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Jul 2016 24

Wiring and lacing

Mt Adams continues in leaps and bounds...

Last update on Mt Adams, I had been busy with paper mache. Since then the whole lot has had a good coat of browny paint from our top secret strategic stockpile of test pots. The double crossover has been mounted and I've designed some laser-cut servo-based point motor mechanisms that are recessed into the plywood base (so they don't foul the polystyrene scenery base).

The upper station has had its track laid, as has the upper tunnel.

Yesterday I finished placing all the remaining track. Step one to running trains completed!


Today's job was to wire everything up. Quite a job. I have 6 points, all of which need servos. They also need a relay each to control the frog polarity. Then there are 6 isolating sections, plus the main line to wire up for block control (this is going to be a mixed DC/DCC railway). Plus I need wiring for the "UBus" to control all the relays and servo...

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Jul 2016 22

Not trains

A bit quiet on the blogging front, but not for lack of progress...

Yes after a brief jaunt down to Christchurch for a quick holiday, I am back and the coffee table has once again succumbed to glue bottles and paint tins and little bits of cardboard. Mrs A is very tolerant!


The Wildcat that I have been quietly working away on has now been completed. I gave it a good spray of silver Tamiya paint, then left it alone for a month. The other day I decided to test out Indian Ink for weathering and reached for the Wildcat. I mixed up a weak mix of ink and isopropyl alcohol and washed it on the model. This nicely brought out the panel lines. Then I used the dregs to loosen up some dried up paint on the bottom of my paint tray and washed that on too. Finally I did a third wash of Indian Ink and IPA, but this time something interesting happened. The IPA loosed up the acrylic paint mix from before, and when rubbed with a finger tip, it went all blotchy, making it look very un...

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Jul 2016 5

The COBOL building

A slight detour as I build something of a "tribute" to one of my favourite blogs...

Recently while reading 30 Squares of Ontario, JD's FORTRAN building popped up. I've always admired the building; something about its shape and simplicity. Plus I liked the name. So I decided to build my own interpretation of it; helpfully, JD included his drawings and enough dimensions that I could easily make my own in N scale.

After a quiet evening with Inkscape (plus a little Ruby scripting to generate randomly opened window blinds) I came up with my working drawings:

I have my workflow nicely set up now, so that black lines are cut, red lines are etched, and pink is just informative.

And then after cutting:

... all those window cut outs get blown all over the place, but the final result is some beautifully cut out blinds and window mullions. The glazing bars are just 0.5mm wide! They're cut from heavy printer paper, which cut...

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Jun 2016 30

Experimenting with laser cut bricks

A slight diversion today as I experiment with making laser cut bricks.

Laser cutters are great at cutting things out. Especially square things, and things with sharp edges. I've tried making bricks and other textures on the laser cutter before, however the width of the beam is so incredibly fine that the mortar lines are impossible to paint.

So today I experimented instead with the "raster 3d" setting on my laser cutter, which takes in an image, and everything black is cut at 100%, and white is cut at 0%, and greys are cut at varying power levels.

By loading in a brick pattern like so:

... and choosing the raster 3d setting in Visicut, I managed to cut some nicely textured bricks.

I tried many different techniques to detail them, but this one works the best:

Seal the cardboard with acrylic varnish.Colour the bricks with a mix of Vallejo "yellow ochre" and "basic rust" colours.Make up a thin mix of plaster of paris and brush this ...
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