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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, February 13, 2021 10:05 PM

Thanks Dave and David.

Bear, if you're real good, I may let the shop foreman cut some ventilation holes in the box for next time.

13 February 2021

Things are progressing slowly. After a few days work applying plaster then painting it, I added dirt to the far end of Casper yard. 

Now I'm not sure how to proceed in this area. Lots of details to be created, including the pipe yard for the drilling company, the building(s) for the company itself, and the ice house needs to be built. I might go ahead and build the grade crossings and dirt roads in this area, and leave all the other stuff for later. But what little bit of greenery and grass and what-not that will be in this area has to wait for all the other stuff to be built.

I also finished round one of light-proofing the rebuilt roundhouse.

You can't see any leaks in this picture, but on a front view there's a couple small places that show some light at the roof panels, where the panels are slightly warped. All I can think to fix that is to glue those couple of panels permanently onto the roundhouse, and I'm not sure I want to do that. The leaks are small, so I might just live with them, or try some black electrical tape.

Here's the current state of the loading rack:

One more section and it's done for now. Later on one final section will be added when the tracks are extended. The benchwork will have to be in place towards Powder River for that, though.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Friday, February 12, 2021 5:14 AM

A good job done making the dirt road,  Mark.

Here in the UK,  to make 'earth'   we often use dried tea leaves.   After having a cup of tea, dry the leaves.  They are now earth brown in color.   Sprinkle over the required area.   Instant earth.     

Railroad modelers in the U. S. A.  should drink tea.   Laugh Laugh 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 "JaBear" on Friday, February 12, 2021 3:51 AM

Crate by Bear, on Flickr

"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 hon30critter on Thursday, February 11, 2021 9:05 PM

Hi Mark,

Sorry for the slow response. I like the way your road and surrounding areas turned out.

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, February 7, 2021 6:01 PM

7 February 2021

If you watched my latest update video, you know I was trying to use real dirt as ground cover for Casper. After several attempts that resulted in this sort of thing, I gave up on that idea.


It just wouldn't stop cracking as it dried! So I scraped it all off and a friend, Kurt, from the local club came over to show me how he does ground cover (he has the largest private layout in Casper, and it's almost completely scenicked). He painted the area with a very soupy plaster to act as a base, then painted it with a brown tempera to provide a non-white surface for any thin spots there might be after the next steps.

Then he sifted a tempera powder / Plaster of Paris mix to simulate dirt.

After fixing that with water (the wetted plaster acts like glue and bonds the tempera colors to the layout), adding a variety of greenery and running a model truk back and forth in the wet mix to create a road, we had this:

All of that took about two hours!

Over the net couple of days I worked on enhancing the look of the dirt road. I added some of my sifted dust (at least I found a use for that part!), then added some more, and finally pushed the truck back a forth a couple of times to simulate tire tracks in the ruts. The last thing I did was use a Brite-Boy to create highlights in the ruts and enhance the dry, dusty look of the road. This is the result:

I've also done a few other things, like more progress on the tank car loading racks and ballasting more of the CNW like on the shelf above Casper, but getting some decent scenery on the Casper benchwork, even though it's just a tiny bit of the far back corner, was the big thing.

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, February 7, 2021 10:26 AM

Thanks, Rich and Mike!

I'm never sure if my videos are boring or not. I have a big blind spot when it comes to my own stuff.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 11:33 AM

Nice Mark!  Real nice.  Yes  Your narrative skils make your videos easy and entertaining to watch.

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 11:11 AM

As usual, Mark, nice video.

You are in the wrong hobby. Forget about model railroading as skilled as you are at it.

You should be narrating YouTube videos or maybe even television broadcasting.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 9:59 AM

3 February 2021

I just posted my February layout update...

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 29, 2021 10:19 PM

Test...

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 2:59 AM

Pruitt
I pushed Casper into place in the corner to see how it all looked: Casper is usually out in the middle of the room, so it's kinda different to see it pushed back into its final position. It leaves a lot of open floorspace!

Hi Mark,

I guess I'm not too good at interpreting layout plans. I have always thought that you intended to have an aisle behind Casper simply because it wasn't placed against the wall when you were working on it. However I couldn't understand the need for an aisle there. Now that you have moved Casper into its final position against the wall the lightbulb in my head has finally been lit and I have a much better understanding of how that whole wall of the layout will look. It looks great and it finally makes sense to me!! Pardon me for being so slow on the uptake.Dunce

Cheers!!

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!
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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 24, 2021 10:43 PM

24 January 2021

The last week has seen the installation of the Casper skyboard and the beginnings of assembly of the rest of the tank car loading racks for the refinery.

A few days ago I mounted the framing for the skyboard:

Then I cut the old skyboard from the New Jersey layout to the correct height (it was taller) and we began mounting it to the frame. My wife was a big help!

We learned very quickly that installation was much easier with the CNW fascia removed, since it hangs down about an inch and a half below the CNW benchwork, and the backdrop tucks up right against the bottom of the benchwork. Fortunately, removal (and replacement) was easy.

After several hours' work spaced over a few days, the skyboard was up. 

All of the seams need a bit of work. After being rolled and unroalled and jounced along for about 2,500 miles, they're no longer invisibly smooth, and one started to come apart. But some Testors gooey cement, some filler putty and sanding will have it ready for a fresh coat of paint.

I pushed Casper into place in the corner to see how it all looked:

Casper is usually out in the middle of the room, so it's kinda different to see it pushed back into its final position. It leaves a lot of open floorspace!

I received the rest of the tank car loading racks - seven kits - so I got started assembling those. I'm following an assembly line process with this batch. Here's all the stands I'll need for the entire rack.

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, January 18, 2021 1:28 PM

Thanks Bear and David.

Here's that side view without the fascia. 

You would think the truck would easily be able to keep up with the train, since the train averaged about 25 mph on a good day, but those old roads were little more than wagon trails. The deep ruts make it a rough ride even at 15 mph. At 25 the bouncing threatens to send the barrels in the back right over the sides! But the driver is sure trying!!

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Posted by NorthBrit on Monday, January 18, 2021 4:37 AM

A job well executed, Mark.   I would love to see a side on view of the picture with the train  not showing the baseboard edge.   My guess then,  one would think it really was Wyoming.

 

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 "JaBear" on Monday, January 18, 2021 12:59 AM

Pruitt
What you can't see in the model photo are the small dark green bits of ground foam that I added to represent the weeds that stay green. I probably need to add more of that down the line.

Yes, compared to the 1:1 photo, the green weeds don’t stand out.
But I dunno Mark, but if that was the Bears efforts, I’d be over the Moon!
Marvellous!
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
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 17, 2021 8:28 PM

17 January 2021

Well, with the help of many of you in another thread here on the forum, I survived my first use of a static grass applicator. Here is the result:

The grass may seem a bit sparse, but here in the semi-arid state of Wyoming it seems about right. Below is a photo taken from Rendezvous Road near Hudson WY. You can see that the grass is sparse (and shorter) near the edge of the road at the bottom of the picture. I'm thinking the rail line grass was similar 80 years ago, but maybe a bit longer. What you can't see in the model photo are the small dark green bits of ground foam that I added to represent the weeds that stay green. I probably need to add more of that down the line.

I covered the backdrop all the way down to the curve at the end of the wall, and started adding more Celluclay ground yesterday. It's now about done - just one more batch behind the track way down there where you can't see it in this picture. Then it's back to adding dirt, ballast and more weeds and grass!

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 8, 2021 9:22 PM

Rich, I can't see the wallpaper paste at all. Even before spritzing it with water, I couldn't see it in the final mix. That stuff is about as fine as talcum powder.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 8, 2021 5:58 PM

Well, that certainly looks very good, Mark, and I love the backdrop.

Anxious to see more ballasting photos.

Does the powdered wallpaper paste dry clear?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 8, 2021 5:28 PM

Dave, I've started using the Tamiya's Extra Thin as well. It really stinks, but it seems to work well.

8 January 2020

I've spent a bit of time ballasting, using two different methods for gluing down the ballast. Either way works just fine. The one I like best is what the local model railroad club does - adding dry wallpaper paste (a fine powder) to the ballast. It's about a 20% paste mixture. Then I just spray the laid ballast with wet water and the ballast is stuck down tight! Much easier than the alcohol soak and diluted glue saturating everything.

Here's where I was yesterday. Ballast was in place, but needed some touch-up to cover some exposed cork roadbed edges.

So I did the touch-up and had this after wetting it down.

As of this morning, here's what the ballasted section looks like.

Good enough, I think! Next I'll remove some of the wax paper covering the backdrop and install finished scenery around the track.

I put up a YouTube video about how I make the in-need-of-maintenance ballast.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 3, 2021 4:37 PM

Hi Mark,

Well I can certainly say that I had a more enjoyable Christmas Eve than you did! I'm glad that you were able to recover the round house, and your wits!

I have always used Tamiya's Extra Thin Cement and I have never had it fail. In fact, separating a joint once the glue has dried is nearly impossible. I find that it goes a long way so the cost is not an issue.

Cheers!!

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!
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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:14 PM

Thanks, Rich.

I just posted my latest video update:

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 2, 2021 4:59 PM

It looks good, Mark.  Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, January 2, 2021 5:33 AM

A good job done, Mark.  Well done.

I hope there was nothing in the oven whilst you were cooking?   Chef  Laugh

 

David

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

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 1, 2021 11:32 PM

1 January 2021

And now, the first update of the year.

I haven't taken any recent photos of it, but the roundhouse reassembly is proceeding pretty well. It's almost done - should be finished in a couple days. Selector, you're prescient!

A few days ago I finally got the ballast I'd been waiting for from Arizona Rock and Mineral. "Pink Lady," it's called, and it's apparently what the Chicago & NorthWestern used all over their system.

 

So a couple days ago I went out into the back yard to dig up some dirt to mix with the ballast for my barely-maintained Lander branch. I didn't want it to look like a Class I mainline!

I cooked the dirt in the oven for awhile to dry it and kill any seeds and bug eggs, and when it came out it looked like this.

Come to think of it, that's pretty much how it looked going in, too.

After it cooled, I took it down to the train room, where I ran it through a couple of different sized sifters. After that was done, I had two different sizes of dirt, what I call "fine," on the right (just a bit smaller than the ballast), and "dust."

I mixed the ballast with some of the fine dirt, and a bit more of the dust. Now, it was time to ballast. Oh boy! I haven't attempted to ballast track for years - almost since high school in about 1972!

But yesterday evening I jumped in with both feet (what did you do with your New Year's Eve?). After a bit of time passed, I had the ballast laid down for about three feet of track. It looked like this.

I was rather pleased - that almost exactly how I wanted it to look! The only thing left to do was glue it down.

I used the more-or-less standard approach of wetting the ballast with alcohol (70%, since I had that at hand), the applying diluted white glue as the fixative. I wasn't at all sure I hadn't just created a godawful mess - now it looked like this.

I've watched videos on ballasting on MRVP and on YouTube, so I held my despair in check for the evening and headed back up where the normal people hang out.

This morning I went back downstairs to see how bad it looked, and I was greeted with this.

I was both relieved and very happy! That seemed to work out just fine! The ballast with the glue is still a bit damp, which I think is why it's darker than the stuff I haven't glued down yet. It will probably lighten up as it fully dries. But even if it doesn't, it's still okay.

So that was my first foray into ballasting in close to 50 years. Now it's back to the roundhouse, I guess.

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 1, 2021 11:10 PM

richhotrain
In my case, it is relaying sections of track that I have already laid and thought to be bullet proof, only to find out that I was wrong. But, I gotta do it.

Rich.

Many years ago (mid-1980's), I ran diesels. They seldom derailed - I thought my trakwork was pretty good, with it's 24" radius curves. Then I got my first brass loco. 

I'd dreamed of owning one for years, and finally I did. It was a PFM Great Northern H-6 Pacific. I've still got it. It's beautiful!

It derailed on curves all over that layout! The minimum radius was 24 inches, and they really meant it! I thought my curves were pretty smooth, and my mostly-Athearn fleet handled them fine. But many curves apparently had tight spots where the radius dipped just a bit below 24". The Pacific happily jumped off the rails at each one.

I spent many hours re-laying those curves. When I was done the Pacific stuck to the rails as well as the diesels, but I learned a lesson about quality of trackwork that has stuck with me through all those years - close isn't good enough! It has to be right, or somehow, someday, some tiny little variation will bite you in the backside.

So I feel for what you're going through now, Rich. And I understand what Crandell went through in the past as well. But in the end, the work it takes to fix the problems will be well worth it.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 5:57 PM

deleted

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 4:26 PM

selector

I did precisely that, Rich.  On my most-imaged layout from back in 2006-2012, I had one section that wouldn't work for a new BLI Hybrid TTT-6 UP 2-10-2. All other locomotives were good on it, but not this one new locomotive.  I was careful to eliminate the locomotive, perhaps the obvious choice for the real problem, so that left the tracks.  I kept lifting the outer rail on a curve until the locomotive ran through it without derailing.  By then, the ballast was a mess.  So, I took up the rail after softening and scraping away the ballast, rejigged the roadbed at the bad spot to keep the outer rail at the correct height, and then reballasted.  No more problems, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes. 

My sentiments exactly, Crandell. And, as you say, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes. Amen to that!

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by selector on Monday, December 28, 2020 12:52 PM

I did precisely that, Rich.  On my most-imaged layout from back in 2006-2012, I had one section that wouldn't work for a new BLI Hybrid TTT-6 UP 2-10-2. All other locomotives were good on it, but not this one new locomotive.  I was careful to eliminate the locomotive, perhaps the obvious choice for the real problem, so that left the tracks.  I kept lifting the outer rail on a curve until the locomotive ran through it without derailing.  By then, the ballast was a mess.  So, I took up the rail after softening and scraping away the ballast, rejigged the roadbed at the bad spot to keep the outer rail at the correct height, and then reballasted.  No more problems, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 1:12 AM

It's funny how we resist re-doing what we have already done, but we have to do it. 

In my case, it is relaying sections of track that I have already laid and thought to be bullet proof, only to find out that I was wrong. But, I gotta do it.

Rich.

Alton Junction

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Posted by selector on Monday, December 28, 2020 12:31 AM

I know it was a complete shock, but by the 5th of next month it will all be a bad memory. I'm happy you are resilient, Mark.  Anybody who could walk away from that fantastic helix and go in a new direction has my admiration. Cool

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