Herb's Mechanical

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Larry C.
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Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:23 pm

Now that I have some spare time, after a rough winter, I am working on a new project. This is going to be a "critter repair" facility set around the 1950's, or thereabouts, with everything coming in and out of the facility by rail.
This time around I'm going to try and "step-up my game" by doing much more detailed work than my previous layout.

Here are the specs: shoe-box format measuring 13.5 inches wide by 11 inches deep, with a 13.5 inch "fiddle-yard" on the right side. Instead of points, I'm using a turntable inspired by Carl's site using a CD with a thin case; we'll see how this works.
As a base, I used a thin piece of foam-core sealed with paint to prevent warping when doing the scenery.

Well enough chatter, here are the first pics of " Herb's Mechanical ":

Image

Image

Where the critter is located will be the repair shed and an office along the back of the layout; at least that's the plan for now.
That's about it for the moment, will post more pics as I progress. Any comments or suggestions welcomed.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby docnjoj » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:40 pm

Looks like it will be a neat small diorama. I do like the "cammo" paint job on the critter. :shock:
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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:54 pm

Thanks Doc, the critter bonnet actually is a texture from the internet of badly rusted metal printed on paper and attached to "card" which the bonnet as made from.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Simon » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:10 am

Looks like a nice little project.

Re the turn table, has it got the square CD cover below the 'base board' with a CD sticking up through it?

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:59 am

Hey Simon; yes the CD bottom part of the case is below the foam-core. I did have to shim it with card to bring the track of the turn-table up to level with the other tracks. It works reasonably well for what it is.
This is going to be fun.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:50 pm

Time to update my progress. I have the layout wired-up with each track wired independently, including the turntable and the fiddle track:

Image

If you look at the turntable, I have the wires soldered to the inside of the tracks. BIG mistake as the power only works when the critter wheels are directly over the wires. So I redid the wires and put them under the rails by using a tiny screwdriver and forcing the wires. Now the turntable has power along the whole thing. Live and learn.

Also I was able to get the tracks ballasted. Using a teaspoon and a new pencil, I put down a little ballast at a time and packed it around the tracks. Then I used a drop of dish soap in a little water as a wetting agent followed by a 50/50 mixture of white glue and water:

Image

The last thing was to add some "sky" which is an internet texture resized to scale. I'll hide the joints when I start adding buildings and details to the layout.

Well that's it for now; any comments or suggestions welcomed.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:27 pm

Since I've been out of work for a few weeks, due to surgery, I had time to work on the layout. Here is a long overdue progress update:

Image

The "office", along the back wall, is built as well as the "critter shed". The next step will be to finish them.

Image

With the open window in the office, I wanted a picture of a 1950's style office. Could not find anything suitable on the internet, so my Wife used her Sims 2 magic and created an office for me.

Image

Image

The office is pretty well completed with only a few details left to do. The second pic is looking in from the fiddle track.

Image

Image

Here is the critter shed painted and weathered. I'm going to leave the roof off so that the inside details will show up better when start detailing the layout. Also the work bench is not glued in so that it can be removed for detailing.
That's it so far. Any comments or suggestions welcomed.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby docnjoj » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:37 pm

Very classy! What kind of wood did you use for the shed?
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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:35 pm

Thanks Doc. The shed frame is made out of craft sticks; two were laminated together for the frame lumber to give it a "beefier" look. The back and side slats are made from Popsicle sticks. Everything was done in a red wash of acrylics and weathered with powdered charcoal.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Robert Leach » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:16 pm

Nice work, Larry. Like your textures and finishes!
Rob

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:38 am

That eye level view in first image works, will be cool to see same view as layout nears completion. Sims image for office window is a pretty neat idea. Neat thing about this scale and gauge combo is creatively making things happen and appear.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby docnjoj » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:35 pm

I am inspired to do a turntable (never done one before) but I may use the "easy way out" for my G9 layout and get one of Simon's 3D ones. I need to figure out his coding on the website though. I have an old HO one with a motor, but it is way too big. Thanks for the ideas.
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After extensive recalculation, I have determined that the meaning of life is NOT 42! The secret of life, however is "enjoying the passage of time" (James Taylor)

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:40 pm

Thanks guys for your encouraging words. Yes I really like this scale because I can use materials found easily and cheaply. Just proves that you don't need to spend a ton of money to make a layout and have fun doing it.
Doc, as mentioned above the turntable idea from Carl's A.'s website really works pretty well and is really cheap to build. I'm very pleased with the way it works and also the way it looks:

Image

Here it is finished and weathered. The "pole" has a duel purpose; it acts as a handle to turn the table and also works as a "capstan" for moving cars with a chain.
Also I've put down the basic ground cover; which is dirt from my yard not sifted. The tiny rocks add texture to the layout. The grass by the office is course green turf with dirt sprinkled over it to make the grass look sparse. Put capstans at the end of the angled tracks for car movement because this helps justify the small turntable which only holds one car or critter at a time.
Here's a pic from another angle. Enjoy:

Image

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby docnjoj » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:27 pm

Love the capstans. Now you gotta weather them. Silver in the middle and rust on the ends. They do have to get some use. Perhaps a chain wrapped around one or a rope?
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After extensive recalculation, I have determined that the meaning of life is NOT 42! The secret of life, however is "enjoying the passage of time" (James Taylor)

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:15 pm

The capstans are now weathered and bought a necklace at a thrift shop which was rusted:

Image

Image

Image

Now the cars can be pulled off of the turntable and down either of the two angled tracks. Likewise they can be pulled back on to the turntable via another capstan on the turntable itself. They then can be shunted to the office area or taken off scene by the critter. This makes such a small layout very functional. Enjoy.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby docnjoj » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:34 pm

Excellent! What are you going to use for a winch? Someone used a critter on a perpendicular track.
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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:06 pm

Getting there! What a lot of people do when using natural dirt is go over it with a strong magnet in order to, hopefully, remove any magnetic metallic particles which might wind up making their way to electrically or mechanically inconvenient places.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:38 pm

Thanks for your comments. Doc, looks like we'll be using "good old fashion elbow grease" to winch the cars down the rails.
Willow Creek; thanks for the tip when using natural dirt, I was not even aware of such a thing.
Next step will be to "plant" some weeds and grass clumps onto the layout. Stay tuned.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:28 am

Welcome. Saw that in the 80s, and ever since, in US magazines.
Here's some online reading.
"Two potential issues with Any Old Dirt. Ferrous metals and bugs."

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/232345.aspx
and
"He took out a magnet, stuck it into my home made ballast and then pulled it back out - and he took most of the cigar box full of ballast with him when he did that"

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/901
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:58 pm

Willow Creek - Wow!! Thanks for the links on using real dirt. Very interesting read; so much in fact that I will probably remove it from the layout, if I'm able to. Thanks again, much appreciated.
Last edited by Larry C. on Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:17 pm

Unfortunately I've had a hard decision to make. After reading the "dirt links", I decided to check the dirt that I used for metal. It was really bad, and being that I did not want to ruin my critter, I decided to remove the dirt from the layout. Well, I guess that I did too good of a job putting it down because it would not all come off. Coupled with the fact that it is really too small to have any real "play value", I've decided to start over soon. Live and learn.

So here are the last few pics of this version of "Herb's Mechanical":

Image

Image

Image

Finally, I was able to paint my figures which was a first for me.

All in all, I don't feel too bad about this because it served two purposes. Firstly it gave something to do while I was healing from surgery and secondly it gave the chance to learn some new skills. So that being said, I think that I will continue with the new build using this same thread. I'll post some pics after I get it started.
Any suggestions or comments welcomed.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby docnjoj » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:45 pm

It is lookin' good. It is a shame to have to do it over due to the dirt. I went outside and stuck a Neodyme magnet into a sand pile and nothing happened. Nothing attracted. This was builders sand, but I am planning to use it on my layout.
I guess washed sand is OK. I do love kitty litter for larger rocks and rough sand.
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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Boghopper » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:51 am

I may be wrong Larry, but if it's stuck down so well, surely it shouldn't be a problem? It's only loose particles you need to worry about. I mainly model 009 but have never had a problem with the tiny mechanisms I use even though the occasional piece of scatter or scenic material breaks loose. Perhaps a good going over with a vacuum cleaner will reassure you.
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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:49 pm

Thanks for your comments guys. Doc; I do like the concept of using kitty litter. I think that I'll do a test area on some scrap foam-core to see if I like the effect. I checked out "Watts" and did like his use of litter with rocks and gravel.
Boghopper; I did pack-up the layout and put it the garage. Maybe I'll get it out sometime and see what I can do with it; maybe part of a larger layout. But for now I'm going forward with the new build.

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Re: Herb's Mechanical

Postby Larry C. » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:07 pm

So here are the first pics of the rebuild of "Herb's Mechanical":

Image

The track plan is about the same with the exception of a "swing table" instead of the turntable. The layout is being built on a 1/2 inch piece of pink foam, which I had on hand. The swing table is mounted on a paint stirring stick, which is the perfect size. The track was nailed with track nails, which were filed down on the underside, and it was also glued in a few places. The remaining track received the same treatment and was glued to the foam with white glue.

Image

The layout is framed with 1x3 inch pine boards. With the frame the layout measures 26 x 13.5 inches which is a little larger than before. The tracks were wired, checked for good electrical contact, and ballasted.The fences were mounted on card and tacked to the outside of the frame. The scenery will go over the frame to the edge of the layout. The holes in the fences is where the buildings will go. I'm using as much as I can from the other layout so that I'm not starting totally from scratch. Also the cobbles under the swing table is a resized internet texture.
That's it so far, any suggestions are welcomed.
Last edited by Larry C. on Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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