Sunday, August 24, 2014

Laying track - Again

With the river scene completed and the bridges back in place, I could re-lay the track on the Ntrak lines.  These had been laid temporarily with Atlas code 80 wood tie flex track held down with track nails for the show we did in April.  That track was removed after the show so I could remove the bridges and finish the river scene.  The permanent track is going to be Peco code 80 with concrete ties.

After attaching the feeder wires I weathered all the rails with a Floquil rail brown paint pen.  This works great for concrete ties or touch ups on any track after it's installed.

For the past couple of projects I've been using Liquid Nails for projects to attach the track to the cork roadbed.  The advantage of using this as opposed to the white glue I had used before is that it won't come loose when the track is wet while applying ballast.  This is mostly only a problem on curved track.

When using the Liquid Nails product for attaching track, it is important to not use to much.  If any oozes up between the ties, it might show up after ballasting.  Just a small bead down the center of the cork roadbed then smooth that out flat as shown in this close up photo.

One of my early posts on this blog back in February of 2011 was called Ballasting the tracks where I explained the techniques I used on the Musashi-Koyama modules so I won't go through it all again here.

I am still doing ballast  the same way but on this module I am using Arizona Rock & Mineral No. 130-2 Northern Pacific Medium Gray Granite which to my eye looks better with the concrete ties.  I also plan to experiment with some weathering of the track that may enhance the appearance.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Adding water to the river scene

Simulating water has always been a challenge for me.  Modelers use a number of methods and I've tried several of them with mixed results.  I had tied the 2-part resin method on an earlier module but was unhappy with that result.  It had absorbed some of the surrounding color and I could not get the small bubbles out before it hardened.

Then on a home layout I tried Woodland Scenic realistic water after painting the bottom surfaces with blended green, blue, and brown acrylic paints.  This had better results on flat surfaces but I was not really happy with the effect of water running down hill.

This time I tried using acrylic gloss medium and also Woodland Scenic water effects to give the running water some texture.

Using a scrap of Plexiglas, I experimented with both these products to seen how they would interact with each other and with acrylic paints.  Also I wanted to practice working with this technique before actually applying it to the module.

Prior to adding the simulated water, I added some more rocks to the river bed.  From some coarse sand I selected grains that were more rounded like rocks in a river bed normally are.  I probably could have added many more than I did but put enough in to get the effect I wanted.

The moment came to actually apply some of the gloss medium to river bed.  I had shaped the river bed to have a low spots in the center and let the gloss medium find it own way through the contours.  The gloss medium as shown in this photo goes on white before drying clear.

I put down 1 layer of the gloss medium and let that dry.  Then I went over the deeper areas with a very dilute mixture of green and blue acrylic paints.   After the acrylic paint had dried, I added another coat of gloss medium.

Where I wanted to simulate running water I brushed on the water effects product.  Using the brush and a bamboo skewer, I creating some wavy texture.  This was done where the streams were running down hill and also around the rocks.  This product also goes on white and looks terrible at first as shown in this photo but will dry clear.

Having seen this trick somewhere I had to try it. After the water effects product had dried, I applied small amounts of white paint to the ridges left by the water effects with the pointed end of a bamboo skewer to simulate white water. These are pointed out in this photo by blue arrows.

After adding one more coat of gloss medium, here is a looking down view of the completed river water with the bridges still removed.  I will still be adding some rocks and other details before re-installing the bridges.

Of the methods I've tried for modeling water I like this one the best, particularly for running water.  It's not the fastest but seems to offer the most control.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Finishing the river scene

To display the Hot Springs Junction Ntrak module at the Hiller Avaiation Museum's Train's and Planes exhibit last April, I had laid temporarily tracks on the Ntrak lines.  To complete the scenery in the river these tracks and the three concrete bridges were removed to access the area under the tracks.  In this post I have divided the river into lower and upper scenes.

The lower river scene

With the suggestion and offer of materials from one of the members of Peninsula Ntrak, I chose to cover the area around the bridge abutments with boulders.

White glue was spread around the abutments and pilings, then the boulders were laid on top of that. Other smaller and more rounded rocks were placed throughout the river bed area.

Here is the view from above with almost all of the boulders in place.  The counter sunk screw holes on the ends of the bridges are for the flat head screws that hold the bridges in place.

The upper river scene

This river originates on the module from a concrete bridge that carries the upper railroad racks and station platforms over the river.

This was made by combining two sections from Green Max kit # 47-5.  The side retaining walls were scratch built from styrene tile.  All were air brushed Model Master aged concrete color and weathered.

There will be a vehicle bridge connecting the two roads seen in this photo that also came for Green Max kit # 47.5 - handy kit !  In this last photo it can been seen that some "water" is running out from under the bridge arches and down the river, more on that in the next post.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Finishing the station scene - Part 2

After spending what hobby time I had in July completing the wiring and controls for this module, this month I'm back to finishing the area around the station.  With the platforms now secured to the module, it was time to install the foot bridge.  Remember from the post Building the Green Max foot bridge that I had made my own support columns so that they would be long enough to reach ground level while the stairs would end at the platform level.

I cut short sections of square tubing that the bridge columns would fit right into.  These were painted concrete color before being placed into square holes cut into the foam.  White glue does not react with the foam and it was placed around the square tubing sections to settle into the space around the tubing.

Here is an over head view showing how the foot bridge rest on the platforms.   While the two pairs of columns on the outside were attached to the module as shown above, the center pair was attached directly to the surface with E6000 adhesive as that area is on wood.

The plate on the bumper at the end of the station spur track was painted white and a black "X" decal was applied over the white background.  In this photo, the empty concrete footings for the foot bridge can be seen in the foreground.  I had intended to attach the foot bridge to the module but it fits so nicely just sitting in the footings, I now plan to have it removable for better access clean the tracks.

A bit of weathering

For weathering I use Bragdon's weathering powders in several different colors.  I use a small shorted bristle paint brush to work the power into the spots I want it to be applied and the larger brush for smoothing.

Here's the assembled scene with both the station and the foot bridge weathered.  The foot bridge got a bit more than the station building as I recall most of them I have seen in rural areas have had a deferred maintenance look to them.

The station area is now basically complete.  Later I will be adding some signs, people, and other details but for now I am going to move on to completing the river scenes.