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Martijn Meerts

H0e forest railways with H0 branch line

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Grant_T

Hats off to you. I've never made my own track but would like to do so in the future. Maybe in a future American HO layout. Following this. 🙂

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Martijn Meerts
8 minutes ago, Grant_T said:

Hats off to you. I've never made my own track but would like to do so in the future. Maybe in a future American HO layout. Following this. 🙂

 

I'll come lay your track if you come and build my scenery 😄

 

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Grant_T

Deal. 🙂

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cteno4

Now that I think of it you are right many ties are smooth show little wood grain from 10’ or more away. They are varies being replaced over the years and probably coming from a mixed stock of new and reconditioned.

 

I think the big difference in the art store vs the craft store gesso is just quality for longevity. Art store paints tend to be the very stabilized for very long lives once used (many many decades). Also art stores are a more expensive, niche market so same exact same item is usually more expensive at an art store than a craft store (I notice this on brushes and art pads all the time). Might try the cheap craft store stuff to see if you like it. I use it for the scenery base coat as I like it’s rougher texture over flat acrylic and it sticks well and takes pigment well (it’s basically the primer coat for the painting canvas).

 

i think it’s like modge pudge vs artist matte medium. Basically the same stuff but the artist matte medium will last 200 years modge pudge probably half that, but modge pudge is much cheaper and available all over the place.

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Glued down a bunch of additional ties, several more H0e ones with different spaces and increasingly more misaligned ties, up to the point where ties have pieces broken off. I don't have a picture of that yet, I'll probably add one once I can test the look with a little bit of track on it.

 

I did however experiment a little bit with the 2 stains I bought:

 

large.AC4E95A5-8C49-45B2-9F95-EC3E70C507

 

On the left is 1 coat of ebony stain, which looks rather good for newly laid ties. On the right is 1 coat of rosewood stain. The ballast is not glued in place, I just added it to hide the shine from the stain on the wood glue that spilled out when gluing the ties 🙂

 

I have to say, I do like how both colours look, even in this non-weathered state. I really like the rosewood colour especially, so I'll likely experiment some more with that. I do have some white wash and black wash wood dyes which I want to try to use on top of the stain.

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cteno4

Experiment with the dyes some as they are nice as you can keep applying additional coats to get them to the color you want, stains don’t change a lot after the first coat, just gets a tad darker/richer with the second and more can just end up looking odd. Sometimes you can add a darker wash order a lighter stain but sometimes really come out wonkie. Also grain can really start popping with more stain which can be good or bad. With the wood dyes it stays pretty even as you do more costs and even goes down a bit in contrast.

 

ive added black and yellow to black or really dark red dyes to get some nice rich cherry colors on cedar which is impossible to stain (too many natural aromatic compounds in it). Usually took 2 coats to get it right, but basswood takes dyes and stains much better.

 

one of the master cabinet makers we use to work with had a great old paint/stain/dye guy he bought from. The guy could come up with all these wild combos to get the finish/color/look we wanted with the woods being used. Real artist and deep career in finishing. Wish I had gotten to talk to him more (he was not local) and learn.

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, this was just the first quick test. In total I did about 20 ties using the ebony stain, and 20 using the rosewood stain. Next step is to give 10 of the ebony ones and 10 of the rosewood ones a 2nd coat of the same stain. I don't think the ebony ones need it really, they look pretty spot on for relatively newly laid ties, but I'll try either way.

 

After that I can experiment a little with the washes and possibly some dry brushing here and there. 

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Martijn Meerts

Made a larger test piece with various tie colours / coats of stain:

 

large.4DCC8255-417B-461F-A520-CA1D3E6336

 

From the left to the first line, 1 coat of ebony stain

Next 5 ties, 2 coats of ebony stain

Next 5 ties, 3 coats of ebony stain

Next 5 ties, 3 coats of rosewood stain

Next 5 ties, 2 coats of rosewood stain

The rest, 1 coat of rosewood stain

 

Obviously without any weathering, and the stain is a bit of a semi-gloss which starts showing with more coats. It'll be dulled down after weathering.

 

The major problem is, I like all the different versions 😄

 

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cteno4

Nice! Aren’t a lot of timber lines moved a fair amount and lots of mismatched ties? You could use an assortment! 

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I do think a they got repurposed regularly, although going by most of the pictures I've seen,  it's usually large stretches that have similar ties, it's not like they have vastly different colours all mixed up.

 

There are of course going to be different shades, since the wood ties just stain differently. Some are fairly dark after just 1 coat, where others stay light even after several coats. That does add to the charm though, so definitely not going to worry about that. Overall, I prefer the rosewood ones, so I'll probably experiment a bit more with that. See what happens if I add some of the washes I have.

 

The ebony ones look great for newly laid track, but I don't think the forest railways covered their ties in creosote, so they'd never have been black. Granted, the picture makes everything look a bit darker than it actually is, but still.

 

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Martijn Meerts

Well, the weather finally got a bit better, as in, not so hot that I wasn't able to dye / stain anything, so I went ahead and added some white and black washes to a couple of the ties for testing purposes. The following is the result:

 

large.ties_test.jpg.6098835c5d4d2c04fb68

 

The ebony ones just don't look right to me, with or without white wash. Or at least, not for the narrow gauge ties. For the branch line ties, I'm not entirely sure, but there as well I'm leaning towards ebony not looking right. It almost looks more like the ties have been charred rather than treated with creosote or something similar.

 

So, the rosewood ones. The one with 2 coats of white wash are too bright, the ones with a single coat look quite good. Also, a single coat of black wash darkens them up nicely. Purely colour wise it's very similar to multiple coats of the rosewood, but the black wash seems to bring out the wood grain a little bit better.

 

So, in the end, I'm thinking for the branch line it'll be rosewood, probably 2 coats, with random being hit with a black wash, white wash or 3rd coat of rosewood. For the narrow gauge, it'll likely be mostly a combination of single coat and 2 coats of rosewood, again with random variation using the washes. Sections / sidings that are more exposed to the elements (maybe a siding that's not covered by shade) could be more heavily weathered with white wash.

 

 

I've also been looking at rolling stock, both freight and passenger, and both branch line and narrow gauge. For the narrow gauge, there's quite a lot of info available really, and plenty models to be had (sort of anyway, there's plenty models, just not easily available, especially outside of Japan, and on the whole quite expensive).

 

For the branch line it's a bit more difficult, partially because the offerings are very limited in H0j, but also because it's really hard to find any info on small branch lines and what they would be running. A 9600 with several freight cars is fairly safe, I've seen pictures from anywhere from lots of freight cars to shorter ones with just 4 freight cars. So at least 1 of them is on the wish list. Not sure yet exactly which version, but probably going to see if there's a more or less cold region one.

 

For passenger trains I'm hoping a C11 kit will eventually be made available again. IMON has recently re-released a couple of pre-built C11's, so there's some hope they do another kit version. Finding fitting passenger cars for them is proving difficult though. I found some great looking ones made by a company called Westerwiese, but those are more express coaches (SuRo32 and SuRoHa31). If nothing else, there's always the scratch building / 3D printing option of course, but I'd like to use that as last resort, since it'd be a ton of work.

 

So, any tips on H0j rolling stock would be much appreciated 😄

 

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Martijn Meerts

Oh, forgot to mention, period wise I'm look at around the 50s .- 60s, I think around that time there was a combination of steam and diesel on the forest railways, so that adds a little variation. On the other hand, there have been quite a few narrow gauge steam locomotive releases lately, so I may still go for steam only, or at least lots of steam and maybe a couple of diesel test-runs.

 

(although, those World Kougei EF13's look might good as well, doubt they're branch line material though ;))

 

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Sheffie

Have you considered mixing the ebony and rosewood dyes? It sounds like you are looking for something in a deep dark shade of red rather than black, when it comes to the creosote effect 

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Martijn Meerts

Haven’t tried mixing them no, but I did try black washes on top of rosewood, which does give close to that effect.

 

From what little colour pictures I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like around the period shortly after the war they treated ties with anything, especially not the narrow gauge ones. 

 

I think I really need to do a larger section with various shades of a single colour, and then glue the ballast done and weather the track and surrounding area to see how it all looks.

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Martijn Meerts

Received my World Kougei H0e side dump cars kit. They're not specifically forest railway, but I want some variation, and these looked like fun. As always, they're far smaller than I was expecting o.O

 

large.side-dump-cars.jpg.093865569a4053b

 

This is a kit for in total 5 cars, with somewhat permanent couplers between them, and regular couplers on each end of the 5-car consist. At first glance, the wheels appear to be plastic so not sure how well that's going to work.

 

 

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Kiha66

World Kougei kits have always interested me, I look forward to seeing how these come out!

 

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Martijn Meerts
2 hours ago, Kiha66 said:

World Kougei kits have always interested me, I look forward to seeing how these come out!

 

 

They go together quite well for the most part, sometimes rather fiddly, and at times the instruction has additional handwritten notes which no OCR software can decode, so I never know what those say 🙂

 

The soldering takes a bit of practice, but once you've got the hang of it, it works well. So far I've not used any sort of flux on the kits, which means the solder doesn't flow quite as well as could be. However, most soldered joints aren't visible in the end, especially not in the N-scale kits. The H0 ones obviously have a little more detail, so I'll probably need to experiment with flux a little bit, and get the solder to really flow into the corners.

 

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Martijn Meerts

Wasn't quite happy with the colours of the ties in my previous tests, so I went and bought another couple of dyes to try with. That means I've now tried a combination of 4 different dyes and 2 stains.

 

large.38C5816A-FD37-450C-AABD-CE5A98723A

 

I'm actually quite happy with this new colour. This specific one would be fairly new ties on the branch line. This is quite a lot of work though, since it's 3 coats of nut brown, 1 coat of black wash, and 2 coats of aged nut brown. Because of the amount of coats, it does get a bit shiny, but after gluing the ballast and then weathering / blending it all, the shine should be gone.

 

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Martijn Meerts

Some time ago I contacted RG-Rokko about the IMON kits. On their Japanese site, they had various IMON items listed, so I went ahead and asked if they could get IMON's bigger kits as well. Long story short, yesterday I received the IMON SL9600 Type C kit. I was expecting this to be challenging, but after seeing it, this takes things up to a whole new level 😉

 

Inconspicuous little light grey box

large.H0j_IMON_SL9600_001.jpg.796f96e699

 

 

Well packaged and protected

large.H0j_IMON_SL9600_002.jpg.f8eecd0845

 

 

Parts are categorised in bags, and several bags are then packaged in bubble wrap bags

large.H0j_IMON_SL9600_006.jpg.68fed5c2cf

 

 

Building instructions ....

large.H0j_IMON_SL9600_004.jpg.4bd395c878

 

 

All the parts laid out. Some bags appear to be missing (bag nr. 2, 19, 20, etc), but according to the parts list, that's correct. Bags with decimals (bag nr 12.1, 24.3, etc) are parts that can be swapped at IMON to get a different type kit. For example, the 12 spoke wheel can be swapped to 13 spoke wheels, and the headlight can be swapped between different types.

large.H0j_IMON_SL9600_007.jpg.3607a32d62

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Kamome

I can now see why there’s such a huge price difference between the kits and the prebuilt models. Looks like it will be a very satisfying project.

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Martijn Meerts

I gave the 9600 a wee little trial start yesterday.

 

The first step (if you can call it such, there's not really a step by step, just a general overview) was to add the power pickups to the lower frame. These come as a series of copper strips and doodads, which you screw into the frame. Of course, the screws are 2mm tall, so you can imagine the fiddly-ness of it all. In the end, I managed to get it sort of installed, but I'm wondering if it went right, since there's a bit of play, and to me it seems like some of the pickups that shouldn't be touching the frame actually are touching the frame.

 

Another one of the first steps, is combining some white metal parts with copper parts. I've been going back and forth whether I want to solder that, or use epoxy. Yesterday, I found out that the local hardware store actually has low temperature solid core solder as well as zinc chloride based flux. I'm likely going to pick some of that up and try soldering some scrap white metal bits to see if that works. It would be preferable to epoxy, since epoxy can get messy quick, and it takes quite a while to set.

 

Then of course, there's the painting. Kinda wondering if I should paint the frame right away, or first build the whole thing, make sure it runs, then (partially) disassemble it again, and paint it then. I'm thinking building it first is the way to go, since it's likely the frame will get some chipped paint and / or scratches while test-fitting the rest of the parts.

 

I will need to order a couple of specialty tools from IMON as well. The drive rods are screwed into the wheels using tiny bolts, so I'll need some really small box wrenches / spanners for that. I've tried looking at various places, but 1.2mm, 1.3mm and 1.6mm box wrenches are very uncommon it would seem. IMON of course has them, so I'll likely have to order some from them, as well as some optional parts such as smoke deflectors just in case I want to install those.

 

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Martijn Meerts

Been slowly experimenting and carefully trying to build some bits and pieces, and doing some test fitting and such. Because of how the building instructions are done, there are some bits that are very unclear on how to build those, and the little textual instructions that come with it don't really seem to help much either. I think some trial and error will get me there mostly though.

 

For the next steps, I need to start soldering some parts, so it's going to get tricky now. Of course, the so called 'low temperate solder' I mentioned in the previous post wasn't actually low temperature solder at all. I did a little more research into solder white metal though, and read that the higher quality stuff melts at around 220 degrees. I also found out, that the old fashioned 60/40 tin/lead solder melts at around 183 degrees. I still have a lot of the tin/lead solder, so I decided to give it a try on some scrap white metal. Turns out I was able to solder onto the little piece of scrap, so I don't actually need any special solder at all. I can use the non-leaded solder for brass, and then the leaded stuff for white metal bits.

 

I'll see if I can post some pictures tonight of the 'progress' so far, which is easily shown in a single image really 😄

 

 

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Martijn Meerts

Well, managed to get 1 picture at least.. Quick test of the frame, drive wheels and leading bogie on the hand made 12mm turnout. It's not very stable just yet, but I'm pretty sure the wheels aren't installed correctly, since there's a few parts that still need to be added, which look like some sort of suspension type idea. Anyway, the thing is still very far from being anywhere near done obviously 🙂

 

large.H0j_IMON_SL9600_008.jpg.476bcb1bc4

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Martijn Meerts

Not much progress the past week, busy at work, and I had a bit of inspiration to work on the model train database project again, so I ended up doing some of that.

 

Also, as mentioned in an earlier post, right from the start of building, I already needed to start soldering white metal parts, which can be a bit tricky. And like also already mentioned, for adding the drive rods and everything, I'll need some special tools. So, I ended up placing another order at RG-Rokko, who managed to not only get me the IMON tools I need, but also 2 different types of smoke deflector, a regular one, and a smaller version. These are mostly to experiment with, and see which look I prefer in the end. Also ordered a headlight that I might mount to the tender. I also ordered some bags of tiny little pellets of solder (0.8 x 0.6mm and 0.6 x 0.4mm), these are great for soldering detail parts. And I also managed to find some low temperature solder at the IMON online shop, so I asked if they were able to get that too, and that was no problem. After some quick testing, I found out the solder melts at 100 degrees, possibly even lower. 

 

So, with all that out of the way, I now need to go back to figuring out the instructions. An interesting thing I came across already, is that in step 1 they have you install all the power pickup bits and pieces, and then in step 2 you need to attach a fairly large part to the frame, which you can't do unless you remove half of the power pickup system. Of course, fair chance I'm reading it wrong 😉

 

Other than that, I'm slowly figuring things out, and now that I have all the required tools, I should be able to make some actual progress again.

 

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Martijn Meerts
12 hours ago, Martijn Meerts said:

An interesting thing I came across already, is that in step 1 they have you install all the power pickup bits and pieces, and then in step 2 you need to attach a fairly large part to the frame, which you can't do unless you remove half of the power pickup system. Of course, fair chance I'm reading it wrong 😉

 

Quoting myself is a little weird, however, I found out that I am indeed reading it wrong. The numbers on the exploded views don't actually indicate in which order you're supposed to build the thing, but apparently just specifies sections of the loco. There's 1.5 page worth of textual instructions which does seem to be a very general step by step in the correct order, but of course, I can't read it. I can get a ways using OCR and Google translate, but not everything makes sense 😄

 

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