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Gavino200's Layout phase II - Modeling

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

before you get neck neck deep in casting (a whole nother craft/hobby in itself) have you mocked up your tunnel idea just using corrugated cardboard and a rectangular cross section? Just make sure you have the tunnel how you want it for the layout before you dive in really deep Incase you find you need to change something. Also good way to ensure clearances and any gotchas. I say this as you have cutaways abs such that may need some fiddling to make feel right.

 

jeff

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gavino200

I'm not ready to cast yet. But I am starting to construct my casting plan. I still need some tools. I'm making an exact replica of the left side of the layout on the back of some  old foamboard from our previous layout. I need to get a few pieces of track to complete this. After the tracks positions are marked and checked, I'll move it into my workroom and put it up on boxes. I'm planning to do most of the work on the replica, and then transfer to the real layout when it's near completion.

 

OPHPf2C.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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inobu

Yeah, Jeff's right on the casting. There are a number of things you need in order to create decent castings. Mostly a degasing chamber. It removes the bubbles from the resin which can trash a casting.

 

I think you can get away with the foam, airbrush and hotwire. Because the portal is square in shape and a block wall I would try that route.

 

Important

 

Dimension date

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daishimizu_Tunnel#/media/File:Joetsu_shinkansen_tunnel_profile_ja.png

 

Image.

 

 

The most critical aspect of this portal is the grout lines, concrete color,  weathering and name plate.

The best attribute is the greenery can hide a lot of the imperfections and the building is simple and basic.

 

Inobu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image.png

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

you can make a casting much simpler for a tunnel like this. Just experiment with using plaster with some plaster cloth (or better yet cast material) on top of a foam form. You cna paint the form and sand to get nice and smooth and then use plaster mould release. Once cast you can fill and smooth the inside of the tunnel as needed with filler. I would think about drawing any form lines on as at n scale they will be minuscule to do in 3d and really hard to do.

 

the cast material is great as its light and flexes more without cracking. Fill in the interior as needed to get rid of the material texture. Again experiment. I’ve gotten the expired cast material on ebay in the past.

 

again try some simple tests first for the tunnel wirh some simple plaster and plaster cloth or cheese cloth. Start in the shallower end and move deeper.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

I'm not sure we're all on the same page here. My fault for not explaining clearly. I've drawn a few basic sketches of what I have in mind. If they aren't clear, I can try again at drawing them. Sorry, I'm no artist.

 

I think using plaster casts won't work. I want to be able to actually cut a window into the tunnel to see the trains wizzing through. This is sort of a learning project. In the future we want to make either a subway layout or a layout with a large subway component. So this is 'visible tunnels 101".

 

Also the tunnel structure will have to bear weight as we are planning to build our "City" right over it. So it would probably be better to make the tunnel as a positive carving out of foam. An alternative would be to make a 'negative' of the tunnel, build a box around it and make the 'positive' tunnel block by spraying in space filling foam. But that doesn't seem easier than carving a positive in three sections out of foam.

 

I'm willing to ditch the walkway for simplicity. Future iterations can include it.

 

Here's the general concept. C-shaped tunnel. Three sections, A, B, and C. Sections A and B. Have viewing windows. C has a lift-off roof.

 

QxRPplB.jpg

 

I5sZoIB.jpg

 

ffpJFLT.jpg

 

2WNXY9j.jpg

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gavino200
cteno4

gavin,

 

on the same page here thats exactly what i was envisioning. you can easily cut windows in where needed in a thin plaster cast. basically suggesting you just build something like a human cast, like 3-5mm thick. then for the structures above just create a foam framework to mount the tunnels in and support surrounding hillside and city above. city can just be on a board that can be taken off the tunnel layer. 

 

plaster cloth scenery is just a thin shell of plaster with gauze or cheese cloth to hold it together. it comes out very light and pretty resilient. you can use the newer fiberglass and resin casting tapes they use for modern arm casts as its very light and hard and less crumbly than plaster. inside can be smoothed out by a thin layer of drywall paste and sand to your desired  

 

since you wanted a very even and detailed tunnel interior this really probably needs to be done as a negative mould that you can easily work on the outside (convex) of rather than the inside (concave) of to get how you want. then having the thin cast chunks (could split them at the roof to make easer to work on detailing the interior) that you can work on getting the interior as detailed as you want.

 

then just build a frame work of foam, thin wood, plastic, etc (as needed) to hold the tunnels and lock it all together into a layer that can lift off. can be cut into sections to make it easier to pull off in parts. city layer can then rest on top of the tunnel layer. 

 

whatever way you want to attempt it i would first try a few tests carving tunnel out of foam. getting things clean and even on a whole 180 like that by carving it out of the foam is going to be a real challenge. the only way i could see would be to make a custom tunnel profile loop of stiff nichrome wire and make you own custom cutter. would need some power for the size needed and it being thicker wire to try to hold properly while cutting. then drag it very carefully on your 180 arc. but every little jag will show up in the carving and as i mentioned the melted surface can be a bit hard to smooth compared to the regular foam.

 

its not a simple project with a curved, curved tunnel to model and have detailed, so its going to take a few experiments to see what path would work the best for what you want and your hands (thats always a variable in this, different things work better/worse for different people and hard to know until you try some).

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

Thanks Jeff. Good to know we're on the same page. I agree this will take a lot of trial and error. I'm signed up for a long, frustrating and painful project. That's also why I'm doing the work on a layout replica. 

 

I've only ever cut plaster casts with an oscilating cast saw. The goal was only ever to get the things off. So I've never tried to do anything fine with them. I assumed you couldn't do fine work cutting plaster, but It seems I'm wrong about that. I have casting rolls at home so I can experiment with this. What kind of saw do you recommend? Remember I have an irrational fear of power saws. 

 

I think making the negative will be very difficult (but hopefully doable). Reusing a 45 degree segment would definitely be preferable if possible. I think the lightweight joint filling putty will be key.

 

I'm going to try this method, but I think I'll also maybe experiment with the stiff nitinol custom. I agree that doing it by hand would be near impossible. What I was thinking of would be to set up the arch held in place with a vice and to pass the foam through it fixed at a pivot located one tunnel radius away from the nitinol wire. 

 

I just looked up the Keyhole saw btw. Looks like a great tool. 

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4
6 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

yep thems it.

 

gluing foam has two general paths.

 

some use pva (white) glue and use some skewers and weights to hold the blocks in place while drying. since pva needs to evaporate the water to set up it can take a while to set up well as water cant escape into foam. other issue can be that pva layer can be a lot harder than the foam when you go to sculpt thru the layers and may require some patching up, but not horrible at all. ive heard folks use acrylic caulks as well, but i would think this might be not as strong and still have the water curing problem.

 

the other is the liquid nails works well as it does not attack the foam and it sets up pretty quickly with some weight applied. its also a bit softer (kind of like a hard caulking) to cut thru at interfaces, but still forms differently than the foam around it so it can need touch up at the seems.

 

the joint compound is like a very light plaster. its the stuff they smooth over the paper tape with at seams in your drywall. you can skim very thin layers to build up things slowly (actually better as with thicker layers it can crack while drying) and then sand them down easily. regular plaster is a lot tougher to sand! joint compound is also pretty lightweight. cheap at your local hardware store and easy to experiment on a piece of foam and applying it. you want a rough surface to apply to if possible so best to just not have it on the smooth sides of the foam, open it up some.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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inobu

I'm not sure its the right way to go with your layout. 'too many issues in trying to support it as the tunnel will be a recessed and half the width. '

Its like trying to display the inside of a mountain. I'll show you something. 

 

Inobu

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cteno4

gavin,

 

ahh great you have some cast polymer tape to play with. see what you can do with it. ive only used it once and it seemed superior to the regular plaster cloth you can buy. sure you cant sand it as well, but it seemed a lot stronger and flexed w/o cracking. ive wanted to experiment a lot more with it for doing scenery bits and hope to next year on the new JRM layout as its really lightweight. i just end up doing the carved foam as its quick and easy and ive not been doing big installed pieces where folks tend to use plaster cloth or mesh or paper strip technique. there are more than one way to skin the cat and again best to make sure it works best in your situation and with your hands!

 

inobu makes a great point and sort of what i was suggesting to test out by doing a simple cardboard mockup to see how the whole cutaway thing would look and feel and work thru the structural details (ie where you need to support half tunnels, etc). you can even wad up newspaper and tape down with masking tape to make hillsides etc. to get a better feel for it all visually. heck you can even go at it with a couple cans of spray paint to color it sort of how it would be. things that look great in your mind on models sometimes dont translate well to seeing it for real on the table in front of you. also just helps again think thru how to approach building it all as well before you are in the middle of doing the full thing!

 

it is a very big project and i think testing it out in cardboard, hot glue gun, newspaper and masking tape could be done in an evening and well worth the investment to determine if it really works for you and if it does the best way to proceed in making it so.

 

for saw to cut thin cast like this just use a cutting disc on a roto tool. will easily cut thru very and with some practice you can cut pretty straight and then cleanup with blade, file, and sandpaper. if you want super sharp edges glue on some styrene strips to the edges and fill in well to give perfect window frame edge

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Dremel-409-Cut-off-Wheels-thick/dp/B00004UDGX/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512788122&sr=8-3&keywords=dremel+cutting+disc

 

dirt cheap on ebay as well as mandrels. any roto tool will do and roto tool is one of the most handy tools to have around the layout for all sorts of little bits here and there. if you dont want to invest much you can grab them for like $15 or so on amazon.

 

jeff

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inobu

Trying to get the tunnel radius as it comes into the display ares will leave a lot of voids/solid rock. It ends up being like an ant farm. Hate to see you do all that work and it not what you want.

Here is a mock up to look at. 

Because the foam is 2" you will have to stack it a number of timed depending on the height.

 

large.gavino-2.jpg.b603a90324320d5591733

 

I'm not sure....

 

Inobu

 

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gavino200
5 minutes ago, inobu said:

Trying to get the tunnel radius as it comes into the display ares will leave a lot of voids/solid rock. It ends up being like an ant farm. Hate to see you do all that work and it not what you want.

Here is a mock up to look at. 

Because the foam is 2" you will have to stack it a number of timed depending on the height.

 

large.gavino-2.jpg.b603a90324320d5591733

 

I'm not sure....

 

Inobu

 

 

I agree. It's what you'd call "a long run for a short slide". 

 

It's really not ideal. It would be much better to do this on a straight section. Then we could also make underground platforms and a whole, perhaps two layered subway station. Unfortunately we didn't do any planning in advance. 

 

The reason for the tunnel is to create more space for some urban modelling. Also, I don't really like being able to see the trains do a complete C-turn. It looks horribly fake. 

 

So if we're going to make a tunnel, we have to have access to re-rail, remove trains that come off the tracks inside. And we both like tunnel interiors. The tunnel is sort of a viewing object in itself (that may sound strange). So we figured we'd make a detailed tunnel interior. 

 

I'm really not sure about it at all. That's why I'm planning on doing it on a replica. It'll be at very least as much of a learning project as making a T-trak.

 

The more I do on this layout, the more I realize how many short-sighted mistakes I've made. I fully expect that when I 'finish' it I'll take it down completely and start again. Maybe using the whole room.

 

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gavino200

Another idea would be much more drastic.

 

It would require quite a lot of rethinking the layout, but not necessarily much rewiring. 

 

These are my biggest regrets with the layout. 

1. I'd like to run more than two trains at a time.

2. I'd really love to have a subway.

3. I always wanted to have elevated tracks, but I've found the incline to be a curse. These trains just really aren't designed for hill climbing.

 

so.....

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inobu

lol,

 

Raise the town like you planned but the entry into the town is hypothetical. Meaning its inters from the left. The back side of the town will be on a cliff looking down into the yard. You can slop it with trees. Its hard to guage the size but I think you can pull it off. Pull the portal back to the line as it allow you to see the chicane out of the tunnel. You will be able to recover the corners as well. 

 

large.5a2b5b5a44ef1_2level.jpg.9d5f8bcff

 

Inobu

 

 

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gavino200

I've realized through making this thread that there are things about this layout that I'm very disappointed about. I've found myself sort of forming ideas about my 'next layout' more than being excited about this one. 

 

We've just had a little family conference, and I'm thinking of making some profound changes. My son is excited, and so am I. My wife is super supportive about this too.So I think I'll do it. 

 

He're what I'm thinking.

 

1. Get rid of the incline. Raise the entire main double track including the station. 

2. Put a double subway line at layout ground level. Raise the ground level at the front of the layout with foam so that the subway is underground at the front of the layout. Slope the "ground level" down to layout level at the middle of the board, so that the subway becomes an overground train at the back of the board. That brings us up to four trains running at once.

 

3. Install a helix at the corner of the L-Shaped part of the layout and create an 'under-table' yard at the far end of the room. 

4. Fit in a few trams or  monorail, or moving bus somewhere and you'd pretty much have my dream layout.

 

What do you guys think?

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gavino200

If I do this, I really need to learn how to use layout planning software. 

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inobu
27 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

I agree. It's what you'd call "a long run for a short slide". 

 

It's really not ideal. It would be much better to do this on a straight section. Then we could also make underground platforms and a whole, perhaps two layered subway station. Unfortunately we didn't do any planning in advance. 

 

The reason for the tunnel is to create more space for some urban modelling. Also, I don't really like being able to see the trains do a complete C-turn. It looks horribly fake. 

 

So if we're going to make a tunnel, we have to have access to re-rail, remove trains that come off the tracks inside. And we both like tunnel interiors. The tunnel is sort of a viewing object in itself (that may sound strange). So we figured we'd make a detailed tunnel interior. 

 

I'm really not sure about it at all. That's why I'm planning on doing it on a replica. It'll be at very least as much of a learning project as making a T-trak.

 

The more I do on this layout, the more I realize how many short-sighted mistakes I've made. I fully expect that when I 'finish' it I'll take it down completely and start again. Maybe using the whole room.

 

 

I recommend to everyone to build N-trak modules. Its the best way to do it.  This would be a good time to do a N-Trak module and replace that end. That way you are not wasting time and can recoup material as you cut it out. It you want to take it to a show you can. If you get tired of it you can sell the modules. In any case you guys have made very good progress.

 

Inobu 

 

 

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inobu
2 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

If I do this, I really need to learn how to use layout planning software. 

 

Get Anyrail its is the easiest. The trial allows you to place 50 pieces of track.

Inobu

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gavino200
3 minutes ago, inobu said:

 

Get Anyrail its is the easiest. The trial allows you to place 50 pieces of track.

Inobu

 

I tried out Anyrail before. It's good. My main issue with it was that as far as I remember it doesn't allow you to use flextrack or variable track to make slight alterations to the track geometry. 

 

However, that may not be so important to me anymore. I've learned that a simpler plan that's completely reliable is almost always superior.

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inobu
1 minute ago, gavino200 said:

 

I tried out Anyrail before. It's good. My main issue with it was that as far as I remember it doesn't allow you to use flextrack or variable track to make slight alterations to the track geometry. 

 

However, that may not be so important to me anymore. I've learned that a simpler plan that's completely reliable is almost always superior.

It has flex track but that should not matter because you are using Unitrack. A programs will help you to keep your track geometry in tact. If you maintain proper geometry the track remains true. I built an O scale layout that was 165 linear feet of Lionel Fastrack, 17 switches and ran with 1 feeder. Afterwards I install the other feeders and it ran with not problems. 

 

I have a lot of tool that the average person does not have but they are the tools that one needs to get the job done right.

 

I build it in Anyrail, print the center lines on a large format printer, lay the printout down and place the track over it. Anyrail gives you the track part number and it fits in the end.

That saves a lot of problems in the long run

Inobu

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gavino200
13 minutes ago, inobu said:

It has flex track but that should not matter because you are using Unitrack. A programs will help you to keep your track geometry in tact. If you maintain proper geometry the track remains true. I built an O scale layout that was 165 linear feet of Lionel Fastrack, 17 switches and ran with 1 feeder. Afterwards I install the other feeders and it ran with not problems. 

 

I have a lot of tool that the average person does not have but they are the tools that one needs to get the job done right.

 

I build it in Anyrail, print the center lines on a large format printer, lay the printout down and place the track over it. Anyrail gives you the track part number and it fits in the end.

That saves a lot of problems in the long run

Inobu

That's interesting. It makes sense. The rails are only going to conduct if they're completely square.

 

I can't tell you how much time I've spent trying to get tracks to meet naturally. I've lost a lot of sleep on account of wanting my station to run at a slight angle to the axis of the board. That's not to mention a lot of time fixing derailment issues. It really wasn't worth it. 

 

Have you any experience with helices? Under-table yards? What's your opinion of them?

 

 

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gavino200

I like how this looks. This should work as the two basic levels. Seems like it's deep enough for a subway line.

 

XGmVBAo.jpg

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Pauljag900

Hi gents,

everything you ve spoken about here is exactly what I ve experienced,including taking it apart and starting again,I ve just taken mine up for the fourth time and I m about to start version 5 ha ha.Its all a learning curve.For me and at this moment in time I need to re model it to make it easier to maintain so I ve gone back to basics.You ve no doubt seen my new plan on the thread,it’s just four double loops set at three diferent heights,no inclines and it’s crosses over in one place at the front.I tried all sorts of track plans using anyrail but with all of them there was a reason why it would nt work for me.I have to say that I ve been sort of forced into the changes this time,I ve had my knees replaced and at the moment I m waiting for a hip replacement operation and I m on crutches so beating in mind my age also,my mobility will be restricted slightly so I need to make sure I can more or less reach everything from the front of the boards.The square loop with a lift out panel at the front is my best option,well for me it is given my circumstances.

one thing I have learned tho,is that you can detract from the track plan somewhat by what’s on the board,a nice station,mountain in a corner and a lot of Trains running around and you tend to forget that it’s just going around in a circle.Of course,that’s only my view.

in relation to the subway train,

thats also something I ve considered,and still am,I drew a sketch somewhere and if I find it I ll post it up. Basically its a small oval of track that sits in a drawer all you see are two platforms and two tracks,along a straight with a tunnel at either end,I designed it with 3x248 straights I think,to run 2 x 3 car Trains.It will just slide in and out under the main layout and the drawer will have a smoked glass front and it will all be illuminated.It should be really easy to build the drawer and mount it under the main track using runners like those on kitchen drawer units.

for whatever reason we all wish we d done things differently and we ve all made mistakes,but do nt despair,it s no big deal to just undo and start again,in fact,that’s all part of the fun👍😀😀😀

 

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inobu
10 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

That's interesting. It makes sense. The rails are only going to conduct if they're completely square.

 

I can't tell you how much time I've spent trying to get tracks to meet naturally. I've lost a lot of sleep on account of wanting my station to run at a slight angle to the axis of the board. That's not to mention a lot of time fixing derailment issues. It really wasn't worth it. 

 

Have you any experience with helices? Under-table yards? What's your opinion of them?

 

 

Helix goes right back to geometry. This time its the run, rise and length of the train itself. The longer the train the wider the radius the bigger the helix. You need a lot of space for them.

Under table yard need a solid base, track and needs to be bullet proof. Even the switches needs to be in sync.

Its not so bad with other scales as you have space by default. With N Scale the ceiling needs to be low as to avoid grade issues. Remember 2% grade is rising 2 inches every 100 inches or 4'2".

You gain and lot of storage space but it takes a lot of effort to get it built right.

 

Inobu

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