Crawford and Cherokee Layout Update

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by rjthomas909, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    IMHO: Definitely worth the add. It will not encumber your "space" objectionably will open up some operational possibilities if steam is in the mix for power.

    rjthomas909 likes this.
  2. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks Gary!

    Yes, and (Edit: a nearby block building with a similar corner cut) building still stands. It is two blocks from my mother’s house. She lives in Weir and was amused by the reason. Also the nearby culvert that’s still there, formerly for the tracks and now a road.

    There is also a cold storage building on the map which could be added to the module. I need to draw that in and find a picture of a reasonable stand-in.

    I am using DCC and do have auto reversers from the previous layout.

    -Bob T.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Looking great, Bob. I am thoroughly impressed with the planning, design and the look and the feel of the modules that are developing. Keep it coming; it's motivation and inspiring for me when I'm stuck in a modeling lull with seemingly not enough time for much of anything, especially my hobbies. :)
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  4. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I like the added touch. They also had a wye up in Arcadia. Think they disappeared when steam power did since the GP7's could be run in either direction and didn't need turning.
  5. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening Frisco Nation,

    Well not a Cardinal game for the memory books on opening day, but ALMOST a fantastic comeback!

    This past weekend and a few nights after work this week saw a bit of progress on the Crawford and Cherokee after a three week travel hiatus. With a re-supply of ballast, I was able to put some work in on the Cherokee yard module. Taking it from this state:

    To something with a bit of scenery:

    It turns out that this was quite a lot of ballast! Might be a two-man operation to stow this module now.

    Here are a few shots, posing a train and few cars on the sidings:

    This will be a bit more impressive with the Cherokee diamond in place next to the module, but I did not have time to set them all up this evening.

    Hope you all enjoy. Off to Texas A&M for a few days, but hopefully some more progress next week. If the weather cooperates, going to try and get the south Cherokee module built to connect up the Lightning Creek Mine.

    Take good care all,

    -Bob T.

    P.S. If anyone has the time and can provide some feedback, I plan to expand this article:

    Edit: or (look for track planning contest near top of page).

    to be about the Crawford and Cherokee once it is a bit more mature. Feedback is welcomed and credit will be given should it ever make to press somewhere!
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  6. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Bob, I've been watching your layout build thread with great appreciation for what you have done in just a year. Have really enjoyed it!!! You do fast work in spite of all the travelling with your company.

    Good job.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Great job Robert! I got a little surprise in the mail the other day.
    Your radio link is not working for me.
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  8. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks guys, I updated the post with a different link. Hopefully you can find the article, Tom.

    Looking forward to a prominent display of some QA&P equipment in the near future. I am trying to find a suitable USAF "token" of appreciation. It will also be in the mail soon.

    -Bob T.
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  9. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Bob, the photos showing "a bit of scenery" are most impressive. By that, I mean the distribution of ground cover around the tracks, the texture and the color look very realistic, or at least on the mark for color photos and movies of the era.

    Feel free to point me back to any post where you may have already described, but what materials and colors did you use for that scenery treatment?

    Best Regards,
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Hey Chris,

    Headed out for Texas A&M today, but will try to collect some notes and post when I get back on Sunday. I don't think that I have listed in any detail....

    -Bob T.
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  11. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening Frisco Colleagues,

    Spent the evenings this week finishing up a couple of structures. One is the Frisco depot for my Weir City module. In the long term, I will scratch build one that better represents a Frisco prototype. This one is a kit from Lake Junction Models (Kit 10016, MKT Standard 16' X 40' Depot), that I painted to be more Frisco-ized and changed out the shingles. It is about the right size, but not QUITE right. Just about to call it done, minus some final weathering and trim touch-ups.

    I also worked on a motor car shed from Mine Mount Models. This afternoon, I posed them both on the small module that couples to the Lightning Creek module for a small switching-type layout.

    You can almost imagine a small town here on the 9-inch-wide section.....if you really, really try.

    Well, I did not forget you Chris, and will try to post some info as soon as I pull out the scenery supplies. Looks like a rainy day here in San Antonio tomorrow. Just right for some modeling!

    Take Care All,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  12. Looks great Bob.
    Ozarktraveler and rjthomas909 like this.
  13. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Frisco Friends,

    Apologies for the long post. Chris (@yardmaster ) asked about scenery materials and colors used on the Crawford and Cherokee. I will use this post to try and add more details on scenery to answer that request.

    Spent the bad-weather weekend in San Antonio working on a Crawford and Cherokee module. This weekend's focus was the tail track module for Weir City that includes a small spur for a (notional) stock pen. It will also have a small wood culvert and drainage ditch next to a grade crossing just south of the depot.

    This module, like most of the rest, has had track installed and has wiring, feeders, and switch machines at this point. The module looked something like this at the beginning of the weekend.

    Areas with rougher scenery are covered with sculptamold to form terrain (white), and the road is built up using cork sheets. The ground areas are covered with a dirt-brown matte paint. I am using something called "Whiskey Barrel" from Home Depot (Behr brand).

    The track and rail are painted with an airbrush using a rail brown color from Micro Mark (Micro Lux is their brand of paint for several railroad colors).

    Once all is painted, the module looks somewhat plain:

    From there, the ties are colored with pencils, using the side of the pencil lead to to highlight the wood grain of the plastic ties and give some variety in color. The sides of the rail and the area near the rail on the ties is colored with Pan Pastels and a flat brush, dragged along the rail web.

    The pan pastels are Burnt Sienna and a Red Iron color. More rusty (red) for less-used tracks.

    The effect is somewhat subtle, but makes the track appear less homogeneous.

    Ballast is a mix of Arizona Rock and Mineral "Yard Mix" and "Southern Pacific Cinders". The cinders are added in about a 10% ratio just to make this mix a bit darker. I really like the "Yard Mix" as it has some color variety. Their website is now:

    The large tub is the final mix and the smaller one shows what the cinders look like alone.

    The ballast is put down with somewhat standard methods. I used full-strength Modge-Podge matte medium to put a layer of ballast on the shoulders, and after drying, spread ballast with a plastic spoon and wide soft brush to get a profile that I like. Ballast is glued down with "scenic cement" made from a mixture of 1-part Modge Podge (matte), 3-parts water, and a few drops of dish soap. The ballast is wet with 70% isopropyl alcohol, and the scenic cement is applied with an eye dropper.

    In this view, you might also note a small ditch cut next to the tracks and painted in with the regular ground color paint.

    Next, a variety of ground cover is used for various areas with grass, driveways, open dirt areas.

    These have come from a number of sources. The "Desert" ground cover from Arizona Rock and Mineral is used in grass and unkept areas of ground. The "chats" color comes from mixing N-scale limestone ballast, the concrete driveway mix, and some earth colors. It is used for driveways and chat roads. The fine earth color (this one came from a local Texas brand of ballast maker) is used for areas like the stock pen or dirt roads, and will have other highlights added with ground up artist pastel chalks.

    This stuff is put down by painting on a mix of the Modge Podge, thinned with about 30% water. I use a disposable foam brush, and then the metal shakers are used to spread a fine layer. This is then sprayed with Isopropyl alcohol and a dropper is used to add more scenic cement over the layer. It will spread on its own somewhat evenly, but if the dried color looks uneven, you can paint over a layer of scenic cement after it dries.

    Here you see various areas on the Weir tail track module:

    Next, the rough (desert ground cover) areas will get some static grass. I am using primarily the late summer color from Silflor, that I get from Scenic Express or at train shows in the area.

    Because I am going for a summer look, I mix in a bit of the green-gray color from woodland scenics (flocking), and to simulate weeds, and have a mix of color, I add in a few pinches of the short Noch summer grass. It has reds and yellows in it. There are at least three lengths of the Silflor available, and I mix these lengths with mostly long for areas in the open, and shorter lengths near buildings, etc.

    I put down a mix of the 30% thinned Modge Podge with a foam brush, a small area at a time, and put the static grass down with a home-made applicator made from an electric fly swatter and metal strainer. It works great, but when I hit the ground pin for an arc, grass goes everywhere!

    After the grass is down and dries for 5 min or so, I come back with the shop vac and pull up the loose grass, reclaiming it by putting some cheesecloth over the hose end. While the glue is still a bit wet, I sprinkle a small amount of fine ground foam over the grass from "dark earth", "brown dirt" and "autumn grass" colors from Woodland Scenics. These give additional variety to the ground, and the dark colors can be used to imply shadows (under trees, etc.)

    (The board and jar of BB's is holding down a grade crossing being glued in).

    The trees (not in yet on this module) are SuperTrees from Scenic Express. The armatures are painted a gray color, with small ones sometimes left natural. A variety of leaves are used, cemented on with the same homemade scenic cement and some hair spray for a final treatment.

    Edges between track and grass, areas along roads, under large trees, and other untreated gaps/places get filled with finely ground and sifted dry leaves, prepared at home from the yard. Loose material is sprayed with the Isopropyl alcohol and stuck down with some of the scenic cement.

    You can get yellow, white, red, fine ground foam to simulate flowers. As a final treatment for the static grass areas, I usually spray over the arew with some isopropyl alcohol, and then mist over the scenic cement, thinned with about 30% more water, using a recycled spray bottle like the pink one in the picture above. While still wet, these flower-colored foam highlights are lightly sprinkled on desired areas, shaken through a strainer in order to be sure that the pieces are very small. You can see these effects in these photos posted earlier:



    Ok, that's it for today....still waiting on some glue to dry to finish up this weekend's project.

    @yardmaster, if you have other specific questions, please reply and I will try to amend this post.

    Take care all,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  14. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Great write up Bob, you have been busy!!! I will definitely keep your information for future reference, thanks for posting. Particularly like the step by step instructions and photos to go with it. I've been enjoying your build thread.

    Great job.

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  15. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Wow, so long since an update...could not find my last post in the site's recent history!

    Well, happy Sunday everyone. Today and yesterday I took advantage of the rainy weather to stay in and work on the Crawford and Cherokee (v2). On Wednesday I had posted a few pics of the wiring drudgery (switch machines and frogs). Yesterday morning, I was up with the sun (rain) and was able to finish up one of the largest wiring projects, the Cherokee yard section.

    Today, I decided to set up enough modules to represent a reasonable operating set of modules:

    These are the Cherokee yard, the Cherokee diamond, and three modules that form the connection to Weir along the Parsons Sub. They have a siding for marshaling coal cars (an imaginary connection to the northbound Afton Sub), a MoPac Interchange, and a small ballasted wooden trestle over (Little?) Brush Creek.

    Connected up the new Digitrax DCS52 (Zephyr) that I bought until I can get larger DCS 150 repaired...

    It works well for a small layout and can be connected to USB for JMRI control and wireless network throttles on things like a smart phone. After testing with an old Southern Pacific Stewart F-Unit (that is the 6325 on the control panel), and considerable fixing of frog polarities, loose switch points and programming the DS-64s for turnout numbering, we are ready to go for an operating session.

    Placing a few buildings on the layout for representative spots/industries, and setting out a few cars in the yard and at these spots with the 0-5-0, we are ready to go (forgive the lack of back drop for the photos, including garage junk):

    Used the trusty old 1216 consolidation for a test run out to the MoPac Interchange:

    ...and nothing but fun. Still need a bit of track tweaking and loosening up a few points from all of the scenery work. However, quite serviceable.

    Will try to get a few better pictures tonight, but the sun is out and the grass needs mowin'.

    Take care all,

    -Bob T.
  16. Great work as always Bob. Looks like a lot of fun.
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  17. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Beautiful modeling, scenery and photography! Very nice progress. I wish I could get my railroad mojo back in gear. You’re work is inspiring.
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  18. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Happy Memorial Day,

    A three day weekend with good weather down here in San Antonio, thankfully far from the storms this week. Spent some time this weekend building up the "South Cherokee Module" for the layout. This module connects the Cherokee Yard to the Lightning Creek Mine module.

    The modules are box frames built around a 1/2-inch birch plywood. The ends are 3/4 inch plywood with grooves to accept the plywood base and the sides (made from 1/4 plywood). The height of the module box is about 7 inches, which is about the best I can cross-cut on my miter saw. This height allows for the inset of a 1-inch pink foam base and is enough remaining for switch machines and connectors to not protrude out the bottom. The sides also serve as the fascia for the layout, which I am maintaining as a clean look for now. See the modules in the background. The layout will use wireless throttles, with the command station hidden.

    Along the length of the module, at the bottom of the sides is a 1-inch rail made from 3/4 inch plywood. This gives extra framing and holds the bottom waffle as well as part of the leg bracing. The internal webbing includes cross braces which have holes drilled for wiring pass-throughs. Gussets are added at corners and joints, built from wood trim--usually a quarter round or cove. These are glued in, making a fairly strong box.

    A "waffle" piece is cut from 1/4 inch plywood and has a width of 1 inch around the boundary and 2 inches where it covers the webbing of the module (1 inch on each side). A round corner is made as part of the hole. The holes are cut with a zip cutter. It is glued on with about 1 million spring clamps.

    The legs are held with a slot made from 3/4 inch pine. (you can see the pieces in the first photo). They are glued to the bottom rail and another 3/4 plywood spacer that is 2 inches in width on the side at the base plate.

    The legs are made from L-girders ( 1x3 + 1/2 pine) that are just under 4-ft in length, with small blocks at the base to hold the casters. Cross bracing is cut from remaining 1/2 plywood.

    Foam is cut to fit in the pocket on the top and glued in with dynaflex caulking. Just like that, you have another module.

    Working on aligning to the Lightning Creek Mine module, and seems about 1/2 inch off in height for some reason. The module had only been used with the small switching layout section, and because the construction was different in the old layout, did not get the height quite right...

    The line shows the location of the Cherokee main towards Columbus and Afton, with the short line being the closing of the yard siding.

    Overall, a productive weekend.

    Take care all and be safe in the storms,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  19. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Looks superb!

    Now THAT'S a C-clamp collection!!

  20. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    @Jim James and @gjslsffan Tribute Train, crossing the MoPac Interchange on the Crawford and Cherokee....(Loco from Tom (indirectly), freight cars and caboose from Jim).


    Last edited: May 28, 2019

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