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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 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 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 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 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 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!

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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
    February 2001
  • 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.

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