Need some ideas, boys

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by ddavidv, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    This is on my N-Trak module. I'm constructing a scene of a metal fabrication facility. This is the superstructure for the overhead crane, just mocked up. I'd like to use the plastic base plates for it to keep the structure unitized, as this bit is rather flimsy and I'll probably remove it for transport. The issue is the track height...I have it glued to cork. Normally, it would just be ballasted. But this places the track height significantly higher than the surrounding ground. I'm not sure it would look right. Most 1:1 facilities have the track at 'ground' level but I couldn't figure out a graceful way to drop the track off the cork, and at this stage I'm not tearing it up.
    Some of the thoughts I've had are just leaving it as-is (the easy way out) and ballasting it. Also considered plastering it level with the tracks and having it as sort of a raised loading dock with a ramp for trucks to access it. The problem with this is I've already ballasted the mainlines (adjacent) and there isn't much wiggle room on the side furthest away in the photo to build it up. To the left of the photo will all be gravel parking lot.
    I suppose I could build up a mound and just gravel it instead of going for a concrete look, and use the plastic base as the cement 'pad' for the structure.
    Just trying to make it look as realistic as possible. Give me your thoughts, to be used or discarded as I see fit. :D

  2. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    I would build a base so it is same level as the track,use the same stuff as what you are useing under the track than ballest it so it blends in.
  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    DD I would do what Livesteam says as that would be the easiest way to fix you difficulty.
  4. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I agree that you should build up pavement to the level of the track. A very small slope on either side is all that's required. I had a road running beside my crane and solved the problem of height difference in this manner with a narrow concrete strip between the slope down from the crane to the road.

    The first pic shows the crane on it's base - and yes, something is needed to hold the 2 sides in place.

    The second pic is after I scenicked everything.


    Attached Files:

  5. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Val - I don't lke to be "picky", and that looks good - except - shouldn't there be crossbeams at each end? Looks to me as though, in real life, it would be awfully unstable from an engineering point of view!
    A couple of Plastruct I-beams, one across each end of the metalwork, would help stabilise it.
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  6. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Val- a sort of off-topic question... but in that scenery picture... How do you create the roads/area between the crane supports on the track? Styrene? Water putty?

    Just wondering. Seeing what different methods before I choose one. Your's looks so realistic.

    Great job, both of you, and Ddavid... I can't wait to see it all beautified up! :thumb:
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Trainwhiz, I have 2 methods for doing roads. The one I used for the crane was styrene. I painted it (actually just brush painted) a medium grey colour, then added some streaks with ground up black chalk (just rub the chalk over a sheet of medium grit sandpaper to get powder) rubbed in with my finger. Afterwards I drew in the cracks with a fine point marker.

    I made the pothole by cutting out and irregularly shaped hole and filling it with fine ballast and some real dirt. I like to collect real dirt for scenery, because nothing quite matches it for realism.

    I think the key to cracks is to be very observant of where they occur. One thing I've noticed is that not only do you get large transverse cracks across the whole width of a road sometimes, but there are always tons of little cracks along the edges.

    Shortliner, you're probably right. I just built the kit as it came from Walthers, but that added bracing would look good!

  8. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    Thanks for the replies, fellas.
    I'll post some more pics as the scenery progresses. I think the overhead crane is the same one as Spitfire built, just in N scale. Those cheap *%#@! at Walthers gyp the N scalers in the Vulcan Steel building kit by only providing the parts I show, plus a roof. No actual 'crane' is included. :mad: Nothing I can't scratchbuild, eventually.
    The suggestions have triggered an idea I'm going to try. :)
    I'm surprised the camera took such a great photo. I'll have to do more photography. The caboose visible in the background is an Atlas one I just finished super-detailing (I built a pair). :cool:
  9. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Okay, here's a question--what sort of equipment would one find in such a metal fabrication facility? I have one in mind for my layout that will be a combination standard gauge industrial spur and stand-alone mini layout (I found 2' gauge track on the prototype site, and decided I'll have an industrial loco to move loads around from fabrication area to loading dock.)

    The building in question was called "Sacramento Pipeworks" and I know they made pipe and other metal parts--the current facility has a crane type thing under a corrugated-metal shed that loads trucks (formerly to load railroad cars--the standard gauge track is still there under the asphalt) and then there's a main building that is now a gym. What sort of machinery would be found in the main building--and what, besides the crane, would be found around the crane area?
  10. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    Not really a direct answer to your question, but two industries I have locally that my be helpful to you are a crane boom fabricator, and a steel fab facility that makes girders for bridges and overpasses. The former is not a huge facility. The latter is a pretty massive place. They weld up huge steel lengths into I-beams and so on, paint them and then load them onto trucks for shipping to the site. I think the raw material could be brought in on a rail car, but the finished products are too long to travel by rail and need extended length semi flatbeds.
    We also have a boiler plant that makes heating boilers, but their facility isn't really visible from the road, so I don't know what it may look like "out back".
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Not necessarily.I have worked with overhead cranes like Val's when I was employed by a concrete burial vault company that made grave vaults..
    The cross section that holds the motor,cable and hook fills that need.You do need a solid foundation and brace work.There would be "stoppers" on both sides at the end to keep the crane from going off the track..BTW A concrete grave vault and base weighs 1,850 pounds..
  12. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    reference photo

    this might help a little, sorry no track inside.

    Attached Files:

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