Author Topic: Weekend Update 12/1/19  (Read 5248 times)

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C855B

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2019, 11:33:35 AM »
0
... I don’t think my model captured the proportions very well. Although it scales out to 35’ pilot to pilot it still looks way too long. ...

I may be off-base, so slap me down accordingly, but I agree. I think what threw you off is the higher arch of the 1:1 cab roof than the cab you borrowed from the donor. It and also the hood should be at least a foot taller. A foot here, six inches there, etc., etc., on a small model can seriously blow the proportions. Try to base your measurements on the aspect ratio of the (classic!) radiator grille and you should be a little closer to the ballpark.

I might add that this is a very unique prototype. The Davenport production I've seen in photos and live have all been center-cabs for anything >35 tons.
...mike

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skytop35

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2019, 12:20:49 PM »
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Here’s what I was going for. I didn’t have any specs or measurements on the prototype and I don’t think my model captured the proportions very well. Although it scales out to 35’ pilot to pilot it still looks way too long. I think I should have started with the shorter 44/70 tonner trucks.

Jim

Jim, just my 2 cents but it looks to me like the proto cab is longer than the donor cab you used.
Bill Denton

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Missaberoad

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2019, 12:24:57 PM »
+1
I love the tree log for a poling pole...
Ryan in Alberta

Jim Starbuck

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2019, 01:21:42 PM »
+2
I may be off-base, so slap me down accordingly, but I agree. I think what threw you off is the higher arch of the 1:1 cab roof than the cab you borrowed from the donor. It and also the hood should be at least a foot taller. A foot here, six inches there, etc., etc., on a small model can seriously blow the proportions. Try to base your measurements on the aspect ratio of the (classic!) radiator grille and you should be a little closer to the ballpark.

I might add that this is a very unique prototype. The Davenport production I've seen in photos and live have all been center-cabs for anything >35 tons.

You’re not off base at all. I truly appreciate all the feedback.
Yep, I missed this one by a scale mile : )

It’s been an excellent learning experiment though as I tried a couple building techniques which proved to work nicely like the nice narrow hood.
Think I’ll pull the plug on this one as I don’t have much in it and move on. I still want to build this interesting prototype but will need better research to start.
I’ve heard mention that the Illinois Railway Museum has one of these so a field trip may be in order.

Thought I would try the radiator grill before I scrapped this project. This I’m happy with : )

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Thanks much for the positive input guys!

Jim
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 02:05:11 PM by Jim Starbuck »
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Philip H

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2019, 03:21:51 PM »
0
Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

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Mark W

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2019, 04:45:54 PM »
+5
Play continues with the new FDM printer.  I made a couple custom electronic enclosures for various things, including the RRampMeter (not pictured).

Next I had a few loconet panels with the sticker cover peeling and in tatters, so I decided to replace the whole plate with a custom print.  Here's a UR92 panel.
The text and artwork are essentially embossed, then I used paint pens for color.  There is an upgrade kit for my printer that would allow me to print up to 5 colors directly.  Just putting that out there in case Santa is listening.


https://i.imgur.com/ccuFsLm.jpg


Lastly this week, I made an N scale Assembly Tray!  I think a lot of folks might find one of these very useful!  Every piece of a typical Kato style mechanism has it's own compartment.  Not only does this help keep parts from sneaking away, but you no longer have to keep track of where or which side the mechanism the part came from.


https://i.imgur.com/OTKCgOZ.jpg
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peteski

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2019, 04:51:53 PM »
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Play continues with the new FDM printer.
. . .
Lastly this week, I made an N scale Assembly Tray!  I think a lot of folks might find one of these very useful!  Every piece of a typical Kato style mechanism has it's own compartment.  Not only does this help keep parts from sneaking away, but you no longer have to keep track of where or which side the mechanism the part came from.

Very clever Mark!
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robert3985

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2019, 05:14:07 PM »
+6
I took a couple of photos of the rest of the train sitting on my module that has built in lighting.  I really need to learn Helicon focus......


As has been said, ya don't "learn" Helicon Focus...you buy it...or subscribe to it nowadays.

Incidentally, HF is having a "Cyber Monday" sale on either subscriptions or life-time purchases...30% off, which is a very good deal.  For full details, go here: https://www.heliconsoft.com/helicon-focus-licenses-paypro/

A big problem with HF with model railroading is that your camera needs to be tripod mounted so that what you are framing in your photo doesn't shift much as you select your focus points...which has to be done manually unless you have a fairly high-end Nikon or Canon DSLR...then you can use Helicon Remote, which uses your smartphone as a remote for your DSLR to automatically shoot a series of photos at in-between focus points after you choose the parameters.  I've used it with my Nikon D7200, my old Samsung phone and my Google Pixel 2 XL with great results.

Be aware that the edges of your photo composition will change as you change your focus points due to a phenomenon called "focus breathing"...so make sure you leave more than enough room at the edges of your composition which you can crop away after HF combines your stack.

Also, HF will produce artifacts, depending on the light, color and business of the scene.  If you're just taking product shots with a seamless background, it's great...but if you've got trees, buildings or other trains behind your main subject, you'll most likely get artifacts where HF can't determine during the combining process what should be in focus and what shouldn't. Fiddle with the settings to improve your results.  Also, really bright, shiny highlights, such as shiny locomotive tires & flanges, or highlights on track...will sometimes turn into huge white blobs after the stack has been combined.

On a positive note, you can leave out in-focus background shots if you want your background to be blurry to isolate your foreground subject...or just the opposite and leave foreground objects blurry while the subject is fully in focus.  HF give you a lot of options to use your photographic skills to get the results you want.

Incidentally, you don't have to have an expensive DSLR to use Helicon Focus...you just need several photos that are framed almost the same, and are focused progressively between a minimum focus distance and a maximum focus distance...and have the same exposure values.  Any tripod mounted DSLR is usable, but you'll need a camera with a manual setting (which most DSLR's have), a way to remotely trigger the camera's shutter (to minimize camera shake) and a lens that allows you to manually focus where you want it to focus...or if your camera has a touch-screen that lets you select your focus point...that'd be okay too.

All of this setup, and changing your camera's settings, manually focusing, using a sturdy tripod, using a remote shutter release takes a lot of time, a lot of patience and a lot of care to not wiggle your camera when you're shooting, or changing it's orientation when manually focusing, but the results can be worth the time and effort.

On top of that, DSLR's are big, and rarely allow you to get down to an N-scale person's eye height to take photos of your trains that look like they were taken by an N-scale railfan or company photographer.  But, overall shots can be superb...but problematic for on-layout closeups.

Photo (1) - What I had to do with my big DSLR to get a low-angle shot of my COLA at Echo West End:


The technique I was using for this closeup shot was using an ultrawide lens, stopped down as far as it would go (f/22), and the results were very good.  But, if I had installed ground cover, a fence, telegraph poles and wires, sagebrush and bunchgrass...placing my camera upside down on the scenery wouldn't have happened.

The perfect camera for model train closeups is the camera in some smartphones...and the vast majority of you already have a smartphone with its integrated camera, and unless you're going to enlarge your photos to eight feet wide, most present-day smartphone cameras are just fine resolution-wise for close-up photos being viewed online and/or on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.

Take a look at your phone and see where your camera's lens is located.  It's best if the phone's camera lens's center is about 1/2" from the edge of your phone...which puts it slightly higher than a 1/160th scale 6 feet (which is .45") so your close-up photos will look like they've been taken by an N-scale person.

This is much closer to the railheads than you'll ever be able to get using any DSLR.

The problem with smartphones is that you'll have to make a camera holder to keep your phone low to the scene.  Pele Soeborg in MR describes how he does his photography, which I think is phenomenal...but I don't have the time to look up what issue that was in.

However, what if you'd like to just handhold your phone and take multiple, stackable photos for combining using HF?

If you've got a fairly recent Android OS phone (sorry iPhone users) that uses Android 4.0.3 or better, you're in luck.  An app called "Open Camera" makes it possible to take up to 20 photos between your chosen near-focus point and your chosen far-focus point, nearly instantaneously so you can easily hand hold your phone and shoot your HF stack.

It doesn't work on all recent Android phones but on most.  Download and look at spec's here: https://opencamera.sourceforge.io/#requirements

And it's FREE! :)

Here is the result of my first test with my Google Pixel 2 XL using the Open Camera app, set to its maximum of 20 photos:

Photo (2) - My near-focus point is on the visible wood grain on my little hand-laid C55 & C40 demo, upon which I've assembled a short train:


Photo (3) - My far-focus point is past the caboose somewhere in the darkness:


Photo (4) - Three photos focused past the caboose weren't necessary so this is the combined 17 photo stack, using Helicon Focus Premium, showing the entire train in razor-sharp focus:


Remember, this 20 shot stack was taken totally hand-held, and the shots all happened in what felt like about a 16th of a second after I'd selected the near and far focus limits.

This subject (Open Camera App) has its own thread with a lot more details already posted at TRW under "Photography" here: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=45972.0

If this looks like something you'd like to use for your model train photography but you have an iPhone, used and refurbished Google Pixel 2 XL phones are available for as low as $149.99...and this could be just your model railroad camera...not a phone.  I recommend the more expensive, larger Pixel 2 XL because the camera is closer to the edge of the phone than the less expensive and smaller Pixel 2.

Photo (5) - Here's my favorite passenger train photo at Echo Curve of my son's SP mail train using my Nikon DSLR with a 12 shot stack using HR Remote, and combined with HF Premium:



If you like to take quality photos of your N-scale models and layout, then Helicon Focus is well worth the price...especially now that it's discounted 30%.  Buying the Premium Lifetime License was one of my very best purchases when I did it over a decade ago...for almost 400 bucks!  Much cheaper today.  Do it!

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 06:31:32 PM by robert3985 »

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2019, 05:41:12 PM »
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Great post Bob and super images.
I fiddled around with HF many years ago and got some great shots. Maybe its time to take another look and start using it on my new layout.
Rod.
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Sokramiketes

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2019, 07:31:18 PM »
+8
Does anyone make an Equipco hand brake in N? Nothing on the gold metal models fret.

This is a CGW boxcar with a lot of @wcfn100 design into it. 2017 RPM Chicagoland kit that I’m finally getting around to building one myself.

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Missaberoad

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2019, 07:44:01 PM »
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Very nice... Those shake and take kits make me wish I lived close enough to attend every year... I'd love to have all of them...

I'm sure I've seen an equipco brakewheel somewhere but can't remember for sure...

Edit: My Atlas CGW PS-1s came with equipco brakewheels...
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 07:53:02 PM by Missaberoad »
Ryan in Alberta

mu26aeh

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2019, 07:50:10 PM »
+2
Since work on the layout is at a standstill ( at least until next weekend when I meet with contractor), I'm tackling other projects.  Up first is a " what-if " job, that being what if the Maryland and Pennsylvania RR stuck around long enough to acquire an SD40 ?

I got the yellow laid down tonight.



peteski

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2019, 08:31:29 PM »
0
Does anyone make an Equipco hand brake in N? Nothing on the gold metal models fret.

Do  you have photo/drawing?  I can look through my stash.
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Sokramiketes

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2019, 10:10:34 PM »
0
Very nice... Those shake and take kits make me wish I lived close enough to attend every year... I'd love to have all of them...

I'm sure I've seen an equipco brakewheel somewhere but can't remember for sure...

Edit: My Atlas CGW PS-1s came with equipco brakewheels...

Thanks, you saved me a bunch of time hunting around. An undec Atlas PS-1 kit had three wheels, and one was a great Equipco. Kudos @PGBowler2
Mike

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Missaberoad

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Re: Weekend Update 12/1/19
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2019, 10:15:57 PM »
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Thanks, you saved me a bunch of time hunting around. An undec Atlas PS-1 kit had three wheels, and one was a great Equipco. Kudos @PGBowler2

No worries  :D
Ryan in Alberta