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Avid People Watcher

Here are some progress shots of the Ablemann Diorama I'm working on. The diorama is 24" deep X 8' long. Again using the same base construction of 2" thick extruded styrofoam.

The Real Ableman's is referred to as Rock Springs and is near the Wisconsin town of Reedsburg. The CNW ran through the quarry on the Madison to Elroy line. It is at this quarry that the famous 'Pink Lady' ballast is found. It is still in operation today as the WSOR operates the line loading trains for foriegn railroads. Although I used a mine kit I had laying around, the ballast loading is actually done with very simple hoppers and conveyors. Trains are loaded on the mainline(current WSOR practice).

So with the usual amount of modelers' license, Here we go!!

After getting the track laid, I built up the quarry by standing on end, two-2" layers of foam and adding bits and pieces for out-croppings.
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Here is a close up of above
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Here is a shot of the track plan. The far right is the main, next to it on the left is a passing track(once a second main) and the loading tracks(3) are on the far left.
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On the left side of this photo the carving has begun.
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More to follow.
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Avid People Watcher
Ablemann Diorama 2

Here most of the carving has been completed, only details need be done. The un-prototypical ballast loader is test fit.
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This looks railroad west, Main line is at far right.
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The first Light wash of black acrylics is applied.
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And now the first light coat of pinkle(pink/purple) trying to maintain that pink/purple hue.
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Part 3 next.
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Avid People Watcher
Ablemann Diorama 3

These are the latest completed photos as the diorama progresses.

The track has benn painted and ballasted and the rockwork is done. Multiple layers of arcrylics of different shades make up the look. I am satisfied it captures the feel of the real area.
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A wider shot of the same view.
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After weathering my first ore-jennie, 'out-of-the box' won't cut it. There will be some vegetation added to the quarry hill-side.
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The end of the conveyor in the backround will be hidden by vegetation and backround blending when complete. The main line runs between the lighter colored rocks just beyond the CNW hoppers and the larger/darker backround ones.
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More as progress is made. Enjoy.

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Really like the results of your rock work, Johnny. Looks very real with the mossy/algae touch. I had to give up trying to use foam...all I did was make snow. Ha!!


Lazy Daydreamer
Nice work Johnny! I'm 'rock challenged' myself, so I keep putting off that type of work on my own layout for when it's at a later stage.

BTW - I couldn't see the attachments in your "Abelmann Diorama 2" post - did you delete them?


Avid People Watcher
Thanks Rex and Ken,

I didn't realize post #2 pictures weren't there but I fixed 'er. I do all the carving with one tool- a steak knife. Using it in different ways, cross cutting, vertical cuts, chipping etc,..... Results closely resemble rock formations found in these parts of Wisconsin.


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