Author Topic: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf  (Read 6390 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2018, 10:24:39 AM »
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Very nice!

I like the wood+foam combo.

I'd recommend a few things...
1. Make sure to fill in the gaps between ties with salvaged ones or strip styrene. I was lazing in a few places on the NCR and kick myself for it.
2. Given your subject matter, you'll probably want to trim the edges of the cork to give you a lighter weight ballast profile. I found that that in many cases, cork just put the track up too high for many types of trackage. I'm betting you'll find the same thing given your subject matter. I should probably break it out into its own article, but you can see what I mean here: http://conrail1285.com/july-2017-york-progress-report/ The issue can be summed up with this photo:


I'm really looking forward to watching your progress!

LIRR

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2018, 11:48:48 AM »
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it's coming along nicely.....the first train is always a rush

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2018, 11:58:48 AM »
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Oh, I also forgot to mention: I love the Ikea shelf benchwork. Quick and easy.

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2018, 09:32:55 AM »
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I have started experimenting with the foam scenery by making a small 5" x 9" diorama.

So far i've carved the foam, put down the cork and track.  Cut back the cork as Ed suggested. Covered it in sculptamold, painted the track, painted the base, added a wash to the base, and added some color variation to the ties. 

I also tried my hand at backdrop painting.

I mixed up a acrylic slurry and dunked a big of my ground foam in to get a few extra colors.  It seems like its mostly dry this morning, but still pretty clumpy.  I wouldn't be opposed to buying the colors I want except that one small bag *should* actually cover my entire layout if you believe their coverage estimates.

Im looking forward to adding ballast and ground foam today.






freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2018, 01:52:19 PM »
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I've ballasted and weathered this small chunk of track.  All in all, im pretty pleased but I've got a few bare spots that I didn't fix before weathering.  How can i make this better?




Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2018, 02:39:05 PM »
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How can i make this better?

Might I suggest a Conrail GP38-2?

But seriously, that looks great. I really like the variation on the track where the ties are separate from the tie plates.

I love your approach of doing a small test section. I did that myself and it really helped me nail down some techniques.

What are you using as the scenery base there? I like it

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2018, 07:15:53 AM »
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The scenery base is Sculptamold over XPS foam.  I had issues with the sculptamold 'pilling' as i worked it which necessitated sanding after it had hardened up, more experimentation will be required.  After that I did a 3 color (browns) paint job followed by a grey wash to get some variegation and depth.

Last night I added some fine ground foam in four colors (three of which I made using the base burnt grass color and diluted acrylic paint).  Im not quite happy with the near seporation between the ballast and the ground foam.  Maybe I needed to carry the foam all the way to the ballast edge.  I am also not sure what to do with the bare patch in the forground.  I thought the texture looked interesting and so left it, but now that is is just a bare patch it doesn't look quite right.

I've also started playing around with making bottle brush tree armatures and discovered Grove Dens tree thread on the scenery board.

I  am pleased with how well the scene is its blending into the backdrop now.  When it was all brown it wasn't as convincing but now I think it works well.


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2018, 11:31:04 AM »
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The scenery base is Sculptamold over XPS foam.  I had issues with the sculptamold 'pilling' as i worked it which necessitated sanding after it had hardened up, more experimentation will be required.  After that I did a 3 color (browns) paint job followed by a grey wash to get some variegation and depth.

Sanding! Sanding is great. I did that on much of my base too. Again, because tiny little crevasses and lumps are actually big in N scale. I think it looks great. Have you tried other stuff like light weight spackling? I like its flexibility and weight (thanks to Foxxy for that one).

Last night I added some fine ground foam in four colors (three of which I made using the base burnt grass color and diluted acrylic paint).  Im not quite happy with the near seporation between the ballast and the ground foam.

Maybe I needed to carry the foam all the way to the ballast edge. 


Well... I actually like it (provided this is supposed to be a mainline), but what I think is missing is some sort of differentiated soil around the tracks. This is one of my biggest uses for mixed (but primarily black) unsanded grout. You can apply it with a small brush and I think it'd go a long way. Take a look at it here: http://conrail1285.com/right-of-way-size-study/

You might also want to vary the coloration as well. So, maybe add some yellower grass along the ballast edge assuming that it's been weed sprayed.

However, I will again recommend going off of photographs of what you're trying to recreate.

I am also not sure what to do with the bare patch in the forground.  I thought the texture looked interesting and so left it, but now that is is just a bare patch it doesn't look quite right.

You can throw in some rocks, or maybe use it as an opportunity to try out some bush options.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2018, 11:47:31 AM »
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Is this the look you're going for (although, in the summer)?

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=219301

I'll also throw this out there too... I feel like Chessie tended to use lighter colored ballast.

And lastly, ooh, that photo gives me tingly feelings...

wazzou

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2018, 11:57:32 AM »
+1
And lastly, ooh, that photo gives me tingly feelings...


Must be the bare naked trees.
Bryan

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2018, 12:32:54 PM »
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Must be the bare naked trees.

Hahaha.

Brian M

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2018, 11:58:49 AM »
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I'll tack on with the other guys and say that I like what you've done with the modules, really nicely built.

I just visited northern Michigan for the first time at the end of May to pick up my step-son from Interlochen Arts Academy.  We went into Traverse City a few times, and out to Frankfort on the coast.  It is a very pretty area.  Just needs more trains.   :P  Did happen to drive under a bridge in Grand Rapids on the way to the airport that still had a really nice Chessie System emblem on the side.  It looked like it had been made out of metal and bolted onto the bridge, versus painted on, so it was still in very good condition.

With regards to the scenery, I've also used Sculptamold a lot, and you can get it down smoother to avoid some of the sanding.  You have to experiment to find the right level of mush for the effect you desire, but if you go a little bit on the wetter side, and mix it really well, you might be able to avoid some of the clumps.  You can also wet your fingers with water and rub the Sculptamold after it has dried a little, and that will help smooth it out.

I think if you put down a layer of dirt, right up to the cork roadbed, and then put down ballast, that will help with the areas between the ballast and where the vegetation starts.  If you use real dirt, you want to sift it to get it as fine as possible, as in N scale, most dirt should be close to a powder in order to scale properly.  And like Ed said, you might want to vary the colors some, in both the vegetation and the dirt.  Finally, don't hesitate to scrape the scenery off and try again if you're not satisfied...the materials are really cheap and it's more important to get an end result you're happy with.

Looking forward to seeing how things progress.

-Brian.

freedj

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2018, 08:57:17 AM »
+1
Im looking forward to my next attempt at sculptamold.  I think i'll make it a bit wetter, and work it less at the beginning, and more as it sets up.  I was getting pilling from working it where the paper would actually roll up and stick out on the top surface.  I *think* that was from working it to much to early.  We will see.

I went out to the back yard this weekend and got myself some really dry dirt which I sifted and applied next to the track and in the bald spot.  I also added a bit of larger clumps of multi-color ground foam. I think it made a really nice difference.




I also put together a draft of my switch control board.  This one is melemane and sharpie, but It gives me a place to mount the DPDT toggles for frog and servo control.  I'll be using one side of each switch for the frog power, and the other side to be an input for an arduino based servo point controller.  I had considered driving the frog from the arduino via relays or transistors, or from a micro switch mounted near the servo but in the end thought that just using a DPDT would be the simplest and least error prone way to handle it.

I've got the frog power side of the switches half wired at this point and im trying to decide if I want to add a connector so that the switch panel is easy to pull off to the bench or direct wire it to the turnouts & arduino.  I am leaning towards a connector of some sort, possibly just a 16 position ribbon cable where each frog gets two wires for slightly increased amp capacity.





Finally, I made some nice progress on tree armatures.  I've made three bottle brush pines and four twisted wire desiduas armatures, one of which I have added extra fiber to to be the small branches.  I dont' yet have a static grass applicator so right now im just sifting on cut up fibers for the tiny branches. 




MK

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2018, 02:25:18 PM »
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Just as a helpful hint and not criticism, instead of using a Sharpie to do those lines, you can get a roll of striping tape at a LHS that sells R/C airplanes or order on line.  They are self adhesive and start at 1/16" width with 1/16" increments.  Comes in all kinds of colors too.

Blazeman

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Re: N scale Boardman River Branch switching shelf
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2018, 12:46:08 PM »
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Just as a helpful hint and not criticism,... you can get a roll of striping tape at a LHS that sells R/C airplanes or order on line.  They are self adhesive and start at 1/16" width with 1/16" increments.  Comes in all kinds of colors too.

I was in a Hobby Lobby last week and recall seeing rolls of said tape, but can't recall what the section was where it was stocked.