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Gavino200's Layout phase II - Modeling

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kvp

My idea would be to use white sythetic wood glue with fine sand mixed in. It could give a nice concrete texture and could be painted with a similar sandy paint mix like faller road or concrete paint. If the glue is too weak without a surface a bit of paper placed under it could help.

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cteno4

For n scale concrete texture it’s going to need very very fine texture like 800 grit sand blasting mix. I experimented a long time back trying to get something that would work for sand texture at n scale. All the fine sands (candle sand was the finest regular sand I could find) still came out like a gravel at n scale when a figure was laying on it. I went to the 800 grit and it felt better, more like finer pebbles, but not sand. Problemis a coat of paint lost a lot of the texture. I did a quick test of air brushing and it was better, but still not perfect. Mixing it withnthe paint makes a mess and does not spread well, the best was to do the traditional of a thin coat of matte medium, sprinkle on the grit, knock off loose stuff gently, then try to paint over. I’ll see if I can find the tests. The last test I did was to try to get better temple garden gravel effect, I’ll see if I can find the test bits of cardboard, I usually try to keep them for future reference like this!

 

Getting scale texture is going to be tricky as I think it’s probably about fooling the eye rather than doing it realistically. Realistically most road and concrete textures are like 0.01mm in depth at scale. It’s one of those things too that changes a lot from looking at 2-6” in a photo to a couple of feet with the eye, so always some tradeoffs with this sort of thing.

 

I think kvp’s idea of the road paint may be best. Really flat paints have less binder in them and rougher pigment bits so it give that rough texture and pigment bits stick out more and not covered by a glossy binder coating.

 

Maybe try tempra paint powders. These are usually very flat. It’s used in doing texturing for natural rock and ground cover (sprinkle it around and wet down to set in place) as it gives very natural flat, rougher look for fine dirt and rock texture. I have some here, I’ll experiment to see how well gray works by mixing black and white. If it’s hopefull I can send you a bit to experiment with yourself before buying tubs of it (usually does not come in small amounts!) Spraying it may require one of those cheap siphon airbrushed as the pigment granules are pretty big. 

 

Cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

A little more work on the practice tunnel segment. Fastening the wall details can be done the same way as with the straight tunnel. I'm experimenting here with an idea to create a connecting segment between the front fascia and the tunnel. It's just masking tape and expandable foam. I have no clue if this will work. I'll find out tomorrow. 

 

The photo here is quite forgiving to the light effects. In fact these lights are very poorly done. Each one had to be different from the next because of the improvised nature of the tunnel scaffold/ exoskeleton. This won't be a problem for the production tunnels, as the scaffold will actually be planed. 

 

t6ll3Qc.jpg

 

 

 

qdKcWEq.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

I also did some work on the tunnel lights. I'm using these little LED mounts that I bought ages ago for a Light control panel project that I abandoned. I'm going to make the light guide and LED mount the same dimensions every time so I can standardize as much as possible. 

 

This is an earlier experimental straight tunnel segment that is otherwise stripped down now. This LED is as bright as the sun, but when I make the production tunnel, the light circuit will have a potentiometer.

 

SZfZdAd.jpg

 

MvclW3y.jpg

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gavino200
15 hours ago, kvp said:

My idea would be to use white sythetic wood glue with fine sand mixed in. It could give a nice concrete texture and could be painted with a similar sandy paint mix like faller road or concrete paint. If the glue is too weak without a surface a bit of paper placed under it could help.

 

Interesting you should make this comment. I was thinking about white glue as a material (not for this project) just yesterday. I spilled a good amount of Elmer's glue on my work bench by accident and didn't notice. When I came back a few days later, it had completely dried. I peeled it off in one piece, and it was a perfectly even, flat plasticy sheet. What was interesting to me was that it was semi-opaque./ semi-translucent. I wonder if it could be used for back-lit building/store signs. Just a thought.

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gavino200
8 hours ago, cteno4 said:

For n scale concrete texture it’s going to need very very fine texture like 800 grit sand blasting mix. I experimented a long time back trying to get something that would work for sand texture at n scale. All the fine sands (candle sand was the finest regular sand I could find) still came out like a gravel at n scale when a figure was laying on it. I went to the 800 grit and it felt better, more like finer pebbles, but not sand. Problemis a coat of paint lost a lot of the texture. I did a quick test of air brushing and it was better, but still not perfect. Mixing it withnthe paint makes a mess and does not spread well, the best was to do the traditional of a thin coat of matte medium, sprinkle on the grit, knock off loose stuff gently, then try to paint over. I’ll see if I can find the tests. The last test I did was to try to get better temple garden gravel effect, I’ll see if I can find the test bits of cardboard, I usually try to keep them for future reference like this!

 

Getting scale texture is going to be tricky as I think it’s probably about fooling the eye rather than doing it realistically. Realistically most road and concrete textures are like 0.01mm in depth at scale. It’s one of those things too that changes a lot from looking at 2-6” in a photo to a couple of feet with the eye, so always some tradeoffs with this sort of thing.

 

I think kvp’s idea of the road paint may be best. Really flat paints have less binder in them and rougher pigment bits so it give that rough texture and pigment bits stick out more and not covered by a glossy binder coating.

 

Maybe try tempra paint powders. These are usually very flat. It’s used in doing texturing for natural rock and ground cover (sprinkle it around and wet down to set in place) as it gives very natural flat, rougher look for fine dirt and rock texture. I have some here, I’ll experiment to see how well gray works by mixing black and white. If it’s hopefull I can send you a bit to experiment with yourself before buying tubs of it (usually does not come in small amounts!) Spraying it may require one of those cheap siphon airbrushed as the pigment granules are pretty big. 

 

Cheers

 

jeff

 

This is an interesting discussion. However, I think recreating actual scale concrete texture, is way out of my league. I'll be happy if I have a reasonable color and a smooth coat.

 

I would however like to either draw or etch a few concrete joints, as I think they would create a nice effect. For example, in the above picture, I threw in a Kato concrete track piece. The texture here is pure plastic. But the crude joints lines allow it to pass decently as "concrete". This will probably be beyond the level of my skills, but I'll have a go at it anyway.

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JR 500系

Wow I love the idea of the lights, and that little slot where the light shines through really makes it look like a tunnel light! Very nice indeed! Thanks for sharing!

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Kiha66

Wow, amazing work Gavin!  I wouldn't worry too much about the bubbles in the plaster, real concrete often has such imperfections when done on an industrial scale. 

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gavino200
7 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

Wow, amazing work Gavin!  I wouldn't worry too much about the bubbles in the plaster, real concrete often has such imperfections when done on an industrial scale. 

 

That's a good point. And one less thing to worry about!

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Kiha66

For example, here's the result of a pour that's part of the new panama canal.  Seems you did a better job than the full size construction crew!

IMG_1241.thumb.jpg.8e723b9bf634a798937415a01085b0ce.jpg

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Pauljag900

Fantastic work Gavin,the detail you re aiming for is superb.

As for light brightness,I know what you mean buddy.Serotta made a comment about my engine shed being bright and he s right,looks like a nuclear explosion going on and it’s not the only thing on my layout that looks like that.I do find that the camera makes it look worse than it actually is though,i ve found that these cold white LEDs are fine for inside buildings but for anywhere the light is in an open area then the warm white are better.I ve just recieved a load from China yesterday and will change some of mine in due course.

Not sure if this is of any use to you buddy but just thought I d say.👍😀

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cteno4

You can fill the big pock marks withnjsut some spackle on your fingertip. Also sanding on the curve surface is easier using cloth backed sanding paper. It conforms around the compound curves much better. I’ve used it a lot in furniture refinishing whenyou have to sand out all those nasty little curvie bits!

 

i agree texture is very tough.mthe right color and finish along with details like the form lines will say concrete to the mind’s eye. But already your tests are really convincing! The wiring, catenary supports and lights really grabbed the mind’s eye well!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
12 hours ago, Pauljag900 said:

Fantastic work Gavin,the detail you re aiming for is superb.

As for light brightness,I know what you mean buddy.Serotta made a comment about my engine shed being bright and he s right,looks like a nuclear explosion going on and it’s not the only thing on my layout that looks like that.I do find that the camera makes it look worse than it actually is though,i ve found that these cold white LEDs are fine for inside buildings but for anywhere the light is in an open area then the warm white are better.I ve just recieved a load from China yesterday and will change some of mine in due course.

Not sure if this is of any use to you buddy but just thought I d say.👍😀

 

Thanks Paul. Adjusting light intensity is tricky. I had quite a learning curve with that on my last project. Putting a potentiometer on the circuit allows you to adjust the brightness. You can even adjust the brightness to what looks good on camera (often very different - a crap shoot), if you use more expensive pots. Cheap pots are no good after a few adjustments so it's best not to keep messing with them.

 

In this case I don't care how the light looks. What I was working on was the LED mounting on the back. That straight tunnel piece is essentially garbage now.

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gavino200
10 hours ago, cteno4 said:

You can fill the big pock marks withnjsut some spackle on your fingertip. Also sanding on the curve surface is easier using cloth backed sanding paper. It conforms around the compound curves much better. I’ve used it a lot in furniture refinishing whenyou have to sand out all those nasty little curvie bits!

 

i agree texture is very tough.mthe right color and finish along with details like the form lines will say concrete to the mind’s eye. But already your tests are really convincing! The wiring, catenary supports and lights really grabbed the mind’s eye well!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Thanks. I've been thinking a lot recently about what you told me in the "interiors and furniture" thread. How a little detail encourages the brain to 'fill in' rest. But that a lot of detail makes the eye more critical. Even if I find a "concrete joint" technique, I may actually not use it on this project. I might just keep it simple as is. 

 

The expandable foam worked quite well. I trimmed it and added a thin layer of skim/spackle so I can make it more smooth. I think I have my method more or less finalized. I should be ready to start the actual project sections pretty soon.

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cteno4

You can do this globally some with changing the input voltage.

 

cheap trimmer pots usually give you like 100 turns maybe and are not meant to be constantly fiddling with.

 

jeff

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kvp

I would recommend getting a test pot to adjust the level once, then remove it, measure it and use simple resistors for all leds of the same type. If you go slightly below with the constant resistors, you will get slightly brighter leds, which could be adjusted globally by either adjusting the voltage or adding a higher current common limiter pot or resistor or a current limiting circuit or a pwm dimmer. The latter could be purchased from ebay for a few dollars and would give you central brightness  control.

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gavino200
29 minutes ago, kvp said:

I would recommend getting a test pot to adjust the level once, then remove it, measure it and use simple resistors for all leds of the same type. If you go slightly below with the constant resistors, you will get slightly brighter leds, which could be adjusted globally by either adjusting the voltage or adding a higher current common limiter pot or resistor or a current limiting circuit or a pwm dimmer. The latter could be purchased from ebay for a few dollars and would give you central brightness  control.

 

It's not a bad idea. Especially if thinking about getting an appropriate brightness for both "day" and "night".

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cteno4

I like to keep the pots in to be able to play with them later if needed. The worst I’ve had with cheap pots is they get a little jumpy with a lot of fiddling with them, but I’ve almost never had to fiddle them more than a dozen times or so to set them.

 

kvp is spot on with the global current or voltage or pwm to have the big day and night and photo settings. Most are pretty cheap and you can even have different sections with different global controls.

 

Sadly light just does not scale well so getting it to look right in different situations is not a universal setting for it all!

 

jeff

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gavino200

A bit more progress. What I'm working on here is the connection between the outer fascia and the inner tunnel. I painted the front this awful brownish color to simulate the front fascia of my layout (below). I could get the surface smoother, but this is enough for "proof of concept". The "cables" on the tunnel wall are a bit messed up - please ignore them.

 

I'm thinking of painting the connecting part brown to match the front fascia, leaving a 6mm grey rim around the tunnel. To sort of simulate the concrete tunnel sitting in the earth. I'll have to create matching radius masking pieces, as I think it would look horrible if I tried to freehand it with a brush. I'm hoping to graduate to airbrushing before I start with the permanent tunnel pieces. 

 

The production tunnel will have to have the lights, pipes, and cables moved down a bit on the wall, and maybe the front ceiling cut a little higher, so that you can look in and see the details without crouching down. That was my wife's observation. I totally missed it. 

 

I was going to make a 'walkway' ledge. But I think I'll forget about that and move forward.

 

4PkXKry.jpg

 

CT9YvlA.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

I'm sure there will be a lot of new challenges that emerge when I try to make the tunnel for real. But right now, my next problem is to figure a way to fix the tunnel segments to each other in a firm but detachable way.

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Kiha66

Amazing work Gavin, the cableing looks great no idea what you're worried about.

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gavino200
1 minute ago, Kiha66 said:

Amazing work Gavin, the cableing looks great no idea what you're worried about.

 

Thanks. I'm learning a lot and having fun with this thing. I'm also starting to be slightly less intimidated about modeling. 

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

what about vertical junction plates between sections that mate up with some small bolt/pegs. Glue the plates to a cutout base of like 1/8” Masonite. The other vertical supports can be glued where needed off the Masonite to support the scenery module above. Also a few pegs in your base board thru the Masonite base to lock it into the correct positions.

 

you might be able to then connect the sections (with a very thin shim piece of something like wax paper between the junction plates) and fill in the junction area and smooth it out then slice it down between the junction plates with a fine jewelers saw blade to make as clean a seam as possible at the junctions. Or it may be possible to do the whole 225 section as one big piece if you can do a strong enough framework around the tunnels to the base on each side so the frame work takes all the stress and the tunnel just lays in it.

 

its really amazing what you have done! I don’t think I’ve seen a curved, curved profile tunnel modeled like this! Like I said he cutaway with he conduits and catenary supports really slammed the mind’s eye into 5th gear on just a test there! Goes to show that you should not be intimidated and just start experimenting and it’s amazing what can come out the other end!

 

keep at it!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
On 5/28/2018 at 7:17 PM, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

what about vertical junction plates between sections that mate up with some small bolt/pegs. Glue the plates to a cutout base of like 1/8” Masonite. The other vertical supports can be glued where needed off the Masonite to support the scenery module above. Also a few pegs in your base board thru the Masonite base to lock it into the correct positions.

 

you might be able to then connect the sections (with a very thin shim piece of something like wax paper between the junction plates) and fill in the junction area and smooth it out then slice it down between the junction plates with a fine jewelers saw blade to make as clean a seam as possible at the junctions. Or it may be possible to do the whole 225 section as one big piece if you can do a strong enough framework around the tunnels to the base on each side so the frame work takes all the stress and the tunnel just lays in it.

 

its really amazing what you have done! I don’t think I’ve seen a curved, curved profile tunnel modeled like this! Like I said he cutaway with he conduits and catenary supports really slammed the mind’s eye into 5th gear on just a test there! Goes to show that you should not be intimidated and just start experimenting and it’s amazing what can come out the other end!

 

keep at it!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

@cteno4

 

I think I understand what your're talking about here. By 'vertical junction plate' you mean some kind of flange. It would attach to the end of the tunnel tube and project outward providing a surface for 'mating'. Like the end of a large pipeline. Or a bit like the bottom of an old fashioned traffic cone. Am I understanding this correctly?

 

Masonite is that brown hardboard that my 'fascia' is made of? You're suggesting that I make the vertical junction plate out of that. I agree it would be strong, but It's hard for me to make those cuts myself, unless I used a hand scroll saw. Multiple layers of thick card laminated together with superglue might be an alternative. 

 

I'm not planning on making a base for the tunnel. It has an open base just resting on the grey layout surface. That way I can easily lift it out without disturbing the tracks.

 

By 'pegs' you mean wooden dowels? I think that's a great idea. I could put L-shaped flanges along the sides of the tunnels. They could have holes in them that would fit over dowels sunk into the layout base to hold the tunnel segments in position. 

 

Segments with a visible junction (ie, the junction is at one of the viewing windows) will be semi permanent. They could be taken apart if I had to move. But otherwise they will remain together. I'll probably skim coat and paint the junction on the inside. 

 

Segments with junctions "down the tunnel" that are less visible will be made as smooth as possible but left easily separable. They could be clipped rather than bolted together. 

 

I want to keep the tunnel structure separate from the overlying "city". I'm planning on supporting the overlying city board using a ledge on the inside of the fascia as well as foam columns, some of which will have dowels. I want to be able to lift out the parts of the city without disturbing the tunnel. 

 

Let me know if I'm grossly misunderstanding your suggestion. 

 

I think I'll work on a house or two while I mull this over.

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

sorry this is hard to do this in words, but i think i gotcha!

 

yeah like the flanges at the end of pipes. it could be a rectangle with the tunnel profile cut out so it slipped over the end of the tunnel and then just epoxy it in place to the tunnel. recess the tunnel a tiny bit in the flange (by cutting or sanding off extra) so that its only the flange plates touching each other. just make sure you glue the flange plates on the end of the tunnel with them all set up in the proper curve so the plates are flat against each other and in the proper orientation. put a piece of wax paper between the flange plates so no epoxy leaks in and glues the flange plates together (test your epoxy, but most dont stick to wax paper - an odd product that is harder to find these days!).

 

then drill a few mating holes thru the mating flanges and little bolts and washers to hold them together. would let you pull it apart if ever needed or work on them separately to do the finish work and then just assemble at the end and do a skim coat of the seams to make them clean and just cut thru with the jewelers saw if you need to separate them later.

 

masonite would probably be the toughest stuff to make your flange plates out of, but harder to cut. you might be able to make the flange plates out of foamcore but they may be a bit fragile. perfect stuff would be palight (basically foamcore all made out of pvc) or syntra like products. they can be expensive but sometimes you can find generic stuff at plastic shops or sign makers (ask for pvc faced pvc foamcore panels or syntra like stuff) a lot cheaper and or have smaller scraps they sell cheap (it usually comes in 4'x8' at plastics shops and sign shops). the nice thing is it cuts easily with a hand scroll saw, its stiff, wont ding up like foam core, water proof, and you can even heat it up with hot water and bend it easily.

 

https://www.palramamericas.com/Products/Flat-Sheets/PALIGHT-Family/projectpvc/

 

youre gunna hate me, heres another tool to look at. its a power saw but the most benign saw out there! its a power scroll saw. i started on one when i was about 4 years old and never cut myself on it. the worst you will get is a bit of a jagged cut if you were to jam your finger into it. not like a band saw that can zip a finger right off! these are very very handy to do all sorts of curved cuts like this and a handy saw to do modeling on without much danger at all. its sort of like a jig/saber saw on a bench. there are adapters for dremel tools to do this but they are puny and not well powered and about as expensive.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/WEN-3920-Two-Direction-Variable-Flexible/dp/B005UKGL58/ref=sr_1_3?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1527899009&sr=1-3&keywords=scroll+saw&dpID=41h8sBoRnDL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

fun to do scroll cut outs of things as well in wood and you can get quite fancy on them. may be something fun for your son to play with art/craft wise as well. the wen tools are knockoffs but surprisingly well made and very good prices. they also have a us office that sells parts and stuff and they seem to be very responsive (been looking at a plunge cut saw they have). knowing you dont like power saws, this is the most benign there is and useful to cut out little bits of all sorts.

 

you might be able to cut these out with your saber saw or even an hand scroll/jewelers saw, just slower going. they dont have to be super fine cuts as they are on the outside of the tunnel and gaps can be filled with epoxy. if there are any larger gaps in places between the plate and tunnel put in some little slips of thin cardboard in the appropriate gaps with the epoxy so it does not have a huge gap to fill.

 

yeah you are right probably better to do your city supports separately and just let the tunnel be separate.

 

i would suggest just adding a like 2" strip of foam core (much lighter and easer to cut than the masonite) along the outside and inside bottom edges of each section, sort of a flange along the inside and outside base of the tunnel sections. just put the tunnel on a bit of foamcore and trace the tunnel bottom and then cut out a 2" arc bigger for inside and outside. then you can epoxy these onto the base of the tunnel and the flange ends (make your flanges like 2" wider than the tunnel on each side). again make sure to have wax paper under the glue joint so it does not get epoxied to the work bench! this should give you really good wrack support (ie twisting), light seal the bottom edge of the tunnel well, and give you something to attach any wiring to and such.

 

also once in the right place you can just drill a 1/4" hole on each section thru the foam core and into your layout base. then put in some little pins of 1/4' dowels and glue them into the layout base (or just pressure fit if you use the right drill size and dowel size - there are some that are just a tad bigger than standard drill sizes so they are nice pressure fit, others are spot on the dimension while others a tad smaller, all dowels are not made equally!). a one or two pins sticking up into the holes in the base flange. should be enough to hold the tunnel in the correct position.

 

if it still feels like it all twists too much when moving you could also add a few foam core braces like every 6" on the inside and outside of the tunnels. these could just be like pieces of foam core 1" wide and about 2/3rds the height of the tunnel. then cut out a little semicircle of the tunnel profile on one tall edge so it wraps around the tunnel some (doesnt have to go all the way down to the bottom/tunnel flange joint) and epoxy them in vertically. locking the tunnel side to the base flange in few pieces like this will really help. if still a little twisty then glue another curved piece of foamcore like 1" wide onto the tops of these side braces and also against the tunnel like 2/3rds the way up the side. 

 

clear as mud?

 

cheers

 

jeff

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