Burying Rokuhan tracks into layout

ZandT Feb 21, 2021

  1. ZandT

    ZandT TrainBoard Member

    12
    12
    2
    I want to recess/bury the Rokuhan bed/ties and wanted to see if there's a good way to do it. My first thought is to carve out a recess in the foam and then use Woodland Scenics Smooth-It to smooth out the area. Creating the grooves to clear the train wheels is something I haven't figured out how to do. Should I sponge out the excess or use a dental pick to scrape the groove out before the plaster dries? How carve-able is the Smooth-It plaster after it dries? I've attached some photos of what I want to achieve and wanted to see if anyone has any tips/info that would be of help. Or is there another material I can just cut out and glue it to the layout -- like thin foam sheets, thick cardboard...? Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

    gmorider and bostonjim like this.
  2. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    3,469
    104
    53
    Take a boxcar and just keep manually running it back and forth along the track by hand. Use a MTL car that way the worst case your out 10 bucks if you happen to gum up the wheelsets too bad. (you should be able to clean them up)

    There are dozens of ways to do this, covered to death in MR et al over the years. Some use styrene, some plaster, some foam, spackle, etc.
     
    ZandT and bostonjim like this.
  3. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

    1,325
    507
    33
    Having done this on my layout I would say not to use track that has plastic ballast attached to it, use Marklin, Atlas or MTL non-ballasted track for the main fact that it's SOOOO much easier to bury it on/in your layout.

    John
     
    ZandT and bostonjim like this.
  4. Svein-Martin Holt

    Svein-Martin Holt TrainBoard Member

    308
    246
    21
    I use tracks without plastic ballast, like Peco, Atlas and Märklin. On my new layout I use several layers of 1 mm paper glued together and on the top I use 200 gram paper where I print the top layer using a laser printer. Between the track I glue a 1 mm thick paper with print on top.
    You can see the result in this article:
    Photo from streettrack - PlateLayer by Svein-Martin Holt
    [​IMG]
     
    BoxcabE50, ZandT and Kurt Moose like this.
  5. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Member

    271
    154
    10
    Duplicate posting error. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  6. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Member

    271
    154
    10
  7. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    668
    768
    20
    Hi, Doug. Have you or anybody else heard of a method using plaster of Paris and twine? I recall reading about this method in a German Magazine years ago. The twine is placed inside the rail and plaster is poured. When the plaster is hardened the twine is pulled up creating flangeways. Currently I am using sheet styrene of varying thicknesses to reach the top of the rails. Jim
     
  8. ZandT

    ZandT TrainBoard Member

    12
    12
    2
    @bostonjim I had read about that method too in a YouTube video comment. I found some plastic thick gauge wire that I am going to tack it down with Hob-e-tac and then lay the plaster. I also read that it’s not a good idea to lay the plaster flush to the top of the rails as it’ll make it harder to clean the rails in the future.

    What method are you using to cut the curves on styrene sheets? Thanks!
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  9. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    3,469
    104
    53
    I haven't seen that, but it makes a lot of sense. I wonder (as alluded to in a subsequent post) if there is some method for temporarily affixing the twine to the rail. But yes that is definitely an idea that seems to have merit.

    I forgot to comment but yes I would carve out space in the foam (or whatever subroadbed is used) to sink the track below grade and fill in around with some type of putty or foam filler.

    Also, it looks like you're posting pics of the superelevated Rokuhan track pieces. THAT would probably not be a good idea, for a number of reasons. Primarily being...most "buried" track is in industrial areas or yards where speeds are much slower...so SuperEl track isn't needed or desired. It will make burying the track more difficult as well, IMHO. I'm sure it was just an example photo and not actually what you are intending, but just wanted to point that out.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  10. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    789
    228
    19
    May I make an alternate suggestion: Instead of lowering the track, why not raise the neighborhood? It's a method I've been playing with. Lay the track and build up around it. The Rokuhan roadbed is just about 1/8 inch high (MTL is nearly exactly). I'm building up around the roadbed with 1/8" material (specifically in my case cork sheeting). Then using 80 mil styrene on top as the road surface. 6mm wide styrene glued to the tie seems to work between the rails. It avoids all the mess of carving foam and dealing with wet plaster around the tracks.

    Mark
     
    CNE1899 and bostonjim like this.
  11. ZandT

    ZandT TrainBoard Member

    12
    12
    2
    I’m trying to achieve something like this photo. No cobblestone effect, but I wanted the “concrete” to be seamless with the layout. I don’t think I have the capability of cutting the styrene sheet accurately enough for it to look as nice as I want it to.
     

    Attached Files:

    Kurt Moose likes this.
  12. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    668
    768
    20
    Hi, Doug.
    As I recall the article I believe the twine (it was definitely twine, not wire) was tacked to the inside of the rails with PA every few inches. The flangeway was cleaned with dental picks or equivalent. My memory is telling me I saw this article in a Marklin Insider magazine in the 90's or early 00's. I'm hoping somebody has used this method and can elaborate on it. I'm planning an urban street switching layout similar to the late John Pryke's Union Freight RR. He used styrene and Bristol board. A poured surface would seem more realistic but clearly involves a lot more planning and work. Jim
     
  13. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    668
    768
    20
    Hi, Zee. I have not had much consistency in cutting and shaping the curved pieces. I am hoping an enterprising 3-D printer will start making them. For the styrene straight areas I am using 2 pieces of 1.0mm and 1 piece of .50mm for the outside rails and 1 piece of 1.0mm and 1 piece of.50mm for between the rails. I bevel the edges of the top piece for better flangeway clearance. I suppose .50mm paper could be used for the top piece. Jim
     
    ZandT likes this.
  14. ZandT

    ZandT TrainBoard Member

    12
    12
    2
    Kurt Moose and bostonjim like this.
  15. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    668
    768
    20
    I have seen this video. He has a lot of good tips. I have on order from Shapeways a cobblestone embosser for working with the Fimo clay. The trick is getting the clay z scale thin enough. I will test it out when it arrives. There is also a cobblestone stamp-like embosser for larger areas. Jim.
     
    CNE1899 and ZandT like this.
  16. ZandT

    ZandT TrainBoard Member

    12
    12
    2
    @bostonjim Did you manage to find a z-scale cobblestone embosser from Shapeways?
     
  17. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    668
    768
    20
    I did. It is on the way along with an embossing wheel for between the rails. Jim
     
  18. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    2,770
    588
    49
    My first plaster between the rails wasn't good. Cleaning out the flange ways sucked. I finally used a märklin 2-axle flat car. You can easily press down a bit and, coax it against the rails. CAN'T do that with MTL wheels.
    The net time .040" styrene (you want to me below the rail heads, for cleaning). You can use an eXacto blade mounted to a pivot, to cut the curves (Micro Mark made one). You can also tape the curve rails down to the styrene and then trace the outer rails, the figure a way to cut offset the tracing.
    Ditto on märklin, Peco, Atlas, MTL flex, not the roadbed.

    For plaster, you could use styrene .040h x.020w (or so) against the rails. You can tape it in places, if you use tension to your benefit. Lube the inner surface and they'll slip right out.

    Make sure the outer plaster fill doesn't top the rails, screws up when you track clean !
     
    ZandT and bostonjim like this.
  19. ZandT

    ZandT TrainBoard Member

    12
    12
    2
    Can you share a link, I'd like to get my hands on one to try it out too, thanks!
     
  20. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    668
    768
    20
    Hi, Zee
    The link is railNscale. Website is in German. Jim
     
    CNE1899 and ZandT like this.

Share This Page