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Martijn Meerts

Sort of club for Dutch/German/Belgian members?

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Densha

I think Fine Gray and Fine Light Gray would fit the best for a relatively recently ballasted track. (say max. 20 years)

This one is both gray and light gray already blended: http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/Item/BAL-GB

Applying weathering is something I'm not sure about but if there's a way to do it easily and cheaply I'm in.

 

For the grass I guess this looks good: http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/Item/BT-GB/

 

Now hoping I can get it at my local model railway shop. Probably not, they almost never have anything Woodland but maybe I can find some stuff to make trees.

 

Also, Martijn, have you already tried the 3mm lasercut modules? The first thing I need for a module is the base of course. I just need one simple square module but I'm really bad at woodworking...

Edited by Densha

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Martijn Meerts

Most of the woodland scenic stuff is nice actually, and quite easy to work with. They also have a couple of starter sets available that come with everything needed to do certain scenery things. Their started set for making rock/cliff surfaces is really nice. That one actually made me create the first bits of rock face that looked like a rock face =)

 

 

I haven't tried the 3mm modules yet, but considering I can actually stand on the 6mm modules without breaking them, 3mm should be more than enough. I do have most of the drawing of it done, but the module I want to start with is not a simple square, so I'm still figuring that one out. If you're planning on getting something lasercut though, I can do a drawing for you and export it to something that lasterbeest can work with. If I remove some extra's like the JR-Chiisai logo and such, plus the student discount you get, it might actually be quite affordable to get something cut. And well, it's worth the price because the cut pieces go together nicely. (Or, they should.. With my new drawing I changed some of the measurements to account for the width of the laser. My test modules had some gaps here and there)

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Densha

Ballast and grass have been acquired:

 

post-638-0-01503500-1397759639_thumb.jpg

 

As I already suspected the local shop didn't have it, but there's another shop ~5 km away from it so I decided to cycle a bit further to get it.

 

I noticed laserbeest is very conveniently located for me, so I'm interested in it. Maybe there are others that also think about getting one of those lasercut module bases? (Martijn maybe for the future, you don't have enough projects anyway, or maybe Sander?) Would be easier (and cheaper?) to get them done all at once.

I'm not sure about the depth yet though. What depth do you mean to start with? 25 cm would be okay for a first module but I think they'll be getting wider eventually because of scenery limits so maybe it will look strange.

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, Laserbeest should be fairly close to you :)

 

It's obviously also cheaper to get multiple sheets of wood cut at the same time. Especially if those sheets all need to be cut the same way. I'll see if I can work a bit on finalising the drawings in the coming days. Work is busy as usual, and I've got some family issues at the moment as well (nothing major, but still need to be taken care of)

 

Depth wise I've pretty much decided to go for 20cm for most modules. I might end up building some scenery only modules to add more depth eventually.. Depends a bit on the scenery as well of course.

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Densha

I find it to be difficult to find out which depth is good to work with. Maybe I should try putting some buildings on a piece of paper or cardboard of the same size as a module to look if it all fits. 20cm will probably be fine for the first few modules though, I don't intend to make complicated stuff at the beginning anyway.

What modules are you intending to put in the sheet? And how many fit on one?

 

On other news, lately I've been busy trying to convert a piece of plywood I had laying around to some sort of diorama to test scenery techniques. Now I'm waiting for stuff to apply the glue to the ballast. Pictures next week.

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Martijn Meerts

I recently bought a pack of A3 paper, so I can draw a 1:1 copy of a module (up to a certain depth of course), which really helps with visualising how much space there is. It's also a nice way to see what you can get away with. I'm using a couple of items to check dimensions as well. When I need a road, I grab some cars/trucks/busses and draw up the correct width. If I need a building I look up it's dimensions, or just use the actual building if I already have it. It's actually a rather nice way of figuring out what works and what doesn't. Based on the drawing I can also adjust the lasercutting schematics based on what I need.

 

I'll need to check my drawings and figure out what can fit and what can't... It's a bit of a puzzle trying to optimise it all :)

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cteno4

LOL i have a couple hunks of foamcore here that i have just glued two strips of paper on for tracks on one side and tracks plus road on either side (for the tram street modules). then i plunk stuff down on it to fiddle with ideas.

 

Densha you can also do little bits of scenery on scrap bits of cardboard for testing and if you like something just cut it out and glue it onto a module! one modeling technique is to just do some scenery on a sheet of colored card stock and cut out bits and glue in around your scene and just come back and fill in here and there. some like this as they find it hard to do a number of different techniques in a small space or around buildings and easier on a sheet of card stock on the bench.

 

jeff

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Densha

Well I also thought about cardboard or something but why not use sturdier plywood if you have it anyways? I didn't only want to try one technique but also how to create a landscape as a whole. I actually used cardboard ON the plywood though... ;) (for the trackbed) But the advantage of T-Trak is that it's small so you don't need really need to make separate parts and put them together.

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cteno4

the advantage to making bits is for rapid prototyping and creation of scenery. you just nip off bits place them around until you are happy, glue them down then come back and fill in. planning out more complex scenery and implementing them all together can be daunting for some and this way it lets you play some and set your scene! you can also just use the bits to visualize the scene then do it all from scratch again on the module. just another technique for the bag-o-tricks.

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4

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Martijn Meerts

Jeff, I'm a bit old-fashioned like that, I like drawing stuff on paper first to get an idea, I do it for almost everything :)

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cteno4

Jeff, I'm a bit old-fashioned like that, I like drawing stuff on paper first to get an idea, I do it for almost everything :)

 

great! most folks pretty much refuse to start even there! thats why i push just plopping down bits and pieces to visualize it better. even in full blow exhibit design sketches then just simple space models then to nice models before drawing up plans!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Densha

Here's a pic of the diorama I am working on. Just some wood, cardboard and paper so far. (and some brown paint)

post-638-0-54511200-1398877802_thumb.jpg

Before continuing I first want to be confident of my ballasting skills.

 

In the last few days I did as Jeff said and tested ballasting on some pieces of cardboard. As you can see I tried it two times.

post-638-0-42608100-1398878122_thumb.jpg post-638-0-75293300-1398878130_thumb.jpg

The first had too much ballast on it and I had trouble with glueing so I ballast all over the tracks and sleepers that I had to get rid of with a knife.

The second was done with a better amount of ballast and making the ballast moisty before applying the glue. If you look closely you can see the ballast of the second one appears to have a lower density than the first one, which I think has to do with quite a bit of ballast being loose so not properly glued. Maybe I had to apply a bit more glue on the second one...

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Darklighter

What glue did you use? I wonder if cardboard is an appropriate base as it swells when it gets wet. 

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Densha

I used a suspension of wood glue (is that a correct word in English?), water, and a drip of detergent. Everyone uses it here and it works, but I think I there was too much water and not enough glue in it the second time.

The first one is hard as rock so I think that's the problem.

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cteno4

densha,

 

nice tests! thats the way to figure out what works for you and get proportions and such right. its a fun way to experiment fast. ive taken to writing down what i did on the back side of the piece of cardboard so i can go back later and quickly think thru different ways i might want to apply or just remember what the heck i did (aging mind...) on that one!

 

PVA (white or wood glue most of the world around) works well, but will like you found in the first test, comes out super rock hard when dry with the ballast. you can use the super cheap white glue for ballast like this.

 

you might see if you can find a little bottle of the matte medium at an art or craft store and play with that. try some test dilutes, but it comes much thinner than pva and also is more hydrophilic so tends to seep in (PVA can be a bit hydrophobic and thus the detergent or alcohol is used as a wetting agent to get it into the ballast better with it beading up). the nice thing about the matte medium is that its softer once its hard so you can pick out bit easily if needed (especially important around points) or if you over ballast at some point. also folks think it deadens sound transfer to your base material so the module/layout top wont rumble.

 

also you can try misting the ballast before you add the glue with just water with some alcohol (like 5% isopropanol) or couple of drops of detergent. this pre-wets the ballast and makes the glue suck right in with little movement of the ballast.

 

one little thing with a test like this on cardboard with anything with a lot of water in it is that the cardboard might be sucking up a lot of water on you. you can fix this by just hitting it with a coat of cheap canned spray paint or just use a piece of cardboard with heavy slick printing on it that will resist it from sucking up a lot of water. sorry thats one issue i forgot to mention about doing little tests on cardboard like this as some will really suck up the water fast!

 

great job!

 

jeff

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Densha

Yep I indeed used that white glue. I forgot to note that the second time I also misted the ballast with water with detergent, the problem was a bit that the sprayer had issues so it lumped some pieces of ballast together instead of making it easier for the glue to suck in.

I don't really know what matte medium is and it looks like it's difficult to get here.

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cteno4

Check out the dollar store for hair minsters for doing up your hair. They have very fine sprays. Try isopropanol for the spray wetting agent it may work better.different ballasts (and scenery materials) react differently to wetting. Some folks go up to 50% isopropanol for a wetting spray. Again experiment!

 

Any art supply store will have matte medium, very standard art stuff the world around. Art stores will have a whole range of grades and prices, cheapest is fine for this. Basically its just clear matte acrylic base medium. Craft stores usually have a cheaper version for doing decoupage that works fine. Folks even buy unpigmented acrylic house paint base (the clear stuff they start with before adding in the pigments to it to make your color paint) as a super cheap source. Just need to pour off the top clear layer as usually it has some fine talc in it that will settle out to the bottom with some time.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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Darklighter

I once read that Mod Podge is quit popular as a matte acrylic medium for model railroad purposes: http://www.scrobby.nl/mod-podge-matte-finish.html

 

I used diluted Metylan Ovalit T on my last ballasting project (cheap, stays flexible, easily available (in Germany)) but I haven't done must testing, yet.. 

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Bernard

Densha - your ballasting is coming along nicely.....Jeff suggestions are spot on, I like to mist the area I'm going to work on with alcohol (5% isopropanol) to break up the surface tension, dab on white glue with a small sponge then apply the ballast....then add white glue again. One other thing I do is take a small rigid piece of plastic (I use an old credit card) cut it to the width of the rails between the ties and sweep the cut card along the track.....it removes any excess ballast.

The other thing that is great about white glue, just saturate it with water and it will dissolve the glue and you can redo your work if you don't like the initial results you got.

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Martijn Meerts

Having a decent quality sprayer to mist the water/detergent mixture on the ballast is rather important..

 

Anyway, here's another link, in Dutch again, which uses a type of primer usually used on walls before painting them. The advantages of that stuff is that it's cheap and remains flexible (which means sound shouldn't travel as easily as with white glue, which becomes rock hard), and that you don't have to mix it with water or anything. The disadvantage is that I've only been able to find the rather large 10 liter buckets at the local hardware store here.

 

http://www.nproject.org/nl/modelspoor-scenery/ballast-leggen-met-houtlijm.html

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Densha

Which sprayer do you recommend?

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Martijn Meerts

Hmm.. I can't remember where I got the one I've been using mostly.. I do know it's an older one though, all the new ones I tried started leaking and dripping all over the place.

 

Of course, the stuff used for perfumes and the like tend to be fairly good sprayers.

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cteno4

The perfume ones that do the super fine mists are called atomizers here in the states. Nice as they mist small areas so you don't soak the whole area. You don't have to drench it with the wetting (especially if you are using higher conc isopropanol but you need to work faster as it evaporates faster).

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-3-6-PCS-Plastic-Empty-Perfume-Water-Spray-Bottle-Atomizer-Container-30-50-ML-/301155267149?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&var=&hash=item461e40b24d

 

I've had nice ones and cheap ones that worked well and also crappy, just have to try them!

 

Jeff

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Densha

Thanks.

I actually just found an unused sprayer in a drawer that looks like it will do the job perfectly!

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cteno4

Ha first rule always dig to the bottom of the drawers before going to the store!

 

Jeff

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