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Street running ho scale

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Street running ho scale
Posted by CNW_4009 on Friday, July 19, 2019 10:47 AM

How do you make a street running track in ho scale, WITHOUT STYRENE?  Would joint compound be a good choice?  I don't have an exato blade. Thanks.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Friday, July 19, 2019 11:49 AM

RailNScale makes a tool, a kind of roller, that you can use to make embedded track by covering the track in DAS air drying clay and than use the tool to "carve" the groove. They have different types of pavement available - see here

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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Posted by hornblower on Friday, July 19, 2019 11:50 AM

There are several advantages and disadvantages to modeling street running track with either gypsum products or styrene.  However, poured gypsum products will require far more preparation, finishing and clean-up work.  You may think that all you need to do is place some kind of form against the insides of the rails, pour the gypsum product, smooth it to the height of the rail, a little sanding and paint and your done.  However, you really need to pour and level the gypsum product so that its surface is at least .020" below the tops of the rail.  If not, you're going to damage the road surface every time you clean the rails.

On the other hand, using styrene requires a bit of trial and error cutting and trimming to get the right fit, but it is easy to keep the road surface a uniform distance below the rail heads.  A little sanding of the styrene surface will give it more of an "asphalt" texture.

I prefer to make all of my roads using a combination of .040" sheet styrene and a thin sheet foam product called "Fun Foam" available at craft stores.  The styrene sheet forms smooth road grade and elevation changes while the Fun Foam creates the "asphalt" road surface.  I first lay out complicated intersections and/or curves using pieces of cardstock.  I cut out each side of the intersection or curve from cardstock, then tape the various pieces together to create a tracing template.  I then trace the shape onto the styrene and cut out the road section.  The styrene road section can in turn be used as a cutting template for the Fun Foam and spray adhesive is used to cement the Fun Foam to the styrene base.  Joints in the Fun Foam can be filled with Woodland Scenics Foam Putty or disguised as cracks by cutting crooked joints.  It is also easy to add additional cracks in the Fun Foam surface.

If you can afford to buy joint compound, you can afford to buy a hobby knife (it does not need to be an Exacto brand knife).  A hobby knife is one of the most useful hobby tools you can own.  I would highly recommend you invest in one.

Hornblower

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 19, 2019 12:13 PM

CNW_4009
I don't have an exato blade.

Amazon less than $2.50

All the drywall type products shrink, crack and require a second coat.  Then you have the problem of cleaning the flangeways.  Woodland scenics makes a product for street building.

 

Henry

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, July 19, 2019 12:45 PM

I use Arizona Rock & Mineral Asphalt powder for my streets and highways.  I mix 1 white glue with 8 water for the asphalt and smooth it with a 2½” wide taping knife and let it almost dry.  With it slightly damp I cut out enough against the inside rails to clear the wheel flanges with a utility knife.
 
The Arizona R&M Asphalt sands pretty easy when fully dry so I use #80 grit sandpaper to level the road and drop the asphalt about .01” below the rails.
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by CNW_4009 on Friday, July 19, 2019 3:32 PM
Here is a video on making an ho scale grade crossing with joint compound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9ZU5MkYFQA .
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Posted by G Paine on Friday, July 19, 2019 3:54 PM

CNW_4009
Here is a video on making an ho scale grade crossing with joint compound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9ZU5MkYFQA

Making the link clickable

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by xdford on Friday, July 19, 2019 4:39 PM

I don't know if it is quite the same stuff as "Fun Foam" but Foam Core sheet is sent to picture framers with a thin foam sheet for packing that I have used to emulate Asphalt surface as Hornblower describes. 

The Picture framers here at least cannot recycle it so in my part of the world anyway, they are glad to get rid of it for nothing! There is also sufficient bend that the surface need not be billiard table flat, although the framers stuff can be a bit brittle when cutting it etc

Hope this helps,

Cheers from Australia

Trevor

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Friday, July 19, 2019 7:24 PM
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, July 19, 2019 9:06 PM

I've used the Proto 87 girder rail track.  It is a difficult form of handlaying, with very short rail sections.  I spent a lot of time on this.  It does look great and can work satisfactorily.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by maxman on Friday, July 19, 2019 9:44 PM

CNW_4009
I don't have an exato blade.

You don't have an Exacto knife?

Heresy! Whistling

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Friday, July 19, 2019 10:14 PM

An easy way in my opinion is to use plaster. 

I mix enough water-based black paint into the white plaster to make it gray. Then I spread it evenly to the height of the rails. Using the edge of a putty knife, I made grooves for flanges inside each rail . 

I did this for my streetcar line. 

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GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, July 20, 2019 5:20 AM

CNW_4009

How do you make a street running track in ho scale, WITHOUT STYRENE?  Would joint compound be a good choice?  I don't have an exato blade. Thanks.

 

I would use the  joint compound myself. Street running is cool-if you're talking abouttracks in the middle of the street.. If you're talking grade crossing I would buy Atlas (former BLMA) grade crossing.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Saturday, July 20, 2019 8:06 AM

Plaster sounds like a good idea because I alredy have some, but it's good to know about the joint compound because it's cheap.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, July 20, 2019 12:06 PM

Joint compound isn't, in my opinion, a good choice, as it's too soft, so can be easily damaged, even by something so innocuous as placing vehicles on it.
I used it on several roads, and the "patches" showing on the one below are repaints of the white areas exposed by that activity...

It's not as noticeable here, but all such surfaces suffer the same issue...

While you could tint the compound before applying it, it still isn't all that useful if you're making a fairly thick application, as it will crack when applied too thickly, and the cracks don't ressemble those seen on real roads, unless it's in an earthquake area.
I did the crossing and street trackage in more urban areas using .060" sheet styrene...

...and will use it, along with Durabond 90 patching plaster, for roads on the upper level of the layout.  The Durabond dries extremely hard and can be applied to most surfaces and as thickly as needed, without fear of it cracking.

Wayne

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Saturday, July 20, 2019 1:33 PM

Plaster seams like the best thing for me.

 

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Posted by trolleyboy on Sunday, July 21, 2019 3:48 PM

I have generally used the woodland scenics  product road coloured dye and plaster system it works well. However for my streetcar sections through the downtown area of the layout I bought the walthers street track systems and road sets. Not the cheapest method but works very well with atlas code 83 track ( can also be adapted for code 100.

 

Rob

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Monday, July 22, 2019 7:05 PM

Can you give me a link to the walthers street track systems and road sets?

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, July 22, 2019 8:28 PM

duplicate post

Henry

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, July 22, 2019 8:31 PM

CNW_4009
Can you give me a link to the walthers street track systems and road sets?

Click where it says click

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 7:31 AM

Thanks.

 

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Posted by E-L man tom on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 3:53 PM

maxman
 
CNW_4009
I don't have an exato blade.

 

You don't have an Exacto knife?

Heresy! Whistling

 

Do you have a utility knife? That's what I use, they're sturdier by far than a hobby knife, although I do have both. I use the X acto knife for "finer" cuts or on softer material than styrene or other hard material.

Tom Modeling the free-lanced Toledo Erie Central switching layout.
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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:52 PM

I agree with Dr. Wayne about using joint compound for making street running track.  It's a bad idea b/c it creates too much dust and too hard to avoid cracking.

If the OP insists on using joint compound, on my 1st layout, I used a set of trucks that I ran across the wet joint compound.  This process prevented me from damaging the track once the compound dried with a knife.

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Sunday, August 4, 2019 8:15 AM
Is the utility knife cheaper? Thanks
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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, August 4, 2019 11:04 AM

CNW_4009
Is the utility knife cheaper? Thanks

$2.27 at Home Depot  It's one of the must have tools in life.

If you are going to do any model building or detailing you need an exacto too.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by CNW_4009 on Friday, August 9, 2019 5:25 PM

Thanks!

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Posted by Paul3 on Sunday, August 11, 2019 9:02 PM

Here's some handlaid girder rail experience that my club had.  We laid it out on standard wood ties and spiked it down just like regular rail.  Over and on top of that, we applied plaster dyed with black to look like pavement and scraped down the top so it was just below the rail head.

So far, pretty standard.

However, much to our chagrin, the plaster got under the rails in between the ties.  Now either something expanded (like the wood ties) or something else moved because the end result was that it actually lifted up our spiked rail joints in the plaster to the point where nothing would roll over it without derailing.

Hint: if you're going to plaster over rail, don't use ties.  Just spike the girder rail down directly to the roadbed.

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