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Digger's Bend...a mini On30 project
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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 12:36 pm
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danpickard
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Hi all,
I thought I'd start to document a little side project I'm about to get stuck into. Basically, I do have plans well under way for my next larger exhibition project, but I expect the development and construction of that will take a couple of years (since as well as a heavily sceniced layout, there are a number of scratchbuilt loco's and all the rolling stock to build up...and I have no deadline like previous efforts!). In the mean time then, I'm going to put together "Digger's Bend Mining Co" as a small On30 display layout to present at exhibitions while the next effort gets developed.

Building the smaller layout kind of has two purposes. Firstly, I have a number of newer construction methods, scenery styles and techniques etc, that I want to experiment with, plus I thought I could use it as a small presentation piece that I can incorporate into a clinic I'll do at the Aussie NMRA Convention here in Melbourne next October. A bit under a year to put together, which should be comfortably achievable (provided the experiments work that is!).

I guess the starting point for this new little layout, was completing a Bachmann gas mechanical detailing job that had been on my workbench for about a year as well. I had a Backwoods Miniatures dress up lit for the loco, which was assembled quickly, primed...and then sat. I finally got around to pulling out my airbrush to complete the paint work a few weeks ago, tried a few different weathering methods, and it turned out quite nice...nice enough for me to think it needed its own layout to run around.








I thought that this loco would be more than suitable for a little mini layout, trundling around some tight radius. I decided a short string of little rugga v-tipper wagons would be appropriate, so ordered 6 from "KB scale models", which now put out the older Roy C Link items (if anyone is familiar with these past kits). Originally O-14 kits, but KB now have an On30 16.5mm conversion set for the wagons. Thay are simila in style to the Bachmann v-tippers, but much finer castings and on a smaller/lighter frame...a bit more quaint than the Bachmann version. They are also link & pin coupling, making for a nice tight little string of wagons.

So, another starting point was a previous unfinished layout that was sitting in the shed, my old Brewery Cove mini layout. It was also an inbetween big layouts project, started prior to my previous Dolly Varden layout, but never got completed. My modelling style has changed a fair bit since it was started, so it made more sense to strip the frame out, and start again. Same size boxed diorama style unit, about 1000mm front width, 700mm deep, about 600mm high, with a curved backdrop, and the same simple loop of track to run a short train through a scene. The scenery and structures were gutted out, backdrop primed again and a new backscene started, and the brainstorming began.







The above photos show the current state at the starting point really. Still with the old name on the shell, but soon to be replaced. The backscene was a quicky trial using oil paints, since I haven't painted landscape with oils since my days in high school (still distant hills and trees to add once I work out what else will go in the display).

Heres a list of some of the small experiments I want to use this layout as a testing ground for.
- finally doing some Aussie style scenery, with some new types of trees and grass finishes to try (prior to applying them to the larger exhibition layout that is under development),
- the front old wharf area will be refashioned into a bend of a rivers edge (hence Diggers Bend), where I want to try some different long edge water grasses and reeds,
- a couple of new painting and weathering techniques, which be tested out on the few small structures for the scene,
- soundscape construction, which I picked up the cheap 2.1 system as seen in the photos for (only about $25 on sale), which will be hidden within the scene, incuding the subwoofer, and do some soundscape recordings in the virtual studio setting (have done these previously with my old Stumpy Creek layout, and also for John Hunters Narchuca Wharf diorama).

I've also got a heap of castings I want to use up, so expect a good volume of junk and detailing.

Back top the bench then...

Cheers,
Dan Pickard



Last edited on Fri Dec 10th, 2010 08:21 pm by danpickard

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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 12:40 pm
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danpickard
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Couple of quick shots of the new trees I've been working on as well. These photo's are from the recent Sunbury Model Railway exhibition held here back in October. Myself and good modelling mate, Grant McAdam, were displaying the "art of the diorama" display, where we usually sit and build stuff on public display, answering questions from the public on how to do the things we do. I spent the weekend finishing up these few mid size gum trees.

They are grafted together dried sedum flower heads, to form the more significant tree structures (althought the one in the middle is from one lucky stem). I'll expend on the construction techniques with them a bit later in the thread, but I'm pretty happy with the finish they display, particularly the trunk colouring, which is something I've been looking at for some time...










 

Cheers,

Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 02:44 pm
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Dave D
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Quite nice is a huge understatement Dan.

Your little GM would make Peter quite proud I think.  :2t:



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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 03:04 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Dan



Please overwhelm us with pictures!

Herb:old dude:



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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 09:57 pm
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danpickard
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Herb,

There will be a good number of pictures, its just the layout is in the rather unphotogenic stage at the minute...installing sound system, fixing track, scrapping out previous scenery etc, plus being the festive end of the year, time is limited with work and family functions to tend to first. 

Cheers,

Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 10:17 pm
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Paladin
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Dan:-

The gum trees look very nice.

How did you do the splice's. It is very hard to pick the graft.

Don



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 Posted: Thu Dec 9th, 2010 10:53 pm
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danpickard
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Thanks Don,

I'll do a more detailed "how to" a bit later (it's likely to be the clinic I give for the NMRA convention), but as a quick note, a main stem is selected, smaller limbs/stems cut at a suitable angle with a wire inserted into the stem (they are hollow), and then inserted into pre-drilled holes on the main stem to form the fuller grafted tree.  The grafted stems are secured in place with "liquid nails", which is also smoothed over the joint to hide it.  The painting process I'll cover later, and is a bit fiddly, but as you can see, rewarding.

Cheers,

Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 08:05 pm
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danpickard
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I did manage to find a spare bit of time late after work the other night, so played around and got sound system mounted into the layout.  I initially thought I was going to have to fit the sub in by cutting it into the base, and having it buried under a cliff face on the right side of the scene (where the track will be exiting a crude little mine entry).  I found though that I had enough room at the rear of the unit to squeeze the sub into the corner, mounted up on some short legs, so there is clearance for the train to pass below it.  The bass ports out through the backscene entry on the left side of the scene, which will be where the train enters a large tin shed processing plant (pictures are probably easy to explain).  Upon testing this set up, the whole layout, with the curved backdrop, has become a gently rumbling sub cabinet.







That last photo shows the underside of the small shelf/legs that had to be made to lift the sub unit up and allow a clear path for the trackwork.  The sub unit has a downward firing speaker, so the base of the shelf was cut out to allow free air movement.  Wires and the small control unit for the sound system have been tucked out the way (controller hot glued to the back of the sub cabinet).  Not the prettiest of carpentry work I know, but its the backside of the layout...all the pretty stuff is meant to be out the front.

Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 08:21 pm
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danpickard
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Forgot to add this quick pic of where one of the front satellite speakers is mounted up high on the right side.  The speaker had a quick blue paint over to blend into the sky a bit, but will be further hidden by the canopy of a large gum tree in that corner at a later scenic stage.  The other satellite speaker will sit inside the processing shed on the left side of the layout. 

As far as sound fx for the layout, its set in a small rural river side mining operation.  Fairly light industy, not some big heavy mining operation.   Sound will likely comprise of some small conveyor belts, crusher units, generator noise, light railway engine and wheel squeals etc coming from the left side of the layout (speaker inside of the shed), while the speaker high on the right will be used for more natural ambient sounds, such as the running water of the river, various birds, perhaps even some quiet conversation and the sound of some light tools being used (that short siding to the right of the layout I was planning to have a small repair shed/engine facility).

Cheers,

Dan Pickard

Last edited on Sat Dec 11th, 2010 02:29 am by danpickard

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 Posted: Sat Dec 11th, 2010 02:12 am
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Paladin
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Now that looks like a mess.

I shall follow your progress and watch it transform.

The track arrangement is something a little different.

The sound effects will add another dimension. Just add a black powder explosion when blasting in the mine.  Frighten the hell outta the spectators :Crazy:

Don



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