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Track is laid out, mostly following the book. View attachment 571228
Annie;

What's the purpose of all those reverse curves in the track near the turnouts and the book? A real railroad doesn't build curves for the sake of watching trains wiggle through them. Curves slow trains down, & add drag to the train, which causes it to use more fuel, and that costs the railroad company money. Curves are necessary on railroads, both real, and model. But on the prototype there are curves only where they serve an obvious purpose, Like following a river pass through hills. A model railroad should ideally also show the reason the curves were built.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Annie;

What's the purpose of all those reverse curves in the track near the turnouts and the book? A real railroad doesn't build curves for the sake of watching trains wiggle through them. Curves slow trains down, & add drag to the train, which causes it to use more fuel, and that costs the railroad company money. Curves are necessary on railroads, both real, and model. But on the prototype there are curves only where they serve an obvious purpose, Like following a river pass through hills. A model railroad should ideally also show the reason the curves were built.

Traction Fan 🙂
It’s temporary, I ran out of the size curve that would make that connection in one piece so I had to use 2 smaller ones and the only way they fit was like that (assuming we’re talking about the same section) it’ll get fixed whenever I either find one extra curve piece or buy a new one.
 

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I picked up these (not the “Beginners guide to N scale modelat the library, they were on sale but the librarian I could have them for free cause they’ve been in the “for sale” section for years, I’m hoping there’s some stuff in one of them about snowscape stuff, however I will try and see if I can get the “Modeling a Snowscape book”

View attachment 571234

trains are running nice, no real electricity problems this time, they’ve plagued me in the past.


I’ll also try that frost/icicle idea.

so I don’t have to spend as much on fake snow I’m thinking I’m going to lightly dust spray paint over the ground and then add the fake snow, it might work, maybe not, we’ll see.

Annie;

Those are good books! Nice haul! "Modeling a Snowscape is not a book. Its only an article in an old issue of Model Railroader Magazine.

I don't recommend using spray paint to color your foam board. Some spray paint contains solvents that can attack the foam. o_O
Latex house paint, and craft paint, are both water-based and safe to use on foam.
If you make your own fake snow with the white dust you can sand off Styrofoam, as I suggested, there should be little or no cost involved.
Plaster is also pretty cheap. You should be able to get a five pound bag at Home Depot, or Walmart.

I'm happy your trains are running well. I see, in your newest photo, that you are using Kato Unitrack. I would think it would be difficult to create a fuel tank catching dip with Kato track, unless the ground under a track joint was really super rough.

Traction Fan
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Annie;

Those are good books! Nice haul! "Modeling a Snowscape is not a book. Its only an article in an old issue of Model Railroader Magazine.

I don't recommend using spray paint to color your foam board. Some spray paint contains solvents that can attack the foam. o_O
Latex house paint, and craft paint, are both water-based and safe to use on foam.
If you make your own fake snow with the white dust you can sand off Styrofoam, as I suggested, there should be little or no cost involved.
Plaster is also pretty cheap. You should be able to get a five pound bag at Home Depot, or Walmart.

I'm happy your trains are running well. I see, in your newest photo, that you are using Kato Unitrack. I would think it would be difficult to create a fuel tank catching dip with Kato track, unless the ground under a track joint was really super rough.

Traction Fan
Oh, glad I didn’t try that spray paint idea, in that case I’ll also get a can of white paint and airbrush it on, kinda like the rattlecan but with an airbrush.

The track it the top of the risers from the hill it bent and looked similar to this;
Road surface Wood Asphalt Rectangle Flooring
 

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I apply the wet plaster on the tips of the tree. If I recall correct, I start from the top and go to the bottom. I will post a photo tomorrow of the trees, and it might show better then I can write….cheers
 

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Annie;

That looks like a good track plan. Its similar to the one on my grandson Hudson's layout.

Winter scenery doesn't have to be hard. Your Library may have Model Railroader Magazine (Usually in their children's section o_O ) or at least be able to order it for you. There are two old articles both written by a guy named Rand Hood. One is called "Modeling a Rainscape" and the other is "Modeling a Snowscape". The latter one has some 'cool' (pun intended) information on modeling winter scenery.
Woodland scenics sells artificial snow, which is really finely ground white Styrofoam. If you have access to an electric sander, or even sandpaper, and some of those shaped Styrofoam packing inserts that stuff comes shipped in, you can make your own "snow" for free. Woodland scenics scenery materials are far from free! They believe in high profit margins at W/S 😕

You can make frost with a Tamiya model paint called "Flat Base." Brush a tiny amount along the edges of a window on one of your layout's buildings to show how cold it is outside. Clear nylon fishing line can be used to make model icicles. Clamp one end in a vise. Heat the other end with a match or soldering iron, then quickly grab the heated end with needle-nosed pliers and pull gently. The stretched fishing line will thin out to a point, and look like an icicle. Super glue a line of those along the roof edge.

Plaster, in powdered form, also makes convincing snow. The file below shows how I made the trees in the photos. Spray some Aquanet, or other cheap hairspray, over a finished tree and sprinkle on a bit of powdered plaster Viola! Snow covered pine tree. For snow on the ground paint your blue foam with some flat white acrylic house paint, Then sift on some plaster while the paint is still wet. Instant snowstorm!
Practice some of these techniques on scrap material, or a small corner of your layout. With some practice you'll be able to freeze things up like Princess Ilse in Frozen ! :rolleyes:

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
Good tips, I am going to try the Styrofoam. (y)
I tossed most of mine but I am sure I have more I could try.
 

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Annie, have a look at some of the products offered by Vallejo Acrylics (www.acrylicosvallejo.com). In addition to their paints, they make a number of landscaping products that are excellent and user friendly. My friends at Scale Hobbyist stock most of them (www.scalehobbyist.com), at very reasonable prices.
 

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Oh, glad I didn’t try that spray paint idea, in that case I’ll also get a can of white paint and airbrush it on, kinda like the rattlecan but with an airbrush.

The track it the top of the risers from the hill it bent and looked similar to this;
View attachment 571236
Annie;

If you're talking about getting a can of acrylic house paint, or some bottles of craft paint, they won't spray through an airbrush. They are much too thick.
It would be smarter to brush the paint on with a plain old fashioned paint brush.

Craft paint can be thinned with water, and airbrushed on, but its tricky, and I'm not crazy about doing this. It seems the craft paint is either so diluted with water that it won't cover well, and drips all over, or its still thick enough to clog the airbrush. It is possible, but hardly easy. Having tried airbrushing thinned craft paint a few times, I gave up. I apply craft paint with an artist's brush, and that works fine.

Yes, your Kato Unitrack definitely has a severe hump in it! o_O
While I don't use Kato track, I was under the impression that once it snapped together, it would stay straight, vertically, across the joint. You might consider putting some continuously flat Luan sub-roadbed under your Kato track, if it can bend that much. The 1rst photo shows the 1/8" Luan roadbed I use to build my turnouts on. I use the same roadbed under my track too. The second & third photos show the rigid sub-roadbed that I described to you earlier. With your continuous foam base you shouldn't need this elaborate sub-roadbed though. Just some Luan cut to the shape of the track, and glued to the foam, and the track glued on top of the Luan.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Annie;

If you're talking about getting a can of acrylic house paint, or some bottles of craft paint, they won't spray through an airbrush. They are much too thick.
It would be smarter to brush the paint on with a plain old fashioned paint brush.

Craft paint can be thinned with water, and airbrushed on, but its tricky, and I'm not crazy about doing this. It seems the craft paint is either so diluted with water that it won't cover well, and drips all over, or its still thick enough to clog the airbrush. It is possible, but hardly easy. Having tried airbrushing thinned craft paint a few times, I gave up. I apply craft paint with an artist's brush, and that works fine.

Yes, your Kato Unitrack definitely has a severe hump in it! o_O
While I don't use Kato track, I was under the impression that once it snapped together, it would stay straight, vertically, across the joint. You might consider putting some continuously flat Luan sub-roadbed under your Kato track, if it can bend that much. The 1rst photo shows the 1/8" Luan roadbed I use to build my turnouts on. I use the same roadbed under my track too. The second & third photos show the rigid sub-roadbed that I described to you earlier. With your continuous foam base you shouldn't need this elaborate sub-roadbed though. Just some Luan cut to the shape of the track, and glued to the foam, and the track glued on top of the Luan.

Traction Fan 🙂
Not house paint, model paint, I have like 10 bottles just laying around because I don’t use it often.

I’ll keep an eye out for said roadbed, I’m headed to a show tomorrow so if I see some I’ll pick it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Ok, yesterday I picked up some used risers to shave down and make snow, a couple cars and an engine, I also got more trees.

I painted some trees, they look pretty nice, I’ve also removed everything but the track so that I can add the snow later today, I’ll post pics soon.
 

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Not house paint, model paint, I have like 10 bottles just laying around because I don’t use it often.

I’ll keep an eye out for said roadbed, I’m headed to a show tomorrow so if I see some I’ll pick it up.
Annie;

You won't find ("said") pre-made Luan plywood roadbed. Because there's no such thing commercially available in finished form. I cut my own from sheets of Luan plywood that can be bought at Home Depot or Lowes. In fact, I don't know of any commercial model train roadbed made of wood today. (There was one made long ago which had the ties included. The spaces between ties were milled out. I don't remember the name of the product ("True Scale" perhaps) but it doesn't apply to your layout anyway, even if its still made. It was HO-scale, and you had to attach your own rails to it with spikes or glue.)

Aside from the built-in plastic roadbed on Kato & Bachmann track, the only commercial roadbeds I know of are cork roadbed, and foam roadbed. Neither will help stiffen your track since both are flexible.
Maybe you should use those extra Woodland Scenics Styrofoam risers simply as extra risers, rather than sanding them down into fake snow. More risers in-between the ones you already had, might help keep the track from dipping.

I really like my Luan wood roadbed, but if you want it, you do have to cut & sand, your own curved, and straight, pieces to fit under your track. If you decide to do this, make the cut pieces of wood as long as practical, and don't have joints between pieces of wood directly under the joints between Kato track sections. The whole point is to use the wood as a sort of "splint" across the track joint to stiffen it, and keep it from moving vertically into bumps, or dips.

Never mind the preceding paragraph, and the whole Luan Idea. Unless you have access to an electric bandsaw, and basic woodworking skills.
I just thought of an easy, no power sawing, sanding, or woodworking, way of stiffening the joints between track sections.

At Walmart, in the crafts department, they sell bags of "craft sticks" which are identical to the sticks in popsicles, or ice cream stick-mounted treats. They also sell a larger size "craft stick" which my wife, the nurse calls "tongue blades." These are the sticks doctors hold your tongue down with when they tell you to say "AHHH while the shine a flashlight down your throat to see if its sore. These larger, "tongue blade" sticks would be a good size to use as "track splints." They can sit between the tops of the foam risers, and the bottom of the track. Elmer's glue will hold the tongue blades to each other, and also to the Styrofoam risers. Elmer's won't stick well to the plastic roadbed though. For that job, I suggest latex caulk. If you have grades, or other places where the support under the track is weak, try slipping a tongue blade under the joint, temporarily, and putting risers under each end of the tongue blade. You should then find it hard to push the track joint down into a dip shape. To prevent it from going upward into a bump shape, like in your photo, you would need to caulk the edges of the Kato plastic roadbed to the tongue blade/track splint. If needed, you can reinforce entire track loops or grades with a continuous length of two layers of tongue blade sticks. Overlap the ends and glue the sticks together, and to the risers, with Elmer's glue. This will form a type of wooden roadbed under the track. By offsetting the ends of the sticks they can be formed to follow a curve.

Good Luck

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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OK, I got it now. To go from the outer loop to the inner going counterclockwise (the direction it seems to be going in the photo), you're going to back the train through the crossover.
 
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