N Scale Build of the Delaware, Susquehanna & Northern Railroad

Hardcoaler Dec 20, 2021

  1. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice selection of tunnel portals. For the weathering, I wonder how a diluted solution of indian ink would work? Someone posted a mix for that somewhere her ion TB once that looked interesting?
     
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  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmm. that's a good idea. The ink would also settle into the cracks and crevices in the concrete surface, giving it enhanced dimension and I could dilute it as much as I wanted. I'll have to check that out. I'm just now thinking about weathering chalk powder too and it'd be easily reversible if I messed up. I've used in on rolling stock and like the results.

    One thing that's interesting is that I've always added locomotive exhaust stains atop tunnel portals, but in looking at a dozen of my slides from locations all over the east, I can't see any evidence of it. Kind of surprising. Maybe I might add a light touch of it still. I know I've seen exhaust stains on the underside of bridges.
     
  3. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    For detail lining I have used Reaper Miniatures Liner Series of paints. Acrylic, so easy clean up. I love their Sepia and Brown Liners especially.
     
  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I finally finished up my scratchbuilt bridge abutments and weathered them. Each one has a different shape, so as to custom fit in a specific scenery location with a berm, embankment or mountainside adjacent. You can see Kato bridge piers hidden in each abutment and three more Kato piers at the rear. I mixed gray and white paint to get a lighter tone that resembled concrete better than some of the pre-mixed concrete colors. Weathering is with chalk, sealed with Dullcote.

    I ended up scratchbuilding these because I wasn't pleased with what I saw commercially and some choices were very expensive. Mine were built with affordable Evergreen polystyrene sheet, square tube and strips. The wooden item at the lower right was built as a holder for airbrushing and fits inside the Kato piers.

    2023-05-25 Weathered Abutments.jpg
     
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  5. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    Absolutely beautiful work. I'm glad you bumped this thread, I'm sure it'll help me out alot whenever I get started on my layout. Haven't checked out all past posts, but I will. Started Dec. 2021, that's been a minute or two. Lots to see. I think you do good work and you seem to take pride in your detail work. I like that
     
  6. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Where do you airbrush your items? Outside, booth in the house, etc... Looks fantastic, great work!
     
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  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. In decent weather, I set up outside on a portable worktable. I don't have to worry about stinking up the house with paint fumes or spilling paint and the light is much better than anything I can rig up indoors.
     
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  8. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Those abutments are impressive hardcoaler. I'm looking forward to some pics with them on the layout so hurry up:p:)(y)
     
  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. I set all four in place over the weekend and I think they'll work out. When they're surrounded with scenery, they should fit right in. In the bottom photo, the area off to the left of the abutment's vertical member will be a long rock wall.

    DSN Portal Abutment 4.jpg

    DSN Portal Abutment 5.jpg
     
  10. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    those look real nice. thank you for sharing these pics.
     
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  11. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    An excellent job, please consider your idea stolen.
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    :LOL: I maybe forgot to mention it, but a Kato pier is hidden in each abutment within the rectangular box at the center of each one. Probably not necessary, but it's nice to have the abutment click into place with the bridge.
     
  13. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Super cool idea to repurpose the Kato parts for your custom abutments.
     
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  14. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Their inclined pier set includes the abutment "shoes" (?) for start/end of Unitrack Viaduct trackage & bridges, with stair steps up to the bridge/viaduct floor level on either end of the bridge/viaduct trackage.

    Below shows both the shoe and an intermediate support (see arrow) for the adjacent ground level track. The former is included with the basic inclined pier set; the latter is included in the add-on gradual incline pier set.

    Kinda pricey to purchase a whole inclined pier set just for them, but maybe they could be replicated/adapted on a 3d printer?



    [​IMG]
     
  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I think it's in this thread somewhere, but if you decide upon Kato Unitrack, you may wish to remove a section from your Kato piers to lessen your grades. Kato's piers assume catenary, but without it, clearances can perhaps be less of you're not running double stacks. I made mine 1-1/2" tall and probably gone to 1-1/4" with what I run.
     
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  16. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    To be clear, Hardcoaler is referring to cutting out a horizontal slice from the middle of each pier (shortening the piers), not removing piers from the set.

    The thickness of the slice to be removed from each pier should also vary proportionally with each pier's original height, since removing a fixed thickness slice from all piers will not affect the grade.

    Keep in mind that the intermediate pier set can be used two ways. The intermediate set includes clips that allow you to install the intermediate height piers mid-span on each viaduct sectional piece. This does not reduce the grade.

    However, if you use the intermediate pier set only at bridge/viaduct track joints, while alternating them with the regular inclined piers, then the grade is cut in half (taking twice as much distance to climb/descend the same height.)

    I really wish they would make inclined piers styled after the fixed height piers that Hardcoaler used (oval, rather than octagonal, cross section). Of course, one can always make their own by cutting variable-thickness slices out of the standard, full-height, oval piers.

    Note also that the bridge shoes under Kato Unitrack bridge ends match the profile of the octagonal piers.

    Note that the clearance under viaduct tracks is less than the clearance under Unitrack bridges, when using the same pier heights. The equivalent thickness of the Unitrack bridge shoes extends under the entire length of the viaduct track. The maximum height unitrack piers just clear double-stacked container cars on ground-level Unitrack underneath viaducts (with Kato double-stack cars.)

    So if you need a curved bridge, and want to use a Unitrack viaduct for it, be careful that the ground level upon which the piers set is at least level with the ground level underneath the Unitrack below (assuming you want to run double-stack container cars.)
     
  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Got my tunnel portals glued in place, here are two. Foam scenery is just roughed in place with some color thrown on, lots more to do there across the whole layout. I'm somewhat nervous about starting scenery. It's been 35+ years since I built my last layout and I need to read up on how its done today. Being an eastern railroad, I'll need at least 500,000 trees.

    2023-06-03 Twin Tunnels.jpg
     
  18. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    What you meant was 500 right :)
     
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  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Let's count. :ROFLMAO: [CNJ's Nesquehoning Tower, 07/1980]

    1980-07 001 Nesquehoning Jct PA CNJ Tower - for upload.jpg
     
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  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Just spit-balling here... I've never done this!

    It seems to me that at some point, you can forget about modelling the individual trees, and start modelling the top of the forest canopy.

    What about a drywall texture sprayer, with slightly different shades of green in many sparse coats? Start with a dark base coat of paint, and don't be afraid to have it show through tops coats of various shades of green, etc. depending on season, like holes in the canopy showing the shaded understory.

    In autumn, the understory in dense forests may turn later than the tree tops exposed to the open sky above.

    Is there such a thing as O scale ground foam, like WS Underbrush, but bigger clumps?

    Maybe you could use extruded foam insulation board (not Styrofoam bead board, but the pink, blue or green stuff) and a heat gun to create an uneven, undulating surface for the ground foam to cover? I'd keep a spray bottle of water handy just in case the foam gets too hot in some places. Oh, and do this with abundant ventilation. Or just go crazy with a surform tool on a thick layer of extruded foam board. And a shop vac.

    Then you only need complete trees at the visible edges of the canopy, and even then, only if the forest was recently cut back. Nature abhors a vacuum, especially one with access to sunlight.

    Your mileage may vary.
    Closed course, professional driver.
    Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.
    Do not look into the laser with your other eye.
    Yada, yada, yada...
     

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