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A cheap static model of a 3 truck Shay locomotive bought on eBay has inspired me to go logging somewhere in the North American forests.  The model is to a scale of 1:100 or somewhere between TT and HO scales and was mounted on a length of track close to TT gauge.  I have decided to build the diorama to HO scale so that I can use surplus people from previous cake boxes rather than buy extra personnel in TT that I am unlikely to use elsewhere.  My railway (railroad?) is therefore 3 foot gauge which was quite common in the forests.

The locomotive is simmering gently on top of a wooden 'crib' or trestle of the type that the logging companies built from local timber to bridge across uneven or marshy ground rather than going to the expense of building conventional embankments.  In front of the logging camp the crib is widened to allow a pump car or 'gandy dancer' used to run small work gangs up and down the track to be lifted off the track out of the way of the trains.

 

The background of the diorama will be forest.  The foreground will be a work yard with piles of logs and brushwood and possibly a simple Scotch derrick for loading the trains.  I intend to build the crib trestle to at least one layer higher and blend it into  rising ground towards the left side of the diorama.

 

 

 

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Edited by Dickon
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I have now added extra foam to raise the ground behind and to the left of the trestle; the height being limited by the tallest trees some of which are now very close to the 6" cake box limit.  I then covered the surface with a J-cloth soaked out with a mixture of dilute PVA and a little Pollyfilla.

 

I've added an extra tier of logs to the trestle so it is slightly higher than the forest behind it and making sure that the left hand end tapers convincingly into the rising ground.  The ground is now painted dark brown prior to a scattering of real topsoil from the garden.

 

 

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I'm not totally happy with the platform for the 'gandy dancer' trolley.  I might try removing the tree just in front of the loco and parking the trolley in its place.  Removing the platform would add to the impact of the trestle by adding effective length.

Edited by Dickon
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As the ground rises towards the left, would that be a better place for the small platform?

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17 minutes ago, Stubby47 said:

As the ground rises towards the left, would that be a better place for the small platform?

 

Possibly.  But I don't want to obscure the rise in the ground as a)  it's quite shallow and b) I want to show how the trestle merges into the rising ground.

 

Putting the platform the other side of the track frees up space for more activity in the timber yard.

 

 

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I like the trestle work on your cakebox layout, the platform looks better where the trees are.

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The trestle is looking better after some weathering.  There are however still some bare patches of dowel that need touching up.  I also think than the track bed need more grime and oil around the loco.  The logs are twigs from my garden, I wish I'd also used them to build the trestle as I like the texture of their bark.  I do not however intend to rebuild it as I doubt that I'll find enough of a constant diameter.

 

Next up will be topsoil to blend the trestle into the ground, a Scotch derrick and possibly a steam donkey engine to work the derrick and to skid logs around the yard.  And of course people.

 

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Edited by Dickon
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I agree the trestles doesn’t look much better weathered;)

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6 minutes ago, Bo-Bo said:

I agree the trestles doesn’t look much better weathered 

 

Do you mean does or doesn't?

Edited by Dickon

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Eh sorry Dickon my typing and yes it does look better.:D

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Thank goodness for that........I've no intention of rebuilding the thing or stripping the paint off it

Edited by Dickon
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More rust and grime on the Shay though I seem to have missed the smokebox door.  Now that I've covered the surface of the baseboard with a scatter of garden topsoil, the trestle blends better with the uneven ground rather than looking as though it has been casually dropped there.  I still need to address the odd two or three spots under the trestle that I've managed to miss with the paint.

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This is looking great, nice work.

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Dickon

Keep a look out in the post some 15mm engine crew plus other 15mm figures which could be converted into lumber jacks or loggers.

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I've nearly completed a skid mounted steam 'donkey' or winch which can be used to lift logs onto rail wagons with a simple derrick which I have yet to build. 

It's scratch built from plasticard and bits of scrap with the boiler and winch drums turned up on a little Unimat lathe. I have yet to add steam pipes, operating levers and pedals and a wooden butt full of 'water' for the boiler.

 

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steam donkey 2.jpg  steam donkey.jpg

Donkeys were also used to drag logs out of the forest or around the timber yards.

Edited by Dickon
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The scratch built donkey looks great.:dirol_mini:

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The Scotch derrick is beginning to take shape. It's built out of 3mm bamboo skewers with end fittings of thin wall brass tube crimped, bent and soldered as appropriate.  I would have liked to have had a bit more spread on the derrick legs but available space dictated otherwise.  The lumberjack will be one of a pair slewing the jib by rope while luffing and hoisting will be done by the steam donkey.  I've just found a figure with a raised arm who will make a perfect banks man in charge of the operation.  

 

 

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Both derrick and donkey need some serious weathering.

Edited by Dickon
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Lovely work, looking great.

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The steam donkey now has a barrel of water for the boiler and a pile of logs conveniently close to the firebox door. 

 

I've also weathered the derrick and temporarily rigged it with button thread.  I've added a chain sling to add weight under the crane hook so the hoisting rope is realistically taut.  All other ropes that are supposedly under load also need to be bar taut while the ropes to the two lumberjacks slewing the load need  to sag realistically as they are slack but relatively heavy. I will try to achieve both effects by stiffening the  thread with bees wax and possibly using some slightly thicker thread if I can find any.

 

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Edited by Dickon
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Some more great modelling and fascinating research, Dickon! 

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