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  • Topic: Saddled with Mountain of a Project

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    • September 24, 2018 2:22 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Forrest, thanks! 

      That, more than anything, is my near- to mid-term goal!  I've almost lost Oldest Son to the Silicon Succubus, but there is time...Projects like this seem to pique his interest the most, and that played a role in my project prioritization this summer.

      As for the project, CINCHOUSE took the girls for a weekend out in Waikiki.  This left me with the boys.  I've gotten a bit spoiled by Oldest Daughter's sense of how rocks fit together, so we focused on painting the core with brown paint.  Most of this should be covered, but history has taught that if you don't paint it, it will both show and be virtually impossible to cover.

      Despite Kid-zilla's unique paint-like-you-are-hammering techniques (might use safety goggles for him and nearby personnel next time)...

          

      ...some paint actually got onto the concrete:

      After showers, it was off to a local burger joint for "Man Night!"

      This week should see some dry fitting of our rocks.  I also found some metal screen with "holes" about 1/4" x 1/4" that I think I will bend over that overhang and fasten in place.  This will serve as a form for that coat of concrete.  I was just not confident expanding foam would adhere upside down like that over the long-haul, especially given that this mountain will be scaled by PLAYMOBIL, Cannis familiarias, and Homo sapiens.  Curious what others might have tried.

      That is it for now!  Have a great week!

      Eric

       

    • October 1, 2018 3:15 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Aloha All!

      Progress was underwhelming due to a BBQ at a friend's house and a beach call.  I'll consider those good excuses!  

      Excuses - good or not - aside, Oldest Daughter and I did do some dry fitting of our rocks.  We wanted to ensure the troopers and gunners of Fort Union could access the plateau, and we found our biggest problem again was fitting the rocks around the existing track.  The easy answer would be to "close" our inner loop, but that would mean fewer trains running and thus less fun overall.  Instead, we decided to sacrifice a space formerly occupied by a little (read:  never) used siding to build a military road up to the plateau.  A brave surveyor snow the slope:

      Said surveyor would get away from us as we tinkered with the rocks:

      Sorry, I just liked her expression!  As an upshot, having the road on this side will sort of separate the fort from the town below (off stage to Oldest Daughter's right) and offer and excuse to detail up the back side of the railroad a bit.  

      I am debating how to fill the space between the rocks and "Hell's Mountain:" 

      I was thinking a slurry of concrete bits and quick setting concrete like you'd use for a fence post, hoping the concrete bits would help hold the slope as the concrete bound mountain to new bits to rocks.  In private conversations with Bill Barnwell, he recommended expanding foam for gaps in the rocks, but I was thinking this might be a material that could serve as a filler and bindeing agent here and allow for some really simple shaping after the fact.  Any thoughts?

      The "front" required a little chisel work and some rock stacking.  We will use "Liquid Nails" to hold things in place.  I am going to try foam as the filler and binding agent in the gaps on this side unless there is a large void.  Then its concrete slurry time.  Probably.

      Anyway, after a bit of chisel work:

      She came up with this:

      The surveyor seems happy, and so am I!  This will get the "Liquid Nails" treatment, hopefully early this week.

      I am still trying to figure out how to incorporate the overhanging concrete capstones into the scene.  We all like the effect.  We all agree the square edges have to go.  After mentally toying with the concrete-on-metal-mesh method, I am leaning back towards the glue some chunks of stuff under the overhang, chisel away, and paint method.  

      Next week, we are hosting Oktoberfest (Nothing says German like brats, kimchee, chow-fun, and poke!  Aloha na Hawaii nei!), so other than efforts to stabilize the rockwork, I anticipate little forward progress.  It'll be all hands to the rails with fresh greenie-weenies to ensure the ""Festzug" can pull its cargo of refreshing beverage!

      Have a great week!

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

    • October 5, 2018 2:37 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK, the boys and I puttered around with the rocks that will be part of that proposed road to get a batter shape and slope.  The tentative plan  following discussion with a far handier friend over the coffee mess at work, is to fill that gap, is to cover it with wire mesh to hold the fill in place, and concrete over the top.  That should it!  

      After actual work degenerated into lava rock "Jenga," it dawned on me how to get the overhang to look right...packing foam.  I can glue it in place, shape it with the hot knife, seal it in latex, and then concrete over it for texture!  

      Hopefully, photos of actual progress will follow after this weekend.

      Enjoy Columbus Day!

      Eric

    • October 5, 2018 11:38 AM EDT
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      Good to see she is wearing eye protection.  As an aside, nail hammers have a tempered face, whereas ball-peen and small demo hammers do not.  Striking a harden surface with a nail hammer could shatter the head, sending shrapnel in the wrong direction.  

      ____________________________________

      "In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholsome diet"

                                                                             Winston Churchill

    • October 5, 2018 11:53 AM EDT
      • Portland, Oregon
         
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      We really admire and enjoy your family oriented development of a fun / yet realistic railroad. I’ve been building outdoor scenery for decades now. Styrofoam of different densities can be a great base material for very realistic mountains, inexpensive and easy to sculpt as well as modify.  For a “ton” of help go to HotWireFoamFactory.com.  They have everything you can imagine.  Try Exterior Foam Coat.  it will amaze you.  Much much better than concrete.  Mixes and spread easily. Dries rock hard. Paintable. Easy to work with.  Probably expensive to ship to Hawaii but I guarantee you will love it. Also use a glue that is right for the kind of styrofoam. They have all sorts of supplies & carving shaping tools.  Great folks. 

    • October 5, 2018 5:57 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Warner,

      How about a progress video of the Bearpaw Southern. This one is over 4 years old!

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • October 5, 2018 6:58 PM EDT
      • Portland, Oregon
         
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      Oh my.  weve done so much since then.  That was just the very start.  The layout has grown to over 1400’ of track outdoor and indoor.  I would love to post an update gallery.  Could anybody tell me how to post photos.  I don’t seem to know how anymore.  

    • October 5, 2018 7:33 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Dan and Warner,

       

      Thanks for the advice and encouragement.  I especially appreciated the safety tip about the hammer.  I had no idea, Dan, thanks!  Warner, HotWire won't ship foam by air, unfortunately, but I do have their foam coat.  We'd been using it for craft projects.  Now we can put it to its intended use!

       

      Eric

    • October 5, 2018 10:07 PM EDT
      • Portland, Oregon
         
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      Yes, it is awesome outdoors as a coat over styrofoam.  Then a couple of layers of exterior latex paint and your rocks, mountain, tunnel portal, road or station platform will last for years. I use a polyurethane construction adhesive.  It comes in caulking tubes. Messy. Holds styrene insulation boards without attacking it.  Takes a while to set but gives a firm adhesion that will hold even in Oregon weather. Cut to shape first, as hot knife or hot wire has trouble going through the urethane glue.  Foam coat is great stuff As a surface.

      I’m coming to Oahu in November to see my step daughter.  Maybe I could put some in my baggage.  Son in law is promoting to officer in Navy.

    • October 8, 2018 2:52 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Warner,

       

      Cool!  Your son-in-law's commissioning is a HUGE event, though, so please don't prioritize luggage space on my account!   Please do pass along my congratulations and hearty welcome to the wardroom!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

    • October 8, 2018 11:43 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      edited

       

       

      This post was edited by John Caughey at October 9, 2018 11:21 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • October 8, 2018 9:11 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Warner

      I sent you a PM a couple of days ago on how to post pictures here. Read your messages!

      ____________________________________

       

       

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