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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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Posted by NorthBrit on Thursday, October 21, 2021 5:20 AM

Looking good, Mark.    The 'train of cans'  is rather unique.  Laugh

 

David

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

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 11:24 PM

20 October 2021

I was out of town for most of the last two weeks, but I did manage to get a few things done before I left, and after our return Monday night.

More foam subroadbed went down, and late October 9th I placed roadbed leading from Casper and into Powder River siding.

Yesterday I laid the track...

...and today I wired it up and ran one of the Casper switchers out and back with a boxcar in tow to test the new alignment.

Seems fine to this point!

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 7:59 AM

SpaceMouse
Well, it only took 8 hours, but I got caught up on your last year of posts and videos. My only consolation is that it took more hours for you to make your videos than it did for me to watch them--not that was a great chore or anything. I actually enjoyed the journey.

It almost made up for the lack of progress on my own layout--almost.

Good work. I look forward to see more--albeit in smaller chunks.

LOL!

Thanks for the kind words, Chip! I hope you managed to get some decent rest watching all those videos. They're a good cure for insomnia!

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 14, 2021 4:03 PM

Well, it only took 8 hours, but I got caught up on your last year of posts and videos. My only consolation is that it took more hours for you to make your videos than it did for me to watch them--not that was a great chore or anything. I actually enjoyed the journey.

It almost made up for the lack of progress on my own layout--almost.

Good work. I look forward to see more--albeit in smaller chunks. 

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, October 9, 2021 9:20 AM

Thanks Dave, Ed and Bear!

Ed, you should post pictures of that block structure when you get it done. I'd like to see how using screws works to put it "in" the scenery.

9 October 2021

I've started building the area into Powder River. The skyboard went in a couple days ago. Splicing in the new section was bit tricky, but I got it done:

Here it is after smoothing the splices and refreshing the paint. The paint's still wet in this shot.

And in the last couple of days I've extended the pink foam subroadbed a bit and installed some new cork roadbed.

In this "aerial" view you can see the new roadbed curving off to the right, and you can also see how it used to curve to the left behind the roundhouse when Casper was part of version 4 of the layout in New Jersey.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 1:18 AM
Gidday Mark, the latest video update can’t have been to long, as neither Her-in Doors and I were bored after viewing. Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed in an enjoyable to watch manner.
 
Cheers, the Bear, and Her-in-Doors. SmileSmile

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

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 3, 2021 3:01 PM

Yup, it wasn't too long--moved right along, as they say.  Good work!

With rare exception, when I place a building on scenery, I build a foundation in position into the scenery, and make the rest of the building a lift-off.  Most buildings have the siding go down a bit past the foundtion top, and that covers the joint between the two.  That solves the problem of any small gap between the foundation and the structure.

I've got an upcoming building made with concrete blocks on a slab that I have to solve, though.  Probably use screws from below to draw it down onto the slab.

I don't look forward to my first "multi-legged" loading dock.

 

 

Ed

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 3, 2021 1:52 PM

Hi Mark,

Good video. I don't think it was too long. There was lots to cover and I think it was edited quite well.

You make me feel guilty. You make so much progress in a month and I make so little!Embarrassed

Cheers,

Dave

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

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, October 3, 2021 8:28 AM

Tin Can II, I'm glad you're enjoying my videos. Hopefully they're helpful in some way.

Bear, always the comedian! I guess I destroyed the ambiance when I cleaned the fascia!

Dave, it's interesting that my videos are popping up in unexpected places. Considering that the Astin Martin video was probbly professionally created, it isn't surprising that my amateur production doesn't "grab" in that same way.

3 October 2021

I just posted my latest layout update video:

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 2:18 AM

Hey Mark!

I just wanted to let you know that your excellent videos are 'out there'. I was watching a video of a James Bond Aston Martin being driven by the movies stunt driver and three Grand Prix leading drivers. When it was over up popped your video from August 31, 2021.

I shouldn't try to compare the two videos. All I can say is that your videos aren't quite as heart pounding as when the F1 drivers lost control trying to drift the car and nearly rammed into the track barriers!

Dave

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

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 1:39 AM

Facia by Bear, on Flickr

WhistlingSmile

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

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Posted by Tin Can II on Friday, September 24, 2021 9:26 AM

Mark:

Wow.  Just Wow.  Thank you for posting your videos and how to's.  

 

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, September 23, 2021 11:19 PM

Thanks Dave!

23 September 2021

Work has continued on what I've started calling "cornfield corner."

Yesterday I added the rest of the dead vegetation - oregano leaves. The layout smells pretty nice for about a day after I do that! I also added some small bushes around the periphery of the fields.

Today I added static grass and some weeds. Here's the result:

I still need to spray on an overall fixative (very diluted Mod Podge, I'm thinking) to keep the bushes from deteriorating and spreading all over the place. I also want to add a couple of 3-D versions of the scraggly trees you see in the foreground of the backdrop. Making those will involve using an old wallpaper paste brush and a variety of ground foam.

I probably won't make and install those trees immediately, though. Tomorrow I'm going to prep Casper to be moved permanently back into the corner. Then over the weekend I'm going to hopefully start extending the benchwork towards Powder River. Woo-Hoo!!

Boy, that fascia sure needs cleaned, doesn't it?

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 3:15 AM

Pruitt
I know it doesn't resemble corn all that much, but the colors are close to those on the backdrop, and you won't be able to get as close to this in person as the camera is in this shot. So what the heck - it's good enough for what it is (I hope).

Hi Mark,

I think that the colour blending is done really well! I don't think it matters one bit the there are no actual corn stalks in the forefront. In fact, personally I find that most modelled corn fields look too sparse to be realistic. The viewer's eye will be focused even better on the trains because they will not be distracted by fake corn stocks that look like they are planted too far apart. This is a 'less is more' situation IMHO and you have done a good job of it.

Dave

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

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 2:55 AM

Heaven forbid that the Bear dare to eversully Mel’s sterling contributions to the Forum, and then query Dave’s memory, but I suggest that the lighting thread mentioned is Mike Lehman’s Night Scene.

Hi Bear,

You are correct! Thank you for fixing my mistake.

By the way, I question my memory every day so feel free to chime in! I need all the help I can get!

Apologies to Mike Lehman for not giving credit where due.

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
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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 1:11 AM
Heaven forbid that the Bear dare to ever sully Mel’s sterling contributions to the Forum, and then query Dave’s memory, but I suggest that the lighting thread mentioned is Mike Lehman’s Night Scene.
 
 
I have been wrong before, I think?
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 12:25 AM

21 September 2021

After a hiatus from actual layout work for a few weeks to test out cab ride video cameras and clean up (and clean out) the train room, I'm back at it.

By clean out I mean I removed nearly all the non-train stuff from the room. There used to be a lot of boxes of books and other stuff filling about a third of the room - check out the background of this picture:

That's all gone and the room is mostly clean (except the tables and shelves). Here's what the room looks like now, taken from behind Casper yard:

That's a lot of room for new benchwork! 

Where did all those boxes, which were mostly books, go? Into the newly completed library, of course!

(my wife was hiding from the camera). Note all those Model Railroader binders on the lower left shelves. Most of the clutter on the table is also MRs that don't have a binder to call home yet (I have a batch of binders on order, and will need many more).

Back to the trains - 

Now I'm in the middle of doing the last bit of scenery in the corner of the Chicago and North Western line from Riverton to Hudson. Once that corner is done, I'll be able to move Casper back into its permanent location in the corner and start building mainline out of both ends of the yard. I'm looking forward to that! Big Smile

So here's a bit of work I did on the CNW line today. I added static grass and other weeds and such to the line leading into the corner towards Hudson:

For a couple days before that I was working IN the corner, adding painted polyfiber "corn" to either side of the track. Just the polyfiber with fine ground foam on top looks like this:

And I just started adding ground-level dead vegetation around the base at the east end of the fields. Glue is still wet. Grass and other weeds and some small bushes and such will also be added through this area.

Hey, I know it doesn't resemble corn all that much, but the colors are close to those on the backdrop, and you won't be able to get as close to this in person as the camera is in this shot. So what the heck - it's good enough for what it is (I hope).

Sure feels good to be working on the layout again! 

The past few days I've also started removing the over-center springs and reinstalling the ground throws. Though I got the springs to work okay for the most part, they weren't as reliable as I wanted them to be. The springs tended to pop out of the ties at one end or the other, and some of them were a bit picky about which way they were being thrown. So, with the advice of a few folks in another thread here, I've found a way that attaches the ground throws more securely to the cork and foam than I was able to accomplish before. Thanks for the help, folks!

I think by the end of the month I'll be able to reposition Casper and begin new benchwork construction towards Powder River (the right end of Casper as you're facing it). 

(huh. I just noticed that some of the emojis don't work anymore. Like the one with the party favor...)

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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!).

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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
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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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.

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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

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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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
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  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
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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."

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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!

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, September 3, 2021 8:52 AM

3 September 2021

My latest layout update video is now posted on YouTube:

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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.

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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

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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
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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

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