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Discussion Starter #141
Thanks TF, I'm used to having to work around glitches, just the other day I was checking out the Benz to take her out for a spin, noticed the hydro tank was low, REALLY low. I ordered some of the ZH oil for it and now it's been raining the last couple of days so no road runs yet. Oh and no oil under the car, SO, I'm figuring that it's not leaking but instead is still bleeding itself of air. (OH what we Mercedes owners go through working on our cars)
 

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Discussion Starter #142
Got the wheel cleaner in and couldn't tell any difference before and after, oh well, no skipping. I also got a 3 "Company House" set, built as cabins for the park. Roadway came today and got the 4 lane down with the 1st coat of yellow centerline down as well as two roads headed out of town. Ran the wheels of'n the trains in between LOL
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Discussion Starter #143 (Edited)
An oops moment after laying down some roadway going out past the loco shop. I mixed some paint to cover some of the white lines and as it dried it darkened a bit. I'll experiment some more and come up with a lighter color, this mix was 4 drops dark grey and 2 drops of black. I also have two road crossings set / built and have some curved ones on the way so I can finish the shop road out of town
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Update, I mixed another small batch of paint, looks closer but I'll let it dry overnight before taking another pic. May be one of those "close enough for government work" plus new asphalt and patched pavement is darker for a spell

Update II, dried remix looks better but still shows. A color expert I'm not so I'll leave it be unless I can find something different to do with it
 

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Discussion Starter #144
I used a lighter grey and black, IIRC 4/2 ratio, looks better. I'll come up with something before laying any more roadway, curved crossings aren't here yet and the next two roads are on track curves

I got some foamboard and 2 sided tape today for the mountain backdrop. A little more work to get it all the way up in the left corner. Been thinking about putting another "layer" of backdrop (not with a mural) up against the double track to make a bigger separation between the outer and double track, kinda like being one of those walls separating one "side / town" from the other. As it is now the outer track is barely seen before coming back into view around the curve at the far right side
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And yeah 🤨 I needs ta clean up my mess on da table 😁
 

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I used a lighter grey and black, IIRC 4/2 ratio, looks better. I'll come up with something before laying any more roadway, curved crossings aren't here yet and the next two roads are on track curves

I got some foamboard and 2 sided tape today for the mountain backdrop. A little more work to get it all the way up in the left corner. Been thinking about putting another "layer" of backdrop (not with a mural) up against the double track to make a bigger separation between the outer and double track, kinda like being one of those walls separating one "side / town" from the other. As it is now the outer track is barely seen before coming back into view around the curve at the far right side
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And yeah 🤨 I needs ta clean up my mess on da table 😁
WCB;

How many beers had you consumed before you took the last photo? It looks like the photographer was a wee bit unsteady, and having trouble focusing himself, the camera, or both. 😄

regards;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #146
LOL @ TF
I never said I was a photographer, though my Dad was a Medical Photographer (I've seen some "interesting" body parts on both film and stills and watched Dad taking pic of still steaming internals fresh from the operating room). No beers here though, I'm a "non-alcoholic" Beveridge LOL. I'll put the blame on my phone camera and the light
 

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LOL @ TF
I never said I was a photographer, though my Dad was a Medical Photographer (I've seen some "interesting" body parts on both film and stills and watched Dad taking pic of still steaming internals fresh from the operating room). No beers here though, I'm a "non-alcoholic" Beveridge LOL. I'll put the blame on my phone camera and the light
Yech! Why would anybody take photos of human entrails! I know it probably served some legitimate medical purpose, but still gross!
My wife is a nurse, and watches many of the medical shows on TV. When they show the surgery part, I just close my eyes.:sick: It beats barfing.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #148
LMAO It was so neat to go to work with him, I've seen short films (edited leftovers) of heart surgeries, a toe joint replacement, and a couple of couldn't tell what it was being "fixed". The Surgeon wanted pics or videos for teaching purposes. Most all of the TV surgeries are blurred (we are fans of "Dr G") so you can't see the nitty gritty but I'd love to see clear and concise or even maybe watch an autopsy. My son is a Doctor, maybe one day . . . . . . . Not meaning to be gross but since I was a kid I was loosely involved in the medical profession with Dad being a Hospital Corpsman and a photographer and when he retired from the Navy continued with medical photography. My son pulled 10 years as a Corpsman then got out and did Med School

Taking a break at the moment, road and crossing building today, pics when I'm done for the day
 

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Discussion Starter #149
Sorry about the previous fuzzy pics, hope these are better. I did some more road crossings, in the middle of one pics to come later. I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday looking to get something to build some retaining walls and got some second choice wood slats, scale-wise they are 2 ft wide, should do good as they are flexible for bends. Also got some interlocking brick paving, marked as HO but I think it'll work for my purposes, sidewalks in town and a couple of brick patios, maybe even a driveway for a house

Bricked sidewalk and entrance to firehouse and new floor inside
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Sidewalks and walkway between diner and City Hall perhaps even add some tables and chairs there. I'll paint the stoops
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Discussion Starter #152
On the printed paper if you mean the backdrop, it came rolled up, once piece. I think it fits perfect with the hill I built
 

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Discussion Starter #155 (Edited)
Some more done, I'll need to get a few more "City Buildings" and a couple more industrial buildings. I've got "Main St" laid out plus another going up the hill . I built the beginnings of one retaining wall, still need to cap it and keep going, haven't decided if it's a wood or concrete wall yet, could be either

Oh, I looked at several supply vendors sites and the few various retaining walls offered either weren't tall enough or wanted too much (IMHO) for just a short piece of material, as you can see the elevated tracks have a good sized length that will require some sort of wall or hillside for a cover-up. I have some wider "boards" that I can use as well, what you see is scale-wise 20-25 ft long and 2 ft tall per board
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Yeah, the gap at the bottom and corner will be filled in or hidden
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Some more done, I'll need to get a few more "City Buildings" and a couple more industrial buildings. I've got "Main St" laid out plus another going up the hill . I built the beginnings of one retaining wall, still need to cap it and keep going, haven't decided if it's a wood or concrete wall yet, could be either

Oh, I looked at several supply vendors sites and the few various retaining walls offered either weren't tall enough or wanted too much (IMHO) for just a short piece of material, as you can see the elevated tracks have a good sized length that will require some sort of wall or hillside for a cover-up. I have some wider "boards" that I can use as well, what you see is scale-wise 20-25 ft long and 2 ft tall per board
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Yeah, the gap at the bottom and corner will be filled in or hidden
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WCB;

Your layout looks better and better. You are making real progress!
Did you actually scratchbuild your retaining wall? Congratulations!
What did you use for the lumber? Two feet is pretty wide for a board, and It definitely looks like a wood retaining wall, concrete would be smoother. I too have a long area of retaining wall. Mine is concrete, and made of a long sheet of foam core board, that I bought dirt cheap at Walmart. I think a 24" x 18" x1/4" piece set me back 89 cents.

Both the covered bridge, and the abutments/retaining walls, in the photos below were built with 1/16" scribed basswood. In N-scale, 1/16" is about one foot, which is a more reasonable size plank. The bracing is 1/16" x 1/16" basswood, an N-scale 12" x 12' beam, also reasonable for a major structural brace.
No, I'm not telling, and showing, you this stuff in order to say a mean "Na Na Na Na" to a less experienced modeler. My point is that you can use the same materials I did and it will actually be easier than what I think is the board-by-board construction method you used, and it will look better too. Basswood, both scribed and plain, is available in hobby shops or through online vendors. Good old Google should help you find a dealer. Basswood is also a bit stronger than Balsa wood, though either would work.

For your city buildings you might look at the "General Electric Building" kit marketed by Model Power.*
Its a nice, four story, brick structure that can be made higher using pieces from a second kit. I have a seven story version. The leftover wall sections can be used to make another smaller building. The Design Preservation Models structures are also very nice looking and easy to build. D.P.M. is now part of Woodland Scenics, but the same kits are still available.

Keep up the good work;

Traction Fan 🙂

* Like many plastic structure kits, this one has appeared under different brands, and different names.
 

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Discussion Starter #157
Thanks TF, yes The Wall was scratch built, each individual board cut one at a time and trimmed to be equal lengths. I went to "The Lobby" and looked for thin sheets of wood, no joy, and during our wanderings came across some extra long X extra narrow X extra thin "popsicle sticks" . I figured if I paint the wall a medium grey/concrete hue color it could pass for a poured wall. In the meantime continue looking for another material to use for other walls, the PITA being that is needs to be flexible to fit around the curves. I'm not going to worry so much about the backside because being against the room wall when completed and running trains it won't be seen anyway. Wood retainers I was going to model with the boards vertical similar to your covered bridge retainers. I've got some wood pieces from 1st layout that I can use under the bridges as concrete abutments, sorry no decent pics of those. I'll BOLO thin basswood, thanks

On the buildings I have my eye on a few different possibilities for the City Center (The "story" goes that the roads were reconfigured when the double express tracks were built and Highway was widened into the 4-lane). I also find I have a bit more room for additional industries and retail outside of Town. A little here, a little there as budget allows
 

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Thanks TF, yes The Wall was scratch built, each individual board cut one at a time and trimmed to be equal lengths. I went to "The Lobby" and looked for thin sheets of wood, no joy, and during our wanderings came across some extra long X extra narrow X extra thin "popsicle sticks" . I figured if I paint the wall a medium grey/concrete hue color it could pass for a poured wall. In the meantime continue looking for another material to use for other walls, the PITA being that is needs to be flexible to fit around the curves. I'm not going to worry so much about the backside because being against the room wall when completed and running trains it won't be seen anyway. Wood retainers I was going to model with the boards vertical similar to your covered bridge retainers. I've got some wood pieces from 1st layout that I can use under the bridges as concrete abutments, sorry no decent pics of those. I'll BOLO thin basswood, thanks

On the buildings I have my eye on a few different possibilities for the City Center (The "story" goes that the roads were reconfigured when the double express tracks were built and Highway was widened into the 4-lane). I also find I have a bit more room for additional industries and retail outside of Town. A little here, a little there as budget allows
WCB;

Hobby Lobby is hardly the be all and end all of hobby supplies. I think they cater more toward craft enthusiasts than model railroaders. www.modeltrainstuff.com or www.trainworld.com should carry basswood. "Midwest" and "Northeastern" are two popular brands. Basswood actually is pretty flexible especially the thin scribed variety in the parallel to the scribe lines direction. The little N-sale water tank below is made of basswood and the actual tank is about 1.5" diameter. That's pretty flexible to be able to wrap around that tightly. I've been working on my own retaining wall / city block /staging yard cover, today. Since I wanted a very lightweight lift-off structure, I used foam core board for the basic shape, and covered the "wall" side with 1/32" model aircraft plywood. For the support posts I'm using coffee stir sticks which work out to 2' wide in N-scale. While a bit large for your individual boards, the same two feet is pretty reasonable for a vertical reinforcing post on a large concrete retaining wall. The photos of the prototype wall in Seattle, look like it was very basic, just a long, flat, boring, concrete wall, with a reinforcing post every so often. BTW model aircraft plywood is a great structure scratchbuilding material to have around. One trick I use a lot is to glue a piece of plywood to the back of a scribed basswood wall, to keep it straight and flat. I have a spot on my layout where the story is that a river was diverted when the elevated rail line was built. We think alike. Scary!

regards;

Traction Fan 😄
 

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Discussion Starter #159
Well not knowing all the "spots" of where to get needed supplies (I'll check those you mentioned, thanks) one must get what and where we can. We also have a Michael's nearby but didn't go in there. I'm one who has done all sorts of "off-the-wall" projects, I'd go in a store looking for who knows what, I'd attempt to explain what I was doing and what specifically what I wanted/was looking for. Sometimes I lucked up, and sometimes not. One in particular was the brushes in a Mercedes blower motor, wasn't going to pay $100 for a pair, went through the brush bin and found a set that was for a Makita electric tool, a bit of slight filling and the blower was working again (that was a mild one lol) You should have seen some of the things I did on / with my boat that I was rebuilding, had to halt it due to medical concerns and is when I got the train "bug". Most of the work was being done by myself with some ingenuity and thinking outside the box. I used the same gantry cranes to change a fuel pump in my truck. Here's a pic showing both
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And where the pump is under . . . .
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Oh, and on my Benz, when I was told that the exhaust manifolds off of a 5.0 Euro motor (parts car I bought) would bolt right up to my 5.6 engine, out and off came the American version of exhaust and in went the Euro pipes that let my engine breathe better and the butt-dyno said HP was boosted as well

I got another section of wall built and set, working on another section

Yeah, GMTA is a bit scary huh ?
 

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Along the lines of other supply shops, you might look for hobby shops that specialize in Radio Control Airplanes. The good ones still sell balsa and plywood kits and will have a stock of various wood to choose from. And they are used to people going through the wood to select which specific piece they want (checking density or flexibility, etc.).

I have used Tower Hobbies (Tower Hobbies: RC Airplanes, Drones, Cars, Trucks and Boats) for a lot of supplies when I flew R/C. I also used Horizon Hobbies but I do not think they sell much wood or supplies of that type very much. And I could not go without letting you know that you can always mail order directly from Midwest for either balsa, plywood, or basswood at Midwest Products - When Precision Matters.

For n gauge, you can get some pretty fine strips of balsa that are probably strong enough for almost anything at that size. The first two bridges we put on our layout were just straight sheets of 1/4 plywood. It was only about 8 inches long for each but the trains never even caused a flex in the wood. We have replaced them with proper Kato bridges now, but that worked as an interim design. Basswood is much stronger and would also work well.
 
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