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General Category => Modellers At Work => Topic started by: Greg Hile on August 08, 2017, 01:00:06 AM



Title: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on August 08, 2017, 01:00:06 AM
So, I have been lurking around on the forums for years, my first layout having been destroyed in a flood around 2009 and reincarnated as my wife’s flower garden. As I am now retired with a bit of time on my hands, I am starting in earnest to build the Carquinez & Alhambra Valley Railroad. I live in Martinez, California, a stop on the Transcontinental Railroad, the home of John Muir, the birthplace of Joe DiMaggio, and, strong rumor has it, the martini. As a history buff, I am loosely modeling early twentieth century Martinez (with a few liberties here and there).

My space is limited and phase one is a simple loop about 12’x30’ just to get something up. It will eventually triple in length and go up the side of a hill. I model in 1/24 scale and have been designing several structures using SketchUp and other digital tools. I am devouring the work of the great modellers here, especially Ray Dunakin, and am really looking forward to participating a whole lot more.

In this and subsequent posts, I'll provide photos of the John Muir house, the original train station, the Alhambra Natural Mineral Water Co., the 1901 Contra Costa County Courthouse and Jail, and other original goodies, along with the progress of the project(s). If anyone watches 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, season two will feature the modern day versions of the courthouse and jail.



Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Bill Gill on August 08, 2017, 06:38:38 AM
Hi Greg, Welcome to the forums. Sounds like quite an expansive project! I'll be watching along.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Barney on August 08, 2017, 02:56:52 PM
Welcome - sounds good just take a deep breath and get in there
Barney


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Ray Dunakin on August 08, 2017, 10:25:41 PM
Welcome aboard! Nice to see someone else taking a stab at outdoor modeling.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on August 11, 2017, 12:51:35 AM
Thanks everyone! What intrigued me about the water company building was the white on blue sign all around the building. To create that I plan on using my daughter's Cricut die-cutter to mask over the lettering. I didn't even know what a Cricut was until last week when I made a bunch of 2 inch vinyl dots for my granddaughter's Minnie Mouse push car. I will be checking out the capabilities and limitations of the cutter and would like to also be able to use the print and cut feature to create signs that could then be transferred to a styrene or PVC sheet.

I have also started creating foundations for some of the buildings out of the pink Foamular board available from Home Depot. One of the issues with foam core I have been looking at is the ability to paint it. When I created Minnie's mouse ears and bow out of 1" and .5" inch Foamular, respectively, I had forgotten about the need to paint it with latex house paint. I used Krylon rattle cans and while there was some reaction, it wasn't all that bad (not to mention the fact that (1) they were mouse ears, and (2) the kid is only 2 years old).

However, I really don't want to use house paint, so I started researching and looking for alternatives. Another paint that apparently will hold up is water-based acrylic. I did a test with some Tamiya black using just a brush and there were no problems. Tomorrow I will set up the airbrush and do a more extensive test. I also need to see if a UV protective top coat will eat through the acrylic and cause damage.

The reason for doing this is that I would like to paint sidewalks directly onto the foam board. We'll see if that is possible or whether I'll need a plan B.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Lawton Maner on August 11, 2017, 08:13:46 AM
The Minnie Mouse Ears are right up Russ' alley.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: finescalerr on August 11, 2017, 11:20:08 AM
Don't make fun of my amazingly good taste, Lawton. When I ride around in a little polka-dot vehicle like that I'm a real chick magnet! Dogs think I'm cute, too. -- ssuR


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on August 11, 2017, 01:12:23 PM
LOL. See what I mean by wondering what I have gotten myself into? Russ, maybe you could come over and drive the car sometime. But you may have to deal with granddaughter Addison, and Wendy the dog for that matter ...


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Lawton Maner on August 13, 2017, 09:52:49 AM
Russ:
Yes, you are a chick magnet, just like my brother's 1976 Toyota station wagon.  It to is a chick magnet and a chicken coop.  ;D

Greg:
If you haven't noticed yet, Russ is fair game for all on the forum, as there is much going on in the world today which offers little humor.

But we all support and encourage great modelling.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Chuck Doan on August 13, 2017, 07:41:42 PM
This should be a fun project.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on August 14, 2017, 10:26:29 PM
Lawton and Russ: Yeah, I think I'm going to fit in very nicely here.

Chuck: Thanks. I'm really looking forward to it.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on August 23, 2017, 12:19:31 PM
So, things are progressing here, slowly but surely. Work continues on finalizing SketchUp designs for several of the building projects. I tend to work on multiple designs and switch back and forth when I get tired of one or the other.

As for actually building stuff, my first project is the train station. The combined depot, freight, and station master residence has undergone many changes over the years (it is still standing but no longer in use) and it was difficult to come up with an accurate prototype, but here is the current version:

(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Martinez-Train-Station.png)

Still some details to add, including proper doors and windows, but it's enough to start cutting the foamboard and taping up a mock-up of the depot. One issue that came up was that of color. A  lot of prior research (and debate) has been done by the Southern Pacific HO folks. Fortunately, Tru-Color has released SP depot colors of Colonial Yellow, Trim Brown, and Moss Green. Unfortunately, my LHS was out of Colonial Yellow and was told by their distributor that it was back-ordered and wouldn't be available until September. It was suggested by the SP folks that CNW Yellow was the best substitute, so I bought a jar of it. Then, a couple days later, I got a call that the Colonial Yellow had arrived and ran down and bought some. Turns out the CNW Yellow was pretty close but it was a little lighter and more orangish than the true SP color.

I was always taught the old axiom "measure twice, cut once" but I didn't quite live up to that principle:

(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IMG_3521-e1503469871539.jpg)
(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IMG_3520-e1503470289602.jpg)

I also started practicing scribing on a piece of scrap 1/4-inch foamboard. Rather than using Sintra, I am using Komatex foamed PVC sheets, which is available from TAP Plastics a couple miles from my home. It's cheaper than Sintra and I don't have to pay for shipping. I tried a couple of tools I had bought specifically for this purpose, but I ended up using the red-handled punch I found lying around the house one day. No idea where it came from or how it got there. I also tried out using hack saw blades with different sized teeth. to recreate wood grain.

(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IMG_3523-e1503473456749.jpg)

That's it for now. I'd love to get feedback from y'all ...


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: finescalerr on August 24, 2017, 12:46:39 PM
Nice SketchUp drawing. It will be fun to see how all this develops. -- Russ


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on October 02, 2017, 01:11:29 AM
So here is an update on progress, and a question I could use everyone's help on.

First, the update. Work is continuing on the train station. The exterior walls with doors and windows have been cut out of PVC foamboard and the freight depot scribed and primed with Tamiya grey Surface Primer. The freight deck and ramp has also been cut out.
(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/B4DB5F08-C35A-4F52-9F53-DB49C5443894-e1506923424362.jpg) (http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/72249EA5-EA7C-4CD0-B43C-2A4981365460-e1506923780269.jpg)
(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/3B27EB1F-8A6C-4A5F-83BE-66669EB62777-e1506924400662.jpg) (http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/4CCABDD2-B9D6-4EDC-82E3-BC8689365D75-e1506924504704.jpg)

I have also been experimenting with the Cricut die cutter on a few things. In the last month or so, there have been a couple articles in Garden Railways and one of the RR forums on creating strips of shingles. Here is my Cricut version. I created the vector pattern in Adobe Illustrator and then imported the resulting .svg file into Cricut's software. The strips were printed on 1/32 basswood and are 1 inch by however long I need them. The one shown below . My main concern at this point is how well and how long the basswood will hold up outside. It will be UV-protected and all that, so we'll see.
(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2C30C57B-06A8-4F50-B656-92B39A829091-e1506925410967.jpg) (http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/397422B9-BB70-46F3-8DFD-2C3D3EA56695-e1506925246813.jpg)

I have also tried, without as much luck, to cut .040 styrene strips. Both the basswood shingles and the styrene strips are not cut all the way through but scored and then have to be separated from the stock (hence the hanging chads in the shingle gaps). I cut several widths of the strips, from .250 down to .125 (or perhaps even smaller -- I can't remember). The machine was able to score the strips but the strips had a tendency to curl when I separated them out.

The first photo shows the way in which the multiple strips are assembled for printing/scoring, and the second photo has, I believe, .156 strips of .040, with a commercial product on top and my strip on the bottom.
(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1EF399D7-2B6B-4543-B0FB-772DCFDEB8E9-e1506925958985.jpg) (http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/54690A71-C2F1-4F14-9C0E-C57C1C27ACC4-e1506926086936.jpg)

And, just for kicks, here are a couple photos of the layout where everything will eventually go. The layout is in extremely rough form at this point. I threw some track up and I have set a few cars out for reference along with a couple of kits I have built. Eventually, the layout will expand out in three directions (four, if I can convince the wife that she doesn't really need a back lawn but don't hold your breath on that one).
(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/8AE13AE9-587F-4F41-B377-55D66C6E06CD-e1506926390815.jpg) (http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/EB0426C5-64CC-4969-8E10-CB680D6D4945-e1506926728270.jpg)

Okay, here's where I need some help. Here is the latest iteration of the SketchUp file. The colors are standard Southern Pacific colors for that era. The brownish band around the lower portion of the building is not the same as the trim that goes around the doors and windows, et al. but is supposed to be a "dark yellow." I'm still working on figuring out exactly what "dark yellow" looks like, but what the railroad was mix the paint with sand to give it more texture and some greater protection from people, baggage carts, horse carriages, and the like.
(http://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Martinez-Train-Station-10-1-2017-e1506927044398.png)

My question is: what's the best way to model the sandy texture? Because they sell prototype Southern Pacific colors, I will be using Tru-Color, which the manufacturer describes as an "acrylic solvent based" paint.

That's all for now. Thanks!!!



Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Lawton Maner on October 02, 2017, 06:35:55 AM
Some years ago in one of he now defunct model RR mags, an author used baking soda in a salt shaker to texture concrete in HO.  A trip to your local craft store might yield some fine sand in a neutral color which may do the same thing in a larger scale.  I've done the same thing in 1:1 to make the front steps on my porch nonskid with builders sand when I painted the porch last year.  


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Bill Gill on October 02, 2017, 07:24:30 AM
Beach sand around here is also very fine in some places, much finer than "sandbox" or construction sand. Rinsing it well to rid the salt and other material might work. Sprinkling baking soda, diatomaceous earth (from pool supply store), or even maybe some of your local dirt, sifted through fine screen could give a plausible texture on top of just applied paint.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Hydrostat on October 02, 2017, 01:49:33 PM
If there's a quarry nearby ask if you can have some of the dust falling down from the grinder. Sifted with various colanders you'll have a fine viarity of different grain.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: NORCALLOGGER on October 02, 2017, 06:00:20 PM
Since your working in a larger scale you might try one of the stone or pebble finishes in a rattle can from RustOleum (spelling) or Krylon then over spray with your color of choice.
Rick


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Bill Gill on October 02, 2017, 07:11:49 PM
The rolled roofing on this HO scale coal silo was cut from a paint sample card from Home Depot of a very finely textured paint. I can't remember the brand, but if you look at all the paint samples in the paint dept. you will fine a number of colors. The texture is very fine. A bit of that paint could work for you. If the color isn't correct, you can paint over it like Rick suggested.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 02, 2017, 08:00:47 PM
Liquitex makes a "ceramic stucco" acrylic texture gel that I like. It can be spread onto PVC foam board to simulate stucco. And you can mix it with latex house paint to color it before applying, or paint over it after it's dry, whichever you prefer.

I get it from the craft store (Micheal's). It helps if you have one of their coupons.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Lawton Maner on October 03, 2017, 12:12:56 PM
Ray:
Can you post a picture of the container.
Thanks,
WLM3


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on October 03, 2017, 03:35:16 PM
Good suggestions all of them. Thanks guys!

Lawton: here is a photo of the stuff Ray was talking about, and a photo of it applied to a test piece of PVC foam board.

(https://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/9FD791FD-8E24-4B4D-9F4A-325EC4B51503-e1507066391248.jpg) (https://www.gregoryhile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1C74EF20-0A5A-4495-AE77-7467D13BC474-e1507066313200.jpg)

I also bought some colored sand from Hobby Lobby yesterday and will be testing it, the Ceramic Stucco, and the other suggestions ...

Greg


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Bill Gill on October 03, 2017, 06:17:55 PM
Golden also makes several acrylic mediums with various sized grit in them. Art stores and A.C. Moore carry Golden Acrylics and almost all have displays with samples of the different gels, pastes and mediums so you can see what the finish of each looks like.
https://www.dickblick.com/products/golden-pumice-gel-mediums/


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Lawton Maner on October 04, 2017, 08:20:13 AM
Thanks to both of you.  The breadth and depth of knowledge of this crowd sometimes scares me. 


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on October 04, 2017, 09:18:57 AM
Dang! I was just at Blick last Friday ...


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Greg Hile on October 05, 2017, 01:57:41 PM
Quick update: Thanks to everyone here and elsewhere who made suggestions regarding the texture issue. I tried out a number of them, including some colored sand I found at Hobby Lobby, and the best solution turned out to be Liquitex Ceramic Stucco. It achieved much the same overall visual effect as sand but it can be applied before painting rather than mixing it with or using a sifter to apply on wet paint, thereby giving me much more control over the process. In addition, the sand and other materials would rub off, whereas the stucco was far more permanent. I am sure there are other texture gels that would also do the trick. Kudos to Ray for the suggestion.

I also finally found a color sample of Southern Pacific Dark Yellow. Interestingly, I took it to Home Depot to match it and purchase a sample as some had mentioned and they were not interested. I have had attitude issues with the paint department at my local HD in the past so I didn't press it.


Title: Re: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Post by: Lawton Maner on October 05, 2017, 02:29:56 PM
Another reason not to shop at HD.  My local Sherwin-Williams store is my go to paint store.  They will mix me a 1 cup sized sample of almost any color I take them and I find the samples very useful when I model.  They will also provide exterior oils for me to take north to work on the East Broad Top cars because the Nanny State of Pa won't allow oils anymore.  They also have an acrylic exterior paint which sticks to the PVC mouldings we are putting on the car like your skin sticks to you.