N scale 4x8

skipgear Jan 28, 2007

  1. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    I know the picture isn't the best example. Actually the shale I am thinking of is more gray to black in color. I have lot's of experience with shale from Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. At least 50% of the shore line is shale. The I was going to try to recreate some drill marks in the cut closer to the potral and mine entrance on the layout.

    This is somewhat what I want to accomplish.
    [​IMG]

    or this:

    [​IMG]

    I have played with the idea of a using something like a hair pic or comb to score the layers. I will have to do some experimenting.
     
  2. Mark Smith

    Mark Smith TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't done it and can't remember if it was done in N Scale or HO, but saw someone use broken ceiling tile stacked up to create a shale or horizontal sedimentary outcropping. Can't recall how they worked it, so it's not much help. Maybe someone else recall seeing this done and has more info.

    One company I've seen has a shale rock casting, but it looks too big for N Scale and wouldn't be like the cut you pictured. Nevertheless you can see it at:
    http://www.sterlingmodels.com/ROCK CASTINGS.htm
     
  3. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen the cieling tile approach too. It's made out of stacked cieling tile that is then covered with soupy plaster.

    Another approach is the hand carved wet plaster approach. Get your area covered with plaster, then use a knife to cut horizontal slashes into it. Keep repeating till you get the look you want.

    Just an odd idea, but how about just getting some real shale and stacking it up, then use the loose rubble as ground cover at the bottom of your rocks.

    I've often wondered if you could get a tray or maybe just a cardboard milk carton and layer in plaster so that you get a block of sedimentary plaster sort of mimicing the real shale. Each layer being somewhat separate from the next. Then break it apart and glue it onto the layout.
     
  4. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    I have thought of the same, pouring a couple of thin layers of plaster, breaking them and stacking but that is a bit of work for this layout. I think I have come up with a quick a easy approach. I am really fond of using the light weight spackling in the place of plaster. It takes longer to dry/cure and gives plenty of work time. It also happens to flow well enough that with a coarse brush, you can litterally brush it on.

    I brushed on a layer of the spackle with an old stiff paint brush and got a fairly good covering of the area. I let the spackle set up a little then took the paint brush and smacked the face of the rock with the side of the brush. The bristles of the brush make impressions about an inch and a half long, and just deep enough to look pretty good. Hold the brush roughly horizontal to create the layers in the rock. Working around in a random pattern also creates high and low spots as some of the spackle picks up in the brush and then redeposits in other places. We'll see what it looks like in the morning. I will take some before and after shots.
     
  5. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    Well, it's not quite as craggy as I wanted but it worked out pretty good for the amount of work involved.

    [​IMG]

    A closeup of sorts.

    [​IMG]

    And finally a helicopter shot.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark Smith

    Mark Smith TrainBoard Member

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    That looks real fine.
     
  7. BALOU LINE

    BALOU LINE TrainBoard Member

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    Looks really good. t does a great job of capturing the feel you are after. Just fine with the 3 foot rule. Once the rest of the scene is filled in with vegetation and details there will be to much eye candy to notice any short comings in your geology. If you increase the amount of loose crumbly stone at the base of the slope it will look even better.
     
  8. Richard320

    Richard320 TrainBoard Member

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    You know what I see?

    I see styrofoam. :lightbulb:

    I haven't tried this, but it looks like some shredded-up styrofoam meat trays would layer nicely for this. I've even seen black trays under the better quality steaks.

    Run over some trays with the lawnmower and see what comes out. Or stick it in a blender. Or slice it up with a knife. If the knife is somewhat dull, I know from experience that you won't get a sharp cut, but rather a lot of ripped edges.

    My free advice, and worth every penny.
     
  9. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    WOW!:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: Nice hillside!
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Tony, what you've done looks real good. One thought...since it's obviously coal country, consider adding a few thin black stripes to represent seams of coal. Being thin, they would not have been profitable to mine, but would hint to thicker seams below ground.....
     
  11. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    There are some black/dark gray seams in there, I think the camera washed them out so they don't show up. That was exactly what I was trying to hint at. Maybe I will go back and darken them up to add a little more contrast to the scene.
     
  12. HarryII

    HarryII TrainBoard Member

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    :thumbs_up:super, great woork, 10x:sun:

    ;)
     
  13. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Where I grew up, shale was prevalent, and quite distinctive. The definition in the strata looks nicely executed. You did a mighty fine job of replicating it!!! :)
     
  14. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    After a long delay with very little visible progress and a lot of tinkering here and there, finally something to show:

    [​IMG]

    The control panel graphics are laid out and ready to start assembling turnout controls. I still need to pickup a few more switch controlers so that everything looks neat and clean and I am using all the same style controller for wiring and maintainance later. I still need to decide how to do the block switching for the mountain line but for now, it is just down to installing and wiring switches.

    I have also been working on roadways for the layout.
    [​IMG]
    It was decided that the workers needed a way to get to the logging company other than the rails so a single lane bridge was born to get across the river and up the side of the hill. The bridge is two atlas truss bridges grafted together with some styrene for a roadway deck.
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully wiring will get done this weekend. I still need to come up with a couple of 20-30 pin connectors to make the control panel easier to deal with when I move it to the gentlemans house.
     
  15. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    I have made lot's of progress, none of it very exciting but all very time consuming. Wiring is progressing well but slowly. The buss line has been run, all feeders are wired, and about half of the turnouts are now wired and working. I need to finish the other half of the turnouts (the layout is divided in half for transport so each half of the layout will have a seperate buss for turnout controls going to the control panel). I also need to set up the block switches for the three blocks. The main will be only DCC, the mountain line and the passing siding leading to it will be selectable DC or DCC and the Program track will be selectable between Program or Main.

    I figure after another couple of days, I will finally get to run trains on the layout.

    Control Panel - minus block switches
    [​IMG]

    Back side of control panel
    [​IMG]

    Overview of wiring
    [​IMG]

    Close up of main buss connections and the switch umbilical cable.
    [​IMG]

    I ended up with DB25 connectors for the turnout connection between the control panel and the layout. I also stole from my RC parts bin for connections of the main buss between the two halves. I used W.S. Deans Power Plugs for the main buss connections on the end of the table, opposite the buss bar shown in the pictures.
     
  16. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

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    HOLY CARP!

    That looks great!
     
  17. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It sure does. Very impressive.

    Charlie
     
  18. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    I can almost get back to the fun stuff now. The turnouts are all wired and the control panel is up and running. I found one dead turnout that I need to replace the motor on and I had to work on a few others that were sticky but all in all not too bad. The one thing I have learned......

    NEVER USE OLD/USED TURNOUTS!!!!!

    The turnouts giving me fits are the older turnouts. I have found that the engine service yard will need feeders on every leg. The older turnouts used there rely on the points for power feed to the legs of the turnout and none of them work properly.

    [​IMG]

    The flakey turnouts are the ones to the left. The dead turnout motor is also shown here. It would only throw one direction.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the control panel in action. I haven't hooked up the block controls yet and I am just running the layout in DC to test things but it works and I can run trains. I can almost make sense of how to get a train from point A to point B.

    [​IMG]
    Another shot of trains moving on the layout.
     
  19. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    It's been a while since I posted updates. Well, here is the final update. It's done and has been delivered. I forgot to take pictures of the layout split in two again for the move. It went back together pretty clean. The worst spot naturally was the double track in the tunnel. I had to solder the joints in the tunnel and file them back to shape a bit to make sure an E-8 that he had would go around, it turned out to be the test mule, everything else, even the Bachmann Consolidation ran good as is.

    The DCC was up and running over the weekend and the on line program track worked out very well. You can drive a loco onto the program track, flip a toggle from DCC to program, program the loco, then flip the toggle back and drive it back to the loco facility without having to remove it from the layout.

    Below is the control panel. The switch covers were printed on decal paper and then applied to the back of the factory on - off - on plates.

    [​IMG]

    The rest are a few shots of the layout in it's final home:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Link to the rest:
    http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/cat/1426
     
  20. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looking GOOD!!!
     

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