How do you make the Flageways in Crossings?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TruckLover, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi Guys, my trackwork on my layout requires that i make quite a few imbeded tracks in my roads and yards for truck docks on my buildings.

    I am using WS Smooth It for roads, i like the stuff and it works well for me.

    But how do you make the flangeways in the tracks where the crossings are so the train wheels can pass thru? Ive done it before, but the way i was doing it was crummy, i was just filling in the whole track with Smooth It and once it dried i would cut away the flageways, but this would result in huge cracks or "potholes" and crumbleing of the remaining part of the crossings between the rails and it does not look good at all lol

    So how do you guys do it? Even if you guys use drywall compound, how do you make the flagways?

    Thanks in advance for any help :mrgreen:
  2. VunderBob

    VunderBob Member

    Can you lay some plastic strip on the inside of the rails, fill as before, and pull out the strips when your paving material dries?

    When I did it last, I dyed spackle to the right gray color, paved, and cut the flangeways with a hacksaw blade like I do with frogs when building turnouts.
  3. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I use plaster of Paris to make my roads. To make the flangeways in rr crossings, streets and dock areas I use waxed dress shoestrings. I cut them a few inches longer than I need then put one against the inside edge of each rail. To close up the ends and anchor the strings in place I use pieces of Rose-Art modeling clay. Then I pour in the PoP and let it set. Once it's set I simply pull out the shoestrings and voila, instant flangeways.
  4. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

    I pour the plaster in two layers. The first layer settles around the ties. Then the second layer is poured even with the rail tops. I use a phony plastic credit card (I get them in the mail all the time) to smooth out the surface. Then I use a hacksaw blade to cut the flangeway.


    I also use a tool (shown below) to clean leftover plaster from the underside of the rail.


  5. Uintah Dave

    Uintah Dave Member

    I used strips of plastic next to the rails and it worked well. After the plaster dries use a knife to cut between the plastic & the plaster & pull it out.
  6. cajon

    cajon Member

    Saw on another forum where the modeler used a freight car truck w/ wheels to make the wheel grooves. Easy to do & very little trouble.
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I run an nmra track gauge thru the pavement, followed by a freight car truck. I find doing it in two steps results in a neater job. The gauge removes most of what needs to be removed, and the bottom edge keeps the material level. However not enough matrial is removed, so the freight truck finishes the job.
  8. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Buy some BLMA crossing parts...

    I like Tom's way, sounds very viable.
  9. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Everyone for all the helpful ideas :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    I need to get one of those Tool that Tom pictured lol

    Josh, I would like to use BLMA's grade crossings, but there so dang expensive lol
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think you could get a set of 4 of those picks from Harbor Freight or Radio Shack for under $5.00. They will be different shapes. You will get one like the one tom pictured, one with a right angle bend, one straight, and finally one with a "U" hook on the end.
  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I used an old Mehano freight car with large flanges to make the wheel grooves. I find that using tools or plastic strips leave an unrealistically deep and clean cut flangeway. I also held the car to one rail, then the other. Once the road material dried, i test ran equipment through it until i was satisfied, and used a hobby knife to clean up anything that got in the way. the result is a more shallow flangeway that in my opinion looks better than most of what i've seen.
  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks guys!!!

    I have a radio shack right next to me lol. and i have to go out to go to Lowes anyways and radio shack is right next to it lol. Guess i can kill 2 birds with one stone hehehehe :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Another problem i have is painting the roads around the crossings and the flangeways. It tends to crumble and break apart when painting around flangeways :cry:

    But i have a feeling that if i used plaster in my crossings instead of WS Smooth It, it would not crumble. that said, what kind of plaster material should i get and where do i get it? Can i get it online from a hobby web site? Im planning on buying some stuff anyways so if i could buy plaster with the other stuff that i need that would be good? So what kind of plaster? Is there a certain kind?

    Tom what did you use?

    thanks again guys for all the help :mrgreen: :wave:
  13. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Plaster of Paris? Is that stuff i need? lol
  14. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    ahhhhh nevermind, I found WS Plaster. Im already orderings come Kato TTX well cars so im just going to get the WS plaster with them, as well as 2 more Smooth It's, 2 more packages of paving tape, Asphalt and Concrete Top Coats, and 2 rolls of plaster cloth lol

    There goes another $240 :eek: :rolleyes: lol
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I used hydrocal. I will say its probably better to use the smooth it. For me at least, it was tough getting the roads level. There are still dips in my pavement i don't like. Its also messy. if you know smooth it works, stick to that.

    I've seen people use scuplta-mold for the grade crossings, since apparently its easier to work with then plast of paris or hydrocal.
  16. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

    Josh, I used plaster of paris and added some gray (grey?) craft paint in the mix. Makes it easy. If you get the right color, you don't need to paint the roads. IIRC, WS plasster is Hydrocal which would work very well for making roads. Good luck and keep us posted (with pics, of course).

  17. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I use plaster of paris because I can get three 1/2 gallon cartons for what WS charges for one 1/2 gallon carton. $10 bucks for 1/2 a gallon seems a bit pricy to me. I like $2.87 per 1/2 gallon a lot better.
  18. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Hydrocal is more expensive than other plasters regardless of where you get it. I'm in charge of a craft program at children's camp. We cast plaques and small statuary that the kids purchase and paint. We once to used a 50/50 mixture of hydrocal and casting plaster to make the castings, but now use hydrostone or hydrorock (I can't remember the correct name, but the local potter's supply knows what I need)because it is about 10 times stronger than hydrocal and doesn't need casting plaster in the mix to act as a catalyst. The hydrocal cost typically $20.00-$25.00 for a 100# bag where as the casting plaster was @ $12.00-$13.00 for a 100# bag.
  19. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Tom and Jeffery

    Thats a really good idea to mix the color into the mix when you are going to pour the roads, that would eliminate the annoying part of painting lol
  20. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    im currently bidding on a NMRA Standards HO Scale Gauge on e-bay that has the flageways depth tool on it. Im hoping this will be helpful lol

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