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Untitled third layout


Sheffie

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gavino200

It looks great, Sheffie. Amazing the difference it makes when you can't see the pink foam. It really comes alive. I'm curious, can you tell any difference in the sound that the trains make before and after adding glue to the the ballast? Ie, does the glue affect the sound level?

 

Edited by gavino200
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Sheffie
Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2021 at 6:48 PM, gavino200 said:

It looks great, Sheffie. Amazing the difference it makes when you can't see the pink foam. It really comes alive. I'm curious, can you tell any difference in the sound that the trains make before and after adding glue to the the ballast? Ie, does the glue affect the sound level?

 

 

I don’t know. I build up the ballast in layers (glue being added in steps 3 and 6 of an 8-step process), so it’s not really possible to do a before/after comparison for the glue. I can easily compare the section with ballast to the section without, but that doesn’t really answer your question about glue. 

 

ETA: 

I tested out the relative volume on ballasted sections versus loose Kato Unitrack on the baseboard. 

 

It seems that the train is significantly louder on the ballasted section. It’s as if, in addition to the engine noise and the clickety clack of wheels on rails audible on the non ballasted sections, there’s another noise which is somewhere between a whooshing, whistling, and roaring. I’m guessing that the glue and ballast are providing a good acoustic connection to the foam board, which is resonating with the higher frequency noise from (probably) the motor. 

 

It’s not terrible but it’s noticeable 

Edited by Sheffie
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Sheffie
Posted (edited)

Today I built the little apartment complex that anchors the bus stop at the far end of the road from the station entrance. 

CC8BEDE0-21BE-420C-8B17-2B0A15CA761F.thumb.jpeg.90f8da2a3271678aed94d1c81e4d296c.jpeg

 

The base is ~3mm corrugated cardboard with a second layer of the same stuff for the grassy areas. The buildings are on ~1mm bases so it looks like the grass is 2mm tall.  

 

I’ve glued lengths of Casco acetate fencing to the edges of the building bases. This is a compromise between looking ideal and having a little strength. 

 

Also making a welcome return to the layout: the dark green grass cloth, which I've decided to use for garden and lawn grass, to help distinguish it from "wild" grassland.

 

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Here it is in position. (Initially I planned to put it snug against the right hand end of my platform, but all plans are subject to change as negotiations proceed with my daughter as to what goes where.)

 

The white Tamiya foam board will be the main road to the station. It curves off the layout right at the apartment complex. I haven't yet decided whether to paint it the "Dark Sea Grey" (actually quite a light grey) that I've used for the container yard, or use a different shade. Perhaps I'll mix a custom grey for this road.

Edited by Sheffie
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Sheffie

Also today, I managed to fit the old shrine onto the front right corner. It was a tight fit, but I think I’ve made it work. Not sure whether to attempt a path to the entrance, or leave it as is with a simple cleared space. 

 

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Sheffie
Posted (edited)

And because it was a pretty good friday for me, I also put in some more ballast. 

 

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The new stuff runs roughly from the double crossover to about a third of the way around the main turn at the right hand end of the layout. 

 

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Edited by Sheffie
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katoftw

If you put scrap pieces of ply between the track. You can save 50% of ballast used.

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Sheffie
8 hours ago, katoftw said:

If you put scrap pieces of ply between the track. You can save 50% of ballast used.

 

In my case, I’m using the Woodland Scenics ballast under the good stuff. It’s called light grey but it’s basically white. I bought it in error and I only need it for the occasional footpath. 

 

Sound advice tho’.

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Sheffie

So, for better or worse, I’ve used all the lighter ballast now. And I experimented with using corrugated cardboard between the lines to save on usage of the “good stuff”. That worked out okay, but you do need to be careful not to let the cardboard ride up on top of ballast while you’re laying that down. Results are pretty good, not my best but certainly good enough for mid-field tracks that will usually have freight cars parked on them. 

 

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This used about a quarter of my stock of ballast. Looks like I might need to order more. 

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Sheffie

Also today: marked out the container yard with Popopro 1mm tape.

 

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This is something I would NOT recommend doing while leaning over the layout, if at all possible. Luckily for me, the other major line-marking task I have — the road between the Japanese apartments and station — can be done on the bench under magnification. 

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gavino200

Wow. The tape really make the scene come alive. The ballast also looks great. Makes me want to try it!

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Sheffie
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Wow. The tape really make the scene come alive. The ballast also looks great. Makes me want to try it!

 

Thanks!

 

I went through a long learning process before I got to the point where I was happy with the ballast technique. Now I pretty much only worry about three things:

- No ballast in the point mechanisms.

- Ballast must come up to the "shoulder" or rounded edge of the model where the horizontal and 45º edges meet. This is a line that the eye really doesn't want to see. 

- Ballast must not cover any of the sleepers. These are edges that must be visible. In real life the vibrations of passing trains would clear ballast from the tops of the sleepers. We need to do that manually.

 

The first point is covered by usage of gaffer tape, and by applying more glue and less ballast in the immediate vicinity of the switches and their channels.

 

The way I get to that compromise state, between ballast so high that it covers sleepers and ballast so low that it reveals the shoulder, is by dabbing downwards with a broad, coarse haired brush. Most of the bristles hit the sleepers or flat surface of the track (and stop the brush going down too far). A few bristles end up pushing ballast around. I don't know how better to explain that (ETA: see pic. The shoulder is clearly visible on the right side of the track, and nicely obscured on the left side). Think of it as very gentle tamping that doesn't dig down into the ballast at all.

 

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Edited by Sheffie
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Sheffie

Today: some fairly backbreaking effort, but most of the ballasting work is done in the midfield area (at least, on the Japanese side). 
Basically all the ballast in this pic is new. 

 

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Sheffie
4 minutes ago, bill937ca said:

A display case?!

 Yes, custom made and just large enough for my 787 Series “Around The Kyushu” at 40” external size. It’s got 11 shelves, which is more than enough... for now 🙂

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13 minutes ago, Sheffie said:

which is more than enough... for now 🙂

Famous last words... sounds like a new challenge.

 

let’s see the trains in there! Do they have the slots for wheel flanges in the shelves or will be using track in there?

 

Cheers,

 

jeff

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Sheffie
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Famous last words... sounds like a new challenge.

 

let’s see the trains in there! Do they have the slots for wheel flanges in the shelves or will be using track in there?

 

Cheers,

 

jeff


Yeah, there’s a lot of room for expansion. That was always the plan. 
 

The shelves have 9mm slots, which is very nice. 
 

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Row by row, we have:

Hankyu 6300 and E127

Blue Symphony and Plasser/Theurer tamper

787 series “Around the Kyushu”

Minitown DF11Z locos and coal wagons

and more coal wagons 

Edited by Sheffie
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bill937ca

Well, if Jeff got a display case for all his trains it would be just a bit smaller than Dulles International Airport.

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gavino200

Very nice. I think I'd like to have something like that some day. Is it made to custom measurements by a company who make train display cases? Or is it custom made from scratch by a carpenter? 

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Sheffie
Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

Very nice. I think I'd like to have something like that some day. Is it made to custom measurements by a company who make train display cases? Or is it custom made from scratch by a carpenter? 


It’s custom made by a carpenter who specializes in train display cases. I think. James Pierce, of Plummer Creek Woodworking 

Edited by Sheffie
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Sheffie
Posted (edited)

With the arrival and assembly of the remaining housing, I’m finally in a position to build out the Japanese town area and begin planting and landscaping the surrounding area. 
 

This is a first attempt at a street layout. It needs fencing between the houses and the line. 
 

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The reverse angle image shows that the roadway still needs road markings. I will also need to build a grass verge between that and the back of the one-sided platform, and plant the remaining cherry trees there. 

 

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Edited by Sheffie
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Sheffie

The video shows off the new rolling stock and also gives a decent overview of the Japanese end of the layout, which is approaching 1.0 status. Just a half dozen or so tasks remaining. 

 

 

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Sheffie
Posted (edited)

Today: created an instant veg-e-strip (TM) to sit between the back of the Kato one-sided platform and the roadway. This is just over a metre long. 
 

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The base is two layers of corrugated cardboard, covered in the dark green cloth that I’m using to represent urban, cultivated grass. The grass cloth isn’t tightly wrapped around the card—there’s a bubble-like area at each edge, to allow a good fit against the platform and road model (since no edge that I cut is completely straight).

 

 The edge with bushes will back against the wall of the station. The open grassy edge will meet the roadside. When the glue is dry I’ll see how it looks in place.

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