2007 model challenge

For discussion of the issues faced when building a model or layout - how to replicate wood, what glues to use, exactly how much weathering can a Gnat take, a good source of detailing accessories - you get the picture, I'm sure.

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Steve Bennett
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:49 pm

Time to bring this topic back up the list again :) .

It was nearly a case of posting to say that the cardboard layout had gone in the bin. Despite taking as much care as I could to make the surface waterproof with varnish and paint, putting the ground surface down still caused the card surface to get soaking wet and it sagged between the underboard supports. After a lot of headscratching though and several attempts of re-wetting and applying weights and supports, I managed to salvage it and it is now running again.
I might build another in a similar way, as having almost completed this I now like the idea of one based on a farm or horticultural setting in Gn15. Next time I think I might try a double skinned board with a waterproof membrane between the two layers, that way the top surface will be better supported.
Not much to do to finish up now, a bit of groundwork at the far left around a timber fence which is ready to install, then re-attach the buildings. Here's a pic of the current state, yes, as you can see, I have been playing trains :) .
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:45 pm

Steve, this is a problem this the thinner corrugated cardboard boxes, why I am pleased to have some triple ply ccorrugated cardboard, not that I will risk over soaking it. :roll:
I am also thinking of trying out the papier mache to create the scenary, as well as my paper paint mixture, both techniques having already been tried for ballasting track :!: cardboard has ot distorted so far.
one other advantage of using cardboard is that it is cheap and easy to replace, so a bit of experimentation won;t do anyharm. just remember to chop out old experiments and turn them into fresh mash :wink:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:22 pm

rue_d_etropal wrote:Steve, this is a problem this the thinner corrugated cardboard boxes, why I am pleased to have some triple ply ccorrugated cardboard, not that I will risk over soaking it. :roll:


Well I nearly chickened out and went for a dry material for the surface, a concrete yard would probably have been more in keeping with the setting aswell, but, being stupid I wanted to see where the limits of what could be done were, think I found out too :) . With such a small layout, it seemed the ideal time to try :) , the only thing that cost anything was the track, so if the rest had been thrown away, it wouldnt have been a big problem, as it happens, it's a great little plaything, need a few more wagons yet to build in some space problems :) .
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Postby MOG » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:25 pm

Won't suit avery application BUT.. how about using double-sided carpet tape to lay the track.. ballast can then be applied on top and the excess brushed off. If necessary, a spray fixative (masking tracks) will keep it in place.

On a little layout like this one you might even get away with covering the whole area in super sticky tape and applying scenic powders/flock stuff.

No water.. no warping problems.

Hmm.. might have to put my money where my mouth is and try this out again!

By the way - glad you stuck with it Steve, that looks really nice.

What's happening front left?
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:37 pm

MOG wrote:What's happening front left?


Depends if I can resist putting anything there :) . The plan is to use this to photograph stock on aswell, so I want to leave that clear, not sure how long I will last before adding some bits of junk growing in the weeds. Maybe building a second one is a good idea, there would be more chance of leaving this one alone then :)
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Postby MOG » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:52 pm

:oops: Just realised .. I meant front right!! looks like a concrete base for a building or something?
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:58 pm

MOG wrote::oops: Just realised .. I meant front right!! looks like a concrete base for a building or something?


Spot on Martin, there is a small lean-to going on there, which helps to mask the exit to the cassette. Not much room for anything much on this little board, but it seems to work. Hopefully get it finished tonight and will be able to post pics of the completed layout ( :?: ) tomorrow
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Postby MOG » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:04 pm

Literally a five minute experiment.. With a bit more care I imagine you could get quite good results. The tape was white which didn't help.. but you can get 'clear' double sided carpet tape (about 3 or 4 inches wide)..
The track is pretty firm but a couple of pins could make sure.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:42 pm

Is that your entrant to the challenge :lol:
Sorry :) couldnt resist, looks fine Martin and could well be a good way to go on a cardboard base. Did you use any fixitive other than the tape, past experience has shown that it doesnt hold for long. After a while the adhesive of the tape gives up as it dries out, so unless something extra is used, it probably will only be temporary, which of course, does have advantages. I guess either a spray on artists fixitive or hairspray would make a more durable base. Certainly has the advantage of keeping moisture out of the equation.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:48 pm

Time for somebody else to take over bumping this thread back up the list as I dont think there is anything more I can add on my little project. Here are a few pics of the completed module (I cant bring myself to call it a layout :) ). I might add a few more details yet, but I want to keep this as simple as possible for taking around to shows to illustrate how effective a very simple layout using most basic techniques can be. Thats about it, I will leave you with the pics, I'm going to play trains :)

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He's done it again!!!!!!!

Postby Gerry Bullock » Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:18 pm

Superb Steve 8) you've made your point :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Playing trains eh :!: :roll:
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Postby dr5euss » Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:20 pm

That looks good Steve, I like the firebell - is it one of yours?

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:57 pm

Thanks guys, apart from the warping base, it was a really fun and quick little project.

The firebell was very much a last minute addition, just a simple turning in a drill with some brass rod inserted into it. I do plan on replacing it with a better one later, it's main task is to hide a join in the printed building, thought it would make a change from a drainage downpipe :) .
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Postby scott b » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:42 pm

That is a beautifull little example at a show to get people moving to do something rather than just thinking about it. You may even want to have a little hand out howto, step by step on how you made it and what you used. I don`t see any need to replace the bell it lookes fine and a very clever coverup it is. You may want to bring your standing figure forward a bit though, the shadow gives away the flat background, but then I`m just being picky.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:59 pm

Thanks Scott, your comments tell me that I have achieved what I set out to do. The handout is not a bad idea, will have to look at putting something together. I hope to be demonstrating some of the building techniques, which are all very simple, at a few shows, so a handout to go with it is a good idea.

Good point on the shadow from the figure, I will remember that in future photo's. There is no shadow under normal lighting conditions, just from the lights for the photography. There isnt much room to move him forward much though :) he would lose his knees as the wagon went past :) .
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm

Just for Scott, no more shadow from the figure onto the building, there's more space this side of the tracks :)

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Postby michael » Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:54 pm

I like that shot better. :) The briks don't look half bad either :lol: :lol:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:59 pm

michael wrote:I like that shot better. :) The briks don't look half bad either :lol: :lol:


:lol: Yup, the bricks look great :) . If it wasnt for your printies, this would never have been built, they served both as inspiration and a means of doing it. Martins Gnotts Widgets also provided some of the inspiration and Bob's idea of the plug in cassette sealed it, if it wasnt for you guys, I never would have tried it, so thanks.
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Postby AndyA » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:36 am

That's a really neat piece of work, Steve; as has already been commented, a great example that should encourage other people to get something done.

You commented:

Time for somebody else to take over bumping this thread back up the list as I don't think there is anything more I can add on my little project.


I've put brown tape round one of the keyboard boxes, cut some track to length, taken the tape off to add reinforcement inside where it sagged a bit, put new tape on. Oh, and I thought of a name :).

I do have a secret weapon that may be ready tonight, though.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:49 am

AndyA wrote:I do have a secret weapon that may be ready tonight, though.


:lol: All these mysteries, what with you and then Gerry with his instant layout tease :) guess I need to learn patience :) .

You are either up early, or had a good night out last night :) .
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Postby DCRfan » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:27 am

I had better go and find some toys to throw out of my cot :cry:

This looks so good now, what will it be like with the rest of the years titivating :cry:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:44 am

DCRfan wrote:I had better go and find some toys to throw out of my cot :cry:


:lol: No need for that Paul :lol:
No titivating will be done (well maybe a little) and it is not being entered in the challenge, being one of the sponsors gives me a good excuse not to enter :) . It's just a demonstration of what can be done with basic materials and techniques, Michael did the hard work with the artwork for the backdrop.
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Postby scott b » Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:51 pm

Steve, that last shot is set up beautifully, it shows so much depth and the lack of shadow makes the whole scene completely believable. Michael may have set up the printies(which I have printed as well for a player to be named later) you made them come to life with your design and creativity. It may all be very simple and basic technique but easy things can be done badly and this is a fine example of how to do it right.

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Postby MOG » Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:52 pm

Looks great Steve. Don't knock calling it a layout.. If it's got 'playability' surely that counts? Be nice to see this on Carl's scrapbook ! :lol:

The fire bell is a nice touch too. That could be a subject in itself couldn't it? Things used to disguise joins..

Best get some creosote on the base of that fence though! I was taught to erect them with a few inches ground clearance. :wink:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:21 pm

MOG wrote:Best get some creosote on the base of that fence though! I was taught to erect them with a few inches ground clearance. :wink:


:lol: There is ground clearance, you cant see as it has gravel boards in place, which are fairly well hidden by the weeds. Had to put them in, the scenic materials kept falling off the end of the board :)

Thanks again to all for their kind comments. It is difficult to get across the simplicity of this design, it's all straight lines and as long as you can stick things together squarely and neatly, similar results should be within the reach of most. I wish I had the time to do a step by step guide at the moment, but that will have to wait. I will do a follow up to the working with Balsa thread (http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=124) on building the timber shed and the different method I used this time on staining it. Oh, it does have a card structure, the balsa is just glued to the outside :) .

If anybody wants to know how anything was done, ask away, better to do it soon though before I forget what I did :) .
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