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Gavino200's Layout phase II - Modeling

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gavino200
14 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

What grade did you use for the incline? Maybe using the add on set to halve the grade would help, although I agree the trains run best on level track.  I'm excited to see what you come up with, its been fun watching the layout progress!  

 

Thanks Kiha. Yes, I have the add-on set. Honestly it's not terrible. Many trains can handle it fine. I've added extra motor cars to some trains. Quite a few trains struggle a small amount. This isn't a huge deal but I find it sort of ruins the "Illusion". Some small engines just can't make it and are relegated to shunting. It's a minor problem that just bugs me a bit over time. But it does bug me enough that I'm certain that if I were to do it over, I would used a varied ground level illusion, rather than inclined/declined tracks. It's a pity because low foreground/ high background makes a nice effect. 

 

There will be lots more progress. I'm just beginning to really understand this stuff. 

Edited by gavino200

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inobu
10 hours ago, gavino200 said:

This is my first attempt at Anyrail. I'm going to split the overall train project into two parts. 

1. Keep working on the layout until I'm happy with it.

2. Start learning to model with T-trak. 

 

This is the current layout board. I'm seriously thinking about redoing or extending it.

 

zVV7T6m.jpg

 

Gavino,

 

Setup up Anyrail

 

Go to settings tab,

 

set Size to 12.   This means each block is 12".

Then set the Length and width to the exact length of your room.

This will give you the exact spacing for the gray area that represents your layout.

Now your tracks will lay to scale.

 

I'm not sure what your direction is but I would convert your layout to NTrak, Woodland Scenics Mod-U-Rail or seivers bench work. 

 

Go to Sievers first as its easier to follow.  Layout your room using their cutout system. The gray area is called the bench work. 

Then try woodland scenic and NTrak. Which ever bench work your use it will dictate the shape of the gray area. This will not change. 

Then you will layout your track withing that area or layout your track and create the bench work that outlines the rail.

 

http://www.ntrak.org/documents/Manual.pdf    pg 21

https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/category/ModURailSystem

https://www.sieversbenchwork.com/modulelayout.html

 

 

Inobu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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gavino200
3 minutes ago, inobu said:

 

Gavino,

 

Setup up Anyrail

 

Go to settings tab,

 

set Size to 12.   This means each block is 12".

Then set the Length and width to the exact length of your room.

This will give you the exact spacing for the gray area that represents your layout.

Now your tracks will lay to scale.

 

I'm not sure what your direction is but I would convert your layout to NTrak, Woodland Scenics Mod-U-Rail or seivers bench work. 

 

Go to Sievers first as its easier to follow.  Layout your room using their cutout system. The gray area is called the bench work. 

Then try woodland scenic and NTrak. Which ever bench work your use it will dictate the shape of the gray area. This will not change. 

Then you will layout your track withing that area or layout your track and create the bench work that outlines the rail.

 

http://www.ntrak.org/documents/Manual.pdf    pg 21

https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/category/ModURailSystem

https://www.sieversbenchwork.com/modulelayout.html

 

 

Inobu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great timing Inobu. I'm working on Anyrail right now. Thanks !!

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gavino200
31 minutes ago, inobu said:

 

Gavino,

 

Setup up Anyrail

 

Go to settings tab,

 

set Size to 12.   This means each block is 12".

Then set the Length and width to the exact length of your room.

This will give you the exact spacing for the gray area that represents your layout.

Now your tracks will lay to scale.

 

I'm not sure what your direction is but I would convert your layout to NTrak, Woodland Scenics Mod-U-Rail or seivers bench work. 

 

Go to Sievers first as its easier to follow.  Layout your room using their cutout system. The gray area is called the bench work. 

Then try woodland scenic and NTrak. Which ever bench work your use it will dictate the shape of the gray area. This will not change. 

Then you will layout your track withing that area or layout your track and create the bench work that outlines the rail.

 

http://www.ntrak.org/documents/Manual.pdf    pg 21

https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/category/ModURailSystem

https://www.sieversbenchwork.com/modulelayout.html

 

 

Inobu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's already a big help. One foot squares, and the layout is now in my trainroom. I still need to finetune the dimensions and find out how to drag it to the far left corner of the room.

 

Not sure what you mean by the following "I'm not sure what your direction is but I would convert your layout to NTrak, Woodland Scenics Mod-U-Rail or seivers bench work."

 

But I'm working on it anyway. 

 

bwyyj9K.png

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

Ok, I get it. Wow! That's amazing!

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inobu

I'm not sure which direction you are going meaning your plans. complete tear down or partial rework or modify. This goes back to our conversation of expecting to build it twice.

 

Focus on the bench work for now. I've used the Sievers and its saves time on the prebuild. You will either pay in time or money. 

 

Print out their PDF template and use it to create the bench work. I believe their templates are 3/4"=1 foot.

Using your Anyrail image. You will need to draw out grid making each block 3/4". Then use the template to create the gray area representing your bench work. 

 

From there you can create a material list and price it.

Its a good exercise that will give you a lot of insight.

 

Inobu

 

 

 

 

 

 

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gavino200

Thanks Inobu! You rock!

 

I'm not sure either about the direction. I'm sort of at a crossroads. But I'll let you know.

 

At very least the near end module and the corner need to be replaced or modified. Those were poorly calculated. The width of the two joining bridge sections was chosen so that the little guy could stand on a chair and reach the far track if he leans one hand on the board. But they're painfully narrow. It's fine for play, but for modeling it's highly suboptimal. 

 

I'm loving Anyrail so far. 

 

uBTdunJ.png

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4

Gavin, 

 

smart to always think access. One help can be to have some lift off scenery sections like you were talking about with the city and tunnel. Do the main work on the table with full access and then plunk on the layout. There is the tradeoff in size with these as bigger ones need heavier bases and engineering and harder to lift on and off. Smaller ones of course can mean more seams to deal with. Even short sections of hill side and such can be made off the layout then set in place and faired in either permanently or loosely.

 

keep fiddling. You can quickly mock up sections with the track you have and use some craft paper or cardboard on the floor to layout proposed bench shapes and sizes. Good to go back and forth from software to real track.

 

i don’t think your thin sections are an issue in too small a space so long as you don’t pile it full of too much track. Again layouts are all about tradeoffs. 2’ deep can do a very nice scene and actually lets you focus it more. Deeper scenes can be harder to focus attention and give a nice visual path thru the layout. Deep scenes can be great, just a lot more challenging to make them work well and harder to work on.

 

having lots of train storage on the layout can be a real challenge as it takes up space quickly. On the JRM layouts we have tried to keep it to sidings and passing sidings so we can swap out a few trains then the big yard off layout. This helps the two from mashing each other as good storage yards take up a lot of space and layouts usually cramp yards built within layout and take up a lot of scenery room. Noodle on the helix idea and some form of underlayout storage if you want to have a lot of trains that are on the tracks at all times.

 

one concept can be to just have a single track on a stick like a meter long that can hold a 6-8 car train. These can be put on a rack on the wall and individual ones the placed onto a slot on the edge of the layout to run trains on and off of them. It’s a little tricky innthe move but I experimented with it and it was not all that hairy. The upside is very little room needed and uber simple construction. Down side is don’t drop the train! I have been meaning to play with some system to put a half shell over the stick to contain the train better during transfer for safety. Can’t go completely around if you want wall rack storage/case, but halfway may be enough.

 

one last thought is thinking sectional on your layout. Basically take the layout you come up with and break it into 3-4’ sections. Then build it so it can break it apart at the joints to get better access when needed. Sections ans rest on legs, wall mounted racks, or rollaround shelving or cabinets for ease of moving around. Have the layout sections not attached to the supports so you can tip them up to work on wiring and such under the layout. Your J design could do this well. Of course there will be the joints to cover up but you can get cleaver with scenery to help with this. If the scene is good also folks don’t even notice the joints. Folks miss them all time on the JRM layout asking how we got it in there! The big upside is if you ever move the layout can be moved as well and not have to be torn out. Murphre’s Law of layouts is if you build a built in layout you will move!

 

anyhow just ideas to knoodle on for you. Take your time, you have something functional you are enjoying and you have things you can add to it and experiment with that can go into layout 2.0 so all good investments.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

Thanks Jeff. I did a fair bit of thinking last night on this, while running my Eva and Maranouchi, both of which take the incline perfectly. I really do enjoy this layout, and honestly, it's probably better than I deserve to have - you know, kids out there with zero toys etc. 

 

Also, I've been looking at a lot of inspirational layouts lately for ideas. That's a double edged sword. My ideas are way ahead of my skill level. It's easy to get obsessive wanting ever cooler N-scale stuff. but hopefully I have many years to do this.

 

I think I'll probably rebuild. But I have a lot to learn from this layout before I do - even if it doesn't look quite right. I'm going to work on planning a 2.0 and think it through for maybe a year. Anyrail is big help. And yes I want to think more modular. My bench work is modular but the foamboard and layout isn't. I figured I would just cut the foam if I had to move. I didn't think about taking out modules to work on.

 

In the meantime, I'm going to try things out on this layout. I'm going to actually do the nutty visible C-shaped tunnel. I have a feeling it will look dumb and I won't use it. But it'll work great as a class in "foam sculpting 101".

 

I may also, later experiment with elevating the mainline. I did some of that last night on Anyrail, and remembered the horrors of Kato double viaduct limitatons. So I'd want to source some non super-elevated viaduct first and I'd keen the station section as is, just elevated on foam. 

 

In any case, I'm plodding on with the tunnel project, on the replica layout, mainly as a learning exercise. Who knows, I might even like the result.

 

Practice board set up in my workroom.

 

546MGB3.jpg

 

Btw I found our very first two layouts while looking for the folding table.

 

bMFGrHN.jpg

 

 

Edited by gavino200

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Pauljag900

Over the last five years I ve used various materials for base boards.I think I ve found a combination that I m going to use on. The new layout.It s what I ve used on the tram layout,layered 25mm thick sheets of polystyrene,5mm thick foam board then 5mm thick laminate floor foam underlay.I found it strong and easy to work with and it’s extremely light,it s also unaffected by the change in temperature in the shed,so for me it’s perfect. I m going to mock a piece up this week and leave it in the shed and see what happens over the coming weeks.using two pieces of polystyrene,one layer each of the card and foam underlay is the exact same height as the track support piers.

the only down side is the foamcard bends when it gats wet with paint or glue so I’ll be using double sided tape to fix them together.

i ll post a pick once it’s done.

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gavino200
1 hour ago, Pauljag900 said:

Over the last five years I ve used various materials for base boards.I think I ve found a combination that I m going to use on. The new layout.It s what I ve used on the tram layout,layered 25mm thick sheets of polystyrene,5mm thick foam board then 5mm thick laminate floor foam underlay.I found it strong and easy to work with and it’s extremely light,it s also unaffected by the change in temperature in the shed,so for me it’s perfect. I m going to mock a piece up this week and leave it in the shed and see what happens over the coming weeks.using two pieces of polystyrene,one layer each of the card and foam underlay is the exact same height as the track support piers.

the only down side is the foamcard bends when it gats wet with paint or glue so I’ll be using double sided tape to fix them together.

i ll post a pick once it’s done.

 

Paul, that's at least one thing I don't have to worry about. I've done my time in the shed. As a kid, I had my OO gauge outside. I still remember the smell of the oil furnace while I played. This time round it's all strictly indoor. The room is technically in the basement. But it's a fully finished room, and we installed heated tiles when we moved in. It also doubles as an exercise room, a music room (I play my trumpet there so it doesn't bother everyone) and a reading room (nice and quiet down there). I strongly recommend you bring the trains inside. You won't regret it.

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

I had my first go at foam shaping.  I made a 12 inch segment of straight tunnel as an experiment by carving the tunnel directly into foam. It went ok, but I don't think that method will work for curved segments.

 

Here's what I did.

 

1. Two layers of 2 inch foam glued together with gripper paint

2. Tunnel cross section traced on each end, and jointed to make the tunnel footprint.

3. Hobby knife used to cut out most of the interior in small cubes.

4. Hobby knife used to cut the exact outline of the tunnel at both tunnel mouths.

 

That's where it starts to get difficult. Cutting the tunnel becomes difficult after a few centimeters. Once you get passed the blade, the handle gets in the way and you can't make a cut parallel to the desired tunnel wall. 

Also, this approach requires, being able to look down the tunnel which is only possible with a short straight tunnel. 

 

The rest of the excavation was basically done by rasping and using sandpaper. I used a thick card cutout of the tunnel cross section to gauge the shape. I deliberately over-sanded so as to then finish with joint filler compound. 

 

The goal was to line the tunnel with joint compound and then use the cross-section cutout to do some final shaping. The joint compound was quite a bit gooier than I expected. The result was fairly good, but it would need a few more rounds of sanding, and adding compound. 

 

The result is ok, but not great. With a fair bit of effort I can probably make a short segment of straight tunnel this way, good enough to start experiment with interior detailing techniques for the tunnel. But trying to to the  entire curved tunnel this way may not be ideal.

 

I can see the potential advantages of sculpting a negative of the tunnel interior, as suggested by Jeff. I think it would also be better to use a filler that's more viscous than the drywall filler.

 

Sculpting with foam is actually quite fun, and in some ways easier than I expected. 

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

I made a second attempt. This time a little closer to success. I'm starting to understand the foam more. I was able to do this one without looking down the tunnel for guidance. But it was still too difficult to use on a curved tunnel. I'm hoping that with a few rounds of filler and sanding I can use this one to try out the idea and see if I even like how an open tunnel looks.

 

My next attempt will be to carve and cast a negative on a short straight segment. 

 

yPlixey.jpg\

 

q6NrKAO.jpg

 

PZ1UKOc.jpg

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

nice job! Yeah straight is very doable in the positive, it’s the curved that will be hard to do on the concave surface.

 

with the mould you should be able to cut your curve pretty easily and then round to shape. Make your template halves you can keep checking the tunnel profile on as you round. Rounding the tunnel profile should be much easier on the negative. I think you would only need a 45 degree negative section and then just replicate as needed.

 

that woodland scenic foam fill looked perfect to fill in until you get the shape just perfect then skin it with something harder and smooth.

 

i was thinking that the 0.5mm pin tape might work on the negative mould to give you seam lines. Would need to seal them on with some clear coat or paint. Would be like 3” scale, but large but may need to be to be visible. Again that’s going to need some fiddling to see what works for this. Might work well if you split your 45 sections in half at the top of the roof to paint and detail interior easily and maybe even draw in your wall section/form lines with a fine gray pen off from the cement grey of the tunnel. Flexible piece of plastic could form to tunnel to do the vertical lines, but not sure how to get horizontal well, maybe with a profile jig holding the pen at a set height in the tunnel as you ran it along but it may not be so straight. Thin printed decals might also work but be tough to apply on the concave surface.

 

keep experimenting!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
6 hours ago, cteno4 said:

 

i was thinking that the 0.5mm pin tape might work on the negative mould to give you seam lines.

 

That sounds useful. Do you know of a manufacturer?

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cteno4

Oooh good find todd, I’ve not seen much anymore under about 0.6mm! Amiami and hlj bot cherry it and HS has a 0.3mm masking tape as well

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10460325

 

And also a 0.4mm

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10021949

 

btw if you want little dispensers/tape holders these are great as trying to hold these tiny rolls can be hard while applying. I use these on the 0.5-2mm Nail tapes and they work great.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fashion-Nail-Art-Striping-Tape-Line-CASE-Tool-Sticker-BOX-Holder-Easy-Use-Design/272610874312?hash=item3f78dfd3c8:g:EUIAAOSww3tY3HXf

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/5x-Nail-Art-Striping-Tape-Line-Case-Tool-Sticker-Box-Holder-Easy-Use-Design-EPS/351641340205?hash=item51df75092d:g:fS0AAOSwI-BWMyTQ

 

cheers

 

jeff

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railsquid

In case it's of any interest, the below video appears to have an arched, curved tunnel (albeit single-track) from about 0:42

 

 

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gavino200
2 hours ago, railsquid said:

In case it's of any interest, the below video appears to have an arched, curved tunnel (albeit single-track) from about 0:42

 

 

 

That's great Squid. Thanks a bunch. It looks like this guy's strategy was to use multiple very short segments stuck together. It makes sense as short segments are much easier to carve. It's an option if other techniques don't work. 

 

That guy did a nice job of lighting his station platforms too.

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inobu

The hot wire is better. Cutting them in sections is easier. Once glues together you can hot wire the shape of the mountain.

 

medium.gallery_153_52_100663.jpg.be5b13c

 

Inobu

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kvp

Also there is the thin wall techique, where the tunnel entries are done conventionally, but the inner surface is just a thin piece of foam, cardboard or plastic sheet bent to the right shape and held together by standing cross beams with tunnel shaped cutouts. Then everything is glued together and the inner surface finished with putty and paint. The resulting tunnel is very light and the mountain is mostly empty. These cross beams could be foam, wood or thick cardboard and the construction method is to put the beams down, mark the track centerline on them from the plan or the actual fixed down track, then align the cutting template based on the centerline. Trace it and then cut out. Once the beams are in place and form a rigid frame, you can add the tunnel liner (also available as a ready made rock sheet).

 

ps: so far i've used the small sections foam method once (for ttrak, with faller concrete textured gap filler paint) and a ready made cardboard tunnel liner ages ago (for TT scale when i was a kid)

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cteno4

Still the big issue is gavin wanting a 180 degree curved section of tunnel with the curved cross section. This is where it gets really tough. Detailing the inside of the curved piece of curved cross section tunnel is also a challange. For straight sections it’s easy as a rough shape in foam could easily be skinned with a nice printout on card stock that has the tunnel form line details printed in nicely and even small conduit details and stuff that would be minuscule at scale in 3D. This might be done with the small sections for curved track but then you don’t get that nice smooth curve to the tunnel and you have to figure out the complex joint line on each section printout.

 

since Gavin has expressed a strong desire to really have the interior nightly realistic and just right with the cross section and track curve I still think casting is the way to go.. this allows him to get the curves in a shorter section just right on a negative that so much easier to carve than in a mostly convex positive. Also allows easily splitting each section it into two halves at the top to micro detail the insides and easily add lighting they the walls and wiring on the outside. This all can be mated and then a frame done onver the tunnel for scenery shell. This would allow the scenery shell to come off and have access to the tunnel walls for any maintaince or additions to it and it can also lift off for access to the track. Also easy to cut in a window later for external viewing this way.

 

i don’t see a reasonable way to first carve the curved profile tunnel thru a 180 arc of foam. Then all finishing and detailing of the tunnel interior has to be done thru the track slot in the bottom on all concave surfaces (if you have ever finished or refinished furniture you know how much easier it is to work on convex vs concave surfaces). Lighting and wiring is going to be a challenge to then route out thru the tunnel walls and thru the foam and once scenery is on top all this stuff will be sealed up with no access.

 

jeff

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gavino200
2 hours ago, inobu said:

The hot wire is better. Cutting them in sections is easier. Once glues together you can hot wire the shape of the mountain.

 

medium.gallery_153_52_100663.jpg.be5b13c

 

Inobu

 

I agree. This is clearly a good way to make a straight curved tunnel. Do you have any ideas about adapting this to make a curved round tunnel?

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gavino200
1 hour ago, kvp said:

Also there is the thin wall techique, where the tunnel entries are done conventionally, but the inner surface is just a thin piece of foam, cardboard or plastic sheet bent to the right shape and held together by standing cross beams with tunnel shaped cutouts. Then everything is glued together and the inner surface finished with putty and paint. The resulting tunnel is very light and the mountain is mostly empty. These cross beams could be foam, wood or thick cardboard and the construction method is to put the beams down, mark the track centerline on them from the plan or the actual fixed down track, then align the cutting template based on the centerline. Trace it and then cut out. Once the beams are in place and form a rigid frame, you can add the tunnel liner (also available as a ready made rock sheet).

 

ps: so far i've used the small sections foam method once (for ttrak, with faller concrete textured gap filler paint) and a ready made cardboard tunnel liner ages ago (for TT scale when i was a kid)

 

Thanks for your ideas. With respect to "....cardboard or plastic sheet bent to the right shape a....." this part still remains easier said than done. I'd love to hear your ideas about the process though.

 

I've thought of the "empty mountain" method. It's still a possibility. In fact, unless I misunderstand him (I probably do) Jeffs, cast method is a  variation of this. It's not my first preference because I want the structure to be as solid as possible. It's not a mountain at the back of the layout. It's right at the front and I plan on building on top of it. 

 

I've thought of using self expanding foam to convert a "Hollow mountain" into a solid mountain. However, I haven't researched these materials yet. I'm definitely not going to use "great stuff" or anything like. But it's an option if I can find a good product.

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

Still the big issue is gavin wanting a 180 degree curved section of tunnel with the curved cross section. This is where it gets really tough. Detailing the inside of the curved piece of curved cross section tunnel is also a challange. For straight sections it’s easy as a rough shape in foam could easily be skinned with a nice printout on card stock that has the tunnel form line details printed in nicely and even small conduit details and stuff that would be minuscule at scale in 3D. This might be done with the small sections for curved track but then you don’t get that nice smooth curve to the tunnel and you have to figure out the complex joint line on each section printout.

 

since Gavin has expressed a strong desire to really have the interior nightly realistic and just right with the cross section and track curve I still think casting is the way to go.. this allows him to get the curves in a shorter section just right on a negative that so much easier to carve than in a mostly convex positive. Also allows easily splitting each section it into two halves at the top to micro detail the insides and easily add lighting they the walls and wiring on the outside. This all can be mated and then a frame done onver the tunnel for scenery shell. This would allow the scenery shell to come off and have access to the tunnel walls for any maintaince or additions to it and it can also lift off for access to the track. Also easy to cut in a window later for external viewing this way.

 

i don’t see a reasonable way to first carve the curved profile tunnel thru a 180 arc of foam. Then all finishing and detailing of the tunnel interior has to be done thru the track slot in the bottom on all concave surfaces (if you have ever finished or refinished furniture you know how much easier it is to work on convex vs concave surfaces). Lighting and wiring is going to be a challenge to then route out thru the tunnel walls and thru the foam and once scenery is on top all this stuff will be sealed up with no access.

 

jeff

 

I wish I knew how to break your "quote block" up so I could address some issues separately. I've seen people do that here, but I don't know the "code" or method for it. 

 

A few points. 

 

Yes, I want a curved round tunnel that is a little bit more than 180 degrees. I want it to be as smooth as possible.

The straight segments above were only made for practice, and to provide a structure to start working on modelling techniques with. 

 

Regarding this comment "i don’t see a reasonable way to first carve the curved profile tunnel thru a 180 arc of foam. "

 

I also don't see a good method to carve a reasonable curved tunnel. But an alternative is to "overcarve" a tunnel that is larger than the desired final model. Then use filler or Woodland Scenics foam stuff to shape an accurate tunnel. An advantage is the almost fixed radius of the tunnel curve. I can make a cardstock cross section of the tunnel, then connect this with a card/wood arm to the center point of the circle. It would then move like the hand of a clock, or a compass to shape the tunnel interior.

 

With regard to the interior detailing. I agree this would be extremely difficult. But that's not a deal breaker. I'm accustomed to doing intricate work in tight spaces for long periods of time. Having the tunnel split in two at the ceiling vault is an attractive idea. But not necessarily a deal-breaker if I can't do it.

 

What do you think about the idea of making a cast of the tunnel negative. Then boxing around it. Then using self expanding foam to make the positive. 

 

I'd also probably cut the tunnel into 3 modules, even if I could carve/cast it in one. I'd try to make it so a foamboard would lie on top, on which actual city modeling would be don. So It would be possible to disassemble if needed.

 

For lighting I plan on tunneling in trough the foam to make access for the light guides. Yes, it would be a PITA but it's not the toughest part of this enterprise.

 

I have another idea about texturing the tunnel that I'll add later. I'm off to go sledding now for a bit. 

 

 

Edited by gavino200

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