The Union Pacific Soggy Bottoms Subdivision (HO scale)

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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Thanks, Jerry! That sub is a resin model. They aren't exactly cheap, though, each one being handmade and painted.
I don't remember who I ordered it from. I saw one and just had to have it! I had to hold it down on the belt sander for a few seconds to sand off the keel so it would sit upright. It's not actually "deep" enough in the river, but then all that would be showing would be the top of the deck and the conning tower. I checked my modeler's license and it says I'm allowed to do it this way, though!
I'm planning to start on the plaster cloth on the unfinished side later today.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I spent some time on the layout this afternoon. No, really, I literally mean ON the layout this afternoon! That's the only way to ensure getting the plaster cloth exactly where I wanted it. That's why the "build it from back to front" philosophy is a good one to follow. I applied plaster cloth on the areas that appear darker in this pic. I probably used a roll and a half today. That's about 8" wide x 22 feet of cloth. The rest can be done from ground level. I tried to soften some of the severe angles of the foam.
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Once the rest of the plaster cloth is in place and dried I can get plastered in the layout room. Err...... I mean the layout can get plastered in the basement.... I mean I can apply a thin layer of Struct-O-Lite base coat plaster to the hills. Yeah, that's what I meant to say! :oops:
This weekend is supposed to be nice, though, so I have some vehicle maintenance that needs to be done. I want to do an oil change on the wife's '06 Trailblazer and my '04 Trailblazer, plus change the fluid in both differentials and the transfer case on both vehicles. I have heard that the fill plug on the T-case can be a real fight to get loose. It likes to become rusted/corroded into place. I do have two new plugs coming, but hopefully I won't need them. That's why you should always loosen the fill plug before you drain the component. If you drain the component and then can't get the fill plug out, you get to pay a tow truck to have the vehicle towed to the shop! Time to start soaking the plugs with PB Blaster!
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Some things came up, so I didn't get around to the vehicle maintenance I wanted to get done. Oh, well. As the song says "There's always tomorrow......"
I got the rest of the plaster cloth applied. I sanded the risers as best I could to get any bumps out. It's just about impossible to get a glass smooth finish with plaster cloth, but there are no obvious ridges or inconsistencies, so I think it will be fine once the cork roadbed is down. Speaking of which, I decided to do that next. My original plan was to put down a light coat of Struct-O-Lite, but thinking about it I decided to put down the cork first for 2 reasons:
1. I don't want to get any plaster on the risers where it might get under the roadbed and cause issues.
2. I also decided to put the track down on the outer loop so I could check for any clearance issues between rolling stock and the curves. I should be fine on the straights, but if there are any clearance issues in the curves, I would like to deal with them before the plaster gets applied. I'll use my Athearn Genesis Big Boy for this test. If it can make it through the curves without problems, then anything else I have will make it without problems!
2a. I want to see trains run!
The first order of business was to mark the centerline of the risers. They are 2-1/2" wide, so the centerline is 1-1/4" from the edge. I made a marking jig from a couple pieces of 1/4" thick poplar. I made one piece short so I could get as close to the end of the riser as I could. I glued it to the longer piece with some Titebond carpenters glue. I also drilled some .047" holes through the end and drove some thin brads for my brad nailer into the holes. Another hole was drilled with a step drill 1-1/4" from the joint.
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I put a pencil through the hole and I had a jig that would draw a line 1-1/4" from the edge of the riser. I just hold the short piece along the side of the riser and move the jig along the side.
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It works great! (I just love those rare occurrences when that happens!)
I did have to use a straight edge on the and of the riser that was too short to allow the jig to fit next to it.
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Now that I have the centerline marked I can put down the cork roadbed. I've already got 6 feet of cork installed and drying. I'm attaching it with cheap white latex caulk. The track will be installed with DAP Alex+ siliconized latex caulk. I do need to pick some of that up in gray. The clear dries with a rather glossy sheen. If ballast were going to be used, that wouldn't be an issue. But since the cork roadbed IS the ballast, I'm going to go with gray.
Slowly but surely, it's getting there!
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Work continues on the money pit... err, model railroad. :oops:
I have the bridge installed, and my 0-6-0 poses proudly for a picture while Wally supervises.
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I was able to install the bridge because I finally got the track laid all around the outer loop!
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The bridge is removable. It is not glued to the abutments. It sits on them and is held in position by rail joiners. I can slide the rail joiners back onto the bridge rails and lift the bridge off if I need to. I may have to redo the track approaching the bridge from the left because I cut the bridge rails a little too short on that side, leaving a gap larger than I would really like.
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The right side of the bridge looks OK, though.
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I will have to remove the bridge at least once more because I want to scenic the interchange area before "permanently" installing the bridge. As you can see, the transition between the tabletop and the backdrop is just too abrupt to be credible.
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I plan to apply another coat of tan paint to the area, and while the paint is wet apply ground cover comprised of a 50/50 mix of Woodland Scenics Fine Turf Green Blend and Earth Blend colors. The two former Parmesan cheese containers on the left have the 50/50 mix in them and the two on the right have the base colors.
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This is supposed to be western Nebraska, so I don't want things TOO green. It's a semi-arid climate out there, after all. Along the transition from tabletop to backdrop I plan to apply some hedges to hide the transition. The hedgerows on the right are left over from the previous layout. Hobby Lobby doesn't carry them in-store any more, so I bought some boxwood plants. I think between the two I can hide it.
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It wasn't until I got home that I noticed that the boxwood's are O scale. :(
Oh, well. I'll make them work.
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The tracks from the turnouts to the crossing will be electrically dead. I think I'll install insulated rail joiners at the turnout frogs, or rather at the end of the 1/3 18" radius section coming off the frog. I don't plan to wire the crossing at this point, but If I do so later I'll install a SPST switch in one wire to kill power to it. The straight piece from the turnout to the crossing is going to need a bit of... persuasion, if ya knows what I means. Sounds like a job for Luigi, he's real good at "persuasion". ;)
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I'll let the abutments dry overnight, then tomorrow after work I'll see about dealing with that track on the left side of the bridge. There will be track feeders immediately before and after the bridge. I need to clean the paint off of the end of the bridge rails, also. I will cut the guard rails so they extend 3" from the bridge. Union Pacific's standard for guard rails calls for them to be 50 feet from the bridge, but that comes to about 6-3/4" in HO scale. I don't even have that much guard rail! https://www.up.com/emp/engineering/mapcontent/standards/track standard drawings/4002.pdf

3" comes to about 21.75 feet, so that will have to do.
Once I get the bridge/interchange area done, I will run track feeders and test clearances with the Big Boy. If that makes it OK, then anything else I have will make it OK.
 
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Alcomotive

Grandson of ALCO Bldr
Nice progress! I like how you re-purposed the two former Parmesan cheese containers! I have about 30 of them lol I do the same thing but I try real hard to re-purpose a lot of different containers. I even use the large mouth style plastic jars that you get when you buy a pound of cashews from wally world as well. I got a ton of those cause well I eat a lot of nuts....there fore I am... 😁
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
It's weekly update time!
I've been working on it as best I can, given the insanity of life lately. I got some Structo-Lite applied to the tunnel area. Being a base coat plaster it definitely has some texture to it! It dries a lighter shade of gray than it goes on as.
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I haven't applied any to the roof of the tunnels yet.
I also got the tan paint and ground cover applied to the interchange crossing area. I masked off the track and roadbed before applying the paint, applied the paint and then applied a thick coating of ground cover. After letting the paint dry, I vacuumed up the loose ground cover. I have a dedicated filter for my hand held cordless Black & Decker Dust Buster that I use only for ground cover. I clean the vacuum thoroughly before and after vacuuming it up. That way I can reuse the left over ground cover. I need to do some some touch up painting on the roadbed.
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I applied diluted matte medium and wet water (water with a bit of isopropyl alcohol to break the surface tension of the matte medium) and will let it dry overnight. I prefer matte medium rather than diluted white glue. It seems I just don't have good luck with the glue. Maybe I just don't hold my tongue properly as I apply it. Diluted matte medium has always worked for me, though. Speaking of matte medium, I had to go buy some more as I'm running a bit low on it. Before I use it, I prepare it according to a tip I read in a book somewhere: I pour the matte medium into a glass jar (I use a Mason canning jar, but any wide mouth glass jar would work), add water to make a 50/50 solution of matte medium and water, then let the jar sit undisturbed for a week. During this time, the solids (usually talcum powder) will settle out of the mixture and form a layer on the bottom of the jar. Carefully pour the liquid off into another container. Dispose of the talcum powder and clean the jar for the next use. I find that this gives a really nice adhesive for ground cover. My next batch should be ready in a week!
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I've also started installing installing the track feeders. Not one of my favorite tasks, but it has to be done! :(
I don't know how much I'll get done this week. It's supposed to be cold this week, but warm up for the weekend, so next weekend may be dedicated to yard work (translation: bagging leaves. Oh joy and happiness).
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I didn't get anything done on the layout over Halloween weekend, and I continued work on the track feeders on the afternoon of 11-7. And then: https://www.modeltrainforum.com/threads/where-is-everyone.442/page-2#post-2551170

I'm not going to be able to get back under the layout until at least Friday, so I decided to do some "workbench projects". The first will be to add some lighting to the RustEze Medicated Bumper Ointment shipping/receiving building.
Hard to believe it's been over a year and a half since I started that kit! My faithful assistant, Wally, has graciously 'volunteered' to help with this project.
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The plan is to install a small surface mount LED each of the three lighting fixtures that attach to the front of the building, and an LED strip down the center below the roof. The 3 outside fixtures just popped right off. I plan to drill a small hole angled from the bottom center to the rear center, hold it in place against the building, mark the hole with the drill bit, then drill a hole through the wall of the building.
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I will need to keep track of which fixture goes where, otherwise it will be like the line in the Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time": When we tried to put in the bolts, all the holes were gone! :eek:
The LED strip will be mounted to a piece of styrene running from the front wall to the back wall. These are the lights I plan to use:
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The three surface mount LED's are 0603 Yellow Gold nano's from lighthouseleds.com
I realize I probably should use white LED's, but these are what I have on hand. I can always change them out later if I want. The LED strip is from this kit I got at Menards:
I had a couple of in-store credit check rebate coupons, so it actually didn't cost me anything! I can always do free! I didn't notice before I bought it, though, that the LED's have a silicone rubber coating over the strip which must be removed from the soldering pads. Oh, well. For the price I guess I can't complain! The silicon does seem to diffuse the light output, so I may end up going with a 9 LED strip instead of the 6 LED strip shown.
The 0603 LED's come pre-wired with a resistor. They are rated at 12 volts with the resistor. I used my bench-top power supply (behind Wally in the first pic) and they do function on 12 volts. I want to use them on 3.3 or 5 volts, and they were pretty dim on those voltages. I was curious to find out what the rating of the resistor was, so I cut it off the LED on the right. It was 1.45K OHM's! I used a 470 OHM resistor and it gave a decent brightness on 5 volts, so that's what my plan is.
The LED strip is also rated at 12 volts. It will not light up on 3.3 or 5 volts, but it does at 12 volts. It has a resistor wired into each 3 LED segment, so no further resistor is needed.
This kit came with a couple of bollard posts designed to be installed between the tracks. I'm going to drill one out down the center and mount a red LED on it.
The wires will run across the inside front of the building and down front wall through a hole drilled in floor. The LED strip will have a separate positive wire form the three 0603 LED's, but they will all share the same negative (black) wire. The bollard post will have it's own positive, but will share the negative with the LED's. The negative wire will be switched with a SPST switch, so using one switch will enable turning all the lights for the building on or off at once.
Before I start wiring it up, I want to weather the outside of the building. Right now it's been washed with soap and water and is air drying. This will be the first building I've ever added lights to.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I used some black Apple Barrel craft paint from Wally World to paint the underside of the roof to prevent the glow-in-the-dark roof syndrome. I then used some RustOleum self etching primer on top of the roof. I was going to follow that up with a gray top coat, but decided I liked the look of the primer, so I left it. The vents are painted Testors flat steel enamel, and Model Master rust acrylic was dry-brushed on for rust streaks. The rust came out a bit heavier than I would have liked, but it's not too bad.
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I figured out which position each of the light fixtures went to and drilled a .030" hole parallel to the top of the fixture so the hole came out approximately middle of the back of the fixture. I then held each fixture in place and used the drill bit to mark each spot on the building. A .050" hole was then drilled through the wall for the LED wires. I also chamfered the hole in the bottom of the fixture so the LED would sit slightly recessed.
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For gluing the LED's into the fixture I am using Testors clear parts cement. It is Testors #3515. I've used this before, and it does a good job. It goes on milky, but dries clear. It can also be used to make windows, so it's perfect for this project.
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Here Wally is holding one of the fixtures while the cement set up. You can see how the LED is recessed into the hole. You have to make sure that the LED is in the hole properly, or you won't get any light from that one!
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The 12 volt LED strip light will be applied to the underside of the I-beam you see here. The I-beam will be glued to styrene supports glued to the ends of the building. I am using the much maligned Testors cement from the red tube for this joint. I know that "it takes so long to dry", but for a really solid joint in thicker styrene, I haven't found anything to beat it. And I have tried all kinds of products!
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I'll let the I-beam supports dry overnight. I am going to glue the outside LED's into their fixtures one at a time, giving each about an hour to dry before moving them. I should be ready to wire this up tomorrow!
 

CM-Fan

Well-Known Member
My wife wanted to know if I did anything constructive this afternoon - my reply was yes. I started this thread from the beginning and just finished it. First off my hat is off to you for the time involved in replacing the photos from that terrorist group photo buket.

This was a great read and I picked up many tips and learned a lot. Oh, your bench Mascot is quite photogenic!
But really you have done a lot of work and made great progress, keep at it.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
My wife wanted to know if I did anything constructive this afternoon - my reply was yes. I started this thread from the beginning and just finished it. First off my hat is off to you for the time involved in replacing the photos from that terrorist group photo buket.

This was a great read and I picked up many tips and learned a lot. Oh, your bench Mascot is quite photogenic!
But really you have done a lot of work and made great progress, keep at it.
Thanks! It has been a journey, but it's been fun! Actually... most of the time it's been fun!
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Nice detail on the light fixtures. Like your 2 stall shed. I'm looking for a 3 stall shed.......
Thanks, Jerry! I spotted that at a train show and thought it would be perfect for this project. I have a book about kit-bashing structures, and one of the first things they tell you is pay no attention to the name of the kit.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I got the outside fixtures installed and the 470 ohm resistors installed. Installing those resistors on those fines wires was NO fun! But it's done now. I plan to install a couple of short lengths of 1/8" diameter heat shrink tubing to the inside of the front wall (but not shrink it down) and run the wires through them to hold them up out of the way.
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I also spent some time on GIMP (https://www.gimp.org/) and came up with a logo for the side of the main building.
DocHudsonRustEze.png


These are actually two separate images. The Rust-eze logo is actually superimposed over the Doc Hudson image. I had seen something like this with Lighting McQueen on it, but Lightning is just too modern for my layout. I didn't notice the Disney lettering at the bottom until I had this made, and now the program won't let me remove it. I'll just trim it off after I print this on decal paper. There's a learning curve to using GIMP, but there are a lot of good tutorials on YouTube. The program itself is free and open source, so if you're looking for a graphics editor program, check it out.
The upper right corner of the Doc Hudson image had the Disney's Cars logo there, so I cut it out and then cut and pasted the surrounding terrain back over it's place. It's not bad, but far from perfect. I can increase the size of the Rust-eze logo and shift it to the left to help hide some of that. I might, I might not. We'll see.
Speaking of decal paper, does anyone have any recommendations of brands to use or brands to stay far away from? I've never printed my own decals before.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I finished wiring the lights for the building. The three outdoor lights are running at 5 volts, as is the red light on the bollard post. The outdoor lights are LED's, while the bollard post has an incandescent bulb on it. The bulb is rated at 12 volts, but I'm going to run it at 5 to help keep it cooler and last longer. For the interior I went with a 12 LED strip from the roll I bought at Menard's. I think that a shipping/receiving building should be well lit inside.
I invited the gang over to take a look at it.
Mater's response was "Goll dang! That's just bootaful!"
Luigi informed me that "Is OK, but it gonna need a paint job." (He's probably right.)
Guido was just awestruck and speechless.
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I still need to drill a hole in the left front inside corner to feed the wires out of the building. Right now they are just draped over the wall which is why the roof doesn't sit quite flush. The wires are routed through a terminal block.
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AS I mentioned previously, all the ground wires will be going through one terminal. I plan to install a SPST switch on the ground wire, which will allow me to turn all the lights on or off at the same time.
Here's an interior shot of the wiring. The 12volt LED strip is attached to the bottom of the I-beam, which rests upon two supports glued to the walls.
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The bollard post has a small hole drilled down the middle for the wires to run through, then the top was drilled out a little wider for the bulb, and the bottom hole was drilled out for a piece of 3/32" brass tubing. When I go to install this on the layout, I'll drill a 3/32" hole for the brass tube and that will hold the post upright on the layout. The bulb is secured with a couple drops of white glue. That will hold it in place, but still allow for removal and replacement should that be necessary. I measured the bollard post, and it is a scale 11 feet tall! That's a bit high, so I may shorten it up.
But for the time being, I'm calling this project done.
 

2Tracks

Ol' School
flyboy......Those lights are looking good! The outside lights have a nice hew(?) to them. Although there seems to be some light leakage emanating from the roof! 😁
 




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