Author Topic: Essex branch HO v4  (Read 21080 times)

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nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2016, 05:13:27 PM »
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I just wanted you to know that I know  :trollface: Mr. C actually stopped by a hobby shop I frequent and mentioned he went over to pan pastels-- trying to debate between the material or the videos, one without the other seems questionable so I forged ahead with my old methods of acrylics, chalk pastels (not sure what these really are...) and "watercolor" paints from walmart... This is a work in progress (and not from proto photos...OOPS!) It is a start though and more pleasing to my eye so far than these out of the box cars.

Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2016, 02:05:04 AM »
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In less exciting news I finally got around to trimming the windows, will be doing the finish prep on them over the next few nights and expect to reinstall the portion of benchwork this weekend some point. Glad the swing bridge side has held up OK as far as alignment goes. No derails over it.. need to order some arizona minerals ballast to top off my ballast to color correct it.. (glad i used sand as the base)  however...a $5 40lb bag is far more economical at this scale and I went purposefully light incase I decided I wanted to top it off with another product.

Then it is off to connecting staging, I need to pick a DCC system and am leaning toward NCE for no particular reason! I get enough headaches dealing with music gear/processors in the studio and on the road I have no desire for something complex but do not like the look of the digitrax offerings. MRC is carried locally but I figure either of the options base wireless set would do me fine. I anticipate no more than 3 trains in staging, maybe 2 throttles/operators but 1 would suffice for the time being. Really enjoying the PanPastels and oil paints I picked up...now to work on the weathering skills...luckily I have 14+ more cars to go through before I approach one of my engines....Proto photos certainly help (you realize how bad you are! Hah!) Thank god I get paid to play guitar... :trollface: :facepalm:

Any feedback welcome
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Trainmaster247

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2016, 01:23:10 PM »
+1
NCE is my favorite most user friendly by far. Also progrmaing consists and such is much easier.

Mike C

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2016, 09:03:56 PM »
+1
Love the PowerCab !  Very easy to use and program with .

Cajonpassfan

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2016, 10:27:57 PM »
+1
Another vote for NCE here, a winner hands down in my book. I also run on friends' (plural) Digitraxx layouts and find their cabs, programming, and ergonomics clutsy. And, my fingers are too fat to select the little address doodads comfortably. And what's with having to"dispatch" cabs, to free up "slots"? I prefer to dispatch my trains :facepalm:
Otto K.

...and, I find their silly "steam engine" logo annoying... no one with love or understanding of steam could ever come up with that....thing.... admittedly a subjective reaction :D
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 10:35:23 PM by Cajonpassfan »

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2016, 10:43:49 PM »
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user friendly are buzz words that resonate deeply with me...NCE it is. Currently finishing the last coat of paint of the offending now trimmed window. Hope to remount the section of staging and lay track/test this weekend...Then back to the scenery/fun part for me  :facepalm:
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Philip H

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2016, 09:16:51 AM »
+1
NCE and MRC have very similar layouts so you can move from one to the other without retraining. I have a power cab as well and won't do anything else.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2016, 07:54:04 PM »
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A little action from this week:



I finally connected all 3 staging tracks. Ran the bus wires and am going to solder feeders tonight as well as install that last piece of fascia/guard in the curve. Am still debating the overall look- may paint everything black to convey a sense of off stage...may also go and ballast/do basic ground cover to make it not feel as sterile as the blacked out look may give.




Here I am roughing in the last scene that is bare foam.. a small drainage ditch/culvert...will be touching up ground cover across various patches of the whole layout and progressing some of the dirtier scenic work before trains roll again.



Here you can see some slight washes of india ink used to darken the ballast from the sand tone to a more appropriate gray blend. I also started going over the mainline with darker dry brushed colors to darken the main line ties up. I am going to go back to spots that I missed and give the grime/gray color underneath and come back over most of the ties to make the a darker brown/black creosote mess color!


Here you can see I am raising the station to the correct height and started to lay a base of foam to raise the parking lot to the correct height.

Other than that I got a piece of ballast in my C420 drive and learned to disassemble the trucks (a necessary evil..) Decided while I was at it to go ahead and remove all the trucks from my freight cars and everything got masking/dullcote to begin weathering my "fleet".

Slow but steady.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 03:16:03 AM by nuno81291 »
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2016, 11:27:05 AM »
+1
Awesome.

I say scenic it the staging. There's no point in not, if it's visible. Think about it this way: if nothing else, it's another environment to stage photos in.

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2016, 03:15:37 AM »
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I decided to go that way Ed; just hard to come to terms with so much more ballasting  :facepalm: Anyways I took a big bite out of it tonight going about halfway through the curve on the shorter side of the staging yard...perhaps this yard needs a really generic name..Oufsene Yard perhaps.



Here is the new acquisition in replacement of the bluebird that was DOA. I decided to root myself more firmly somewhere in the 90's...Guilford has taken over, All sorts of units roam the rails, Guilford schemes, MEC, old BM, and some visitors. U Boats, Geeps, whats not to love?



Here I added a bit of ballast to give a more sunken tie effect on the most beat up spur.



And here is a mockup of the tower location with the junction that has been removed. This will be modeled after Waltham MA with some liberty taken. The leg of the wye that is connected in Waltham is used as a MOW spur, I am going to model it as having been disconnected all together.



Hope to finish going around on the ballast for a first pass of all staging tomorrow. Then will go back and do some track/tie paint and weathering on the whole layout.

I also got to adding a first pass of some basic ground cover over the culvert/trackside area that was just roughed in the other night.


Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2016, 02:50:51 PM »
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Well well. After staring at the layout seemingly endlessly the last few nights I decided I want to extend the passing siding and move the bridge further right toward staging. This would let me have a substantially longer train on the passing siding and that nagging in my head is overcoming the progress made to date. Tonight's agenda is to remove the track/switches on question, the bridge and all scenery to the right and begin filling the existing river scene and carving out the spot for the new one. I am also going to purchase a second bridge kit to make a double span out of staging and then coming into the reconfigured passing siding.

Sometimes a step backward helps you take 2 forward. I am also going to model the newer longer river/bridge scene as deeper water without the 2 part resin and using the Dave Frary mod Podge water which I have done several times before.

I will take some photos as the work progresses! Also a large sale at the LHS this weekend and I am going to pick up 2 more engines (Guilford and BM or MEC) a handful more cars and he necessary track/bridge and materials to install the new track work/scenery.

Also thinking of reconfiguring the house location to be a second warehouse out of the DPM modulars to create a "warehouse canyon" visual.

Exciting times on the unnamed shelf layout!

Also debating tortoises in staging
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 08:08:58 PM by nuno81291 »
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Scottl

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2016, 03:03:55 PM »
+1
Go for it!  I like the ground cover in that last shot.

I took the plunge with Tortoises in my staging and it was really worth the effort (and cost).  It took me a long time to convince myself that it was worth it.

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2016, 12:22:25 AM »
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photo hosting

Above are some quick and dirty building placement changes for approval by the fellow urban planners. I moved the house to a new grade crossing across from the lumber yard. A good background photo should turn the small industry into a much deeper feeling scene. I rearranged the mill complex. I like the visual of the canyon of warehouse around he two tracks. Of course the tracks in the spur don't work with the new passing siding, so I will begin be process of removing the track and cutting the first switch far enough back to make the spacing plausible.

Finally I moved the bridge to its location and the piece of lumber I staged next to it represents the length of another span. This will give a more impressive river scene which I am happy to incorporate as a signature scene or LDE. The single span was admittedly underwhelming.

I plan to relocate the switch to the passing siding just beyond the bridges near the location of the signal tower. I am unsure about relocating the signal tower to here or keeping it in the original location adjacent the abandoned spur/junction.

Any input gladly appreciated. About to soak some track, bust out the knife and vacume and hopefully get to some foam work tonight to progress the new land forms. Is this all worth it for 4 or so more feet of passing siding? Hell yes! A larger bridge/more impressive river ala the Merrimack in Haverhill is also very welcome.

Thanks for looking
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2016, 01:49:19 AM »
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Well. Last night the 4 years of armchair track planning and learning of various railroads finally bit me and logic said extend the passing siding. Tonight months of work out in less than 2 hours. Heres the story of tonights session:



This is the first layout I used white glue instead of latex caulk on the track...and guess what a bit of water and the track to be removed came up in less than 10 minutes, all in tact and ready to be reused. I didn't think of this aspect when I used white glue, just used what I had on hand...good to know rmeoving track dosnt have to be painful. wetting my sand/grout mess kept the dust down while stripping it with a putty knife/razor and the shop vac make short work of clean up. Success.



Here you can see I removed the land forms to make way for the new structure placement. I am also thinking of putting a building in close proximity to the passing siding on the right side of the grade crossing. Time to go more urban with this layout. Say Lowell etc. I live a stones throw from Peabody MA and here is a scene that stuck in my mind (however I may not model a deli...) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyKDY6Ar2AA

Some humor:

A bridge holding a bridge  :facepalm:


Here you see I removed the section to largely become the new 40" bridge scene.


Surprise surprise; lo and behold I have a new partially completed HO diorama. Since I wont have anywhere to model a wooded hill type scene, this will be saved and turned into a standalone diorama to take outside and show off my mediocre weathering! Joy!



While messing on this side I had the idea to relocate the old mill style structure to this side of the grade crossing. Being adjacent to a larger river reminds me of the mills I grew up seeing in Manchester, Lowell, Waltham and so on so on... Figured I may as well buy another switch and make a small spur...perhaps it is still in use and repurposed like the Joy MFG plant in Claremont NH after Joy MFG left and various tenants used the space before rail service ended.

I have to remake the piece of benchwork that will contain the river to make the bridge height off the water substantially higher. Figured I could save you guys a photo of that  :facepalm: :scared:

The next three days will be lived in a studio. Excited for the new acquisitions on Saturday that will enable me to continue with track laying/ completing the trackwork (again!)

A lesson learned is to not be afraid to change things on a layout, you built it; you can change it. Getting out of the armchair and making something (even if you realize your plan was flawed and needs to be reworked..) is so much more enjoyable! I forgot how fun this hobby can be when you arent stuck designing track plans and aborting 10+ attempts of layouts..

Taking suggestions for the building on the spur to the left of the station if I relocate the middlesex mfg kit. Thinking something not brick (seriously...everything is brick!) Perhaps some sort of ugly semi modern corrugated metal structure with some loading doors. Maybe a food processor? Still playing with ideas for what these extremely generic looking mill/warehouse/mfg buildings will represent. I better make up my mind soon before I buy a ton of unrelated cars at the sale! ;) Love the BLMA reefers but too modern for me I am guessing...time to research and crack a beer!

Thanks for reading  :D
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

nuno81291

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Re: New England Mud Season HO shelf
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2016, 10:53:31 PM »
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Well the sale was a great haul: I got another bridge kit, chooch abutments and a pier. A walthers Washington salvage kit, an atlas gold Guilford sd26 and u23b. 2 tank cars, 7 hoppers. And a trip to Home Depot for some wood to remake the benchwork on the new bridge portion. Have tomorrow totally free to see how much of a dent I can put in the new aspects...and to reflect on the new hole in my wallet!  :facepalm:


« Last Edit: April 30, 2016, 10:57:58 PM by nuno81291 »
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s