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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 6, 2021 5:08 PM

hon30critter
Hi Mark,

I would like to achieve the sort of night time lighting effect that RRMel has done (maybe he will post some pictures). IIRC he used blue LED strips that actually throw enough light that all of the scenery and structures can be discerned, but it still suggests a night scene.

One of my challenges will be trying to figure out how to make the overhead lighting repositionable. Eventually I want to move the layout to the other side of the garage so I will need to devise a lighting system that can be relocated on the garage ceiling. I don't think that will be too difficult. I can use some 1x2s to make frames that can be mounted to the ceiling wherever I want. The garage ceiling is finished but that won't affect anything.

Dave

I don't recall seeing any of RRMel's nighttime shots. I'd be interested.

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about repositionable lighting. The layout is where it is. If it moves again, it will be to another house altogether (or maybe just a dumpster!).

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,271 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 6, 2021 1:07 AM

Pruitt
Dave, I haven't really addressed night lighting of the layout other than structure lights and what-not on the layout. My LED pceiling panels dim, but only to about 40% brightness. I thought I might try leaving room lights off completely, but then I'll have to put some low-brightness LED strips around the base of the benchwork so operators can see where they're putting their feet.

Hi Mark,

I would like to achieve the sort of night time lighting effect that RRMel has done (maybe he will post some pictures). IIRC he used blue LED strips that actually throw enough light that all of the scenery and structures can be discerned, but it still suggests a night scene.

One of my challenges will be trying to figure out how to make the overhead lighting repositionable. Eventually I want to move the layout to the other side of the garage so I will need to devise a lighting system that can be relocated on the garage ceiling. I don't think that will be too difficult. I can use some 1x2s to make frames that can be mounted to the ceiling wherever I want. The garage ceiling is finished but that won't affect anything.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, September 5, 2021 5:15 PM

Thanks for the kind words, guys! 

Bear, I like the Bookman Old Style font. I may switch up and use it instead of Georgia, the one I was leanig towards.

Dave, I haven't really addressed night lighting of the layout other than structure lights and what-not on the layout. My LED pceiling panels dim, but only to about 40% brightness. I thought I might try leaving room lights off completely, but then I'll have to put some low-brightness LED strips around the base of the benchwork so operators can see where they're putting their feet. That will not happen soon...

David, one thing I've noticed is that more often than not structure lighting are too bright on our layouts. I'm trying not to let that happen, but selecting the "right" brightness is not easy. What I'm plasnning is to install a small bit of perfboard under the layout with trimpots mounted on it so I can adjust the brightness of each set of lights. I'll do that for each structure / set of lights so I can use just a few power supplies to drive all lighting but be able to adjust individual groups of LEDs. Kinda like a poor man's Just Plug system.

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 1,651 posts
Posted by NorthBrit on Sunday, September 5, 2021 6:14 AM

Mark.   I like the 'glow' of the lights.   Just right.  Not bright like some I have seen on other layouts.   Well done.

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,271 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 5, 2021 1:12 AM

Hi Mark,

You did an excellent job on the lighting! I love night time running and good lighting adds so much realism to the layout.

One of the things I have yet to figure out is how to provide overhead lighting for daylight and night time scenes. My layout is in a garage so I will have to add a couple of extra lighting circuits, one with blue lights and the other with daylight tones.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 4,840 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, September 5, 2021 12:28 AM
Gidday Mark, have had a post-holiday catch up and am impressed with the progress you’re making, even with the OOPS!!! that you’ve had. While I know that you could well have done without them, I’m pleased that you’re documenting them, not only as a “what not to do”, but as an encouragement to those of us who also have various OOPses while modelling. It just goes to show we’re not on our own, and that “victory” can be snatched from the jaws of defeat. Thank you.
 
Those back drops are looking great and I suspect that the majority of us would have been hard pressed to find the discrepancies.
Striving to achieve High Standards and Quality is admirable, but sometimes I think that we have to recognise that we can be our own worst critics, and should learn to unbend in some cases and actually give ourselves an occasional pat on the back. That said, getting so big headed that our head wear no longer fits, is not desirable, either!!Smile, Wink & Grin
 
The fonts I tend to use for my freelanced mid 50s rolling stock, taking into consideration that some where lettered pre 1940 are…
Bookman Old Style,
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DRILLING  
Book Antiqua,
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DRILLING
Baskerville Old Face,
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DRILLING
 
But hey, go with your gut. You don't need to satisfy those of us in the cheap seats!!
 
Once again thanks for sharing.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, September 4, 2021 10:32 PM

4 September 2021

With the invaluable advice and suggestions of several of the members here, I managed to get Rocky Mountain Drilling lighting installed. Even more amazing, it works!

Yesterday I finished installing the LEDs. There are five gooseneck lamps over the exterior doors, and three LEDs attached to the underside of the loft flooring (which is just thin scrap plywood cut to rough shape and glued into the building). Here we're looking into the building from the bottom:

I was really worried about those very fine wires that connect to the LEDs. I didn't want to stress them, because I knew they'd break right off. I thought overnight about how to hook them all into power, and came up with this today:

Those connectors are just scrap bits of PC board from the tie strips I use in turnout construction. I tinned them and glued them to the underside of the floor using adhesive caulk. I soldered on the power wires (those are the larger ones with the colored insulation), then fed the LED wires through holes I drilled in the floor and soldered them to the appropriate pads. There are four pads because the interior lights are separated from the exterior ones so I can adjust the light intensities separately.

Then I set the building in place on the layout, feeding the leads through a hole in the surface. I hooked up a temporary power source, and whipped out my cellphone to take some pictures. Click on any of them for a larger view.

The platform side at "dusk:"

And the track side:

Later that night a boxcar was delivered.

If you look very carefully just to the left of the building in this last shot, you can just make out the side of the boxcar spotted at the facility.

It's amazing how good cell phone cameras are these days. I'm a pretty crappy photographer at the best of times, but the camera seems to compensate for at least some of my shortcomings.

The structure still needs to be finished - signs added, building weathered, the roof details (chimney, vents, etc.) installed, and the building needs to be embedded into the layout and not just sit atop the dirt. But there it is.

Thanks to everyone who helped out in the other thread!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Friday, September 3, 2021 8:52 AM

3 September 2021

My latest layout update video is now posted on YouTube:

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Friday, August 27, 2021 9:22 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Ed, Dave and EdEmbarrassed

27 August 2021

I just posted the lastest episode of Building Casper. This one covers major construction of the engine terminal.

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 12,984 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 3:33 AM

hon30critter
You are a highly skilled modeler whether you want to admit or not!

No slouch with a camera, either! Bow Yes Bow

You got the depth of field balanced perfectly in those photos.

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,271 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 2:04 AM

Hi Mark,

You are a highly skilled modeler whether you want to admit or not! I like the greasy tracks!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,870 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Monday, August 23, 2021 10:38 PM

Pruitt

 


 

 

I especially like the above shot because there's so much emptiness showing.  

 

Ed

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 23, 2021 10:32 PM

23 August 2021

I finished ballasting all the industry tracks in Casper. The only thing left is the engine terminal, and since I can get to that easily from the front of the yard, I may not get to it for awhile. Everything I needed to work on from behind the yard is now complete. Final detailing can be done from aboard my Topside Creeper as the mood strikes.

I moved beyond my "disaster" (I started a thread about that a few days ago; it's now resolved) to finish the Standard Oil Refinery loading tracks. Oil dripped and gushed (and everything in between) onto the tracks over a period of many years as cars were loaded, so the tracks needed to have an almost black, slimy semi-wet look to them. I think I accomplished that, for the most part:

So today, after the second track was dry and I removed the weights, I set the loading racks back in place and spotted a few cars alongside. In this shot I caught 0-8-0 number 545 spotting a second cut of cars on the right hand track.

And here's a view looking down that track at the oncoming string. That track is pretty disgusting looking. I sure wouldn't want to work out there every day!

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 21,709 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, August 13, 2021 7:00 AM

Pruitt

Last night I applied dirt to the remaining area on the west end. Here's part of the engine terminal after a brief downpour (sprayed water to activate the plaster to affix the dirt):

I kinda like the way this looks, but I have no idea how to keep the after rain look.

I like the way it looks too. I wonder if a light, shallow application of Envirotex Lite would work? Might be worth a try.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, August 12, 2021 10:27 PM

Thanks Dave, but I sure feel like the proverbial tortoise in my modeling speed.

12 August 2021

Basic scenery in Casper is now done. And I mean basic - dirt has been applied everywhere. Foliage, structures, and all the details will come over time. 

Last night I applied dirt to the remaining area on the west end. Here's part of the engine terminal after a brief downpour (sprayed water to activate the plaster to affix the dirt):

I kinda like the way this looks, but I have no idea how to keep the after rain look.

This evening, with the dirt dried and solid, I removed the tape from the tracks and vacuumed up all the plaster debris. Here's an overall view of the west end:

A closer view of the Standard Refinery's oil loading tracks (behind the roundhouse), followed by a view of the turntable and lead tracks.

I have to say that overall I'm pleased with how things look at this point.

Now I just have to clean out plaster from between tie ends where it seeped under the tape (an easy job since it's just Plaster of Paris) and I'm ready to ballast the area.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,271 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 9, 2021 10:24 PM

Pruitt
The real "if" is IF I ever get to the point of actually operating the layout!

Mark, you are a prolific modeller. I know that you have a long ways to go but I'm sure you will get there sooner rather than later.

One thing I like about your approach to the layout is that you are doing the scenery (at least the basics) as you go. You won't end up with a plywood paradise. When the final track is laid your layout will look like a layout.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 21,709 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 9, 2021 4:23 PM

Pruitt

The real "if" is IF I ever get to the point of actually operating the layout!

Well now, there you have it.  Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 9, 2021 1:02 PM

Doughless
Chapstick on the tops of the rails before rattle can paint.  Pure genius! 

In all fairness, that tip came from a post on the "other" forum.

hon30critter
If you produce videos of the same quality about how you operate we will all be in for a treat!

Dave

The real "if" is IF I ever get to the point of actually operating the layout!

9 August 2021

I got the Casper backdrop posted a couple days ago. It's a bit bluury in this post (camera and photographer are both a bit depth-of-field challenged), but it gives you an idea of how it looks:

Here's a shot of another part of it:

I actually was able to successfully solder wires to one of the 0402 LEDs! 

And yesterday I applied a plaster layer to the entire engine terminal. Today or tomorrow I'll add the dirt, tyhen the entire west end of the yard is ready for ballasting.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,271 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, August 5, 2021 9:38 PM

richhotrain
Looking good, Mark. If you eventually enjoy operating this layout as much as you seem to enjoy making the videos, you are in for a real treat.

Hi Rich and Mark,

If you produce videos of the same quality about how you operate we will all be in for a treat!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 4,579 posts
Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 1:35 PM

Chapstick on the tops of the rails before rattle can paint.  Pure genius! 

- Douglas

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:13 AM

richhotrain
Another nice update video, Mark, at least once you get past that lime green shirt.  Laugh

Rich

LOL! Thanks!

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 21,709 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 7:01 AM

Another nice update video, Mark, at least once you get past that lime green shirt.  Laugh

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 10:13 PM

3 August 2021

You're right, Rich - I really do enjoy making the videos! Thanks for noticing!

The videos are actually very useful too. They keep me motivated to work on the railroad. All month long I'm thinking "I need to get something done or I won't have anything to put in next month's video!"

Speaking of which, I just published the August layout update:

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 21,709 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 6:18 AM

Looking good, Mark. If you eventually enjoy operating this layout as much as you seem to enjoy making the videos, you are in for a real treat.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, August 1, 2021 3:50 PM

1 August 2021

I just published the latest episode of Building Casper...

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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, July 17, 2021 11:40 AM

Pruitt

 I got a test print of a couple sections of the backdrop, and while part of it looks good, other parts look terrible! Resolution is very poor in some areas, so I'm trying to improve them by using different shots I took that same day. I spent hours doing that yesterday, and so far the results are not promising. More work over the weekend, then I'll try another test print Monday.

 

 
 
I have the same challenges with parts of my backscene.   One minute it looks okay then the glaring mistakes are all to see.
Just got to carry on until it is right.  Smile
 
David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, July 17, 2021 11:29 AM

Thanks Dave, but I got a test print of a couple sections of the backdrop, and while part of it looks good, other parts look terrible! Resolution is very poor in some areas, so I'm trying to improve them by using different shots I took that same day. I spent hours doing that yesterday, and so far the results are not promising. More work over the weekend, then I'll try another test print Monday.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,271 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, July 16, 2021 10:38 PM

Pruitt
The last few days I've spent putting together the backdrop image file for behind Casper:

Hi Mark,

Your ability to create fantastic backdrops is amazing!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,903 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, July 15, 2021 10:23 AM

hon30critter
Your track work looks pretty good Mark! Using a camera to identify any alignment flaws is a brilliant idea.

Thanks Dave!

Using the camera is just my innate laziness coning through, finding the easiest way to do something.

15 July 2021

Here's an overall view of the west end of Casper from a few days ago, showing all the freshly-painted and cleaned track. The two tracks on the right are the oil loading tracks, and are basically black at this point, as the ground and ballast will be. On the left side there's quite a bit of black, to represent ground in coal dust in the engine terminal, but nothing like the oily area in the refinery.

The last few days I've spent putting together the backdrop image file for behind Casper:

This was stitched together out of 40 or 50 photos in Affinity Photo. The colors actually do shift like that on the right end of the mountain.

A closer view of the center of the backdrop:

The switchbacks are the road up the side of the mountain. It's been there since the 1930's at least, although the original road was much narrower and not so prominent on the side of the mountain.

This backdrop will be about 13 inches high by 29 feet long.

I may tweak things a bit more before I get the whole thing printed. The right end, after the color shift, is a bit higher than it is in real life.

I'm going to get a single-sheet test print done to make sure the image is acceptably clear before I shell out a hundred bucks or so to get the whole thing printed.

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