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MinerFortyNiner
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It is very common to see multiple rights-of way at different levels in mining districts, and I wanted to re-create a scene similar to this along the Coronado Railroad following Chase Creek:



The Coronado 20" gauge is down by the creek, with the Shannon Arizona 3-foot gauge above.  A highway is located above the SARR. 

I have recently added a modest switchback and branch line climbing around the room clockwise to an upper level.  Here is the start of the switchback:



Click here to see more images of the branch line so far:  http://members.cox.net/eaniner/tour.htm 

Now that I have lots of retaining walls to build I will be exploring different ways to create convicing stone and timber walls.  I would like to hear what others have used that has worked well for them, and will share what turns out well for me as I experiment with them.

W C Greene
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Your switchbacks are great! Rock retaining walls will be very nice and will be in keeping with the nature of the line you are modeling. I have a couple of wooden crib walls like the Gilpin had and rock walls also. The photo of Chase Creek is cool indeed. I was out in Clifton a couple of years ago and the winding roads follow the old Shannon Arizona grades, you can see the Coronado grades up on the hill sides. A great place to be if you are into "extra narrow gauge" and mining. Thanks.  Woodie

madmike3434
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looks like you have some madmike3434 tom yorke re-issue buildings in your town near the end of the layout pictures.

Do i see skellys corner bar, lakeside grocery and the grand bank ?  All unpainted but assembled.

mike

wclm
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:) One option that has worked well for a number of projects is to take extruded foam, either pink or blue foam and actually draw rock work into the surface of it. You can get it at building supply places or some housing sites. It is usd for insulation on foundations. It comes in various thicknesses and can be sliced as thin as needed. The process is to layout the coarses of stone with a fine marker then use a Bic pen, or an object with with a small round tip to deepen your previous lines. You are almost making a master for casting except that once you have drawn/carved into the foam you can paint a slurry coat of hydrocal over it just to give the suface a coat to except paint or stains as you would use on a cast wall. Just don't paint the hydrocal on real thick or you loose your definition. With a little practice you can make very easy rock walls. Great part is that it is very cheap. A side note after seeing the pic, is that a new book just came out called "Black Smoke and White Iron". It is full of photos and descriptions of coke operations and some foundrys in Colorado from  the late 1800's to early 1900.

                                                  :) Clif K 

MinerFortyNiner
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Thanks, Woodie!  That's the look I am shooting for here...stone with perhaps some timber cribbing here and there for variety.

Mike, that's a complete line of the Frijoles Flats adobe structures, the Cantina, Mercantil and Groceria, and a Tony's Garage.  Also on the street out of view will be your re-issued Pool Hall (built as the town's hotel with adjoining assay office), Jail (adapted Groceria including banditos busting their friend out of jail), Mining Supply, Territorial Epitaph, and Company Store (Stone Mill Models Golden Pipe smoke shop).  That's a lot of building to do!

Clif, I really like your idea and will give it a try!  I didn't want to carve plaster, but the thin wash would give the styrofoam texture.  I might even try using Kilz on the foam, a primer paint that has some texture to it, and wouldn't require mixing.  Thanks for the suggestion!

:cb:

Last edited on Wed May 6th, 2009 04:29 pm by MinerFortyNiner

wclm
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:) MinerFortyNiner

Here is another webs site to check out if you get the time. 

 Pacificcoastairlinerr.com/whats_new/

When you get there go to page two for a long list of online clinics and scroll down to the March 1, 2007 article. It is on making logs for retaining walls. It looks pretty simple and easy. It may be of some help in your quest for retaining walls. The other articles are really good also. I am planing on doing the method on a drop in section on my layout. 

                                                            :bg: Clif Korlaske

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

choo choo 76
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I liked your idea here, been thinking of something like it in the near future. Just getting back into the hobby after about 20 years. 1st i want to get my stuff out of boxes and run all of it on a practice track. Then build the big stuff like this. Happy railroading!:thumb:

elminero67
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Just stumbled on your post on one of my favorite topics, retaining walls and thought I'd share a few pics from years of stumbling along ROWs: A couple of things I noticed that nearly all narrow gauge retaining walls in the Southwest were made of native rock gathered very near the wall-the Silver City line tried to use quarried limestone from a quarry they owned, but then again they went out of business shortly afterwords....Here is a mortarless retaining wall on the Little Fanny tramway in Mogollon:



If memory serves me the rock at Mogollon is a volcanic rhyolite or something like that, but the point is it does not stack well, and does not have a flat "faces" that make it easier to work with as a mason, or to model 



The rocks on Helvetia narrow gauge near Tucson 
 stack better and have more variety of color.



Above: Another mortarless wall at the Little Fanny Tramway as it passes through the compant town, its been a while but I believe this was a morphisized dolomite mix.


Some of the best work I've seen is on the Coronado Railways twin in Mexico, the Moctezuma Copper Co: Notice the bright colors of the copper sulphides that are common in mining areas
:


Concrete generally became available as soon as the town was connected to the outside world with a railroad, but it was expensive and generally used for stamp mill foundations and other essential uses until the 1920s and 1930s. Here is another retaining wall on the Moctezuma narrow gauge built circa 1930. in the ghost town of Pilares de Nacozari, the Moctezuma Copper narrow gauge ran on top of the retaining wall:



Last edited on Sun Dec 27th, 2009 06:53 pm by elminero67

W C Greene
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WOW-the old retaining wall at the Little Fanny mine above Mogollon is super. Hopefully you visited the old town (you did take the photo, yes?). That tramway was the only railroad trackage in the area. Down in Silver City, there are still retaining walls like that and smelter foundations at Chloride Flat. Great photos, but when you mentioned Mogollon...I just HAD to respond.        Woodie

Herb Kephart
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Also, it should be noted that in the third photo, that's one of Woodies previous motor homes---The current one is much more presentable.


Super photos!! :glad: :glad:

Herb  :old dude:

wclm
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Great shots! Do you have more. Please post if you do. This is the stuff that make modeling fun.
                                                                        :) Clif K

elminero67
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Here are a couple more, the first is in a small Ghost town operated by the Empire Zinc Co. The thing I like about mortarless walls is that they are never straight or square:



The second one is the back wall of the Silver City Smelter, what is interesting is that it is very tall for mortarless wall, and that it is nearly perpendicular:



The third is my favorte narrow gauge-the 24" Imuris Mines railroad. When I was a young bucharoo I helped out during roundup on a friends ranch in the Sierra Madre and the railroad grade passed near the ranch. I've spent over 20 years lookng for a photograph of this railroad, I even posted a ONE MILLION (old) Peso reward down in ol Mexico, but still havent found a dagnabbed photo:



 

 

elminero67
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Here are a couple of old pics of attempts at modelling a retaining wall on my garage layout, basically just plaster carved with a dremel and untility knife. I tried to usse a watercolor wash, but that didnt work too well:



 



 

Sullivan
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Wow! Nice rockwork there. You do good mountain scenery.

As to the retaining walls...all it looks like they need is some added depth...maybe a squirt of thinned black or something. With work that well done I'd be afraid of ruining it but those things can all usually be fixed with added coloring.

Also, I'm sure glad you just recently joined...and welcome, BTW...or people would think that a couple of us copied your Silver City cars. Both Woodie Greene and I are using similar cars on our 1/35th RRs. (See the Mogollon and Chisos threads for pics) My Chisos is just getting started but Woodie is well along.

The cars. Are they scratchbuilt? More info on your railroad please. We love pics and descriptions of fine work like that. 

elminero67
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The ore cars are by Firebox models, I still have over a dozen to assembly: For some reason Gerald from Firebox never offered them to the public (afaik). I agree with the model retaining wall lacking depth-that is the hard part. I havent tried to stack a wall piece by piece, but think it could work if you are a super-patient type of person.

Sullivan
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elminero67 wrote: The ore cars are by Firebox models
Well, they certainly look nice...maybe better than scratchbuilding every one of 'em. I take it they are resin kits?

Woodie and I talked about maybe coming up with a mold for the main body but I haven't played with the idea yet. Maybe it's time...

As to the retaining walls...a spray bottle filled with an alcohol and india ink solution might do the trick. I also know that there are brown inks out there that you could try.

W C Greene
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Duane-that is some fine scenery, looks just like it should.Personally, I think the retaining walls look OK, maybe a little more earth tone to blend them in, but fine by me.  The SCPA&M ore cars are cool, Sullivan wants more cars on his line while I have enough trucks for 3 more, giving my railroad 19 ore cars...enough to crowd the yards and mines. Of course, our cars are 1:35 scale...nobody would see any profit in making cars commercially for that scale anyway.

It was nice to hear from you last week on the chat, maybe we can "hog" the chat sometime with SW extra narrow gauge blather.       Woodie 

madmike3434
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In the case of the retaining walls and carving them in plaster or hydrocal. Best to do all the colouring flat on the bench and then inserting the wall into the scene. Colouring hydrocal with thinned alco & ink washes applied direct to each stone is easy to do and gives a great finish .

I have a very large O scale brick wall , actually 3 diff ones that are 4 1/2" x 8", that come with various levels of distress. One is real bad with brick line sags and all that. A trains of texas wall. I sell these.

I also have a couple of 3 1/2 x 9 prancing pony of texas random block stone wall that could be used as a retaining wall. Its pretty shaky looking.

lastly i like to build my own from wood. Take a SCALE 6"x6"x15" long basswood piece , score it with your zona saw to distress it . The treat with alco ink wash or fiebings leather  dye and alco.   The glue it to some .55 thick cardstock, black side out. after you hacvve laid out however long you want the length to be, then cut and apply short lengths of posts sticking outwards spaced 4--6 feet apart. Then add another run of 6x6x15 on top then more posts and so on , until you have reached the height you need. Prototypically thats how i have seen them built  ?

While still flat on work bench put white glue into open spaces and place small stones and dirt into glue and let dry. If you want to apply some grass and weeds using woodland scenics stuff , or stretch some foliage over an area to similate a vine, go ahead,  it all looks good.

variety in retaining walls is what makes your layout interesting to both you and your visitors.  This applies to diorama builders also.

 

madmike3434

MinerFortyNiner
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Duane, beautiful work.  I really like the scenes.  I also like the mortarless fit stone walls, and found some along Apache Trail in central Arizona I will post photos of.

The crumbly granite of my railroad's section of the Sonora Desert doesn't lend itself to wall building, but a convenient limestone quarry served to supply material for a cut stone retaining wall.  I had some time over the Christmas / New Years break, and built a long stone retaining wall for the layout:



The wall is made of about 2,200 cut travertine blocks, individually placed and stained.



Here, mining nearby has caused the earth to shift, requiring some reinforcement to prevent the wall from collapsing on the switchback lead below.



These are blocks I purchased in sheets at Lowe's tile department.  I separated them from the nylon backing, boiled them to soften the glue, picked off the glue, and then glued them to the styrofoam roadbed supporting the switchback trackage when dry.  I then stained them with a wash of dirty gray.




There's still a bit more to do, but I am glad the heavy lifting is done!  :cb:


Last edited on Wed Jan 6th, 2010 01:12 am by MinerFortyNiner

MinerFortyNiner
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Here are some photos of retaining walls on the Apache Trail, central Arizona.



 



 




This road was used to haul construction equipment to build Roosevelt Dam in the early 1900s.  Can't you just imagine a little narrow gauge roadbed here? 

:cb:

Last edited on Tue Jan 5th, 2010 02:17 am by MinerFortyNiner


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