Monday, February 10, 2020

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

One immediate impact of my recent terrain-forming effort at Cascade Summit was the elimination of the light paths filtering down through the still-open bench-work at that upper level to illuminate the scene below which climbs up out of Oakridge to McCredie Springs.  I had always planned to provide additional lighting for this "land down under," but had never gotten to it. 


The "land down under" without lighting now that the Cascade Summit Terrain has been formed in the scene overhead.

When I began construction in 2012, I thought I might use single-tube florescent fixtures, but did not pursue that seriously as other work always had a higher priority--at least as long as that light continued to filter down to the scene.  With the terrain above now blocking the light, I needed to do something--now!  Fortunately, LED lighting has come a long way since 2012, with affordable solutions readily available.  I considered modern tube-style LED fixtures, but their cross-section size, mounting concerns, and relatively higher cost scored against them.  LED strips seemed the way to go.  

I looked at several supply sources for LED lighting strips.  I ended up selecting the strips from MicroMark.  A big factor in this choice was the recommendation of a fellow model railroad friend of mine in Virginia, Paul M.  Paul had used the MicroMark system to light the lower deck of his two-deck railroad.  I have since found a fellow model RR owner locally who has also used the MicroMark system, but it was Paul's recommendation that drove me.  I liked that the MicroMark system was well-engineered and had UL-tested components. 

I still delayed, as I needed to select a color temperature to match the 5000 deg-K lighting used in the rest of my railroad space.  MicroMark has three LED light temperature ranges, two of which bracket, but do not match my desired color.  The need to solve the lighting problem--now!--drove me past that hurdle to place an order.  I selected the 6000-6500 deg-K strips rather than the warmer 4000-4500 deg-K strips also available from MicroMark.  I previously experienced "warmer" (lower color temperature) florescent tubes in some new fixtures added after initial construction--tubes with a similar 4000 deg-K rating.  They were noticeably warmer (and quickly replaced with the correct tubes!), so I shied away from the warmer lighting for the current LED project and selected the bright-cool 6000-6500 deg-K strips.


The area beneath Cascade Summit now lit with 6000 deg-K LED light strips.  Note the color difference in this picture between the overhead warmer-lit scene and the bright-cool lighting below.

As illustrated in the photo above, the color temperature does make a difference, at least in photographs.  In person, the difference is barely noticeable.  Far more important is that there is light on the scene below the Cascade Summit overhang.

I mounted the LED strips to pieces of 1x2 lumber with a 3/4-inch cove molding on the edge forming a roughly 45 degree angle.  If I were to do this over again, I would simplify this to ripping a 1x4 using a 45 degree saw blade angle--no need for the complexity of the cove molding.  Indeed, the self-adhesive on the back of the LED strips does not attach to the cove molding, so I hold the strips in place with wire ties.


LED strips mounted on 1x2 lumber with cove molding edges. 

The LED strips provide needed lighting and are safely out of the way overhead.  I have a few minor adjustments to make at the ends and I may fill the molded cove with adhesive caulk to provide a flatter surface for the LED strips.  I may also need to provide a small amount of valence for the lighting, though that did not seem to be a distraction in the first operational test during the February 1 operating session.  For now, I am happy to have light on the Montieth Rock scene and the climb up out of Oakridge.


Mike L. guides Amtrak Number 11 past Montieth Rock in this now well-lit scene underneath Cascade Summit.


Monday, January 27, 2020

CASCADE SUMMIT TERRAIN

The cap is now on my railroad world.  Terrain rises up behind Cascade Summit placing this important operating point and scene into context with the rest of my railroad.  This was the last major terrain gap--and I do mean MAJOR!  I spent most of the past month filling this space with terrain.  I have covered my basic terrain forming techniques in previous blog posts, so I just kept terra-forming--and not reporting via this blog.  

The terrain for Cascade Summit rises behind roughly thirty feet of mainline track.  With the terrain scene depth averaging around three feet, that made for about one hundred square feet of terrain.  Anyone who has ever done model mountain forming will understand that as a significant area, especially for a crew of one (me).

I began the terrain effort at the wye tunnel.  I attached a styrofoam "bar" to the coved (curved) backdrop in this area to serve as a top brace for the terrain slabs.  I then began fitting foam slabs, beginning with one-inch thick slabs cut to four-inch widths.  half of these slabs needed to be tapered to account for the curve.  As I built up the terrain around the tunnel portal, I realized I needed to make the RR-West end of this assemblage removable so I could retain access to the tunnel portal and the terrain beyond it.  I worked on this area by climbing up on the Pope and Talbot scene below it and squeezing between the joists supporting Cascade Summit.  This was exhausting, with lots of contortions and climbing up and down a ladder.  I validated a goal not quite reached of completing all such work by the time I turned seventy.  I sure am glad this part of the layout construction is done!


Ridge support for wye tunnel terrain installed on the backdrop.


Basic terrain surface formed for the Cascade Summit wye tunnel.  The panel to the left of the tunnel portal is removable.

I next tackled the two ends, again with coved backdrops.  This time the cove was convex, so I needed to form terrain around the curves.  Since these ends reach down to track level and the plywood sub-base, I chose to build them up with layers of foam.  Shortly after laying the bases for both curves, I fit the base slabs for the remaining terrain in place with their ridge backing pieces which I will describe further below.  This helped me form and align the "pyramids" of foam slabs for the curved corners.  I also needed to tie into the existing terrain for Trapper Creek at the RR-East end of Cascade Summit.


Terrain base formed for RR-East Cascade Summit.  Trapper Creek is the gray area on the far right.  The two flat spaces are where the section foreman's and signal maintainer's house and the section gang bunk houses will be located.


Terrain formed at the RR-West end of Cascade Summit.  The base slab for the RR-West end of the scene extends between the corner cove and the wye tunnel panels.

The major terrain sections between the end curves and the wye tunnel were built as removable panels.  As seen in the photo above showing the RR-West end, I used a two-inch foam panel as the base and a 1.5-inch panel as the back ridge against the backdrop.  Triangular braces were attached to both panels for support, spaced where the backdrop vertical support posts were located--roughly on 16-inch centers.  

One area needed special treatment.  The track at Cascade Summit is located on the mountainside along Odell Lake.  At one spot near the terrain indentation used for the wye tunnel, a major rock formation juts out from the rest of the mountainside.  Indeed, the railroad builders had to blast a shelf for the railroad through the end of this rock formation.  I built this area up with additional layers of two-inch thick foam.


The area of the rock formation at Cascade Summit got three layers of two-inch thick foam to help form that rock.  Other areas got a second layer of the two-inch foam.  The rest of the mountainside formation can be seen with the slabs of one-inch foam spanning between the base and the backdrop ridge. The flat spot for the summit water towers is in the right foreground.


Cascade Summit base terrain formation with gaps filled with spray foam insulation.

After a couple weeks of effort, I applied the final foam touch of spray foam insulation filling the gaps.  I then removed the three large panels and finished forming the foam terrain using knives and a Stanley Surform ™ scraper.  I moved the panels to spots on the floor to apply Sculptamold.  As with previous terrain efforts, I mixed latex paint in with the Sculptamold.  This immediately provided a ground or rock color and ensures any open edges, punctures or holes drilled will produce a suitable terrain color and not white--a common problem with plaster.


Sculptamold being applied to the largest of the removable panels--the one with the rock formation, seen in gray.

After several days of setting and drying time, I moved the big panels back to the railroad.  Along the way, I cut hand-holds in their base plates to help with positioning and handling.  The biggest panel--the one with the rock formation--was still a bit wet, as I had to finish its Sculptamold a day after the others.  I ran out of paint--again.  That panel was noticeably heavier than the other two.  I really could have used another person to help carry and lift the panels into position, but a little bit of thought and use of our hand-truck helped me move them around and get them into position.  A key was to lift only one end of the panels at a time.  I also made creative use of the handrails for the Cascade Summit operator platform.


The "rock" panel balanced on the Cascade Summit operator railing prior to lifting into place on the railroad.


Terrain for RR-West Cascade Summit.


Rounding the curve into Cascade Summit RR-eastbound.


The Summit wye tunnel terrain.  Panel gaps will need to be filled as scenery is applied.  The ground area around the summit wye tracks has been filled in with Sculptamold.  The wye was slightly elevated from the mainline, likely reducing the amount of grading needed.  


The train order office and operator village at Cascade Summit with the water tanks on their concrete bases.  I will provide a base to raise the buildings.  Still to come is the beanery, to be located near the water tanks.  The beanery used a retired wood passenger car on the ground.


RR-East end of Cascade Summit with the section gang quarters.  Trapper Creek is on the far right.


Overview of the completed terrain at Cascade Summit, viewed from the RR-West end.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

THE SKY'S THE LIMIT!

I completed--for now--the Cascade Summit backdrop project by applying spackle to the panel joints, sanding, and then painting the high backdrop.  Construction may be seen in the prior post:

Most of this high (partial) backdrop received my basic "sky blue"--Sherwin-Williams "Blissful Blue."  The coved end corners needed a more complete sky blend, as they connect to other backdrop areas that have that full treatment.  The basic technique involves painting six color bands with blue-white mixes that range from the pure "Blissful Blue" down to one with 1:5 parts blue and white.  The still-wet paint bands are then blended together using a 2-3 inch-wide brush--one for each blending band.  I described this more fully back when I did the original stretch of serpentine backdrop winding around my main peninsula: https://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2012/11/backdrop-sky.html
The end corner coves may see the terrain edge come down to the backdrop base, so the full blend to haze is important.


Joint spackling underway.  The roll of fiberglass "tape" in the foreground was used to reinforce the joints.  Sanding the spackle was exhausting due to the confined space I worked within.  It also was dusty!  After the first pass through, I remembered to install drop cloths over the terrain on the lower level.


Sky blue base paint being applied.  The contrast to the blend toward haze at the horizon can be seen at the right side of the corner cove where the new sky blue base contrasts with the previously blended flat section to its right.  Trapper Creek is in the extreme lower right corner of this photo.  Three-dimensional terrain will descend to the creek and more detailed backdrop painting will attempt to convey the source of the creek.


Completed sky fade to haze.  The sky fade was done just for the full height section that is part of the corner cove.  The less-than-full-height backdrop to the left has just the base sky blue.  The terrain should reach closer to the top of most of the new backdrop except at the end corner coves.  Once the three-dimensional terrain is formed, I may need to add more mountain and forest painting to the backdrop above that terrain.


The Cascade Summit company village ready for three-dimensional terrain to be formed behind it.

I am ready to begin forming the three-dimensional terrain.   This will begin by enclosing the wye tunnel, followed by terrain around the corner coves.  The straight sections between those corners will be filled in last.  For now, the railroad has been cleaned up in preparation for the first operating session of the new year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

CASCADE SUMMIT BACKDROP CONSTRUCTION

The last major terrain gap on my railroad has been the missing mountainside behind Cascade Summit.  The prototype Cascade Summit is located just RR-West of the summit tunnel (Tunnel 3) and is located along the shores of Odell Lake.  The mountain pierced by the summit tunnel continues as a ridge flowing down to the lake.  This ridge provides the background for the Cascade Summit station site.  

My Cascade Summit tracks were built on a benchwork table that extends out from the wall above the lower mainline which has begun the climb out of Oakridge.  This is a "half-mushroom" design feature.  The Cascade Summit benchwork extends five feet from the back wall to the operator aisle.  Cascade Summit tracks are located along the aisle edge, so no great reach is required.  One important use of the benchwork depth was to provide space for the summit wye, used in the steam era for turning helper locomotives.  The summit wye tail tack was located inside a single-ended tunnel.  

I thought I would begin my terrain project in this area by completing the tunnel liner for the wye tail and then encasing this area in terrain.  The deep scene and low ceiling height above the roadbed (two feet) means the terrain will reach the ceiling before reaching the back wall for this area.  My first thought was to build a back wall for the terrain using my standard terrain underlayment of insulating foam.  As I wrestled with this, I eventually realized I would do better with a very firm backing for the eventual top of the terrain--a backdrop.  This began a major construction project made more difficult by tight clearances.  

I began the terrain effort by completing the summit wye tunnel.  I previously reported on my modeling of the tunnel portal and initial tunnel liner in a post this past year:  
Several tasks remained.  First, I needed to paint and ballast the track, as access would be restricted or eliminated by the new efforts.  I then built a solid end of the tunnel.  I used three pieces of 1x4 to form a "U" roughly five inches long. Then I built a foam-core tunnel liner to span the space between the tunnel end and the portal and initial liner.  This foam core liner remains removable. 


Summit wye tunnel liner in place.  The track has been painted prior to ballasting.

I then turned my attention to the backdrop structure.  My Cascade Summit forms part of a large S-curve.  The backdrop needed to follow this same pattern.  This meant corner coves at the ends to meet the existing walls and another cove in the middle--right over the wye tunnel.  I began by building support structures for these curved backdrop segments.  I cut top and bottom profiles from plywood, temporarily screwed together to get a common curve.  Once separated, I joined the top and bottom plates with sections of 2x2.  The end corner pieces were full height for this area--about two feet tall, though I chose to leave a small margin between the ceiling and the backdrop structure.  The backdrop cove over the wye tunnel needed to provide clearance for that tunnel for subsequent maintenance.  This resulted in a modest height cove former, mounted on legs attached to the underlying benchwork joists.


Backdrop cove former mounted above the summit wye tunnel.

With formers for the ends and middle curve mounted, I filled in the rest of the backdrop structure, beginning with 2x2 posts for vertical support.  In retrospect, I should have built the straight sections off the layout as short "stud walls" which would have needed just a few screws to the existing benchwork joists to secure in place.  Ah, hindsight...  I braced the straight sections with knee braces which extend back to the actual wall.  The resulting structure is quite rigid.


Backdrop structure.

Finally, I applied hardboard "skin" to the structure, beginning with the coved portions.  I used most of my supply of hardboard scraps for this effort.  The cove over the tunnel and the straight sections are not full height.  Only the top needs to be continuous as my intent is to build terrain to very nearly the top of this backdrop structure.  I provided support for the bottom of this elevated backdrop edge by toe-attachments of 1x2 horizontal supports using a pocket-screw jig.


Skinning the backdrop.  One more segment is needed to fill the gap to the center (over tunnel) cove.


The curve that began it all--backdrop mounted above the summit wye tunnel.

After the construction adhesive sets, I will begin the process of filling and spackling the backdrop panel joints, filling the screw heads used to attach the panels as I go.  I chose to mount all of the current backdrop panels using construction adhesive and screws.  Earlier backdrop efforts used brads rather than screws for support as the adhesive set.  The limited working space this time and the nature of the support system drove me to use screws for this function.  

I plan to paint this new backdrop with my basic "sky blue," but may not do much of the fading to horizon haze used at lower elevations on my layout.  Stay tuned.






Saturday, November 30, 2019

EUGENE TURNTABLE -1- PIT PREPARATION

I have begun work on the Eugene turntable, roundhouse and steam-era engine service facilities.  I was prompted by a comment by another local model railroader describing his work on his turntable.  He was using components from the same manufacturers that I planned to use.  The missing link for me was the New York Railway Supply (http://www.nyrs.com/) turntable drive and indexing system.  I long planned to use their system.  Unfortunately, when I last checked a couple of years ago they were not shipping, as they were shifting production to their now-current Model 4 system.  My friend's comment sent me back to the NYRS website.  Following a brief e-mail discussion with the owner, I placed my order and soon had this important component.  I will comment further on this system in a future post when I get to the installation and setup of the indexing system.  My current activity involves layout and preparation of the turntable area.

I am using a Diamond Scale Products (http://www.diamond-scale.com/) 134-feet long HO scale turntable.  This model is a good representation of the style of turntable bridge and center arch used at Eugene, albeit longer than Eugene's 126 feet.  I acquired mine a decade ago, but they remain available.  Principal elements of the kit include the turntable pit, center shaft and bearings, bridge and end dollies.  The pit is formed on a piece of medium density fiberboard (MDF) with the outer ring cast in Hydrocal  onto the MDF base. 


Diamond Scale Products HO TS-134 turntable components.

I began my turntable preparation by installing the ring rail.  Following the instructions, I used gap-filling CA cement.  In my case, I applied it to every other tie. The other ties and the rail base received a drop of Pliobond  adhesive.  I use Pliobond to bond assembled switch rails to their tie base using the Fast Tracks system, so I felt this was a good addition, especially for the dissimilar materials of rail and plaster.  In addition to the step in the ring ties provided for the ring rail, I ensured my rail location by creating a radial arm with a notch for the rail.  Per instructions, I worked in sections of four to five inches of rail at a time.


Installing the ring rail using a radial arm with a notch for the rail position.

With the ring rail installed, I needed to form a slope in the pit floor between the raised ring and the base of the pit.  From pictures of the Eugene turntable, this appears to be about 20 feet of slope.  This matches the tapered ends of the turntable bridge.  I added a slope form to my radial arm to help shape the plaster I applied to form the slope.  I used Hydrocal plaster.  In retrospect, I probably should have used some form of spackle to give me more working time.  The Hydrocal slopped up onto the previously cast ring and between some of the ties.  Though I worked quickly to remove this slop, I was not quick enough in some places.  Not to worry; most turntable pits become pretty messy places.


Sweeping the contour of the plaster slope between the outer ring step and pit bottom.


Removing plaster slop from between the ties on the outer ring.

My slope-forming sweep operation left a few gouges and other holes in the slope.  I filled these with spackle.  Light sanding quickly produced a smooth surface, though I ended up making four separate spackle applications.


Turntable pit with slope formed, filled and sanded smooth.

Paint and weathering were the next tasks.  I used a "rattle can" gray spray paint as a base color for the concrete.  Several light coats of paint ensured the surface was well-coated to provide a good base for subsequent weathering.  I cleaned off the ring rail with a small piece of cork after each spray paint application.  This greatly helped the final cleaning of the ring rail top.  The ring rail will be used for one side of the power feed to the turntable bridge rails.  I also applied "roof brown" paint to the rail sides and base.  

Weathering took several forms and multiple operations.  I practiced most of these operations on the outside of the pit before applying them inside where they will be seen.  I began by making a number of vertical lines on the ring wall using a black Sharpie .  These represent oil stains I see in photos.  I then applied a couple of washes of black and dark brown paint around these marks.  The pit wall was looking quite dark at this point, so I applied washes of "aged concrete" and "earth" to lighten up the wall.  I also applied the aged concrete was to the pit interior.  At times, I felt I had gone overboard on an individual color, so a subsequent wash would tone it down and blend it all together.


Turntable pit after many applications of weathering washes.  Streaking toward the pit center represents the natural drainage of the pit.

As I finished the weathering washes, I returned to the pit rail ties, and used a paint pen to highlight their tops with an appropriate color.  I also applied a final coat of the "roof brown" paint to the rail.  When I was finally satisfied with the overall coloring of the pit, I applied a coat of Dulcote  to seal the paint and weathering washes and to provide tooth for weathering powders.  As with other concrete structures on my layout, I use Aim Products weathering powders to provide the rust appearance that older concrete often exhibits and as seen in color photos of the Eugene turntable pit.


Completed turntable pit.

Completion of the turntable pit sets me up for subsequent efforts with the turntable bridge and power arrangements.  While waiting between paint and weathering wash applications, I laid out the turntable approach tracks and radial tracks off the turntable.  This also involved a preliminary plan for the roundhouse stalls.  Stay tuned.  The Eugene roundhouse and steam era facilities represent a big effort.

Friday, November 15, 2019

CRUZATTE TERRAIN

With the structures for the station company village complete for Cruzatte, it was time to fill in the terrain.  The structure sites needed to be prepared as the terrain base was formed.  Filling in this portion of terrain closes the gap between Noisy Creek and Shady Creek along the upper mountain wall of my layout space.  Though my simple backdrop painting helped convey the desired image in this area, nothing beats rendering it into three dimensions.

An important resource for forming the terrain and locating the structures was Joel Ashcroft's website:  http://spcascades.railfan.net/structuresCruzatte.html  The Cruzatte structures section of the provided link were particularly helpful.

I used my proven terrain forming techniques employed last year.  The base was formed using styrofoam insulating foam, building up contours.  Gaps were filled with spray insulating foam. This base was further shaped using knives and a Stanley Surform  scraper.  Finally, Sculptamold was lathered over the surface.  I mixed paint into the Sculptamold.  This immediately provides an appropriate surface color and ensures future dings and holes will not produce white splotches.


Terrain forming begun at Cruzatte.  Building platforms are slabs of insulating foam with the RR-East end (downhill) slightly raised for level structure foundations.  The plywood subroadbed and station site is built on the railroad's 1.8 percent grade.


Base terrain contours formed with slabs of styrofoam insulation.


Gaps have been filled with spray foam insulation.  The pictures on the track below are copies from Joel Ashcroft's website.


The site for the RR-East water tower has been prepared.  A thin strip of styrene was glued to the down-hill end of the water tower base to level it.


Scultamold has been applied to the scene.


The Cruzatte scene is coming to life with structures and terrain base.


Thursday, October 31, 2019

WATER TOWERS ON THE HILL

A classic structure that supported steam locomotive operation was the water tower.  With locomotives working hard climbing the Cascades ("the Hill" to SP-Oregon railroaders), water towers and standpipes were located at most sidings along the climb from Oakridge to Cascade Summit.  A couple of these iconic structures of the steam era remain.  In Wicopee's case (mid-way up the Hill), the tower and standpipe/plug remain in service, as required by the US Forest Service.  Doyle McCormick and crew with the SP-4449 Daylight steam locomotive always made it a point to take water at Wicopee.  Indeed, during the steam era, Wicopee was the habitual location where all up-hill trains took water. They might need it at other sidings if delayed, but Wicopee always waited with water.

Although I currently equip my railroad for 1984 operations, water towers still need to be accounted for.  In addition to Wicopee, one tower remains in disrepair at Cruzatte.  The foundations or footings remain for all of the rest, hence the need to account for them in the scenery even in more modern diesel operations.  

The water tanks installed on the Cascade Hill were wood.  Wood was plentiful and proved cost effective even with the 1926 construction date of the Cascade Line.  A reasonable approximation of the SP standard design wood tank may be had with the Atlas water tower kit.  This old kit still has relevance for this basic structure.  I chose to ignore the tower legs which were latticed steel for the Cascade Line, but represented as wood in the Atlas kit.  The kit legs provide the right visual heft and tend to blend into the scenery.  

I did need to modify the Atlas kit just a bit.  I needed towers and tanks without water spouts, as the Cascade Line installations fed underground pipes leading to the standpipes/plugs located between tracks.  The modification involved plugging several rectangular holes intended for mounting and aligning the Atlas water spout parts.  I also plugged several notches in the tower legs.  Various bits of Evergreen styrene strip provided plugs that fit snuggly, with easy trimming to blend into the surrounding profiles.


Atlas water towers modified to eliminate mounting holes for water spouts.  Plugs were needed in the tanks, roof and tower legs.

The pair of tanks at Cascade Summit were located on a bit of a bluff above the tracks.  Tall concrete foundations were built (and remain) that raised the tanks still further and provided access to the underside of the tanks.  That maintenance and inspection access was provided by openings in the concrete sidewalls into what otherwise would have been a fully enclosed space.  The remaining foundations can be seen in photos on Joel Ashcroft's website:
Scroll down to the West Cascade Summit pictures for several views of the foundations.

I fabricated the walls by laminating three pieces of 0.060-inch styrene to form the basic wall material.  I temporarily laminated four side walls to shape the access opening.  I began by boring the hole for the top arch.  This was easy when taken in several steps, working up from small to ever larger drill bits.  I used a small drill bit to rough-out the remaining access hole.  I then used a knife and a chisel blade to cut out the rectangular lower portion of the hole, cutting between the small holes.  Files finished off the hole.


Forming the access holes in the foundation side pieces.


Access hole formed in side pieces.

The foundation planform forms an open octagon, with the openings fore and aft with long interior walls parallel to the outer side walls.  This left diagonal pieces to form the octagon.  I found I could cut the 45-degree angles for these pieces using my band-saw, cutting very slowly.  Styrene balls up when heated by the cutting operation, but a slow feed speed minimized the effect.  I made a jig to hold the wall pieces for cutting that extended down to the protractor guide on my band-saw.


Cutting the 45-degree angles in the end diagonals of the foundation.  A plastic jig holds the wall being cut with final placement held by blue tape.


I built up the foundation halves using the square grid on my cutting mat and final checks using the water tank base from the Atlas kit.

With the tanks, towers and foundations built, it was off to the paint shop.  The tanks and towers got a coat of black automotive engine primer from a "rattle can."  The foundation received a coat of "Country Gray" from a similar spray can.  The Atlas bases got a coat of a neutral tan.  Final assembly used canopy cement for painted surface joints and to secure the water tank guage decals.  Weathering used Primsacolor pencils and PanPastels.  A Primsacolor pencil was a great way to highlight the tank bands with a rust color.


My collection of completed water towers.

I used railroad station plats to locate the towers at each of the mountain sidings. Some adjustments will be necessary in existing terrain at McCredie Springs.  Other locations can now get the water tower bases as I build up the remaining terrain.


Water tank at the RR-West end of Wicopee.  


Water tank located at the RR-West end of Cruzatte.


Water tanks located at Cascade Summit.  These are temporarily located on a piece of pink styrafoam that will be replaced as the final scenery is built up behind the Cascade Summit scene.

Building the water towers completes most of the structures I need to provide footprints or foundations for as I complete the remaining terrain base on my railroad.  I left the water towers as press-fits in their bases, so they can be removed for scenery and for layout dating after the steam era.  As noted above, at least a couple of the tanks will remain even in more modern operation.