Author Topic: Not the Seaboard 2.0  (Read 7857 times)

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narrowminded

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Not the Seaboard 2.0
« on: December 14, 2017, 06:01:24 AM »
+5
Well folks, I guess it's time.  First, a little background.  On reentering the model RR hobby after decades away my plans to build a decent layout, especially with a coal mine scene including operating coal mine locos, was fairly well along when my ignorance of the fact that the equipment I needed to build it, low profile mine locos that run, N scale narrow gauge, didn't exist. 8)  That was when everything went sideways. :facepalm:  After extensive searching I decided, it's OK, I'm a machinery guy, I'll just make one. 8)  Well, once I got started I found out why they didn't exist ;) and the whole power truck thing took on a life of its own.  The layout was forced to the back bench. :|   

As I began to realize, because of the power truck venture, that it would be a long time until I had something presentable to run trains on, the opportunity to purchase Dave Foxx's Seaboard Central 2.0 layout presented itself.  I have a decent assortment of locos and rolling stock that I like to be able to putz with and this gives me an opportunity to do so.  I can run trains as the mood strikes and also like to use it as background noise while I'm working on other things.  It's therapeutic. :)   I've had the layout for some time now and have been happy with the purchase, letting me run trains while spending most of my modelling time on miniature power chassis pursuits.  Dave did a lot of nice and very precise work on this.  Thanks, Dave.  Your effort continues to give enjoyment. :)


The layout was purchased unfinished.  The track was layed, the RR bridge and road bridge were in (very nice RR bridge), the water feature was in, and the roads and sidewalks were in, all fairly complete with just details on those things to finalize.  The scenery was, for the most part, covered in a base of ground foam with a few sections static grassed and one extensive section around the water feature was covered in an excellent rendition of Kudzu growth, a common invasive plant in the region he was modelling.  Very nice super trees were also in, giving a sense of something complete.  No buildings were complete but space had been allocated and unpainted examples were set in place.  And for many of you board members, you already know this and more. :)

Now for where I am in the scheme.  Dave's plan for this layout was very focused in Aberdeen North Carolina.  Mine has no particular location or era chosen and may never but the region that supports my interests could be anywhere in the Western Pennsylvania area south through the coal regions of West Virginia, and maybe even Virginia.  Or more broadly, the Appalachians.  The roads of interest from that region include the PRR, WM, B&O, C&O, Erie, and the like and the era that interests me ranges from post war to maybe the later sixties.  I haven't and may never narrow that down specifically but who knows what time, experience, and knowledge might bring.

I have done very little with this thing so far other than fix a few running issues.  Then, I have run it. ;)  Lately I took a break from the mine loco (it's accumulating hours and awaiting some next step plans) and decided to just clean up a few of the details that were left over from Dave's last downsizing rework, get things to a level of presentable, and start planning next steps.  That's going to require some thought on building and placement execution and at some point may force a decision on how far I really want to go with reworking this.  Also, modelling in this scale and at the level of detail intended is new to me.  I'm pretty well experienced in tool use and not afraid of any of it but there will definitely be a learning curve with all of the new things to learn.

An example of the kinds of decisions that will need to be made is, based on the intended region there are no rock cuts or exposed rock features.  In my region of interest they are literally everywhere.  Do I want to do that surgery?  Certainly not now and maybe never.  But I'm looking at it and haven't dismissed it yet.  I can add a building here or there, a light, a fence, etc. without disrupting the whole shebang and keeping a running layout, the original intention.  And I can also tickle the fancy and play with all sorts of details and at will.  Major surgery?  I don't know.  I may prefer to satisfy that itch with small modules, keeping the 2.0 largely as is and used as I originally intended, to run trains and on something more than a plain plywood board. :| :)

Now to the actual start of a building thread.  It will probably not be too busy here, as explained, but I hope as I progress to be able to draw on the extensive experience evidenced throughout this board.

Performance wise there was a lot of switch tweaking required as the #5 turnouts were, to varying degrees, not in spec and as a result some didn't perform consistently and a few were pretty much inoperable.  Some of this Dave had advised me of when I purchased it so there were no surprises although the extent of the out of spec stuff was a surprise and was a product issue, not anything to do with Dave's work and in fact, I suspect some of it he was unaware of.  But if there was rolling stock that didn't perform as well as others or maybe were a little finicky in some spots, or maybe just had some of the rolling stock bumping, rocking and rolling through them, that would agree with my experience and subsequent discovery of the spec issue.  Now they're smooth rolling with anything with wheels in spec, and regardless of whether high or low end of the spec.  This work was performed not too long after getting it set up here.  It was only recently that I've actually done anything beyond getting it running well and testing and tweaking locos and rolling stock.  That's largely done but also a never ending effort.  Especially if I'm going to put decoders in some of my DC stuff.

Now for some current photos, progress reports, and the start of what will likely be many questions. ;)

The work completed in the last week or so included touching up the paint on the facia.  It was all prepped and ready when I brought it home and the paint was furnished.  Just took me doing it. :)  On the layout itself there were some exposed white areas where spackling was used to level and fill.  Around the roadway and the perimeter is where most of this existed.  It's all been attended to as needed, colored in, ballasted in some spots along the edge, and WS blended turf added to get back to a clean look, even if not final.  The blended turf appears to be what was originally used and matched well.  VERY uniform appearing but that's for a future discussion. ;)

The sandy area around the lake (I'm calling it a lake, not sure that was the original feature) was very white sand looking and way too white for any of the areas I'd be interested in so I blended it with some mixed brown and tan acrylics, mostly like a wash, and darkened it and colored it as can be see in the photo.  Just my guess.  I also added some assorted sizes of grass tufts made with static grass and a few with hogs hair bristles added for some more height at the center.  I dry brushed the tips very lightly with some yellow and distributed them about in a few places around the layout, trying to get a feel of doing that detailing.  At the lake there are some larger ones that are done the same but with some oxide brown dry brushed on just the very tips to resemble a cat o' nine tails.  I think they came out OK.  And I might add that ALL of this is new to me, first time, so while I may be happy enough with it for now I am learning in leaps and bounds and the next effort will only be easier and better executed... I hope. ;)  Also toned down the sand parking lot and sand area around the engine service building from bright white to something more muted.  They will probably get more attention and the sandy lot may get changed based on what is decided for that space's purpose.

Finally... the kudzu.  :D  I like it, it's VERY well done, but I'm not sure it has any place in a Western PA or West Virginia scene.  I'm also not sure that it couldn't be modified to be something else.  I've already taken it off the trees near the bridge and lost those trees for that spot in the process. :(  I'll have to get some replacements or steal a couple from elsewhere. ;)  In the meantime, I temporarily replanted what was left of them in town.  They look decent there and will receive some scrutiny at a later time and will at least be dressed up if not replaced. 

What I did do with the kudzu on the hillside is sprinkled it with yellow grass fine turf just to see what it would look like.  I like it better than the much more uniform green that it was but don't know that it's a solution to anything.  I'm going to ponder that some more as I weigh the whole scenery plan. None of it is sealed in so it's as easy as vacuuming it up to undo it.  I'm also learning that yellow grass and blended turf appear to be staples in this work, at least for regions with water. ;)

That's enough for now.  The questions will come and comments will always be most welcome. 


These photos show the lake shore darkening, the cat o' nine tails, and the kudzu hillside with some yellow turf sprinkled.  I'll take some other pictures and attach later





« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 06:23:59 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 06:44:30 AM »
0
welcome back

metalworkertom

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 11:28:10 AM »
0
Nice layout to start learning scenery on. As you work with it many of your questions will answer themselves. Look forward to progress updates.

narrowminded

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 02:47:43 PM »
+4
Thanks.  Here are a couple of more update pictures as promised.  They include guard rails added approaching the road bridge, a view of town with a blue warehouse that may need changed, and a view up Main Street showing the general configuration as received with a couple of trees added and the building that I just detailed, my first. :|


The painted building was received with the layout and had been assembled and sprayed solid red.  It was modified from a three to two story.  I decided  to use it to practice painting of details and adding interior features fabricated from card stock, styrene, printed shelf inventory, and lighting.  It wasn't intended to be used as it had a few issues along the bottom where the cuts had been made and really couldn't be sanded any more without removing important details along the bottom front.  But a good piece to test with.  It served that purpose well, I learned a LOT about how the acrylic paint acts and general building techniques.  The result was good enough that it will likely get used somewhere.

A package of SS etched guard rails from Keystone details was furnished with the layout.  I assembled them and painted the reflector poles.  They are TINY.  Also, lesson learned (again) ;), the camera is unforgiving.  The picture shows where the first guard rail post could be folded more crisply fixing the gap and out of square in the installation.  I can fix that later as they are just poked into the foam, not permanently glued in place as they will likely be removed for additional scenery work.  And a side note, that pic also shows an area that required touch up.  All along the pavement edges that had been leveled to cleanly mate with the pavement surface the white spackling hadn't been finished and was glaring white. 

The photo of the warehouse along main street was to give the lay of the land and to request input from folks.  I feel that the building shown (blue) would not be correct for a fifties +/- era and in pondering it thought that it might be a perfect spot for a small freight terminal serving the local area.  Placed right at the rails of the siding it might make sense and look appropriate.  I'm thinking wood but brick might be good, too.  Any thoughts or ideas would be welcome, including not a freight terminal.  No landing platforms for space ships, though.  Era's perfect but it's not really required because, as we all know, they can land those things anywhere. 8)

« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 03:09:34 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

narrowminded

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 02:15:16 AM »
+5
Making the above posts and playing with my newly acquired scenery supplies led me to make a test piece to see if I could even effectively perform the work to make some rock cuts if I decide to go that far.  First effort on a foam scrap worked out OK, I think. :| And it wasn't too hard.  Again, might do a few things a little different with the color especially but I don't think this is very far off for this region.  Might be a little too dark and would welcome opinions on this.

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« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 02:41:37 AM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

Chris333

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2017, 02:51:58 AM »
0
Looks good to me. You can always drybrush it lighter if you want.

narrowminded

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2017, 03:49:35 AM »
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Thanks Chris.  That's what I am going to do even if only for the learning experience. 8)  And it's OK if I totally mess it up. 

I did this basically all wet over about an hour so it never had a chance to set and blended a little more than I might like.  I kinda' thought it might do that and I could see it happening as I messed with it.  I'll let it sit a day or so and then play with it some more.  Those acrylics paints are pretty cool for this work.  In spite of my poor techniques it came out ok anyway. :D 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 03:51:13 AM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 08:51:26 AM »
0
Looks good to me. You can always drybrush it lighter if you want.

+1
Modeling the C&O in Kentucky.

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2017, 10:51:31 AM »
0
I dig all of this.

metalworkertom

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 04:05:26 PM »
0
The rocks look good. I don't think you will have any problems getting your local look if you decide too. the blue building is definitly too modern. Will be looking forward to your progress. And waiting for your powered truck to be available.

narrowminded

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 03:06:07 PM »
+1
OK, played with a little dry brushing.  Opinions on which looks better?  :)  Or suggestions to improve in any way? 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 03:12:28 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

jpec

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 11:04:11 PM »
+1
OK, played with a little dry brushing.  Opinions on which looks better?  :)  Or suggestions to improve in any way?

Improvements? Yes. Send to me immediately at the following address.... :D....seriously, though...looks great, dude!

Jeff
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:05:55 PM by jpec »
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pdx1955

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 11:45:56 PM »
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Thanks Chris.  That's what I am going to do even if only for the learning experience. 8)  And it's OK if I totally mess it up. 

I did this basically all wet over about an hour so it never had a chance to set and blended a little more than I might like.  I kinda' thought it might do that and I could see it happening as I messed with it.  I'll let it sit a day or so and then play with it some more.  Those acrylics paints are pretty cool for this work.  In spite of my poor techniques it came out ok anyway. :D

The rockwork looks great, so I don't think you'll have any issues with if rock cuts and outcroppings suddenly start appearing on the layout. They will go a long way in changing the locale and making it your own. The hardest part will be making that first cut !
Peter

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narrowminded

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 05:07:17 AM »
0
I did try some light tan then even some white dry brush.  I think I liked the original better but my lady friend likes the dry brushed better.  It really does come down to region and then at some point, opinion.  Both looked pretty OK.  The camera (my phone camera) :| doesn't show the change very well so there's not much point in posting any more photos for comparison.  At least not these.

In painting these rocks I only used two colors, burnt umber and a light tan in the first effort.  I started by painting the tan straight up, no washes and no mixing with the burnt umber.  I let that dry for maybe a half hour or so and then started the second round, mixing in the burnt umber with the tan and using a fair amount of water, fairly dilute.  I also did a wash with the burnt umber.  In watching some videos I saw where some use a pretty bright yellow fairly early in the process and, while that didn't occur to me, it makes some sense and is something I might try.  Any rock painters have any advice on what you've tried or like? 8)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 05:09:13 AM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

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Re: Not the Seaboard 2.0
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2017, 06:25:01 AM »
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I kept touching up my rocks over and over till I was happy.

Last time I think I sprayed tan camo paint and I/A wash after it dried.