Here we go! Gotta start somewhere.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by TrainNut, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    COMBAT - Open house????!!! The thought of that just scares me. I've got to have trains running before I can even think about something like that. I'm still waiting on my Digitraxx Zephyr from Freight Yard, nothings wired up, and like I said, there is still a lot of track to be laid. Youch. Don't do that to me!

    MadHatter - I'm not going to show you my untidy benchwork. You can hardly see the layout for all the supplies, tools, paint, model boxes, etc. scattered everywhere! I usually try to clean up a little for the pictures but believe me, the clutter is just outside of the frame!
  2. Cogent

    Cogent New Member

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  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Those are some cool pictures! The first one gives me a lot to relate to as I try and figure out how to proceed from the blue foam stage.
  4. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

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    :D OK, fair enough. We are laying track too. I have my digitrack system and I need to get busy with track instead of playing around. sign1

    When I get some more progress I will post pictures. I will one day have an open house for those of you that I have come to know. Right now I couldnt dream of having anyone over. :)
  5. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Another instant mountain!

    Okay, so this area posed some challenges as it was steep and I had a hard time not violating the 45 degree rule. I have three tracks within close proximity of one another at different elevations. My challenge was to keep it from looking terraced but still believable and not too steep. The third line towards the top back is my older mining line and I wanted the portals to be very uncelebrated and small.
    In the first and second pictures (left and right), you can see how I have lain stringers up against the backdrop at an estimated 45 degree angle to see about where the slope of the mountain would have been before the excavation equipment came in and dug out three roadbeds.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted it to look realistic and blend, not like I just plopped a mountain there to cover up some track. You be the judge of whether I succeeded or not.

    [​IMG]

    Next, comes two intermediate pictures showing what it looks like as a giant confetti mountain. There is a lot of red because I wadded up the Valentines day jewelry page ads:D !

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    You can also see how I have placed some rock castings to help give me an idea of where I can make a little steeper elevation changes. I used toilet paper rolls to hold the tunnel opening shape temporarily.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, not the finished product but at least it has plaster cloth all over the place and all the rock castings have been plastered in place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  6. jesso

    jesso Member

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    I think the mountain looks great! Ok, after the mountain is formed what do you use to keep the tunnels clear?
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    TrainNut, That's looking really good. Keep up the good work and the postings.
    Did you lay the plaster cloth right on top of the crumpled newspapers?? And how did you retrieve them once the plaster cloth set??
  8. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Your question and Jesso's are related. Yes I laid the plaster cloth directly on top of the newspaper. Then, after the plaster cloth had dried, I pulled the newspaper out through each tunnel opening and through the larger access holes cut in the back of the backdrop for tunnel access.
  9. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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  10. jesso

    jesso Member

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    Ok I'm understanding. When you put your plaster cloth down, do you lay it out dry first then spray it down, or do you wet it and put it down? Also is there more than one layer of plaster cloth? Lastly, do you put anything underneath the plaster cloth for support or more plaster on top? Sorry about all the questions.
  11. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    I keep an old bread pan around. I then take my plaster cloth, cut it into manageable strips, dip that into the water in the bread pan and lay it down on the wadded up newspaper. Some people like nice smooth hills, others like it real lumpy. I'm kind of in between. The next strip of plaster cloth will overlap the first ever so slightly so that when it dries, it hardens into a nice hard shell. Again, some people like to smooth it out a little to spread the plaster around in the holes. I have not found this necessary as it seems to harden just fine without doing that. I only use one layer of plaster cloth for the most part. Sometimes, you inevitably end up with two or three layers in some spots but that's just how it happens and it won't hurt anything. After the plaster cloth has dried, I come back with some wall joint compound (found at any home improvement store). I apply this very sparingly but still thick enough to cover in all the holes and hide the seams. I apply it with either my fingers or here lately, a foam brush works good if the plaster is soluble enough. I like the wall joint compound because it stays in a nice sealed container as long as you like (within reason) at just the perfect consistency. & you can buy it in containers that range from a quart to a five gallon bucket. Once the wall joint compound dries the shell is plenty hard enough to support most any type of scenery you come up with. I'm sure there's lots of other little tips I forgot to mention but I think that covers it for the most part. Next?
  12. jesso

    jesso Member

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    Thanks, my daughter wants tunnels and mountains, I think I am ready now. You have been a great instructor and motivator.
  13. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    Did you have a problem with the newspaper sticking to the plaster cloth? I am considering using this method, but planned on making cardboard tunnel housings to keep them clear and just leaving the newspaper in place.
  14. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Nope. The newspaper for the most part just falls away from the plaster cloth. Inevitably some of the newspaper does stick and all it requires is a gentle tug to pull it away. I like the cardboard tunnel idea but you need to make sure that you can access that tunnel track in the future because of track cleaning and derailments. When I pull all the newpaper out of a tunnel, I keep it in a plastic bag and use it again for the next tunnel.
  15. berraf

    berraf Member

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    It´s a great idea which I've tried my self with great success :)
    A easy way to build a tunnel with little effort and at low cost.
  16. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    I see that using the crumpled newspaper trick does give good results. I saw that Nazgul (Steve) in his "Don't Laugh too Loud..." thread also uses this technique over cardboard strips with excellent results. This was the first technique I tried waaaaayyy back in my first layout, but it turned out so horribly that I ripped it out and never used it since. Maybe I'll give it a try again. Thanks for the tips.:thumb:
  17. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Depending on how rough you want your terrain will depend on how big the balls of newspaper you crumple up will be. (confusing sentence) If you have a lot of space to fill, crumple the whole double page into one big ball. A lot of times, for N scale, I end up tearing the newspaper into little strips and then tear that in half and crumple each one of those. It results in a little tiny ball but it gives me the detail that I like. The same goes for your application of the WS plaster cloth. I usually lay my plaster cloth down in strips 2" wide by the width of the roll. It takes some tinkering to get the look you want but it's not too hard. If you mess up, pull it out, redistribute your newspaper and try it a different way!
  18. woodone

    woodone Member

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    TrainNut,
    That layout is looking good!:thumb: Keep the photos coming, I need inspiration.
  19. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Railroad undergoes operation

    Hokey dokey... well, as I mentioned somewhere before, I got permission to claim another sacred 3' for the railroad. Trouble was, I did not want to just add it onto an end so I cut it down the middle and added it in. Kinda messy, sorry. Cleaning up is low on the priorities list. Now I just have to bring the middle section back up to par with the rest.

    Attached Files:

  20. berraf

    berraf Member

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    Good pictures and good work. Three foot makes a lot of difference :)