The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

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Kegg_Works
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The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:06 pm

Okay, so I've become a little frustrated with parts of my United Verde & Pacific and so I am taking a break from it for a while. I'm not abandoning it, I just need a change of pace. However I am sticking to my theme of Southwest Narrow Gauge, only this time it's a bit closer to home for some of you. So may I present the Mojave & Panamint railroad!

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Now the route is still in development, but I have graded at least the first third of the Right-of-Way. But what is the Mojave & Panamint? Well to answer that, it is one of the most original fictional railroads I've ever come across. The inspiration for the route came from the February 93' issue of Railroad Model Craftsman, or more specifically Craig Tice's imagination.

Mr. Tice has always loved Death Valley and the Mojave desert. Shoot, even you standard gauge guys LOVE it withe the Mojave Subdivision! (which may actually be a part of this route~!! :wink: ) Well when Craig decided to build a model railroad he did some research, rejected reality, and substituted his own. He incorporated the real ghost towns of Valley Wells, CA and Ballarat, CA. He used topographical maps to plot his fictitious ROW and even worked out what the grades would be if it were a real railroad! He put a huge amount of effort into this little railroad and thus created a small HOn3 desert empire, with a grand total of 9 locomotives. (see attached roster, pulled from his now long defunct web site)

This line certainly embodies the essence of the Death and Owens Valley narrow gauge systems. An early interest of Craig's was the narrow gauge N-C-O and Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge and so many of the structures reflect this.

Long story short, I thought it was a cool idea for a railroad, it's not terribly long at 34 miles. A nice little shortline operation. So I figured "Why not" and attempt a version of the route in Trainz. So I gave Curtis a call and asked if he could help me out with a terrain map, which he graciously provided! (Thanks again, Curtis!)

The line starts out at Panamint Junction between the Trona Pinacles and Searles Dry Lake. In theory the M&P interchanges with the Los Angeles & Independence RR (Later SP if I recall correctly).

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Panamint Jct. is still under revision and I'm sure it looks quite desolate. Shame I don't have T:ANE yet as the improved draw distance would REALLY do wonders for this route. It really does have some incredible vistas! Anyway, the line then travels north and curves around the edges of Searles Dry Lake. The year is set between 1905 and the late 19-teens so I don't know what industries would be here (if any) or any sort of population.

The next major stop, and passing point for trains, is Valley Wells which is about a 3rd of the way along the route. Valley Wells was a very important and busy place for the railroad. Here was the only place for water until Ballarat, and unfortunately steam engines NEED water. And there was still Slate Range Pass to contend with. (the next stop and passing point on the line)

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Like Panamint Jct, Valley Wells is VERY much a work in progress. I still need to figure out the industries, such as the Melody Borax Works. But this location will have a large water tank for filling wooden tank cars. Seeing as there's no other natural source for water until Ballarat water is shipped to the summit at Slate Range Pass where the cars are emptied and water pumped into tanks at the pass. The grade leading up to the pass is a moderate 2.5%, or will be once I put some more track down. However once the ROW crests at Slate Range Pass it is a grueling 4% grade downhill as the line moves further north, clinging to the rugged slopes of the Slate Range mountains as it descends into the Panamint Valley. Then the line gently curves across the valley and enters Ballarat from the northwest. The M&P's main engine facility is located here and I imagine it would look something like a much more arid rendition of Como, CO. The roundhouse would be one of the most imposing structures in town. With the tallest being the ore bins which, according to Tice, are supplied by areal tram. I may not have the ore bins in town as Tice has on his track plan, so the line may extend closer to the base of the Panamint Mountains.

I have debated on whether I want to build an extension of the M&P or a separate company entirely for a line going up to Panamint City. However the grade would be insanely steep so some geared motive power might be the only thing to use here. Whether I build the Panamint City Extension or not is still up for debate, but I will certainly build a wagon road there! Now if I could just find a map of the road prior to 1980, since some bad storms flooded the mountains and Surprise Canyon, washing out everything right down to bed rock!! O_o

I've also started reskinning some of Togog's amazing equipment for M&P livery! I'll post some shot of that soon, I promise. I've also started working on reskinning one of his C-16s to represent M&P #4. Dominantly black, but with gold paint with red shadow/sash. I've done what I can with MS paint and have even surprised myself with the end result! Though some parts of reskinning the engine are a bit more confusing. I'd like to add a #4 to the sides of the headlamp and I haven't found the right file for that yet. Nor have I been able to swap out the texture files to give it a Russian Iron boiler jacket instead of black. You'll see what I mean when I post the screens.

Anyway, I know it's a big post but I hope it's caught your interest!
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Kegg_Works
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:30 pm

So, I finally was able to get a few shots of some of the re-skinned content. They're relatively minor changes and some are still in progress. But first up in Mojave & Panamint #4.

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I'm still working on it, but at least I've gotten the right feel for the M&P locomotive livery. Eventually I hope I can give this engine a russian iron boiler jacket to replace the all black one. Add striping to the steam dome, change the roof color to dark or mineral red, and add a gold "4" with red shadow/sash to the sides of the headlamp. Unfortunately I've been unable to locate the files to do this.

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Next up is a boxcar made using togog's DSP&P boxcar. It's a pretty simple re-lettering job, but could use some tweaking. The font I think could be larger for the road name, and I need to add some board lines on the numbers.

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Here we have one of Togog's C&S passenger cars, but re-lettered for the Mojave & Panamint. I have yet to edit the car number(s) as the M&P has a fairly small passenger roster. This will probably be Coach #4 or 5. I would also like to completely re-skin Elvenor's coaches so they have yellow siding with brown roof, trim, and lettering. I would also like to do the same with Ben Dorsey's C&C Caboose. However I've been unsuccessful finding the right files to find the texture map for these models. I was, however, able to make a caboose for the M&P with hopefully more to follow.

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As you can see I've made good use of Togog's equipment. This is his DSP&P Waycar, but re-lettered for the Mojave & Panamint. It still needs some work, as I think the lettering isn't bold enough. So I'll be making several tweaks before I'm satisfied.

I've also started experimenting with different ground textures. I'm still hunting for what not only looks 'right' but what is also accurate to the geographical region. One thing I've noticed is that some of these textures can be a bit "bright" and can be hard on the eyes. So I'm trying to find sandy desert earth, but with a duller hue to lessen the glare.

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One particular challenge is blending the turntable earth with the landscape. I don't know if I can change the ground texture file to better match the landscape, though I have thought of that, I just don't know if that's possible.

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No. 4 heading to the yard lead to be switched over to the depot track to pick up its train. Shame Togog's cars are not industry active with passengers.

Anyway, let me know what you think so far! Hopefully I can lay grade to Slate Range Pass in the next day or so. :wink:
Eat Yer' Beans...
Route Building A.D.D!! :wink:

NormHart
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby NormHart » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:12 pm

Nice stuff! You work fast.

Pencil
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Pencil » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:58 am

That is looking nice!!

For the turntable, if you'd like, send me the kuid of the ground texture you'd like to match and I can reskin it for you.

Curtis

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ferroequine
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby ferroequine » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:14 am

I always liked the M&P it had the look and feel of the desert in a small space.

Have you tried my ground texture: "Dirt - Beneme, California" <KUID:476027:100090>
Beneme is located in the Owens Valley on the SPNG south of Zurich. It should be correct(ish) for the area you're modeling.

I have more textures coming soon, I am swamped with projects so I haven't had time to finish them up. Among the locations I have photographed terrain for texture purposes include: Wabuska NV, Keeler CA, Death Valley, Mina NV, Carrera NV, Goldfield NV (B&G ROW below town). Mina NV Dirt (Mainline ROW) will be the next to go up on the DLS.

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Kegg_Works
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:33 am

Andrew, thanks for the recommendation! I haven't tried that texture out yet, but when I do I'll let you know if I think it will work. Also, while I'm thinking about it, what are your thoughts on the re-skined locomotive so far? I'm trying to make few creative compromises as I can with the livery so that it could be considered period accurate, but at the same time remain true to the inspiration for this route. Craig Tice's HOn3 Mojave & Panamint. He used to have a website, but now it can only be viewed via the "Wayback Machine". And sadly most of the photos for the layout have been lost also. But here is one for one of his 4-4-0s. I know it's hard to make out, but this seems to be the "standard" scheme for the M&P's earlier motive power.

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And here is one of the HOn3 #4:
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I have made a few creative liberties, but if I can figure out how to re-skin the boiler, cab, and headlight, I'll probably remove the number and trim from sand dome. Otherwise I think the numbering will feel redundant.

And Curtis, thanks for offering to re-skin the ground texture for the turn table. As soon as I find one I'm satisfied with I'll give you a buzz. :wink:

As for progress, it's been a little slow. I haven't pushed much further than Valley Wells. I'm hoping to squeeze in a little more progress before heading off to work today.
Eat Yer' Beans...
Route Building A.D.D!! :wink:

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Kegg_Works
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:35 pm

Andrew, that texture you recommended was right one the money!! At least to my eye anyway. :wink:

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I'd like to find a slightly darker shade of this texture or similar to use around structures and industries, so I'll still be playing around with other textures. Hopefully I already have something I can use. :mrgreen:

Curtis, if you can, use the texture that Andrew suggested. I think it's spot on for the project. :D

PS: I have track laid just up to the pass, but it's not graded and a bit sloppy. Once I've refined the ROW a bit I'll get some screenshots. :wink:
Eat Yer' Beans...
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ferroequine
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby ferroequine » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:25 pm

I can probably photoshop a darker version pretty easy. I'll add it to the todo list!

Pencil
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Pencil » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:41 pm

Which turntable are you using?

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Kegg_Works
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:06 pm

Which turntable are you using?
I forget off hand, but I'll let you know when I find out.
Eat Yer' Beans...
Route Building A.D.D!! :wink:

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Kegg_Works
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:17 pm

I belive this is the one, though I think I cloned it and changed the track to 3ft gauge.

KUID:124060:32091

Though it was good that the SG rails are part of the turntable model! That made it a lot easier to convert to dual gauge! :wink:
Eat Yer' Beans...
Route Building A.D.D!! :wink:

Pencil
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Pencil » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:46 pm

Ah, ok - when I make the tan dirt one, do you want it 3' gauge or standard gauge?

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Kegg_Works
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:55 pm

I like having the dual gauge as according Craig's HOn3 track plane notes the turntable as dual gauge. I could probably change that myself, but if you want to I won't stop you. :wink:
Eat Yer' Beans...
Route Building A.D.D!! :wink:

Pencil
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Pencil » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:46 pm

OK, here's the standard gauge version; I'll see what I can do with respect to dual gauge in the next couple o' days

http://carsoncarshops.com/files/desert_turntable.cdp

Let me know if I need to change the material type (add a normal map, etc) to better match the ground texture......

Curtis

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Kegg_Works
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Re: The Mojave & Panamint Railroad

Postby Kegg_Works » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:20 am

Curtis, the turntable is PERFECT! Much obliged for doing that for me! :D
I'll post some screenshots after while when I get the chance. :wink:
Eat Yer' Beans...
Route Building A.D.D!! :wink:


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