The Turtle Creek Central arises from the ashes of the old.

John Moore Jan 11, 2018

  1. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I get stuck twice in the wallet. Her birthday today, valentines day tomorrow. And since She will be stuck in some church doings all day we had the valentines dinner last night, whole Lobsters and steak.
     
  2. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Slowly a little difference now shows on the west wall of the canyon.
    and

    A little dab of paint here and there when the glue sets and I finish the plaster work on the bridge abutment.

    Some vegetation has totally changed the look and I have yet to add my fall shrubs and trees.

    And I had lots of help the Big Guy trying to chew my power cord to the hand vac, Toby in the box of foam, and Izzy and Callie seeing what they can get into. I smacked the Big Guy five times, like hitting a rock, to get him to leave the cord alone. He finally left it and my hand is still attached, but the look I got said it would not be for long.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  3. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    This morning made an early run to Home Depot for a resupply of foam. Currently the plateau is about 5 inches high and I need at least another 3 inches. So with 3.5 inches more laid on top I think that is where I want to be.
    The back wall of the canyon/ staging area now is about 2-3 inches above the plateau and I think I have a better scenic effect holding it to this height than to bring it level with it, Reflects a gradual change in elevation to the mountains.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well Murphy rears his ugly head again as he seems to frequently do around me and my endeavors. Took a senior nap and when I came down to resume my foam work the hot knife had ceased to work. A big nottaFinga to that as I sat and figured what to do next. I am not up where I was anymore where a Micheals or AC Moore is within a few miles and an hour of braving traffic and idiots on cell phones texting. Look ma I can drive without no hands or seeing where I am going. The closest thing to a craft store here is Walmart and a fat chance on walking in there, braving all the last minute Valentines Day idiots who waited to the last moment, and are now panicked, and in a feeding frenzy, and finding one. So I set out to see if I could repair this piece of Chinese manufactured #$%#.

    Well the first challenge was getting it apart, simple right. Except as always one screw refuses to budge no matter what. Okay pry it apart and count on that one screw to snap its mounting post and it did. Analysis of the guts of this thing revealed a wire burnt through, by dang I think I can fix this because there is just enough extra wire. Broke out the soldering iron and managed to solder the pieces together again. Snapped everything back together and Acc'd the end with the snapped screw post, then electrical taped it to hold better. Plugged it back into the transformer and by danged it worked. If I can just get a few more days out of this I will be finished the foam work and I will order a new one for phase two the port section.

    Meanwhile I set and wonder what is going on with my trains pusher. Took two days to get my simple order together and finally get notice it shipped. Postal tracking says it still sitting in Baltimore two days later.
     
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  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    If at first you DO succeed, try to hide your astonishment. :eek:
     
  6. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well it is slowly dying, now trying to melt a hole in the case. So I went online to that big box company and ordered one with two cutting wands. Seems like 45 minutes of operation is about the limit for these things, something I did not know. Thus this one has two wands that you simply unplug and plug in the other when the time is up. Its due Friday evening with the post so I will be down until Saturday. I guess I can cast rocks until then and maybe due some more foliage work.
     
  7. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    May I suggest in the interim you attempt to assuage the angst of your feline handlers, er, companions? Perhaps then they might permit your new tool to last a bit longer than earlier experienced...:whistle:
     
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  8. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well with my ground throws and the new hot knife due tomorrow I decided to cast rocks and hopefully enough to finish this part of the layout.
    The gray casting come from adding some black acrylic paint to the water before adding the plaster. I am getting a lot of life out of those Woodland Scenic molds and probably have done over a hundred castings with no sign of wear.

    And the new hot knife I have coming which appears to be a superior design to the previous two I have had. It is made or sold by Genround.

     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Am looking forward to your review of this foam cutter.
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    As am I. I've never seen that design. Looks like it has the precise control of a 10/0 paint brush, rather than the bull-in-china-shop of the usual hot knife.
     
  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well I have been with extremely erratic internet since Wednesday. And it is not the solar flares as they did not get here until Thursday. At a hold until the new foam cutter arrives so doing what I can. Can't cut foam without it unless I want a big mess using manual tools. So I laid another section of foam and then painted that white gash of foam and plaster on top of the west canyon wall where the bridge goes to the line to the plateau and some other areas where I wanted some base coat before stonework.

    Then I dug out the Model Power water tank with flashing light. Rattle can of white paint applied after taping and then some lettering. All my decals are old, and even with a coat of liquid decal film, still messy to work with. So I fired up the inkjet printer and went into word and created the yellow letting on a black background. The name was then carefully cut out and applied with Micro Kristal Klear. Tank will go on the canyon wall above the harbor and the white and black paint job plus flashing light will keep the seaplanes for bumping into it.
     
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  12. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    John, you are making great progress. Enjoying reading about it and watching it. :)
     
  13. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The hot knife arrived but not the package containing my trees and turnout throws.It is somewhere in Richmond, where it has been since noon yesterday. Maybe tomorrow if I am lucky. Anyway got the new knife unpacked and already put to work. Much heavier construction and operates of a 6 volts, gets hotter and thus works faster. The weak point on most of these is where the cutting rod attaches to the handle and this is at least four times sturdier. The cutting rod is also sturdier with no sign of any bending or flexing when in use. And now I know about the 45 minute limit on use before you need a cool down. But since it has two cutting wands it is a simple matter to plug in the other one. Far worth the extra $10 I paid for this model.
     
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  14. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    So you draw the hot wand through the work like scalpel, instead of a cutting or pushing action like the hot wire units?
     
  15. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have a wire unit which I seldom use because it is slow and has limitations imposed by having the wire between two posts and being fragile. This is only connected at the handle end making it easier to sculpt the foam already glued in place. I would describe the wand as being double the thickness of a pencil lead. The cutting rod is 4 inches in length making cutting 3 inch foam easy work. So I am carving right on the layout. It will melt its way through the foam and if you use a sawing action it only serves to cut faster. The blue and pink foams I have are heavier density than the white so it is a little slower with them. The white foam I have is a foam for insulating garage doors and comes in packs of 6, with each sheet being 4 foot long by 14.5 inches wide, easier to deal with than the 4 by 8 foot sheet of the old pink panther. I am using a 5 inch slice of 140 pound rail as a weight on it during glue drying and it doesn't even make a dent in it.

    Checked my postal tracking and the other order with the ground throws in it finally has made it here. So much for 2 day priority mail. And the mail doesn't get here to when the Sun is about to set, so very late today.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  16. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well a milestone has been reached in that the plateau has reached it's maximum height of 7 and 3/4 inches or just about an inch or two below the level of the back canyon wall. Now to let the glue set and trim and fill in places. I am using the Gorilla Glue on these levels because it sets faster than the white glue and speeds the work up some. And another suprise, the mail was actually delivered about 20 minutes ago when I heard a beep of a horn in the driveway and looked out to see a mail truck backing out. So I am setting here looking at my ground throws and trees.
     
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  17. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The foam is in place and now I will start covering seams, gaps, and some cliff walls with plaster cloth much later today. I applied a base coat of pewter gray to the cliff walls and a color called Christmas Green to the top. The white area across the board is where I will take the hot knife and carve the stream. The rest of the incline going up gets plaster cloth. After the plaster cloth sets starts the installation of rock castings. Took a look with Google Earth Pro today at the island and the pewter gray is very close if not right on for the color and a lot of rocky coastline.

    2nd shot here, now with some color, gives a better view of how the back canyon wall gives the impression of elevation toward the mountain backdrop. From the middle you don't even see or know there is a canyon there. And that was what I was after. After some more scenery is in one should not see the canyon unless they are at the west end of the layout.

    About 3/4th of the island coast is like this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  18. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    That looks great, John. And thanks for the hot knife operating description. Could have used one a few years ago. My biggest problem with the hot wire and pink foam was the melted plastic filling in behind the wire, I assume because the wire is so thin. 'Tanyrate, it has been donated to the train museum.
     
  19. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The problem with the wire cutter is it is so thin that you have to move slower to keep from putting too much stress on the wire and breaking it. Plus I believe the knife is much hotter, and being stronger you can slide it through faster, and the cut is wider so no melted foam fill in behind it.

    And hopefully the hot knife at work on the streambed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  20. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I see the problem !!! You're left handed and its a right handed foam cutter !! :whistle:
     

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