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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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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 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 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 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!

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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 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 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 richhotrain on Sunday, February 14, 2021 5:36 AM

Pruitt

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:

Mark, I have similar problems with the roof of my roundhouse and, like you, I prefer not to glue down the individual panels. While I have yet to do this myself, I intend to glue three roof panels together but not glue them to the wall structures so that they are still removable. That would go a long way toward resolving the uneveness of the individual panels. Mine is a 9-stall roundhouse, so I would have three sets of roof panels instead of nine once I glue three together as one.

As far as light leaks are concerned, Evergreen Scale Models makes styrene sheet as thin as 0.005" which could be glued on the underside of the roof panels to fill the gaps and block light leaks without materially affecting the thickness of the roof panels that rest on the wall structures.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, February 14, 2021 1:01 PM

Rich,

Those roof panels are pretty thin. Will gluing them together along the edges be strong enough to keep the joints from separating when you lift them off the supports? There will be a pretty strong bending force through there. If that does work, please let me know.

I glued scale 6X12 styrene strips at the front and back of the roof sections, then painted them flat black. That was enough to block the light at most of the gaps. Maybe I just don't have enough thickness on the roof sections that are a bit warped. I think I'll try gluing a second one on top of the first and see if that does it.

The really amazing part is that there are no obvious leaks between roof sections on the top. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, February 14, 2021 6:50 PM

14 February 2021

Boy, this scenery stuff is kicking my tail! I just can't seem to get the hang of the simplest parts.

All that "tempera/plaster "dirt" I put down a few days ago didn't set. I went to vacuum up the loose bits, and big chunks came up into the vacuum cleaner! I wound up taking it all back off. 

I had sprayed the area with alcohol before sifting on the dirt, then used alcohol to wet it thoroughly afterwards. Maybe that's the problem - the alcohol won't make the plaster cure. I did some subsequernt coats of more dirt and used water on them. Maybe the alcohol inactivated the plaster somehow, because it sure didn't bond. So now I'm starting over in just a small area to see if I can get it right.

Super Angry

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, February 14, 2021 8:27 PM

Pruitt

Rich,

Those roof panels are pretty thin. Will gluing them together along the edges be strong enough to keep the joints from separating when you lift them off the supports? There will be a pretty strong bending force through there. If that does work, please let me know.

Mark, I spoke before I looked. I have a Walthers Cornerstone roundhouse. I was imagining that the roof sections rested on top of the wall dividers between stalls. But, when I took a couple of roof sections off the roundhouse, I realized that the wall dividers actually fit up into the roof sections. Each roof section has a raised ridge on either side of the section set in by about 1/16". The wall divider, about 1/8" thick, fits up inside those ridges. So, gluing the panels together will not probably not support handling.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, February 19, 2021 8:31 PM

19 February 2021

I redid the area where I messed up with the alcohol, this time using straight water, and within a couple of days I had the entire area "redirted":

When I scraped off the alcohol dirt, I got a little too rambunctious and gouged out a couple good-sized chunks of the cork sheet (translation: I was PO'd and took out my anger with the putty knife). Before I applied the new dirt I applied some runny plaster to the depressions with a putty knife to ease the exposed edges of the cork (the next day, after I cooled down). By the time I finished the dirt, the biggest depression looked like this:

Can't hardly see the depression, can you? It a bit more apparent in person. This is in the Rocky Mountain Drilling Company's pipe yard, so I plan to make it look like this depressed area is a muddy morass every time it rains (I have no idea how I'll do that yet. Any "idears" out there?).

So with the dirt re-laid and dried to almost rock-hardness (I checked thoroughly), I decided it was time to ballast the spur.  I mixed up a batch of my real sifted dirt about half-and-half with Woodland Scenics coarse and fine cinder ballast, and added about 20% wallpaper paste powder (for the fixative). I applied and groomed it with the traditional spoon and foam brush, and in short order had this:

(Clearly I need to touch up the spots next to the ballast where there's no dirt). I doused the ballasted track with water to activate the wallpaper paste.

The next morning, before I cleaned off the excess ballast from the rails and ties, I had this:

Hmmm. I think I should have darkened the dirt with a bit of black tempera powder. Maybe the next section of track I will.

Just for laughs, and because I'm playing with my new cellphone with the 68 megapixel camera, I plopped a flatcar onto the track near the end of the spur and took this shot (I still hadn't removed the excess ballast granules):

That looks kinda promising!

So I cleaned up the ballast and painted about a 12" length of the rails:

Boy! Painting rails is even more tedious than repacing ties at rail joiners! In 20 minutes, I only got this much done:

And that's where I'm at tonight.

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, February 19, 2021 8:56 PM

Looks great Mark.

I hand paint rails too.  I make sure to use a chisel edged brush.  I move fast and basically aim the point of the chisel onto the base where the rail meets the ties.  Paint works its way up the sides of the rails, but onto the ties of course.  I don't bother to paint ties individually since it seems that the color of the dirt on the sides of the rails is the same as the color of the dirt on the ties near the spikeheads.  I find that the big stroke of the chisel brush puts the color in both places and gets me pretty far along to the final product.

It looks like you did some nice work to the ties before painting the rails.  That might make the process more tedious in wanting to just get the rail paint onto only the rails.

Looks great though.  Time well spent IMO.

- Douglas

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, February 19, 2021 10:08 PM

Doughless
Looks great Mark.

I agree.

What I like most about the ballast is the difference in size and colour of the various pieces. It looks good on a spur. It's not too neat, and it is a nice contrast to the more even ballast that a mainline would have.

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 Monday, February 22, 2021 6:11 PM

Thanks, Douglas and Dave!

You know, I always expected scenery would be my favorite part of building a layout. So far, it's been one of the most stressful. Hopefully I'll start to enjoy it more as I learn what works for me and what doesn't, but right now I'm pretty much clueless, and that's not a feeling I like very much.

At this point I'd rather be building benchwork, laying track or even wiring. Those things I'm well versed at.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 22, 2021 6:26 PM

Mark, since the rest of us are enjoying your progress, try not to let it be stressful for you. Easier said than done, I know, but keep at it. It is looking great.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by York1 on Monday, February 22, 2021 6:31 PM

I've enjoyed following your progress.

 

Pruitt
You know, I always expected scenery would be my favorite part of building a layout. So far, it's been one of the most stressful.

 

That's true for me, too.  Before I started the layout, I really thought the scenery would be enjoyable.

What I found was that I really enjoyed the trackwork and the wiring.

I also found that something I didn't think I would like, scratching structures, has become the most enjoyable.

 

Keep up the good work -- even though I don't write here very often, I am interested in your photos and your layout.

York1 John       

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, February 22, 2021 9:30 PM

Oh thanks, Rich and John. The pressure is really on! I'm certainly not stressed out now! Wink

Seriously, I'm glad folks enjoy my progress pics. Those and the videos really keep me motivated to make progress.

Speaking of progress...

22 February 2021

Today I "finished" the chain of eight loading stations for the Standard Oil refinery. I'll be adding a ninth when benchwork towards Powder River is built. I still have to attach the access stairs and supply lines to the rack, which will go on the end of the ninth station. I also need to paint the whole thing. Silver and grey are the most common colors for metal racks now I think, but black was pretty common back in the 1930-1945 timeframe. In the photo I have of the Midwest Refinery in Casper the racks appear to be black, and the in the photos of the Standard Refinery they're either dark grey or black, so I'll probably go with black (which will be pretty easy, since the entire model is molded in black plastic).

After painting I'll add lights, and finally plant the whole thing permanently in it's home on the layout. Until then it will be set loosely in place there.

Here's then entire rack posing for posterity sitting in it's final assembly location next to the Casper Yard mainline:

And here it is in a 3/4 view (hey, at least the end closest to the camera is in focus!).

And a closer view of a couple loading stations with the rack sitting in it's eventually permanent home between the loading tracks:

I also started adding a dirt road at the far end of the yard from the refinery, near where the ice house and Rocky Mountain Drilling will be. The tape covered tracks to the right are the caboose track (foreground) and the ends of the classification tracks. The road is still wet from the glue. Tomorrow after it's dry, I'll add more detail to the road - larger dirt, gravel and rocks along the center of the road and between the tire ruts for both lanes.

 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:34 AM

Pruitt
I also started adding a dirt road ... ...I'll add more detail to the road - larger dirt, gravel and rocks along the center of the road and between the tire ruts for both lanes.

 
Oooooh GOOD!! Please don’t make the road too rough, travelling around the layout in an enclosed box is bad enough, getting bounced around as well, would be far too much for a delicate soul such as myself!!!Smile, Wink & Grin
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 hon30critter on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 1:55 AM

The oil loading rack is impressive Mark!

As for your stress, we are all very grateful that your are putting yourself through that now so that we can learn from your mistakes (and successes) and not have to go through the same thing!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughThumbs UpClown

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 richhotrain on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:18 AM

Doggone it, Mark, those oil loading racks look great. And the weathering on those tank cars is spectacular. I will be sending my fleet of tank cars to you for weathering.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:01 PM

Bear, all I can say is party on! LOL!

Dave, thanks for the compliment. And I'm glad to be of service to the community. Whistling

Rich, thank you. When I look at a project like this, mostly what I see is all the little things I screwed up. But feel free to send your fleet of tank cars! I'll get them all weathered up and placed on the layout. Uh... you didn't really want them back, did you?

24 February 2021

The dirt road is looking better. I added some coarser dirt between the ruts and along the edges, then scrubbed in the ruts with a Brite Boy to "polish" them a bit.

An odd thing happened - where the diluted Elmer's glue that affixed the dust and dirt seeped off the sides of the road the fake dirt darkened, and it looks like it won't lighten back up. It's not very noticeable from this angle, but from a higher perspective it's pretty obvious. I'm not sure what to do with that, but maybe ground cover, sparse though it will be, will hide it sufficiently. Or maybe I'll dust on a bit more fake dirt alongside the road to lighten it back up.

Hey look, everybody! There goes Bear again!

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Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:43 AM

Pruitt
Hey look, everybody! There goes Bear again!

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

"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 Sunday, February 28, 2021 11:37 AM

28 February 2021

I just published Episode 1 of Building Casper to my YouTube channel

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 1, 2021 3:06 AM

Hi Mark,

Your first episode about building the Casper yard is really well done, as is typical of your work. You offer a step by step guide on how to go through the design process which is excellent. I hope that your video(s) get a lot of publicity because a lot of newcomers would benefit enormously from your experience.

I do have to say that I think the introduction is a bit long and somewhat repetive, but once past that the video gives the viewer a lot to think about.

Keep up the good work!

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
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 1, 2021 5:08 AM

hon30critter

Hi Mark,

I do have to say that I think the introduction is a bit long and somewhat repetive

Mark, you aren't going to stand for this, are you?   Smile, Wink & Grin

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, March 1, 2021 9:38 AM

richhotrain
 
hon30critter

Hi Mark,

I do have to say that I think the introduction is a bit long and somewhat repetive

 Rich

Yep. In fact, I kind of agree. The heck of it is, that's the edited-down version. I tried to cut it down more but it got too choppy, so I had to leave it as it is.

I could have re-done the whole intro I suppose, but...

I don't think it's near as bad as some. Is it? Tongue Tied

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 1, 2021 10:52 AM

Pruitt
 
richhotrain 
hon30critter

Hi Mark,

I do have to say that I think the introduction is a bit long and somewhat repetive

 Rich 

Yep. In fact, I kind of agree. The heck of it is, that's the edited-down version. I tried to cut it down more but it got too choppy, so I had to leave it as it is. 

I could have re-done the whole intro I suppose, but...

I don't think it's near as bad as some. Is it?  

It is not. I was just having some fun of course at Dave's expense but, seriously, I thought that the intro was a very good setup for what's to come. This has to be beneficial, especially for readers planning their first layout. Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, March 1, 2021 1:35 PM
Gidday Mark thanks for part one of Building Casper.
 
I agree with Dave and Rich, regarding the usefulness to a newcomer to layout design. As while I don’t consider myself a newcomer to the hobby, your introduction has given clarity to the various thoughts (??) that have been rattling around in the void between my ears, regarding building my own layout.
 
My previous layout building has been in a club situation where design has been done on a committee basis, so now I have to make my own decisions regarding what’s in, what’s out, how much scale compression, how to suggest important things that’s off the layout etc.
 
Actually, I think I like the challenge as I found that I ended up making far too many compromises with the committee approach to layout design.
 
At least I have a definitive stating point, the car ferry, and therefore the ferry yard will be the focal point of the layout, and I also have the dimensions of the layout area.
 
As to the length of your introduction, (shrugs shoulder)Hmm. I find your delivery and manner “easy” and as a reluctant public speaker, I shudder to think of the pigs ear I’d make trying to do a similar video!!! SurpriseSurprise
 
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 hon30critter on Monday, March 1, 2021 8:41 PM

Pruitt
I don't think it's near as bad as some. Is it?

Mark,

Sorry if I upset you. Your video is not "bad" in any way. I probably should have kept my mouth shut, but I will try to explain why I said what I said.

I think your introduction was very thorough. The only reason I made my comment about it being a bit long was because there are several minutes of just you talking at the start. I will confess that the first time around I skipped a fair bit of the start of the video. I had to make a conscious decision to go back and watch the whole thing. Once your graphics and layout scenes start everything is fine, great in fact.

I hope I haven't upset you. You are to be admired for your dedication to producing such excellent videos. I look forward to them.

I'll shut up now.Embarrassed

Respectfully,

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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