Author Topic: A Tension Dephasit Layout Project  (Read 6601 times)

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nkalanaga

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Re: A Tension Dephasit Layout Project
« Reply #60 on: April 05, 2018, 01:57:13 AM »
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WESTERN mountain skies tend to be bluer.  Eastern mountain skies are often white, even when clear.  The difference is that the western skies usually have lower humidity, except in the Coast Ranges, and less dust and pollution.  That leads to less scattering, and blueer skies.

In the east, even far from industries, the humidity tends to be higher, and many eastern trees produce haze-producing chemicals, which combine with the higher levels of human-produced pollution.  The Great Smokey Mountains get much of their haze from the trees.

And, yes, as the others have said, the sky usually gets darker further from the horizon.
N Kalanaga
Be well

lashedup

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Re: A Tension Dephasit Layout Project
« Reply #61 on: April 19, 2018, 12:30:32 PM »
+1
Need to get caught up a bit...

While I could try and copy and paste all the links, I'll post a few update photos and you can find the rest HERE.

First, here is the track plan for the Cajon Pass section modeling from roughly CP Walker to Sullivan's Curve:




I'm using Rubbermaid shelf brackets for this part of the layout. These are 18" brackets and in testing they hold pretty solid out to about 22-24" and then you can run into sag issues.  What I decided to do is mount the brackets and then screw in a piece of dimensional lumber on top:



On top of that will be a box frame attached with metal 90 degree brackets. The box frames attached to each other with connecting plates and in a few locations one of the box frame members is actually attached to a vertical pillar, wall or ceiling and when all tied together is very stout. I have one bracket in the middle of the Sullivan's Curve area (widest part of the layout) that I will brace with a 45 degree piece of wood underneath:
 


The farthest bracket will be supported by vertical connections to the ceiling via the backdrop which I'll get to in a minute. Overall I wanted to avoid having additional brackets under the layout if I can so storage is free and clear.

I temporarily laid up a 1" sheet of foam insulation board so I could visually sort out curves and easements and also plot the grades to get under the layout for the turnaround loop.



and looking the other direction:



Once i was happy with the curves and scenery/track ratio, I drew the centerlines on the foam and cut out roadbed templates so I could make sure things looked ok. This was an additional waste step for some, but I'm really trying to get an idea in my head of how all this will look. Part of it is driven by this fun exercise on compressing scenes:



It is roughly 1,800 feet across Sullivan's Curve (one of the sharper prototype mainline curves) in real life. In N scale that's slightly over 11 feet:



Compressed more than half that is still big:



So some realization that this is going to be tough to capture well is setting in, but fingers cross. I originally allocated about 48 inches to this space, but in the end it will be closer to 54" inches wide once I looked at curves and scenery placements. Smallest radius curve is 18" with the largest being 21".   I prefer 21" or higher for passenger equipment, but I can't compromise the aisle much more at this point. Hope for the best. :)

I attached one of the vertical supports to the ceiling and tied it into the bracket below and clamped up some loose masonite hardboard to see where my 8 foot sheet gets me:



And the view from the other side with a little visual:



So I attached another vertical support from the ceiling and started cutting and attaching hardboard panels:



On the layout side I installed blocks to hold the boards in alignment and provide more screw locations and 90 degree metal brackets on the bottom to hold the bottom of the hardboard in alignment with the wall.



and here is the overall view:



I'm waiting to finish the curved parts of the benchwork on the front so I can still work on the backdrop without the reach in being too difficult. Here is the view in the other direction:



Roadbed and track are next.

Scottl

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Re: A Tension Dephasit Layout Project
« Reply #62 on: April 19, 2018, 01:20:32 PM »
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Great progress.  I'm enjoying this build.

lashedup

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Re: A Tension Dephasit Layout Project
« Reply #63 on: April 27, 2018, 04:30:00 PM »
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Ok, more updates. The next bit to work on is to wrap up the backdrops and start getting roadbed down.

When we left off in the last update, the masonite hardboard backdrops are up and the next step is lightweight flexible spackle to hide the seams and flush screw heads. The particular spackle I use goes on a pink color when its wet and dries white which is a nice way to have some idea of how much things have set up. I still generally wait overnight before sanding as you’ll have a big mess on your hands (and sand paper!) if you try too soon. As an intermediate step I usually take a wet smooth cloth, wring it out and wipe down the first coat of spackle. The water in the cloth helps to smooth those edges a bit and level things out. Plus the wet cloth first step is much less messy than the last step which is sanding. Here is the first coat starting to dry:



And after sanding and a quick coat of ceiling white to see how things look:



The top right corner is where the upper valance will tie into the backdrop which will bring that corner more in line with everything else. After that a coat of Behr Charismatic Sky blue was rolled onto the backdrop and I started flushing out the curved parts of the benchwork:



To get the curved front fascia spacing right, I take a 6-8 foot length of 8-10″ tall hardboard and clamp it up to the outside to simulate the lower valance and see where the hardboard wants to naturally curve. Here I’ve got some clamped up so I could trace the curve on some 3/4″ plywood valance support where the trains will pass under the layout:



After the benchwork tweaks I wanted to start plotting out curves for the roadbed. So I got out another masonite strip and some nails to see how curves and easements would look. This is looking north from Sullivan’s Curve up towards CP Walker:



I’m using a 1/4 MDF material for the road bed. This material is resistant to expansion, passed a water soaking test I did (meaning it won’t fall apart when soaked with ballast) and is easy to work with. I’m using a combination of risers and foam under this since there are so many complex landforms which will further support the roadbed. Once I was happy with the way the curves looked, I marked the center lines.  Next I cut the roadbed for Sullivan’s Curve as I needed to start working on the grades down and into the turnaround loop. At this point nothing is attached yet:



And here is the initial look at the transition down into the turnaround loop or staging:



Next I measured out the largest loop I could fit between the two support beams and cut the turnaround loop main board, leaving the center open so I can get underneath to grab anything that may be an issue. This was roughly a 17.5 inch curve in the end which should be fine for N scale equipment. I also plan to install a re-railer under here as well to help minimize issues. I used the laser level to make sure the board was nice and flat:



And from the bottom:



With that piece in place, I need to cut the transition boards to mate up with the roadbed leading out to Sullivan’s Curve. Lots of measuring, fitting and cutting here to get it nice and flush:



Next came the roadbed on the north end of the layout:



I initially clamp the roadbed in place to see how it looks. After making trim adjustments, everything is glued in place and cork profiles where glued into place:



At Sullivan’s Curve:



And down into the turnaround/staging tracks:





Next update is to put track down, wire it up and make some test runs. Also more updates on the Scenic Sub side coming soon as I'm finally getting caught up on the Cajon Pass side. I also want to pick your brains on some ideas for the other side of the layout. I'll post that in a separate post.

Thanks for reading!

-jamie

Bob

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Re: A Tension Dephasit Layout Project
« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2018, 01:04:45 PM »
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Your craftsmanship is impressive!  I'm really enjoying your updates.

lashedup

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Re: A Tension Dephasit Layout Project
« Reply #65 on: May 01, 2018, 06:14:03 PM »
+1
So I have been doing some research into  3D terrain generation as I'd like to use photo backgrounds, but would also like to try and get close to the prototype areas. I have stitched together panoramics by using photos from drone footage I took in Cajon Pass. Similar to this only in a very large size:



This view is from what will be the north end of the layout and stretches from a view looking Northeast to the right to North to West on the left.  The issue is the height and places where the tracks will come close to the backdrop where I need a lower almost street view. I have photoshopped some different samples that I'm going to print and test. Meanwhile I started looking at terrain generating software as you can download digital height maps of a given area and map scenery on top. Along the way I stumbled on a Photoshop plugin that does this function to create a map like this:



The biggest limitation with this is that it is very limited in views and zoom, meaning you can't set a camera at a given point to render a give area. That requires real software that I'm looking into just to see what's possible. Anyway, thought it was cool. Here is one for the Scenic Sub:



This all turned into a major rabbit hole time waster, but it was educational on where to get the height maps and how to overlay the google data. Either way, I've got options.

- jamie