Spielbergian crane shot dropping down into the extension:
 

Thanks for looking.
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
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M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: "Shoo-Fly" Free-moN Module (2'x6')
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2012, 09:12:54 AM »
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Detachable extension with first layer of ground cover:
 


Mostly tan dirt with some older brownish dirt, gravel and some cinders here & there.





The ballast is WS fine grey ballast with some fine-sifted gravel mixed in (60%-40%??) to break up the uniformity of the WS ballast color & texture.
 Let me know if it needs more gravel or something else.
 
The siding ties are darn bright brown, so I'll be weathering those a bit.
 Goody bag of static grasses & foliage from Scenic Express comes on Friday, so will get to play around with greening up the sides soon.
 
Today's task: figure out what I want to do in the "orchard" area. If I'm going to model Sonoma, I guess I could have a lush vineyard (pun intended) in contrast to the dead one by the old barn, or I could make it a waterfront boat launch (with the stream coming to feed the river just off-layout), or I could go with some other type of crops.
 I've always liked the Tamales Bay Oyster Company siding from the old North Pacific Coast line (interesting industry, waterfront), and the tracks have been torn up long ago but the grade is still visible (and part of the picknick area now), but I think I'll save that for another project.
 So feel free to suggest any Sonoma / Marin crops or scenes for me to consider. Brainstorming is good.
 
Will be pouring over moocho pictures today and will try to compose the module's scenery in my head (talk about a blank slate!).
 See you when I return
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 09:14:40 AM by M.C. Fujiwara »
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
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