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Sheffie

Spring Story

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Kiha66

Nice work, that combined freight and passenger platform looks great Tim!

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Sheffie

Building a tunnel presents some unique problems, if it is going to look good. The portals have to match the track up with the terrain in a very exacting degree. The vision is a natural looking hillside with tunnels placed where the track naturally intersects the terrain—almost the exact opposite of what is actually happening. 

 

Anyway, I realize that I have no chance of getting this right first time, so I’ve built a prototype. 

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Immediately I can see that my first estimate didn’t allow room for the portal model on the inner curve (the cardboard is touching the track), and there really isn’t a lot of space for a gentle slope down to “ground level”. The solution to both issues is to (literally) cut back the tunnel. 

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The other end looks better, although I realize that this design isn’t very tolerant of errors in the height of the roof. Too low and the portal won’t fit; too high and it will leave a gap. I suspect the solution will be shrubbery. 

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Kiha66

Ground foam hides all sins!  That said, its looking like a good start, and you should be able to easily play around with it till you get a look you like.

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Sheffie

Prototype version two has staggered tunnel entrances, because the essence of this layout is that the inner and outer loops are different. 

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The outer loop’s entrance is slightly higher. 

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I’ve started work on the landscaping between that portal and the bridge. 

 

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checking clearance before committing to position—there is an R249 curve inside the tunnel 

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cteno4

Nice prototyping! Make sure to make the hill removable or an access panel to get at any derailments in the hidden areas and clean the track.

 

Cheers

 

jeff

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Sheffie
9 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Nice prototyping! Make sure to make the hill removable or an access panel to get at any derailments in the hidden areas and clean the track.

 

Cheers

 

jeff

Thanks. Yes, that’s good advice. The flat roof is half way removable right now. I’m transitioning to a state where the walls will be attached to the layout and integrated with the landscaping, and the roof will be an oak plywood panel that’s completely separate. That panel will then have additional cardboard contours on top, with trees, grass, and buildings—all of which can be worked on away from the main layout. 

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railsquid
9 hours ago, Sheffie said:

0E75C1D4-7626-4837-8046-6CFD89BF480A.thumb.jpeg.c71f13c3b846d2825e2f45dee2de498b.jpeg

checking clearance before committing to position—there is an R249 curve inside the tunnel 

 

Check clearance with any raised pantographs you may be running your trains with, and don't hesitate to raise the tunnel mouth up slightly so the bottom is level with the sleepers, rather than the base of the track.

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Sheffie

Pantograph checks are done. 

I’ve raised each portal by slightly less than the height of the track bed. 

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Now I’m concentrating on getting the landscaping and portal pieces to fit together nicely. I’ve done one of the four entrances.7F3BB550-3226-4163-9401-45E492BECA8A.thumb.jpeg.b3cbcf69f155b0b1495223df1c3e7e50.jpeg

 

This is going to look a lot better with ballast. A5B6D2C6-6223-41E2-A068-CC011ABBB090.thumb.jpeg.b0bca68fead1de5d290593803aaef1ea.jpeg

And bushes and trees of course. But it already looks rather nice. (The photos don’t really give much sense of the shape of the land.)

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Kiha66

Nice work Tim!  The offset tunnel portals really do make the scene look much more interesting and visually separate the lines.

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Sheffie

Alright. One and a half portals done. Foundation ballast laid where possible (including just inside the entrances). I have a good feeling about this. 

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Sheffie

More ballast laid, and more experiments with bushes

 

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RogerK

Sheffie,

 

Since you use cloth as your primary ground cover, you might find the techniques in these two videos useful for a more realistic appearance. They involve the use of quilting batting material over foam to create mountains. The batting material is then liberally covered in paint and the various grass materials are sprinkled on while the paint is still wet.

 

 

 

Roger

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Sheffie

With the arrival of tunnel portals and buffers, I now have everything I need to complete the landscaping work. 

 

I’ve cut and sanded a sheet of quarter-inch (6mm) oak plywood to form the roof of the tunnel and base of the hilltop. This allows me to finish modeling the surroundings with confidence that everything will fit. 

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So I’ve built up the second portal and my central hill, and added ballast foundation and plenty of glue. 

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My freight trains have been finding it hard to stay out of the way. Here, they are helping to highlight some of the height differences. 

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Sheffie

I’ve relocated the goods warehouse to the southwestern corner. Here it is with its own access road, plus the newly finished tunnel entrances behind it. 

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chadbag

This is giving me ideas.  Thanks!   I think I will use layers of blue or pink foam cut out but your experiences are very interesting and helpful for all of us contemplating similar terrain.

 

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Sheffie

Finished the southeastern corner landscaping today with a hill, ballast and bushes. 

 

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The directional lighting really shows up the problematic folds in the fabric. I’m hoping I can control those with some carefully placed trees. 

 

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Sheffie

Just the hilltop and shrine remains. 

 

Im going in! Wish me luck. 

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Sheffie

So far, so good. 98% success. Just didn’t attach the roof support beams under the eaves of the main building because life’s too short for that. And I wish they hadn’t built the shrine in two pieces that clip together with boomerang boobytrap clips, but what can you do?

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Martijn Meerts

Looks really good, but it's definitely a shame they did it in multiple parts, since it is fairly obvious

 

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Sheffie

Track repairs!

Step one, use flat head screwdriver to dig up the ballast/glue 

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2. Clean up using tiny dustpan and brush 

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3. Insert shim under track

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Sheffie

Testing...

 

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Sheffie

Finishing 

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cteno4

When the elevation changes happen at a track joint you get the worst results. Best if you can make the change happen in the middle of a longer section of track and then put a long slow vertical bend in the Unitrak. You can also use a razor saw or make slices thru the shoulders of the roadbed from the bottom every quarter inch or so to make it easier.

 

jeff

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Sheffie
Posted (edited)

This is the basic hilltop: an oak ply base with multiple layers of corrugated cardboard providing gentle contours. The path to the shrine is a channel cut in the cardboard and filled in with the light ballast. I’m using a piece of cardboard to keep the ballast from falling off the edge, just until the glue dries. 0CF70344-7CCA-4FF0-88B5-903FDE0983F2.thumb.jpeg.ae33975adc9826f7034b82b52c4ac036.jpeg

Edited by Sheffie
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Sheffie

How to support a background in a layout that’s non-permanent and has restricted clearance at the back?

 

 I bought a length of aluminium strip, 8 feet long, 1.5 inches wide, and 1/16” (~1.5mm) thick. Cut this into six equal lengths. Bend each one 90 degrees within an inch of its end. Then slide the long end underneath the layout so that the short end sticks up, about a quarter inch back from the edge of the layout. 

 

The backdrop boards can then sit with each end resting on one of those strips. Nothing needs to be permanently attached to anything and nothing needs to be drilled or screwed or cut. 2801E214-C94F-41EE-A576-10E3189F09C2.thumb.jpeg.a67b10bdd8131df691effcd6dffc9d0e.jpeg

There’s probably a smarter solution out there, but I’m happy enough with this one 

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