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Building the Rock Ridge Railroad Part 2

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  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 29, 2021 6:24 PM

As you know, I'm on a very tight budget, and right now I'm way over budget. The next step is the facia (so I can mount my switch levers, and I have to wait probably until the New Year to get it. So, in the meantime, I will work on landscaping the tunnel where I can.

Here are the rocks I'll need. I've also got a dozen or so stone retaining walls.

I also masked off the track where I will be plastering and painting.

Tomorrow, with any luck I will rock and paste the first section of cave wall.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, October 30, 2021 8:04 PM

I feel pretty good about the progress I made today.

First, I cut the gauze strips into 1 foot strips at the right height. Sissors would not cut the gauze so I used a hobby klnife.

Then I mixed plaster of Paris going heavy on the water. 

Then it was just a matter of soaking the gauze and putting it place. It was messy and I used latex gloves.

When dry, I applied a layer of dustless drywall mud.

I had planned to use the cave--since an observer will be hard-pressed to notice--to practice different techniques of making/painting rocks. There was a two-foot area where the cave wall was too close to the tracks to add rocks, so I spent some time carving rocks out of the drywall mud with a hobby knife, dental pick and paint brush.

I'll show you that area after it sets up and I can touch it up.

Tomorrow I'll set the rocks, and if it dries in a timely manner, I'll start painting.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:27 PM

It's been a few days since my last post since I've only been able to get a few hours here and there to work on it. 

The rock cavern wall is of two different construction techniques. There are the plaster cast rocks using Woodland Scenics molds. And there is drywall mud spread across the gause backing and carved. 

First the plaster section.

Then the transition between the cast rocks and the carved rocks. 

As a reminder, the reason I am carving the rocks here is ther isn't enough room between the gause and the track to place cast rocks. Here is a section of cast rocks.

 There are two techniques used in carving the rocks. The first technique involves just carving willy-nilly trying to create a constant grain. The problem I ran into was cutting deep enough to fray the gause making it so strings stuckout from the recesses. 

I solved this by putting on more drywall mud and recarving. As I looked at the new, now-dry plaster, I remember a quote from a sculptor that carving is simply removing the parts that don't belong. I then began to see "rocks" in the plaster so I cut out the edges and provided texture. In the picture above on the right you can see the carved rocks. On the right you can see the willy-nilly approach.

Below is the end of the tunnel complete with a retaining wall and tunnel arch. 

So here's my take-away. The cast rocks are very dimentional, but combined with the limited number of pieces and the inconsitancies of sizes, well, it's not the look I want for my rocky areas. I'm thinking with photos of the prototype, I can get the look I'm after by carving plaster, as opposed to patching together cast rocks.

Tomorrow, I will paint the rocks. Not only have I not used this technique that very effectively simulates granite, I haven't used an airbrush in 15 years, and both the airbrush and compressor are new to me. The cave walls are a good place to practice.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,560 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:37 PM

Chip,

The pictures below show the rock cliffs I made for a portable N scale layout back in 1992 for Scale Rails Of Southwest Florida.

Like in your situation, the rocks had to be as thin as possible. The main control panel and mainline staging are hidden behind the rocks. Also, we wanted to layout to be as lightweight as possible.

I made the basic cliff profile from "hardware cloth" which is a steel mesh wire sheet. Then I made the rocks by crumpling up heavy duty alluminum foil and semi-flattening it back out. I filled the alluminum foil mold with about 3/8" of plaster. When the plaster was about 50% set up, I smushed it into the hardware cloth.

The results were pretty good. Plus, they were thin and lightweight. Sorry I don't have any in-process pictures, but this was back in the film-and-developing days.

The rocks still look a bit like crumpled alluminum foil, but painting sure helped it all look better.

If these two pictures were side-by-side it would make a panarama scene of the two bridges the way they actually were on the layout.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:43 PM

SeeYou190
I made the rocks by crumpling up heavy duty alluminum foil and semi-flattening it back out. I filled the alluminum foil mold with about 3/8" of plaster. When the plaster was about 50% set up, I smushed it into the hardware cloth.

Kevin,

I'm thinking I'll use the aluminum foil technique to produce a rough contour, then use my hobby knife and dental picks to carve into the look I want. Thanks. 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 7, 2021 5:45 PM

I'm still waiting for the coupling needed to connect my airbrush to my compressor hose. Rather than wait patiently, I decided to start the process of laying track on the other side of the layout. Unfortunately that part of the benchwork was being used as a workbench. (I got to use benchwork and workbench in the same sentence. Cool)

Anyway, after two days of sorting and finding places for new stuff I've aquired along the way, I got the benchwork ready for foam.

I have 3 days until I leave to ride the Skunk Train and photograph the prototype landscape and anything else relevant. One of those days will be used to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow), and one of those days will undoubtibly used to pack. We will be gone 11 days. 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 3,636 posts
Posted by York1 on Sunday, November 7, 2021 6:00 PM

Happy birthday, and have fun on your trip.  Show us lots of pictures when you get back!

My kids say they want a cat for Christmas.  Normally I do a turkey but hey, if it'll make 'em happy ...

York1 John       

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 7, 2021 6:04 PM

York1
Show us lots of pictures when you get back!

Will do. And thanks for the birthday wishes.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 5:28 PM

Score!!!

 

My kids got me these for my birthday.

Now I have a project for my vacation. Learn Blender and make some nick-knacks for my layout. Posting will be spotty for the next 11 days.

 

 

 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 1,238 posts
Posted by wickman on Friday, November 12, 2021 9:44 AM

Chip I never really gave any thoughts to using real ties for these jigs, I ended up going with 20 year old Peco switches. I have used pliobond for my long curve trestles and you can buy it in larger containers rather than the small tubes from hobby shops. 

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 1,867 posts
Posted by NorthBrit on Friday, November 12, 2021 11:22 AM

Chip.   The blue track looks cool.   LaughLaughLaugh

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 21, 2021 5:49 PM

I'm back.Zzz

Been recovering for last two days. Lots of driving.

Today I made a little progress on the layout. I installed the foam on the rest of the lower level. Mostly I've been studying backdrop painting on YouTube University.

I did find several things about the area I'm modeling I wasn't expecting.

First the landscape was not the grassland with scrub oak I was expecting. Every square inch of undeveloped land had a dense conglomeration of deciduous and conifer trees. 

The Willits Station had ornate wood trim that according to an old-timer who worked for Northwestern Pacific was painted yellow, green and red. I have not been able to find any reference for the color pattern as it is currently painted reddish brown.

I do have contact information for the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society and was told if anyone knows the color scheme, they would.

Next, Redwood trees reproduce 90% of the time from shoots up from the roots whenever damage is done to the trunk. The other 10% of the time they reproduce from pin-head-sized seeds stored in acorn-sized cones. 

The last thing is that in old-growth redwoods stands, the ground is covered in ferns. Printing ferns was originally why I wanted a 3d printer. 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 21, 2021 6:10 PM

Some of you asked for pictures of the Skunk Train highlights. I'll add comments as you request them.

The tallest tree on the area at 305 feet.

 

I have no idea what this rig is.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,404 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, November 22, 2021 3:33 AM

SpaceMouse
I have no idea what this rig is.

It is obviously a relaxation platform with an elevated view! How do I know? There is a beer cooler on it!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Nice pictures Chip!

Thanks,

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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