Author Topic: CN Yellowhead Division  (Read 33561 times)

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Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #255 on: March 04, 2024, 02:27:56 PM »
+3
More progress with the cold weather keeping me close to the layout. 

I finished the last of the rock work with some castings in place between Jasper East and Windy Point.  Plenty of additional shaping of the foam in that area to get the correct contour and I finished it off by trimming the fascia.  The latter really gives the layout a nice finished look, even though the foam is just raw and the pink-black clash is awful. 

I also added a new light in this area of the room to bring the lighting up to a more uniform level, just a 18W 4K ceiling disk that I had left over from doing the rest of the house.  It is perfect in this smaller space.  I am done now with the lighting upgrades and the difference is incredible.  I went from about 3600 to 7700 lumens and it was totally worth it.

Of course, I managed to run the jigsaw blade through a section of flex track in the yard while trimming the fascia.  That darn track is not very robust  :trollface:





Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #256 on: March 09, 2024, 03:49:54 PM »
+4
Installed the new trackwork and turnout.  The Arduino code and wiring made it very simple to install and update. 

I took the first cut at the Athabasca River water.  This color still seems a bit intense to me, but airbrushing highlights and darker areas will help- nothing ever looks correct when it is so monotonic.



This is a photo I took from the time of year as a reference.  The river is shallower here so more of the sediment bed (darker) comes through while the deeper water almost has a yellow-ish tinge to the green. 


Bob

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #257 on: March 09, 2024, 05:08:30 PM »
0
Hey Scott - I am really impressed with your rock-work.  Could you perhaps share a bit more details?  I need to create Maryland Heights on my layout so I'll need a rather large expanse of rock.  YOu are using black paint mixed in with plaster of paris?  I think you said you are casting rocks from moulds you have made in place; how do you blend them together?  Do you do carving afterwards or while the plaster is still kind of wet?  If I could create a large cliff that looks half as good as your large exposed rock faces I would be happy!

Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #258 on: March 10, 2024, 04:49:25 PM »
+3
Thanks @Bob.  I use plaster of Paris that I tint with black and raw umber paint and do the carving-clean up while the plaster is cured but still wet (about 20 minutes after mixing it).  I use an Xacto #11 knife to clean up any air bubbles and to blend the plaster between molds.  It is much harder when fully cured so I do this work with the knife before moving on to another batch of plaster.  I keep all the bits of plaster as they make great talus that matches the rock color and they can be crushed to size.

I have my own rock molds that I made, but you can do this with any rock mold, including aluminum foil that has been crumpled up.  If you go back in this thread, you can see how I crudely cut the foam to the overall structure of the rock as a guide.  To get a consistent tint, I pre-weigh my plaster into ziplocs (about 200 g or 1/2 lb) and then add a consistent amount of paint and water when I mix it.  Minor variations are not a problem.  I mix up the plaster in the ziploc bag, squeezing it to mix the paint in thoroughly, then let it set up for about 5 minutes, cut off a corner and then smear it on the foam.  I press in the rock molds, making sure they are aligned as I want and I try to overlap them.  I'm not to fussy with how clean it is at this stage, as I can clean it up when it is cured a bit.  I let the molds sit in place for a good 10+ minutes before peeling them back.  At that point I clean up any excess plaster, chisel blends using the knife and clean up any air bubbles. I keep the plaster remains that are in the bag as they can be broken up for other uses.   

If you have any prominent structures like you get in sedimentary rock, you can carve in bedding lines with the knife and do some additional carving to give the units a more distinct look.  In my case, the rock has a prominent dip and goes vertical near the track level, so I incorporated this into my foam base and in the carving.   

I hope that helps.  It takes a lot of time to do a big rock face like this, but it is worth the effort if it is a prominent feature of your landscape.

Bob

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #259 on: March 10, 2024, 11:04:14 PM »
0
Thanks Scott - this is really helpful - I am going to try your approach.  If you look on the 1st and 4th pages of my layout thread (CSX CUmberland DIvision), you will see the large expanse of foam that I need to cover with rocks.  Appreciate you taking the time to write back - this is what makes TRW so great!  Bob

Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #260 on: March 11, 2024, 11:22:39 AM »
+1
@Bob the rockface on your layout looks great!  I would suggest carving the foam to get the main structural elements before trying to put any plaster on it.  There are some strong buttresses that are key elements in the photograph.

If you are not keen to cast rocks in place, you can always cast rocks in molds off the layout and then attach them with Sculptamold.  Try to keep them relatively thin and as consistent of a thickness as you can.  The Sculptamold stays wet a long time and blending the rocks is quite easy and effective.  You can tint Sculptamold as well if you wish.  I did this with my last layout and was happy with the results.  It would be more forgiving to do that way, and you can use any molds you have like the Woodland Scenic variety that are not well-suited to casting in place. 

Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #261 on: March 11, 2024, 04:13:34 PM »
+3
Still working on that river color...

Meanwhile, I have advanced the base scenery around the peninsula to Windy Point.  I'm really happy how the rock and landscape interact here.  It is a dry area with only a few trees.  Still need to add some weathering to the rock faces.





Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #262 on: March 14, 2024, 02:06:30 PM »
+1
I had to fill in the ponds at Windy Point to level the surface I had carved out of the foam sheet.  I used self-levelling cement on my previous layout, but I couldn't bring myself to buy a 50 lb bag of the stuff for the present 1 lb job.  I found some self-leveling sealant in a caulking tube in the same section of the store so took the $12 plunge.  It is certainly cleaner and easier to apply than cement that you have to mix and handle.  It flows and levels like white glue and works very well for the job, leaving a slightly undulating smooth, glossy surface.  It claims to be tack-free after 2 hours, something that does not seem to be the case yet (still tacky after 16 hours...) but it is paintable and hopefully will fully cure in the 72 hours specified.  Much easier product for my small job than the cement.





Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #263 on: March 16, 2024, 06:13:11 PM »
0
I've been working on a plan for the two bridges at Snake Indian River in the middle of my Devona siding.  The prototype is quite interesting as one track crosses with a pair of short through truss bridges that are about 75' long each (based on Google measurements).  I'll do some selective compression for the scene to make the crossing 100', and kit bash two 50' truss bridges out of a pair of CV kits.  I might even be able to do it with a single CV kit. 

The other bridge, a through plate girder variety, is hard to get much information on. Pictures suggest it is welded rather than the riveted variety that most available models are based on.  The ends are angular without the rounded top found on older versions found elsewhere. The youtube cab ride I posted earlier in this thread crosses the bridges near the end (12:30) but the shadows make it difficult to make out any details of the bridge (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td30MBjs9vs).

After a lot of fruitless searching, I came across a train hopping video that not only covers the entire line I am modeling, but gives the clearest view of the bridges:


He comes out of the Park Gate tunnel around 8:30 and arrives at the bridges at 11:00.  If you slow it down you can count the knee braces and all sorts of detail of the through truss bridge is evident as well.  Very good to finally get a sense of what I am dealing with.

I'm not advocating for this kind of thing- it is obviously dangerous, stupid and illegal- but I won't turn down detailed footage of the inaccessible parts of my prototype. 

Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #264 on: March 29, 2024, 05:37:34 PM »
+6
I managed to finish the base scenery for the layout beyond Jasper.  It looks a lot better with the foam all covered up and even with the placeholder backdrops, it is starting to look like the area I'm modeling.  The black foam is so useful for scenery because it is very forgiving at this stage.  I'm still working on the river colors but have a plan going forward.  For now, they are are just garish painted river surfaces.  Much more to do, but the messy stuff is completed and now I feel safe to put up the backdrops.






« Last Edit: March 29, 2024, 06:06:11 PM by Scottl »

Scott1984

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #265 on: March 29, 2024, 05:54:55 PM »
+1
Nice work Scott!! Looks great. :)

James Costello

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #266 on: March 29, 2024, 09:06:41 PM »
+1
Yeah, this is looking great!
James Costello
Espee into the 90's

Scottl

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Re: CN Yellowhead Division
« Reply #267 on: March 30, 2024, 03:31:19 PM »
+4
Thanks guys, I'm mostly happy with where it is going. 

While the river medium was drying I was organized my layout photos and decided to make a sequence for some of the scenes.  It is fun to see how it has progressed over the last 15 months.  The base at Park Gate evolved quite a bit while Windy Point remained largely unchanged from the initial profile.

Park Gate:



Windy Point: