Author Topic: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA  (Read 2968 times)

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DKS

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Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« on: May 26, 2019, 02:51:54 PM »
+4
So, it all started with an idea for a Railwire mini-meet at the Black River and Western Railroader's Weekend event in June 2019, which grew out of my Black River & Western layout. From there it evolved into an impromotu T-Trak mini-meet at my home afterward. And most of the modules would be entrants in a T-Trak module challenge. At first I wasn't going to participate. But it started to nag at me... I had some leftover Kato Unitrack sitting around, not to mention a heap of nice plywood scraps courtesy of my cabinetmaking. I figured, why not see how fast I could whip up a simple module? What sealed the deal was finding some leftover Cripplebush Valley rubber rocks, one piece being almost exactly the length of the module.

Then it became a module in search of a setting, and as soon as I held up the rock casting next to the track, I instantly knew: the rock cut outside of Dauphin, Pennsylvania where the Susquehanna River cuts through a mountain range. I'd driven past the spot many times on my way to and from the Conrail Historical Society's annual Rail-B-Q events. Once I'd nailed down all of the details, it was then a relatively simple matter to pull it all together.

The setting is a deep rock cut just a few miles east-northeast of Dauphin on Route 22.









The module could not be more simple. At 24 inches long, it's a double that just happens to be the length of the leftover rubber rock. I didn't have enough long straight Kato Unitrack parts left over, but that was fine since the gentle curves I used instead fit the rock cut scene much better. (Some folks might be a little nervous with the track swinging so close to the edge of the module—they'll just have to deal with it!)



As soon as I posed the rubber rock casting next to the track, I knew what the setting would be.



I made a simple box to the T-Trak standards from leftover plywood scraps. (They didn't have a minimum depth spec, and only a "recommended" maximum of 14", so I figured 6" was perfectly fine.)



After laying the track with brush-on Krazy Glue, I simply glued the rubber rock in place with more brush-on Krazy Glue.



I then backed up the rock with a scrap of 1/2-inch thick extruded foam insulation that I cut to fit with a packing knife.



This completed the module construction. Time invested so far: about an hour looking up the specs and figuring out what I wanted to do (25 May 2019), and an hour building the module base (26 May 2019).

There's not much to the module other than the great big rubber casting, so the scenery work would consist of painting the rock, adding vegetation, and ballasting the track. Although I'd also wanted to make the falling rock fence, I left that as an option for later, if I had the time and materials. There was also a small cascade of water that I'd also wanted to make, assuming I had the time.

Knowing I was going to use Krylon sprays for the rock coloration, I sealed the exposed insulation foam with acrylic paint first to protect it. The real rock comprises a multitude of dark colors, so I broke out the greys and dark browns. Then, after getting the base coat down, I applied rusty washes made from thinned gouache.

Next up was a rapid-fire application of earth textures (dirt and finely chopped leaves) and fine ground foam vegetation glued in place with spray cement. After brushing away the excess, I applied a flat clear coat, then added shrubbery pulled from WS foliage clusters. I was working at such a breakneck speed that I didn't stop to take progress photos. Time spent, about two and a half hours (26 May 2019).



Next up will be track ballast, talus, and weeds. Which will bring the module to the point of "conditional completion": that is, it could be considered "done" assuming I elected not to add the falling rock fence and other little details.

 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 05:29:05 PM by David K. Smith »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

jpec

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2019, 06:12:40 PM »
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Speechless.
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glakedylan

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2019, 06:36:32 PM »
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DKS: looking very good! excellent, and speedy, work.
i know the spot from driving to and from PSU football games
you have captured it spot on


thanks for sharing
Gary

Dave V

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2019, 12:47:50 AM »
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That place is an icon of the PRR Northern Division.  Passed it more times than I can count between Harrisburg and Penn State.  You nailed it...but then I would expect no other outcome.
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wm3798

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2019, 10:59:45 AM »
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DKS enters the TTrak challenge... we're doomed... :facepalm:

Can't wait to see it in all of its glory in a couple of weeks...
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2019, 11:11:40 PM »
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Hot damn! I love that spot. Looking forward to see this finish coming together.

DKS

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 03:17:58 PM »
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Spent about an hour today applying ballast, talus and weeds. When it's dry, I'll blend things together with powdered chalks.

“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

wm3798

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 03:21:57 PM »
+1
Now you HAVE to do the slide fence...

Lee
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DKS

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 03:27:42 PM »
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Now you HAVE to do the slide fence...

Yessir! I'll get right on it!
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2019, 08:38:24 PM »
+1
I like that the jog out will prevent people from running too fast.

Point353

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2019, 08:59:17 PM »
+1
I like that the jog out will prevent people from running too fast.
Didn't he superelevate the curves?
Either way, it'll be a good test of body-mounted couplers.

DKS

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 03:51:55 AM »
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Hot damn! I love that spot.

Does the spot have a name? Or a nickname?
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

DKS

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2019, 07:44:16 AM »
+1
Cosmetically done. The fence (if I make it) comes next.

“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 09:45:44 AM »
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Does the spot have a name? Or a nickname?

Yep. Dauphin. lol.


Kentuckian

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Re: Challenge #3 - Dauphin, PA
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 10:37:54 AM »
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Yessir! I'll get right on it!

Judging from the prototype photo, just set the posts and tell everyone the fence is there!
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