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coombe junction - moorswater - inse(r)t here...episode I


bcnPete

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Update,

 

Good evening - Following the status of the two dries buildings I knew it was time that I could no longer put off the need to tackle the inset track to the sidings area. This was not something I was looking forward to, and comes a close second to fence and tree making in the tedium tasks.

 

I had pondered for a long while whether to do it 'dry' in card or 'wet' in clay. For my sons 4mm china clay Blue diesel layout (no brain washing there then ;)) I did the inset track in grey artists card and it has turned out ok as a base to weather and develop...

 

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Grey artist card for the inset track and base buildings...

 

However, that was all straight track with no curves as Moorswater. But I finally settled on card and decided to make some templates. I first applied a red felt tip pen to the tops of the rails as thus...

 

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and whilst the ink was still wet, overlaid a piece of white card, pressing down firmly. After I lifted the card and flipped it, hey presto, a template...

 

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and I cut these out to fit.

 

Right? :) ...Wrong :( ...of course the outer edges were fine and I trimmed the one between the two sidings okish...but the ones between the rails themselves were awful...Regroup, Rethink, Gin Tonic and walk away...

 

Back fresh...and refreshed... I decided to go down the clay route as Tom E did some nice experiments recently with Das. I also have in mind Chris Nevard's awesome Cement Quay layout as the inspiration for the overgrown part of the yard as depicted here

 

I thought I had better spray the track before starting and then give it a quick test to check all was well before it all got covered in gunk. The track was primed in grey primer and then giving a wash of some brown paint I have used before on the layout. It's funny how when you spray the track, it takes on another level of 'its actually starting to get there now'...

 

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I then ran my old 'soon to be replaced if Farish ever decide to finally get around to retooling the much needed, long overlooked, long in the tooth' class 25...and it ran very nicely...I was shocked...and was almost tempted to spend the evening shunting a few wagons around...but thought better of it...

 

I couldn't find DAS in BCN so I settled on some other air dryed clay and following some helpful advice from Chris, I made a start this evening. With my wife out I borrowed the nice stainless steel minimalist designed cake knife, as I had an image of slicing carpaccio's of clay off the block and layering it to get the right level. How wrong I was. The clay was a right PITA to cut, so the knife was washed and sneaked back in the kitchen replaced discretely and I settled on a carving lumps with a metal ruler and proceeding to need it into place with my hands. A splash of water was used occasionally to keep it moist and workable and also a wagon with 2FS wheels was run up and down to check flange clearances.

 

I only managed a little tonight...and lets be honest, it looks a right mess...but I hope it is the way forward. I realise that there will be some scraping, sanding and swearing to come yet, but overall, I guess it was a better way forward than my card disaster.

 

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On plan, it looks a mess...

 

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And here also it looks a mess...

 

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But on this photo, a little more encouraging...

 

Lets see how it dries and then Episode II will commence.

 

Pete

 

EDIT: I woke up this morning and at first glance it all appears to have cracked :( Perhaps I added too much water in the mix?...

 

blogentry-3290-0-49060200-1299738141_thumb.jpg

 

Perhaps another skim on top will cover this?....

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The effects in the bottom pic look encouraging- did you build the clay up in layers or do it all in 'one hit' so to speak. I used both DAS and other 'air-drying clay' in previous layouts the cheaper stuff is better I found, the texture is easier to work with.

 

Layout looking very impressive! B)

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Thanks Russ - All one hit as it seemed to be easier to just push it into place and keep working it with the water/wet finger routine. The clay cost me only €3 so if it's all dried up next time I open it, it won't break the bank to buy another...

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if you did it all in one hit you might find you can see where the sleepers are as it all dries and settles- certainly does in 4mm - the smaller scale might make things kinder on the eye! ;) another selectively applied layer can sort it- interested to see how it goes in the smaller scale - as I've joined in with it myself due to a lack of space, but its taking some adjustment!

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Hi Pete, many thanks for sharing these experiments. Very interesting to see the differences between the wet and dry approach. I can see the advantages of both, but the texture you are getting with the clay looks really good.

 

Was the "other" air-dried clay a particular Spanish brand or something that might be available elsewhere too?

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Russ - this morning, a few sleepers were more evident so I guess its a two hit process...first layer as deep base and then a top layer for cosmetic tidying up. Welcome to the small scale...I am shadowing your progress with interest.

 

Mikkel - thanks - I will check the brand tonight and drop you a PM...For €3, I thought it was worth a crack rather than wait to import Das via eBay.

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Pete, lets hope that a skim covers those cracks... I expect it will. Isn't this always a potential problem working with a thicker layer of clay - always a risk with filler when decorating and filling holes ... as I've learned :rolleyes: .

Good luck with Episode 2... I'm sure it'll come together in time

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Could it be the thickness (or lack of) that has caused the cracking? As a thought to save your wheels would it be worth putting a sliver of card next to the rails to form the flangeway?

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Jon - Thanks...I don't mind the odd crack as the prototype is concrete which always has the pour joints...its the crazing effect I am not mad for! Hopefully the second skim will tidy it up...

 

Kris - Thanks also - maybe...Perhaps the second layer will help the depth - I nearly did a check rail soldered to pcb inserted occaisional sleepers but realised that the check rail effect is not that evident in the dries...there is only a partial checkrail which I decided to omit - I am not to worried about the wheels as a quick run under the tap and they are back to normal...

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Watch the wheel don't rust then Pete, I've found that they are a right pain for doing that.

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You may find that by wetting the surface and rubbing over the cracks with fingers or other implements will solve the cracking problem. I've been doing something similar with HO track and have found the two stage approach works better than trying to do it all in one go. The first layer is just up to the top of the sleepers. This way you don't get the sleepers showing through as mentioned by Russ.

 

Nick

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Good point Kris - Thanks.

 

Nick - Thanks as well - I agree that the two stage approach is the way forward.I was adding a little water to help smooth off when it started to set but I wonder if making a weak mix of water and PVA might help bond it all together? Worth a shot next time I think...

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Looks great- Is a UK visit on the cards this year? I have found that air dry clay always cracks a bit, I loved the inset track work on cement quay too.

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Thanks dd118! Yep...am having a week in August in Looe in which I will be hoping to sneak off one of the days to coombe and moorswater and meet the manager of the dries. Its 20 years since I last visited so am a bit concerned that I will come back and trash the layout and want to start again!

 

Agreed on Mr N's CQ layout. I will only have a touch of 'overgrowness' near the turnout / road as in the 80's the line was maintained pretty well, but if I can capture the atmos as he has done with CQ, I will be OTM ;)

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I think its a really promising start, it already looks a lot better than some inlays I've seen. It's given me a few ideas to try. I've also found the cardboard inlay didn't work too good. Maybe if you paint it with some thickish paints they'll fill in some of the cracks?

Hope you get some good inspiration on your visit. Will it be time to start on the trees next?

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I thought the felt tip on the rails was a neat idea shame it didn't work out. Perhaps a thin layer of card washing with knotting then a thin layer of clay migh be an answer.

Been doing abit of palstering. Now that is a possibility. Observing good plasterers I notice they keep going over it as it sets.Perhaps you need to do that with clay.

Don

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Hi Pete

 

Looks great, in spite of the cracks and another thin layer of clay should sort them out. I also used some fairly course wet & dry paper and gave the whole thing a light rub down to minimize any sinkage between the sleepers too.

 

Really looking forward to seeing how this turns out, it's excellent modeling!

 

Tom

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TomJ - Thankyou - if it was straight I would have definately used card, my preferred medium as am OOMD with wet materials! The trees next?....maybe...kind of itching to get that viaduct going the first...

 

Don - Thanks also - Yes the build up of layers is probably key...of all the site trades I am always mighty impressed to see the plaster guys at work...how they get it so smooth and perfect is a real art.

 

TomE - Many thanks also for your kind comments - It was your excellent thread on that very subject that got it going. I will finish the base coat for the rest of the hardstand and then go back to do a second overall topping...

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Interested in this as some tramway bits I have been looking at are submerged by dirt and what not. Seems on first glance a Phanton Menace - if you clone your approach...:D

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Pete,

 

The cracks look good, honestly.

 

I've been trying to work out a way to get cracks like on Chapel Wharf for ages! :)

 

David

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Pete, yes a dilute PVA mix might help but I do't think there's much of a problem sticking layers of clay together -- just dampen the existing surface. I did, however, cover the underlying surface in PVA before applying the first layer of clay. Others have suggested that this helps the clay bond to the baseboard or whatever is underneath.

 

Nick

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Kevin - am always happy to draw a response from the Rebel force in oz ;)

 

David - Thanks - really? And there was me looking at CW only recently wondering how you had got it so perfect!

 

Nick - OK, thanks...I will do that on the next app...

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Hi Pete,

 

We also got some cracking when using DAS on the St Ruth sea wall but nothing like the crazing that you have got. I'm guessing that it might be down to thickness (or lack of it) - our DAS is about 2-3mm thick. Our cracks are probably at the places where different slabs of DAS were butted up to each other... but we did use a lot of water to smooth things down here. It might also be down to the difference in thickness between and on top of the sleepers.

 

Might I suggest making up some off-layout test pieces and experimenting there?

 

Here's another inset track approach, but the bit between the rails may not translate to 2mm. The filler might be a useful option to consider though.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php/blog/1/entry-44-inset-trackwork-on-keyhaven/

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Hey Andy - Thanks for this - I remember reading Andy Y's write up on this and thinking that will come in use for CJ one day....and then completely forgot about it :rolleyes:

 

I will crack on as before as the consenses seems to be a second layer should sort the cracks.

 

In terms of test mock ups I am a bit of an impatient modeller...I guess it comes from making mock ups of options for my work so when I come to my modelling sometimes I like to just get stuck in...and pick up the pieces afterwards :D

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I'm not sure how good this clay is at sticking to itself so sloshing some PVA around might help too - but don't get PVA anywhere that you want to use water based paints etc afterwards.

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Noted - Thanks - sounds like you are speaking from experience of that...

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