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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 Tuesday, July 19, 2022 9:07 AM

Thanks Phil!

I checked out Rob's approach to sagebrush. I'm going to give it a try.

19 July 2022

I just posted a video on how I added wifi to my layout:

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Posted by pt714 on Monday, July 11, 2022 6:07 PM

Great update, Mark. I'm enjoying dropping in here from time to time and watching everything take shape.

Pruitt

Boy, I need a whole more of this stuff!!!

I model southern CO, where sagebrush also abounds. I've tried a bunch of sagebrush techniques, and like the sisal rope (it's great for huge WY brush, I think I first saw it as an O scale technique.) The approach that has fit my needs best so far for smaller brush came from Rob Spangler-- as I remember it, he used 3M grey scrubbing pads that were cut up, pulled and teased apart to make the branch structure, then Super 77 and a sprinkle of the right sage-color ground foam. That might be a good way to make a lot of brush quickly, so you can get that vast expanse covered!

 

Phil

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, July 10, 2022 6:53 PM

Thanks Dave, tankertoad135!

10 July 2022

Since my last photo update of 14 June (wow! Nearly a month ago!) I've continued working on scenery between Casper and into the south end of Wind River Canyon.

I patched that cut-away spot above the rock face:

And went on to add some more rock castings. These will all be blended together with additional plaster, then stain and paints:

I continued brushing on a layer of hydrocal over the plaster cloth in the canyon, getting to this point on 18 June:

I can't go further right now because the plaster cloth that's still exposed is only one layer. I'll add a second layer when I get more cloth, then continue brushing on the hydrocal.

Wyoming has a lot of sagebrush, so it was about time I started to figure out how to make it. Going on a suggestion from someone on another forum, I bought a small block of florist foam ($1.99 at Hobby Lobby) and ground it up in a blender (orange juice is going to taste funny for awhile!):

I cut a tiny length of sisal twine, glued the threads together at the base, and dipped it into a Hunterline weathering solution to make the branches of the sagebrush:

Then I sprayed it with Super 77 adhesive and dipped it in the bag of ground up florist foam. The leaves were a bit glittery, so I sprayed the bush with Dullcote and propped it up on the layout to see how it looked. Pardon the slightly blurry look in the photo - the camera focused on the blue tape behind the sagebrush:

Not terrible I think, but there's room for improvement. It should look more like the sagebrush in the foreground here:

But hey, it's a start. 

To get a sense of how much I need, here's a zoomed-out shot of the Powder River / Wind River Canyon section of the layout. The red circle is where that sagebrush is:

Boy, I need a whole more of this stuff!!!

The last week I've been focusing on coating the area between Casper and Shobon, including the Powder River siding area, with plaster in preparation for ground cover (and sagebrush):

The areas nearest the roundhouse are still wet. The color from one batch to the next doesn't match exactly, but this will all be covered with tile grout dirt, spotty prairie grass and other scattered foliage, plus lots (and lots and LOTS) of sagebrush, so the differences in the plaster colors shouldn't be noticeable.

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Posted by tankertoad135 on Monday, July 4, 2022 2:08 PM

Mark,

Your monthly and annual updates were absolutely fantastic.  Your ability to plan and carry out your layout plans are something we should all aspire to!Cowboy

Don; Prez, CEO or whatever of the Wishram, Oregon and Western RRGeeked

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, July 3, 2022 9:41 PM

Hi Mark,

The operating session looks like it was a lot of fun. Well done.

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, July 3, 2022 4:51 PM

Thanks Bear, Dave!

3 July 2022

I posted my latest layout update video:

  • Member since
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 11:30 AM

Hi Mark,

I have said this before but it bears repeating: Your work ethic is amazing! You are like the Energizer Bunny! I am content to do an hour or two a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes nothing. Please stop making me feel guilty!!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

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 "JaBear" on Monday, June 27, 2022 6:04 AM

5509 by Bear, on Flickr

"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, June 26, 2022 9:08 AM

26 June 2022

I posted the second birthday video of the layout yesterday...

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 10:49 AM

Thanks selector, Dave!

Selector, you're certainly welcome to drop by and help with the rock washes! With your skills, this will surely look great in the end.

Dave, I think I read about the AL foil idea in an issue of Model Railroader many years ago. This is the first time I've gotten to the point of being able to try it.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 12:55 AM

Hi Mark,

That's looking great. I love the crumpled aluminum foil rock casting. Did you come up with that idea?

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: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 6:27 PM

Should look pretty darned spectacular once you have done here, Mark. Just some dabbled tan wash to get this one rock face looking like the photograph's depiction, and the rest you seem to know how to do it...judging by what you show now.

Thumbs Up

  • 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, June 14, 2022 6:09 PM

14 June 2022

Early this past month I received the 50 lb bag of Hydrocal I ordered about a month earlier:

On 8 June I started applying the Hydrocal to the south end of Wind River Canyon. First I mixed in some dry brown tempera pigment so the stuff wouldn't be stark white.

I've never used Hydrocal before, so I didn't really know what I was doing. But the only way to learn was to try it out and see what happened, so I made up y first batch of soupy hydrocal and brushed it onto the plaster cloth. The result:

I left that to dry overnight. Seemed okay the next day, so I continued on with some more similar applications. I got to this point:

Then I decided it was time to add some rocks around the tunnel opening. I've never made plaster rocks before, so this was another step into the unknown for me. I made a rock mold from slightly crumpled-up aluminum foil, mixed up some more Hydrocal, this time with black pigment to simulate the dark rocks in this area, and poured it into the mold.

After letting it begin to set up, I slapped the filled mold up against the plaster wall. I gave the plaster about 10 more minutes to cure, then peeled off the foil, leaving me with this:

That came out a lot better than I expected! One thing I learned, though - pigmented Hydrocal dries darker than the wet mix looks, while plaster of Paris dries much lighter than the wet mix looks. 

I made another, smaller rock wall panel and applied it to the wall just inside the tunnel. After drying for about 12 hours, things looked like this:

I was pretty encouraged by how this was looking, but after a couple days I decided it needed a revision. Here's what the real location looks like:

Notice the road that runs along the wall and over the tunnel opening. That was the road that provided access to the first Boysen Reservoir dam. I want that road on my model, but it was too high up on the canyon wall. So yesterday I took a utility knife and serrated kitchen knife to the area. I took off the top part of the new rock wall and a bit of the plaster cloth, leaving this:

Once I add a bit of plaster to the wall again, I'll have a road that looks similar to the real one. Great! I'll do that in the next few days, then proceed on with more rock casting.

To be continued...

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 11:19 PM

8 June 2022

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! And thanks for the humor, Bear.

Ed, that link to the Microscale decals looks like just what I need. Thanks a lot! Now I just need to relearn decaling (haven't done it in about 50 years!).

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 6:10 AM

Another excellent video, Mark.

I suggest the painting of the fascia board.

As for some skirting to cover below?   Don't know.  I am asking the same question for myself. Whistling

 

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 gmpullman on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 5:31 AM

Close but no cigar!

Maybe this?

http://www.microscale.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MD&Product_Code=87-1130&Category_Code=CBQ

Might be worthwhile to completely remove all numbers from the cab side and replace all four with the decal. Maybe?

http://www.microscale.com/Merchant2/graphics/Instructions/87-1130instr.pdf

 

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 3:59 AM

5503 by Bear, on Flickr

HmmHmm Close but no cigar!

(Click on photo to enlarge it.)

"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 richhotrain on Saturday, June 4, 2022 7:10 AM

Mark, another great video and your usual sartorial splendor.

Regarding the skirting, I would encourage you to do it. And, I would recommend pleating for a more professional, finished look. To avoid trapping air under the layout, leave a small opening at the bottom of the skirt, maybe 4" to 6". The gap won't even be noticeable for the most part.  

You may already have been asked this, or provided an answer to this, but as an alternative to foam, why did you not simply form chicken wire. The end result will be gorgeous when you are done, no doubt, but just wonder what prompted you to clear out the Owens-Corning warehouse. Laugh

At this point in the construction process, I am simply overwhelmed by the enormity of the project and the layout itself. You are in a part of the hobby with which I am not familiar.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, June 4, 2022 12:05 AM
Gidday Mark, Her-in-Doors and I have just enjoyed another of your great updates. We look forward to them.
Regarding the locomotive numbering. I don’t know what BLI used but at a guess it would be one of the Railroad Roman fonts.
I down loaded this one sometime back, Railroad Roman 1916.
I tried to get a close up of the locomotive for proper comparison but it got far too blurry.
Anyhow…
5503 5508
And in bold…
5503 5508
Cheers, the Bear.Smile
 
Wot mess. 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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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, June 3, 2022 10:36 PM

Another great video Mark! Thanks for the update.

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!
  • 3,251 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Friday, June 3, 2022 4:19 PM

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

Rich, the skirting in the photo is about 5" off the floor. I was thinking it looked like I was waiting for a flood or something, but you make a good point about mustiness under the layout.

Ray, I've got so much stuff under the layout I thought the skirting would improve the appearance. Maybe not - maybe I'll just paint any exposed benchwork (legs and braces, mostly), and see how that looks.

Dave, pleats sounds like a lot of work, and that material isn't cheap. Even on sale at 40% off, it was about $7 a yard. Maybe I'll try Bear's idea with black sheets. They can't be any more expensive (unless I buy the silk ones).

3 June 2022

I just posted my latest layout update video:

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, May 29, 2022 5:47 AM
Gidday Mark, on the exhibition modules we used black cotton sheets, that were attached, after a couple of false starts (velcro was one) by bulldog clips that were screwed on the inside of the frame work. The black sheets were there not only to look tidy but also to keep stuff stored under the layout out of sight from “light fingered hands”.  The bulldog clips were a quick method of fitting and removal during the set up and take down exercises.
 
Amost ready Ham 13 by Bear, on Flickr
 
That said, I’m not convinced that you actually need skirts!
 
As I’ve said before, if I did ever get the chance to visit, my eyes would be drawn to the layout, though I guess it could be interesting seeing what interesting “goodies” you’ve got stashed under the layout!LaughLaugh
 
My 2 CentsMy 2 CentsMy 2 Cents 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: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 29, 2022 12:39 AM

richhotrain
You might also consider pleating the skirt to make it look more professional.

Hi Mark,

I agree with Rich. Unfortunately of course, making the pleats will take three times the material. One of the disadvantages of not having pleats is that there isn't a lot of 'give' to the material. If something pushes against it, like a human leg for example, the material will quickly be pulled tight. That may cause the fabric to come loose, and it might jiggle the benchwork enough to derail a train.

I would also make a couple of other suggestions:

First, do it in 3' or 4' sections. That will make it much easier to move the skirting aside to retrieve something.

Second, I would mount it with velcro on the front of the fascia. That will make it very easy to remove and re-install when needed (like when scenicing). Hemming the edges would make the material look better and last, but if you don't have a sewing machine, you could get a local alterations shop to hem the fabric, do the pleats and install the velcro all at the same time.

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 Colorado Ray on Saturday, May 28, 2022 6:00 PM

Hi Mark,

Might just be my personal preference, but I've never liked skirting.  Better to not hide stuff under the layout and have an open clean look. 

Your canyon scene is going to be awesome!  I'm looking forward to your next monthly update in a couple of days.

Ray

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, May 28, 2022 8:48 AM

Pruitt

Mostly I've continued work on the canyon, but on the 19th I picked up some fabric from Hobby Lobby and created part of a skirt under Casper. Other than all the wrinkles, what do you think? I need some feedback on whether this is worth doing.

Mark, a couple of thoughts on skirting your layout. 

When I did mine in a climate controlled basement, my wife complained that it trapped air under the layout creating a musty smell. I never noticed it, but she did. So, you might think of some way to vent it. Maybe don't let it quite reach the floor. That may have been my problem.

You might also consider pleating the skirt to make it look more professional. If you use Google Images, type in 'pleated skirt model railroad layout' and you will see some nicely done pleated skirts.

Rich

Alton Junction

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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, May 28, 2022 8:27 AM

That's weird. I know I put it in...

Oh well, I went back and edited it in.

Thanks for letting me know!

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 28, 2022 3:47 AM

Hi Mark,

The canyon is coming along nicely.

I don't see the picture of the cloth skirt in your post.

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!
  • 3,251 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Friday, May 27, 2022 12:46 PM

hon30critter
That's impressive Mark!

Dave

Thanks, Dave!

27 May 2022

Mostly I've continued work on the canyon, but on the 19th I picked up some fabric from Hobby Lobby and created part of a skirt under Casper. Other than all the wrinkles, what do you think? I need some feedback on whether this is worth doing.

Back to the canyon, On the 20th I began hacking away at the stacks of poam with a hot wire cutter. This eliminates most of the square corners. This is the wall between the two southernmost tunnels.

After finishing with the hot wire cutter I went after the foam with a Surfoam tool. That tears out small bits of foam and roughens the surface, giving the plaster something to grab on to. Here I'm working above the second tunnel from the south entrance to the canyon, identified as Tunnel 4 on the prototype (The southernmost tunnel is Tunnel 5, simply called "Black Tunnel" by the train crews, because of the color of the rocks).

That Surform tool sure leaves a mess on the floor!

By the 25th I applied all the plaster cloth I had on hand. Here's how it looks now:

All the horizontal steps you see in the plaster cloth will be eliminated when I apply plaster over the surface and begin carving rocks, which will cover most of what you see here.

I have 50 lbs of hydrocal on order, due to arrive about 1 June. While I'll cast some rocks, most will be carved by hand to approximate what's actually in the canyon. I anticipate going through a lot of Xacto blades!

  • Member since
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 11:26 PM

That's impressive 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 Tuesday, May 17, 2022 10:16 PM

Thanks tankertoad135! I try to maintain a decent level of production standards.

17 May 2022

The last few weeks I've spent almost entirely on the Wind River Canyon. I got a second shipment of plaster cloth (two rolls this time) and added a second layer to what I'd already done. Can't really see much difference, but I think it stiffens things up more. That will be important when I start hanging rock castings all over the place.

I also ordered 50 lbs. of hydrocal to make the rocks.

By the 10th I had part of wall behind the tracks north of the first tunnel, Tunnel 5 (called Black Tunnel, presumably because of the rock color, by BNSF train crews), is being stacked. To the right in this shot Tunnel 4 is being framed in.

Here's another view of tunnel 4.

By the 13th the canyon looked like this. The wall between Black Tunnel and Tunnel 4 is almost full height, and work is beginning north of Tunnel 4.

Here's the canyon as of today, May 17 just after noon, from near the end of the peninsula. I've worked my way all the way north to where the third tunnel will start in the distance. Note that I started stacking the foam in an open cribbing style north of the flat sloping sheets of foam. Saves a lot of material.

 

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