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rankodd

RankoDD

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rankodd

Hi, all!

 

I'm planning on attending the Sept 2011 Train show here in Edmonton with a set of 4 double width T-Track modules, based around a Kato Viaduct station, and possible including a Tomix TCS-run tram track and Tomytec Bus sytem.

 

So far I have a general plan, and a huge pile of pieces in boxes, a tight deadline, and a need to clear out my workspace before I begin. And, oh yeah... this is my first layout :P

 

Going to be an interesting couple of months.

 

*Edit*

And, a pending Postal Strike in Canada that'll limit my ability to get hold of the bits I don't already have, like my Ion generators for building the static grass applicator, and the TCS controller itself, which is en route vial SAL, but won't arrive until well after the strike begins. :(

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David

Keep in mind that the party doesn't start until July, and there is a limit to how long a strike would be allowed to affect mail - the last time it was 2 weeks before parliament put them back to work.

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bill937ca

The strike is starting midnight tomorrow.

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Martijn Meerts

No worries.. Plenty time to do something ;)

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rankodd

Well, so much for them being put back to work. The rotating strikes were costing Canada Post too much money, so the union has been locked out. Track for my project hit customs today, and likely won't get any farther...

 

I did order it EMS, and that used to come via Purolator, which isn't affected by the strike, but I think I've received all of my recent EMS packages via Canada Post. I'll keep my fingers crossed...

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rankodd

With my track stuck in Canada Post Limbo, and likely to end up back in Japan I had to go for plan B - pairs of single viaduct. I didn't have enough on hand so I voluntarily got ripped off buying from the only local source I know of - a little hole in the wall called Roundhouse sales. The only 124mm viaduct he had was kato's original model - the track has a lighter coloured, more uniform ballast and dark gray joiners. Fortunately I can replace the track with regular 124mm pieces easily enough.

 

Photo's are the first spacing mockup of my 3 modules (1 quad, 2 double). I don't yet know if I'll submit the whole set as my entry for the party.

 

*EDIT*

Replaced photos with web-friendlier versions

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disturbman

Sorry but, they are so large that they are unviewable. :( I mean, 3900 by 2600 pixels won't fit on most screens, not in this configuration. Would be nice if you could repost them with something nearer too a width of 1500 or 1000 pixels. A resizing with your favorite picture editor doesn't take more than a few seconds. Thanks.

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Hobby Dreamer
they are so large that they are unviewable

 

Try "right clicking" and open the image into a new tab.. The image should fit your screen and then when you click the image it zooms in but is easier to navigate..

 

(This works for my set-up)

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disturbman

Right! I hadn't thought this would work...  :grin

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rankodd

Sorry about that. My camera goes from "stupidly large" to merely "unreasonably large", which is why I didn't bother changing the settings. I figured out the batch processor in XnView, so I'll make sure to scale down all future postings.

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disturbman

For sure, it's way better like that. Thanks! :) But Hobby Dreamer's solution was also working.

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rankodd

Gearing up Arc I:

 

Lots of work going into getting ready for this, and I'm taking pics as I go.

 

1) Theoretically, there's going to be a lot of painting to get through for this project, and I was increasingly convinced that an airbrush was they way to go. I have a basic Testors kit (aztek 270 and little compressor) and an aztek 430 dual action, but no compressor to run it. I ended up picking up a Paasche intermediate kit (VL-100D), which has a VL dual action airbrush and a regulated compressor, as well as other sundry bits.  Now, I've never, ever actually used an airbrush before, so it'll be a learning experience.

 

2) Spend the weekend building a spray booth for it. It's cardboard because I just need something to start with. I may redo it in a more permanent medium later when I have a better idea what I'm doing. It is, however, got built in illumiation - a top mounted florescent shining through a plastic window.

 

3) I used a 2 stage filter - cheap spray guard, and expensive particulate catcher.

 

4) I was mostly worried about the airflow. It has 2 120mm AC fans left over from my early overclocking working about 15 years ago. They move a LOT of air, but once you stick a couple layers of filtering and a 90 degree corner it's another story. I ended up ducting them with the more powerful one at the filter, and the other one firing up in a Push-Pull config.

 

5) If that blue's any indication, the fans seem to be working.

 

6) Got my "Shop" - really a converted storeroom - cleaned up and ready to go for this project. Fitting, as I set it up for train stuff in the first place, but haven't started anything in the year since I did it.

 

7) Playing with the airbrush is great - it works quite well, and seems easier to used than expected. I'm probably kidding myself, but time will tell :) Please ignore the non train related prototype. I pulled out an ancient kit I had laying around to test on - I had intended to start right in on my greenmax, but chickened out at the last moment.

 

8) And finally, I found I need a couple of more things. First - an airbrush stand is absolutely vital, so I blew another hour screwing bits of wood to bodge one together. Second, I need some "aligator clips on a bit of wire" to hold the sprues. I've got the clips, but I'm going to have to head out tomorrow to grab some wire to solder them to.

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KenS

Cool paint booth.  But check the plastic and duct tape to make sure the solvent for the paint won't disolve it, and I'd recommend covering all the interior cardboard surfaces with something (aluminum foil maybe) to keep it from absorbing, and re-emitting later, solvent fumes.

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rankodd

Cool paint booth.  But check the plastic and duct tape to make sure the solvent for the paint won't disolve it, and I'd recommend covering all the interior cardboard surfaces with something (aluminum foil maybe) to keep it from absorbing, and re-emitting later, solvent fumes.

 

Not really using solvents - this booth is good for acrylics only for 2 reasons.

 

1) I'm not using explosion proof motors, so nothing flammable can be shot

 

2) It's not vented to the exterior (yet)

 

All of my paints are low end acrylics, and I'll coating them with a matte finish spray from a rattle-can elsewhere.

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rankodd

Gearing up Arc II:

 

1) I got hold of some 14/3 household electrical wire yesterday and soldered alligator clips on the end, and with a little help from my new drill press I have a base. The wire is a little long, but it's easy enough to trim down to size.

 

2) While I was writing this post, my long delayed package of track arrived from Rainbowten!~~ I've now got my Kato double viaduct! Can't wait to start into it :)

 

3) For those wondering what a big stack of Tomix finetrack is doing in a post about a Kato-based T-Trak module, I intend to try and put a tram line in. I may not have time, space, or skill to do it, though - there's more than 3m of track in that pile and I've got my hands pretty full right now.

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Martijn Meerts

With all the stuff in those pictures you could build an entire layout just about ;)

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rankodd

A very long, skinny layout, maybe :) I should take pictures of my crates of tomix, kato, and greenmax kits. :)

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rankodd

Gearing Up Arc III:

 

Unfortunately, still just working on tools. Here's a preview of the bits I'm sticking together today. I wonder what all of this will make?

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rankodd

Gearing Up Arc IIIa:

 

Great Success!

 

Didn't think I'd finish this before I left for work.

 

Static grass applicators are kind of creepy. Common sense physics tell you that the stuff shouldn't act like that...

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cteno4

Static grass applicators are kind of creepy. Common sense physics tell you that the stuff shouldn't act like that...

 

But it is common sense physics!

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rankodd

Static grass applicators are kind of creepy. Common sense physics tell you that the stuff shouldn't act like that...

 

But it is common sense physics!

 

I'm talking the kind of common sense physics that don't involve 15kv Ion Generators :)

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rankodd

I have to say, this static grass is probably my new favourite toy. It's one of the few things I've come across in this hobby that is easy and utterly amazing at the same time.

 

Of course, it's only easy if you've got $200 for an applicator, or access to esoteric electronic parts and a soldering station, but still...

 

In other news, I spent the day buying presents for my new airbrush setup, and trying to figure out if I have to drop a fortune on paint. The cheap acrylics I have looked like they were going to be a complete waste of space to start. However, with the help of the interwebs I seem to have things working at a (barely) acceptable level - information on mixing ratios and a recipe for a reducer have come to my rescue.

 

I had thought that importing little plastic bits from Japan was going to be the expensive part of the hobby, but I seem to have been misinformed. I'm now $400 in to the airbrush setup in 2 weeks, just for a basic bit of kit that doesn't like to run on paint that's less than $5/oz. I don't even want to think about all the cash I've dropped on tools, etc in the last 6 months.

 

At least I'm enjoying myself so far, even if my wallet isn't.

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Martijn Meerts

Supposedly it's real easy to make your own static grass applicator with cheap parts. Considering there's high amounts of current going through the thing, I wouldn't trust myself building one :)

 

As for the airbrush, the paint you can use depends on various things. Some types of paint don't work well if you have very small needles, in which case you can just get a bigger needle. You can also try thinning the paint a bit more. Cheap paints tend to be cheap for a reason though, there's definitely a quality difference between the cheap "buy 20 colors in a set" paints and the "buy single jars" paints. I've recently started using almost exclusively Gunze Sangyo acrylics, which are known in the modeling world to be some of the best.

 

I don't really want to know what I've spent on tools the past years, but I have learned that paying a bit extra (or, in some cases, a lot extra) for a good quality tool is well worth it.

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rankodd

Supposedly it's real easy to make your own static grass applicator with cheap parts. Considering there's high amounts of current going through the thing, I wouldn't trust myself building one :)

 

As for the airbrush, the paint you can use depends on various things. Some types of paint don't work well if you have very small needles, in which case you can just get a bigger needle. You can also try thinning the paint a bit more. Cheap paints tend to be cheap for a reason though, there's definitely a quality difference between the cheap "buy 20 colors in a set" paints and the "buy single jars" paints. I've recently started using almost exclusively Gunze Sangyo acrylics, which are known in the modeling world to be some of the best.

 

I don't really want to know what I've spent on tools the past years, but I have learned that paying a bit extra (or, in some cases, a lot extra) for a good quality tool is well worth it.

 

I did make the static grass applicator, and the build is actually really simple. Getting the Ion generator isn't.  (Plus, it's high voltage, not high current. Much safer...) I'd be happy to post my build info on it if anyone were interested.

 

I did try a bunch of combo's of needle size and paint thinning. I should probably be using a #3 with the Passche and my cheap paint (Craftsmart Acrylics from Michaels), but that gives too coarse of a pattern. I much prefer the finer #1. What I settled on is using a Vallejo primer, and 1:1 thinning of the paint, with the #1 needle at 25lbs pressure. I'd filter it if I had a good way of doing so - the recommendation I read was to use coffee filters, which definitely do not work. :(  I haven't shot anything but test bits, but I'll be doing up one of my Greenmax kits soon.

 

I've definitely dropped my share of coin on tools - what I'm trying to avoid is justifying the razor/blade model with expensive expendable items as well. I may just fold on this point, though. The Vallejo primer is airbrush ready and $17 for a 200ml bottle, and it's just SO NICE to work with in comparison :(

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disturbman
I did make the static grass applicator, and the build is actually really simple. Getting the Ion generator isn't.  (Plus, it's high voltage, not high current. Much safer...) I'd be happy to post my build info on it if anyone were interested.

 

Interested! ;)

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