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Thread: MetroRedLn's UP Vallealmar Subdivision Layout

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    Default MetroRedLn's UP Vallealmar Subdivision Layout

    Guess I'd start to make a thread on my own layout, even though I started in 2006. It's sort of half complete right now.

    It's a modern-day fictional connection between the San Joaquin Valley and the Central California coast on the Union Pacific (which was originally started by the SP in the late '50s-early '60s, and completed in the past few years by the UP to relieve pressure on the Tehachapi Loop).

    Jan 3-4 2014:

    My layout has been dormant and dust-covered since Spring 2013, but NO MORE! The other day I vacuumed off the dust on my track and scrubbed a few problem areas with corck roadbed. I use the GLEAM method of track cleaning and this is all the track cleaning I need to do!

    2014 New Year's Resolution: Get my trains running again.



    Resolution: Complete!


    Note about the video: I used a GoPro camera (the red blinking flash in the lower right corner is the camera's LED...just pretend it's a crossing signal ) and placed it on an unfinished lakebed in a canyon on my layout, inside an 18" radius curve. The wide-angle lens somehow made a curved section of track look light a straightaway!

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Default Winter 2014 Layout Party Entry - Part 1

    Okay, I've decided to join in on the party...The big sticking point in my layout for the past few years is this concrete flood control channel. It's about 3 1/2' long and it starts towards the back of the layout from a small dam and runs diagonally to the front of the fascia. These sort of channels are common in the southwestern US, where it's mostly dry for most of the year, but during rainy seasons (in the winter and during summer inland desert monsoon storms), when it rains, IT FLOODS. So, the channels are to speed the water away from towns and cities where floods can cause damage.

    Here's what the flood control channel looks like now:





    My goal is to make the channel look like this:




    My task is to model the water using various acrylic washes, and topped with gloss medium (it's very shallow water, just a few inches deep), and weather the bottom and sides of the channel.

    It's important I get this done, since I can't permanently place and ballast the tracks that run across it in the foreground of the first picture.
    There's a bridge (not in the picture) that goes under those tracks that needs to be painted and weathered before it's permanently installed.

    Wish me luck!

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Default Mock-Up Channel Bed (Winter 2014 Layout Party Entry - Part 2)

    I'm too scared to ruin the channel, so I made a mock-up out of concrete-painted scrap styrene.
    I did two versions of the water in the channel, using various amounts of India Ink wash and water-diluted washes of tan, dark brown (for sediment) and dabs of green (for algae), topped with about 3 layers of Polly-Scale Gloss Finish.

    Which water stream looks more realistic to you, the one on the left, or the one on the right?


    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    I like the one on the right. Maybe its just the lighting, but the one on the left looks like your top coat is pooled up more, maybe the surface tension kept the layer thicker at the edges. That part of it doesn't look "in scale." Other than that, both look good. I really like the way the wet area splits at the bottom right of your prototype photo.

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    I have got to say that mock-up on the right looks really nice. I really like the balance of colors. The left seems to have too much green.

    It looks like they are still damp. If so a picture of after they dried would be nice to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j_neuneker View Post
    I have got to say that mock-up on the right looks really nice. I really like the balance of colors. The left seems to have too much green.

    It looks like they are still damp. If so a picture of after they dried would be nice to see.

    They are dry Thanks for your thoughts though!

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    I have to go with the one on the right as well. Looks more natural although both are nice.
    Grant.

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    Too much green on both in my opinion. Can you try adding a dark earth with a hint of the green? You know like railroad tie brown has a tinge of green when viewed at certain angles, but you would need a little bit of grimey black mixed in with it. Maybe some grimey black with an available earth color mixed in with it.

    What we see may not always be what is there in nature so you may end up with quite a few tests before your satisfied.

    Fingers crossed.
    John

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    Cool idea, thanks for the pictures! I might borrow it, a few years from now - have been thinking about a wash/arroyo/wadi/whatever it will be called, but a concrete channel sounds much more realistic close to inhabited space...

    Heiko

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    I'd have to say the green is a little exaggerated due to the quality of my digital camera, which over-emphasizes yellows. But the one on the right has considerably less green than the one on the left.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    What John P said about too much green in both. However, the vast majority of experience with these has been in the DESERT Southwest. I expect that the channels through the Coast Mountains will have much more frequent water flowing through them than the channels in the Mojave, so a higher level of green is likely.

    As far as pattern and such, the one on the right is more realistic to my eyes.
    Heart of flame, blood of steam, sinews of steel, the iron dragon thundered across the realms, throwing down tyrants and slaughtering despots, until finally, at World's End, it paused in thought. Gazing across the void, it sounded a triumphant blast, befor

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    I like the engineered channel. I'm considering a similar path for my large channel. looking to emulate the Los Angeles River where it passed by the old Taylor Yard.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by SocalGeologist View Post
    I like the engineered channel. I'm considering a similar path for my large channel. looking to emulate the Los Angeles River where it passed by the old Taylor Yard.
    Cool. I live pretty close to there, so I'm by there a lot. Don't forget to model some kayakers in the river!

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Default How's The Weather? (Winter 2014 Layout Party Entry - Part 3)



    Weathered the concrete flood control channel with India Ink/alcohol wash, and drew a center line with a pencil. The center line is just to guide the stream so it will stay straight, and the pencil line will be covered by the paint layers eventually.

    I'm going to do more test water flows on the styrene sheet, and then re-produce the best one on a small river mock-up before I commit to the actual flood control channel.

    BTW, my digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix, has the WORST macro mode ever. Never get one if you want to take pics of your N-scale layout.
    Last edited by MetroRedLn; 12th Feb 2014 at 10:27 PM.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    the flood channels around me don't always have the water running down the centerline. when the channel is perfectly flat, sometimes the trail wanders or forms giant pools. and after earthquakes relevel things a few times...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds View Post
    the flood channels around me don't always have the water running down the centerline. when the channel is perfectly flat, sometimes the trail wanders or forms giant pools. and after earthquakes relevel things a few times...

    The center line suggests there's a trough for the water to flow in, which is too much trouble for me to model, so by having water run down the center, it's assumed there's a dip in the surface that lets water flow down.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Nice work on the channel and the tests you've done so far. I'd say you got a pretty good hang of it. Do they make n scale shopping carts? When I lived in the LA area there was always a shopping cart or two




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    Default About Dam Time! (Winter 2014 Layout Party Entry - Part 4)

    Work progresses on my flood control channel!

    I spent a few days experimenting with various mixtures of acrylics to get the sediment color I wanted. I ended up with a dark wash (thinned grimy black), a dark sediment color, a light sediment color, and the main water channel, which is a mixture of green, grimy black and the dark sediment color. Here it is on the channel:



    At the end of the flood control channel, I made a dam out of wood and some spare styrene I salvaged from my old HO layout:

    Front of the dam - outlet side:



    Back of the dam - Inlet side:




    Making a lot of progress here! I fit on the dam for size in the channel:




    Now all that's left is to highlight the water in the channel with gloss medium, and detail the dam with some handrails, ladders, gates and a BLMA control box (so engineers can operate the dam).

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Default Glossing Over The Subject (Winter 2014 Layout Party Entry - Part 5)

    Added some gloss finish over the sediment streams. Dunno if the reflection really shows though the pics, but here goes:




    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroRedLn View Post
    Dunno if the reflection really shows though the pics
    It shows up fine, and that's great work. What a great local feature to add to your layout.

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