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Grades In Pink

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  • Member since
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  • 207 posts
Grades In Pink
Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, August 04, 2017 6:57 PM

A new guy to the forums and a new guy back to model railroading after 35 years.  

I started my fourth and final layout about two years ago. Being a carpenter and working with wood all my life I wanted to try something different.  It was my thought to try something out of the ordinary.  A 4x8 N scale layout could be constructed with the cookie cutter method using all foam.  

The hardest part was planning the layout.  I spent an entire winter doing a a full size 4x8 design on taped together poster board.  That design carried over to the following winter until I got it right and then started the build.  

I used 1 inch pink extruded foam and put all my risers 6 inches on center making sure in my design that a riser would never exceed 1/8 of an inch of rise in 6 inches of run. Therefore a 2% grade, close enough for government work.  

When I had all the risers in place, before I put the cookie cutter on top, it didn't even make sense, it looked like Stonehenge.  I wish I had a picture of that to show but it got lost in my phone, my phone ate it.  From reading the forums I guess you're all familiar with that sort of thing.  

When I put my cookie cutter on top of the risers it all made sense to the eye.  It all flowed with natural gradual easements.   I was very pleased.

Here is the original picture from about a year ago when my layout was just foam cookie cutter on risers before I put the filler pieces of the jigsaw puzzle back in at the appropriate levels.  

Please tell me what you guys think.  I would really appreciate some interaction and replies.            Thanks make it a good weekend.

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Posted by G Paine on Friday, August 04, 2017 7:50 PM

Looks like a good start, I still see a bit of Stonehenge in the upper left quarter of the photo. We would like to see how things have progressed in the past year, as well as some information on what you are modeling

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

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Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, August 04, 2017 8:26 PM

G Paine.   Thanks for the good start compliment. Compliments always appreciated.  Here is pictures of the upper left corner of the photo from both directions. This is a progression photo after the jigsaw puzzle pieces were put back in at the appropriate levels.  No more Stonehenge going on here.  The bridge I need to build in this area is a combination of kitbashed and scratch built.  The blueprints for all my bridges are written on my poster board cookie cutter paper cut-out.  I can refer to and place over the foam when I'm ready to build another bridge.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, August 04, 2017 9:35 PM

G Paine

Looks like a good start, I still see a bit of Stonehenge in the upper left quarter of the photo. We would like to see how things have progressed in the past year, as well as some information on what you are modeling

 

 

 

I guess I didn't answer the second part of your question.

I am modeling Great Northern Cascade Mountains.  That is why I wanted to create a lot of contrast.  You can only fit so much in on a 4x8 layout.  But it might as well look mountainous.  The inspiration of Great Northern was from Burlington Northern that I grew up with and watched when I was a kid.  

I had to go back a little further in time because I want to model steam.  I like steam, it's got to be there.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, August 05, 2017 7:17 PM

 

Here is the original picture from about a year ago.

Here is a current picture of progress.
 
 
It's not a lot of progress I run a full-time construction business and only have time to model when my business is slow in the winter. 
 
I'm working on getting my bridges done.  I have eight to build.  The white one in the back was scratch built from Evergreen styrene.  It's just sitting on top of the foam not cut in yet.  It will have stone Piers leading up to it on either side with under track girders on top of the piers. The black bridge was kitbashed out of two Warren truss bridges cut apart and put back together with 45 degree offset ends.  The curved girder bridge was kitbashed and constructed on a piece of eight inch Masonite with a Viaduct in between not quite finished.  The foam in front of the White Bridge in back will be removed and a long double trestle will be built.  The lower level in front of that will be a lake and a saw mill.  The three tracks in front of the curved girder bridge will be a coal mine.  And the flat round part beyond the black Warren truss bridge will be a service faculty.  I'm not sure if I'm going to do a roundhouse  or a slide.  Everything takes time which I don't have a lot of but I do enjoy that time.
 
Edit    Sorry about the picture quality, my phone doesn't take very good pictures I need to get a digital camera.
 
 
 
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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, August 05, 2017 8:15 PM

Here's a better bridge picture.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, August 05, 2017 8:18 PM

And another.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, August 05, 2017 8:25 PM

Here's some portals with the old ballpoint pen trick and then color washed with diluted paint.  This is how I will finish my viaduct when I get to it.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, August 05, 2017 8:54 PM

Here's a better view of the double Warren truss Bridge.  I think this view will make a nice scene someday when it's finished.  Don't you guys just love S curves.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, August 05, 2017 9:42 PM

Trees,  I've made plenty of these when I get bored doing something else.  The thread is about grades of pink so I guess I better stay on subject.  I want to stick to 100% foam creating my layout with exception of the light weight frame underneath it that it will be inserted into.  So I have to build up to the different foam levels using foam and creating rocks.  I did a sample experiment out of two pieces of 2" foam.  This foam practice piece base under the trees took about 20 minutes including putting on tile thinset and diluted paint washes.  The midsection, I nailed it that's what I want.  The left side looks like some kind of hooty owl Cookie Monster thing with eyes.  I must somehow delete that from my consistency of carving foam rocks and carving them fast.

I have to move in a year or two and although  I will be hiring a moving crew I will be moving my layout.  That's why I'm making it so lightweight.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, August 05, 2017 10:44 PM

Come on someone break the ice.  I got to work on a Sunday tomorrow, too busy.Sleep  

You all take care.

God bless.  Maybe give me a shout.

 

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, August 06, 2017 8:46 PM

We all weigh out the pros and cons for everything.

The nice thing about a foam grade layout is you can stick a sharpened coat hanger through anywhere you want for wiring.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, August 06, 2017 9:24 PM

I did iron out a little Stonehenge issue in back of the layout,  lol  with preparation for a number 10 turnout.  It will be accessible but I don't want to access it if I don't have to.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, August 10, 2017 9:44 PM

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:15 PM

From another way.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:33 PM

Capping off Stonehenge

An optical illusion.  The mind plays tricks on the eye.  The bottom right portion of the picture there is a turn out. After the split of the turnout one grade goes 2% up and one grade goes 2% down. Yes it's an optical illusion it looks steeper than it really is.

Edit.   It's crazy how tall and roller coaster like everything looks before you put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle back in at their appropriate levels then everything starts looking normal again.

 This is the same corner after the pieces are put in

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Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, August 11, 2017 1:41 AM

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Posted by JEREMY CENTANNI on Friday, August 11, 2017 4:03 PM

I like it.

Working on a around the walls shelf type layout in my older boys room. Engineering challenge to make it all work along with two liftouts.  I just put up the first section a couple weeks ago.

I've been debating doing a slight grade once I get the other 2 long sections up.  Foam is defnitiely sturdy enough to do it with.

 

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Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, August 11, 2017 8:31 PM

Jeremy.  Thanks for the reply. Your around the room shelf layout sounds like a lot of fun.  Honestly if I had the choice that's what I would do. A 24 to 30 inch reach is really comfortable.  

We are going to be moving in a year or two and downsizing as a stepping stone planning for our retirement.  When we look at houses my wife looks at the kitchen I look at the basement, lol.  

Foam works great for grades. The one inch thickness I used with my risers 6 inch on Center was very solid on its own but even more solid after I installed the cork roadbed.  

I did a lot of experiments on adhesives.  I found the best one for gluing foam to foam was 2 in 1 polyseamseal from Menards.  It even way out performed blue foam adhesive.  It stays flexible and hard to get apart unlike other glues I tested that get dry and brittle and just snap apart.

I'd like to see some pictures of your shelf layout you're working on sometime.  Let me know if you have any questions about what  I've been working on.  I would be happy to help.

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Posted by cowman on Saturday, August 12, 2017 7:02 PM

Looks like good progress is being made.  Wish I could say the same for mine.  Like Jeremy, I am planning an around the room shelf, but it will be a dedicated train room, only one doorway to contend with, probably a tip up.  My problem is getting around to moving the current 4'x6' HO layout out of the 7'x14' room so that I can put up two walls against the foundation and a drop ceiling.  I like to be able to run trains once in awhile, not much  other place to set it up.

I am contemplating a grade on pink or blue, whichever is handy at the moment.  I have 1", 2" and even some 3" from construction sites, though I do have some full 2'x8' sheets for the base.  What I lack is a long enough space, so that I can have a reasonable grade.  May just go with passing over a highway. 

My small layout was to be a portable to go to local area craft shows, etc, to look for interested folks.  Unfortunately the vehicle it was designed to be carried in died, new one, too small.  Do have some N scale that I have thought of putting on a two piece, hollow core layout for a transportable one.  Saw the design for an easy to build and use rack for the back of a small station wagon.  However, the room layout will come first. 

Do have a question for you.  When you transitioned from flat to grade with the foam, did you have any problem with the foam "bridging" and not staying down on the base? 

Good luck with your move.

Richard

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, August 13, 2017 5:16 PM

Richard.   Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great project you got ahead of you.  Feel free to post a picture of your 4x6 HO layout if you wish.  

To answer your question I did not have any problems with the foam Transformations from flat to grade.  In fact the foam made its own easement doing so.  When I started the grade I put one of these 2 1/2" engineering screws in on the flat then put my first 1/8" riser 8 inches away for the beginning easement.  Then my risers are 6" on center 1/8" higher every 6" to achieve my 2% grade.  I put one of these engineering screws on every other riser by hand with a screwdriver.  They have backwards threads on the top so they push the foam tight into the glue.  The process worked really well I suppose I could have took the screws out after the glue dried but I just left them in.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, August 18, 2017 8:43 PM

 

The bridge I need to build in this area is a combination of kitbashed and scratch built.  The blueprints for all my bridges are written on my poster board cookie cutter paper cut-out.  I can refer to and place over the foam when I'm ready to build another bridge.

I decided to get a jump on winter and start stenciling out the design for my forth bridge of my eight.  
 
I like to mock up cardstock to get a view of what things will look like before I start the build.
 
The center rectangle will be a scratch-built bowstring truss Bridge.  The parallelograms on either side will be kitbashed girder Bridges. The dotted line on the cork is how far I have to move the center line of the cork over to have outside radius clearance for my Bridge supports.  I'm glad I used Alex plus caulk that was suggested before on this forum.  It does release well if you change your mind.
 
This bridge is going to take a while but I have nothing to do a lot of the time in the winter and all day to do it.
 
 
 

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