Author Topic: Conrail up in Coal Country  (Read 27005 times)

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Hawghead

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #270 on: January 02, 2020, 02:54:01 PM »
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Ed,

Seems to me that no matter what you do, you're not going to have enough room to even come close to the prototypical Breaker and track arrangement.  Being new to the hobby you may not be familiar with the term "selective compression"  :trollface:.

Anyway, it looks to me that the Breaker is going to have to go somewhere in the inside of the curve between the stub ended spur in the upper right and the siding switch on right.  Based on the photos you posted, your two track with the hoppers on them would be two of the "receiving tracks" of the prototype yard and the spur (running to the silver building model) would be the lead to the front end loader facility.  With the Breaker tucked into the inside of the mainline in the background, you come pretty close "visually" to what I see in the photos.  I do think you'd lose easy access to that stub ended spur in the back right.

Scott
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

wm3798

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #271 on: January 02, 2020, 02:57:04 PM »
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To me the breaker is a natural for a semi-3D flat against a center skyboard.  I have a 16" wide HCD I can bring to you this weekend.  No, no... just shut up and take it.  I'm tired of stepping over it in the garage. :lol:

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #272 on: January 02, 2020, 05:19:40 PM »
+1
Well... there isn't going to be a skyboard, per se. Just a ridge line down the center high enough to block the view (generally) from the other side.

I think I have been convinced that the offset "incorrect" breaker will be something I can live with. Now to design one...

wm3798

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #273 on: January 02, 2020, 06:03:51 PM »
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Properly done, a skyboard can add depth to both sides of the layout... at the same time it shrinks it.  You'll never be able to achieve the vertical view block with a squirrely little ridge, and that breaker would definitely be visible from the other side without a more substantial view block.

A "mountain" would have to be ridiculously steep, and covered with trees that are in keeping with the close viewing angle, while a skyboard could have a gentler slope down low that transitions to a painted backdrop that can give the appearance of dozens... or hundreds of miles.  I think it would substantially improve the vignette concept as well, and could, conceivably, support a "T" shed style valance.

Plus, the back drop would give you something to "unfold" the Walthers kit, using 4 sides to build 2 would give you the appearance of a much larger structure.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

squirrelhunter

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #274 on: January 02, 2020, 06:46:53 PM »
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I'm with Lee, even just a sky board for this part of the layout might help.

What about a structure that is made of photos of the breaker pasted on several layers of foamcore? It could be big without taking up much depth on the layout...

Missaberoad

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #275 on: January 02, 2020, 09:02:38 PM »
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I like the ridge idea, that combined with a good tree line would create an effective view block and scene separation.

Just IMHO...
Ryan in Alberta

wm3798

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #276 on: January 02, 2020, 09:56:20 PM »
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Based on the photo, the breaker is about 10-12 stories tall.  That's a little over 120', maybe 130' at the top of the gable.   In N scale, assuming no selective compression, that's a structure of about 9.5" in height.  To fully view block that, the ridge would have to be at least 8" high, assuming the trees are tall enough to do the rest of the job. 

But, if you design the ridge to accommodate forced perspective, the trees at the top would have to be considerably shorter than the ones in the foreground.  So the ridge should be closer to 9", maybe a tad higher.  Figuring a relatively steep 60 degree slope up each side, you'd need about 12"-14" of footprint to support the base of the ridge.  Assuming you're using 36" door panels, that leaves you 12" or less on either side for your main, yard tracks, and any other scenery that will occupy the space, including the entirety (all four sides, outbuildings, conveyors, stacked gables etc.) of a very large breaker building.

You could run the ridge off center to provide more real estate for the breaker, as long as the scene on the other side of the ridge can be present in a more compact space.

Just some things to think about as you plan your scenery.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

OldEastRR

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #277 on: January 03, 2020, 04:02:28 AM »
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Don't know if this idea would mess up the prototype look you want but putting a RH turnout at or near the end of the curve heading into the yard ladder would give you a jump on starting the yard and maybe shift the entire loader scene several inches to the left. Just three working tracks in the yard (assuming some tracks wll be abandoned or torn up)? You could add a dummy turnout to the ladder at the back and have that track head into the breaker -- the yard on the other side just assumed to be there out of sight.
Also have to agree with the skyboard faction. Trying to put a tall realistic ridge down the middle of the board would use up the entire width of your table. With a divider you can make the "Sky" as high as you need to match the backdrop flat version of the breaker. One thing I've thought about making for myself is a partial skyboard that's tall at one end but at the other end the backdrop drops down  in a meander way, disappearing into a thick tall stand of trees. And taking cotton and stretching it into wispy clouds and gluing bunches here and there at the top of the skyboard to hide the edge where it slopes down. This to avoid having a Berlin Wall dividing the layout sides.
At the breaker end the skyboard just ends right where the building does.
Hmmm.... I'm interested in knowing how you plan to model the random broken out window panes on the breaker.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #278 on: January 03, 2020, 02:21:45 PM »
+1
I'm really not feeling the backdrop guys. Don't worry, I know how to pull this off... although the breaker DOES pose an interesting challenge. However, given what it'll be adjacent to, dead breakers towering over the landscape aren't out of place.

packers#1

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #279 on: January 03, 2020, 03:31:57 PM »
+2
 No real harm in seeing part of a scene in another scene of it logically can serve as some random part of the background. Perhaps you could paint/weather/change the architecture slightly on the back side facing the other scene so it looks slightly different, like a breaker somewhere else in the region
Sawyer Berry
Clemson University graduate, c/o 2018

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #280 on: January 03, 2020, 03:50:29 PM »
+1
No real harm in seeing part of a scene in another scene of it logically can serve as some random part of the background. Perhaps you could paint/weather/change the architecture slightly on the back side facing the other scene so it looks slightly different, like a breaker somewhere else in the region

You know, it's funny, I was actually just thinking about that! Hmm...

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #281 on: January 04, 2020, 04:00:05 PM »
+3
Ok, so I mocked up the breaker using the rough footprint of the Walthers coal mine as a starting point.







But I wasn't happy. It doesn't have the heft I want AND it just didn't feel "right".

This, after all, is the scene I'm trying to replicate:

http://conrail1285.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/44087.jpeg

So I rearranged the track.







NOW I feel like I'm getting somewhere. I think I need to find a way to make the building bigger too, but by moving it I have some space to adjust things. The only down side is that the back side where I was planning on putting some of the "town" of Cressona is gonna get the shaft but you know what? This is WAY more important!

Thoughts?

packers#1

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #282 on: January 04, 2020, 07:02:09 PM »
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I like the new way better; you’ve got room to add a little bit of building in the triangle area to get the stepped look of your prototype breaker. Much more important to get the operation area right than add in the town
Sawyer Berry
Clemson University graduate, c/o 2018

Missaberoad

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #283 on: January 04, 2020, 07:32:08 PM »
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That disused trackage with the trees growing between the rails is begging to be modeled...  :drool:
Ryan in Alberta

Rich_S

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Re: Conrail up in Coal Country
« Reply #284 on: January 05, 2020, 11:05:07 AM »
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Ok, so I mocked up the breaker using the rough footprint of the Walthers coal mine as a starting point.

But I wasn't happy. It doesn't have the heft I want AND it just didn't feel "right".

So I rearranged the track.



Thoughts?

Question, is there room for the same number of cars on both sides of the breaker? remember they don't load one car then move it to another track so they can load the next car. On the prototype these tipples are built to load 25 to 50 cars at a time by either gravity feeding them through the tipple or using a car puller. I know on a model we don't have that kind of room, but if you can fit 5 to 10 cars on both sides of the tipple, then you're representing this operation in model form, aka close enough  :D

Here is a photo of the Champion Prep Plant on the Montour Railroad.



In the above photo the empty yard is to the left of the prep plant and the loaded yard is to the right of the prep plant. At this location raw coal entered the prep plant through the rotary dumper.
The rotary dumper loaded yard was to the right of the rotary dumper and the rotary dumper empty yard is to the left of the rotary dumper. The cars were gravity feed though the rotary dumper.