Come along on our adventure

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by cabdriver, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trainwhiz20 and Interurban,:wave:

    Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I agree with you, Trainwhiz20 -- the foam lines are a bit visible on the mountain. :p This forum is exactly why we want to share our progress -- We appreciate you giving us honest feedback, and Interurbann we appreciate your great suggestion -- we'll try this technique shortly and hopefully will see the "seams" dissapear. Will post as soon as completed. Now that we have done the hydrocal thing on the base of some of our structures, we have confidence to try your technique on the mountain.
  2. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Spitfire,

    Thanks -- we worked quite a bit over the weekend so we're feeling good about our progress. I'm beginning to see that the details really make the layout. We appreciate the comments -- Keep 'em coming !!
  3. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trainwhiz20,

    One more note to your reply. We really like the Cornerstone kits. They go together pretty easily, although the conveyer at the gravel company was a bit of a challenge. Weathering was done with paint dry brushed on -- Dip your brush into some rust colored paint then brush it over several layers of paper towel until most of the paint is removed -- you really need to be looking at the paper towel saying "there's no paint left" -- then brush this over the model structure -- you'll be surprised how much paint still comes off onto the structure, but it is light and broken up, which creates the weathered, rusted look. I've already come to realize that you can always put more on, but it is hard to take it off. A light touch is preferable here.

    I like the UP loco as well. It is a Proto 2K with DCC. Smooth as silk.
  4. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ralph, thanks for the feedback. We're particulary happy with the gravel works. We have a lot of work to do to finish off the ground level with gravel, and add some working machines (front end loaders), etc. Will keep you all posted.
  5. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks cabdriver.

    Honestly - I didn't mean to be rude about the foam-layer thing. I know I always appreciate true feedback. It wasn't your fault, and now the solution is solved! In the end, it will look so much better, I promise.

    I hope it turns out beautifully. Thanks for the advice on weathering. Just like the video says, eh? I have their new City Station on the way and the Interstate Fuel & Oil Depot for my 4'x7' layout on the way from Ebay. I need all the help I can get!

    Yes. I didn't realize the UP loco was P2K. I have one of their GP7's, and putting the decoder in was a breeze. Operates nice. You even have the same system I do, the Atlas DCC. I wouldn't live without it, after all I've seen it do on my tiny layout.

    Keep em coming cabdriver. Good luck. Appreciate the conversation.:thumb:

    :D
  6. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trainwhiz20,
    Please, don't feel that you were being rude at all -- I agree that the mountain had visible lines of foam and appreciate your comment. Your comment facilitated Interurban's advice which is exactly what we needed. Since this is our first railroad, we are happy for all the suggestions we can get.

    We're happy with the P2K loco, although we are now having a problem where the lights won't come on. I've heard so many comments about lights and power problems with DCC, but haven't had a chance yet to tackle this issue.
  7. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK guys. Need some advice. :wave: We are going to lay the gravel bed around the gravel plant soon. I went to the LHS and asked what product to use for the gravel around the plant. Here's what we are planning. The gravel company obviously has a gravel road and gravel all around the plant. :) It was suggested that we use Woodlands Scenics light gray ballast mix. We were told that the ballast mix is perfectly fine for a gravel bed, not just ballast. Our LHS guy, who is quite helfpful, said that in HO scale if you use the very fine light gray ballast mix, it might end up looking like sand. He suggested adding medium grade ballast as well. He stated that in HO scale that level of ballast (gravel) would really be like stones, but that when your eye looks at the scene, it will look appropriate since you will see some of the actual particals and it will look more like gravel than sand. This stuff is all very small particles, but I can see what he is saying. Sounds good to us, so we are thinking we're going to try it. I'd love to hear from anyone who has laid a gravel area -- what did you use and what grade! We're waiting to get your advice before proceeding.
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,536
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my experience medium ballast in HO is too big. That would be stones that are 5" in size - too large for a gravel road. I disagree with your LHS guy that fine ballast would look like sand. If you think about it, actual size sand grains scale at about 2-3" in HO, therefore you would need grains that are 1/87 that size to represent sand - in other words - powder! LOL!

    Go with the fine ballast. I guarantee you will see the grains.

    Val
  9. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more activity. When we were in the LHS, we were looking for some benches to go on our train station platform. The LHS guy showed us some Woodland Scenics park benches. I said that I wanted something a bit longer, and before the words left my mouth my older son said, "No prob, Dad. I'll just cut out the bench ends and then glue a couple of these together to make you a nice long bench. I can then change the paint to the bench color we were looking for." Wow. Kitbashing on the fly!
  10. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Spitfire,

    Thanks for the advice. This is exactly why I want to review these decisions on the-gauge. I can always try the finer ballast material as you suggest. Do you think the light grey ballast material will make an attractive gravel bed with enough interest? Should I mix some darker ballast into it or just go with the light grey which is already a bit mottled color?
  11. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cabdriver,

    I totally agree with spitfire. I think Medium Scale ballast in HO is too big. Either for gravel or track ballast. For my layout, on a test sheet, I created a gravel area, and I used a light gray Fine Scale WS ballast. Not the dark type, I wanted to veer away from the illusion that my track ballast was the same as this gravel area. In the end, on the experimentation, it worked great. I'll get it on my layout - eventually! *lol*

    I agree on this point too, you will definately see the grains. Remember, gravel in real life isn't that big, and it is very monotone, not usally varying too widely in color. If you use one color, I'd stick with it. My opinion anyway, someone might think otherwise.

    For the gravel area, try that light gray you suggested, or maybe even a champagne-colored one for something different.

    Hope this helps. :D
  12. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all. Need some more advice. Relative to our Main Street through town. We have the road width at 5 1/2 inches, one lane each way. We have several Cornerstone buildings that we are modeling that will go along side the road, and then have another road perpendicular to the first road, forming an intersection downtown. Here's my question -- should we put the "built in" sidewalk that comes with the buildings right up against the road or move them back from the road a certain width. We are considering making parking available in front of the buildings, and know that the 5 1/2 inch road accomodates a shoulder in addition to the lanes, but not enough for parking cars on angle. If we do so, should we just paint the area in between the road and the sidewalk a cement color (on top of the foam) which will be at a lower grade than the road and the sidewalk, or should we build up more road mix and blend it out to the sidewalks of the buildings? The other option is to put parking behind the buildings and put the buildings' sidewalks right up against the road. This looks better in the pictures, but looks a bit "tight" on the layout. Hopefully a couple of pictures will give you the idea of our question.
    Here's a picture of the buildings, with the built in sidewalks right up against the 5 /12 inch road.

    Attached Files:

  13. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's the buildings set back from the road. You can see the foam bed that would need some sort of treatment.

    Attached Files:

  14. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    By the way, the buildings are far from finished. We are also thinking about spreading the buildings out a bit -- add a gap in between the car dealership (which according to my kids will have a mercedes gull wing and a shelby cobra for sale -- go figure :rolleyes: ) and the merchants building -- perhaps a small sidewalk to an alley behind. This I assume should be poured as a concrete sidewalk, so I need to have this factored into the overall design decision. I know some of you detailed modelers will have an opinion on how best to stage this downtown scene. Appreciate your advice in advance.:) Hope my questions make sense to you all without seeing the whole layout.
  15. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cabdriver,

    Looks great. I may not be an expert modeler, by no means, but here are my opinions:

    1.) Leave the buildings flush up against the road, I think. There is enough room for 'parallel parking', correct? That is what most small towns had in the 60s and 70s. This way you don't have to worry about treating the small space between the buildings and road. This way everything remains level and neat.

    2.) You could add the alley using black ballast, like an 'unpaved' area in-between the buildings. Like a gravel parking lot they put in the WGH video. That way you don't have to worry about using the WS stuff that sounds like it was a hassle.

    3.) That's a great idea to have 'cars for sale' in the alleyway. I can already see some Preiser figure holding up a crude sign, and soap written on the windshield. (Chalk?)


    Hehehe. Just some ideas. Please let us know how it works out.:D
  16. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the reply, TW20. Great comment about parallel parking. I haven't striped the road yet (center or shoulder), which I will do shortly and then can put one of our future "for sale" cars in front of the building next door to the auto dealer and see how it looks. Like I'd be pulling up in front of the future barber shop in my mercedes gullwing!!

    After further reflection, we're pretty certain we will move the two buildings apart and add an alley-way. I like the idea of creating some scenery behind the buildings as well as in front so people with different views of the layout will all see something interesting.

    I didn't mean to imply that the car sales will take place in the alley (intersting, though). THe dealership has the ability to place the cars inside the showroom. We had the gullwing and the cobra in there recently, but as I indicated above, they are now doing modeling duty on Main Street.

    We're sure hoping to get a broad range of advice on how to best model our downtown street. We want to have places for parking (parallel or otherwise -- or should we not have parking in front?), realistic looking sidewalks and alleyways, room for road signs, etc. This is a critical design decision for us. Come on guys, pitch in your ideas !! Move the buildings back or keep 'em tight to the street??
  17. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the idea of angle parking. that's what I am used to down here in texas. but that may have been in smaller towns than what you are trying to model. To me, angle parking is for more family type downtown areas(touristy) and parallel parking is for city downtowns. (my two cents)
    I also like the idea of having an alley between the buildings. I know that dealerships like to have plenty of room around there property.
  18. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the reply J&A. We're leaning heavily toward the angled parking -- does sort of shorten our downtown layout, but I think it is more realistic. I remember Austin and San Antonio, Texas -- most of the roads downtown had angled parking, as you suggest. We're modeling a fictitious town, but in the same location and late 1960s-early 1970s period. We're definitely doing an alley.
  19. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a little frustration here, guys. :( We have laid ourselves out here for all of you to see. We have asked for your advice. I know there are so many serious and competent modelers out there who could/SHOULD help us learn and become more competent. We're back to just trying things on our own or looking to get advice from a magazine, etc. I had hoped that we would get some enthusiasm from this group around a thread focused on a new family trying to do some serious modeling around a particular era and location. Almost 600 views but only 37 posts. :confused: While we GREATLY appreciate the 37 posts, that is only about 5% of the viewing population actually replying. COME ON GUYS -- give us your thoughts and advice.

    We've been SO IMPRESSED with the friendliness of the people on this forum. People really seem to respect each other and their opinions. I can assure you, we will respect your opinion, whether expert with years of experience or novice with a great observation. However, we've looked at many of the other forums on this site and recognize that there are some really knowledgeable and serious modelers on this forum -- where are you guys??

    Sorry for the rant, but we were really hoping for some advice. Hope we haven't burned our bridges with this post :eek: -- You have to understand --the kids and I log in multiple times every day to see if someone has responded so we can make some progress on our layout.

    We think at this point that we're going to just lay out the buildings, put a few cars on the layout and see what looks the best as far as spacing, parking, sidewalks, and spacing. Maybe this is how it is supposed to be. While this is fine, we sure would have liked some varied advice on how to model a downtown area. Oh well. :(

    Should we continue to post pictures of our layout in this thread? I post this with fear and tredidation! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :confused: :confused: :confused:
  20. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Meant "trepidation". See, I'm really having fear and trepidation!