11” by 14” Mini Layout

Curn Oct 2, 2013

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,965
    17,440
    653
    Seeing what you've accomplished in such a small space, I am sure wondering how a larger layout would appear. If this is any example, it would be wonderful to behold.
     
  2. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

    700
    329
    29
    A larger layout using these techniques is why this little one ended up in the back of a closet for so long. I just didn't make a build log for that one.
    My mini layout needed mini motive power to get around all the tight curves. For this I'm using the Searails EMD Model 40. I ordered mine unpainted and have been thinking about how I should paint it. No railroads I enjoy ever ran them, so no matter what, I would be doing a freelance or proto-freelance engine. I thought of doing Tidewater and Southern to go with the rest of my WP engines, but then changed my mind to paint it for the Sierra Railroad. I chose to paint it in the newer Sierra Northern paint scheme (see SERA #52). I picked a unused number in the Sierra roster, drew up some decals, and printed them.
    Screenshot from 2015-08-02 12:57:23.png
    A bit of airbrushing, hand painting, gloss coating, decaling, touch-up hand paint, and flat coating later and I have the finished engine.
    IMG_2121.JPG IMG_2119.JPG
    50' boxcar is only used for photography, and cannot actually make it around the tight radius curves.

    Now I can move onto scenery.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
    n&wsteamfan and FriscoCharlie like this.
  3. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    2,935
    868
    53
    Matt, good choice. Yellow, black contrast. Draws attention. Need to paint my 2 bricks.

    Buff the sides tho ;) Our endless nemesis with rapid prototype (RP or 3D, which ever everyone prefers).
     
  4. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

    700
    329
    29
    Yes, I didn't realise how coarse the surface looked until it was all yellow. It's too late to polish it now. With the naked eye it looks ok, but micro photography is cruel.
     
    JimJ likes this.
  5. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    986
    52
    24
    looking pretty impressive !
     
  6. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    3,492
    131
    54
    Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

    3,040
    895
    59
    I really enjoy your track work! It is top shelf. The critter is cool too!
     
  8. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

    700
    329
    29
    So this week I have poured my ocean water. I started off by masking everything and airbrushing the base of the bay with Polyscale RAF Ex. Dark Sea Gray. The airbrush gave the sides a nice transition back to the dirt to simulate depth.

    First Pour:

    I watched a few videos on You Tube on how to work with Envirotex. I also read the instructions which did help. The videos basically show people mixing various paints into the resin to get the color/translucency they want, pouring the liquid on and spreading it, and then going over it with fire or exhaling on it to pop all the bubbles.

    I mixed the resin in equal parts with the hardener (~4 oz combined), and then with 2 drops of the previous mentions sea gray paint, and 1/2 drop of Badger Western Pacific Green. The resultant color looked like what I was looking for; semitransparent gray with a greenish hue. I poured on the mix in an ~1/8" layer and spread it around.

    IMG_2157.JPG

    Then as the bubbles appeared, I did as one video said, took a long grill lighter and went over the surface with fire. It worked great! The only problem was the bridge. How was I going to get flame under the bridge to pop bubbles there? Well I had the bright idea to squeeze the trigger of the lighter slightly down to let gas escape before igniting it. The gas pooled and then ignited into a, relative to z scale, large fire ball the popped all the bubbles under the bridge. The only problem was that in the process, I also set my bridge on fire! I quickly blew out flame but the ember continued to smoulder into the bridge, and destroyed a few of the cross braces. I eventually got a wet paint brush and extinguished the smouldering embers. I'll have to repair that later.

    IMG_2160.JPG

    I allowed the epoxy to cure overnight. The epoxy was a little too clear for my taste, and if It wasn't for painting the bottom, it would have looked more like a still shallow pool in a river.

    IMG_2162.JPG

    Second Pour

    With the second pour I went with another 4 ounce batch, but this time I mixed in 6 drops of the sea gray paint and 2-3 drips of the Western pacific green. This darker mix seems to be much closer to what I was looking for. This time I was a little more careful with the lighter, but I used the same technique, just with a little less gas under the bridge. It's currently covered with the shadow box to keep the dust off.

    IMG_2164.JPG
    IMG_2166.JPG
     
    Kez, FriscoCharlie and zdrada69 like this.
  9. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    11,139
    257
    135
  10. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

    3,040
    895
    59
    fantastic! A gem of a layout
     
  11. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

    1,520
    1,965
    46
    Now that's what I call a laptop.
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,965
    17,440
    653
    Looks like the wires come out of the bottom? If so, is there a way to install a jack & plug setup into one side of the case?
     
  13. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

    783
    589
    18
    Very cool. Bravo!
     
  14. zdrada69

    zdrada69 TrainBoard Member

    1,080
    4,149
    50
    I like the compact approach. I do have one question. Don't you think that there should be buffer stop ( bumper post ? - I do not know which terminology is good) at the end of the tracks ?
     
  15. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

    700
    329
    29
    Ken.

    Right now the wires are just hanging from the bottom for testing. I haven't quite decided on including power/controls inside the box or leaving them external. Either way I will eventually will make it clean and neat. The layout frame is an inch thick of wood and the shadow box has 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick walls. Thats a lot of wood to bore through if I include controls. I am on the lookout for some small momentary contact round DPDT switches for the turnouts. All the ones I have found in the size I'm looking for are rectangular, and I lack the skill/tools to put square holes in wood. The electronics inside the Rokuhan or snail speed controller don't lend themselves to be easily mounted inside this box without modification. Just wiring a power jack and keeping the controller external would be very easy to accomplish.

    IMG_1339.JPG

    Pawel,

    The track bumpers are coming. I have some from GC-Laser that will be installed later.

    Regards,

    Matt
     
    FriscoCharlie likes this.
  16. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

    1,450
    807
    38
    Sweet layout!! I love the well detailed steps especially how you showed the bottom with the dimensions and wires. Well done!

    John
     
  17. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    4,559
    1,869
    85
    If the bridge burn isn't a safety hazard, I'd leave it!
    Adds to the look of the bridge, I think.
    Maybe it was caused by a crew member dropping a lit cigar/cigarette
    trackside?? Or a hobo dropping something on fire by accident?
    Gives me some nasty ideas and that is NOT good!! :D
     
  18. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

    1,450
    807
    38
    I agree with Keith. Heck make a small scene out of it with a repair crew working on the burnt part of the bridge.

    John
     
  19. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    2,935
    868
    53
    Don't forget to coat that mirror finish pond with some matte-medium. Wind whip or at least the ringed look from the drop of a fishing pole.
    Great use of a box. Gotta work on one of these.
     
  20. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

    700
    329
    29
    Continuing to work on the mini layout. I have some acrylic gel to add waves to the top of the water. From opinions from around the web, many suggest waiting on adding the waves until after the majority of the of the scenery is done. I tend to agree as cleaning the glossy surface is really easy right now.

    Working on the rest of the scenery, I decided it was time to put in roads, or in this case, a drive way to the wharf. Previously I have used my own method of making roads using ballast and spackle which was decent enough. A recent article in Model Railroader on plaster roads made me want to try something new. I used 3M double sided mounting tape to make a frame for the pour. Plastruct strips were used to keep the plaster off the inside of the rails, and create the flange grooves. As I had a large amount of hydrocal, I decided to make my roads with it. I added a reasonable amount of black paint to darken it, mixed well and poured. When dried, the plaster was sanded smooth. Despite the black paint added, the plaster ended up being too light. I used several ink washes to darken it.
    IMG_2174.JPG
    IMG_2175.JPG
    Pave.jpg

    Bump stops have been installed.

    With the bridge, too many structural members were damaged by the fire. Repairs were necessary. New wood will get painted but I'll leave the scorch marks.

    bridgerepair.jpg

    A few other building are under construction right now, and I also got a set of Overtons from SnowyRiver on Shapeways. Perfect sized cars for the tight curves.

    Overtons.jpg
     
    FriscoCharlie likes this.

Share This Page