Mar 24, 2013

Rocks in my head

I've completed the plaster cloth work along and above Dolores.  Here, it's just a few rock outcroppings along what will otherwise be just an earthen hillside.  The first photo is some rocks around a steeper part of the hillside where I'm working around once of the basement support posts.  The second is just a steep section of hillside where I thought the rocks would add some interest.

And I've started adding the rock molds to the canyon area, leading into Rico.  All of these molds, btw, are from Bragdon Enterprises.   This is a very tight cut - ostensibly Burns Canyon - along a curve, leading off to the left into these photos into Rico itself.  I'm hiding the corner of the walls here with a pretty large outcropping of rock:

And I've started the (extremely lengthy, I suspect) prospect of add rock molds along both low line and high line of Ophir.  The track here climbs a steep grade, circles thru the town of Ophir, then continues climbing the grade, above the lower grade.  This is actually a pretty close approximation of the real Ophir Loop - if you scroll down to MilePost 44 on my milepost listing, you'll find lots of details and photo links from the real Rio Grande Southern.

In my model, being tucked tight against the wall, I've created a series of high rock walls between the numerous trestles, often wih the track forced thru cuts in these outcroppings.  Between are deeper folds where the trestles will eventually (hopefully) be built.

Mar 16, 2013

Tunneling update

So - I've continued to work on the tunnels in the Dolores area of the layout - at both ends now. 

Peering into the tunnels from various angles, I didn't like seeing layout framing, so I extended some of the cardstock-printed rock walls.  My thought is that since I've got nice LED headlights on the locos, it'd be cool to see those headlights reflecting off the rock walls inside the tunnels, as the trains come thru.  And - it's really easy to add more cardstock walls.

One of the tunnels leads into a two-track hidden staging area, and because the location is somewhat awkward, I had to use a wide two-track portal.  It's an AIM portal, and I did cut the bottom somewhat, to lower it.  Even then, the opening was huge.  So - inside I used an actual rock mold for the most visible part of the tunnel lining, and transitioned further back to more cardstock printed rockwork.  It's nearly impossible to tell the difference now, looking into the opening.  My thought is that if the eye sees real rock in this view, you'll hopefully be more attuned to 'seeing' the printed rocks as real in other portals.

I've also been working on the landforms leading the tunnels - trying to convey the impression of track truly burrowing into hillsides or mountains, rather than just arriving at a vertical hillside and going inside.

Below are more photos - so you can see for yourself my progress.  These are a couple days old; I was able to complete initial plaster cloth covering for all of this earlier today.

Here's the longest tunnel lining -

And here's the area leading to this portal.  Above, the line running above Dolores has been partially hidden, and runs into a cut before entering Rico (which is the town above the hidden track for this tunnel).


And here's thet track that's running above Dolores, after leaving Rico thru the cut:

At the other end of Dolores, are two tunnel portals - one into staging and the other being the main line as it leaves Dolores.  Above, mostly hidden, is the north end of Vance Junction.  I tried to visually separate all of this as well as I could.  

A problem here is the track from both Dolores (lower) and Vance Jct (upper) entering a hidden area before going thru the room's wall and behind the furnance.  This is already hard to reach, and I couldn't completely block it with scenery.  My attempted solution is an access door, hinged.  I hope that with scenery around it, the door will be invisible. 

The area directly above the door, operationally between Rico and Ophir, is Lizard Head.  The track simply curves around the corner here, but my plans are to build the Lizard Head snowshed here, with the shed showing a wye, even though the track will actually pass thru only one leg of the shed's wye.  This is pretty high and a couple feet from the aisle, so it'll be a background scene.

And inside that door, you can see more of the printed rock tunnel lining.  As before, it's arranged to show the rock as loco headlights illuminate the tunnel when they pass thru it.


Mar 15, 2013

RGS business car Rico - open for interior tours on Sat Mar-16

Just got this update from the Colorado RR Museum:

Open Car Day - Saturday March 16
New Event 
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Admission: Children $5, Adults $15, Families $30, Seniors $10
Ever wonder what the inside of the CB&Q Business Car No. 96 looks like?  Or the mid-century UP Passenger Coach No. 5442?  Well tomorrow is your chance to view five very special cars not generally open to the Public. We'll have docents giving guided tours in each of them and will let you know why they are such special railcars in our collection.  On Saturday, you will be able to tour:
  • CB&Q Business Car No. 96 - splendid example of executive travel in the 19th century- a rolling hotel with a parlor, staterooms, magnificent dining room and crew quarters and galley.  Not to be missed!
  • CM Observation Car No. 111 - beautiful 1880's standard gauge passenger coach.
  • UP Coach No. 5442 - classic mid century passenger coach that ran through Colorado- a 20th century version of the No. 111. 
  • RGS Business Car Rico - narrow gauge business car renowned photographer William Henry Jackson used while photographing the beautiful Rio Grande Southern line from Dolores to Ridgway, CO.  
  • D&RGW RPO No. 60
In addition, we'll be running Goose No. 7!

Mar 5, 2013

A time for tunnels

OK, it's been a while, and I've stayed busy w/ life and (very slowly!) updating my main website - Rio Grande Southern -Interesting Info.

But I can't stay away from contining scenery work.  I've been focusing on Dolores lately, and came smack up against the need to start working on tunnels.  I've got several Chooch and AIM portals, so I painted those up.  Then I downloaded a rock wall texture for the liner, and edited that a bit with Pixelmator, then printed to cardstock.  I like the results so far - what do you think?