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Walthers 90 foot turntable kit - 2nd Update - Looking for pictures of finished TT scenes. Also more details about the modifications.

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Walthers 90 foot turntable kit - 2nd Update - Looking for pictures of finished TT scenes. Also more details about the modifications.
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 7, 2016 12:42 AM

Hi everyone:

EDIT: I have posted a much condensed version of this thread so you can avoid having to wade through 130+ posts to see the important bits:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/261225.aspx

 

I have read that the Walthers turntable kits were problematic. I can get one new in its box for what seems to be a great price. What were the potential problems and can they be solved, or should I pass on the deal? 

Thanks

Dave

EDIT: Oct. 21. I have purchased the turntable and I am now in the process of correcting the problems and figuring out how to detail it.

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 Howard Zane on Friday, October 7, 2016 12:30 PM

Last year I purchased three of the new DCC 90' turntables, and none worked. Two went back to Walthers for repairs and came back 4 months later. The third, I just gave up on. They worked for a bit, then crapped out. I have since had a friend remotor and configure to run on analog with simple DC power packs with my eyballs setting the track lineup....Much better and more enjoyable. The DCC concept was not necessary as most folks would stand in front of facility to operate. Who needs a hand held throttle to run it? the programming was quite sensitive and time consumimng and basic design was poor.

The structure itself is quite good and if you can find an older 90' turntable (non DCC), go for it. I have two of these...a 90' and 130' and they are just fine.

I had heard that Walthers pulled the remaing 90' DCC turntables, but I am not sure. If you were considering purchasing the DCC 90', don't just  pass on the deal....run like Hell and don't look back!!!!

HZ

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Posted by jrbernier on Friday, October 7, 2016 12:41 PM

  The 'kit' turntable is also a problematic one.  The pit many times is warped, and the main bearing is plastic.

  I have the non-DCC 90' one and it is still working after 5 years.  Our club has a non-DCC 135' one, and the auto centering is shot - it can 'zero', but will not program tracks.  This one is 10 years old.  It works fine using the 'eyeball' alignment method

 

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Posted by selector on Friday, October 7, 2016 1:00 PM

I built the DC 90 foot kit version and motorized it.  This was the version available widely in the early-mid 2000's.  As mentioned, the pit was out of round and the bearings were so sloppy that the bridge wobbled uselessly.  I fiddled with mine and got it to work well enough that it was usable for an arc of about 45 degrees reliably.

Two years later, in 2006, I purchased the original built-up indexed version, the one since issued with DCC capability, and I loved that machine.  I don't have it mounted yet as I am between layouts, but I expect it will work as well as before once it is cleaned and installed.

I believe the kit version was re-tooled about five years ago or so, and that the problems have been corrected.  If you find the bridge to pivot sloppily after a dry fit assembly, consider shimming behind the large washer highest on the pivot post.  That's how I got mine to pivot smoothly.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, October 7, 2016 1:41 PM

Dave if you’re just looking for a turntable that works look at the CMR site.  I bought their 135’ kit about 15 years ago and mechanically its great.  They are Acrylic laser cut kits and every part fits perfectly.  It doesn’t come with indexing but they have a recommended indexing kit as an add-on.
 
 
I built my own indexing system using optical detection and the accuracy is about 1/64”.  Mine came with a 12 volt Dayton .45 RPM gear motor that works great on 8 volts at about .3 RPM.  The drive mechanism is engineered and built extremely good.  It also has split rail for polarity reversing, I didn’t use that I made my own power delivery system.
 
The bridge is flat with hand rails that are not very impressive and I prefer a super structure anyway so I scratch built the super structure.
 
I did a post on my blog of the construction of my 135' CMR turntable, here is a link to it.
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, October 7, 2016 1:48 PM

The 90' has reappeared in the most recent Walther monthly flier. 

Edit Mel beat me to it.

Henry

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 7, 2016 7:20 PM

Thanks everyone.

This looks like an older kit. Definitely not DCC. I'm not worried about how sloppy the mechanism is. I can fix that. I'm also not concerned about indexing. Eyeballing it is fine with me. If the pit is warped that may present a challenge but not an insurmountable one.

For the price I think it would be worthwhile even if it only ends up being kit bash fodder. Nobody has said that they are extremely deficient structurally so I'm likely going to take the chance.

Thanks again.

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 hon30critter on Friday, October 7, 2016 7:34 PM

I just ordered the turntable. $39.99 plus $17.00 shipping to Canada (shipping to Canada is always a killer). Its coming from a reliable seller whom I have dealt with many times. There were a couple of others listed at slightly higher prices for the turntable but shipping was almost double thanks to the ripoff Global Shipping Program (it should be called the Global Shipping Scam).

After doing a search to see what the turntables were going for I realized that this one has the later artwork on the box. Hopefully that is a good sign.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 7, 2016 7:54 PM

Mel:

I appreciate the quality of the CMR turntable but I couldn't justify the price. Thanks for the recommendation.

The CMR 90' turntable is about $360.00 USD including motor and delivery. That's $480.00 Cdn. or about 4 times the price for the Walthers turntable and drive motor.

I admire your mechanical creativity. The slip ring system is very 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!

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Posted by garya on Saturday, October 8, 2016 10:52 PM

I found this thread on a different forum.  I have one, too, still in the box.  It was a good deal.

Gary

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 9, 2016 8:44 AM

Dave:
 
There has been a slight price increase since I bought mine back in 2000.  I think I paid around $135 for mine to the door including the motor.  About the only thing I remember is thinking a buck a foot isn’t too bad.
 
I didn’t check their site for the current price, I wouldn’t go that way at that price either.
 
One thing I do remember very well was if I had known about the Dayton motor I could have replaced the motor and drive system in my home brew scratch built 120’ turntable for less than $30.   The Dayton 2L003 gear motor works fantastic as a turntable direct drive at .45 RPM!  The very small 12 volt motor its self turns at a very high speed and coast for a long time.  Because of it being a DC motor by shorting the motor leads it creates a dynamic brake stopping the motor instantly giving excellent track alignment.
 
The Dayton 2L003 is available from Zoro free S&H for $62.52, that’s over twice what I paid for mine in 2000.  It’s a great .45 RPM motor for a scratch built turntable!
 
The Mel slip-ring assemble was a necessity for turntable lighting and my homebrew indexing system.  The design was very simple but actually making the slip-ring was a difficult task, that took many hours of tedious and intense elbow grease but if asked if I would do it again the answer would be YES!  It works great, not one single problem since the install.  My best scratch built project ever.
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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Posted by CentralGulf on Sunday, October 9, 2016 9:05 AM

RR_Mel

The Mel slip-ring assemble was a necessity for turntable lighting and my homebrew indexing system.  The design was very simple but actually making the slip-ring was a difficult task, that took many hours of tedious and intense elbow grease but if asked if I would do it again the answer would be YES!  It works great, not one single problem since the install.  My best scratch built project ever.
 

Mel, I am very interested in your slip ring techniques. I suspect I am not the only one. Do you have that documented somewhere? I looked through your blog but didn't see it.

CG

 Never mind. I went back and found it.  Ashamed

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 9, 2016 10:35 AM

 

I thought I had some info on my Google Drive but if I did its gone.  Did you look at my 135’ Turntable link above.
 
I can’t find any more info than in that post.  I do remember building it up so if you need info from my brain ask away.  One thing that would making a slip-ring assembly easier would be a lathe, not having one I used my Craftsman bench top drill press on it’s slowest speed which was too fast.  I found the 5/16” copper and nylon washers at a local Nut & Bolt store.  Bakersfield is in the middle of a huge oilfield (at least 40,000 oil wells) so there are several sources for a good variety hardware here.
 
I used Evergreen #230 tubing for the shaft and Super Glue for final assembly.
 
I drilled one steel 5/16” steel washer first as a template and then drilled 15 copper washers (I only needed 12 but I’m a Clutz).  I went to Harbor Freight 1/16” drill bits because the bits would break easily drilling the soft copper washers.  I experimented with the speed of my drill press and it didn’t nake much difference.  The bits would hang up in the soft copper and break easily.
 
The assembling alignment was the most difficult of the project until I found a good fix.  Using a couple of nails to align three copper washers during the soldering worked but final assemble was very touchy.  The fix was to use the red plastic nozzle from a WD-40 spray can for hole alignment.  I left the WD-40 plastic tubes in the assembly, the #30 wire slipped through the tubs giving strength as well as added insulation for the wires.
 
Because of the mass of the copper washers a small soldering iron won’t work!  I used a 150 watt iron and a lot of flux on each washer to achieve the ¼” wide copper washer contact.
 
With the slip-ring assembly fully assembled the tricky part was to secure the wires so that they wouldn’t get caught up during the turning of the assembly in my drill press while I used a file to polish the copper washers so that the carbon brushes would make good electrical contact without excessive ware.     
 
If you need any more info send me an IM so that we don’t ding Dave’s thread. I’ll be happy to help.
 
Mel
 
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My Model Railroad   
 
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

  

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 9, 2016 11:53 AM

Gary:

Thanks for the link to the other website thread. I'm not too pleased with the negative comments about the drive motor. I ordered one but I may try to cancel it. Obviously I shouldn't get my hopes up that the TT will work properly right out of the box.

The other problems that were mentioned in that thread may or may not be relatively easy to solve. If the pit is warped that might be a challenge. I have a couple of ideas for replacing the bushings or even the pivot shaft system entirely if necessary. Opening up the motor housing to be able to view/adjust the gears would seem easy enough to do. The open housing could be reinforced if the structural integrity was compromised by removing parts of it. The only crucial function that I can see that the motor/gear housing serves is to position the bottom pivot point for the bridge.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 9, 2016 11:58 AM

Mel:

When my kids were young they had a helicopter that 'flew' around in circles. The chopper blades were driven by a motor and they actually provided the lift. The thing got broken but I think I kept the contact system that fed power to the rotor motor. It was fairly robust IIRC. Now I will have to go digging!

Thanks for the reference to the .45 RPM drive motor. Some time ago I bought a box of about a dozen small motors on eBay. Included in the box were a couple of motors with reduction drives. I'll have to dig those out too.

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, October 9, 2016 11:58 AM

I built the 90' kit, the motor drive sucked so I got Diamond one but by the time all was said and done the builtup I bought on e-bay for $50 was a much beter deal.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 9, 2016 1:15 PM

hon30critter

Mel:

Thanks for the reference to the .45 RPM drive motor. Some time ago I bought a box of about a dozen small motors on eBay. Included in the box were a couple of motors with reduction drives. I'll have to dig those out too.

Dave

 

You can’t go wrong using the Dayton 2L003 gear motor, it will drive any model railroad turntable from N to G.  If something binds up the bridge the gear motor isn’t going to be the thing that gives.
 
 
 
Mel
 
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My Model Railroad   
 
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, October 10, 2016 8:57 PM

RR_Mel
I didn’t check their site for the current price, I wouldn’t go that way at that price either.

There is a used CMR 120' on Ebay...$90...caveat emptor and all that.

Henry

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 12:06 AM

RR_Mel
The Dayton 2L003 gear motor works fantastic as a turntable direct drive at .45 RPM!

I take it that the turntable's rotation is at .45rpm....that seems quite a bit slower than the real ones which I've seen, but if it stops instantly, would make alignment pretty easy to achieve.

Wayne

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 8:21 AM

Hey Henry:

I had a look at the CMR on eBay. The price for the turntable is pretty good considering that it includes a motor. The killer for me is that the seller is using the Global Shipping Program. Shipping to Canada is almost $70.00 Cdn. That's about what I paid for the Walthers 90' turntable including shipping.

I will send them a message asking if they will ship First Class.

EDIT: Seller got right back to me. He will ship First Class unless the box is too big. If I get it I'm going to have turntables coming out my ears!

Second EDIT: The package is too big and too heavy to qualify for USPS First Class Mail. I rather suspected that would be the case. The seller tried to find a cheaper shipping method but websites he was using apparently wouldn't give him exact quotes. That got us back to the Global Shipping Program price and I can't justify the expense so I have to pass on the CMR turntable.

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 CentralGulf on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 9:40 AM

doctorwayne

I take it that the turntable's rotation is at .45rpm....that seems quite a bit slower than the real ones which I've seen, but if it stops instantly, would make alignment pretty easy to achieve.

Dayton makes a range of gear motors. The challenge is to find the one you want at a reasonable price.

http://www.electricmotorwarehouse.com/small-dc-gearmotors/

Zoro has a 4.5 RPM 12 vdc model that I presume could be slowed by lowering the operating voltage.

https://www.zoro.com/dayton-dc-gearmotor-45-rpm-12v-vented-2l006/i/G3445111/

BTW, Zoro is said to be a Grainger company that sells the same lines at much lower prices. I have ordered from them twice. Both orders were shipped immediately and arrived promptly.

My research also indicates that Grainger owns the Dayton brand.

Edit: I also found this 1.5 RPM version, which seems perfect:

https://www.zoro.com/dayton-dc-gearmotor-15-rpm-12v-vented-2l004/i/G2139033/

 

 

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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 10:14 AM

doctorwayne

 

 

I take it that the turntable's rotation is at .45rpm....that seems quite a bit slower than the real ones which I've seen, but if it stops instantly, would make alignment pretty easy to achieve.

Wayne

 

You are correct Wayne, the 5/16” shaft does turn at .45 RPM at 12 volts.  Because the motor is DC you can reduce the voltage and reduce the turntable speed.
 
 
 
With a large locomotive to me even .45 RPM looked too fast so I have the voltage set to 8½ volts.  With a 850,000 pound locomotive on the bridge faster looked toy like to me.  The only turntable I ever saw operating was the 130’ SP turntable in the El Paso SP Yard in the early 50s and it was very slow, but that is a 65 year old memory.
 
In manual mode I use a DPDT Off/Momentary mini toggle switch wired to short the motor windings.  That stops the motor instantly making track alignment super easy.  I use a DPDT On/On mini toggle switch for reversing direction.
 
For indexing I used a 4PDT Potter Brumfield relay wired to short the motor windings in the off position driven by an IR Optical detector (an IR LED detector on each end of the bridge), turning on the detector with IR LEDs through 1/16” holes in the wall of the pit.
 
I only have a five stall roundhouse, one storage track and the feeder track.
 
 
EDIT:
 
With a brass reduction coupling between the motor shaft (5/16") and the turntable shaft (¼") there is absoultly no turntable slop!!!!  The motor gear reduction is 7981:1.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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Posted by CentralGulf on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 10:47 AM

I saw the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum turn one of their steamers a few years ago. It seemed pretty quick at the time. But I just found  a YouTube video of the operation, and it is much slower than I remembered. It took well over a minute to turn the engine 180 degrees. The speed of the turntable appeared to vary at times, perhaps simply in response to the operator's contol inputs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHXySaPJS18

Anyway, I think Mel's 65 year old memory is doing just fine. Better than mine, apparently. Bow

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 11:27 PM

Well, I certainly can't say that the turntable seen in the link isn't moving at a prototypical speed, but it's certainly slower than most of the ones I've seen.  I've never thought to actually time the speed, though.
However, the one which stands out most in my mind was this turntable...

The hostler brought a geep out of the roundhouse and onto the turntable, then turned the table perhaps a little more than 180° to have the loco pointing in the right direction for its train.
The table spun so quickly that when it stopped (very abruptly) the loco actually rocked back and forth (side-to-side) quite severely at least a couple of times.  I don't know if it was a turnable malfunction, or perhaps the holstler operated it at a speed not normally used (or maybe not normally allowed). 

I certainly wouldn't want one to move that fast, but 2 or 2.5rpm looks reasonable to my eye.... slow enough that the loco doesn't rock to a stop, but fast enough that I don't fall asleep. Wink
 
Some operations on our model railroads do need slowing down, but I don't think that they necessarily need to be scaled totally prototypically.  Watching a loco being turned on a turntable is no more exciting than pausing for a water stop, or waiting for brake pipe pressure to climb.
Even at prototypical speeds (my layout's mainline speed limits are mostly 30mph or less) it doesn't take very long for a train to move from one town to the unprototypically-close next one.  Most trains, once they arrive, will have switching work to do:  cars to spot, others to lift, and others simply to be re-spotted.  This could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 or 3 actual hours - some waiting for a switch to be lined, or handbrakes released or set, but most of this keeps the locomotive moving and the operator engaged.  "Work" is being done, but I don't think that it needs to translate directly to actual work. 
Some will, of course, want to operate more prototypically and others less-so, and I certainly respect their choice.

Wayne 

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Posted by CentralGulf on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8:41 AM

A couple of Canadian turntables at the following link. Both about 0.5 RPM.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66__RTczAGg

CG

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 11:30 AM

CG:

Thanks for the video.

The second turntable seemed to be having some trouble rotating. Maybe the Walthers kits are prototypical after all!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

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Posted by CentralGulf on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:50 PM

hon30critter

CG:

Thanks for the video.

The second turntable seemed to be having some trouble rotating. Maybe the Walthers kits are prototypical after all!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

Good one. LaughLaughLaugh

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 21, 2016 1:58 AM

I got the turntable yesterday and have done some test fitting. The pit was not warped but I discovered the the lower bushing and the upper bushing do not line up properly. It is enough to cause one end of the bridge to be lower than the other by about 1/4". That causes the low end of the bridge to contact the ties on the pit rail, and of course it would make track alignment impossible.

The solution was fairly simple. There was no allowance for adjusting the position of the lower bearing so I drilled out the mounting holes in the motor cover/lower bearing holder to 7/32". That allowed the motor cover to be moved around just enough that the bearings could be lined up. I will use washers to cover the larger mounting holes. I had to use nylon spacers because the replacement screws were a bit too long (that's all I had on hand). The original screws would have been too short to grip properly with the washers in place.

I am also changing the bridge wheels. I have two sets of surplus wheel sets from Grandt Line switcher kits which have stub axles. The wheels are bigger than the absolutely crappy ones that came with the kit so I have drilled axle holes in the trucks to accommodate them. I can only use the wheels without the gears molded into the hubs. The ones with the gears are too wide. I'll have to get creative to get the visible axle bearings in the right spot. Hopefully the wheels will line up with the pit track but if not I will either adjust the ends of the bridge (simple solution) or grind out the existing track and ties and put a piece of real rail in (complex, messy solution).

I was concerned that I would have to upgrade the bushings but I don't think that will be necessary. Once I had the bushings lined up there didn't seem to be too much slop. I'm hoping that the new bridge wheels will sit on the track to stop the bridge from rocking.

I also cut a slot in the bottom of the motor cover so that I could see the gear mesh with the drive motor. I was concerned that the gears wouldn't mesh properly if I moved the motor cover too much. So far they seem to be fine, but if I need to tighten the gear mesh I will adjust the position of the motor.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 21, 2016 5:52 AM

Now that I have the turntable under construction I need some inspiration with regard to painting and detailing it.

Please show me pictures of your completed turntables, or pictures of the real thing. I figure it will be much easier to do most of the painting before the bridge is installed in the pit. Rust stains from the tracks leading into the pit can be done once the track is in place but doing the major painting before assembly seems to make sense.

Thanks

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, October 21, 2016 9:47 AM

Don't have a pic but what I did after painting was paint the inside of the pit bottom with white glue and then pored a dirt colored crushed rock over it. Let dry, dump off the excess rock (or ballast if you want) and then put some weeds here and there and then wet watered it and dribbled on matt medium mixture for baslasting. The reason for the white glue first step is it forms a single sheet when dry and alows for a really thin layer.

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