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serenityFan - In progress thread


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Woohoo ... party has started!


As stated in the intro thread, I will be doing a diorama which will become part of my planned layout. The diorama will feature the tram line with a tram terminus. The tram tracks will continue behind the buildings and will eventually connect to the rest of the tram line on the main layout. To best explain my plan, I have drawn up this diagram (see attached). The final size will be 14 cm x 70 cm. It will be built on its own base so it can become a stand alone diorama.


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Today's update:


Tried to find a suitable base at local craft shop, no luck in finding any of the suggested material in the discussion thread, so just settled for some 3.5 mm board... not the strongest, but will just use it for now and replace it if I find something better. Prepared the board, cut to the correct size. Tried to fit the base on the layout to make sure it all fits in nicely.


I'm using Tomix Fine Track, the smallest radius turnout with some more fine track on the left hand side, and a piece of flex track on the right of the turnout. Arranged everything roughly how it will all sit.




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Next step is weathering and ballasting track ...




After doing too much research, I just decided to just try with whatever I have available now on a piece of flex track, after all they are pretty cheap so even if it is a total failure, it wouldn't cost me much.


Since I don't have an airbrush, and no spray can I just went with hand paint brush. I have a mini bottle of tamiya paint "red earth" which I thought would look close enough to some sort of brown/rust colour.


I just did a thin layer, with the metal of the rail still visible at places. For the sleepers, I did an even thinner layer (almost dry-brushing) just to keep it different from the actual rail.


First image shows the result after painting.


Then I scraped off the paint from the top of the rail using bamboo skewers (I don't have a track cleaning pad, one blog suggested wooden chopsticks so this is the closest thing I have).


Final result is on the last image, seen here compared to a pristine flex track.




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Concrete Wall:


Behind the module will be a concrete wall. To model the concrete wall I use the following method....


Image 1:

Material -> 3 mm cork as base wall material. 3M micropore tape (you can get these from pharmacies) to give texture. Grey Paint.

Since this is the time I'm using this method, I'm starting with a test strip. Simply attach the 3M tape on the cork, leaving a small gap with each strip.


Image 2:

Paint it grey. The dark grey on the right is actually the first test and it came out too dark (tamiya german grey).

The on in the middle is better (tamiya royal light grey), seen here after testing a black wash on it.


Image 3:

Once satisfied with the test strip, time to do the real thing ... apply tape vertically on the wall.


Image 4:

What it looks like after 2 coats of paint. I think these tapes do absorb paint.

I found that using paint thinned with a bit of water works better with this technique. It also gives a better texture once dry.


Image 5:

What it looks like closer with a bus and a car in the foreground to give a sense of scale.






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The next step was supposed to be ballast, however I wanted to install the catenary pole before I ballast because it will be easier to ballast around the catenary pole. And the catenary pole is part of a separate order that hasn't arrived yet.


So I'll skip the ballast for now and do another step:


Tram Terminus:


For the terminus I wanted to have something like the Portram terminus at Toyama:




I also found on the net a blog which details the progress of creating a diorama based on the Portram line:




This blog helped to convince me that scratch building this terminus is indeed possible  :grin



My first step is to built a prototype:


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I call this the prototype because I was basically testing different things, like will it stand, what material to use, check height clearances, how to make pillars and the roof, and mainly to see how it will look in real 3 dimensions.


Once I have a clearer idea on how it will shape up, time to create the first real model. First up was the pillar:


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I used 2.4 mm styrene round strips and brass rod which will fit inside the round styrene strip.


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For the base I am using balsa sheets (2.5 mm). To install the pillar, I simply take the brass rod and pushed it into the balsa wood, followed by the styrene, as seen in the picture above.


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Once I did all 6 pillars, I attach the roof. The roof is made of more balsa sheet cut to strips, and I glued some roof-pattern paper on the strip.

This strange concoction above shows what I had to do to put it all together.

The pins that you see sticking out from the sides actually hold the roof sections together while the glue sets in. The metal ruler sitting above the roof ensures that the roof sits flat until the glue sets.


Assuming everything goes well, next step is the paint ...

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Quick update, still working on the tram terminus...


I have created the second platform exactly the same way I did the first one.

I have also added the thin wires that connects the top half of the pillar to the roof, which I think on the prototype holds the roof up. On the scale model, this was just real difficult to do. To get those thin wires I opened up a relatively thick cable and extracted the smaller wire strands from inside the cable. Still haven't started on the paint, that would be next. Here is what it looks like:


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Mid-week update: finally got around to (build up the courage) to paint the terminus...

All I can say is these N scale things are so small, makes it difficult to paint  :grin


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And sorry about the lousy image quality, it was late and I just used my mobile phone....

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Nothing new today, only a better quality pic to make up for the lousy one on the previous post  :grin


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Update: I painted a couple of greenmax catenary poles and tried it on the track to see how far from the track they have to sit.

This affects how close to the track I can put the buildings. In turn, this determines if I can still have a road in front of the buildings.


So, time to test and see if everything actually fits into the module as planned.


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I wanted to use greenmax shop buildings in front, however I haven't even started building them. So for now I'll stick to the Tomytec shops, and hopefully I can make it look complete by the end of the project party. I won't glue them down so I can swap them over later.


As you can see in the pictures, I'm left with a narrow 1 lane road in the front of the module... which is not bad.

Between the terminus and the first building will be the open market with stalls (which I still have to make  :grin)

I still need to finish the pavement, the plan is to have all pavement at the same level as the terminus area.


I'm going to New Zealand for a 1 week holiday starting Friday, so no more updates until next month.  :grin  :grin

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Thanks for the time extension  :grin :grin


Update: I have started the ballasting process...


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Basically just spread the ballast using a brush. The photo above is before I poured the glue.

I have since applied the glue (mixture of glue and water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid) using a dropper, now time to go to bed and I'll check tomorrow to see what it all looks like when the ballast has dried.

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I have painted the pavement area grey using the same method as the walls: cover the balsa wood with 3m micropore tape and then paint it grey. The roads are simply black foam. I am testing the dry twigs that I got from the backyard to see if they are suitable for trees.


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Somehow it doesn't come out quite like I imagined it would  ??? ... maybe it just needs more details.

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Update: Detailing ...


Looks like I've underestimated the amount of detailing that needs to be done and the time it takes to do all that ...

I've done some work on the trees and stalls. Still need to do add little touches here and there (I'm thinking of making a couple of plant boxes the make it greener), and need to add marker to the roads.


But at least the plaza near the terminal doesn't look so sad anymore and I'm looking forward to getting all the trees done... :grin


Here is the tree added to the plaza, and the stalls with red roof...

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More detailed view of the tree, and the stalls in the background.

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To make the trees, I used the dry twig from before and glued on some WS clumping folliage.

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Final Update:


First, an overall view: More trees, a plant box and finally some people are walking around. It can use more people but I still have to buy them...

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A closer look at the terminal:

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And a view of the actual tram line that goes behind all the buildings:

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Final comments:

All in all, those scratch building sessions definitely took a while to complete, however it is great fun and I got more satisfaction out of it.

Also this module is not exactly complete (I still plan to add more details, at least some street lights and also I still want to install lightings on the terminal and the buildings.  :grin :grin) however this will the final update to the project party as it ends this week. Great party everyone... :grin

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