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Author Topic: Building the C & AV, or, What Have I Gotten Myself Into?  (Read 654 times)
Greg Hile
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« 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.



* Old Martinez Courthouse.jpg (23.54 KB, 411x299 - viewed 16 times.)

* Alhambra Natural Mineral Water 1903.jpg (172.26 KB, 1619x1065 - viewed 18 times.)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 01:03:44 AM by Greg Hile » Logged
Bill Gill
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« Reply #1 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.
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Barney
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 02:56:52 PM »

Welcome - sounds good just take a deep breath and get in there
Barney
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Ray Dunakin
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 10:25:41 PM »

Welcome aboard! Nice to see someone else taking a stab at outdoor modeling.
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Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin’s World
Greg Hile
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« Reply #4 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.


* IMG_3455.JPG (58.36 KB, 320x320 - viewed 25 times.)

* IMG_3459.JPG (82.28 KB, 288x288 - viewed 377 times.)
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Lawton Maner
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 08:13:46 AM »

The Minnie Mouse Ears are right up Russ' alley.
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finescalerr
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« Reply #6 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
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Greg Hile
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« Reply #7 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 ...
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Lawton Maner
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« Reply #8 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.  Grin

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.
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Chuck Doan
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 07:41:42 PM »

This should be a fun project.
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“They're most important to me. Most important. All the little details.” -Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt





http://public.fotki.com/ChuckDoan/model_projects/
Greg Hile
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« Reply #10 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.
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Greg Hile
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« Reply #11 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:



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:




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.



That's it for now. I'd love to get feedback from y'all ...
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finescalerr
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 12:46:39 PM »

Nice SketchUp drawing. It will be fun to see how all this develops. -- Russ
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