NP Lester WA T-Trak Z Module Set Project

rray Feb 11, 2020

  1. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I like to re-inforce my rail at the ends of my modules, because I have had people in a hurry to tear down after shows, peel up rails off the flextrack in their rush to get their modules disconnected.

    So I used .03" brass EDM tube soldered to the rails. I drill a .8mm hole through the roadbed and plywood right next to the rails about 1/2" from the modules edge for all tracks. I cut a 1" length of tube, and bend the end 90 degrees. then flush cut it. I press it through the hole, so the flush cut 90 degree contacts the rails, then solder it to the rails, and bend over the wires that stick through the bottom. They act as both rail feeders and rail stiffeners, preventing over anxious people from peeling up my rails. After you have been on the show circut for several years you will know what having peeled rails is all about.

    Does it work? Heck yeah! I had a module next to a guy who was so eager to get his module, and get outta town, that he forgot to remove the splice track, then unclamped the modules and zipppp! He peeled up a 15 inch strip of rail from 2 tracks off HIS module. I had a slightly bent piece of rail on the last 1/2" of my module, which I was able to straighten without fuss. This poor 'some-itch had to re-lay the track on the front of his module and replace a turnout! :D Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

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  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Last step for today was to airbrush the track with oldsKool Floquil Roof Brown. I'm down to 3 bottles of Roof Brown, I wish I had ordered a dozen more. The flat finish, smooth airbrushing, and quick drying of Floquil can't be beat. It's so sad Floquil is gone, as are so many of the model railroading supplies of old.

    I suspect many items will disappear over the next few years, so stock up if you plan to build another layout some day. Floquil was around when I started model railroading in the 70's, so I'm sure the guy who formulated it is long past retired, or pushing up railroad spikes by now. Point being, ain't nobody going to come out with more Floquil. I tried that Tru-Color paint, and it is nowhere near as good as Floquil was.
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  3. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    How will you remove the paint from the tops of the rails?
     
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  4. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    I think a fingernail or bit of cloth with isopropyl alcohol before everything has fully cured.
     
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  5. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yes, after the ballast is dried and set hard like cement, I will clean the rail tops with methanol on a 1" square of old 100% cotton T-Shirt material. I cut up a T-Shirt into 1" squares on my laser about 15 years ago, and am still using those as 100% cotton wipes.

    The amount of paint on the top of the rails is very small, a super thin layer from the airbrush is all I need to color the rails and kill the shine of the plastic ties.
     
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  6. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    I use the same 'Roof Brown' on the rails. It's slightly darker than the 'Rail Brown' when held up to real rail and for modeling contrast. I do use the 'Rail Brown' on Spurs/sidings/passing tracks, as it is somewhat lighter than the Roof Brown, giving it the modeler's contrast.

    You can get a conversion table for other supplier's equivalence here: https://www.microscale.com/Floquil Color Chart.pdf
     
  7. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    One thing I agree with is that Floquil made great paint! That was my weapon of choice for my architectural models in the 80’s. Too bad they are gone now. Well, I agree with everything said...
     
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  8. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    Otherwise you may want to simply use this kind of product : a modelrailroad dirt eraser such as this one. ;)

    https://www.roco.cc/fr/product/22351-0-0-0-0-0-0-005011-0/products.html

    Dom
     
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  9. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Those gummy erasers are good but come in different grits. Skiers use them to keep their edges shiny so any ski shop will have them. If you get the really fine rubbery ones I don’t think any harm would be done but aggressive grits may not be good. I’ve seen a few threads where this is argued.
    But thank you Robert for any of the how to or how I did it stuff you add to this thread. Much appreciated!
     
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  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Here is a shot of my module progress. I got the ballast down on the Lester TT Roundhouse module. This module still needs the Depot (built), and Large Water Tower (unbuilt). I also have a $200 order of N Scale details to outfit the machine shop portion inside my roundhouse. I even bought several Aurduino Nano clones (the $3.50 ones) so I can make the 3 color arc welder effect with fading afterglow, and other effects on this module.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Truly enjoy seeing the progress on this one Robert. Excellent as always. Ok what type of water tower are you making? I still think since your MT models are sold out there’s quite a void in that department.
     
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  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    So this is the prototype that I need to make:
    [​IMG]

    And this is another smaller NP water tower I made 15 years ago, that I already have drawings for. I am going to use the drawings for this one, but scale the tank up and make the legs match the prototype. So what is different? The capacity is 100,000 gallons for the Lester tank, and the capacity of the Issaquah tank is 50,000 gallons. Also there is no spout on the Lester tank, instead there is a water column (not visible here) in between the Westbound (closest track) and Eastbound tracks. The last difference is the Lester tank has a wider support base than the Issaquah tank, as seen by the angled legs. Both have an insulated and heated standpipe room. They used heating oil to heat the standpipe room in the winter, so the water would not freeze. There is an inner and outer wall, filled with sawdust for insulation. I am not clear as to if there was also a well inside, or if the water was pumped from the Green River, which is a couple hundred yards away across the tracks.
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  13. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    So, I ended up ordering an N Scale water column from Century Foundry. It's fairly close in apperance, I just need to cut the top 2 long lever and hanger parts off, and file to a bell shaped bump on top. It's pathetic what N Scalers take for granted; while searching for N Scale Water Column, I found literally hundreds of water towers, columns, and tanks. They have a Broadway Limited water tank in N, that is exactly the style and size tank I need, I would only have to remove the spout and legs, and make my own legs to match the prototype. It even has sound wired to it! Nope! I won't be seduced, I will scratchbuild mine completely.

    Here is the Century Foundry N Scale water column:
    1.JPG

    Here is a picture of the Lester water column, looking west, between the Eastbound and Westbound mainline tracks, and filling up Westbound 4-8-4 #2626 in 1957. The tree is gone, and the water tank has been moved from the 1956 photo of the tank above. I want the tank and tree like 1956 on my module. Also of note, but not visible here, is that there is are long wooden boardwalks between the eastbound and westbound tracks, and to the right of the westbound tracks, going all the way past the depot. If you got off an Eastbound train in Lester, you could end up walking between trains for quite a while before you could get across the tracks if 2 long trains were both in town. It looks like the boardwalks end just past the water column, and from the other side, they extend about a car length past the depot. I am guessing 4-5 passenger car lengths of boardwalks. Some stuff just has to be extrapolated from photos, even if not clearly visible, if you want to convincingly model a prototypical scene.

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  14. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Inspirational!
     
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  15. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Took a Corona break today, and drew up my water tower. 70' scale feet tall, 100,000 gallon water tower for my module.
    Image1.jpg
     
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  16. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Robert how did you make water tower roof? I like that triangular pattern in it.
     
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  17. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I used Corel Draw to draw a circle with a pie slice missing, drawing from 0 degrees to 330 degrees instead of 360 degrees, in red. Red get cut all the way through by the laser. Then I drew a line straight across the center of the pie in black, and copy pasted it, rotating 15 degrees each line. Black cuts through 50% on this material. With 30 degrees missing, you just glue the pie with a missing slice into a full circle, and it makes a cone of slightly smaller diameter than the original circle.

    I had calculated that scaling up my 50,000 gallon water tower into an 100,000 gallon tower needs to increase the size to 126% of the small tank. After placing it on the module though, It is too large, and the 50,000 gallon tower is actually what was in Lester, not a 100,000 gallon tower, like I had read somewhere.

    So, I have to build one of the 50K towers now. It seems like I have to rebuild everything, to get them proportioned correctly.
     
  18. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Too big or small, it doesn't matter to me--that tower is great!
     
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  19. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    It looks great, Robert. Will you be modeling the support bands, too? If so, can't wait to see how you will do it. Your research on the subject at hand is impressive. Be well,. Stay safe. Everybody. Jim
     
  20. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yes, I will be modeling the bands, but not on this tank. I don't know how I messed up so big, but I measured it and scaled from Z and calculated 146,000 gallons. Maybe Lester is 100,000 gallons after all. So my drawing from 2003 is labeled 50,000 gallons, but I measured it and it's actually 76,000 gallons.

    Back to the drawing board.
     

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