The Union Pacific Soggy Bottoms Division (HO scale)

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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
It's been a hot, humid, muggy day here in Lincoln, Ne. Perfect excuse to hang out in the basement and work on the railroad! Not that I really need an excuse...
I've been working on a number of different projects. When I get tired of working on one thing, I switch to another. Maybe that's why the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get! :confused:
I got the double crossover installed, wired up, and tested. So far, it works perfectly! I do not have the main power bus hooked up, haven't even installed the PowerCab yet, but that should not pose an issue.
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I have the roadbed and track for the interchange installed. The tunnel liners are a piece of Plastruct random stone sheet I painted with gray primer and then used a black acrylic wash on. They are just bent and slid into the tunnel. The two bottles are there to hold the portals upright for the pic. The 2-6-0 Mogul is an IHC unit, note the pizza cutter wheel flanges. The date stamp on the inside flap of its box reads 9-2004, so it's not a new model. It is "coming" onto the layout, while the caboose and the cars ahead of it are "leaving" the layout. The interchange trackage will not be powered, it's just for show.
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I've been laying out the transition curves for the outer loop. The outer loop will have a 28" radius, the inner will have 26" radius. Here I have marked the transition curve with a sharpie, just to make it easier to see. Marking with ink directly on the layout is not recommended. If you use alcohol as a wetting agent for ballast or scenery, it will bring the ink right to the surface. The only reason I did this here is because the Woodland Scenics 2% incline will cover this.
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For those who don't know what a transition curve is, Ron Marsh does a good job explaining it.

I do not plan to superelevate the curve's, though. I will have a transition curve coming into the curve and going out of the curve. This will leave a straight space of 1-7/8" between transition curves!
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The Woodland Scenics inclines are 2-1/2" wide
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so, since the centerline of the curve will be hidden by the foam, I drew marks 1-1/4" from the centerline of the curve and free hand connected them. This will be the outer edge of the inclines, and put the middle over the curve centerline. The freehand connecting line doesn't have to be too precise.
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Then it was time to start gluing down the inclines. I'm using some LocTite adhesive caulk I had on hand. It is foam friendly. I started at the 4" end and am working backwards around the curve. The 4" end will butt up against a 4" foam riser, which is 12" long. This will give a flat area before the train starts over the bridge, otherwise the train would come immediately off the 2% incline and onto the bridge.In some situations that may be unavoidable, but I have enough room to install a flat space.
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So far I have 4 out of 8 incline sections installed on the south side of the layout.
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I'll finish this up tomorrow and then start on the decline side. Once the foam incline/decline's are in, I'll fill in around the outside of them with extruded foam. Then I'll shape the extruded foam and cover everything with plaster cloth, followed by some Sculptamold. Then comes rock castings and painting. After all of THAT, I can lay the sub-roadbed and install the track, tunnel portals, bridge abutments, and bridge. Then run a train around the outer loop!
Still a long way to go!
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I decided to get plastered in the basement today.
No,wait, that's not right.
I decided the layout should get plastered in the basement today.
No, that's still not right.
I decided to start putting plaster cloth on the layout in the basement today.
OK, that's what I meant to say! (I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea, here!)
I finished laying out the curves for the outer loop on both sides of the layout, and got the incline/decline sets installed. I have installed the extruded foam on both sides, although some of it is still drying on the north side. I used a razor knife and shaped the foam. Since the foam work is done on the south side, I decided to start putting the plaster cloth on the incline. I had about a half roll left of some old Woodland Scenics brand plaster cloth, so I used it first.
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The back of the package has a date of 1995 on it, although I don't know exactly how old this roll actually is. I bought it, still factory sealed, at a train show several years ago. The packages don't look like that today! This was back when it was still made in the USA.
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I also used a full roll of some Scene-A-Rama plaster cloth I bought at Hobby Lobby. I've been buying a roll or two of plaster cloth occasionally for several months now. This was before I knew about Rigid Wrap. I can get a 5 lb. roll of that on eBay for $38. That amount of money won't even get me 4 regular rolls of plaster cloth. Oh, well. Ya lives, ya learns.
I just covered the incline with a single layer today. Tomorrow I'll put a layer on the hills. Then I'll give it all a second layer.
Here's the southeast section:
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The southwest section:
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I'm thinking of maybe putting a farm in that corner on the hill.
A view from the operator's (me) area:
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I gave some thought as to what to use as a scenery base. Sculptamold is great stuff, but my bank account said "Uhh.... no." Plaster works well, but is heavy. So I did some online research and learned of a product I hadn't heard of before: Structo-lite. https://www.menards.com/main/buildi...-basecoat-50-pound/163841/p-1444445395941.htm
I read a number of post from different forums of people who have used this for a scenery base, and it seems to work quite well. It does need to be applied over a porous sub-base (can you say plaster cloth) or it won't cure properly. I checked Menards web site, and my local store carries it. 50 lbs. for $13.59! And as I had just gotten a store credit rebate check for $15, it wouldn't even cost me anything out of pocket! So off to Menards I went. I did but a 5 gallon bucket and a 3.5 gallon bucket and lids to put it in.
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So I'm set as far as the scenery base goes. Since this is a plaster product, you do NOT want to clean your tools off in the sink, or put unused plaster down the toilet, unless one of your other hobbies is paying plumber's bills. If that's the case, knock yourself out!
One post I read had a great idea about mixing this, or any other plaster for that matter. He said that what he uses is a basketball cut in half. Any unused plaster dries in the basketball, and once it's hard just flex the ball and the plaster falls right out. When my son moved out, he left behind a couple of flat and well worn basketballs. One of them gave it's life for this layout.
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One other nice thing about Structo-Lite is that it dries gray, so less paint is needed. It will dry with a grainy surface due the aggregate that is in it.
I'm getting closer to the day when I can actually run a train around the layout! Woo-hoo! :D
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Maybe I need to re-read backwards - but WHY do you have foam on plywood and homasote on the foam?
What did I miss?
I can see why he did it. My foam being not yet built on is showing wear from me leaning on it in places and edges not quite square. It has dimples from be reaching over without proper precautions (such as a piece of plywood to distribute the weight I put on the surface).
 

troyphoto

Well-Known Member
thanks for the reminder of what to do with all the old half-cans of paint the previous homeowner left behind. I was going to take them to the tox away this weekend.

The structo-lite sounds good. But I hate purchasing a basketball just to sacrifice it on the alter of railroading. Oh well, It's just a sportball. cheaper than rolling stock.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Maybe I need to re-read backwards - but WHY do you have foam on plywood and homasote on the foam?
What did I miss?
I put the foam down to be able to create below-grade features if desired, such as a ditch or small stream. The Homasote is because, other than the incline/decline's, the track will be pinned in place, not glued. The "ballast" will consist of gray painted cork. Homasote has excellent holding power for track nails. The cork will be glued down with regular carpenters glue.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I can see why he did it. My foam being not yet built on is showing wear from me leaning on it in places and edges not quite square. It has dimples from be reaching over without proper precautions (such as a piece of plywood to distribute the weight I put on the surface).
Actually, Patrick, I hadn't thought of that, but it is an excellent point! It's more to hold the track nails than anything. I'm not gluing the track down other than the incline/decline's.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
thanks for the reminder of what to do with all the old half-cans of paint the previous homeowner left behind. I was going to take them to the tox away this weekend.

The structo-lite sounds good. But I hate purchasing a basketball just to sacrifice it on the alter of railroading. Oh well, It's just a sportball. cheaper than rolling stock.
I wonder what color you'd come up with if you mixed them all together? Probably a gray or black? Of course it depends on what colors you start with.
The basketball is one that my son left behind when he moved out 1 year, 16 days ago (but who's counting?). It was flat when I discovered it, so I don't feel bad about "repurposing" it! ;)

Sometime this weekend I hope to get the rest of the plaster cloth put on.
 

2Tracks

Ol' School
flyboy...nice progress on your layout. I wanted to add to the easement subject for the new guys........some of the basics/theory behind it.
Looking at the 1:1,
-- Tangent--Straight track (no radius)
-- Full body of curve (constant radius)
-- Spiral{easement} (changing radius)
On the railroad I'm familiar with, there is no curve that is tighter than 10 degrees. You guys are going to have to look up the mathematics on that one, but it's relatively tight for a train.
Any way, there's a loaded 100 car freight (pulled by a 4 set of Demonstrator FT's of course). traveling mainline speed, tangent, 50 mph. Let's say that there is no spiral, so when the train gets to a 10 degree left hand curve, it is immediately slammed into the full body of the of the curve. Not a good situation! If that freight remains in the uprght position, that is some luck !
Put in a spiral, now the FT's coming off the tangent have a gradual change in direction to the full body of the curve, a smooth transition.
The railroads also employ elevation in the curve (outside rail is higher than the inside rail.) to change the center of gravity on the rolling equipment.
But that's for a different time!?
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I have a face that was made for radio and a voice that was made for the printed page, but I made a video of the current state of my layout. I was asked by someone on a YouTube live-stream to do a video about what I was doing, so here it is:

I don't really have good equipment for doing videos, but I use what I have, which in this case is a Kodak Z981 https://www.dpreview.com/products/kodak/compacts/kodak_z981
It is what it is.
Remember, I tried. 😐
 




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