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    • July 5, 2020 3:10 PM EDT
    • Jim Rowson said:

      You gonna carve rocks into this? Looking good so far, Cliffster

       

      Thanks Jim!

      Probably not, because the terrain around the city is kinda tame. If I run into a scene build requiring an outcropping, I'll most likely cast the "rock" over the mortar, since this is really tough stuff. But thanks for asking brutha! 

    • July 5, 2020 3:05 PM EDT
    • Rick Marty said:

      Cliff,

      You could try a pair of Nitril or Latex gloves inside your work gloves.  Should keep the sand away from the skin but will probably make your hands sweat pretty badly.

      Least, that has been my expierence.

       

      Rick, that worked perfectly. I used cheap disposable nitrile gloves on the inside, and zero skin issues. Not only no new abrasion, but no more chemical messing with my skin by the portland & etc. Thanks!!

    • July 4, 2020 9:55 PM EDT
    • Looking really good Cliff.

       

    • July 4, 2020 8:27 PM EDT
    • David Marconi,FOGCH said:

       

       

      And the voids in the mountain on both sides of the tunnel are for ????????

      Those are to get my hand in and clear the drains. Might be dressed as a fictional adit mouth.

       

       

       

    • July 4, 2020 7:23 PM EDT
    • You gonna carve rocks into this? Looking good so far, Cliffster

    • July 4, 2020 6:42 PM EDT
    • Rick Marty said:

      Cliff,

      You could try a pair of Nitril or Latex gloves inside your work gloves.  Should keep the sand away from the skin but will probably make your hands sweat pretty badly.

      Least, that has been my expierence.

       

      Good idea Rick, I'll give that a shot.

    • July 4, 2020 6:34 PM EDT
    • Cliff,

      You could try a pair of Nitril or Latex gloves inside your work gloves.  Should keep the sand away from the skin but will probably make your hands sweat pretty badly.

      Least, that has been my expierence.

    • July 4, 2020 4:50 PM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said:
      Rooster said:

      I ain't helping cut it up when your dead!

       

      That's what my wife used to say... 

      My theoretically ideal solution: get a nice front-end loader now; build a garage for it; use it to clear the next phase(s) of the layout; and include it with the house as a free demolition tool.  

      Do the neighbors know they are moving?

    • July 4, 2020 4:45 PM EDT
    •  

       

      And the voids in the mountain on both sides of the tunnel are for ????????

    • July 4, 2020 3:35 PM EDT
    • Rooster said:

      I ain't helping cut it up when your dead!

       

      That's what my wife used to say... 

      My theoretically ideal solution: get a nice front-end loader now; build a garage for it; use it to clear the next phase(s) of the layout; and include it with the house as a free demolition tool.  

    • July 4, 2020 3:18 PM EDT
    • Got another 9 bags down today, averaging around 40 minutes per, FWIW. 

       

       

      The remainder of the city area will take maybe 11-13 bags, and I hope to get most of that done tomorrow, we'll see.

       

      BTW, while Dennis uses a trowel for his amazing rockwork, I use my (gloved) hands to apply and smooth the mortar for the plainer / smoother look of the Virginia City environment.

       

      Because of that, my new issue is that sand gets into my (rubber-lined) gloves, collects in some place or another, and starts abrading the skin. Any pointers along those lines anyone? I'm rinsing the gloves inside and out between bag-batches now, so hopefully the affect will be less tomorrow.  

    • July 4, 2020 3:02 PM EDT
    • Eric Mueller said:

      Cliff,

       

      Amazing work!  I wish I had seen this post before we did our own mountain and tunnels!  If we ever make an extension to the Triple O, we have this as a guide!

       

      Eric

       

      Thanks very much Eric, much appreciated! Just so you know, I learned tons from Dennis Rayon's threads on this subject, so if you head in this direction, please be sure to check those out as well. I'm not quite sure how to get to them now (it's been several years), but Dennis can advise.

       

       

    • July 3, 2020 9:22 PM EDT
    • Cliff,

       

      Amazing work!  I wish I had seen this post before we did our own mountain and tunnels!  If we ever make an extension to the Triple O, we have this as a guide!

       

      Eric

    • July 3, 2020 8:53 PM EDT
    • David Marconi,FOGCH said:

      Looking good Cliff.

      Drape a wet towel around your neck. Also works if you bandanna it over your head draped down your back.

      Great idea David, I'll do that. Thanks. 

    • July 3, 2020 8:51 PM EDT
    • Dennis Rayon said:

      Keeping the sun off the cement while drying is important at the heat. Sprinkle with a fine mist occasionally would help, ideally is a wet blanket on the cement.  Looking great

      Thanks for sharing

      Dennis

      Thanks Dennis! I forgot about that, and went right out to spray it.

    • July 3, 2020 7:14 PM EDT
    • Looking good Cliff.

      Drape a wet towel around your neck. Also works if you bandanna it over your head draped down your back.

    • July 3, 2020 5:51 PM EDT
    • Keeping the sun off the cement while drying is important at the heat. Sprinkle with a fine mist occasionally would help, ideally is a wet blanket on the cement.  Looking great

      Thanks for sharing

      Dennis

    • July 3, 2020 4:51 PM EDT
    • Today was first day of mudslinging.

       

      I have a mixer (thanks Jon), but decided to use a mixer in my hammer drill (thanks Jerry B for pointing out that a hammer drill would do much better that regular drill). I split a 60lb bag between two 5 gal buckets, poured in a half gallon of water, and the drill-mixer worked great. 

       

      The half-batch was plenty heavy to tote into position. It also kept things tidy with a 5 gal bucket:  I tried a full bag at first, with the gallon of water, and things got messy. And it was a sumbeach to tote. 

       

      As usual, there was the fetching this tool or that before things got really squared away.

       

      Also, I decided to snip out the tunnel lining, because a) proved too big a PITA to make the mortar stick, and b) I want a wood liner anyway, which will be more fun to build. In theory.  In the mean time, I'll mortar up the first ~foot of tunnel on either end, and leave the rest.

       

      With those out of the way, I got 7 bags slung today. Here's how that looks, as the first of two layers in this section.

       

       

      And Dennis, you bet, quite hot. 95 here. The shade tarp made all the diff, and I put on a big fan which helped. Main thing though, low humidity today, which won't be low tomorrow.... So yeah, that'll be harder.

       

      Lots of fun though. Once things were really set up, I had a ball! 

       

      Cliff

       

       

    • July 3, 2020 4:39 PM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler said:
      John Caughey said:
      Rick Marty said:

      Cliff, even with all that calculating, you know it won't be enough

      Yep! An 80 pound rule of thumb, with 60 pound bags. Even your grandmother can see through that!

      Maybe it's kind of like the "feels like" temperature we get from the weather service: when you're older, the 60 pound bags FEEL like they weigh 80 pounds. 

       

      Now THAT is a piece of truth. Especially when you add a gallon of water to it.

    • July 3, 2020 8:10 PM EDT
    • Update:

       

      I received my hot knife and new guide.  I carefully set up my work area, counterbalancing the foam with a calibrated coconut:

      Despite my tropical counterweight, I still managed to bump the foam, jam the knife into the bench, bend said knife, and get a carefully randomized squiggle:

      Despite myself, all four walls are cut and even reasonably square.  They'll do for the core of the mill building.  I placed one end wall for a final size check:

      Tomorrow we celebrate our Independence, so progress will stop.  The next step is to glue the walls together, cut the 2x4 braces for the corners, and mount the lot to the backerboard.  After that, it'll go back on the railroad to revalidate the unloader shed design and for  more out-building brainstorming.  This whole thing is becoming a series of projects within projects, which is fine.

       

      To all my fellow American citizens and residents...Happy Fourth of July!  To everyone else, have a wonderful weekend!

       

      Eric