Sunday, May 2, 2010
It's interesting, when I first located the place for the urban area on the layout I had in mind some scene with a number of 30s style buildings, a gas station and a car-wash. But, I guess it never grabbed my imagination enough to see through its construction. Later I started kitbashing these retro-future buildings and, well, they seemed more interesting to build a city around, albeit one that never existed and never could or will exist. Is it sci-fi, retro, fantasy, or just plain wrong for a model railroad that isn't a model railroad - can't say that I know, but it seems interesting and I'm curious to see where it goes.
The Square is built on a piece of 1/4-inch acrylic cut to fit the opening defined by the roads and track roadbed. I used acrylic because of its dimensional stability. The railroad is in the basement and it's subject to variations in humidity, so the acrylic provides a solid base that will resist those fluctuations. The part of the train-table where the base will be placed had some circular holes drilled in it so the sheet can easily be removed pushing up through the holes. I may add some smaller ones later to accommodate lighting.
Using this way to build the town it is possible to have several towns that could fit in the same place as long as they had the same shape base. This makes for lots of photo possibilities for new ideas.
I've started with the Deroalow, Amtronic ranch and Art Deco Chapters as the cornerstones of the Square. They're attached with small drops of superglue to hold their bases to the acrylic. I figured if the drops were small enough, they'd be securely held in place, but could be sliced off at some later time if I wanted to change things up. Well, it turns out I made a mistake in the placement of the Deoralow and had to test my theory and slice it off. It wasn't too hard, but I did damage one corner of its base in the process - nothing that can't be cleaned up when I do some more scenicing.
The remaining big empty space is going to be filled with a station for picking up passengers.