Author Topic: CSX Cumberland Division  (Read 6597 times)

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Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2019, 05:04:01 AM »
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The focus trick is pretty good actually! I like seeing the whole train just like in the real world. Each bridge panel looks a bit different which gives it a more realistic feel.

Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2019, 07:39:27 AM »
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Hi Erik,
I think some of the panels may be too different - I sure don't want them to be all the same.  Now that the bridge is up I can compare the panels and make some adjustments.  Right now I am weathering the piers that you designed - same deal as the bridge panels - they need to be different from each other, but not too different.  I'm really happy with the look of the bridge shoes - as you can see from the photo I am going to have to use shims under some of the piers due to slight variations in the height of the panels - I should have taken more care to glue them all at exactly the same position on the aluminum channel.  Oh well!

tefsom85

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2019, 09:43:01 AM »
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Love the look of that bridge.  The weathering is fantastic.

Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2019, 10:09:38 AM »
+1
With the 1931 bridge making rapid progress, I am beginning to think more deeply about how to construct and scenic Maryland Heights, which towers over the Harpers Ferry tunnel portal and in my N-scale Cumberland Division conveniently hides the helix to the lower staging area.  The basic Styrofoam landform is in place as shown in an earlier post, but I thought it would be nice to review how I constructed this. It was important to me that Maryland Heights be as close to scale as possible and I achieved this by using a USGS topographic map. In the newer on-line USGS maps, you can toggle between satellite view and the regular topographic view that shows contour lines, which depict changes in elevation in 20-foot increments.  I took a screen shot of the approximate area of Maryland Heights in satellite view that I would model including the two Potomac river bridges, and then took a screen shot of the exact same area in topographic view.  I then pasted these images into PowerPoint where I already had the track plan.  In the top image, you can see where I used dark, black lines to delineate the edges of the bench work as well as the tracks on the two Potomac river bridges.  I then dragged the satellite view on top of the track plan, which of course obscured the plan.  However, in PowerPoint you can adjust the transparency of an image so that you can ‘see’ through it – I adjusted the transparency of the satellite view so that I could see the dark, black lines denoting the layout.  Now came the period of adjustment – I centered the satellite view on the 1931 bridge, which is a convenient straight line.  I pivoted the image so that the bridge that could be seen in the satellite view lined up with the bridge in the track plan.  Since the bridge on the layout is about 90% to scale, I adjusted the size of the satellite image so that the two bridge images lined up perfectly both with regards to length and angle.  You can see this in the top image, and can see that the angle between the 1931 and 1894 bridges is narrower than in real life - - nothing I could do about this, as there is only so far one can reach across a layout and I was not interested in making the layout deeper and having an access hatch in the back.  At the very top of the image you can see some short black lines – these denote the piers for the Bollman truss bridge that was washed away in the 1930’s - the piers remain to this day, some more intact than others.  However, the net result of this process is that I could see the precise region of Maryland Heights that was to be modeled, and could also see Sandy Hook road, the C&O canal tow path, the remains of lock house 33 and the shore line of the Potomac.  Now that I had things lined up, I repeated the process but this time with the topo view (bottom image), and this provided me with the elevation information that I needed to shape Maryland Heights.

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Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #49 on: January 04, 2019, 10:10:10 AM »
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Having now produced a PowerPoint slide showing all of this information, I next drew a full-size track plan on a large sheet of paper, and taped this to my basement wall (left image).  I then borrowed a slide projector from work, and projected the PowerPoint slide on the wall, again using the 1931 bridge as a guide to both place and scale the projected image.  Once this was done, I used a Sharpie to draw the contour lines, the shore line, Sandy Hook road and the towpath (right image).  I now had a full size track plan with the needed elevation information.  Next came the Styrofoam.  I used 1.5” Styrofoam as this represents 20 feet in N scale – a perfect match for the contour lines.  I then laid the track plan on sheets of Styrofoam, and used a nail to punch holes along each successive contour line.  Upon removing the track plan, I had a sheet of Styrofoam with the contour edge marked by a series of nail holes.  I used a jigsaw with a fine tooth blade to cut the Styrofoam, laid these atop each other, and then used a reciprocating saw and a shaping tool to smooth the contours.

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Bob

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Maryland Heights
« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2019, 10:10:56 AM »
+1
The shaping is not quite done, but the third image shows where things stand now.  The overall size is close to reality, but the scale of the topo maps does show the cliffs in sufficient detail.   If you look at the lower right image, which I took from a posted drone video, you can see the tunnel portal and the rock cliffs where the strata point to about 1 O’clock.  The red line shows kind of an indentation – to the left is a much wider part of the cliff that has a relatively flat surface on which was painted sometime around 1903-1906 and reads “Mennen’s Borated Talcum Toilet Powder”.  Clearly, advertisements were out of control in the early 1900’s!!  The blue circle shows the location of the sign.  If you look at the Styrofoam version of Maryland heights, you can see the same indentation (marked with a blue line), to the left of which is a protrusion on which I will model the wider portion of the cliff.  The sign will go in the area marked by the blue circle, more or less.

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Since I have not done rock castings before (or frankly any of this), I think I need to practice on a different part of the layout before trying my hand at what will be the signature point of the N scale Cumberland Division.

Bob

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Maryland Heights
« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2019, 10:40:07 AM »
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I meant to write that the scale of the USGS maps (1:24,000) does not show the cliff topology that well.  There are some really good drone videos posted on YouTube that should help be design and place the rock castings.

basementcalling

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2019, 05:04:38 PM »
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Whatever you are doing is working because that scene looks spot on to me, and I have seen it from the bridges, from the walking path, from the highway, and from water level view on fishing trips down the Shenandoah and Potomac through Harpers Ferry.

Keep doing what you are doing. I think you have a classic signature scene in progress.
Peter Pfotenhauer

SAH

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2019, 11:21:39 AM »
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A very fine explanation of your design process Bob.  The scene will be a show stopper. 

When I came to the area for a temporary assignment (going on 2 years now  :P) I lived in Charles Town, WV and would visit Harpers Ferry on occasion.  During trips up and down the valley to Greensboro for weekend visits I saw little used rail lines here and there.  I happened upon Bob Cohen's "A Trip by Rail in the Shenandoah Valley on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Southern Railway" at a train show.  It tied the Shen Valley rail scene and how Harpers Ferry fits in nicely.  While I've not seen the locale from as many viewpoints as Peter has I think you've nailed it.

Steve

Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2019, 03:52:09 PM »
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Thanks Steve and Peter!  Harper's Ferry really lends itself to modeling in N scale, and I am highly motivated to make the scene recognizable.  Aaron's post a page back was really helpful, as it caused me to look at a number of drone videos that give a great perspective of the cliffs, bridges and town - very helpful for modeling!

sirenwerks

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2019, 05:04:04 PM »
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Hi Sirenworks - I'm afraid I don't know what HASL and LOC stand for!  COuld you spell them out?  I have plans on the station, and quite a bit of information on the 1896 bridge, but really not much on the 1931 bridge, which is less of a problem as it it pretty much a string of 100-foot plate girders.  Thanks!
Bob


Try this [size=78%]https://www.loc.gov/collections/historic-american-buildings-landscapes-and-engineering-records/about-this-collection/[/size] Search "Harpers Ferry" and you come up with a lot of stuff. Here's the station drawings: [/size][size=78%]https://www.loc.gov/resource/hhh.wv0538.sheet?st=gallery[/size] Is this the bridge you're talking about: [/size]
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2019, 12:12:43 AM »
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Thanks Steve and Peter!  Harper's Ferry really lends itself to modeling in N scale, and I am highly motivated to make the scene recognizable.  Aaron's post a page back was really helpful, as it caused me to look at a number of drone videos that give a great perspective of the cliffs, bridges and town - very helpful for modeling!

Oh, I think you're making it much more that "recognizable"😎
It's not easy to recreate well known prototype scenes in model form, and you, sir, appear to be nailing it! Well done so far! Keep the creative juices flowing and the progress pics coming!
Otto K.

Bob

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Bridge Piers
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2019, 10:47:41 AM »
+8
Weathering of the bridge piers has begun in earnest.  The piers, which were 3D-printed by Erik of Ngineer, were spray painted with RustOleum Textured Sandstone.  They then got a wash of India Ink to bring out the horizontal lines that must denote different concrete pours, diluted off white acrylic paint on the bottom three levels to reflect portions of the piers that are often under water, and then light rust weathering powder with dark rust vertical streaks and a bit of soot and weathered brown powders mixed in.  I used white acrylic paint in an attempt to mimic the effervescence you see at the tops of the piers, took four photos and used Helicon Focus. Too much variation in the individual piers, but I am getting better!

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unittrain

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2019, 11:42:27 AM »
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That is exceptional modeling there, those bridge piers are well done, ii like the idea Rust-Oleum textured paint. It's always fun experimenting with different techniques that give really good results. True Railwire fashion. 8) This scene with water and trees ect will definitely be outstanding.

Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2019, 11:45:25 AM »
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It gets awesomer every time you post!!!
I must say you are a genius with how you built the mountainside with the USGS maps, layers of foam and a beamer. And the weathering looks excellent with all the shades and nuances.