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Cutting side that needs to be moveable!


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I have one side of a cutting approaching a Tunnel that I had partly started ages ago. It was fairly traditional wire mesh on supports, for the sloping part (about 20cm). There was only going to be a small area of levelling ground at the top of this slope and it was to be a set of 3 or 4 removable 'shelves' for access to the FY tracks below. This top area was heavily wooded at the real location acting as a natural scenic 'break'.

Despite this looking OK, I have decided  that it isn't practical. The slope also needs to have the ability to accept planted stuff including the odd tree (Cuttings were much tidier back in steam days); the 'slope' needs to have depth in which to plant stuff! The top is much more simply created.

I have decided to maybe use shaped Polystyrene Sheet with a suitable covering surface, just for the sloping part, (replacing the mesh). I would then use the same material on small supports as lift away shelves; light but robust. These 3/4 'shelves' would be about 100cm long and 20 cm wide and shaped as a gradually decreasing grassy slope, moving away from the Tunnel (about 3 metres distance).

There would be some sort of cunning  joint cover for top of slope to flat top (hedging/bushes etc?) shelves.

Thus, imagine the cutting slope to be a sort of triangular shape (see pic, vertical side of triangle at the rear), horizontal base; sloping front) suitably formed to create the cutting. The top edge being only about 50cm from the front of the baseboards and maximum 20cm high at the Tunnel end. This makes access to the 6 tracks behind it for cleaning and 'incident' sorting if there is no top.  I can reach; it was designed that way!

Now, that is the plan at the moment.

However I have this image in my noggin of a sort of moulded pod (or two) made of some sort of material (glass fibre sheet, as in making Canoes?)  for the whole thing. Slope and top, with suitable supports and frame. NO weight bearing required on the top surface.

I know it sounds weird, but the Cess would be the front base and 'join' at track side and an arrangement at the Tunnel mouth where the (probably two of this design) pod adjoining the Tunnel would lift away when required. That front may need a few screw points to keep it in place, suitably covered in whatever (drainage covers/small bush?). As most of the trees would be at the top of the slope and on the flat 'land', then there can be depth created there with Polystyrene Sheet fixed to the underside of the fibreglass(?) Pods. Where some other rogue Trees/Bushes appear there could be small lumps of Poly Sheet under the 'slope'!

 

I have zero experience of forming fibreglass so my big question is (at last) WHAT could I DO or USE instead?

Papier Mache or Plaster bandage, but heavily impregnated with PVA or dilute Gorilla Glue?

I would have to create the 'mould' off site. I'd use wood and mesh formers for that.

The finished item would look a little like half an upturned boat with the ends removed and suitably shaped as an excavated Cutting side!!!!!!

 

100866378_IMG_0002(1).JPG.9e197ee2b7f43c338e6575108469b401.JPG

 

I appreciate you reading through this lengthy tale.

Phil

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I would replicate the supports + top structure which you already have, but in foamboard, on a foamboard base. I.e treat is as a structure rather than a hillside, albeit a lumpy one. Then the old fashioned method of woven cardboard glued to the foamboard (hot glue will do) and then Sculptamold or whatever your favourite lumpy ground cover is over the top. You should end p with a solid but light structure which just lifts off. You'll need to disguise the edges where it meets the rest of the scenery - fence, cess drain, cable trunking etc. 

 

I have a foamboard baseboard (2' x 3') - I can lift it with one finger but it will take my weight standing on it as long as I stand on the right bit!

Edited by Wheatley
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1 hour ago, Wheatley said:

I would replicate the supports + top structure which you already have, but in foamboard, on a foamboard base. I.e treat is as a structure rather than a hillside, albeit a lumpy one. Then the old fashioned method of woven cardboard glued to the foamboard (hot glue will do) and then Sculptamold or whatever your favourite lumpy ground cover is over the top. You should end p with a solid but light structure which just lifts off. You'll need to disguise the edges where it meets the rest of the scenery - fence, cess drain, cable trunking etc. 

 

I have a foamboard baseboard (2' x 3') - I can lift it with one finger but it will take my weight standing on it as long as I stand on the right bit!

That's a great idea. I might do it in 2/3 sections somehow, otherwise it will be quite large and unwieldy, if not weighty. Some sort of mini clamps could hold the thing together.

So you mean do a foamboard base shaped along the line of the curved Cess and put the sloping and top bits (a sort of axe shape or even like a rib cage) on that as the base structure for the slope and top supports? Then add a layer of foam along the top like a plank. Then lace it up or cover as I have done with banks on other layouts and shape the surface.

That sounds really good. I could shape the parts basically and them file or hot cut sculpt whilst in place before covering.

You have certainly helped with that suggestion; many thanks indeed.

What sort of Foamboard do you use please? PM me if you think it would be less boring for everyone.

P

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  • RMweb Gold

You could use magnets to hold it in position,  the sort used to hold handbags closed which also have a ring & pip.

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9 minutes ago, Stubby47 said:

You could use magnets to hold it in position,  the sort used to hold handbags closed which also have a ring & pip.

That is also a great idea Stu. Thank you too.

Phil

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6 hours ago, Mallard60022 said:

So you mean do a foamboard base shaped along the line of the curved Cess and put the sloping and top bits (a sort of axe shape or even like a rib cage) on that as the base structure for the slope and top supports? 

...

What sort of Foamboard do you use please?

Yes, exactly that. Any old foamboard will do, I usually use 5mm with plenty of bracing. 

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Posted (edited)
On 03/07/2021 at 02:08, Wheatley said:

Yes, exactly that. Any old foamboard will do, I usually use 5mm with plenty of bracing. 

5mm Foam Board available at Hobby Craft I think it is? A1 sheets at about £7.00; I reckon I need  6/8 sheets of A3.

From a Trade supplier, 8mm (X 2.4m X 1.2m; one sheet, uncut) is £137+ postage! 

 

I think I shall try the A1 Sheets!

P

 

Edited by Mallard60022
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I have two removal sections on my layout.

 

The shorter straight section is just Modrock. It started out as Modrock+cardboard supports but it turned out that the Modrock on its own was enough to form a straight section of embankment about 250mm in length.

 

The longer section is a curve and it was built out of polystyrene with a Modrock cover. I could probably detach the polystyrene now but there seems little point.

 

The difficulty in both cases for me was hiding the join (a problem Ernie Wise never had :) ). For the small section I haven't yet come up with a solution but for the larger curve I just used the old 'hedgerow trick'.

 

Short section:

shorty.png.b0e8a643f79bd9ae550c75efb2ef3bf1.png

Removed

20210511_155804.jpg.377aaabc91e1d8d91c5359736cbc7ece.jpg

 

Unfortunately whilst the small section does give access for cleaning and rerailing it doesn't allow me to actually work on that diamond crossing so I have to keep a bottle of nail varnish handy.

 

Curved section:

884250620_20210313_193447(1).jpg.580b0ada8fcdbddcc087d4a1688a63c9.jpg

 

Some closes ups of the curved section:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/jToUnDhjJCufE54T6

 

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  • RMweb Gold

I hid my apt-e behind  a cutting like yours by bodging plastic box section guttering,  I cut down the line of the gutter  and screwed the two bits back together  and created a sort of horizontal - 45 degree horizontal section which was rigid enough to support itself. the bottom horizontal section was cut back to get the cutting nearer the track and then I screwed through it on to the baseboard. Finally I put some ply from backscene to guttering to support the back edge. It's ugly as hell now but with scenery on top it's job done.

BTW I did this as I normally run steam but wanted an apt-e and needed permanent home for it as it's a swine to uncouple/couple this amazing model  

However my setup is in the loft like yours so we should talk over Teams/Zoom as I have some ideas that could help 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't mention APT-E. I'd love to have one of those on my layout but sadly only one company has ever done one in N gauge and the chances of picking one up are low. One day I might get into 3D printing and try and make my own.

 

Either that or buy a spare HST, and attack it with a scalpel to push the windscreen inwards :D

Edited by AndrueC
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  • RMweb Gold

I thought rapido were going to do N gauge if there was enough interest?  I studied the APT-E as part of my MSc at the open university and saw it as a boy so I have one even though everything else is steam driven on my layout. That's why I needed to hide her when she's not in use. 

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On 22/07/2021 at 09:21, deepfat said:

I thought rapido were going to do N gauge if there was enough interest?  I studied the APT-E as part of my MSc at the open university and saw it as a boy so I have one even though everything else is steam driven on my layout. That's why I needed to hide her when she's not in use. 

I know that Revolution Trains were going to but they abandoned it in May siting lack of interest :(

 

http://www.revolutiontrains.com/projects/expressions-of-interest/apt-e/

 

I suppose another option might be card as that doesn't require a significant investment whereas 3D printing clearly does.

 

I seem to have fate against me because the other loco I'd like to have but can't is a Princess Elizabeth. I have a Queen Elizabeth courtesy of Graham Farish but that is not the same thing.

 

Honestly it's almost enough to make me give up on N and move to OO. What keeps me on N is being able to run almost metre long trains round a figure of eight layout in my spare bedroom :D

Edited by AndrueC
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