Author Topic: Jumping into Free-moN  (Read 1967 times)

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Nilmadic

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Jumping into Free-moN
« on: March 08, 2013, 10:06:53 PM »
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I was just breezing thru M.C.'s layout report and decided that he is right! He is right about a lot of things, but specifically, in this case, it is time I start my own layout thread, so here goes:

I came from the world of HO. I belong to an HO club in the south bay called Silicon Valley Lines. There are a hand full of members in my HO club who also are involved in Free-moN. Eric, Dave, Mark, Murf and Dustin. They were trying to get me to build a module for some time, but I had no N scale trains or, at the time, any desire to get into N scale.

One day I went to the Great Train Expo in San Jose, CA and met M.C. for the first time. I had heard of him before. The SVL guys had told me about the speed and quality of his work. When I saw the shoofly in Sonoma module for the first time I was astounded. I was hooked. I snapped a few photos while I was there and headed home to design my first module.


MC's ShooFly

Dave F's Alviso

Never one to take things easy at first, I decided that for my first module I needed to build a huge bridge. I had little knowledge about building bridges, much less building ANYTHING in N scale, so it was bound to be a good learning experience.

I decided that it was also going to be a proto-freelanced bridge set somewhere in the west coast. Since it is a Free-moN module, I really didn't think a definitive location was necessary.  This allowed me to design the bridge as I saw it in my head. I knew I wanted to incorporate a few elements into the module, but other than that I was gonna roll with the punches.

I knew I wanted a LONG bridge. I wanted an entire consist, plus a large amount of cars on the bridge at once.

I knew I wanted a river to run under the bridge.

I wanted one side of the canyon to be steeper than the other.

I wanted some sort of road across the module.

Those were my basic design requirements, so I set about ordering parts. TO THE INTERNET! I put together a list of parts that I thought would make a cool, long bridge. I knew that Micro Engineering made bridges in HO scale and thought I remembered seeing them in N. Here is what I ordered:

1 320' Viaduct bridge

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3 120' Viaduct Extensions



2 thru truss bridge kits.



After a few days I went back to the hobby shop and picked up this stuff.


Without much of a plan I got to work building a bridge. Now when I say I didn't have much of a plan it doesn't mean I hadn't been doing research. I had been looking at photos of bridges for some time thinking about what would be a feasible design. When I started building this is what I immediately came up with:



I thought It was a pretty good start and was happy with the amount of cars I could fit on it. I took the photo with me to a club meeting to show off the work I had done. One of the guys said "That looks cool, but the railroad wouldn't have built it that way." He was refering to the inverted warren truss bridge. Well weather the railroad would have like built it like this or not, I decided to rebuild the long truss span. At the same time I was terraforming the module and trimming down the bents to fit the landscape.



Revision 1.0 was a mediocre attempt. It allowed me to build a span that was a more suitable length, but ultimately I was not happy with the look.



Revision 2.0 turned out much better. By this time I had terra formed the land and even built a frame for the module. The frame turned out to be 12" wide by approx. 7' long. At this point in time I only had the foam sitting in place. I had yet to glue it down.



Once I had all the foam stacked, roughly shaped and glued in place, (I used LocTite Foam Board Adhesive for this step) I went to work with a sure form rasp. This is a VERY messy part of the process. It gets little chunks of statically charged foam EVERYWHERE. I recommend doing this with a shop vac on hand and while your significant other is not home. This is the result after the rasp:




I have a lot to write and post on this topic so I will continue to add additional posts to this thread with progress reports and photos. If I'm lucky, maybe a movie or two. Thanks for reading and checking out my modeling. Catch you next time.

Nils
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 04:59:04 AM by Nilmadic »

3DTrains

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 10:36:53 PM »
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That's turning into what will no doubt be a terrific scene! Being a fellow FreeMon-N-scaler, I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. :)

Nilmadic

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 04:52:06 AM »
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Quote
That's turning into what will no doubt be a terrific scene! Being a fellow FreeMon-N-scaler, I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

Thanks for the kind words. I'll get stuff posted as fast as I can.

Nilmadic

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 04:56:19 AM »
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Well Back to it...

With the basic terraform done, I started to add rock castings and work on the final lay of the land.
If I had it to do over again, this is when I should have added the facia to the module. Before I put any sculptamold or plaster on it. Oh well. It is a learning experience. Casting rocks is something I did have some experience with. I had a bunch of woodland scenics molds already, which I don't care for much, but I figured I would use them anyway. I would attempt to blend them and disguise them with sculptamold. First I needed to cast them:



With rock castings installed and painted, I set out to add sculptamold. To be quite honest, this was the first time I had ever used the stuff. I found it to be a wonderful modeling material. Capable of being cast in a mold or molded like clay depending on ratio of water in the mix. It helped me blend the rock castings as well as work the scenery right to the edge of the module. If I had actually installed the facia at this point I could have used the sculptamold to blend the joint between facia and scenery.



Not long after the sculptamold had dried I started to paint the module with a base coat of latex paint. I picked a color from Home Depot called "Earth" and was able to get sample sized cans for about $3 each. As soon as the paint went on I sprinkled some Arizona Rock & Minerals dirt in the wet paint.

Being as impatient as I am I also added some trees and other scenery items to help visualize what the final product would look like.



At this point I also started to make some trees using MC's method he taught me. Twisting twine fibers between floral wire. I get very excited and impatient and want to hurry the model along so I usually end up with a one step forward two steps back situation. Whatever. It helps me visualize where I want the module to go.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 05:25:50 AM by Nilmadic »

3DTrains

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 05:50:50 AM »
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Holy smokes, Nils - that looks great! How long from initial hammer-to-wood to the above result did this take? Like MC's, your work is very inspirational.

Nilmadic

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 01:32:56 PM »
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Holy smokes, Nils - that looks great! How long from initial hammer-to-wood to the above result did this take? Like MC's, your work is very inspirational.

Thanks again. So, I started the bridge construction before I actually put hammer to wood.

Original build was mid October, 2012

I built the actual benchwork on October 30th, 2012

The photo with DRG&W about to roll thru the little cut was taken December 6th, 2012, so in answer to your question a month and a few days. I am still working on the bridge, as I have styarted other modules in the middle of the process.

BTW, your guys layout is also spectacular, your with Nland Pacific right? I wasn't part of the group when SVFMN got to run with you guys.

 

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 01:51:45 PM »
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Yeah man, this is killer.

eric220

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 02:01:53 PM »
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Very hot bridge there. Hopefully one day I will be contributing a bridge of my own to the Free-moN setup.
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
http://www.pennsylvania-railroad.com

3DTrains

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 04:32:30 PM »
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Thanks for the timeline, Nils.

BTW, your guys layout is also spectacular, your with Nland Pacific right? I wasn't part of the group when SVFMN got to run with you guys.

Yes, but I haven't a module worthy of pictures - the running joke is "Marc's potato field".  :facepalm:

Ian MacMillan

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 02:26:48 PM »
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Very very nice so far. I'm looking forward to progress...and of course more modules!
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

dnhouston

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 02:34:56 PM »
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Sweet!  I can't wait to see it finished.
David

Nilmadic

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2013, 09:16:55 PM »
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So while the bridge is on the back burner for now I have been working on some other modules. One being this offset section that leads into my sawmill. I have finally gotten my industry figured out and in place. It is a transload facility. It can only handle 4 cars on the blacktop, but 6 will fit on the track.

Here are some shots I made with Helicon.








M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2013, 09:52:44 PM »
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I dig the sunlight, textures, and POWER lines  :D
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
http://sv-free-mon.org/

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2013, 01:41:41 PM »
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Love this shot.  Nice lines in the track, excellent placement of structures & vehicles, the bulldog snout of the GEVO in full sun.  It all comes together so well.

LIRR

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Re: Jumping into Free-moN
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 06:30:20 AM »
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a very impressive bridge indeed. nice work.