Author Topic: Grand Trunk Southern  (Read 9937 times)

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GaryHinshaw

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2018, 04:33:06 AM »
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Neat!  I really enjoyed the turbo video, but I didn't make the connection that it was your layout.  The sight of turbos snaking through your S curves was sweet.  It must have been a trip having Jason & Co in the house.   :D

shark_jj

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2018, 11:12:12 AM »
+2
Thanks Gary, yes, it was a lot of fun.  It gave me some interesting insights.  Jason knowledge of the Turbo is amazing and listening to them talk about the issues they needed to address on the production models gives you an insight into how seriously they focus on trying to make an accurate well running model.  It was also great to have Dan there who is a whiz at the technical side.  I had been having trouble with my Prairie Shadows cabooses making them run well.  I had gotten the 33 inch wheels from Rapido to replace the 36 inch ones but I was still dragging the cabooses around the layout behind trains.  I mentioned this to Dan.  He explained that the plastic on the trucks is very thin to allow for the brass inserts for the lighting and it bends easily, so the truck side frames go out of alignment.  A little bending with his fingers and voila!, my cabooses run reasonably well for the first time.  I think I will actually post this on the main forum so others know to do it.

Now that the Rapido video is done, our regular Wednesday night round robin group was back at my house and we continued ballasting.  Here are the guys hard at work.

Colin



Ken



John and Neal


shark_jj

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #62 on: September 23, 2018, 02:14:50 PM »
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When Jason and his gang visited the layout in March to shoot the Turbo video, they really liked the S Curve on the lower level of my turnback loop.  Their comments got me focused on this area as it is the first thing you see as you enter the layout room and I had never been happy with its appearance.  In the two photos below you can see that area with the CN Turbo train going around the upper level loop.  Clearly, it was going to be a bit of a challenge as there are two levels of track in close proximity to one another.




 
This is my fourth layout at home, and I spent 30 years in the HOMES Club, most of it focused on scenery, so I had some clear ideas in my head on how I wanted to proceed.  The other four guys in our round robin group, however, didn’t have much experience with scenery and we agreed that this project would be a great learning experience for them.  I will share our experiences through some of the photos I took.
 
As you can see the fascia is uniform throughout the curve and I wanted that to change.  The original idea was for a ballasted fill on about a third of the upper level track.  We talked about whether to use foam (pink or blue), screening, or cardboard web to form the contours.  The group doing this part of the task chose screening.  After cutting the fascia out on the front, it was decided to use a combination of cardboard webbing and screening to provide support for the plaster.  On the interior we used screening pushed up with newspapers stuffed in from underneath.  The photo below clearly shows this stage of the construction.   





The next step was to cut out the subroadbed to permit the installation of a bridge. 



Since this was on a curve, the type of bridge became an issue.  We couldn’t locate a bridge that would work for the  curve we needed and so consideration was given to a tunnel.  The difficulty with a tunnel is the turnout for Nathansville Siding that you see on this side of the bridge cut.  After considerable research, I found a bridge on the Lehigh Valley.  A curved ballasted deck girder supported by a steel lattice structure across the D&H tracks underneath.  Perfect, we had a prototype for our bridge. 
 
In order to install our bridge, we routered keys into the subroadbed on each side. 



The bridge itself would use 1/4 inch hardboard as its base with deck girders and a ballasted deck.  One of the advantages of this type of construction is that we were able to install the bridge deck immediately, lay cork and re-install the track.  This meant that the layout was operational again, excluding the mess, as construction continued.  In the photograph below, you can see the 1/4 inch hardboard installed, track laid, and by the time of this photo, bridge abutments being installed.  If I had guests I could clean the layout and run trains if necessary.

 


shark_jj

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #63 on: September 23, 2018, 02:29:34 PM »
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The next step would be to begin installing rock castings.  In the past I had always made rock castings from a large 50 pound bag of hydrocal that I purchased 25 years ago.  Unfortunately, it had finally passed its best by date and I needed another option.  I had 4 or 5 containers of Woodlands Scenics Lightweight Hyrdrocal that was part of an estate I purchased a couple of years ago.  I followed their instructions for amounts of water vs amount of lightweight hyrdrocal.  Bad choice, mix was runny and when it finally dried the castings were chalky and easily broken.  Second attempt, forget the instructions, add water until I reached a consistency that memory served me should be about right and the castings came out great.  Lesson learned, if you are using Lightweight Hyrdrocal, be cautious with amount of water, use your own judgement on consistency. 

Here are some photos of the castings just sitting in place.







At this stage the guys weren't seeing how it would all come together.  I tackled the castings in the front, and finished them off including colouring them to show them what the finished product would look like before we continued on.  Here is a photo of that.



I'll stop here for today, and continue this thread tomorrow.

shark_jj

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2018, 07:42:34 PM »
+1
A quick revisit to this image. 



This was the stage at which the guys who hadn't done scenery before were struggling to envision how it was going to turn out.  You can see where we have started to cover the screening and the pink foam with Woodlands Scenics plaster cloth.  I then showed them how to layer on a coat of Sculptamold and use Sculptamold to fill the gaps between the rock castings.  The biggest thing was to try and give the rocks a 3 dimensional appearance.  At this stage, the guys who hadn't done this before were quite startled at the change in appearance of the castings and we moved on to tackling the next step which was to paint the castings.  Again there was some trepidation, fear of getting it wrong.  It took a little bit of convincing to make them believe that there was no wrong.  The paints are the cheap $1 a bottle stuff from Michael's.  A black wash over everything, then straight black, straight burnt umber, and straight raw umber, dry brushed on to give highlights.  The first one that they tried was a little dark, however, I showed them that if you dipped a stiff brush in plain water and scrubbed the casting a little, it lightened right up.  I was happy with the results of their efforts and they were thrilled.  Here are some photos showing the results of these efforts.



The picture below demonstrates quite well the 3 dimensional effect we were seeking.



Here we can see some of the rockwork around the bridge abutments.



An overall view looking into the cut




shark_jj

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #65 on: June 16, 2019, 02:47:17 PM »
+7
I got distracted on other things and never did finish this series of posts.  Here are some photos of the finished scene.








shark_jj

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #66 on: June 16, 2019, 03:13:21 PM »
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My latest project has been to add water to the river and the rapids in Ethansburg.  I decided to use the new Woodlands Scenics "water" products.  To prepare the scene I sealed the edge along the fascia with clear silicone caulk.  Plaster was poured into the river bottom and allowed to set.  Truth be told, this part was done about 18 months ago, but it sets the stage for the actual water pour, and underscores the need to make sure all of the edges of your water course are sealed.  I had painted the bottom black with tan colored shallows and the two colours blended together. 

Railwire Member Fredrick Aldhoch has been working with me on the layout the last month or so and one of the tasks he and my grandson Ethan undertook was to paint another part of the River in another aisle.  At my suggestion he used the Woodland Scenics Olive Green undercoat with tan shallows.  One look and I fell in love with that colour over the black I had used in the main river.  Needless to say Fredrich and Ethan were soon repainting the entire river bottom, Olive Green in the deeps, and tan in the shallows. 

For the water, I had previously tested Woodlands Scenics Deep Pour Water Murky in a couple of ponds and was happy with the effects and how easy it was to work with.  I did take pains to follow the instructions to the letter.  I read that was important somewhere.  Either in a post on Railwire by Randgust when he did his water, or in the instruction video put out by Woodland Scenics.  In any event, I had no issues with the pour so I would urge anyone else using the product to do the same, follow the instructions. 

The ponds which were about 6 square inches, dried perfectly.  The river however was another story.  The river is a total of 12 feet long, and 2 to 3 inches wide.  My plan was to do it as one continuous pour.  That being said continuous means 4 separate mixings and then pourings, simply because of the amount of product.  There was 15 minutes between pours.  The 15 minutes was because I went with the optional mixing method of 5 minutes stirring, 5 minutes covered sitting, and then an additional 5 minutes mixing.  This helps to eliminate air bubbles in the mix.  I assume it works, since I had no air bubble problems. 

They talk about a film possibly forming on the product and using a hair dryer to remove it as it dries.  I didn't encounter this film issue, which was good, since neither my wife or I own a hair dryer.  What I did encounter was what I can best describe as "stretch marks"  These were small lines in the water that could only be seen if you got down and looked at the water sideways in the light.  Standing tall they weren't overly visible, but of course, I knew they were there and they kind of bugged me.  There is no mention of this outcome in the instructions or how to avoid it.

In any event, it became a non-issue since my next step was to apply the Woodlands Scenics Water Ripple product.  This is a gel type material which you stipple on with a stiff brush.  Very simple.  It dries in 24 hours and gives the water a moving effect and Hooray, it covers the stretch marks. 

My next step was to use Woodlands Scenics Water Wave product to create a fast moving water in the rapids and narrows at one end of this scene.  I also used their White Water Highlight Paint to lightly dry brush this fast moving water.  I imagine you could use craft paint, but at this point, in for a penny in for a pound.

Overall, I am satisfied with how this has turned out, but the one warning I would give is that this is not an inexpensive process, compared to some other options.

Here are some photos.

The first is the area of the rapids and the narrows showing the use of the Water Waves product and the white highlights



The actual rapids and the white water is clearer.



Top of the rapids showing the transition area and the ripples on the river surface



Another shot of the wave action in the narrows.


wm3798

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #67 on: Yesterday at 12:21:58 PM »
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I got distracted on other things and never did finish this series of posts.  Here are some photos of the finished scene.







Outstanding execution...  That's a signature scene, there.  Reminiscent of the peninsula I built for the old WM...


Only you have better trees!
All the best!
Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

shark_jj

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #68 on: Yesterday at 12:28:49 PM »
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Thanks Lee, appreciate the kind words.

LIRR

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Re: Grand Trunk Southern
« Reply #69 on: Yesterday at 02:16:06 PM »
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very nicely done...