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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, October 3, 2020 9:02 AM

Thanks, Mike!

3 October 2020

Yesterday I got the new backdrop painted (repainted).

 

Today I uploaded my latest construction update video:

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, October 3, 2020 6:58 AM

It's been awhile since I've checked your progress Mark.  Looking great!

Mike.

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, October 3, 2020 12:45 AM

Pruitt
I spent a lot of happy years in New Jersey and elsewhere, but it's great to be back. 

Mark, I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying your new (old) location.

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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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, October 3, 2020 12:19 AM

Chip,

You've got quite a sense of humor. How does your wife put up with you?

Dave,

Thanks! 

I lived in Casper two different times, for a total of about seven years when I was a kid. So for the most part I knew what I was getting in to. Mostly it's the same old Casper, just a bit bigger on all sides. Where we live now was just prairie hills a couple miles east of town when I lived here in the late 60's. 

Downtown Casper is shockingly the same, for the most part. Some changes of course, but the old Rialto and American movie theaters are still there, as is the underpass beneath the tracks on Center Street. Those are all icons from my youth.

Car registration in Wyoming used to be under 30 bucks, but I paid over 900 on our new Jeep Gladiator! That was rather unexpected!

Having spent so much of my life on the east coast, I'd forgotten how clear and dry the air is here. Being just shy of a mile above sea level, the air is thinner, but paradoxically it's easier to breathe here, too. My reactive airways (from asthma as a young child and a parent that smoked like the Big Boy) have a lot less to react to here than they did in South Carolina and New Jersey. Less pollen, and less pollutants.

I love the sparse population! Ten minutes from the house leaves me six minutes from the nearest human being. And what many who aren't from here (and some that are) see as dry, semi-desolate wasteland has a hidden beauty that's very soothing to my spirit. This part of the America is called "God's country" for good reason (ok, done waxing poetic).

I spent a lot of happy years in New Jersey and elsewhere, but it's great to be back. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 2, 2020 11:32 PM

Pruitt
...moved most of the way across the country.

Hi Mark,

As always you are making fantastic progress!

Just curious - how are you finding your new home town and surroundings? You made quite a move!

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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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 2, 2020 8:30 PM

I'd read your post, but I'm waiting for the movie to come out. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, October 1, 2020 11:05 PM

1 October 2020

I mounted the backdrop frames for the section from the end of the back wall over Casper through the Hudson area:

And then cut one of  the backdrops from the previous layout to the correct height and mounted it. This "new" part of the backdrop is 24 feet long.

Sanding it and repainting it is next. You can't really tell from this picture, but the blue surface is all scratched up from being rolled up and moved most of the way across the country.

  • 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, September 26, 2020 9:08 PM

26 September 2020

Construction has resumed on the layout. Over the last few days I completed CNW benchwork from the wall behind Casper, around the left end and back along the angled wall, where Hudson will go.

I'll be adding some sort of support to the long free span. At eleven feet, it's too springy in the center of the span to adequately support the area by itself. I'll probably use a threaded rod from the ceiling.

This is as far at the CNW benchwork will go (at least at this end) for some time. Track will be laid into Hudson and scenery completed behind Casper and around to at least the intersection of the angled section to the left-end wall.

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 10:37 AM

Hi Dave,

I use CadRail. The interface has the same "feel" as the top-end CAD systems (CATIA, for example) I worked with as a design engineer.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:05 AM

Pruitt
I need to finish building the CNW benchwork above Casper at the left end. Before doing that I had to design it. Since this area will be attached to the room walls aound the outside, I needed to plan out in detail where support blocks for joists and stringers will go.

Hi Mark,

Just curious to know what program you are using to design the benchwork. I have used 3rd PlanIt and I love it.

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 Monday, September 21, 2020 10:27 PM

21 September 2020

I arrived back in Casper late on the 18th, and after recharging my batteries for a couple days (it was a l-o-n-g drive!), I'm back at it on the layout.

I need to finish building the CNW benchwork above Casper at the left end. Before doing that I had to design it. Since this area will be attached to the room walls aound the outside, I needed to plan out in detail where support blocks for joists and stringers will go. That's what THIS diagram tell me:

Over the next few days I should be able to build and install most of this. I hope. Maybe I'm being a bit too optimistic...

I hope I don't run out of materials.

  • 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, September 11, 2020 7:14 AM

Thanks Robert, Dave.


I'm out of town unexpectedly for a few weeks, so not so much progress this month.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, September 5, 2020 7:25 PM

Hi Mark,

You did make a lot of progress in August! I like the slightly wavy track bed.

Your visual presence in the video is just fine. It adds a personal touch. I thought your old videos were excellent too.

Looking forward to your next video.

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
    January 2014
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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, September 5, 2020 10:08 AM

Hey Mark-

Saturday morning. Cup of coffee. New video update on the CB&Q in Wyoming.

Nice!

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


  • 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, September 5, 2020 8:11 AM

5 September 2020

A couple days ago I uploaded my latest update video:

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 31, 2020 2:39 AM

Pruitt
I spent today doing wiring, including an entirely separate buss for the CNW branch. Someday it will be on a separate booster that feeds this line and the Cody branch. It was kinda tight getting up into that narrow channel to add the wiring. Here's the buss:

Hi Mark,

That does look like close quarters, especially where the terminal strip is installed.

I'm trying to anticipate where the wiring will go so I can do most of it while the benchwork is wide open. I'm sure that I will run into a few tight areas but I hope to keep them to a minimum.

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!
  • 3,384 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, August 30, 2020 11:04 PM

30 August 2020

All 15 feet of the track I can lay right now is down. I spent today doing wiring, including an entirely separate buss for the CNW branch. Someday it will be on a separate booster that feeds this line and the Cody branch. It was kinda tight getting up into that narrow channel to add the wiring. Here's the buss:

And here's the terminal strip with all the wires added. 

The last thing I did today was run a test train back and forth a few times to make sure everything was good. It was.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, August 28, 2020 6:11 PM

Pruitt

Backdrops are not installed yet. 

Light blue on the walls would really brighten up the room and look so much better while there are no backdrops.  The dark maroon for a train room isn't doing it.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • 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, August 28, 2020 4:32 PM

Thanks, Dave!

28 August 2020

I've got about 22 feet of backdrop installed now. The seams have been filled, and the entire thing sanded, washed and painted:

Roadbed is in down the entire length:

And today I laid the first nine feet of track. The soda can express will stay on the track until tomorrow morning, when the caulk has dried.

I'll probably go back and Dullcote the entire backdrop to knock down the slight shininess you can see in the photos.

I also posted a short video showing me installing one of the backdrop sections:

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 24, 2020 9:53 PM

Looks good Mark!

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 Monday, August 24, 2020 8:08 PM

Thanks for all the input guys! Collectively, you helped me clarify what I was going for here and the best way to achieve it. I concluded that the only advantage to a 6" backdrop was that it saved a bit of material, but possibly at the expense of appearance later on.

So I went with the 10" height.

Here's a couple of in-progress shots.

16 feet of upper and lower backdrop supports - garbage-quality 1X2's - have been installed:

And 16' of backdrop - .080 styrene sheet - is in place. Today I filled the seam with squadron white putty. I'll sand it later tonight or in the morning. That should give me a seamless skyboard. An additional 8' of supports have been installed, but the third section of backdrop isn't up yet.

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Posted by selector on Sunday, August 23, 2020 12:04 AM

Mark, when it comes to taking the odd photo, and I do, I have to have a reasonable height for the 'sky' or whatever the backdrop is.  Buildings in scale, trees in scale, mountains so far away in scale, or sky that extends out of the camera's field of view from any one position.  Accordingly, I'll always paint the entire wall sky blue and then put what I need at the right heights to cover the applicable trackage area.  So, for me, go high.  Six months from now, if you feel it's not right, take 'em down and shear 'em.

For places where you must taper, I think it would look least obvious if you used the same type of vertical curve that you'd find at a change of grade; shallow and long. So, a long S-curve.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, August 23, 2020 12:03 AM

Hi Mark,

My personal preference would be the 10" backdrop all the way along. I don't think it will be distracting at all. In fact I think a 6" tall backdrop with buildings almost the same height would be very distracting. Buildings have some sky above them. If the top of the backdrop is the same height of the building it will look like something is missing IMHO.

Another visual effect that I think the 10" backdrop achieves is that it looks like the train is in a wide open space. Subways have low ceilings. Trains have the whole sky.

My 2 Cents

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 Saturday, August 22, 2020 10:17 PM

Pruitt
 So... Would a constant height clear across look better?

But I also want to minimize the distraction above Casper.  .

I think you’ve already answered your own question there, Mark.Smile, Wink & Grin
Pruitt
Would the tapers from one height to another look funky?
 
Not necessarily, in fact I’d probably go for a gentle “S” curve rather than a straight-line taper.
Pruitt
Would the 10" height even be more distracting than the 6" over Casper, or in your experience will the two decks be completely decoupled from each other from an observer's point of view?
I’m not really experienced with double deck layouts, which is another reason for following your layout development, but with my own personal experience, no matter whatever type of layout I’m viewing, I’m more focusing on the train and its immediate surroundings.
 
That said, first impressions on walking into a layout room can account for a lot of WOW Factor, but at the risk of repeating myself, it’s the actual trains and their immediate surrounding I’m really going to be focussed on.
 
The big trick for me, and I’m not suggesting I know how to do it, is seamlessly melding the foreground into the backdrop, done right, now there’s a lot of WOW Factor in my opinion.

“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”     -Douglas Adams

 
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 carl425 on Saturday, August 22, 2020 10:01 PM

Frankly, I'd prefer 10" AND 6".  In my experience, the distraction is the top of the backdrop.  I'd try to get it as high as practical.

Pruitt
Would a constant height clear across look better?

Definitely go with a constant height.

Pruitt
will the two decks be completely decoupled from each other from an observer's point of view?

Yes! Maybe not completely, but your mind has an interesting ability to filter out what's not relevant to what you're looking at - just ask your wife.  The other deck will tend to disappear. Concern yourself instead with how each deck looks when you're following a train on that deck.

You should do your testing at the viewing distance you'll be at when following a train. Maybe get out your camera and mock up some scenes in the viewfinder as a further experiment.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

  • 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, August 22, 2020 8:29 PM

22 August 2020

At this point I need some opinions, folks. I'm at the point of mounting backdrops on the CNW line between Riverton and Hudson, which over Casper is just a single line on a 5" wide deck. I've settled on one of two backdrop heights - 10" or 6". I'd like to hear wht you all think, based on these mock-ups. Keep in mind that the Casper backdrop will extend to the bottom of the CNW deck. The CNW deck will also have a fascia that extends about 1" below the benchwork.

First, the 10" backdrop:

And now the 6" one:

So what do you think? Is the 6" one adequate? In Riverton and Hudson, some structures and / or trees will come close to 6" tall, so probably 10" would work best from that perspective. But I also want to minimize the distraction above Casper. 

I could always "grow" the backdrop height at Riverton and Hudson - neither are directly above Casper. So...

  • Would a constant height clear across look better?
  • Would the tapers from one height to another look funky?
  • Would the 10" height even be more distracting than the 6" over Casper, or in your experience will the two decks be completely decoupled from each other from an observer's point of view?

Looking for honest feedback here - fire away, please!

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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 10:01 AM

Backdrops are not installed yet.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 8:48 AM

A light sky blue on the walls might make a good background color for the layout and brighten the room up too.  The dark maroon is something I've never seen for a layout room - not something usually seen behind a layout.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 17, 2020 11:55 PM

Crandell, clearly you need to get out more! But thanks, that's about the nicest thing anyone has ever said regarding my model railroading! Embarrassed

You know Chip, I'd be much farther along, but my progress seems to reset itself back to the beginning every few years. Huh?

17 August 2020

The last few days have been busy. First I set up my "roadbed factory" and began cutting cork.

First up were a few sheets to go under the industries in Casper.

But that didn't go any farther, because I need to get the benchwork for the Chicago & North Western line up over Casper. So I picked up a sheet of 3/4" oak plywood to cut into strips. The sheet:

And an hour later, it was converted to 15 3" X 8' strips:

So Today it was time to build the benchwork. The raw materials to start:

And the working drawing to make it a reality.

After a few hours' work, it's really taking shape! Since this will be only a single track, the benchwork is only 5 1/2 inches wide:

Another few hours, and the first section (16' long) is permanently mounted to the wall above Casper. My wife hasn't seen it yet - she'll probably have an apoplexy when she sees that I've screwed raw wood to the newly finished walls!

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, August 14, 2020 9:40 PM

It took several days but I worked through all your progress. I can't wait to start laying track myself. 

The scary part was realizing that I was 3 layouts behind. I still tell people about using allthread to get your helix right.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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