All for now.
HUGE Update Thread! 4/29/13
Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:31 PM
All for now.
Posted 26 May 2013 - 03:02 PM
Below is a pic of what I've accomplished in the past hour or so. Note there are more mills/industry tracks in place, and also note the branch to Central City has begun. (I needed to line locate and check the elevation on the lead of it.) So far the rails are quite close to the actual locations, so a finished scene should have the "feel" of the pics I've poured over for decades.
Now that I have the Central City lead located, I will be pushing the lower line on up the Black Hawk gulch to the end of track.
This is fun!
Posted 27 May 2013 - 10:20 AM
Do you mean, do I see and END to this thing? Well... not really!!
Actually, yes. This one, unlike many of my projects, has a finite, and reasonable amount, of track to model. That would be:
* Golden to Forks Creek. (Done, except for the actual town of Golden.)
* Forks Creek to Black Hawk (Black Hawk proper done. Still need about another 1 mile of track past Black Hawk into the upper portion of Clear Creek Canyon to reach some more mines/mills.)
* Black Hawk to Central City (Workin' on it.)
* Forks Creek to Silver Plume, which would include the Georgetown Loop. (Eventually... maybe?)
Below is a pic of what I accomplished last night after getting home from church.
UNFORTUNATELY... I just couldn't get the two levels of track to match known data at the first gulch following the upper switchback, nor could I get it to look like the several photos I have of the same area.
Time to hit my resources to refresh my memory on some things.
OUCH... seems I laid the lower switchback track too steep... thus causing me to arrive at the gulch in question too high.
I'll be relaying ALL of the switchback track seen in the pic below from Black Hawk to this point!
Might as well git to it...
Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:32 AM
I was more being cryptic - say it: "You, See and En"! Or in other words, the magic (curse?) of Harry Brunk - one of the finest modellers in our hobby.
The area is looking great - I see you're doing it in the days of the Central City line, link-n-pin couplers and goldrush...
I'd almost be tempted to get back into MSTS (other than the odd play now-and-again) and maybe complete a model (unlike the half-built Forney I've got on ET), not least as trying to model link-n-pin era narrow gauge in 1:87 can be very time-consuming and frustrating (if only life, or at least models, had an 'undo' button!), but when your job on the iron road generally involves staring at a PC screen all day it can be off-putting to spend another couple of hours doing the same at home!
Keep up the good work!
Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:48 AM
Yup on the link n' pin era. My target era is 1884, right after the line was completed past Silver Plume. This leaves the door open to throw in the track up that way, too, if'n I want to!
Of course, there WILL be inaccuracies and compromises. Just the name of the game, be it model railroading or V scale. However, I can assure you I'm doing my best to keep the "feel" there. So far the "feel" is there in spades. The mountains look fantastic in game.
Glad you've de-cloaked and pitched in some input, Matt. Stop by often and enjoy this with me!
FWIW: The lower switchback track is relaid almost to the Running Lode mine!
Posted 27 May 2013 - 02:15 PM
I'm debating my next course of action. May have to make the track more properly reflect the track data ... and then heavily massage the terrain to comply. Hate it when that happens. Ah well, no telling how many tons and tons of mine tailings filled that gulch since 1884!
However, judging from the attached in-game screen taken at the upper switchback (looking down on Black Hawk)... I think it will be worth it to overcome the setback at the Running Lode Mine gulch area. What do you think?
(NOTE: Be sure to click the image to view full sized... that's the best way to see what you would see in-game!)
Posted 27 May 2013 - 02:58 PM
Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:47 PM
Yes, the C&O side of Thurmond is represented, however bear in mind that structure-wise, my version would reflect an 1890 Thurmond. Also keep in mind that I have simplified the prototype track that was on the C&O's Thurmond. The Thurmond that most are familiar with existed during the transistion era (1950's) until Thurmond was "rationalized" and most rail elements were razed and the track drastically reduced. Very few enthusiasts realize that early Thurmond was quite different from the popularized Thurmond. (Early Thurmond had a different depot, different turntable location, no two-track engine house, etc, etc.)
The rails have reached Central City. I still need to construct the station grounds trackage as well as some other refinements there.
I also need to extend the line west of Black Hawk further into Clear Creek Canyon up to the end of track at the Hidden Treasure Mill.
When I get the above accomplished, I reckon' it would be time to head back to Golden and complete the track there!
All for now!
Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:21 PM
I forgot to tell you about one of my projects I had investigated a while back. This one I called "The Gunnison Lines".
During the Harley-Davidson trip the wife and I took to Colorado in June of '11, we discovered the Black Canyon area. When I returned, I investigated recreating the Denver & Rio Grande over Cerro Summit (4% grades), and into the Black Canyon. I had originally hoped to rework (hand sculpt) the terrain lost to the two reservoirs that are now in the Black Canyon. Of course, the era was to be the 1880's!
I used NED 10m Seamless DEM data to create the terrain with. The terrain was rendered spectacularly!
Below are some Route Editor screens of the magnificant terrain of the Black Canyon area...
To Be Continued...
Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:25 PM
I figured it would be a lot of work, but that recreating the Black Canyon via hand sculpting the reservoir areas could be done. That surmised, I laid track.
This is what the track at Cimarron looks like...
To Be Continued...
Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:26 PM
To Be Continued...
Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:27 PM
To Be Continued...
Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:29 PM
To Be Continued...
Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:37 PM
I guess the existing route (if finished) would make a somewhat interesting mini-route featuring helper service... but it is very lacking on local/industry switching, another strong interest of mine. Plus, the helper service itself would be rather cut and dried without much variation to that theme.
No, there are other, much better choices, for modeling a helper district in Colorado.
So, the Gunnison Line sits on my hard drive and will likely never be advanced further than what it is currently.
Well... now you know about another of my wild hair route ideas!!!!
All for now!
Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:29 AM
The first mistake is not coming over here more regularly (why? when I just love your form of V Scale modelling and the time periods!)
The second mistake is coming over here and seeing all this mouthwatering (or is that steam generating) activity going on and wanting to see more!
Some superb locations and potentials for your excellent scene setting and yup, I am off to fire up the ON for a blast of steam.
Posted 01 June 2013 - 07:41 AM
Well... you know me: I'm a sucker for link n' pin and Colorado narrow gauge. Little wonder that many forms of Colorado narrow gauge route efforts are on my hard drive.
Speaking of which, we have a thread going at Elvas Tower in the Narrow Gauge section where several of us are listing our narrow gauge route projects. In the thread we describe the route project, track completion, concept/theme, and future plans for said project. Perhaps my post in that thread could be useful in this thread. That so, below you'll find a repost of it:
> > > > >
I've been wondering what all NG routes are being worked on, etc. Thought it would be nice to have a thread that lists what we're all tinkering with and target era, status, and long-term forecast for the project. I'll go first!
* D&RG's CERRO SUMMIT, Cimarron to Montrose, circa early 1880's:
Track Work - Track work is 100% complete from Cimarron to Montrose.
DEM Data - NED 1/3 sec Seamless used for the standard terrain. DM's used 1/9 sec Seamless (as I recall).
Concept/Theme - Originally intended to rebuild the terrain in the Black Canyon (horendous reservoirs) in order to get the rails to Gunnison. Once DEM'd and explored, it was a major downer to see how terrible the reservoir carnage was, so the Gunnison extension idea is all but scuttled. The route could make a fun "helper district" to operate, but otherwise pretty limited in operational (switching) opportunities on account of not reaching Gunnison.
Current Status - Inactive.
Long Term Plans - Don't really have any. Though the route is still installed in my main MSTS installation, the route is on the back burner for the foreseeable future.
* COLORADO CENTRAL, circa 1884, Golden to Central City:
Track Work - Track work is about 90% complete. Need to complete the station grounds at Central City, extend the rails west of Black Hawk into Clear Creek Canyon to the prototype's end of track (about another mile from the Black Hawk station) including the relevant mills/mines. Also need to lay track at the city of Golden.
DEM Data - Used NED 1/3 sec Seamless for the standard terrain and I think also the DM's.
Concept/Theme - This route has a huge amount of operational potential, but I do have a dual gauge track situation at Golden to contemplate. Chose the 1884 era because the prototype line was completed past Silver Plume as well as the Colorado Central was under UP/DSP&P control, meaning DSP&P power can be used thereon.
Current Status - Good track work progress has been made over the past two weeks.
Long term plans - I intend to finish the track for the Golden to Central City portion over the coming weeks/months, and eventually, hope to extend from Forks Creek to the end of track past Silver Plume. However, said extension is a long ways away.
* DSP&P COMO to BRECKENRIDGE, circa 1884-1885:
Track Work - Track is only at 1%.
DEM Data - Used STDS 10m for the standard terrain.
Concept/Theme - Original concept was to create a busy portion of the DSP&P and model it, preferably a section that used helpers, had a decent sized terminal, etc. Thought Como-to-Breckenridge would fill the bill. Unfortunately, my favorite portion of the DSP&P is not Como-to-Breckenridge. It's great, no doubt, but not my favorite area.
Current status - Inactive.
Long term plans - See below.
* DSP&P ALPINE TUNNEL AREA, circa 1884-1885:
Track Work - Track work is only at about 10%.
DEM Data - NED 1/3 sec for the standard terrain as well as the DM's.
Concept/Theme - Simply put, the DSP&P is my favorite narrow gauge line, period, and has been for many years. The Pitkin-to-Alpine-to-St. Elmo (and east) is my favorite portion of it. My goal was/is to have my own version of this region on which to operate, a version where I decide my "givens n' 'druthers" for it*.
Current status - This route project has been inactive for some time.
Long term plans - Had considered completely scuttling recreating any of the DSP&P idea and concentrate on the Colorado Central project only, however, I just like the Pitkin/Alpine/eastward area too much, and the DSP&P too much, to let it go. So, I intend to renew efforts at some point and extend track to the point I can have an operable section. (Alpine to Parlins to the west and possibly just past St. Elmo to the east.) I am also considering downloading all the NED 1/3 sec Seamless DEM needed to recreate the entire DSP&P so I can have it on hand for "one of these days". We shall see!
Well, the above tells the tale as to what's on my hard drive and what I intend to "eventually" do with. What's your narrow gauge project(s)?
>>>>> End of copy/paste.
In the above post I said this: * "My goal was/is to have my own version of this region on which to operate, a version where I decide my "givens n' 'druthers" for it."
Allow me to ellaborate: There is already a very comprehensive version of the entire DSP&P area available as freeware. It is a fine effort. However, the "givens n' druthers" were decided by its creator. It takes almost as much time to completey rework an existing route to match one's own "givens n' druthers" as it does to simply start over from scratch. Therefore I would chose to simply do my own interpretation of the target region instead of reworking an existing effort.
End Editors note.
Now, in addition to my above route descriptions, please allow me to add this:
I've given some intense thought to this, and I am now prepared to make a profound statement regarding the state of my union...
I like the South Park. (You ought to see my South Park book collection!)
Yup, no surprise there, I realize. However, what is a bit of a surprise to me is that I'm becoming willing to reopen my idea about the Alpine Tunnel area, with a bit of a twist.
First off, the Colorado Central is a killer route. It's definitely a keeper. (IF I can figure out something "dual gauge" for Golden. Plus, I know there's going to be object count/scenic density challenges in the Black Hawk area.) The fact that I'm modeling it in 1884 during UP/DSP&P ownership is frosting: Mason-Bogies, etc.
However, I'm ready for a bit of a break from it. (I laid and relaid the track to near Central City some three times in two days?)
So, aside from the upcoming challenges it faces, the Colorado Central is a definitely keeper...
It ain't the Alpine Tunnel area.
That is a very special place to me, and wife Sharon, too. (You can read our latest sojourn to that hallowed land in the "Colorado Pics 9/16/12" thread here at my VSC forum.)
I dig that area beyond measure. Plus, I love Pitkin, and the entire eastern slope of Altman Pass (Hancock, Romley, Mary Murphy Mine, St. Elmo, etc.)
I have decided that I really want to tinker with this region in MSTS when the ol' South Park urge is upon me.
Here's the thing, though, I want enough route to actually have some good operational potential, not just a small scenic diorama. Going from Pitkin to Alpine Tunnel won't accomplish that goal. (Which was my original DSP&P mini-route idea after our return from Colorado last Sept.)
No, I need to do some research, and see where the helpers were stationed, how far they ranged, and how the mines were worked on the western and eastern slopes. (Where did any mine locals operate out of?)
I would then model from between those points, be it Pitkin to Romley/St. Elmo, etc... or Gunnison to "??". THIS will give me plenty "to do" to help encourage me should the idea get that far.
That so, I will likely hit the DSP&P email group and enquire about the operational practices of the above region during the 1880's.
Also in regards to this idea, I am seriously considering taking the time to create the DM tiles needed to cover the entire DSP&P line and using DEMEX, download the NED Seamless it would take as a "just in case" for any future expansion.
SO there you have it, some MORE madness by the ULTIMATE MSTS MADMAN!
Ah, the joy of a cheap hobby for such a rubber gauger as I am! (V scale is super-cheap!)
Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:09 AM
Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:52 PM