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Discussion Starter #1
I have one small area (~2.5' x 1.5') on the railroad, The Badlands, where nothing seems to grow. The area is adjacent to the discovery of the stegosaurus dig and is shown to the left of the hopper car. It was recently determined that the reason that nothing seems to grow here is because the area is a natural tar pit.


Excavation into the "Terrapin Tar Pits" has revealed bones from all manner of creature from the Jurassic Period. The area will be fenced off and a walkway around the central pit will be installed. In the manner of the La Brea Tar Pits, that I used to visit as a child, mock-ups of two dinosaurs will placed into the tar as a simulation of the way things may have been during the Jurassic.


The Diplotocus is equipped with a motion detector and will roar whenever a train goes by (if turned on). Additionally, a T-Rex also with a motion sensor, will roar if visitors get to close to the vignette.
I cut off the feet and using the belt sander, leveled the figure a bit and used Liquid Electrical Tape to represent the dinosaur stuck in the tar. This way I can set the dinosaur in-place during open house and the sound/sensor unit will not sit out all the time.






The "tar" is a piece plexiglass that is painted gloss black. I'll use washers, beads, and more of the Liquid Electrical Tape to represent ripples and bubbles in the tar.



The link will take you to the La Brea Tar Pits video and you can see what I have in mind. Of course the dinosaurs were extinct for 65 million years before the La Brea Tar Pits formed.

The La Brea Tar Pits, An Urban Mystery
 

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Dinos and trains, what a great idea! Should be a great bit on the layout.

Best,
TJ
 

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I love the dig site in your landscape. Cool idea. Kind of funny I cook Chili in small time cook offs and for gatherings in the back yard and the name of my chili is Dinosaur Chilie.

Pj
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just remember that $30 worth of modified "toys" and a little innovation can bring far more smiles to the face of a child than a $300 scratch-built structure or a $3,000 Accucraft loco.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Work continues.


I've added the walkways with sand glued down around the perimeter of the pit. Sand will also be added to the plexiglass to meet this and a chainlink fence will be added. Bones from a recent excavation will be displayed in that squared off area next to the rock and a T-Rex will be added.


I found glass beads that have an oily sheen to represent bubbles only needing me to fill in a hole. I ground away part of some of them to make them look like they are emerging from the tar. It is hard to grind glass beads and I broke as many as I made (maybe more), but at $2 for more than I'll even need, who cares. Some will be suspended over the tar using black nails.


The ripples are a portion of a grommet used on tarpaulin. At this point I've yet to paint the top surface of the plexiglass and will probably give it a light coat of gloss black to tie everything in, then glue on the beads so as not to loose their sheen.


Close-up.


Proximity to Gila Bend station and stegosaurus dig.
 

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That's so sad, little Dino needs our help!
I think I'd rather see bones...
Nice tar

John
 

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John Allen, the old days . COOL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Linda was riding me that the ripples in the tar should consist of several concentric rings as it bubbles to the surface. Hmmm., OK, we can do that too. Some Liquid Electrical tape poured around a modified computer fan "screen" and voila! Be sure to coat your working surface with Vasoline or such.
 

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All this business about trapping critters in tar reminds me of a very old, very corny joke. But it does have a reference to trains, so I will subject you to it.

A man rushes into a hardware store and says to the clerk, "Quick, sell me a mousetrap. I've got to catch a train!"

The clerk replies, "Sir! They don't make them THAT large!"



Sorry, couldn't resist,
David Meashey
 

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Posted By Dave Meashey on 15 Mar 2013 07:49 AM
All this business about trapping critters in tar reminds me of a very old, very corny joke. But it does have a reference to trains, so I will subject you to it.

A man rushes into a hardware store and says to the clerk, "Quick, sell me a mousetrap. I've got to catch a train!"

The clerk replies, "Sir! They don't make them THAT large!"



Sorry, couldn't resist,
David Meashey


-----David,

That is so corney, I actually chuckled. Good going.

:)

Pj
 

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David,

> "Sir! They don't make them THAT large!"

That never gets old!

Best,
TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #15
With the discovery of the tar pits, the Tortoise Town Safety Council determined that fencing must be added both to protect the public as well as the find. To meet these ends, an 8-foot high chain link fence was installed with seating for the public to watch the excavation of the tar pit.


The Town Council also determined that the excavation of the site should become a public attraction and erected masonry dinosaurs depicting life in the Jurassic to draw in the public.


A T-Rex is also under construction and should be delivered shortly. More sand will be brought to the site to ensure that the tar does not overflow its embankment.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Work continues.


They have now discovered a new set of bones in the tar and have excavated and shored the excavation. Dan adds boards on the soft earth to keep the wheelbarrow from sinking in.


The dinosaurs have been erected and a Triceratops will be added for the kids to climb on (outside of the fence), and perhaps another preditor or a pack of raptors will be added to the display within the fence on the shore, if I find what I like.


Placards will be placed on the fence/stands describing what each dinosaur is and its size, and warning people to "PLEASE KEEP OFF THE STATUES!" (Only scale dinosaurs are used.)


All of the sand is glued down using a TiteBond III/water mix and India ink is added give the oily color and a very natural look.


I don't think I've seen anyone model a tar pit so remember that you saw it here first.










Prototype/inspiration:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
1/8" mesh (3" scale) screen from Orchard Supply Hardware for shielding out really small critters. The roll is 4" wide (8-feet high scale) and 25 feet (600 Feet scale) long.
 

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This is a really neat idea Todd, looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It's getting close. I'm just waiting for a pair of raptors and some figures out of China now.

What child is not going to go crazy when he/she sees this? Maybe they will even learn something and this could help promote the hobby and inspire a bunch of scientists for the next generation. If you want to use dinosaurs on your railroad without looking too hokey..., well...






This one might be just a bit too big to get it under the fence.
 
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