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The tale of the Caricature Creek Logging Co.
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 Posted: Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:04 pm
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Gary I
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Next up: Trees. Nothing much new to see here folks, but I thought I'd document my experience modeling trees for my ON30 layout. 
After investigating many different ways to make coniferous trees, I settled on (ok, ok, I copied!) Landrel Brown's method for making trees out of furnace filters...which he does a great job demonstrating here Landrel Brown's method for making furnace filter trees. The results looked good and it didn't seem like it was going to be a "too" tedious process. To be sure there are other methods that can yield even better results for larger scales, but they look like a lot more work -- way too much work for this lazy guy. :) 

As a Canadian, it looks like I was VERY fortunate to buy the last 5 natural "hog hair" furnace filters from the local Home Depot a few months ago before they switched to a brand of synthetic filters that is much harder to work with. All the local suppliers (Home Depot, Lowes, Rona etc.) are now selling the same synthetic brand. If I want the hog hair type again I'll probably have take a shopping trip to the US (don't tell my wife! ;)) and even then I'm not sure the natural hogs hair filters will be around much longer as everything seems to be going synthetic these days. 

Anyway, these are the filters that I used.




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Last edited on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:08 pm by Gary I

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 Posted: Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:14 pm
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Gary I
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Following Landrels' instructions, I cut squares out of the material ranging from 1.5" - 5" in size, pulled them apart with my fingers into the thinnest "wafers" as possible (the thinner the better), then cut the wafers into rough star like patterns. 

Once that was done I spray painted them with Krylon camo dark brown paint, thinking that if the flock didn't cover the "branches" entirely, I'd expect to see brown branches, not green (or blue!). 

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Last edited on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:15 pm by Gary I

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 Posted: Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:26 pm
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Gary I
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Now for the trunks. I really like Landrel's method of turning down the dowels using a drill and disc sander, so I went out and bought an inexpensive disc+belt sander just for this project. I have to say this is one of the better power tools that I've purchased -- it's great for a lot of things, including trimming/shaping balsa for for scratch-building.

So I bought a bunch of dowels in different diameters up to 1/2" (the largest diameter my drill can handle) and cut them into different lengths up to 20". Then sanded them to a point exactly as Landrel demonstrates.
Next I distressed the "trunks" with the teeth of a hand saw and tried to randomize the marks as much as possible, followed by a light sanding to take off the worst of the fuzzies. 
Painting the dowels took some experimentation. What I ended up doing was this:
  • spray painting the entire down using Krylon light brown camo (actually more of a tan) spray paint to make sure all the nooks and crannies got covered.
  • dry brushed a heavy coat medium brown acrylic paint
  • dry brushed a medium heavy coat of black acrylic paint
  • dry brushed a medium heavy coat of gray acrylic paint
My goal was to make the trunks look gray like they do in real life. I have no idea why all the commercially available trees you can buy off the shelf have brown trunks -- almost all of the trees around here, both coniferous and deciduous all have grey trunks.
Anyway, heres a close-up of the results.

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 Posted: Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:33 pm
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Gary I
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Then it was just a matter of sliding the painted furnace filters onto the dowels, leaving lots of room at the bottom for adding dead branches, and plenty of space between the layers so the tree didn't get too congested.

Next I sprayed the "branches" liberally with dollar-store hair spray and sprinkled Woodland Scenics fine turf in dark green (weeds) both top and bottom, then re-sprayed and dusted the tree from the top only using Woodland Scenics fine turf in bright green (green grass) to boost the highlights. 

You can't see it very well, but were the flock is thin, the brown branches show through which looks quite natural.

Here's a finished tree...

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Last edited on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:38 pm by Gary I

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 Posted: Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:34 pm
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Gary I
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And here's a close up of the dead branches added to the bottom and a other random locations. They are made from corn-broom bristles exactly as Landrel suggested.


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 Posted: Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:41 pm
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Gary I
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And heres a grouping of larger trees. I'm in the process of making various smaller ones to intersperse with the large trees.
One good thing about having a small layout is you don't need to worry about having to make hundreds of trees -- or hundreds of anything else for that matter! :moose:

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Last edited on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 07:50 pm by Gary I

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 Posted: Sat May 13th, 2017 04:05 pm
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Gary I
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While I continue to work on weathering some Bachmann logging cars, I thought I'd mention what I did to electrically reinforce the turnouts on my Caricature Creek railroad. I have some previous experience with Peco ON30 electrofrog turnouts which, although are quite robust, can exhibit electrical continuity failures after weathering and ballasting -- for example when the tracks and turnouts are buried in "snow" and plaster!

For this layout I've decided to use Peco Set Track insulfrog turnouts because their short 17.5" radius makes them suitably short for a small layout, and insulfrog turnouts require no extra wiring/insulating considerations when it comes to DCC. 

Even though I'm planning on equipping all of my locos with small "keep alive" capacitors, I still wanted to ensure the turnouts remained electrically robust. After doing some research I settled on the technique demonstrated by MR Video Plus on their Olympia Lumber Company which showed how to solder jumpers across the point hinges, as well as some other electrical reinforcing techniques.

Since I'm using insulfrog turnouts I figured soldering the jumpers was all I really needed to do, and early testing with a non-keep alive loco seems to confirm that assumption in spite of the fact I've doused the track and turnouts with real dirt. The only downside is that the solid wire jumpers are visible, but I plan to remedy that with some additional careful ballasting using static grass right on the tracks.

Here's a snapshot of an installed turnout with the jumpers installed:

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Last edited on Sat May 13th, 2017 04:07 pm by Gary I

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 Posted: Fri May 19th, 2017 04:40 pm
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Gary I
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I'm just finishing weathering a half-dozen Bachmann logging cars for the layout. After researching and experimented with various weathering techniques including Dallas Mallerich's Log Car painting tips based on weathering powders, I ended up developing my own "hodge-podge" technique:
  1. After removing the trucks, wheels and couplers, I sprayed the original metal Bachmann cars with Krylon Camouflage tan (I love this stuff..tries in minutes).
  2. Brush painted the car bodies with a light mixture of Bragdon light brown weathering powder mixed with 70% alcohol. Don't put it on thick..it will just rub off more easily.
  3. Overbrushed with several coats of black wash (india ink in 70% alcohol solution)
  4. Brush painted all of the "metal" trim with railway tie brown acrylic paint to roughly match Krylon brown camouflage as well as the wheel sets
  5. Spray painted the trucks with Krylon brown Camouflage paint
  6. Brush painted the trucks, wheel sets, couplers and chains with solutions of medium rust and soot Bragdon weathering powders mixed in 70% alcohol.
  7. Finished up by dry brushing using rust and soot Bragdon weathering powders to give everything a grungy look.
So there you have it...one more weathering method to add to the list!
Cheers!

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Last edited on Fri May 19th, 2017 04:55 pm by Gary I

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 Posted: Sat May 20th, 2017 12:20 am
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2foot6
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Well done Gary ........looking very good and well used,thanks for the process description,will give it a try....:2t:...Peter.

Last edited on Sat May 20th, 2017 12:23 am by 2foot6



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 Posted: Sat May 20th, 2017 11:50 am
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Tileguy
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Hmmmmmm  looks good...wandered in saw this little project and was intrigued....
Speaking of Frocks......its clobbering time...ok thats bad...really bad but het its not even 7 am yet and i am out of coffee  :thumb:

Last edited on Sat May 20th, 2017 11:54 am by Tileguy



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