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Thread: Deseret Western Railway Construction Thread

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    Default Deseret Western Railway Construction Thread

    Ground, or rather, foam, has been broken on the Deseret Western Railway! The track plan is based on the Kato Amherst 2005 plan with some minor modifications. I will try to extend the larger loop out a little farther, giving me more space for another bridge and more mountainous terrain. I've also added inclines to that loop to get some elevation change. My dream layout would involve a lot of climbing through mountains so I want to learn a bit about grades on this "starter" layout. I'll try to add a short tunnel or two, also. I got bored with the track plan's ovality pretty quick so I'm also experimenting with adding a little S-curve on the near side. I'd love to hear any other easy suggestions for further breaking up the ovality.


    For now I am strictly DC and, obviously, using Kato Unitrack.


    I'm going for a "Colorado mountain town in the 1950's" kind of vibe. For buildings so far I have a hotel, Jim's Repair Shop, a passenger depot, a coaling tower, a water tower, a speeder shed, a signal tower, and a small mine to go in the mountains. More details on these as I build them. I probably need a few more town buildings, and I'd love suggestions for a freight house and a two-track engine house.


    I couldn't find 2-inch thick foam anywhere locally, so right now the base is just a 1-inch board. I'd like some more rigidity and depth for doing the river and such, so I will try gluing some more 1-inch boards underneath. I hope that works out ok. I have the track laid out on the foam and am already having fun running trains. I will try to delay gluing down the track as long as I can so I have flexibility for mistakes and changes. The layout lives on a desk.


    I'm disappointed to find that my Bachmann 4-8-4 can't handle these curves, and I read that the Kato FEF-3s (I wanted to get one) can't, either. If anyone can recommend good N scale steamers of Western US roads (preferably D&RGW or UP) that could handle Kato's 11 inch (282 mm) curves, I'd appreciate it.


    I'm new to all of this and I'm especially bad at artistic things like painting, so don't expect much. I will have a lot of questions, and I will try to document my many mistakes here for the benefit of other noobs.


    Thanks for reading!

    IMG_5587.jpg


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    First, Welcome to this great site.

    As far as loco's goes, try to find a Bachmann 2-8-0. These have been around awhile now and most are good. Older ones were not DCC ready, but should you decide to go DCC down the road, you can (or have someone) install a decoder in it. Kato 2-8-2 is also a good steam loco and should run on your radius of curves. Same as the B-mann on the decoder. If you really like the big steam, learn all you can while you build this small layout and then build a much larger layout with large radius curves that will handle the large steam. First and foremost, enjoy the railroad as you build it. There is a lot of great people on the board that are more than willing to help you in anyway that they can.
    Rodney

    Here is my build of my n-scale railroad
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...-50-8-quot-%29

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    Welcome to a great site and you have a nice little layout there.

    Robert

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    Welcome from another DC only guy...
    N-joy!
    Tred - (USN-Ret.)
    Kansas City, KS
    (Sent using @ 1000Mbps)
    "No matter where you go, there you are!"

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    Welcome. Remember... Pics, Pics, and more Pics. Otherwise it never happened.

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    Welcome aboard. Looks like your off to a great start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankieD View Post
    Welcome. Remember... Pics, Pics, and more Pics. Otherwise it never happened.
    Yes, we love pics... Also, it helps to keep the Moose calm.
    Please, don't anger the Moose!
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    P.S. Check out my current build thread: DG&H RR is being Incorporated


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    As has been said, welcome to the Forums and there are a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful people here, all you have to do is ask

    You are of to a great start and there is nothing wrong with DC it is a good grounding.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Moose bid you hearty welcome to the greatest wee n scale forum on the interweb!

    Post photos and post often, unless ya desires a moose stampede yer way... You don't want that, do ya?

    Thought not...
    = >

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    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    I haven't put together a plastic model in about 20 years, and I've never painted any model, ever. After all the reading I've done the last couple months (mainly Spookshow's blogs), I was really itching to give it a try and start getting all my mistakes in. I started with Jim's Repair Shop from Walthers Cornerstone. I painted the walls, foundation, and ceiling with spray paints while still on the sprues, then glued together. I tried to keep the paint off the edges because I thought that was needed for glue, and I missed a few spots because I was too afraid of getting pools and runs from too much paint. I could have tried to touch it up, but decided not to bother.

    I then tried the alcohol and India ink weather wash, but it had no effect, as far as I could tell. From what I've read, maybe I'musing the wrong kind (waterproof) of ink. Then I glued on the signs (window sign wouldn't fit in the window, so I put it on the side), and put on some Bragdon powders.

    I could work on it some more and fix it up (cover the unpainted edges, fill in gaps, put something in the windows so it doesn't look so empty, etc), but will leave it for now. It didn't turn out great, but I still like the building. The style of the building is perfect for my layout. Online I recently saw a picture of a building just like this in Rollinsville, CO in the 1920s.

    image1.jpgimage2.jpg
    Last edited by Deseret Western; 27th Nov 2018 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Formatting

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    Nice job Deseret Western ... looks very good to me!
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    I think it is clear that the ink wash was effective, as what it does is it accentuates detail and texture. In the photo we can clearly see each board, which tells me the wash is doing its job; on camera, especially, the surface textures can get lost.

    As far as painting goes, I do the same as you - paint before assembly, using a rattle can at first. I don't worry about the mating edges, as I figure I will use a file or sandpaper to expose the plastic where I need to. Where we differ is that I almost always use a thinned acrylic wash that I brush on over the sprayed paint, as the base coat is just an approximate color. I brush paint for the final color, but since it is slightly different in hue from the spray paint and it has been thinned, I get variation depending on how much coverage I get. It's a subtle effect, but it is kind of like pre-weathering, and of course I can do the brush painting AFTER assembly as a way to touch up all those rough spots. I use a similar method for my weathering, using chalks that I fix in place by going over them with a very thin black acrylic wash, and just like it says in the Good Book, weathering can cover a multitude of sins.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deseret Western View Post
    I then tried the alcohol and India ink weather wash, but it had no effect, as far as I could tell.
    Using Indian Ink and Alcohol or water can be tricky. How much definition you end up with (black in cracks etc) will depend on the mix ratio you use. Because the wash does "fade" when dry, you might need to do one of two things:

    1. A stronger ratio of Indian Ink to Alcohol/Water - I use a ratio of 1:10
    2. Do multiple washes until the ink becomes apparent.

    The second is the safer way to go as you can/should see the definitions becoming more evident with each wash applied.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    For my next building attempt, I tried the DPM Hardware Store. This time, since the walls don't glue to a foundation, I tried gluing it all together before painting. This worked much better for me than what I tried on Jim's Repair Shop. I glued the walls together, then sprayed with a brick color. Then I brushed the accent pieces with some gray paint. As I predicted, I did not enjoy the brush painting, and the results look really messy and awful up close.

    I lost the piece to make the doorway (another lesson learned: when cutting styrene with a knife, be ready for the part to go flying and end up under the desk where you can't get to it), so improvised with some other styrene pieces. Again, results look terrible up close.

    This time, instead of doing nothing, the India ink weather wash appeared to actually mess things up. The result was splotchy and it seemed to make the paint a bit gummy. These are Tamiya and Testors paints on this model; maybe those don't like the alcohol? I had used Model Master and Scalecoat on the other building. See the splotches on the side wall and around the top front windows. I will get some non-waterproof ink for the wash next time. Question: Am I supposed to apply the weather wash with a brush or a dropper?

    Per the (pretty neat) suggestion in the instructions, I cut some extra pieces of roof material, scored some patterns with a knife, painted with markers, and glued them on the roof to look like hatches or vents. The marker thing didn't turn out well and I won't try it again.

    Then I tried some more Bragdon powders. The weathering turned out awful. I was planning for this to be the town hotel, but now it looks too dilapidated for a hotel. I wish I'd never weathered it all. But then, I'm supposed to be making mistakes and learning, right?

    The design of the building also fits my desired Colorado mountain town vibe very well. See any picture of Central City or Georgetown, CO.

    image1-2.jpgthumbnail_image2.jpg
    Last edited by Deseret Western; 19th Dec 2018 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Formatting

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    You may try to seal the undercoat paint before putting on washes as you might have a reaction between water based and enamel based paints going on. Once I am happy with the paint job pre-weathering, I will hit it a couple times with some Dull Coat. Make sure you mask any windows or do it pre-window install or you will have fogged windows (ask me how I know ) You can airbrush on paint sealer as well, but I find a rattle can and a couple passes of Dull coat does the trick.

    Lastly, you may want to try some other type of washes that aren't as strong as india-ink. India-ink is clearly the lower cost solution, but you can find a number of other commercial washes that play nicer together like Ammo-Mig. https://www.scalehobbyist.com/catago...=a&e=0&man=AMJ

    Regardless, your work looks good. Practice makes perfect so keep at it.

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    I made the famous Atlas Signal Tower (just in the past couple months I've seen this tower on HO and O scale layouts). I spray painted the "wood" parts light brown before I realized I didn't have to and that the original yellow plastic would've been better for my desired Rio Grande paint scheme. Oh well.

    At each step things were just slightly off, but the sum of tolerances makes the final building look pretty crooked. I probably rushed some things too much in my enthusiasm. Part of the problem, honestly, is my work space. I need a better seating position and better lighting.

    I found something that I like even less than brush painting, and that is cutting out and gluing in windows. I'll try to avoid that as much as possible going forward. Maybe there just won't be any more windows in Criddle (my town name) at all.

    After my previous results, I'm reluctant to go ahead with weathering, though I suppose I have to, eventually. The brick and the roof definitely look too plastic.

    Overall, these building kits are more fun than I expected them to be.

    image1-3.jpgimage2-3.jpg

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    I thought my previous weird results with the weather wash were maybe due to using waterproof ink, so I got some non-waterproof India ink and have experimented on some freight cars. I've been using a dropper to apply the weather wash instead of a brush. I get this cloudy effect (pic attached). Any ideas why I'm getting that? Should I use a brush or a dropper for the wash? Should I be doing something to prepare the freight cars first (washing or something)?
    IMG_7044.jpg
    Last edited by Deseret Western; 19th Apr 2019 at 03:38 AM. Reason: Formatting

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    Welcome on board. Atlas signal tower it's a nice kit if painted and weathered proper.
    DSC_0436 by Constantin Dac, on Flickr

    DSC_0383 by Constantin Dac, on Flickr

    I recommend this set to paint. https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscen...show/item/M125
    12 colors, very good to paint buildings, you can make all tone by mixing.

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    What are you mixing the India ink in to make the wash for that boxcar above? You can also try a wash made from acrylic paint diluted with water, and a bit of rubbing alcohol or a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension of the water and help it flow better. I prefer to use a small brush to apply along seams and joints, but you can also take a broad brush and apply over everything.

    I think the DPM building above looks fine, by the way. Maybe a bit dirty for a flagship hotel, but still very reasonable for some random downtown store.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deseret Western View Post
    I thought my previous weird results with the weather wash were maybe due to using waterproof ink, so I got some non-waterproof India ink and have experimented on some freight cars. I've been using a dropper to apply the weather wash instead of a brush. I get this cloudy effect (pic attached). Any ideas why I'm getting that? Should I use a brush or a dropper for the wash? Should I be doing something to prepare the freight cars first (washing or something)?
    I prefer oil washes with oil paints (obviously) and turpentine as thinner. I've never been happy with india ink washes. Maybe you should give them a try and see if they are a better fit for you as well.
    Daniel Dawson

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