Posts Tagged ‘trains

04
Mar
14

Trolled

One corner of my small N scale model train layout is taken up by the Greytech Heavy Industries building. This is just a foot deep shelf layout, so it’s far from the entire complex modeled. It has recently come to my attention that the building, as modeled, is incapable of receiving one type of freight it’s supposed to handle. Specifically, steel coil cars. Many of the company’s products are made from heavy metal sheet, so there needs to be a way of unloading them. This requires a gantry crane. The steel coils can be unloaded by forklifts, but a crane is still needed to handle the covers on them.

 

This picture was taken some years back, the last time I was working on the trains.

hobb_creek1_big

 

That loading dock is fine, for box cars and flat cars. The track extended a little past it, and the plan was to put in some scale hoses for unloading air pressure operated covered hoppers commonly used for plastic pellets. It’s a technology company, they’re going to use a lot of plastic. Even if there was a place to put a gantry, there’s no place to move the coil car’s cover. SO…. I had hoped to take that two-story section on the far part of the building (what I consider the “old section”) and just move the wall forward. The side wall is still there, I could just cut a hole in, and build a door frame.

 

The corner wasn’t together too good, and I destroyed it trying to pull it apart. And, it’s just not long enough to house an entire train car. So, not only do I need to build an entire new building section, I have to cut out part of that warehouse/loading wing. Sometimes I feel like I’m being trolled by the modelling gods….

 

hobb_creek9_big

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man has failed. The troll has risen.

 

 

That’s the current state of the GTHI building. I don’t have anything on hand to build the new section. What I do have is a program called “Model Builder.” (original, right?) It uses photo sourced textures to make paper models. It designed specifically, for model railroad scenery. Until now, I’ve only ever used it to make background flats for action figure diorama sets. The new section will only need two walls, and I’ll probably make the roof out of foam core. Eventually, it would be nice to replace the thing with something made from styrene, it should be fine, for now. I’ve never seen small-scale paper model buildings first hand, so maybe it’ll be good enough to be permanent. I’m also hoping to make a shallow flat to represent another part of the building, behind the four-story section. I mostly want to do that to push the four-story part out a little, mostly to improve the look of where the new unloading section will meet it. I should probably just replace the whole thing. That part is a twenty+ year old model, and its finish isn’t up to my current standards. For now, I’m hoping to eventually rehab it. I’m not too worried about the various bits not matching, since I’ve always envisioned the place as being a slightly erratic collection old brick buildings and annexes that have sort of grown together.

 

The place is probably so convoluted inside, David Bowie’s using it to raise a goblin army.

 

That building in the foreground of that second pictures is the unloading shed of a steel fabricator. They receive steel plate and structural shapes to build bridge and building components. Currently calling it Strogg Steel, after the cyborg antagonists from the Quake 2 and Quake 4 video games.

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02
Mar
14

Tree

I’ve been messing with model trains again, lately. Finally got the damn things running smooth. That’s taking a disturbing amount of maintenance.

Anyway, the scenery is far from finished, and I want to finally start building the “tree tunnel” that I’ve always planned to mask where the trains enter and exit one end of the layout. In the past, I’ve made my trees from clump foliage on Woodland Scenics armatures. Still using the WS trees (I’ve got them, why not?) but decided to try a different product. I stretched some MRC cluster foliage over one of the WS tree armatures…. and didn’t like it. The dark green color I have seems awfully vivid on its own, and there’s a lot visible “hairs” among the foam in the stuff. I do, however, like all the negative space it creates, it has a similar “seeing through the leaves” effect as looking through a real tree. I tried sprinkling some ground foam over it, but I don’t really have that’s a similar shade. Most of what I have is lighter colored and far more drab. There is one thing I have on hand that’s a similar color; Woodland Scenics fine leaf foliage. It has a similar see through effect, and a lot of fine branches throughout. So, I tried gluing that over the stretched out fiber cluster.

tree1

I have to upgrade the rest of the trees on the layout, now….

Yeah, I’m really happy with the effect. The only problem is I don’t want all the trees to be the exact same shade, so I’ll have to get some more fine leaf foliage, in a different shade. I was already planning to order a couple of things from Fifer Hobby Supplies, so that goes on the list.




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