Here we go! Gotta start somewhere.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by TrainNut, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi ya Trainnut, sorry it took so long wall1 wall1

    Do you want me to do a design using the track work in the picture above or should I completly re-do the whole area?
  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    If you can, utilize what's there as I have to hook each one of those lines in with the old edges. I suppose you could rework the whole area as well. I dunno. Keep in mind that the line on the right (the blue one) is an inch lower than the 0 level and the red and green lines on the left are 3.5 inches above the 0 level. I'm flexible and open to ideas. Let's see what you've got! I only have two industries at this time... people and a coal mine.
    EDIT: also, this area could be viewed from both sides if necessary. That's kind of what I had in mind for the curved collonade bridge on the top left.
  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    This might be a lil more challenging then I thought lol

    How wide and how long is this spot again? and about how wide are the gaps where it is just nothing there? Like between the left red line and the center light blue, And the center green and the right light blue lines?
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I added a 6" grid to the new section. Does that help or would you still like some exact dimensions? Remember that the big thick black line is a proposed backdrop that can move or possibly may not even be there.
  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Nope thats good, ill see what I can come up with :mrgreen:
  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    For those of you that remember my canyon and for those of you that are new and have never seen my canyon... remember when it looked like this?

    Well since this is a big focal point for my layout, I've been putting it off and putting it off because I wasn't quite sure how to go about it and pull it off the way I wanted to get the look I wanted. I finally decided against using a lot of rock molds and instead, try something I've never tried before - carving the foam to look like rock. Probably not a good idea to try something new on the focal point of the layout but what the heck... here goes.
    I wanted several layers of rock since this is a very deep canyon. I studied lots of pictures below dams and this is kind of what I envisioned as a start...


    Using a combination of an Xacto blade and a solering iron as shaping tools, I came up with some extrusive igneous grey boulders for the top, a layer of sandstone underneath, then some upturned shale, and below that, some more igneous boulders.




    I was going to coat everything with a light layer of plaster but at the last minute, decided against it and applied the paints directly to the foam using a big dabber brush. When looking at it from down low, you can still see the joints between the layers of foam but from up above, they disappear. They really pop out in the pictures. I've thought about going back in and applying a very thin filler layer of wall joint compound to disguise the cracks but at the same time, I kind of like them. Except for the uniform linearity, they almost look natural. Wha'cha think? I hope it doesn't flood any time soon as the heavy equipment is still in the bottom of the gorge.

    I still plan on adding water but not very much. I want it to be a happy medium between a trickling canyon stream and a raging river. There will be several waterfalls but small ones that barely dribble over the escarpments. Comments welcomed.
  7. woodone

    woodone Member

    Hummmm- looking like the rocks that you see at The Grand Canyon.
    Looking good.:thumb:
    Look out down stream ! I see flash flood warrnings - better get that construction equipment out of the canyon quick!
    You will never find it again if the water washes it down stream.
  8. jesso

    jesso Member

    Looking really great! As you always know with me, here comes the questions:rolleyes:: How did you paint the gray rocks? Are they several colors? What do you use as ground cover at the bottom? You wouldn't happen to have a step by step of carving out the igneous rocks? I want to do rocks like those, they look really good:thumb: As always, you layout is a great inspiration to me.
  9. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Always happy to answer your questions!

    All the different rocks and strata were painted using a combination of 6 different water soluble colors.
    1. Earth Undercoat
    2. Stone Gray
    3. Yellow Ochre
    4. Black
    5. Concrete
    6. Red Iron Oxide

    The top and bottom layers of gray rock were first saturated with Stone Gray. Then, before that completely dried, I came back and applied another coat of Yellow Ochre. Finally, I came back once again and hit the highlights with Concrete. I will probably finish up with a fine brush and some white to pop some of the details out.
    The second layer down, I tried to emulate sandstone. I first doused it with Earth Undercoat, then came back later and washed it with Red Iron Oxide.
    The third layer, is my attempt at Shale. I used Concrete and washed it with black to bring out the cracks. I think it needs another wash of black still.

    On the creek bottom, I painted the whole surface with Stone Gray. While that was wet, I sprinkled on some fine, sifted dirt from my back yard. After that, I spread a liberal dose of sand (from my boys sandbox) and spread it around with a small paintbrush to emulate sandbars, water channels and such. I also went out to my back yard, dug an igneous rock out from in between the Oleanders, pounded it up on the driveway with a sledgehammer and sprinkled and arranged some of those fragments as well. Everything received a healthy dose of scenic cement. I expect the colors to lighten up considerably once everything dries out.

    I knew that I probably should have taken pictures of this in a step by step process but I got carried away and before I knew it, I was at the point you see now. I will cover the carving of the rock features in more detail once I get to that point again. It was surprisingly easy.
    Believe it or not, I used a few pictures of the Grand Canyon for reference.
    Is that thunder I hear?
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    That is very impressive for sure. It's going to look great once you put the finishing touches on it. I wonder if you could make a small out cropping with a dead branch and place an eagle's nest on it. Just a scenic idea that popped into my head. It certainly has that feel to it.

    I'd try and disguise the layers of foam personally with some filler as you suggested. When people come over to look at it, they are going to want to get down and look at the detail. I wouldn't want to spoil the illusion for them. It's your choice, just offering my humble thoughts on the idea.
  11. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Yeh, I agree. I'm just being lazy I guess and didn't want to have to repaint again.
  12. sfrr

    sfrr Member

    Wow! nice work!
  13. wickman

    wickman Member

    Great looking canyon:wave:
  14. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    This just keeps getting better everytime I check it out. :thumb:
  15. Buzzee

    Buzzee By Grace

    This is the first time I have seen your layout and all the great work you have done. I thank you for showing the progress with your pictures. I plan to build a layout and looking at what you have done will help in many ways. Great Job, I may drope you a email with questions as I go.
  16. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Always happy to help in any way I can. PM me if you can, my email tends to lose mail from unknown senders. I've built many layouts in the past but that in no way means I am an expert. There are tons of things on this layout I'm experimenting with for the first time. It's all fun!
  17. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I'm really starting to have fun now experimenting with carving the foam to look like rocks. I chose a new area above and to the right of the canyon to experiment some more. The previous rather steep hillside was smooth and boring and I thought I could improve the looks and experiment at the same time.

    This time, I cut the blue foam into little blocks of all different sizes and glued them into place with as few cracks in between them as possible. I then took the soldering iron and shaped them further. Finally, I came back with an Xacto blade and carved some finer details. I should have documented this all with pictures but it was late at night and I was on a roll and got lazy. After that, I painted the foam but for some reason, the soldering iron affected the foam so that the paint did not want to stick in places. I don't get it, that same process worked beautifully in the canyon. So, I mixed up a very watering solution of wall joint compound and brushed on a very thin coat to cover all of the foam. Lastly, I painted it and applied a black wash. I'm not happy with the coloring yet.



    It looks like a negative to me (the darks are out front and the lights are in the cracks). To try and fix this, I plan on repainting this section fresh and spraying on the blackwash instead of brushing it on. Then, I'll add some dirt, gravel, bushes, and grass in random areas.

    I previously had a rock casting in this area (below, between the tunnel portal and the new foam carvings) and I was trying to blend and mimic the foam carved rocks into the casting. However, it turns out that I like the foam carvings more than the rock casting and my next step is to tear out the rock casting and apply this whole process down towards the portal, up over the portal and back towards us on the right hand side. This time, I will not be lazy and take pictures so you can see the different steps.

  18. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    Looks outstanding and wanted to subscribe to keep me inspired.. :thumb:
  19. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Allrighty then. Blasting is complete and the demolition work is just about wrapped up concerning removal of the rather large unmatching rock face. Very soon, I think we can expect the arrival of the new, blue rock slabs from the foam quarry.

  20. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    10:30 sharp and the first load of blocks have arrived. The crew is quick to start unloading as a passenger excursion is due through here in a couple of hours.


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