Author Topic: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout  (Read 18580 times)

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svedblen

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A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« on: July 01, 2015, 02:12:02 PM »
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I have been posting about an O scale turnout I built, over in the HO and Larger Scales forum (https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=35954.0). The turnout soon began  to grow into a shelf layout, and the thread began to swell along with it, turning more into a Layout Engineering Report thread. So I thougth I could start a new thread  here instead.

And the story continues here:
Once the shelf itself was built, mainly constructed from extruded foam, the next step was to install the the turnout assembly. It needed to come down a bit into the foam, so that the turnout track and the new track will end up at the same level. After some work with a saw, a utility knife and some sanding paper I arrived at this.



The turnout assembly in place



With the turnout finally where it belongs, and the track at the correct level, I proceeded by cutting bitumen mats into strips, the width of a tie (I wrote about the bitumen mats in a post in the other thread. Pelle S√łeborg had an article in MR a couple of years ago where he showed how he used asphalt/bitumen mats, the stuff you use for sound dampening in cars, for his sub-roadbed). The bitumen is self-adhesive and it stuck fine to the foam.








Lennart

ednadolski

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 02:40:45 PM »
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Cool!   If the rest of the shelf turns out (no pun  :facepalm:) as nice as the turnout, then that's definitely going to be quite an impressive piece of modelwork!

I also like how you've already got the backdrop in place before the rest of it.   It creates a much better sense of location and feeling of progress than just a bare wall would have.

Ed



svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 11:17:18 AM »
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With the roadbed in place it was time to start cutting ties. I had already got myself a stockpile of 4mm x 4mm basswood strips. When I built the turnout I used pine strips, since at the time I could not locate any basswood here in Sweden. The pine was a hassle since it was to hard for driving spikes into, and every spike needed pre-drilling. I did not want to do that again, and luckily I eventually managed to locate a guy that ripped and sold his own basswood strips. I think they will work much better.

Anyway, I needed a little more than 500 ties so I brought out my NWSL Chopper and started to cut away.



and after about an hour it was all done



The next step would of course be to glue down the ties on the roadbed. When building the turnout I downloaded a turnout template from Fast Tracks, printed it and used as a template when laying the ties and the track. Now I did however not want to glue paper on top of the bitumen since I was afraid that the glue and the paper would in some way form a seal and turn the bitumen into a sound box. The opposite of why I used the bitumen in the first place.

I still printed a section of a Fast Tracks turnout template but cut it in half length-wise. I then pinned one half on each side of the bitumen roadbed, like this:



I could then easily locate each tie, using the paper templates as an aiming tool. I spread white glue on the roadbed with a brush, and then simply put each tie down in the glue, one by one.



When I reached the end of the templates, I just repositioned them further down and continued from there. A little extra care was needed when the roadbed curved, since the ties had to be spaced further apart on the outer side of the curve.



Soon enough all ties had been laid for the first stretch of track.



So far nothing out of the ordinary. But the next step will be funnier; distressing and weathering the ties.
Lennart

svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 12:58:25 PM »
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Before moving ahead the ties need to be leveled. They are not all exactly the same height and the gluing might also have set them at slightly different levels. So for the track to be properly seated they need some sanding. An easy way to determine when you are done sanding, and all the ties are at the same level, is to use the old pencil mark trick. Using an ordinary pencil draw a light line along the middle of the ties. Like this



Now, using a sanding block and a medium grit sanding paper (I used a #120 paper) sand away until the line has just disappeared from all the ties. Do not sand the ties on by one but use long strokes, covering a larger number of ties in each move. Here I am nearly done but need a few more strokes.



Now when we have a set of nice and smooth ties it is time to rough them up, to get that old and battered look. First I created a general grain pattern by dragging a fine razor saw along the top of each tie.



Then I added cracks and scores using an X-Acto knife with a not to sharp blade. You want a random pattern and each tie to be unique, and that is not easy. You have to deliberately concentrate to avoid repeating yourself. I do not say I am good at that but here is a sample of what I ended up with.





Lennart

central.vermont

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 01:29:27 PM »
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Great looking work so far and I love how you are showing this step by step. A good friend of mine is doing a small shelf layout in O right now and I see a few tips I need to pass on along to him.

Jon

svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2015, 05:05:07 PM »
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Thanks Jon. Nice if my posts can be of any use  :)
Lennart

svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2015, 12:16:17 PM »
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Today I started weathering the battered up ties, by giving them a wash of India Ink. I mixed the ink with plain tap water. No reason to go fancy with alcohol or similar stuff.



I made the mixed rather dark (whatever that is  :facepalm:). Which does not mean I took very much of the ink. You need always go easy with India Ink, and you'd better test on a loose tie before applying the wash to the "real" ties. Below is a comparison of some freshly washed ties (bottom of picture) and some that have had the time to dry for a few minutes. You can see that they turn lighter as they dry.



And here is what it looks like after a few hours. But this is only the base coat. I will come back and add other shades.



I also had the time to lay, sand and "scratch" the ties on the other side of the turnout.

Lennart

svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 08:56:27 AM »
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I have applied one more wash to the ties, this time brown with some yellow mixed in. The purpose being to kill the somewhat greenish effect of the dry and diluted India Ink, and also to simply create an overall color variation.  Once again, I used nothing fancy but what I had at hand - light brown hobby acrylics and yellow from a children's watercolor set, mixed in plain tap water. Here what it looks when just applied.



And when having dried. On purpose, the effect is quite subtle.



Lennart

JSL

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 11:51:11 AM »
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That looks great! Ties colour looks good to my eye!

svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 04:38:39 PM »
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That looks great! Ties colour looks good to my eye!

Thanks, but I'm not done yet  :facepalm:
Lennart

central.vermont

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2015, 08:43:09 PM »
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Thanks, but I'm not done yet  :facepalm:

This is true. I think you need to have a couple look like they are close to new creosote like they just changed out a couple.

Must resist buying O scale stuff. I feel myself going over to the other side.  :scared:  :D

Jon

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2015, 01:41:16 PM »
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Fantastic work; I really enjoy following your process in this step-by-step format. Detailed trackwork like this tempts me to make a foray into the dark, inviting depths of the large-scale world.
-Tim Gill
Subscribe to/Visit my Model Railraoding blog: www.marmionvalley.blogspot.com

svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 03:49:23 PM »
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Thank you guys.

I think you need to have a couple look like they are close to new creosote like they just changed out a couple.
Good idea. I might come back later and change out a few ties before I lay the track.

But first I wanted to finish up the basic weathering. The next and last step in that process was to go for the sun bleached look. I did that using a trick I think I picked up somewhere on the Proto:87 Stores  web page http://www.proto87.com/, but that was before it got its new look. Anyway, the advice was to use  oil paints, namely a mix of Titanium White and Ultramarine Blue. More of the former and less of the latter. Do not make an even mix, but more of a "hotchpotch", like this.



I sort of dry-brushed this on top of the ties, with quite a stiff brush. After which I smeared the paint out with a piece of cloth, which also got rid of any excess. I also highlighted the ends of the ties with the same kind of dry-brushing.



Once the track has been laid, and rust is applied to the track and the tie plates, the ties will also get its share of rust coloring. But that is later...
Lennart

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2015, 07:16:54 PM »
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Try making plastic and PC board ties look like that, even harder  :scared:

svedblen

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Re: A shelf layout emerging from a turnout
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2015, 01:39:50 PM »
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...I think you need to have a couple look like they are close to new creosote like they just changed out a couple..
Being done weathering all the ties I went back to follow Jon's advice.

I pried a few ties loose...



... and glued new ones in their place. Two of them here, and the other two in two other spots.



I then applied a tar colored stain I had around, but I guess any dark brown, close to black, stain or wash would do. I applied it generously to get a dark creosote like look. I also dry-brushed on a yellow and red mix of oil paints to simulate excess creosote oozing out (or whatever it is that gives the ties that orange look in places). Here is what I ended up with.





Now I consider myself done with the ties and could have proceeded with track laying, but since I am still waiting for a shipment of parts, tie plates among others, that has to wait. Instead I think I will do the ballasting. I know people who hand lay track often do the ballast before the track, but  it will be a new experience for me.
Lennart