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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bugger. Think I had broke it! I have tried to recreate infilled tramway of the type common to dockyards. First go was with cardboard and was awful, so pulled it away and decided yesterday to go for filler. I used plaster repair filler as it is light, can be filled to depth in one go and dries to a finish that I thought would look like tarmac when painted.

After a labourious few hours yesterday filling in the couple of sidings I wanted filled in this way, I let it go partially off before running several different wheel sets through to create the inner clearances for the flanges.

Today, plaster all gone off and looks good. Trucks roll over it. Now for the engine test. No-go!

Cleaned rails and discover that the two locos have flanges ever-so-slightly higher than the trucks, so are lifiting themselves off the rails. So I have taken a thin filling blade to the plaster to skim it down to size and then ran it vertically through to deepen the tramway rut for the flanges. After some time I have got one siding sort of working, but contact is poor, even with the rails gleaming.

Moving onto the next siding and disaster! The paster moved off with the scraping in big chunks, leaving holes, gaps and mayhem. It does not appear to have cured properly even though it is completey dry.

How can I rescue myself or is this track up and in the bin time?

I wish I had just ballasted it....... :roll: :cry: :x
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think it must have been off, it was ready mixed tub. Think I have ruined the trackwork. Just been playing with it again, some sections are lifting but have messed the track, others are fine but need lots of filing/sanding etc to make all the different flanges fit, and each successive filing makes the effect look less like tramway! Grrrr!


Now thinking of binning the lot and 'doing -over' as our American cousins say. Perhaps mess about with some other 'trials' before chucking it in, then I will know what works. Bit disspaointed at the moment as it was going so well!
 

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Right if you break off all the loose stuff the track will be fine as you are going to re-cover it with plaster again!
Use something like exterior grade polyfilla powder, indoor stuff is almost as good, and mix it as specified but add a good dollop of pva glue instead of some of the water. Pva has a high water content and does two things, first it binds the plaster together better and second it slows down the setting giving you more working time.
To prevent any chips in the plater showing up if it ever gets knocked add a tiny bit of black paint. Use just enough to stop it being white as if you try to actually colour it, to a final finish, at this stage you will probaly find you over do it. I would then use very thin washes of black and brown to slowly get to the colour you want. I use this technique on inset track and rocks moulded in palster or clay.
 

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In dockside track it was common to provide a check rail bolted through spacers to the running rail to leave a clear flangeway before the space between the tracks was filled. (See page 22 of Bob Essery's book "Railway Signalling and Track Plans".) If you can reproduce this in minature in some way to stop the flangeway getting clogged up all to the good. Possibilities might be:
(i) Thin card or 'plasticard' cut into thin strips and glued to the sleepers
(ii) rail likewise - although this may leave too large a gap
(iii)an inverted length of rail, lightly oiled or greased, laid on the inside edge of each running rail and left there until the plaster has set and then carefully lifted out. (The oil/gease deters the plaster from sticking to the rail.)

I have to say these are all methods I have read about at one time or another - I've not actually tried any of them for myself.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replies. I have spent a couple of late hours now messing about with it. I managed to dig out the plaster that had not set, the rest is now like rock. The flange ways I cleared to a degree by constant scraping and cutting away until the locos ran through them BUT the biggest problem now is I have gone from a very smooth running layout to a very rough running one and for one of the locos no running at all over the in-filled trackways. I have scraped and cleaned with a track rubber all the rails and they are bright, as are the loco wheel, and although they run okay on most of it, the infilled sections are creating stuttering and faltering like never before. I think I have really messed this up and am considering binning the lot to be honest. Perhaps a drastic rethink is in order....
 

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HI if you are making the tracks like they have not only on tramways but also like they have in depots where the tracks run through concrete the way I did it on mines was by using plaster of paris powder and adding water to make the paste and you get around 10mins of messing around with it before it goes off totally.

These are pics of my layout as it was before i decided to change the track design and you can get the idea of what I did. Although I am using kato track and I had to build up the plaster of paris to the track height first. I used a scrap set of bogies with the biggest flange on it to make sure that none of the plaster would interfere with the wagons rolling and not only that I also ran my dcc locos into the peco sheds as well once I had done those areas as well. So it proves that it can be done.

http://bitsandbobs.fotopic.net/p47698208.html

If you click on a few pics you will see the different stages I went through on mines. I even used some peco track for my disused lines that weren't connected to the the kato and I filled them in as well.

I hope this helps.
 

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Another option to plaster (which I tend to find sticks to everything you don't want it to) is Humbrol Air Clay. It's ready mixed, a bit like putty. You simply push it into place (a stiff brush is ideal). Great for working around track and sleepers. Dries in about 6 - 12 hours depending on how thick.

I used it here:
http://nevardmedia5.fotopic.net/p37775945.html

Downside is that it can crack a little when drying. No fear, just smear some more clay into any cracks and blend in with a wet finger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (poliss)Why not buy rady made tram track?

Mainly because it is expensive and the look I was going for was as described above in a depot or yard. Any infilled railway is called a tramway, although not always proper tram track if you see what I mean?

QUOTE (nevardmedia)Another option to plaster (which I tend to find sticks to everything you don't want it to) is Humbrol Air Clay.

I looked at your pics and wow! Your modelling skills are clearly way over mine and the results are professional. I have not heard of the product you refer to, but again costs come in as I have been trying to build this modle on less than a shoestring, hence the left over plaster mix.

QUOTE (harkins77)HI if you are making the tracks like they have not only on tramways but also like they have in depots where the tracks run through concrete the way I did it on mines was by using plaster of paris powder and adding water to make the paste and you get around 10mins of messing around with it before it goes off totally.

That is exactly the look I was after. Initially I had though it had gone well, it was after it had set (or not as it turned out) the problem came to light.

Thanks for all your replies.

What is causing me grief now is the poor running. I have just cleaned all the rails again, cut away more plaster, sanded the lot, lightly sanded the rail tops with emery paper, hoovered, then cleaned the rails again with the track rubber and the loco wheels. The larger engine will now travers all lines although not quite as smoothly and slowly as it did before, the lighter loco just will not run over the tramtrack at all without sticking or stopping altogether. This is a weight difference in the two engines, but as the electricity is cleary getting to the tracks, then why the massive difference in running? All engines ran smoothly and slowly over all the trackwork before I started the scenery, so it must have been something I have done recently?

 

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QUOTE (screwy @ 11 Apr 2008, 12:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What is causing me grief now is the poor running. I have just cleaned all the rails again, cut away more plaster, sanded the lot, lightly sanded the rail tops with emery paper, hoovered, then cleaned the rails again with the track rubber and the loco wheels. The larger engine will now travers all lines although not quite as smoothly and slowly as it did before, the lighter loco just will not run over the tramtrack at all without sticking or stopping altogether....


Seems a possible silly question but did you clean the backs of the loco wheels? Any contamination there, especially if the pick-ups rub on them, could cause problems. Also if the back-to-back wheel spacing on the smaller loco is slightly less than that of the large one, could the backs of its wheels be catching on the plaster infill when the larger one doesn't?

I assume your track is nickel-silver not steel; you don't actually say in your posts. If the latter you may need to be fairly vigorous in cleaning the top of the rail to ensure the removal of all oxides, etc.

Hope you get it solved,
John Webb
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 11 Apr 2008, 11:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Why not buy rady made tram track?

Have you actually tried to source any ?

Of the very little available most of it is unsuitable for railways due to the frog/checkrail design of the points & the extremely tight radii of both the points & the curves.

&, as screwy says it's very expensive & in any case he is really looking for suggestions to make good what he has already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
QUOTE (John Webb @ 11 Apr 2008, 14:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Seems a possible silly question but did you clean the backs of the loco wheels? Any contamination there, especially if the pick-ups rub on them, could cause problems. Also if the back-to-back wheel spacing on the smaller loco is slightly less than that of the large one, could the backs of its wheels be catching on the plaster infill when the larger one doesn't?

I assume your track is nickel-silver not steel; you don't actually say in your posts. If the latter you may need to be fairly vigorous in cleaning the top of the rail to ensure the removal of all oxides, etc.

Hope you get it solved,
John Webb

Well you may have something there. Another few hours of messing about and I have cleared the flangeways completely, really cleaned the track (N/S BTW) and then tried again. The main loco 0-6-0 now runs much better all over the trackwork including the in-filled section. The smaller 0-4-0 loco now runs a bit better over the ballasted and untouched trackwork, but will not run at all over the in-filled bits. I have now had this loco to bits and found quite large play in the wheel sets. The flange back-to-back measurement is the same as the 0-6-0 (they are both 1986 Hornby products BTW) of 15mm, but the play in the axles seems worse. The pick-ups and the electrics are all fine or appear to be. Do you think that this could be foulding the in-fill? Is there a way of adjusting the level of play or other ideas?

Sadly I have to go to work soon (nights
) but hopefully tomorrow I may have time to post some pics and folks can see the mess!! Thanks again!
 

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Nevardmedia, that layout is absolutely fabulous (really truly). very professional and as a 1:1 'modeller' I would be proud of it. My layout (00 guage) is in boxes and awaits a new room. I lost the attic to a guest room (gawd damn it). I now collect and fix locos, wagons etc so have a tool cabinet full of bits and bobs, locos and wagons and this provides lots of fun finding, repairing and then running (on a temporarily laid out track) these locos. I collect european style and some UK style locos and wagons.

As regards using air clay this is a great idea. If you want the plaster to not stick then using cling film over the track and areas to protect helps.

Lovely work and enjoy the modelling and imaginative life

Basil


(and his homeless layout)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Right I have had a chance to take some pics now:

The disaster area! As you can see I had originally made the paved area right up to the arches, but this is the section that didn't set and broke clean off, othe rpatches have flaked as well. You can see the damage to the card arches that have resulted and the overall mess.








I have tried a bit more fettling and have chamfered the edges to the central infill, but you can see just how much I have had to do to get the locos to run. The loco spur siding now allows both engines to run at the slow speeds they did before. The other sidings aloow full running to the larger 0-6-0 but not the 0-4-0 which is still sticking halfway, beyoned the area I have worked on intensly with the scapel, shamfering the edges. I this Mr Webb got it right as the natural wobble in this loco seems to make it foul the inner fill by the slightest margin but enough to stop it running. More trial and error I think before making good and covering with scenics / paint to get it looking better - any ideas appreciated! I was going to spray it matt black lightly and then fiddle with it from there?





Meanwhile at the other end......my first attempts at rail painting and ballasting since I was, well, a LOT younger! Not bad for first go. The only error this end was the spray to make the ballast wet prior to glueing was a bit too much and slightly warped the carboard viaduct and made some of the colours run because I had forgotten to seal with matt varnish, the can stares at me with guilt every time I open my modelling chest....






 

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Looks good and when adding colour and other elements, bear in mind these things look somewhat tattered in 'real life'. This is what makes nevardmedia's layout look so well, the attention to detail and the randomness. Still nothing like making landscape.................Have fun

Basil
 

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another alternative is to try either card, or better still, embossed plasticard..[setts].....although it is fiddly actually matching the edges of the card to each inside running rail.....

mention is made by John Webb of using check rails......Back in the bad ol' days when I tried trams......I made my own track [Hartel was in its infancy].....code 100 flatbottom rail for the running lines, then a second rail soldered to the inside of each running rail....but on its side, so the railhead nestled into the web of the running rail........the rail 'foot', now vertical,became the inside 'check'rail......I then used DAS modelling clay, trowelled in between and scribed for setts.....

the points were interesting bits of kit...mostly either ''automatic'', ie set for one direction, with a sprung blade [just one]...which could be trailed in the opposite direction.....or,if the 'point' was only trailed from both converging sides, then no blades at all!

the big 'secret' with inset tracks, is to ensure the outfill and infill do not QUITE come up to the same level as the tops of the running rails.......

another useful addition to any plaster mix, is the old powder paint...as used inn schools of old.....probably went out with the cane??
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 12 Apr 2008, 21:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>is the old powder paint...as used inn schools of old.....probably went out with the cane??

They use a ready mixed version now - don't want people breathing in the powder do we Mr 'elf & safety.

It's still available in a "proper" art shops though.
 
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