Friday, November 30, 2012

Mountain Top Pt 3

I wasn't completely satisfied with the mountain landscape. Yeah I know it still needs ground foam and trees and details, but it was missing something. The wife had to make a trip to AC Moore for some supplies, so I tagged along. I found a much bigger selection in the scene-a-rama section. 

I picked up some thin sheets of plywood (1/32 and 1/164), to build structures out of later. I also picked up some little containers for when I mix my paints. I wanted something with a lid so I could shake it. Also got a carton of casting plaster, since I know I will need the rockmolds again elsewhere on the layout. They had a Ripplin' Water Kit I figured I would try out at some point. And finally another rock mold.

 This came with smaller rocks, 10 on the same size tray instead of 3. It was just a basic kit including only the molds and plaster. 

Those are some nice rocks you got there

Test fit

Spackled and glued in place 

Remember this is what it looked like

Landscape of mountain top: Complete! Now I just need to start adding ground foam, tullus, trees, etc. Look for my next update, hopefully soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mountain Top Pt2

So now that the mountain was covered, it was time to make some rocks! The rock mold only made 3 rocks, each were pretty big (since I'm in Z-scale) but more to come on rocks in Pt3 ;)

Test fit of the 3 rocks from the mold

I glued the rocks on, then sealed the gaps using a lightweight wall spackling. I love using this stuff on my layouts. If you use it and find it hard to spread out, just use a mister bottle and wet it down. It will take longer to dry but when it does it will be much smoother. 

A close up of a rock

So now it came time to color the rocks. The kit came with it's own paint but I decided not to use it. It was in limited quantity and I didn't want to run out and not be able to match it later. So I used some acrylic paints I had on hand.

I mixed up a light brown, a dark brown, and a very watered down black. You notice I mixed in bottle caps, this was because it was all I had available, and it allowed me to control how many droplets to water ratio. 

The rocks get speckled in the different shades of brown (1/3 area light 1/3 area dark), then the whole surface covered in watered down black.  

remember this is what it looked like before paint

Next I had to cover the flat areas with a concentrated dark brown mixture. This is to resemble dirt. This will later be covered in ground foam, but any area that is thin or shins through will show the dark brown. Looks pretty good eh? (white spot on-top of the right rock is the sun BTW, it is actually the same color as the face)

Part 3 will take the mountain to the next level of detailing. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mountain Top Pt1

While the wife and I were shopping in the craft store so she could pick up some scrap booking things. This caught my eye.

 I have never purchased a scenery kit before (except buildings) on my other layouts. I knew I had a mountain top to decorate, so I figured I would see how this kit recommended to do it. I knew woodland scenics does tons of model railroading supplies, so why not trust there diorama sets? I knew that the trees are not going to be to scale for my use, but at least I got some rock molds and some good directions.

Around 2 weeks ago I decided to open the kit and see what becomes of it. The Kit contents: Plaster cloth, glue, spray bottle, rock paints, earth undercoat paint, shaker, different turf media colors and grades, tullus, casting plaster, rock mold, and an instruction booklet.

I modified the foam slightly to have a nice steep face since the rock molds are pretty big. (The big rock about 36 scale feet tall by 70 scale ft wide)

 After wadding up some strips of news paper to help decrease the intensity of some of the steps, I got to work with the plaster cloth. 

I made sure to cover up the back side too. This was to help complete a shell so that it wont be able to peel up on the edges and come disconnected. 

Nice complete coverage!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Let the Land Take Shape

Next I used my pink insulation to start replacing the paper cards that I had folded up before.

Start with some basic shapes

Next fill in some thick sheets and mark out where to remove material

Using a rasp I cleared away the material

When I decided to put in that upper loop in the corner, I knew it would be in a mountain

Sooooo... Heres the basic shape of the mountain. The tunnel port you see is scratch built, and will be one of my next posts! Stay tuned.

Elevation Trials

After deciding on a track layout, you need to decide what elevation changes are needed. So this past winter I did out some simple sketches and shading to show the different levels. 

Here are the sketches I did.

Time to start laying track!

Track laid down

Added a raised loop I never planned on

I used paper folded up to do a mock up of the elevation changes

Now time for the land to take shape :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prelim Layout

Back in my second year of college (2008ish) I planned out a layout for a 2' by 4' space. I took the Marklin books, a piece of graph paper, and my tube TV and got to work designing a layout. I taped the Marklin book to the TV on a page that showed the different track and their part numbers. I then turned the TV to an all white channel so that the light would shine through. Moving the graph paper over this I meticulously drew out the track plan

This picture shows the paper that I taped to the TV

Here are my graph paper drawings. This is the outer main loops, which I later added a small siding at the bottom. (notice the curve turn outs on the left as well)

This is an inner loop that I planned to fill it in

After I finished this, I made a list of all the track pcs I would need. I then spent the next few months slowly collecting the pcs I needed on E-bay auctions. The reason I did this was because Marklin track brand new is very very expensive (I didnt want to spend $50 per curved turnout, or $5 for each pc of straight, etc.) There is still multiple hundreds of dollars worth of track that I managed to get at about 60% of full price. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Trains Intro

This is the second edition to my blogging. I originally built the 3d printer with my model railroad in mind. Well its been 8 months and I haven't but any attention towards my trains. I am years behind on posts, so I maybe updating random things from the past about my layout. Well with out wasting anymore time lets get started!

So as my profile says, I am into a few different scales of model railroading. I have always enjoyed trains, there are tons of people in the world who share this fascination. Maybe I enjoyed it since I grew up around train layouts and trains around the grandparents Christmas trees.

Originally I started off with N-scale. HO scale is very common but takes up a large space. I wanted to do N since it would be easy to have a larger layout, and the cost is easy to deal with. While I never fully settled on an N-scale layout before going to college I still have a large assortment of track, locomotives, models, and railstock. Near the end of high school I decided to start experimenting with Z-scale. It took up such a tiny space and was going to be easy to transport and work on while in college. Back when I started you would be lucky if there were 2 pages worth of stuff on E-bay, now there are thousands of items for sale on there.

I made 2 briefcase layouts in Z, one while in high-school, and one in college. Those pictures will be posted eventually. My main goal has been a Z-scale coffee table. That is what my railroading posts will be centering around for now.

I should also note that I have a layout in 1:900th scale ("track" width of about 1.6mm) But that is a post for a different time :)

No worries the 3d printing stuff will continue! Just now hopefully for the use I intended it for