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Ray Dunakin
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Howdy! Here are a few pics of my 1/24th scale In-ko-pah Railroad. It's built into the hill behind our house using many tons of rock and mortar, and features a desert theme with realistic scenery and structures...

First up is a miner's cabin. It's a scale replica of an old miner's cabin I saw in Ione, NV. Except for the corrugated metal roofing, the metal awnings over the windows, and a couple other minor bits, the cabin is made entirely of styrene. I carefully textured and painted it to resemble ancient, heavily weathered wood:




Here's a video of the layout. I shot this a year ago so it doesn't have some of the more recent structures:

http://youtu.be/9yeiCCiTwQw


Here's a photo of the Cliffside Mine, located high on Grandt Cliff. The ore car is a Grandt Line On30 Koppel side dump car. Everything else is scratch-built:



This next shot shows a train passing through the town of Dos Manos. All the structures are scratch-built and have interior details and lights. Eventually there will be several more buildings in this town:



All of the plants on the layout are handmade, scale miniatures. I also sculpted most of the figures, including some wildlife. You can see several of the plants in this photo, along with a miniature roadrunner:




This loco started out as a 1/29th scale RS3 from Aristo-Craft. I rebuilt it into a 1/24th scale, fictional narrow gauge "variant" of the RS3.




You can see more pics of my layout on my website:

http://www.raydunakin.com

Last edited on Fri Sep 7th, 2012 10:20 pm by Ray Dunakin

W C Greene
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Ray-what a wonderful railroad! Superb modeling and great photos. How about more photos?
And-can you tell about how you make the cactus, etc. which can withstand being outside? My "plants" are constantly going to junk, even ones made of metal!
I love your layout, thanks for posting here.

Woodie

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks Woodie! I have some info on my website about how the various plants were made:

http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_Plants.html

I need to update it though. Coming up with materials and methods that will hold up well outdoors is a constant learning process, so I've changed a few things since those pics were posted. For instance, I now use floral wire instead of pipe cleaners, to make the ocotillos. This saves time and labor, lasts longer, and looks better.

BTW, most of the other plants are made from parts of plastic flowers from Michael's. These are usually available seasonally, so when they have them in stock I try to buy up as many as I can.

wclm
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Ray
The layout is quite a fantastic undertaking. I just went to your site and checked quite a bit of it. So many times you see garden railways and they are just that. Yours has a very different look. It is very realistic. I followed your rockwork build and it was amazing seeing it take shape. The structures are also part of my favorite sections. Thanks for the posts and will I will definately be going back to your site for more looks.
Clif K

Ray Dunakin
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I was running a train recently and decided to shoot a few new photos...

Crossing the Cora Canyon viaduct:



Stopping at Dos Manos:



Coming out of the tunnel east of Grandt Cliff:



Passing the old miner's cabin at Grandt Cliff:



Late afternoon sun:



Enjoy!

W C Greene
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Outstanding photos of a superb layout! I agree with Clif, Ray's layout has the realism lacking in many outdoor lines. Keep em' coming, Ray...

Woodie

Cody Case
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Love them! Your layout looks great!

Cody

Herb Kephart
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One of the great things about the large scales is that you can get "down and dirty" and get prototypical camera positions.

The last pix shows this (along with a good looking loco)


Herb 

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That's one of the nicer looking large scale railroads I've seen, Ray. Thanks for posting the photos... this time and last time too. ;)

Si.
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Hi Ray

Nice rocket stuff !
A friend & I have flown the Estes 110 rocket-cam.
Lost it eventualy; nowhere to be found.
Could still be in orbit...!

Not a bad railroad either.
Love it in fact.

Keep up the good work Ray.

Cheers

Si.

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks, Si! i have flown (and crashed) many of the Estes Astrocams myself. I kept putting them on bigger rockets, with bigger motors, but the lengthy ejection delay needed to trigger the shutter while the camera was pointing downwards, was very hard on the recovery system.

Nowadays I'm using 35mm Olympus pocket cameras, but film is becoming an outdated and endangered species these days. I should probably switch to digital, but then I'd have to invest in several new cameras, build new payload capsules, etc. Don't know if I want to go to that much trouble for what is now a secondary hobby.

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Hi Ray

It was a neat idea using the tiny Olympus cameras.
Superb quality lenses on those.
Can get 'em for pennys on eBay these days.

Having spent 1000's of hours in dark-rooms over the years...
...I have to say I do appreciate the 'no processing' aspect of digital.
Can't realy beat proper film though.

SOME ( not all ! ) cell-phone cams are quite good.
& cheap as chips !

You'd need a pretty big rocket to get an old Bell & Howell super-8 into orbit I guess.
Technology is amazing though.
Can do HD video now on a camera the size of a match-box; for a few bucks.

Could have up & down facing HD-video mini-cams.
Get the ground disapearing & the chutes opening !
Bit of split-screen editing; a la 70s' styleee...
...BINGO.

Sorry Ray; love a tech-challenge.
Great work again.

If I'm ever in San Diego I'll bring my 1/2" WSLCo cars for a spin on your track.
You got a great twisty main-line; just like they had.

Cheers

Si.

Ray Dunakin
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Back in the '80s there was a company that made some great little Super 8 cameras. They were all plastic except for the motor, lens and other minor bits. I could cut them down until they were just slightly bigger than the film cartridge, and by doubling the voltage I effectively got a nice slo-mo on playback. I made over 200 flights using those little movie cameras, and got a lot of interesting footage. Someday I want to get them transferred to video and put some of them online.

Anyway, back to the RR... Yeah, if you're ever out this way let me know, we're always happy to have visitors to the RR.

Shaywhen
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Gawwwd i love yer Rock work,, looks like San diego east county.. Awsome stuff ;-)
:glad:

Lucas Gargoloff
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Great outdoors layout!!! I asume winters in San Diego are cool, but, any snow day out there??

W C Greene
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It's a great layout-indoors or outdoors. We could do with more photos however...

Woodie

Ray Dunakin
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Here are a few new pics I shot recently. The first two feature my scratch-built Model T rail bus. I sculpted the two figures, representing my dad and my sister. I still need to make some more figures to fill the rest of the seats:







This next shot shows a train crossing a bridge at the west end of the layout. I refurbished this bridge back in January, including replacing the damaged catwalk with one that can support actual cats (not to mention possums, squirrels, and other critters):


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I just discovered your site earlier today and I've spent the last few hours being amazed by it! Amazing job!

Monte
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Hi Ray,

Great, your Miners Cabin and Cliffside Mine are very nice. Just right for the space, outstanding work.

mlp

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks!

Progress has been a little slow lately. I've done some work on the interiors of my former bank building, but that's about it. Too many other things taking up my time, and when I do get time to model I just haven't felt very inspired.

Ray Dunakin
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Lately I've been trying to get some projects done that have kind of languished for a while...

First off, I finally finished my the first passenger car for my railroad. It's an old Bachmann combine that I repainted in my RR's colors and lettering. The decals were provided by Stan Cedarleaf.

I had started this several years ago. I added aluminum tape to the roof to give it a more realistic appearance, prior to painting it. I also removed the couplers from the trucks and added body mounted couplers, as well as metal wheels. I had planned to replace most of the plastic details with more accurate parts and addition details, but decided it wasn't worth it. I'd rather wait until I can build something from scratch, and then go nuts with the details. Anyway, here's how it looks. The paint is actually burgundy, but for some reason it looks very red in the photos:




At the moment, it has no interior lighting because I lost those parts. At some point I'll put in LEDs. I also have a couple coaches that I plan to repaint to match, for a complete passenger train.

Next up was to refurbish some of my oldest structures. The hoist house of the Cliffside Mine needed a little work -- the paint on the door and windows had badly faded, and the door had fallen off. They look much better now:





The ruins of the blacksmith shop, at the abandoned Monolith Mine, was also faded. Here's how it looks after touching up the paint. Someday I want to build a replacement for it using my current modeling techniques:




The biggest job was refurbishing the water tower near the town of Dos Manos. The supports were made from real wood (western red cedar), and most of the paint had peeled off. The wood on top of the platform was heavily weathered and worn. The tank also needed repainting. Most of all, the original spout needed to be replaced -- not only was it beginning to fall apart, I was never happy with it to begin with. Now I have the skills to make a better one.

In this photo you can see the old spout, with the new spout below it. The old spout was made from cardboard tubes coated with fiberglass resin, and spray painted silver. The mounting brackets were crudely made from brass rod. The new spout is entirely made of brass:





The prototype for my model is an old San Diego & Arizona RR water tower located at Dos Cabesas, in the Anza-Borrego desert. The prototype has an unusual, hinge-like hardware. Without any good photos of the tower when its spout was still intact, it's difficult to determine exactly how the spout was attached, and how it operated. My original spout worked but did not seem very practical or realistic. When I built the new brass spout, I tried the configuration shown in the next photo:






That didn't really look right, and didn't work very well either. So here's the configuration I settled on:






Here's how the finished tower looks, with new paint and new spout:













The foundation has small brass pins sticking up, which fit into holes in the ends of the support timbers, to hold it in place.

Dwayne
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Nice! :)

fanai
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Love the abandoned mine and the loo amongst the rockery, also as a sculptor irealy like your personal figures a lot, great work

SJSlots
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Awesome stuff!!

I really should learn to make my own figures.

mwiz64
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I'm with everyone else, Ray. You are clearly one of the more inspiring modelers on the internet. Thanks again for sharing.

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks guys!

I just finished another project -- I converted my 4-6-0 to battery power and also installed a Revolution receiver in it. I've been getting really sick of cleaning track. Ever since I built my R/C railbus, it's been so nice to be able to run something whenever I want. That convinced me to make the switch to batteries on my locos too.

Now I just have to convert my RS-3 too.

Ray Dunakin
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Here are some pics of my latest progress...

First up, I recently finished converting my 4-6-0 to battery power, and also installed an Aristocraft "Revolution" receiver in it. While I was at it, I also made a few small cosmetic changes -- I painted the cab roof silver, to better match the rest of my rolling stock. I also painted the cylinder ends black, and I added some subtle weathering. The heaviest weathering is on the stack and smokebox:







I also finished a coach, the second car of my passenger train. I have a third coach in the works, and a fourth planned:








Enjoy!

Last edited on Fri Jul 12th, 2013 12:05 am by Ray Dunakin

Dwayne
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:thumb:

Si.
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Nice pix. of the recent RR work Ray.

Cheers

Si.

Ray Dunakin
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Today the In-ko-pah Railroad was host to three distinguished guests from Down Under. Wayne Hoskin, John Turner and John Hall came all the way from South Australia!







And since I had everything set up I also shot some new pics of the railroad... First, a couple of overall shots:







In this shot, a passenger train is about to cross Serenity Canyon on the high bridge, while the "Tin Lizard" railbus crosses on a lower level:




And here they are passing the town of Mineral Ridge:




Enjoy!

slateworks
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Wonderful to see the "overall" pictures of the railroad Ray, as it puts everything into perspective and position. It's clear now just how steep the the whole thing is and how the various scenes blend with the background. As I said on the other thread, great rockwork and modelling brought up to an art form. Very jealous of your visitors though!


Last edited on Tue Aug 12th, 2014 12:04 pm by slateworks

mwiz64
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Once you guys get in the picture, the trains suddenly look small.:clown:

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.... and all that area that doesn't need to be mowed.... Jose.

Ray Dunakin
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The past few months, I've had no time for modeling due to a lot of "real life" obligations. I'm finally starting to get a little bit of time, and have used it for a couple of upgrade projects...

First off, i converted my kitbashed, narrow gauge RS-3 to use battery power. With all the electronics inside the hood, there was no room to put the battery in the loco. Besides, I prefer to charge lithium batteries outside of any irreplaceable models, in case something goes wrong. So I turned one of my old gondolas into a battery car.

To hide the battery pack, I made a false load of scrap iron, starting with a basic box made from Sintra PVC foam board. Then I covered the top of it with broken and twisted bits of styrene shapes and strips -- a good way to use up some cutoffs.



I sprayed it with a coat of red primer, then black primer:



Then I used Sophisticated Finishes brand "Instant Iron" and "Instant Rust", and finished it off with a few touches of acrylic to look like old paint on a few of the parts:








My next upgrade project was replacing the lights in my structures with LEDs. Originally I used grain-of-rice bulbs, which are cheap, easy to use, and fit into even very small scale fixtures. Unfortunately they keep dying on me, rather mysteriously and inconsistently. Some have lasted for years, others need almost constant replacing.

I'm getting LEDs in several sizes from this source:

http://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/bl-212.html

If you want to see how I installed some of them, go here:

http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_Lighting.html


So far I've only converted the lights in two structures, the rock shop and the bakery. I coated the LEDs in the rock shop with a bit of glossy white paint. This dimmed them slightly and gave them a somewhat warmer, soft glow. The lights in the bakery are a bit harsh, in part because there are so many. I may paint the LEDs in the bakery, or remove a couple of them, or both.

Here are some night photos so you can see how they look:




The rock shop is on the left, the bakery on the right:









dennischee
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Great effect Ray, love it

Dennis

Tony Walsham
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As usual, superb.

Herb Kephart
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Ray

Experiment with resistors to dim the LED's Even though they are current sensitive, you usually can get some reduction in brightness by lowering the voltage---

Herb

chasv
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:glad::moose::moose::moose::moose::old dude:

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Simply outstanding.
Rod.

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks, guys!

Herb, these LEDs already come with a resistor and a diode wired into the leads of each one, which was a selling point for me since all this electrical stuff is like voodoo to me. All I know is that when the magic smoke escapes, things stop working. :)

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Those night shots are awesome, thanks for posting

Dwayne
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:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:

Ray Dunakin
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Over on another forum somebody came up with the idea of passing around a figurine, to be photographed on each person’s railroad. A large rooster about five inches tall was chosen. (Why a rooster? It has something to do with one of the forum members whose nickname is “Rooster”.)

Anyway, a lot of the guys were having fun with it, creating humorous stories to go with the photos. When my turn came, I got inspired and came up with these “newspapers” documenting the rooster’s appearance on my layout.

http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_Rooster_One.html

Enjoy!

Salada
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You presumably didn't require much egging on to lay that one on us ?.

Regards           Michael

Herb Kephart
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I think that the whole population was clucking drunk.

Sometimes sober Herb

Si.
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There is a totaly NUTTY site called...

...Toy Voyagers (I think).

They send toys around the globe to be photograped.

They same toy, often figures, gets snapped on a world tour...

...Sydney harbour-bridge, the Rockies, NYC, Buckingham Place etc.

Why ?

Cos yer can !

Cheers.

Si.

Salada
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Ray :

Most "grain of rice" bulbs, or "grain of wheat" as we call them tend to be rated at around 12v. If you run them at 5 - 6v (max) instead they give a nice 'oil lamp' glow & last for ages.

I have tried yellow lensed LED's plus resistors but they still look a bit harsh to my eyes. LED's, unlike filament lamps, always run at a fixed 'colour temperature' regardless of increasing resistance, which simply dims them a bit. Varying the supply voltage of a filament lamp will dramatically alter the colour of the light emitted, hence the 'oil lamp' effect. Unless of course you are modelling that new fangled electric lighting stuff when LED's will give a better effect. Excellent modelling, as always !.

Regards            Michael

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Nice stuff Ray.

A tip on the LEDs. I am not an electronics expert either, but... the internet helps. There are online resistor calculators that will give you the proper sizing for LEDs based on your voltage choice and the 'normal' working parameters of each color of LED. I have successfully salvaged LEDs off of junk electronic stuff (VCR, stereo, etc) by using the calculator.

Kyle E
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As I suspected, many in the hobby have to much time on their hands!

see my models at
http://www.engineerkyle.com

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I've only just discovered this post after 4 months, boy has time gone quick, I was one of those visiting Aussies, we did a 3 week trip from LA, down to San Diego (Rays place), train back to LA then overnight to Albuquerque, hire a car and drive up thru Chama, Durango, Grand Junction, Leadville, Colorado Springs and Denver, then flew home via Boise, Idaho. Rode the C&T, D&S, Pikes Peak, and Georgetown Railroads and popped in to visit Kevin Strong at Denver as well.

Ray and Kevin are very accomodating and congenial hosts who both made us feel very welcome, along with most everybody we met while we were there.

The In-ko-pah Railroad is jaw dropping beautiful, photos just do not do it justice, Ray has done a fantastic job, if you get the chance to visit lovely San Diego give Ray a call (I hope you don't mind me saying that Ray!), you will be suitably impressed.

And the rest of our trip was fantastic as well, I'll be back in a couple of years so look out for me!

Wayne 

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks for the kind words, Wayne! I'm glad you enjoyed it and you're certainly welcome to visit again next time you're out this way.

Ray Dunakin
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I haven't had much time for modeling lately, but here are some pics from our open house last Saturday:














Enjoy!

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First open house that I saw visitors welcome to climb on the scenery. Hope that they don't sit on the structures!


Herb

Ray Dunakin
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There is a walkway across the middle level of the layout. It's designed so it's not visible from the front. It also provides access into the tunnels -- wherever the path or stairs go over a tunnel, the steps lift out. Here's a shot taken two years ago that shows the path:

Dennis R
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great layout with lots of rewarding compliments
Great job
Dennis

Salada
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Good idea Ray, that walkway that cannot be seen from ground level. I now recognise the bridges & scenery as looking distinctly Tecate & Tijuana and S.D. & E.A. Rly. So where is the trolley line !?.

Regards,            Michael

Ray Dunakin
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Here are a couple photos I shot today...


The desert is in bloom as an Alco RS-3n pulls a freight through Serenity Canyon:




In this staged publicity photo for the railroad, a passenger train pauses atop the Serenity Canyon viaduct, while a freight passes below. In the foreground, the "Tin Lizard" railbus rolls through a cut next to the abandoned Monolith Mine:




Enjoy!

chasv
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:glad::moose::moose::moose::moose::rah::rah::thumb::pop:

Ray Dunakin
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Here's a couple more pics...



In this one, a passenger train goes through a rock cut before heading across the Serenity Canyon viaduct:





And in this shot, a boxcar long past its prime sits beside the Mineral Ridge Mill. I still need to build some stairs to the door of the mill:



NevadaBlue
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Nice work Ray! That boxcar and mill just look real. Excellent. Love the Lizard picture too. :bg:

George W
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Really nice stuff, love the rail truck

W C Greene
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Yep, beautiful stuff. That railcar is described here on FR and was a feature in Garden RR magazine a few months back. Ray's layout looks real and of course it IS real! Outstanding work and beautiful photography. Our thanks to you Ray for posting the great pix.

Woodie

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:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:

" I still need to build some stairs to the door of the mill "

That's the kinda door Jose would find a 1:1 proto-photo of !


Yer not kidin' me Ray ...
...you 'Photoshopped' that REAL boxcar into the mill picture.

PIMP THAT RAILCAR !
On a scale of 1 to 10...
...that's an ELEVEN !

All the best.

Cheers.

Si.

:moose:

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What did you use for the corrugated-iron on the mill Ray ?

Si.

:moose:

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About the steps, would this set please your senses? :


At your service as usual, Jose.

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Si. wrote:
What did you use for the corrugated-iron on the mill Ray ?


I used .001" brass shim stock, which I cut into strips and then corrugated by embossing it against a piece of corrugated plastic that I had picked up online somewhere.

The corrugated strips were then glued to the structure, sprayed with a self-etching primer, and then sprayed with Rustoleum's "Cold Galvanizing Compound" for an authentic zinc finish. Then I weathered it slightly with latex paints.

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Excellent work Ray, especially that Mineral Ridge Mill & boxcar photo.

How about some classy curly handrail steps like these (Holmfirth, Yorks. UK) :






Photo by Salada.

Regards,                          Michael

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Still haven't had time to do any modeling, but here are a few more recent photos…

Multiple crossings over Serenity Canyon:




The sorting house at the top of the Mineral Ridge Mill, with the Cliffside Mine visible in the background at upper right:




A train passes through the town of Mineral Ridge:




Enjoy!

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I had a little time today to put up a few more pics...



Here's the ore bin at the Princess Shilo Mine:





A freight train pulled by a steam locomotive passes through the town of Dos Manos:





Here's a close up view of structures at the Cliffside Mine. On the left is the powder magazine, where explosives are kept. On the right is the wooden ore bin:





An old stone cabin at the ruins of the Monolith Mine:





And here's the interior of the cabin. A 55-gallon drum has been turned into a crude wood-burning stove:





Also, yesterday we finally replaced our flimsy, canvas-topped gazebo with a new, all-metal one. Made by Hampton Bay, it's attractive and very sturdy! I had to replace the canvas on the old one every two years, at least. This one should last a good long time:

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Here are a couple new pics. In this first shot, a train is seen from below as it crosses the big trestle over Serenity Canyon:





Here's a shot from late in the day as a freight train crosses a stone arch bridge at the west end of the line. Above it is the Princess Shilo Mine. The Cliffside Mine can be seen in the distance at the top:





Enjoy!

George W
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Love it :2t::2t:

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Hi Ray.

1 word...

...AWESOME !

The trestle & massive rockscape look great...

...you're getting good at Photoshop (wink).

All the best.

Cheers.

Si.

:moose:

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I love that shot looking up through the trestle, hardly anyone in the hobby could ever get a shot like that.

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For the past few months I haven't been able to get any modeling done, but recently I had a little time and felt the need to work outdoors. I've long planned to put a small depot between the tracks at the town of Dos Manos, so I decided to do some prep work for that.



Until now, the tracks going through that area have just been on dirt, rocks and ballast. Even on the two stone bridges, there was a couple inches of soil under the tracks. I wanted to replace this with a concrete base, and also create a concrete foundation and sidewalks for the depot.



In this shot I've removed the track at the edge of the layout, dug out the ballast under it, and poured some concrete into the bridge. I used 1/4" hardware cloth to reinforce the concrete. The concrete is actually a mix of vinyl concrete patcher and high strength mortar mix:




I built up the track base, foundation, and sidewalk a little at a time, in sections. I also left a depression in the middle of the foundation -- this will be used to hold the wiring for the depot's lights. There is a 3/8" copper tube used as a conduit for the wiring. Then I marked the position of the tracks onto the concrete base, and built two forms out of foam core art board. These were positioned on the base in preparation for pouring the sidewalk:









Here's how it looked the next morning after I'd removed the forms:





Here's how it looks with some ballast added to two of the tracks. I may use a different colored ballast on the track closest to the town buildings, or I may glue on timbers between the rails, like at a grade crossing:





The depot foundation is still rough. I won't finalize it until I have designed the depot, and know exactly what the dimensions will be:





Anyway, that's all I've got for now.

Dwayne
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Slick. :thumb:

chasv
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nice work

Ray Dunakin
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Way back when I first envisioned this depot, it would have been one of my first buildings on the layout. I used an antiquated 3D modeling program to create a couple renderings of what I had in mind:








However, at the time I decided that I should wait until had some more experience with structures, before attempting something as relatively complex as the depot. I'm glad I waited, because I know a lot more about what I'm doing now, than I did then. I will be using different materials than I had originally planned to use.

Today I put together a crude foam core mockup of the depot and placed it on the layout, to help me get a feel for how it will look and fit into the town. The center part of the building will be two stories. Both that section, and the west wing, will have peaked roofs covered with Spanish tiles. I decided to add an east wing which will be an open, shaded waiting area. This will have a flat roof supported by arches. Here are some photos from various angles:
















What do you think?

George W
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I think it's going to be really great :)

Dwayne
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Think it will be another impressive piece of work. Probably a five mooser. :)

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Love those early 20th Century Mission Revival stations...this one reminds me of the Rhyolite station.

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks guys! Yes, the Rhyolite station was one of the inspirations for this.

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Hi Ray.

Love the building style.

The 3D & rough-walls look great.

It's gonna look cool on the layout.

Cheers.

Si.

Almost certainly a 5 :moose: er !

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Hello Ray,

Great work on the "Dunakin Deviation" line around the new depot.

Is the Spanish/Mission/Revival depot design based on anywhere in particular ?

Regards,                Michael

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Thanks! The depot at Rhyolite in Nevada was the primary inspiration for this, plus some Mission style depots at a few other locations.

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I have just checked out some photos of that Rhyolite depot. Unusual but attractive looking building, pity it saw such short use as a RR depot.

Regards,                 Michael

Ray Dunakin
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My first full column in Model Railroad Hobbyist has just been published in the June issue! It's free and can be read online or downloaded to your computer, kindle, iPad, etc.


http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/magazine/mrh-2015-06-jun

Shoulders
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:shocked::shocked:Oh my god that's amazing. Have you built that into a hill side or did you ship all that rock in and build it up your self?

Cheers Dan

Last edited on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 02:58 pm by Shoulders

Ray Dunakin
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Shoulders wrote:
:shocked::shocked:Oh my god that's amazing. Have you built that into a hill side or did you ship all that rock in and build it up your self?


Thanks! I did both -- it's built into a hillside, which I had to partially excavate to build the tunnels and such. And I hauled in all the rocks (many tons!) and mortared them together myself.

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I got sidetracked a bit into another project:

Recently I needed to build a small wooden shack using Sintra PVC foam board, to be featured in an article I'm writing for Garden Railways. At the time I didn't know where it would fit into the layout. Eventually I decided to put it in the town of Grandt Cliff. Until now the only other structure I'd created for that site was a miner's cabin. This will be an old shack which has been converted into a sandwich shop, called Serenity's Sandwich Shack.

The town site is at the base of Grandt Cliff, and was undeveloped. To prepare the site, I had to chisel out some of the rocks and mortar near the base of the cliff. I built up a foundation for the shack, starting with a section of miniature stone wall made of real rock and mortar. I also used some small slabs leftover from a previous project:




Strips of foam core art board were hot-glued in place to make a form, for extending the foundation:




Mortar was poured into the form, then shaped and leveled. The cavity in the foundation is to hold wiring for the building lights. A brass tube acts as a conduit. Another tube provides drainage:




Eventually there will be two or three other buildings at this site, including a RR depot. So after pouring the foundation, I also began pouring part of the slab for the platform of the future depot:




I added a small slab to one side of the shack's foundation. This will be part of steps leading to the shack:




Here's a shot of the unfinished shack, temporarily in place on the foundation:




A similar shot, with the more work done on the porch. The porch and shack are built as two separate pieces to facilitate painting. They won't be glued together until after both structures have been painted:




And here's a shot of the entire town site, located below the Cliffside Mine:




Enjoy!

Shoulders
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Looks good, like it.

cheers Dan

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Well, I was going to try to hold off posting more pics of this until it was finished, but I'm so tickled with the way it's turning out, I couldn't resist. This has been a really fun build!

I've finished painting it, including many hand-painted signs. Still have to add the corrugated metal to the main roof. Also need to add some light fixtures and other exterior details, and glue the porch to the building. Also need to finish the surrounding landscape, and the stairs/path leading up to the building on either side. Eventually I'll build and detail the interior too. Here's how it looks so far:













Enjoy!

Ray Dunakin
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Here's a bit of info about how I painted the signs:

The sign on the top of the front of the building (Serenity's Sandwich Shack) and the sign on the front of the porch (Sandwiches/Cold Drinks) was done with stencils. I laid out the lettering in Pages on my iMac, and printed it onto self-adhesive vinyl. Then I cut out the letters, peeled off the vinyl and placed it in position. I applied the paint using a combination of light, dry-brushing, and stippling. After removing the stencil, I touched it up as needed with a fine brush. Then I painted the dark outline by hand using a good, #0 artist's brush.

The large signs on the sides that say, "Cold Drinks" were tricky. Because of the battens, I couldn't use a stencil. So I used a pink colored pencil to very lightly lay out the shapes of the letters. This was not done to any detail, just very rough forms, like stick-figure letters, mainly to make sure I the size and spacing would fit the area. Then I hand-painted it with a #1 brush, using very thinned down paint and mostly kind of dry-brushing it. The outlines were done as before, with a #0 brush. The saving grace is that I was going for a not-very-professional look for the signs on the sides.

The smaller signs were were supposed to be very amateurish and crude, so I just winged it, painting them freehand with the #0 brush.

One thing that really helps when painting freehand, whether lettering or any other small detail, is that the hand holding the brush should have at least one finger resting against the model. This makes a big difference in steadying your hand.

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Great work Ray! (as always)

Those signs look great too. My own painting techniques / hand stability are not that great, sadly.

Alwin

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Wow, great work on the structure. :apl:
Four Moose work for sure!
:moose::moose::moose::moose:

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Nicely done. The beauty of large scale. :)

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks guys!

George W
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Boy that looks great !

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WOW, that little building is neat! Thanks for the tips on the signs too.

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Hi Ray.

That sarnie shop is making me HUNGARY !

Gotta go for a snack...

...awesome work Ray !

:moose:

Si.

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We always expect great modeling from you Ray, and you never disappoint us.

I still don't believe that you leave your efforts out in the elements----I know that I couldn't, even though my efforts are no way the quality of yours.

Herb

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Thanks!

I wanted to have stone stairs going up the slope to the shack. To do this, I made a form out of foam core board:






Then I used curved tweezers to place small stones in the form, added some 1/4" hardware cloth, and then poured in some thin mortar:








The mortar wasn't quite thin enough to get into all the spaces between the stones, but that's fixable:




I rubbed thin mortar into the gaps, brushed off the excess with a wet brush, and after it set I sanded off some of the residue and it turned out fine:




Here's how everything looks so far. The building itself is almost finished. I just have to add the lighting and a few other minor exterior details. I also have to finish the landscape around the building. And later I will build and detail the interior:










Last edited on Sat Jun 20th, 2015 07:26 pm by Ray Dunakin

Dennis R
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Very nice Ray, great looking steps
Dennis

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A passenger train goes by Serenity's Sandwich Shack in the town of Grandt Cliff. High above is the Cliffside Mine:

Herb Kephart
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Super, Ray !!

I particularly like the Shilo ore bin

Amazing work!

Herb

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Thanks Herb!

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Excellent Ray, especially the Shilo steel ore-bin weathering.
Also the inside of the Monolith shed - well observed detail of mortar fragments across the floor & the oil drum stove.

Regards,           Michael

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:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:

Si.

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Here are a couple photos of a bridge I just finished. It's for a 15" gauge mine tram, that will run from the mines above Mineral Ridge, across to the mill. I gave it a planked deck because I figure they wouldn't want to risk spilling rocks onto the building, pedestrians or vehicles below. This is also the reason for the corrugated metal along the sides (plus it hides some less-than-prototypical construction elements):











I still need to extend the concrete base of the bent, and also fill in a couple small voids in the concrete. The bent, and most of the bridge, is made from strips of styrene textured and painted to look like wood. The deck is 6mm Sintra.

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It looks great! Will there build an adit on the far side of the bridge. Looking forward to seeing it in person someday.

Patrick

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I just got started again on the depot, but don't have anything to show yet. In the meantime…

Here are a couple small projects I worked on recently. First was making a big batch of new ocotillos to expand the foliage on the layout. I start with florist's wire, which has a green plastic coating on it. I use a couple different thicknesses, either individually, or mixed, depending on the size of the plant I want to model:




The next step is painting them with gesso. That's the stuff they use to prime artist's canvases. While the gesso is wet, I sprinkle on some fine grain sand available from the craft store. This goes on mainly at the lower end, to thicken the branches near the base. Then they're hung on a wire to dry:






Next I paint them with a coat of grayish-brown latex house paint. While the paint is wet I sprinkle on some green plastic grit from Plastruct, catalog #GC-104. It is then hung up to dry again:




I've found that the green grit fades, so the next step is to dry-brush on a bit of green latex paint:




To finish it off, I cut off the hook used to hang them. Then I paint some of the tips with red latex paint to represent the flowers. Finally the whole thing is given a couple coats of Krylon UV-resistant matte clear. Here are a couple photos of the plants installed on the layout:






The other little project was a test piece. I wanted to see if I could use Sintra to make a stone wall that matches the pinkish rocks on part of my layout. (I'm not sure but I think they may be rhyolite.) Here is a photo of the rocks on the layout, followed by a photo of the test piece:






I think it still needs a little work but it's getting there.

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Close Ray, but I think that the Sintra piece has a overall slight greenish tint--but that would depend so much on color resolution that it just might be the way that it looks on my screen.

Herb

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Yeah, that or the fact it was shot under fluorescent light.

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Hi Ray,
Maybe a bit more of the off-white quartz ought to be coming through? As Herb has already said, you are well on the way

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Love the ocotillo, have you glued on the stickers yet?

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Beautiful and inspiring work Mr. Ray.
I have enjoyed your work and progress pics for quite some time now.

Ray Dunakin
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I haven't had a lot of time for modeling so far this year, and what time I did have, has mostly been spent refurbishing older models. The newest structure is a through, plate girder bridge. Until now I've just had a crude temporary bridge made of wood, which has become badly warped:
 
 
I built a permanent replacement for it. My previous plate girder bridges were all made using a structural fiberglass material called G10. This time, I wanted to try making it out of Sintra. I used 6mm Sintra for the deck and sides. The interior braces were made from 1mm Sintra. The rest of the details are styrene.  I got a bit lazy on this bridge and decided to leave off the rivets -- where it's located, no one can get very close to it anyway. The underside of the bridge is strengthened with three lengths of 1/2" square acrylic tube, plus three sections of extruded aluminum angle for good measure. 
 


 

I sprayed it with red primer followed by gloss black. Then I weathered it with a thin, alcohol wash of gray acrylic paint. Then I used RustAll to create reddish rusty streaks. Next I used Sophisticated Finishes' "Iron" and "Rust Solution".


 
 
Two of my earliest structures on the layout were really starting to show their age. The paint was faded and worn (beyond the intentional weathering). The clear plastic used in some of the windows had yellowed, fogged, and warped. Slide cover glass used in a few places had broken or fallen out. A couple signs were faded, and both structures had minor damage caused by a raccoon. One of the buildings still had incandescent "grain of rice" bulbs, which I wanted to replace with LEDs. Here are the "before" photos:




 
 
Here are the "after" photos:






 
 

Enjoy!

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I really like your night photos Ray. All of details you have added on the inside of the buildings come alive. Any recent photos of the depot?
Stephen 

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Thanks. I don't have any new pics of the depot at this time.

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... funny how all the old and dilapidated buildings, after being refurbished/repaired, still end up looking old and dilapidated...
Jose.

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Heheh! Yeah, unfortunately the real weathering isn't compatible with scale structures made of styrene and painted to look like weathered wood.

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Ray, those buildings looked great before the renovations, a nice air of general decay and lack of attention over decades. I can see why you re-worked them though, particularly the glazing which really shows up in the night photos allowing their excellent interiors to be clearly visible.

Last edited on Thu Jun 29th, 2017 09:27 am by slateworks

Si.
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Hi Ray :wave:



AWESOME new girder bridge ! ... Love that RUST !!

It looks very 'real'. :shocked:

SCREW the rivets. ;)



I see what you mean about the buildings.

The colour comes back more after a re-paint etc.



Great photos !

Just love those nite pix. as well !! :bg:



:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



Si.

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Recently I've been working on a new building for the town of Mineral Ridge. This will be a saloon called "The Grizzly Bar". That's a double pun -- not only the obvious "bar/bear", but also there is a piece of mining equipment called a "grizzly" consisting of a series of thick metal bars used to separate oversized rocks from the rest of the ore.

Anyway, this saloon has to fit an odd-shaped space underneath a mine tram bridge. There will be a small covered porch or patio area attached to the main building. I'm not going to post a step-by-step at this time because I plan to use this build in a magazine article. But for now I will post a few in-progress pics:













Enjoy!


PS -- On Thursday I'm leaving for my annual Nevada/Mojave ghost town trip, so I'll be offline for a while.

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... picture in your mind all the drunks leaving the bar and sliding on their asses down the sidewalk all the way to the billiards...

Jose.

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Just wonderful...superb!

Woodie

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Brilliant as always Ray and a great location. I can already hear the beer glasses rattling on the bar as the tram clatters overhead!

Steven B
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Ray, glad to see you back in the line-up.  Hope you enjoy your travels.  Keep posting!
Jose, at least I won't be falling down drunk when I leave the bar... Perhaps the owner of the billiards establishment should change the name to the "Slide Inn"?
Good stuff as always.:2t:

Michael M
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I like that two-story building that you rehabed.  Could tell us how you went about making that rock wall?

Ray Dunakin
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Michael, I have a step-by-step for that here:

http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_Dos_Manos_Building_1.html

Michael M
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Many thanks for that link.  The step-by-step instructions are really helpful.

I didn't notice it before but the job you did on the roofing is outstanding! :bg:


Keep it coming please.

mwiz64
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Ray,

The In-ko-pah is my favorite railroad to follow here at Freerails. As always, beautiful work!

Ray Dunakin
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I've set aside my model of the Grizzly Bar saloon for now, and started work on a new building for the Mineral Ridge mine and mill. This will be the power house. It will eventually contain a diesel-powered generator, an air compressor for the mine, and possibly a blacksmith's shop.

The major components (walls, roof, etc) are made from 6mm Sintra:





This is the main room. There will be a smaller room added on one side. The floor is 3mm Sintra, and won't be glued in until after I get the roof installed:








The smaller room was also made with 6mm Sintra. I use these steel machinist's blocks to keep everything square:





Here, I've started adding the roof:





There are openings on the rear of each room, for access to the interior. The rear walls will be removable:





This is where the structure will sit on the layout:





Fitting the roof of the side room into the roof of the larger room was a bit tricky. I used scraps of Sintra and some Dynaflex 230 paintable sealant to fill the gaps:









Another shot of the structure temporarily placed on the layout:





The smaller room will only have one window, located close to the cliff, so there is no need to detail the interior there. But the large room has multiple windows, making the interior fairly visible. The interior is built as a separate model that slides into the rear of the building. Because the exterior will be clad with corrugated metal, for the interior I am simulating the appearance of a a wood-framed structure. The interior walls are scribed to give it a little bit of a corrugated look. The framework is built up out of strips of styrene:













That's all for now. Enjoy!

Ray Dunakin
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A little more progress on the power house...


I made the ceiling for the interior. It is detailed with rafters, and will be attached with screws so that I can remove it to access the interior:




I also adding some frame detail to the inside of the front wall. This detail had to be carefully placed so it would line up with the removable interior:




These shots through the side window shows how it all comes together:






Next I started on the corrugated metal exterior. I had previously used real, galvanized, corrugated steel from Rainbow Ridge on my Assay Office building, and considered using it again on this one. But this building has more windows and also many more angles and joins, and the steel is difficult to cut or bend. So I went back to making my own corrugated metal out of .001" thick shim brass sheet. This comes in a 6" wide roll, and I cut into 4" x 6" sheets. I heat the sheets of brass with a plumber's torch to anneal them. Then I place each sheet between two pieces of the corrugated steel, and scribe the groove using a dull pencil:




I start at one end, and scribe a short section at a time until I've gone more the half the length of the piece. Then I turn it around and start scribing the other end, and meet in the middle. Next I flip it over and scribe the other side. When it's done, I trim off that piece (about 1" wide), remove it, place the remaining brass in between the steel, and start over on the next piece. Tedious, but eventually I get it all done. The pieces of corrugated brass are then sprayed with oven cleaner to wash any residue off. After rinsing with water they are set out to dry.

I glue the corrugated metal to the structure using Dynaflex 230 paintable sealant. At this time I have completed covering the exterior walls and have just started on the roof:






There is no need to apply metal to the rear walls, since they will be up against the cliff and not visible. In this photo the rear walls have been removed:




Here are a couple shots showing how it will look on the layout:







That's all for now.

Ken C
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Ray

Like the finish of the siding after annealing, OK I know it is not right. For the corrugated siding I use a paper corrugated roller (beer cans) may reduce time for siding if you have a lot to make. Got mine from Michaels, tad big for O scale but should work for 1/24 etc.

Ken
GWN

Rod Hutchinson
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Really nicely done Ray.  I may try your techniques.

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks!

I've used the paper crimper in the past but the corrugations it makes are a bit large for my tastes. I wish they would make one with smaller corrugations, that would sure be a lot easier than doing them by hand.

Si.
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:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:



Si. :)

Ray Dunakin
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I finally finished creating and installing the corrugated metal. Here's how it looks with all the metal in place:








This overhead shot shows how closely the building fits against the cliff:




Soon I can begin painting it. But first I have to do some work on the doors and windows.

.

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Before I can go any further with the building, I need to create the interior details. These will determine the locations of smokejacks, etc. I'm starting with the largest and most important item, the generator. This will be a "good enough" model -- something that will look good when seen through the windows -- rather than a precise scale model. I'm basing it on this diesel generator I photographed at the Diamond Tunnel mine in Eureka, NV:









I began by building up the "core" shape of the engine, using layers of 6mm and 3mm Sintra:




A piece of 6mm Sintra was added at one end:




I decided that the rectangular openings on the sides were a bit too small, so I cut a little off the top and one end to make the openings larger. The rounded top of the engine was made using a section cut from a 1" styrene tube:




Then the sides were laminated with .020" styrene sheet. The styrene wrinkled slightly in a few places when the glue dried, so I filled in those spots with Squadron white putty and sanded it smooth:





Next I added the arched extension at one end of the top of the engine. I also cut and sanded the top of the engine so that one side has a flat, angled surface, as on the prototype:







The next step is adding the various shapes that protrude from the "core". I began with the piece seen in these two photos:







And that's where it stands for now. More later!

.

Si.
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Hi Ray :wave:



All I can say ... is ... THAT IS A WHOPPER !! :shocked:



Can't say fairer than THAT ! :P



:thumb:



Si.

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Ray,

Was reading through your website and liked what you did with artificial plants.  Stopped by Michael's and picked up a few flowers (they were on sale) to see what I could make of them.

Thanks!

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Hi Ray and all,
For inspiration after you've done the gen-set may I offer some photos of early electrical switchgear in a small powerhouse.

The following photos are from the West Coast Heritage Centre in the old School of Mines at Zeehan in Tasmania. They have recreated the steam-driven Zeehan Powerhouse on site using the original steam engine. generator and control panels. The switchgear is mounted on marble slabs as electrical insulation




and a close up of the meters. 

I have some other photos of some of the other stuff mounted (fuses etc) on the marble panels if you need them.

Nice work on your powerhouse. :bow::bow::bow: Please keep the good stuff coming,  

Si.
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AMAZING ! :shocked:


Marble ... Well I never . . .



:bg:



Si.

Ray Dunakin
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Thanks! Cool pics. Looks like something from the set of a Frankenstein movie.

Ken C
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John


I visit the WCHC when I get to Tas, well worth the visit, hopefully again in 2019.

Nice looking panel, will see if I can dig out a few photos of the panel still in service for the Silversmith Power House
and send on to Ray.
The panel was made of slate for the plant in the late 1910s
and additional panel was added in 1952 for a Blackstone driven generator set.

Ray Dunakin
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I've made a little more progress on the diesel engine...


This part was made from a piece of 6mm Sintra mounted on a sheet of .020" thick styrene. The bolt heads were made from thin slices of hexagon rod:






The plastic "pupils" from a set of cheap googly-eyes was just the right size for the disks on the side of the engine block:






At this point I realized that I had made a mistake when I added the arch at the top of the engine. There is supposed to be an overhanging extension at the front of the engine block, with the arch on top of that. So I added the overhang, then extended the front of the arch, and cut some off the rear of the arch. Here's how it all looks so far:










There are twenty small covers, plus ten large covers, on the engine, that look sort of like cookie jar lids. I've been trying to find an easy way to make them. Here's my first attempt. I think I'm on the right track, but this one is pretty rough. I'm going to try making another one, and if it turns out good enough, I'll try making a silicone mold and casting the rest of them:





That's all for now. Enjoy!



.

Ray Dunakin
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I'm holding off on those covers for now, and doing something more fun. I started building up the thing that sticks out the front of the engine at the top. It's made of layers of Sintra with some styrene details:












.

Ken C
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Ray

Enjoying your diesel engine build, learning a few tricks
short cuts, on the way.

Need to get busy again on my Fairbank-Morse diesel build in 1/48 scale. Maybe this winter.

Ken C
GWN

Alwin
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Ray Dunakin wrote: Before I can go any further with the building, I need to create the interior details. These will determine the locations of smokejacks, etc. I'm starting with the largest and most important item, the generator. This will be a "good enough" model -- something that will look good when seen through the windows -- rather than a precise scale model.  Yeah, right. ???

And again you make a fantastic piece of modeling work. It looks great so far. But, a good enough model, would be something simpler in my case. :bg:

Alwin

Ray Dunakin
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First off, I found a pair of websites about restoring an engine almost identical to this one:

http://www.eldensengines.com/F-M%20Power%20Station/F-M%20Power%20Station.html

http://www.coolspringpowermuseum.org/Exhibits.htm


I learned a lot about the engine from from these two sites. For one thing, it's a 300 horsepower Fairbanks Morse opposed-piston engine, probably model 38F5-1/4. This type of engine has two crankshafts, one at the top and one at the bottom. It also has two sets of pistons, which face each other in the cylinders. Also, the large thing protruding from the top front, which I'm currently working on, is a supercharger.

In addition to powering generators, these types of engines were also used in locomotives, submarines, and surface ships.


Anyway, I've mostly been working on adding all the details to the supercharger. The air filter was made from a short segment of 5/8" styrene tube, with a piece of 1/2" tube stuck into it. An acrylic, elliptical dome was used to make the rounded bottom of the air filter (shown bottom up in this photo):




I cut another segment of 1/2" tube and cut a slit in it, so I could wrap it around the first tube. Later I cut a piece to fill the gap:




A few years ago I bought some photoetched mesh with round holes, thinking I'd find a use for it eventually. It turned out to be perfect to replicate the mesh on the air filter:




I cut a strip of the brass mesh to the proper width, then wrapped it around a much narrower tube before installing it on the air filter. I sealed the ends together with tiny bit of thick CA, which was enough to hold it in place. Then I topped off the air filter with a styrene disk to represent the lid. I still need to add the bolt to the center of the lid:




Here's how it looks on the supercharger. I haven't glued it in place yet, it's just sitting there. The other details were made from various bits of styrene tubes and strips:







Here's the whole engine so far. The orange piece was made from the bottom of a prescription pill bottle:






That's all for now, more later.

Ray Dunakin
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A few days ago I posted this photo of a styrene test piece for the covers on the engine:




My plan was to make a rubber mold and cast these things in resin. But that test piece was too rough. Well, I tried a couple more and couldn't get it to look as good as I wanted. So I tried a different approach, making it out of 1mm Sintra and scribing the indentations. That turned out even worse:




Even if I could have created a suitable master, I had doubts about how well such thin pieces would reproduce as castings. So I scrapped the whole idea and decided to come up with a non-prototypical design that would be simple enough that I could make all 20 of them individually. My first test of this was extremely simple, just a flat piece of styrene with rounded corners and a nut/washer in the middle:




But I felt that this was TOO simple. I wanted something that looked a bit more interesting. The design I settled on was made by layering two pieces of .020" styrene. Both pieces had the corners rounded, and I beveled the edges of the smaller piece before gluing it on top of the base piece. Here's how they turned out:








I also did some work on the base for the engine and generator:








.

W C Greene
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There ya go! Extremely nice, crisp detailing. Can we expect anything less!

Woodie

Si.
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I can smell the fumes from here !



:shocked:



Si.

Ken C
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Ray

Having operated more Diesel / Natural gas engine's then I can count on both hands, the covers you made up are more then
suitable for a engine you are working on. Certain once in place no one will notice.

I put my Diesel project on hold to finish? up a few other project's. It is a Fairbanks-Morse 3 cly version of the F-B shown on the site you posted.

Ken C
GWN


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