Author Topic: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"  (Read 187388 times)

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C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1680 on: July 18, 2019, 12:43:11 PM »
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... you can set up a date with the OPSsig for a OPS session and have a day set aside for just operators. Most would drive that far to just to operate. I can plan on being around to help you out if need be, or just be a operator.

HmmmmmMMMMMMmmmm... ;)  That's a great idea, actually. I have a friend here involved in the OPS group and he participates in a session every month. I'll need to get the industry tracks finished first, however. Oops.

Shite.  Now I wish we had been able to swing by too. ...

Not meaning to rub it in, but when Rodney and Kristi walked in they echoed a sentiment I had heard before, along the lines of "Holy cow. The pictures don't do it justice". I'm certainly humbled by that, but there is something about the big space with wall-to-wall sky that can be a little overwhelming when first experienced.

Quote
All that said - pics or it didn't happen.

Yeah, shame on us. When they hit the driveway apron on the way out was my "Oh, crap!" moment for that.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

rodsup9000

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1681 on: July 18, 2019, 02:40:46 PM »
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Shite.  Now I wish we had been able to swing by too.

I had been quietly considering St. Louis for an NMRA visit as it is on the way to the in laws in Green Bay . . . . Hum.

All  that said - pics or it didn't happen.


  If you ever get the chance, you need to, it worth the stop.


 
Yeah, shame on us. When they hit the driveway apron on the way out was my "Oh, crap!" moment for that.



  I thought about it a few miles up the road.
Oh well, we can do it when I get back over there in September.
Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1682 on: July 20, 2019, 02:32:22 AM »
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Minor updates. First are revisions to the track plan. Nothing major, really, mostly reorganizing the labeling and color-coding for better clarity on the construction phases. Lengthened the Phase 2 peninsula to soak up the two feet gained from replacing the awkward lobe below Cheyenne with the DS desk:



Scenery is making headway on the temporary loop below Gibbon. We had been trying to take advantage of the mis-tinted paint rejects at the various D-I-Y stores for our soil base colors and actually did find a couple we thought we could use... until I painted nearly the entire loop area and Robyn pointed-out, "Uh... that looks like eggshell sheen. I thought you wanted flat."

Well, crap. So much for that idea, the particular paint brand uses nonstandard nomenclature for sheens and I didn't pick up on it. Fortunately Menards has a super-cheap Pittsburgh paint (it's what we used for the sky), so we picked a couple of close tints, and a 50/50 mix of the two did the trick. Experimenting off-layout with a particular unsanded grout as a soil analogue was today's task with good results, so some of it will go down tomorrow, followed by static grass. Robyn is still working on trees, and we think we've arrived at a quick solution for coloring the Super Trees stems. (For those following the other thread about this, not spray painting. We'll apprise and post pix after the experiments get the final tweaks.)

I was informed today to expect a VIP visit next week. A model manufacturer of note (to be named after the visit) will be coming into town for our region's RPM meet next weekend, and a local friend who helps this company with prototype research is putting him up at his place. We had met before on a couple of occasions, he may or may not remember me, but he's going to be a bit surprised when he discovers we are modeling the same RR, era and relatively obscure area. I'm going to put some "Easter eggs" for him out on the layout, a few photos from our research trip last year. So we'll have a lot to chat about.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1683 on: July 26, 2019, 11:23:11 PM »
+4
BIG update this time. Discussed way earlier in the thread was correspondence with the author of the Model Railroader article a couple of years ago about 3D printing, Bob Kingsnorth. His subject model was of the lovely UP station in Kelso, California, which he completed in HO. I asked him if it would be possible to use the files to attempt an N scale version since I was modeling this area, and he was quite gracious in working with me on finding a file format compatible with what I had on hand. By (bad) luck of the draw, Bob used a freeware application from a major CAD software house that was withdrawn just weeks before his article was published. I managed to snag a copy of the freeware anyway, and edited the files for N that wouldn't convert directly. So far so good.

I processed the files for Shapeways output and choked on their quoted price, over $600 for everything. Uh, no.

About the same time, a couple of friends in my N scale club were trying their hand at 3D printing using filament deposition. I outlined my project to Craig Rude, who responded that he wasn't sure yet if he could handle such a complex file, but, sure, why not try? Almost two years and three printers later, here is Craig's beautiful result:



This is just a test fit after trimming a couple of fit interference issues. Notice how finely the Spanish tile roof is rendered. Also nearly miraculous is the column details, which I was told took a boatload of fine-tuning to get a consistent result, not to mention an accurate one. Craig ran numerous test prints working on this, and I certainly appreciate his efforts.

Of course this shell is a core; the job ahead of us is printing the windows, doors and other exterior details. Bob had drawings of a few unusual doors and windows to work from, but unfortunately used Grandt Line windows in most places that are not offered in N. That's my job now. Craig and I discussed resin printing the details (he just bought a Photon clone), but we haven't finished that conversation yet, up to and including getting my own Photon since this is going to be one heck of a fitment project.

He was about 8 months early with this. I gave him a liberal target date, finishing the first peninsula ("Phase 1" above), which I currently project for late spring 2020. Of course we'll see about that particular deadline  :facepalm:  , but that I have the really, really, really hard part of the station in my hands is one item off the infinite to-do bucket list.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 11:25:28 PM by C855B »
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Lemosteam

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1684 on: July 27, 2019, 09:46:28 AM »
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NICE.  I recall that step file, kinda wish i didn't, but i am glad you found someone to pull this project off.

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1685 on: July 27, 2019, 11:06:41 AM »
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Yeah, Craig sort of took off and ran with it, taking it on as a personal challenge. I was fairly skeptical about it in FDM, but apparently that tech made a big enough leap in the past couple of years to be viable. He concentrated on the roof as the development target. I had sliced it off of the main building mostly because as you and I discussed way back when, the main building might have been easier to execute as flats on my Cameo cutter, or as an alternative, printing it (and maybe even the roof) in flat pieces.

Anyway, Craig was having some success last fall with a lower-res machine. He could get finished prints, but certainly not model quality. He bought another printer capable of decent resolution which I think he then further upgraded and/or rebuilt, and continued working on what became the final prints. In the end the biggest challenge was not the roof! He had a pretty good rendition of that part of it in January. The problems were in finishing the colonnade and main building. Things would chug along just fine until the 90% point, and for some reason the extrusion would skip or otherwise not adhere and then it became a big stringy blob. I didn't ask how many of these "Almost!" pieces he had to throw away... and I'm not sure I want to know.

I will have to ask him if his "finer" machine has a heated table or even an oven. I have a hunch from the nature of the failures that the problem comes when deposition level gets too tall and far away from the "helper" heat source, and the delta-T between nozzle and deposited material is more than it can handle.

That 90% thing describes my personal hesitation getting into FDM. I occasionally muse it would be a way to hasten getting custom structures on the layout given the slim selection of non-Eastern buildings from the model companies. Filament machines are just good enough to get most of the way there with promising results, then after spending hours (or days!) printing something complex or just even large, it's ruined.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1686 on: July 27, 2019, 01:03:26 PM »
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Wow Mike, that is STUNNING!
Oh the joys (and challenges) of proto-based modeling!
This is great, carry on....
Otto

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1687 on: July 27, 2019, 03:03:24 PM »
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Thanks, Otto. Mr. Kingsnorth and Mr. Rude get all the credit for the artistry, of course, at this point I'm just the project manager and computer-nerd-in-the-middle. I'm just hoping my painting skills are up to the task when we get to that point.

Robyn was just clued that she now has two large palm trees and a bunch of cottonwoods on her micro-arborist to-do list. :D
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

rodsup9000

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1688 on: July 27, 2019, 04:05:23 PM »
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Anyway, Craig was having some success last fall with a lower-res machine. He could get finished prints, but certainly not model quality. He bought another printer capable of decent resolution which I think he then further upgraded and/or rebuilt, and continued working on what became the final prints.


Mike,

  I can't believe some of the prints that I've seen lately from FDM printers like your station. They've came a log way since I built my first one 9 years ago. I guess I need to update my slicer and software on the printer, as I'm still using the same original that I started with. Do you know what brand of printer Craig used to print your ststion???




I will have to ask him if his "finer" machine has a heated table or even an oven. I have a hunch from the nature of the failures that the problem comes when deposition level gets too tall and far away from the "helper" heat source, and the delta-T between nozzle and deposited material is more than it can handle.


 I built a insulated chamber for one of my small printers and it seamed to help. With the chamber, I had to mount the arduino/ramps board outside the chamber to keep the stepper drivers from getting overheated.






That 90% thing describes my personal hesitation getting into FDM. I occasionally muse it would be a way to hasten getting custom structures on the layout given the slim selection of non-Eastern buildings from the model companies. Filament machines are just good enough to get most of the way there with promising results, then after spending hours (or days!) printing something complex or just even large, it's ruined.



 
 I use the FDM for making mounts and brackets and things like that. Anything that is under the layout like wire management and that kind of stuff it is also useful for. I also use it to make foundation for all my structures so that they can be planted. I think you'll find uses for both a FDM and Photon.
Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1689 on: July 29, 2019, 12:02:49 AM »
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Rodney - link to the large-format printer Craig used for Kelso: https://folgertech.com/products/ft-mega-i3

As mentioned, he built the kit and ran some prints, then rebuilt it upgrading a number of parts with higher-quality components for tighter tolerances and more stability. The results speak for themselves. I forgot to ask him about an insulated box or just a box in general, since it is an open-frame machine.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1690 on: August 18, 2019, 11:44:25 PM »
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I can't call it "bad news" 'cause it's nothing fatal or disastrous, but it's certainly a setback.

Working on track the past couple of days prepping for more ballast progress, I finally got around to the first junction and therefore planning for the first turnout to get ballast. The plan with the switch machines/servos in a well in the cork was to slip 0.005" plastic under and around the throwbar to keep ballast out, adjusting the shims as necessary for throwbar and linkage travel. That was the theory, at least, which meshed well with the standard advice about being careful with ballast around turnouts. The reality uncovered a big, big "oops" - shoving the plastic under the ties can dislodge the linkage, or at least knock it out of position.

Considering what transpired with the first one, I will be time ahead by removing every turnout on the layout and applying the plastic shields directly. Fortunately I somewhat planned for relative ease of turnout maintenance. Each can be removed by sliding two joiners (the others being soldered) and breaking three small "spot weld" glue joints with a palette knife, then unplugging the servo and frog power, both on connectors for this purpose. So I'm saved by that...

...other than having to do it 53 times. Then realign each relative to the controllers. Ugh. Yuck. :facepalm:  This is NOT a "happy accident".  :P
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 11:47:08 PM by C855B »
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

learmoia

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1691 on: August 19, 2019, 12:22:34 AM »
+1
So.. a trick I learned years ago was to put electrical tape on the underside of the turnout, then apply the ballast to the sticky surface..  You can do just the mechanism area or the whole turnout.. and no interference with the machine, or switch rails, and easily to remove the switch for maintenance (if you do the whole thing)

~Ian
Don't Neglect the Jewel Case!

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1692 on: August 19, 2019, 12:27:39 AM »
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Thanks, Ian. I'll try that idea again; it was something I was playing with in the earliest stages with a different servo mount that didn't quite pan out at the time. But you are quite right, the sticky can work to advantage here in not having to nurse a mass-spread ballast through the mechanism areas.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1693 on: August 19, 2019, 02:04:44 AM »
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Ugh.  It's the 53x part that would drive me nuts.  You have my sympathy.

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1694 on: August 19, 2019, 10:42:15 AM »
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After sleeping on it, it's not going to be simply lining the underside of the turnout to block the ballast, I have to modify the linkage. Problem I created for myself was the servo horn (lever) protrudes into the space between the throwbar and adjacent tie, even after trimming. Right now the lever is centered at 12 o'clock, with the throw range from 11:00 to 1:00. I think the link can be lengthened so the lever travels from 1:00 to 3:00, but I will have to test that due to the increase in offset angle, putting more stress on the throwbar end, possibly pulling it out of the throwbar with time. Alternative solution is to shim the servo body the thickness of the ties to assure the horn doesn't protrude into the gap. That will require re-gluing the servos. Maybe I'll try these ideas and know more tonight, but the mood isn't the best, for obvious reasons. Other solutions in mind require fabrication, something to be avoided when we're talking this quantity and especially future work.

But it's not entirely gloom-and-doom on the GC&W. Progress is being made in other areas.

CAD drawing of detailing bits is in progress on the Kelso depot. I have the most numerous window's artwork done and out for resin printing, awaiting the sample to confirm printability and fitment. Once confirmed I can then draw the rest, plus other details. I have spent hours researching the paint, as the light tan or adobe color with aqua trim on the restored station is either a figment of the Park Service's imagination, or somebody found an authority (paint chips?) that it was originally these colors. UP painted their Mission Revival stations white for most of their lives, and there was the period in the '50s and '60s with a medium green up to a belt line and on the window trim, repainted to all white probably in the late '70s. I found exactly one color reference photo online confirming the green for Kelso, thankful it was online since I didn't have the presence of mind to take pictures of the depot when I was there in 1973. Fortunately they did the same combination for Las Vegas' Art Deco station, so there are plenty of color photos to confirm, and I have a paint formula for the green in Vallejo that will hopefully survive any challenge. ;)

Other projects in the works are the Moapa depot - a LaserKit mentioned in this scratchbuilding thread, finishing a stand-in for Colton Tower, and starting a kitbash for a better version of Colton. The Moapa depot is a pill. I have to be in exactly the right frame-of-mind and of steady hand for the detailing this kit demands. I really like the results so far, so barring any mistakes that make parts unusable it'll be on the layout sooner or later. But not today.

Colton Tower is planned to be an LDE. The current stand-in is a cheap plastic something, a generic square tower picked-up off a train show table for a couple of bucks. I painted this into something closer to Santa Fe's color (yes, singular, no fancy trim), and matched the lettering; just need to print the decals. A long while back I acquired three Branchline "Ellinor Tower" kits with the express purpose of using the details and maybe a couple of bits of superstructure to hack into something much closer. Once I find the clapboard I bought for the project, we can get that under way.

Also new is a system running Linux/Ubuntu, currently at home, intended to be used for JMRI configuration editing, especially building panels. JMRI runs fine, but JMRI's path inflexibility makes transferring between editing and operating CPUs a royal PITA. Maybe I can solve most of that by a creating common user name to make JMRI's configuration tables happier.

For other projects I've been working on a cheap conductive glue. This is mostly for making resistor wheelsets out of factory issue, encouraged by the Tangent quad hoppers with their great-looking wheels that seemed like such a waste to replace with FVM just for resistor sets with matching wheels. The YouTube, etc., advice for a graphite powder mixed with acrylic paint was not working for me. However, I just stumbled into a really effective solution - graphite powder mixed into CA, making an easy-to-use, quick-setting paste. It worked so well I could even make semi-predictable resistors out of it! But that's another project, gluing 10K resistors onto the Tangent axles is reward enough.

Other than that, I've been a lawn-mowin' fool. The wet summer has encouraged the acreage around the studio to grow at nearly double the rate we normally see, so barring a machete to find the buildings the mowers have come out every 4 to 5 days. It takes three to five hours to do the whole property depending on how intensely I trim and edge, so this has been costly in terms of time and personal energy. Although I hate the cold, looking forward to fall for a break here.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross