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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, December 6, 2020 6:30 AM

Mark, you have a great voice for narrating videos. Nice job!

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, December 4, 2020 3:29 PM
Gidday Mark, I agree with Dave, generous chap he is, in that you shouldn’t worry about the length of your video update.
 
I personally find that you have a pleasant presentation style, and that your videos are informative yet relaxing. With the first coffee of the morning, it’s a great way to start the day.
 
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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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, December 3, 2020 11:56 PM

Hi Mark,

I don't think that you need to worry about keeping your videos to five minutes. Every bit of your progress is very interesting so please continue to share it all with us.

Thanks for acknowledging the reefer donation.

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 Thursday, December 3, 2020 3:23 PM

3 December 2020

I just posted my latest monthly video update:

  • 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, November 23, 2020 10:59 PM

23 November 2020

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to need a lot more reefers for my railroad, to support the large icing platform in Casper yard. Well, to my great surprise and delight, Dave (hon30critter) unexpectedly offered to send me a few reefers he had no use for on his layout. Of course I said "Yes, thanks!" very quickly, and a few days ago four reefers arrived in the mail! Here they are sitting on my kitchen counter right after unpacking:

After switching out the trucks on three of them (everything I run has Kadee sprung trucks) plus adding some light weathering, here they are on the icing tracks:

The Express reefer will follow shortly.

Thanks again, Dave!

And I've been making progress on the platform itself. Here's the first kit structure complete on the workbench.

And here it is set in place on the layout.

Yes, it apparently does have a slight curve along the length. I sighted down it as I was assembling the sections, and I swear on the workbench it was absolutely straight. Space must be of a different curvature at the workbench than at the layout. Tongue Tied Well, time to get started on the second kit. I may add it to the "finished" piece section-by-section to avoid any more curvature.

I also finished installing the last spur on this end of the layout.

This is a multi-industry spur. I'll talk about it in a future post.

  • 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, November 21, 2020 10:24 PM

I remember that thread. If I manage to get anything that looks half as good as Wayne's and Rob's, I'll be very pleased.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 4:06 PM

Wayne uses very fine limestone "gravel" (i.e., limestone dust) as a material in ballasting his yards.

Rob Spangler (wp8thsub) has ballasted his yards in a way that, to my mind, are the finest example shown on these forums. Take a look at his photos in this thread.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/282584.aspx?page=1

Rich

 

Alton Junction

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Posted by selector on Saturday, November 21, 2020 3:43 PM

I should have explained, Mark, that I am literally using the sand as a filler first layer because I only have so much sifted garden soil laid by.  I don't have enough to cover the entire layout, or so I fear.  I would not use the sand as an initial layer either.

Wife's discarded pantyhose makes a GREAT soil sifter.  Helps, of course, if you have a good soil with lots of organic solids and sand/grit for drainage.  You'll get a lot of usable filtrate in no time at all.  You'll need close to 8 pounds of it for your yard, maybe more for proper depth.

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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, November 21, 2020 3:38 PM

Either one of those sounds like a pretty good approach, selector. I may try your current approach, minus the sand.

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Posted by selector on Saturday, November 21, 2020 11:47 AM

I have only ever built the one yard, and that was on my second layout, the one that I posted so many photos of 12 years ago now.  I glued the tracks directly to the plywood and then sprinkled sifted garden dirt mixed with some plaster of Paris to stiffen it once I wet it.  I used the round side of a baby food jar to roll it flat, and of course a brush to work it nicely into the ties.  Once it all looked like a typical yard surface, I sprayed with wet water (water 'wetted' by adding a couple of drops of liquid dish detergent for penetration).

I'm just about to solder feeders to my various ladder tracks, and test electrically each time I solder to ensure no foulups, and then I'll be using three layers this time.  First, 'clean' playground sand that I will screen to ensure homogeneity in size, sprinkled as an initial fill.  Over that, more garden soil, dry, sifted, and over that W/S cinders.  Then I'll use a light glue spray in the wider patches, and dribble it between the rails so that I don't have a lot of rail wiping to do.

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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:49 AM

Thanks Rich. I think my ballasting job looks like crap.

So how about a photo or two of yours? I'd like to see how it came out. 

I'm getting ready to try again - maybe in a week or two (trying to work up the courage!).

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 8:24 AM

Mark, those photos of the yard ballast look sloppy, dirty, and messy. Perfect!

I ask about ballasting the yard because I recently took a shot at ballasting mine.

My main challenge was to apply the ballast to look like it all was scattered at grade level as opposed to road ballast applied on a slope.

My solution, for better or worse, was to thinly apply the ballast directly onto the plywood surface and then glue it down.

I have yet to "weather" the yard to get your enviable sloppy, dirty, and messy look.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, November 19, 2020 10:20 AM

Rich, since I have Woodland Scenics cinder ballast on hand, I'll use that. In between the tracks the ballast will be mixed in with dirt. I'm thinking real dirt from my backyard since I live in Casper, but I'm not sure yet. 

I tried scenicking and ballasting the end of the yard tracks a couple years ago, but that didn't turn out too well.

I used the same cinder ballast then, and that seemed to be okay. I used very watery plaster of paris between the rails and that gave me a mess. So this time I think I'll try ballast first, then dirt, slightly darkened with india ink, carefully applied between the tracks. That might give me the ballast-and-tracks-embedded-in-the-dirt look I'd like to achieve.

Then I'll add some sickly looking grass tufts randomly here and there, except around the icing platform and tracks, which will have more and healthier looking growth (still mostly grass) because of the moisture from the melting ice.

I'm sure open to suggestions on this. I'm not at all sure of myself here.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, November 19, 2020 6:41 AM

Mark, how do you plan to ballast the yard? What materials will you use?

Rich

 

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 10:25 PM

18 November 2020

Things were progressing slowly the last few days. That icing platform kit takes quite a bit of time! Here's the latest:

I completed the first two structural assemblies for the platform sections and set them on the layout to see how they look.

I've completed a third section and am now working on the fourth.

A couple days ago I almost placed an order with Tichy for the second platform kit I'll need to finish the project, but I held off. I'd already placed a sizeable order with Walthers about a week ago. Have to space those purchases out a bit, you know.

I'm glad I did wait, because last night I was looking for something and instead I found a second Tichy icing platform kit! I bought it at a train show some years ago and forgot all about it! I certainly didn't need a third kit. Here's the two boxes right next to each other. Identical except for package graphics and manufacturer.

I've also spent some time on the scenery on the shelf between Riverton and Hudson. Here it is as of today, with the Celluclay ground cover complete about halfway down the shelf:

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, November 13, 2020 8:18 PM

Hi Mark,

I gave you the wrong tracking #. Correct # is in a new PM.

Supposed to arrive by Nov. 25th.

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 tin can on Friday, November 13, 2020 1:24 PM

Lakeshore Sub

Hi Chris,

 

Mark had given me the directions on how he did it in a differenet thread.  Here are the directions.

 

Hi Scott,

 

This will be rather underwhelming (and long), I'm afraid.

First I photographed the area I wanted to make into the backdrop. I used my Galaxy Edge 7 cellphone camera. It's surprisingly good - 12 megapixels. I took about 200 photos, most just normal shots, but a dozen or so in panoramic mode. I'd never used panoramic mode, so I was learning as I go.

Then I went home and loaded all the pictures onto my computer, where I could see them on a larger monitor. I could see that many of them were not very suitable.

Next I downloaded some photo stitching software packages - the free and trial versions. None of them worked very well. I got blurry mish-mashes of the individual photos, none of which were at all suitable.

At this point I was pretty disappointed. I thought nearly the whole photo trip had been a waste. Then I decided to take another look at a couple of the panoramas.

I put them aside at first because they all came out looking like this:

(I shrank this way down from its original size - it was a bit over 12,000 pixels wide!). The files are large - about 33 MB for this one, with a total of over 24.5 megapixels. 

I didn't think this would be at all suitable - the road on either side is the same straight road. The panoramic function on the camera distorts the picture tremendously in the foreground.

Then I realized I didn't need - or even want - the near foreground. I wanted a section that began to the right of the "stop ahead" sign to the left, over to just before the road enters the picture in the right, and from slightly above the mountains in the distance to about the base of the post of the "stop ahead" sign. 

So I opened the panoramic photo in MS Paint (I was a bit surprised Paint would even open it) and cropped the image as I described above. I then blew up the resulting picture so that the height would just fit vertically on a landscape-orientation sheet of 8 1/2 X 11 paper.

Then I printed it out. It took 13 sheets of paper. I cut off three of the four edges - top, right side and bottom at the edges of the image. I left the left side (on all but the left-most page) so that I would be able to line up the next image to the left on top of the page, and using clear tape I aped them together and to the skyboard.

I didn't do any image manipulation other than described above. The 12 megapixel camera resolution makes it possible to blow up the image by 2-3 times without significant pixelation of the image, even close up.

Next I'm going to take the image down to a large-format printer company (FedEx Kinko, maybe) and have the entire thing printed off on a single roll of good quality paper, at their highest quality print setting.

I'll carefully trim off the sky, then use spray adhesive to mount the backdrop to the skyboard. I'll probably do reversed images on either side of this one, which will give me nearly 30 feet of backdrop!

My last step will (probably) be to dullcoat the entire skyboard and backdrop to eliminate any glossiness in the sky (it's really cheap blue paint) and on the backdrop.

So in summary - cellphone camera in panoramic mode and MS Paint (about the most basic image software there is) to manipulate the image. That's all there was to it.  

 

Scott Sonntag

 

Scott:  Thanks for reposting this.  Maybe even technologically challenged me can make a serviceable backdrop.  

jeff b c

 

Remember the tin can; the MKT's central Texas branch...
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Posted by tin can on Friday, November 13, 2020 11:05 AM

Mark:

Don't know why it has taken so long, but I just stumbled onto your website, and this thread.  Thank you for documenting your progress; your layout is stunning, and it is far from finished!  Your pictures answer so many questions.  Keep them coming!

 

Remember the tin can; the MKT's central Texas branch...
  • 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, November 12, 2020 8:30 PM

12 November 2020

We've been working on the other side of the basment, so I haven't had much time for the trains the last few days. 

But today I got started on the icing platform for Casper. This is an old CMA kit. It's now made by Tichy. I have this one, but I'll have to buy another one to get the 6' platform.

There are 56(!) identical part sprues, each of which has half a platform support structure on it. All combined, they'll build 28 supports.

Here's a prototype Burlington icing platform. They didn't usually have roofs, so I'm removing the roof framing from the platform supports.

One support down, 27 to go! I'm leaving the vertical posts and very ends of the roof support to act as light poles like in the photo above.

After finishing four supports, I test fitted them into a platform floor section to see how they look.

I've got a L-O-O-O-N-G ways to go!

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, November 12, 2020 11:47 AM

Hi Mark,

I sent you another PM.

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
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, November 9, 2020 3:06 AM

richhotrain
Well, how long are you going to keep us in suspense, Bear,

Gidday Rich, how long is a piece of string?Smile, Wink & Grin
richhotrain
is it going to look as good??? 
Probably not, my current inclination is that the first bit of the layout will be a yard on a peninsular, so no backdrop.Whistling
 
Mark, I really shouldn’t be such a woose, and be thankful her-in-doors supports my hobby!
 
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, November 8, 2020 11:40 AM

Bear, why stop reading the thread? Just stop watching the videos. LaughBeer

And please tell your significant other thanks for the compliment. Just keep in mind - the camera doesn't see all the warts.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, November 8, 2020 4:48 AM

I made the mistake of watching your latest video update when her-in-doors walked in and also sat down and watched. At the end she said, and I’ll paraphrase, “Wow that’s amazing, he certainly has done his homework, when you start your layout, is it going to look as good?!!”

Well, how long are you going to keep us in suspense, Bear, is it going to look as good???   Huh?

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
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  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, November 8, 2020 2:40 AM

Mark, I am going to have to stop following this thread! My TV is hooked up to my computer so I can sit back in comfort to watch what I want but I made the mistake of watching your latest video update when her-in-doors walked in and also sat down and watched. At the end she said, and I’ll paraphrase, “Wow that’s amazing, he certainly has done his homework, when you start your layout, is it going to look as good?!!”

I don’t think I can live with the stress of her expectations!!

Cheers, the Bear.Sad

"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 Saturday, November 7, 2020 7:53 PM

7 November 2020

Well I bit the bullet and started on real scenery today! (I'll probably get an eviction notice or something tomorrow).

Using Celluclay as the base with a couple different colos mixed in, this is the result of about 45 minutes' work:

It's about 18 inches of "ground." To the left of the track are what are supposed to be dried ruts from where a MOW truck passed on a very muddy road.

We'll see how it looks tomorrow, after it's dry.

  • 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, November 7, 2020 10:35 AM

Hi Dave,

I sent you a reply.

Mark

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, November 7, 2020 2:13 AM

Hi Mark,

I sent you a PM.

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!
  • 2,957 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 9:10 AM

 3 November 2020

I just uploaded my latest construction update. It's a bit longer than most of them - I did a lot of different things to the layout this month!


 

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, November 1, 2020 9:25 PM

Pruitt
Sorry to disappoint, but no polka-dots.

Oh heck Mark!! You're just no fun at all!Smile, Wink & Grin

Pruitt
The fascia is Bronze Green, same as the train room trim color.

I think it looks good, but I'll play the devil's advocate. I think the prairie grass colour would look better. My reasoning is that while the green paint matches the details in the rest of the room, you are making a model railway scene and not just decorating the room. The priority IMHO should be what enhances the scene.

Pruitt
I'm thinking of adding a thin strip of moulding at the top of the backdrop, probably painted white. Whadda ya think?

Ummm, nope! Sorry to be so opinionated, but I think that would cause the scene to look too narrow, just like having the foreground grass too high. Real views of the sky aren't topped with white wood molding. Let the sky speak for itself. My 2 Cents

I hope you don't feel that I am being pushy. It's your railroad. You can do what you want (and I'm sure it will look good!).

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
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,957 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, November 1, 2020 2:19 PM

1 November 2020

Sorry to disappoint, but no polka-dots.

The fascia is Bronze Green, same as the train room trim color.

My wife like the unpainted fascia better, but I wanted the fascia to act as a bit of a frame for the layout. I'm thinking of adding a thin strip of moulding at the top of the backdrop, probably painted white. Whadda ya think?

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