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Martijn Meerts

Sort of club for Dutch/German/Belgian members?

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cteno4

Martjin,

 

Cool, 3mm should work well if good quality ply and be lighter to boot!

 

Sounds like fun, will it be modular to a standard or a more wandering sectional?

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

The package just came in. 3mm sure doesn't feel sturdy enough, but I haven't put the modules together yet, so no idea about the strength yet. They also have 4mm, so that'd be another option if needed.

 

it will be to a standard considering the idea is to do this with multiple people and hopefully, eventually make it to a show or 2.

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cteno4

I think once assembled they will be pretty stiff. Did you do a cross piece in the middle of some sort? Maybe just gluing in a bit of like 12x12mm stock or a vertical ply strip would help lots. Or two at third intervals. I use to do exhibit model parts out of 2mm chipboard (cardboard matte board etc) all the time about the size of these modules and once all glued up and a few stiffeners on larger spans they they held up remarkably well so I'm thinking the ply should be even better if of good quality.

 

Is it Baltic birch 3 ply?

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I didn't do a cross piece on these ones. It was quite the puzzle trying to fit everything onto 3 sheets of ply as it is, wouldn't have been enough room for any cross sections. I might try to add them for the next set of modules if these ones prove to not be stiff enough. If they aren't, it's easy enough to glue in a cross piece. Considering the modules won't need to carry a lot of weight I do think they're fine. Too much weight on them and they'll become annoying to carry to any potential shows.

 

Not sure if it's Baltic birch, but it is high quality birch at least. Way higher quality than the stuff you can buy at the local store. The cuts were all very clean as well, and the engraved lines and logo are really sharp. The things fit together with only very minor overlap here and there, which is easily sanded off. With the 6mm modules the cuts the laser made weren't quite as good, and there was quite a bit of play in between the separate pieces.

 

I'm going to try and glue one together in a bit, see how it works out.

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Martijn Meerts

Well, all 8 modules are glued together now, and I fastened track on 3 of them so far. They're plenty sturdy and very light too. I did have to go over them with some sanding paper considering the surface was a little bit rough. Going to add track to the remaining modules this week so I have a loop to test.

 

Of course, the next major problem is, which part of the Enoden do I want to start with scenery wise. All the modules are basic corners and straights so far, so I can't really do anything spectacular just yet :)

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cteno4

Cool, Picts please!

 

The material sounds easy enough to carve into if you want to do a depression and add a little bracing then.

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Pictures coming soon. Still need to add track to 3 corner modules, which includes cutting a few S64 pieces down to S45 length (because S45 are only available in packs with S29, and they're rather expensive)

 

Of course, none of the modules have any scenery on them yet, so the pictures won't be very spectacular anyway :)

 

 

I grabbed one of my 6mm ply modules to remove the track from that, and the 6mm ones do feel a LOT more sturdy, but on the other hand, they're also a lot heavier. I can also actually go and stand on the 6mm modules without them breaking, so that's a good indication that 6mm is way over the top :D

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

Are these to be alternate or standard spaced or single track?

 

Also think about using a single leveling bolt in the rear center instead of two. Three bolts keeps the modules stable (you have to have something very heavy on one rear corner to cause an issue) and makes leveling wayyyy easier. Just level the left/right with the front two corners then the back front with the single rear center bolt. Easier to get at a center rear bold as well rather than fiddling around two adjacent rear corner bolts. You should be able do a similar thing on corners with the leveling bolt in the rear corner and ones in the center of the front two faces, but I've not yet tested this yet.

 

Ttrak is great, but it was overbuilt like a ntrak module...

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

The modules I'm building are going to be mainly Enoden for now, so single track for the most part with some double track stations. Densha is working on a plan that has alternate spacing between the tracks, but the modules are more or less designed for standard spacing since it's a lot easier. Of course, the standard we're using is not quite T-Trak, but a somewhat customised version of it.

 

I'm not using any levelling system at all for now. Going to show is quite a ways off, so it's not really needed. And even if we do go to shows, we'll just bring some beer coasters or something initially. Trying to keep the modules as simple as possible for now :)

 

 

As for the scenery, and I'm thinking far into the future again here, I'm considering doing a large portion of the Enoden and make it a point to point rather than a loop. And then over the course of the various modules I'm thinking of starting in summer on 1 end, and slowly go through the seasons towards the other end.

Edited by Martijn Meerts

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Martijn Meerts

Some images.

 

 

Image 012:

Lasercut plywood sheet with straight modules

 

Image 013:

Lasercut plywood sheet with corner modules (and some bits for the straight modules)

 

Image 014:

Straight module parts (31x20 cm)

 

Image 015:

Corner module parts

 

Image 016:

Straight module parts (31x25 cm)

 

Image 017:

Quick check to see if things line up

 

Image 018:

Marklin k-track screw holding the track in place

 

Image 019:

Cut marks on a piece of S62 track. Rather than buy lots of S45 tracks, it's (much) cheaper to shorten some S62 ones

 

Image 020:

The bit in the middle gets removed, so both ends of the track can use Unijoiners. Track is just cut off with a Xuron tail nipper.

 

Image 021:

Full loop, and the trains actually run quite well. Now for that scenery ....

 

jrc-ttrak-000_012-3mm_modules_sheet_1.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_013-3mm_modules_sheet_2.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_014-20cm_straight_module_parts.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_015-corner_module_parts.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_016-25cm_staight_module_parts.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_017-quick_test.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_018-marklin_k-track_screw.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_019-s62_cut_marks.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_020-s62_modification.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_021-test_setup.jpg

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

Those are uber handsome! Definitely a new way to do wood working. My second cousins has had a very comfortable living doing high end custom cabinets. His shop has a large computer controlled cutter and cranks out perfect stuff. Loss if the old craftsman magic though... I worked with another cabinet maker on exhibit cabinets and his work was amazing, no computers. He was so good with hand saws that he did a lot of smaller cuts by hand as he said he could so them cleaner and more accurately and in the end it was faster overall as well.

 

Love the JR etching!

 

This will be a fun little project. You can take it into work to show off a module a day on the train!

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I would've done these by hand if not for the fact that my woodworking skills are terrible ;) I've done some module bases by hand, but they always ended up not fitting together well, and usually had rather large and ugly gaps. Also, my spare time is limited, so it makes sense to just get them cut and just glue them together. Takes about 15 minutes to put these things together, which is a massive time saver. I've seen quite a few documentaries about old school woodworkers, and it's amazing what they can do with just very basic hand tools. Would love to have that kinda skill :)

 

I figured I'd have my logo engraved in the modules. I'm considering painting the module bases (or at least the fronts) a dark red, like the traditional Japanese red lacquer color. The 800 series has the color on the roof as well. The logo itself would be painted white. I think it'd look rather elegant, but it might take away too much attention from the actual scenery. I guess I should try with 1 module and see how it looks. The other option is staining them, and just make the logo slightly darker than the rest.

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cteno4

Martjin,

 

Doing craftsman type woodworking is like many things part talent, training, tools, materials, and a huge dose of practice! It is great that you can use the technology to so work like this that would require a shop and skill and practice to do more traditionally!

 

Save all the scrap material to cut out chunks to try finishes on do a bunch before deciding as once on forget changing!

 

I would suggest a red wood dye. On the birch I think you will get a nice look like you want but preserve the wood grain nicely. You can then finish with some simple linseed oil, finishing oil or even jsut some liquid bees wax. Or just a coat of nice satin varnish/verethane to seal it well and give it a nice bit of finish.

 

I think the wood die would be better than a stain that usually does not add a lot of color to the wood (you may not get to a rich red on birch even with repeated applications) even with a pretty red stain. Dyes are nice as you can keep adding coats and the color just comes out more but grain and such remain.

 

Paint is the last place to go here. It will take out the wood grain, likely look funny with the locking bits as it will cover it some but not completely even if you fill it. The left over bit will likely ruin the eye, also the wood die would hi light the function of these without distracting and it would actually look nice. Nicely done interesting joints can be a hi light.

 

Our eyes really like nice wood grain and tend to not stick on it but feel very comfortable with it there as the supporting structure that is visible right next to your scene. A hard color right next to the scene (and black is a hard color to the eye in many situations, not universally invisible as the myth goes) almost always draws the eye. Careful color and texture selection has to be done to allow the frame piece to not draw attention from the scene. This is what master framers do in selection of mat and frame color, texture and size, it's a real art!

 

Thus keeping the nice and simple wood grain there and adding a bit of color then can work to get some color but easily have the eye accept it. We do this all the time in exhibits keeping nice but simple and clean wood trims right near the center of attention the. Going to painted surfaces out further. That transition is critical to play with the eye well and your main scene.

 

Sorry for the long windedness on this but I've done thsi stuff a long time and watched the amazing stuff my design partner has done in these situations and its truly amazing and something done wrong in model railroading all the time. Paint it black is thought to be the professional solution -- WRONG!

 

These are so beautiful I think it's well worth the effort to finish them nicely! They are jewels!

 

Cheers

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I hadn't actually thought about wood dyes, but that might be the best option. A nice mahogany would come close to the red lacquer and fit with the JR-Chiisai webpage colors. I'll need to look into that. Just need to figure out what to do with the logo itself. Mahogany is fairly dark, so the logo wouldn't be visible at all.

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cteno4

If you go for a red dye it will come out more of of a rich red like red lacquerware (the darker Japanese kind) that I think the black burned jr will subtly stand out. Even painted it will stand out. Dyes are nice as you can get a better color than the usual woods w,o covering it all up, mahogany would need a dark brown. It's harder to match woods with a dye than with stains as stains are designed to try to just bring subtle color into the wood to make lighter woods try to look like darker woods, but they don't bring lots of color and repeated applications don't tend to add all that much. Dyes also take to all woods, stains will penetrate and look different on each wood. Two similar light woods may look very different with the same stain, but with dye they will look much more similar. They do take testing though to figure out how it will look and if you need repeated coats and what it looks like with different finishes on top.

 

The wood dyes are usually at a good paint store or at woodworking stores. Not usually at hardware or big box stores. Get the smallest can they have as it goes a long way! You can also mix them easily as well.

 

Also finish a cm or so over the top and all the faces. Over the top so if a gap happens in the scenery there is not a light patch and all the way around as our eye naturally will follow the frame even if hidden between modules and if it all looks the same they eye just accepts it well and it goes away,mbut if it finds a change (like a light spot between modules or the backs of the other side) it will distract the eye and keep catching it over and over. The contiguity of finish for any part they eye naturally wants to tie together is important and sort of a lost art these days as the trend these days is to disrupt.-- talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

 

A satin or wax finish might be the nicest as these pop a little w.o being shiny and distracting and a tad of smoothness tends to make us want to touch it unconsciously which is a good cue you are tapped into the subjective and sucked the viewer in well!

 

Glad to hear the birch is of very nice quality. That's great for finishing and it looking really nice. These are going to be pretty, purty!

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

The local hardware store is actually quit decent if it comes to paints, stains and dyes etc, they even have their own mixing station set up. They also sell it in really small quantities, so I think that's going to be the best option to get a test color or 2. They have a deep mahogany dye (https://static.gamma.nl/mam/celum/celum_assets/8911615754270_8716242491224_2_127797_tif_picture_Fullsize.jpg?2) which looks rather nice to me. Although, that specific example is a wooden floor dye.

 

The good thing is, the 6mm modules I have are the same type of birch, so I can do some tests on those to see how a fully painted module would look rather than just a piece of scrap wood.

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cteno4

Looks nice,minter eating so red for a mahogany, but everyone does their colors different! Learned that the hard way in the past! Always test...

 

Great they have lots of options at the local store and sell in small quantities.

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Went to the hardware store yesterday, picked up a deep mahogany and a red wood dye. The red says you need at least 2 coats, the mahogany gets darker the more coats you add on. It starts of fairly light, and you'll need at least 3 coats to get something resembling the image I linked in my previous post. The deep mahogany looked more brown than red though, which is why I also picked up the red dye, so I can mix them up a bit.

 

Going to get some tests going soon, see how things look with various combinations. I'm guessing if I go a single coat of red first, and then 2 coats of mahogany will make the end result more red as well.

 

The stuff isn't cheap (unless you get the low quality stuff of course), but it's not like the modules are big, so it should last quite a while. I also went with a water based version that doesn't smell nearly as bad as the solvent based ones, which is a plus :)

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Martijn Meerts

Well, painted some test pieces.. The red is WAY too red, and not very transparent at all (even though it says so on the can), the mahogany is a bit too brown for what I was trying to achieve. I tried a few combinations as well, but mahogany on top of red wasn't working at all, although red on mahogany does seem to work somewhat better. Pretty sure I'm not going to get anywhere near the Japanese red lacquer color with the wood paints though. I could maybe get a custom color mixed, but I'd prefer to stick to a base color.

 

If I manage to remember, I'll post some pictures of the paint test, I keep forgetting ;)

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cteno4

Ahh bummer. That's the rub with wood finishes, each wood has a different with the stain/dye you use. I expect they used oak for the samples which is not as porous as birch, so the color won't be as strong on oak. Dyes tend to be a little more constant in color, but can vary. Might just try a simple half and half or one third / two thirds mix of the two to see if you can find a simple blend that may give a better color. Applying one color over another can be problematic. Did you try multiple layers of the same dye to see what happens? Let them dry in between. On some woods the color will mellow and get richer,mthe first application can come off bright. Also try adding some linseed oil, bees wax or Danish oil on top as that can mellow and richen the color some and leave a nicer finish surface. Finishing is an art and takes experimentation and some patience! But it's well worth it as a nice human (ir not painted!) finish really makes a big difference in the presentation. Even if folks don't consciously see it they definitely feel it!

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

That's just the thing. It's best when people don't notice/comment on the wood finishing, but only on the actual module :)

 

Of course, getting the Japanese red lacquer type colour is probably not possible with wood dyes, and definitely not something you can consistently get. Anyway, some pictures:

 

 

Image 022:

Overview of the tests (R = red, RR = 2 coats, RRR = 3 coats, M = mahogany, etc)

 

Image 023:

Mahogany (bit of a blurry pictures, light was starting to fade ..)

 

Image 024:

Red (not very transparent :)) 

 

Image 025:

Various combinations

 

Image 026:

Another combination, and a larger piece of a double coat of mahogany, which actually looks rather nice

jrc-ttrak-000_022-colour_test_01.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_023-colour_test_02.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_024-colour_test_03.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_025-colour_test_04.jpg

jrc-ttrak-000_026-colour_test_05.jpg

Edited by Martijn Meerts

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katoftw

Picture 24, the RRR looks most like Vermillion Red to me (when newly painted and unweathered).

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kvp

For me MRR looks to be the best match. The red is too transparent or too bright alone, so the dark background makes it look like the black underlay of the japanese red lacquerware, then the double layers of red makes it a nice shade of slightly darker red.

 

On the other hand, you could try machine mixed acrylics, which would hide the color and pattern of the wood, but can be reordered reliably with color codes. (they are the closest to lacquer in composition and finish and can be airbrushed onto a sanded surface and polished afterwards)

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

Did they have any deeper reds? The one I have is a darker red and with each coat it gets richer.

 

Lacquerware red will be tough to match like this and it's a solid paint color and a unique finish as well that would be hard to duplicate.

 

Painting defeats the whole purose if a nice wood finish. You can set the color, but it is no longer human and it's only color and then you back into the color being the only thing that then upsets some of the audience as they don't like that color. Even finishing choices can scream at folks more and grab the eye and upset. Having the wood finish helps our eye get over the color and just let it exist and not compete. The more so the closer the eye will get and thus more onto your actual scene! This is where the idea of painting everything black to be negative space is just so wrong! That is not how negative space works and in this case it just makes the rest of the area around you scene be more catching to the eye than the proper framing is.

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I don't think they have deeper reds. They really just have the standard wood types (oak, mahogany, etc), and then a few colors like red, blue and green. They might have cherry, which should be closer to a deep red than mahogany.

 

Red on top of mahogany seems to work okay (so, MRR or MMR for example), mahogany on top of red doesn't work at all. I'll probably just grab the 6mm modules and paint those, that should give a better idea. I can do one of them MRR and another MMR and see how it looks. I do also like the MM one though (last picture), it bring out the wood grain really well.

 

Of course, protecting the finish when working on the scenery is going to be interesting as well, especially since I'll be airbrushing the track and probably various other bits and pieces :)

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