Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

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Oztrainz
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Oztrainz » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:34 am

Hi all,
It's time for Doc's Diversion #1 into things arboreal - "making trees" for the Corrimal Colliery Reaforestation Company.

So first off here's what we are trying to replicate-
The view from the mine site out over the Illawarra coastal plain
Image

some of the undergrowth
Image
with tree ferns at lower left

And steam-hauled coal skips haven't been this way since the mid-1960's - a view along the former 2' gauge right-of-way looking towards the incline from 2013
Image
Note the ferns and scrub.

Historic photos of the local area show that for our chosen early-1920's modelling period, the tree canopy was a lot more open than shown in the above photos.

And now to model this type of Aussie schlerophyl rainforest,
Come back for Doc's Diversion #2,
John Garaty
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Oztrainz » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:01 am

Hi all,
Now for Doc's Diversion #2 - modelling gum trees for the layout.
First off some limitations.
Most modules have a 200mm high aluminium frame under the baseboard and the track level is approximately 100mm above baseboard. We decided to have a 600mm maximum height for all modules apart from the Incline and Incline top modules (those two top out at 1 metre). This means that any trees on these modules can be no more than about 250mm above baseboard to prevent damage in transit. Now 250mm in 1/43 scale is about a 40' high gum tree. This is a "tiddler". Most gum trees on the Illawarra escarpment now have well over 60 years growth on them and are now well over 100' tall and are probably closer to 150' tall as shown in the first photo of the previous post.

For gum trees we decided to use the "Autumn Joy" variant of sedums, which look like this in the ground
Image

These have been used both here and overseas as the basis for larger model trees. Back in 2012 I attended a modelling clinic by Aussie modeller Dan Pickard on using these to make larger gum trees (up to 3' tall). We decided to use a modified version of Dan's techniques to make smaller gum trees.

The trick is to let the flower heads and leaves die off until fully brown, then harvest the flowerheads to ground level. These are further died over a period of several weeks in a protected sunny spot to evaporate almost all moisture content. This gives a starting point like the brown ones shown in the right of the next photo
Image
These can be a little fragile, but anything that snaps off during handling is either:
(A) - turned into a smaller scrubby tree
(B) - put through a blender to make a base ground cover layer
The green trees at the left of the previous photo are already at Stage 2. You can either use the cheapest spray cans or use an airbrush for then next painting stages

Stage 1 is to waft cheap white acrylic paint up from under the flower canopy
Image
The aim here is to an uneven cover to break up the brown and give a lighter undersurface to the "leaves".

Stage 2 is to spray various greens to the top of the canopy. Again the aim is for variation rather than an even green over the whole of the model tree canopy. You can even use different greens.
Image
If using an airbrush, don't bother cleaning it between greens. The residual colour will help add to the "variation" Also don't worry about any green overspray to the upper "branches". Most gum have a green tinge to the bark just below the leaf canopy.

Here's what Stage 2 looks like when done
Image
The paint also tends to keep the smaller parts of the flowerheads attached. If you are not making gum trees you could be finished here if you wish.

There are some optional stuff you can do here. A light dry brush of either red or yellow across the top of parts of the canopy can give a different variety of gum or a gum tree that is under distress (not growing all that well)

Stage 3 is to represent the seeping gum resin seen on the main branches and trunk of most gum trees. This done with small dobs of burnt umber oil paints around the top of the main branches, then swiped with a turps-landed down the trunk to give the "bleeding" type stain.
Image

Dan's technique also involved making the buttress root on the lower trunk before painting and modelling the and bark shedding around the lower trunk. Because of the lower height we wanted and also because the lower part of the trunks were planned to be hidden by other "scrubby stuff", we reckoned we could get away with a not modelling this part of the gum trees. This enabled us to get a large quantity of gum trees "done" very quickly.
Image
Some of these were stored for anything up to 2 years before the layout got far along enough for them to be planted out on the layout

This completes the gum tree tutorial, Come back for Doc's Diversion #3 when we tackle the "scrubby stuff"
John Garaty
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby docnjoj » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:05 pm

Thanks John for that very enlightening way to do trees. We also live in a subtropical area, so I will find out about growing Sedum plants.
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Oztrainz » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:38 am

Hi all,
Now for the scrubby stuff.
Remember there is no "scale" in trees. a "N-scale "tree" turns into "O-scale scrub" very easily and a larger HO tree turns into G-scale scrub just as easily.
Image

Here's the starting point - cheapie wire trunked "trees" from China in various sizes. These come cheaper/unit in larger quantities (and most were post free to Australia) :D
Image
The original N-scale trees in lurid green are in the right-hand container. They turn into the left-hand container after a quick waft with various Tamiya flat acrylic or cheap-water soluble hobby paints (Jo-Sonja etc). Some were done with spray cans (quick but expensive) then I got the airbrush out ( a whole lot cheaper.

Some taller versions are in the background. At the extreme right you can see some decapitated cheapie plastic palm trees. These turn into acceptable tree ferns after a quick waft to dull the plastic sheen.

Another passable low level tree fern can be got from N-scale date palms. a quick brush over the fronds with an india ink/Isopropyl alcohol solution gives these
Image

These slightly taller ones were wafted with khaki to give a "dusted look"
Image
The aim of the game is to get a varied coverage across the canopy When dried, store similar sizes in separate containers and stir the container to mix the colour variations through-out the containers

For scrubby type stuff, the trick is to fully "plant" the wire trunk. I'll cover that in "planting out" next time
John Garaty
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby docnjoj » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:47 am

Thankyou John. Just the primer on trees that I need. Please keep on going!
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby southpier » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:15 am


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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Kerluk » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:41 pm

Thanks for the video. :D

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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Oztrainz » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:11 am

Hi all,
time for Doc's Diversion #4a - Planting out.

Looking at the Dead-End Module, First up, in the absence of detailed build photos, here's where we started with a test train after tracklying, well before "Plant Out start"
Timeline March 2013 - Track installation
Image

and at Plant-Out start - base layer of sandstone textured paint over white bead foam covered by Chux wipe cloths. Additional colour with cheap burnt umber poster paint.
Image
and
Image

After Initial ground layer, as viewed from above - Shredded sedums offcuts and small stuff that was snapped off during handling after feeding though a blender, glued to textured paint surface with diluted PVA glue
Image

Start low and work back away from the track to higher vegetation. Note the start of tree ferns in the creek bed.
Image
I have a small battery drill that I use to punch holes into the white foam. A dob of white glue on the trunk of the tree, and push the tree home into the white foam. The aim here is to display a tree canopy rather than individually detailed trees.

A closer look a layering vegetation with higher stuff behind
Image

Working backward from both the creek and the embankment above the tracks, towards the back corner
Image
Remember - not all trees survive. It's OK to have some dead ones with dead foliage in the mix of colours and textures.

And working back from the track and creek on the other side of the culvert
Image
Some of the more lurid greens in the right background of the previous photo have been toned down with a light waft of a "more olive green" from a Tamiya spray can. Tufts/small scrubby trees are planted along the base of the bank beside the track where water might collect.

That'll do for this post. Come back for Doc's Diversion 4b when we look along the track, rather than across it.
John Garaty
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby docnjoj » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:02 pm

Thank you John for this wonderful landscaping treatise. It is amazingly realistic, yet looks doable.
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Oztrainz » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:04 am

Hi all,
Some ancient history - This thread was really the start of the Corrimal Colliery Incline modelling saga, when it deviated from the original postings about a Tasmanian incline. This thread developed simultaneously but differently to another thread on the NGRM forum, which has developed more detail of the build process than this one.

Unfortunately this thread has now been partially nobbled by the Photobucket fiasco. Photos hosted on PB from long-time modelling friend and supporter Adrian Hoad have now been replaced by the PB "Time expired" black blob. Sadly Adrian has been deceased for some time and is not around to rectify the situation.

Also presumed lost for all time were all his photos also on this list of his first Gn15 Emett-inspired exhibition layout "Far Twittering & Oyster Creek". This was one of the first Gn15 exhibition layouts anywhere. But I've found some of the photos and a brief description of the layout have survived and continue to survive at http://gn15.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5941&hilit=Adrian+Hoad due to Gerry's "Virtual Exhibition" section. Sadly the original thread the the VE linked to is also gone, with its operating gates, wacky semaphore signal and operating fountain that would occasional squirt anyone who got too close.

Enjoy a revisit if you wish ,
Thanks Adrian and Gerry, both gone but not forgotten,

Normal service will be resumed shortly...with the postponed look along the track.
John Garaty
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Oztrainz » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:14 am

Hi all again,
Now for the deferred Doc's Botanical Diversion #4b, where we look at planting out from the Dead-End along the track to the Incline Top.

At the Dead-end, looking across the tracks before the culvert,
Image
with the increasing height of the vegetation to the rear giving the impression of a mountainside rising behind

But close to the Incline top, we have
Image
with the Brakehouse foundations on the left (Viewing side for this module) and a retaining wall with low scrub on the other side of the tracks. The low scrub is formed from tuft sheets, foam 'fall-offs" from the cheap Chinese trees and some of the smaller sedum branches. Some tufts shredded from this sheet are used to form the tufts in the drainage ditch at the foot of the retaining wall. This breaks up the hard line between the retaining wall and the ballast. The Brakehouse foundation has yet to grow its "ferns" to cover the dodgy foundation paintwork. A footpath comes in at the left from the Brakehouse and upper track level.

So, from the end Dead End module, just beyond the culvert looking back towards the Incline Top
Image
with the Brakehouse now dominating the skyline. Keep an eye on that area in the left front. This is actually a slight ridge, as shown in the front left of the next photo
Image

Once this is planted out and some more static grass added in the foreground, looking towards the Brakehouse
Image
the Brakehouse can no longer be seen.

As seen by the public the small ridge becomes a significant view-block that helps to visually break up the train of skips as it is being shunted to the hand-off point to magnetic haulage near the Brakehouse.
Image

For camouflaging module joints, use some squishy vegetation that slightly protrudes beyond each module. When the modules come together you get something like this
Image
For best effect, make your squishy vegetation clumps on each side of the join different sizes. This also helps to hide the join line.

This completes Doc's Diversion into things botanical.
John Garaty
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby docnjoj » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:25 am

That is really fine work John. Thanks for covering all that important layout stuff. I still love those trees made of Sedum.
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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: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby Oztrainz » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:59 am

Hi David,
Another tip - I actually use an extended shank 1/8" drill to punch the hole through the (Chux/Caulking) layer and into the the white bead foam underneath. This gives me enough length so that I'm not bumping the lower layer of trees. This also makes opening up the diameter of the hole pretty easy as well if needed.

I use a long nose set of pliers to push the trunk of the tree in to the right depth. Be careful of the sedums, don't squeeze too hard because the hollow trunks can be squashed and damaged. You'll get a feel for it after the first couple that you "plant".

Here ends "Tree-planting 101"
Last edited by Oztrainz on Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Self-Acting Haulage Lines.

Postby docnjoj » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:30 pm

Now that was a great learning experience. Thanks John!
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