Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rusty Spike Ceremony

Friday was the Rusty Spike ceremony. The tracks and locos were cleaned and readied for showing off. The layout board was hauled up from the basement to the living room. During the course of the evening many trains were run, stories told and drinks drunk. So, with that final event, this year's train season comes to a happy end, and this will be the last post for the year. Hopefully I'll be back next year for more. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Paving the streets

I'm working on 'paving' the streets. That is, inserting styrene pieces in the track to simulate streetcar track in the streets. I'm using a combination of Walthers street inserts and styrene sheets cut to fit.

Years ago at the beach

As I make progress on the layout, scenes start to come to mind.

Friday, December 9, 2011

President’s Choice Organics Caboose

I liked this little P.C. Organics caboose, and wanted to run it on the layout, but I thought it needed a little sprucing up first. I should mention before getting into the details of the upgrade that this thing is more a toy than a model for serious model railroaders, so it doesn’t have the basic detail that is commonplace on today’s model equipment. Several years ago the Loblaws grocery chain sold HO-scale train sets around Christmastime. One year they featured a set that contained cars printed with logos and advertisements from their then new Organics line of products that featured, you guessed it, organic foods. Well, we eat lots of organic vegetables, so it seemed like a natural match and I bought one. Most of the cars aren’t anything special, and are rather bland, but I’ve always thought the design of this caboose was well done. And as luck would have it, while I was thinking about how to upgrade the caboose I had from the set, I saw another one for sale in the used items bin at my local hobby store for $2.99, which I immediately bought so I’d have a spare in case I messed up - which is my code for accidently broke ! - the one I had on hand.

Basically all I did was a little painting, changed out the horn-and-hook couplers, and added some window glazing. Not a lot. It didn’t change it into a highly detailed, prototypically accurate prize-winner, but it cranked up its look a bit to make it somewhat more believable, and a little more interesting to look at. These simple changes can improve many older resale items and cast-offs into more interesting models, but one can’t expect miracle transformations.

The first step is to pry it apart and separate all the pieces. Nothing is glued to together, so this step is fairly easy. Turns out that is the hardest part, and the rest is even easier (in no particular order):
  1. Paint the inside of the body flat black. This reduces the translucency of the body giving it a little more solid appearance as well as obscuring lines of sight into the interior space.
  2. Paint the doors, window frames, chimney, and end hand-rail assemblies flat aluminum.
  3. Paint the body-mounted hand rails and rear platform safety chains flat yellow.
  4. Paint the roof-top walkway flat aluminum, and wash it with thinned flat black to make the grid stand-out a bit.
  5. Paint the underside of the floor assembly with a loose mixture of flat aluminum, flat black and brown.
  6. Pop out the horn-and-hook couplers and replace them with Kadee knuckle couplers.
  7. Put a thin plastic backing behind the molded holes – inside the body – to form the red end lights, paint the resulting cup bright red and then fill with Micro Krystal Klear to form the light.
  8. So, I lied a little, there is one tricky part to this conversion. The fore and aft windows on the cupola don’t have ledges. Meaning, any glazing added won’t have the affect of sealing off the body to the elements. I had to cut some styrene pieces and glue them in to serve that purpose; however, I cheated and didn’t fit them so they’d be level and seamless with the top of the roof. I merely inset them. This seals things off, but in a prototype this would create an artificial tray where rain and snow would collect.
  9. Cut and glue clear plastic glazing into the window openings.
  10. Add black cardboard view blockers to the interior so viewers can’t see right through the body. This, along with the inside walls painted black and glazing added to the windows gives it a little more solid appearance.
  11. After snapping all the parts back together, I applied some loose weathering washes to the body and undercarriage to make it look like it has been in service for awhile.
That’s it. It’s not a perfect model, but it’s interesting. To wrap up, I thought I’d end with this ode to vegetables by Brian Wilson from his Smile album.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fair weather excursion car

In the fall of last year I accompanied Debra to a conference in Orange County. While she conferred, I went to the beach and visited some model train stores. I think I visited a total of three and they were all good. I saw the Bachmann Excursion Car at one. It was one of those things that spoke to me even though I didn’t have a specific plan for it, so I went ahead and bought one - and they were on sale too, so all was good.

This conversion was dead simple and all it involved was cutting off the part I didn’t like all that much: the roof. Its molding seemed too simplistic, and it was so large it blocked the view of the interior as well as casting it in a perpetual gloom. It was easily severed with sprue cutters in a few satisfying seconds. My dremel and some sanding sticks made easy work of cleaning up the stubby remains on the main body.

After the surgery I did a little painting. Green on the passenger bench to match the green of the diesels in my fleet; a loose brown and black wash on the floor boards and externals; and some rusty red and black wash on the undercarriage. The undercarriage might get a little more weathering in the future depending how it looks in photos.

The only addition I made was an advertising sign-board on both sides of the body. It’s made from 0.012 inch styrene. The Highlander decal came from a 1/24 scale car kit, and the 4 is from a 1/72 scale model airplane kit.

All it needs are some paying passengers and a sunny day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Toronto's Bloor Street Viaduct circa ?

I came across this old postcard in the family files. It's hard to imagine the Bloor Street Viaduct ever so empty, but it's a great image.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Building the beach

I hummed-and-hawed a long time before getting started on the beachfront scene. I was very hesitant about cutting into the Styrofoam until one evening I simply picked up my saw and started hacking away. Although it turns out I cut a little too deep, it was easily fixed up. If you’ve got a similar task ahead of you, don’t hesitate, just get started, it’s better to make a start and deal with what happens than to wait for a magic moment when you think you can do it perfectly.

[I cut the styrofoam out in small chunks]

The beachfront shapes are formed through a trial-and-error approach of gluing small Styrofoam pieces into areas that need building up, grinding down the foam to approximate shapes with my Dremel tool, layering in wood filler and poly-fila, grinding that to shape once dry, and repeating the filling and grinding process – with a bit of sanding near the end - until the resulting shapes are to your liking.

[Here it is after all the rough cutting is finished]

[Beginning to shape the terrain with foam blocks and filler]

On the cleanliness side, I draped a plastic drop-cloth over the layout to prevent the dust and particles from messing up the other areas. I also wore a breathing mask during the grinding and sanding operations. And don’t be dumb like me and wear corduroy

[In the midst of shaping]

As I mentioned, I used tubes of wood filler and poly-fila for the shaping media. Turns out I had some partially used tubes in the workshop left over from some other projects, so I decided to use them up on this project instead of letting them go to waste. It’s sort of an expensive way to shape the terrain since new tubes from the store aren’t cheap. If you’re starting completely from scratch, I’d probably use some sort of powdered plaster mix to keep costs low if you have a lot of terrain building to do. However, if you just have a small amount as I did with this beachfront, although buying filler in tubes isn’t very cost effective, the ready-made stuff doesn’t require mixing, and the squeeze tube makes it easy to apply – can’t beat the convenience. I should also note that before applying any of this stuff to the layout, I slathered a bit on some foam scraps and let it dry to make sure it bonded solidly to the foam and didn’t eat away at it or show any other adverse chemical reactions.

In the centre section I glopped on the poly-fila a little too thick. This causes a mesh of cracks – not deep ones though – to form on the surface as it sets up and hardens. This wasn’t a big problem because my plan was to surface the shapes with sand and the cracks would be concealed in the process. Also, it takes much longer for the poly-fila, or any filler for that matter, to harden when it’s put on too thick. To help you determine if it’s hard enough for the next stages of work, you need to both press it periodically to determine its hardness, and also ascertain if it’s cool to the touch. If it is, that means it’s still setting up and not ready. If it’s at room temperature it’s ok. I had to leave the thickest portions for 4 or 5 days (!) until I was satisfied it was ready, but I was probably being too cautious. So, if I had to do this again I’d be more patient and build the terrain up in relatively thin layers.

[This is the sand after sieving]

The terrain that will make up the sandy beach is painted with Tamiya Flat Earth, and areas that are to be covered with water are simply painted black.

[This is what got removed from the sand!]

To prepare for pouring the water, I had to add a fascia to the front of the scene in order to hold the water material in. This was made from pieces of 0.020 inch styrene glued to the layout’s Styrofoam substrate. It was also painted black.

The sand I used was some I collected at a beach last summer. After letting it dry out, it has to be sieved to remove over size debris. I bought a cheap kitchen sieve for this job – take it from me, in order to maintain harmony in the house, don’t use one from your kitchen I’m always surprised by how much stuff gets separated out during the sieving process. The sieved sand isn’t strictly HO scale, but it has a passable look.

[After shaping and painting, but before applying the sand]

Bonding the sand to the terrain was a two step process. The first part simply involved painting the terrain with a thin, even coat of white glue and pouring the sieved sand onto it. Don’t worry about getting the sand shaped properly. Just make sure that everything is covered. When it’s all in place, tamp it down lightly with your fingers. That’s it. Let it dry for a day.

The next day I came back and used an old paint brush to sweep the excess sand into the ocean area and then scoop it into my stock bag so as not to let much of it go to waste. Once I’d scooped up as much as I could, I vacuumed up all the remaining loose sand from the terrain, ocean bed, and anywhere else it had gotten into. It didn’t look too bad after step 1. And, actually, you could stop here if you want to, but the next step adds some tones and helps seal the surface.

[Applying the first sand covering]

The second step is basically just sprinkling some loose sand, along with a little ground dark green scenic foam, and gluing it in place with some thinned white glue. The glue mixture is just a 50 / 50 mix of white glue and water with a few drops of 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) added. The IPA is used to partially reduce the surface tension of the water in order to help make it flow better. Without the IPA, when you drop the glue / water mix on the terrain it will clump up into balls and may or may not eventually soak into the terrain. So, lightly sprinkle the beach with sand and ground foam to get the look you’re after, use an eye-dropper to carefully wet a section of the surface with some IPA straight from the bottle (this further helps the water / glue mix soak deep into the scenic material by breaking down the surface tension of the water), and then, using another eye-dropper, apply the water/glue mix. Don’t worry if you get a few little white puddles here and there –it’ll eventually soak into the terrain. If you get big puddles, I normally use a little bit of paper towel soak up the excess. Don’t scrub the surface with the paper towel, just gently touch the surface with it and let its absorbency do the work for you – this way you minimize disturbances to the surface material. Work your way across the beach until all the loose material is glued down. I normally leave it for a day to dry, but you may find it dried after just a few hours depending on the local humidity.

[The first sand application is drying]

Well, that’s it for beach building. I’m moving on to pouring the ocean, but for now, I’m going to take a toast break:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Victoria Park Streetcar Turn-around

Last weekend Debra and I met her friend and colleague mc for breakfast on Sunday. The directions mc gave me to find the cafe were simply "it's on Queen Street East near the Victoria Park streetcar turn-around". And it was.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A replacement for the lost E.L.Moore truck

Awhile back I did a kitbash of a VW microbus in order to build a truck similar to the one frequently seen in E. L. Moore building construction articles in the '70s. And later that same year I lost it while taking some photos outside. I've been getting ready to build a replacement, but last weekend I stumbled across this one at George's. It's a VW T2 Pick-up from Brekina Automodelle in Germany, and it's a great little model. It needs a little weathering here-and-there, but it's just the replacement I've been looking for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where It's At

I realized I haven't posted in a while. It's been a crazy few weeks. I haven't gotten as much done as I'd hoped, but I have started on modelling the beachfront scene - I plan to have a detailed post on that later. I don't think the layout will be completed by Christmas, but trains will be running, the beachfront should be done, and maybe the major parts of the urban portion, as well as the rural, Moorian area, should at least be sketched out by then.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Card stock scribing techniques

I came across this video awhile back when I found some videos about the Madder Valley Railway and the Pendon Museum. This video describes how Pendon model builders simulate brick using a scribed card technique. It strikes me as quite labourious, but the results appear to be well worth the effort. When I first saw this video it reminded me of the scribed siding on card technique John Allen used to construct his famous engine house back in 1948. I've been studying his article and I've got this feeling that I'd like to try and build that engine house using the same techniques he used. Sounds like a good project for the deep winter months ahead.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last train to Stoufville

This was inspired by last summer's Matchbox Jaguar Mk 10 photo, but with apologizes to the Monkees.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


That painting teacher who was concerned about ‘two-ness’ also taught us that interesting paintings should incorporate different sorts of contrasts: colour, shape, shadowing, texture and so on. One way to make these things more visible while the painting is being painted is to look at it turned upside-down or sideways. This can make bland passages stand out because the eye isn’t as fixated on decoding what it thinks is the content. Well, I can’t really turn the layout upside-down - other than in a picture - but it’s pretty clear that its skyline is more-or-less dead level; hence, without much height contrast it’s a bit boring. I’ve got a small 6-storey high-rise under construction on my workbench, but I’m embarrassed to say it’s been there in a semi-built state for quite a long time. Regardless, I think I need to consider height contrasts a bit more to liven things up. Also, I want to make sure that some scenes partially obscure or hide the trains at times while they’re in motion for a little “now-you-see-‘em-now-you-don’t” contrast. I think many layouts achieve contrasts in height and visibility through mountains, bridges and tunnels. Since my layout is flat, I need to use some other means.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Scenes develop

Progress is slow, but steady. Most of the recent work isn’t very photogenic: figuring out DCC and getting the various locos to operate, adding street overlays, adding a program track and fixing the ‘two-ness’ of the track plan, beginning to add the wild grass areas, and many other odds-ands-ends associated with just building. Things are also slow because I don’t have a master plan for the scenery and operations. I spend a lot of time just looking at things and trying out ideas. Fun, but slow.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Saga of the Magic Time Watch

The paragraph that accompanies this excellent video at YouTube says that it was created by Element X Creative as the sponsor reel for The Association of Independent Commercial Producers Southwest 2011 show. While you're watching this I'm going out for Cracker Jack. And while I'm gone keep a look out for the DeLorean time machine.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The teahouse and the saloon

I came across this video while browsing at Micro / Small Layouts. In some ways it's an almost perfect layout. The second video was one I found browsing YouTube recommendations associated with the first video - I rather like the railcar.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Music inspired by the Gorre & Daphetid

I recently stumbled across this musical composition by Joseph Sowa inspired by John Allen's Gorre & Daphetid model railroad.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Three palms and four cars

[No, palm trees can’t grow outside in Ontario – not unless they were some sort of genetic hybrid that lets them survive a January -40C night! But I thought Grilles should have palm trees, so in they went. The parking lot planters are leftover tire halves from the Gran Turismo project – they seemed appropriate for a converted gas station. Also, while searching through my stash of model tires and wheels I came across some broken Hot Wheels wheels which I think should be useful in restoring some of the broken specimens I was taking pictures of last summer.]
I added a few details to Grilles as preparation for siting it on the new layout. First though the parking lot was cut back from its odd shape to a square so that it fit properly in its new location. The B/A sign is a reference to Grilles’ gas station roots (my father worked at B/A for many years so it’s also got nostalgic value to me). A Walther’s telephone booth was added to the parking lot in case Clarke Kent finds himself in town on vacation. The cars are all fairly modern and were all given license plates and a little black wash for highlighting details before being rubber cemented into place. When placed on the layout, the upper deck dining area will have a great view of the ocean, and being right next to a street car station and book store, this place should be a big money maker

Monday, October 31, 2011

New beginnings

This building has been sitting on my workbench for quite awhile. I was thinking of using it as a photo prop while I was taking the Hot Wheels pictures last summer – but the idea drifted away and it continued to sit there. However, it did kick-off some meandering thoughts about finishing it. And after awhile, looking for a little lightweight diversion, I started to pick at it and do a little here and a little there. Finally it started to come together into something interesting.

Before painting the building I washed it thoroughly with soap and water. Debra saw it drying by the kitchen sink and wondered why a mouse had nibbled on the walls. Well, it does kinda look like some hungry rodent mistook it for stale cheese!

Once dry, the actual painting I did on this building is much simpler than that shown on the box – I had to take into account my limited skills and patience with this project. I first painted all the walls with hull red, the doors green, and the roof a loose mixture of light and dark gray. Once the walls were dry I glopped on white paint and then wiped off most of it before it dried in order to just fill the mortar lines. Once they had dried, I dry brushed a little brown and rust on the bricks to provide a little colour variation. Then things got a little ragged. I proceeded to put on successive layers of loose mixtures of browns, grays and black to add weathering and depth. I stopped when I got to a point that seemed ok to me.

After all that the roof still didn’t look quite right to me. Some toy solar panels I had on the shelf above the work bench caught my eye and seemed to fit well on the non-bombed out section of roof tiles, so on they went. The windmill came in the same set as the solar panels and seemed to be a fit for the addition. I then rummaged through my stash of left-over detail items to see if anything else might fit this scene. I added a ladder to get up on the roof to maintain the solar panels and windmill. And inside I added an Airstream trailer for the home of the new resident. The walls and roof of the brick building act as something of a pre-buffer against the elements.

Even though it isn’t HO-scale it doesn’t look out-of-place on the new layout. I’m trying out different locations amongst the E. L. Moore buildings and it seems to fit in just fine.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Miniatur Wunderland

A few weeks ago Debra went to Munich on a business trip. Among other things it got us to talking again about visiting the Miniatur Wunderland attraction in Hamburg. It's another place on our wish list of places to visit one day, but in the meantime the promotional video makes for a good 5 minute trip. I first heard about the Wunderland in the the spring from a friend who forwarded me a link to a video of its model of an international airport. It's incredible and I figured I wouldn't be doing the Wunderland justice without showing it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boston & Maine on Regional Contact

After finding videos of the Madder Valley Railway and the Pendon Museum on YouTube I dug around to see what else I might find there. As luck may have it, I found these two videos of the Ottawa tv show Regional Contact's profile of Mike Hamer's Boston & Maine model railroad. I had the opportunity to meet Mike around a year-and-a-half ago, and he generously gave me an extensive tour of his layout and workshop. It's an excellent layout, and this show just gives a taste of the whole operation.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Will it go round in circles?

Will it go round in circles? Yeap, it will – and on a modified dog-bone track to boot . Ok. Well. This is the first song that jumped out of my radio early Monday morning as soon as I started my car. A great way to begin the work week. An even better way to end it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Puzzle city

I decided to build the city section like a jigsaw puzzle. There are two types of pieces: 1) buildings on bases that aren’t glued to the board; and 2) landscape pieces that are glued down and butt against the building bases to hold them in place. For transport, the buildings can be removed so they don’t get damaged. The landscape pieces are held in place with rubber cement so that if I want to change the arrangement I can peel them from the board fairly easily. On the other hand, all the plastic track inserts used to make the snap track look like it’s embedded in concrete are superglued in place after some sanding and fitting to make sure they don’t interfere with the operation of rolling stock.

After looking at the evolving urban area on the left, and the Moore-ian country area on the right, I realized the train board was developing what one of my old painting instructors called ‘a two-ness’. This was a term she applied to paintings that had two objects front and centre without any connection to each other or other visual elements– it makes the painting look un-unified. Since I also need a program track for the DCC system, I plan on running a track from the right-side industrial area into the centre, ending close to the urban area. Along with the ocean front, scene transitions, and some careful placing of the track inserts in the straight section of the main loop, the passing siding and the new central straight, I think this additional track section will help join things up into a unified whole. This new track section will also create a switching problem which may add to operational interest: it’ll take two short locos to move cars into the central straight section. Certainly not prototypical, but it should add to the game play aspect.

[I’m cannibalizing the old layout for parts. I plan to salvage as many as possible and then disassemble the train board. I’m going to modify its wheeled stand a little so it can be used as a stand for the new layout when it’s in the basement since it won’t be permanently living upstairs. It’s sad to see the old layout go, but I’m liking the way the new one is developing. This blog was named because the old layout measures 6 x 5 feet and had 30 square feet of train space for what I then imagined was going to be a layout situated in Ontario – well, at least have many visible characteristics I associate with Ontario. Hence, the ’30 Squares of Ontario’ name for this blog. Maybe I’ll need to rename it. Maybe I’ll just keep it as a relic.]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cloud Blimps

{Passing Cloud sourced from}

Any article that touches on both trains and airships is sure to get my attention. I stumbled across this one last week at It was designed by Tiago Barros as an entry for the "Life at the Speed of Rail" competition. One might question the practicality of a vehicle that floats along wherever the wind blows it with all its passengers sitting on top, but I admire the out-of-the-box thinking.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Street car track beginnings

I've started to place some buildings and begin the actual work of railroad building. I began with the urban area and simply used the spur on the left side as the place to begin. I did a lot of experimenting with different configurations, and eventually settled on that shown in the photos.

The street insets in the track are plastic items from Walthers. I bought them sometime ago and used a few to build the urban area surrounding the old Scarboro Square. I salvaged what I could from the old layout and supplemented with the leftovers I had on hand.

I made a few modifications to some building bases in order to get things compactly placed. I cut the parking lot off Scarboro Square Station, and Grille's base was squared up. I wanted all the building bases to be level with the street insets in the track. This meant using 0.080 inch styrene to boost all the bases. This gives a nice level and contiguous surface.

This work is quite interesting, but is progressing slowly since I'm spending a lot of time adding details as I go and thinking and playing with ideas for this and the other parts of the layout.

Friday, October 21, 2011

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding

Early one morning on the drive to work this week I heard the Elvis Costello version of (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding on the radio. I hadn’t heard it in a very long time, and it sounded as great as always.

For some reason, when it finished, Train in Vain by The Clash popped into my mind. A browse through YouTube found what looks like this bootlegged video:

Further browsing dug up the later cover version by Annie Lennox. It’s on her Medusa album and I’d highly recommend it. It’s all covers, but I never found myself saying the originals were done better.

Ok, I admit the link to trains is tenuous, but ending the week with a little good music is hard to knock.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The part that got away

Two years ago I had to replace my old, weather-beaten pumphouse – well, pumphouse is a rather regal term for what amounts to a big box that shelters a pump from the elements. After lots of humming and hawing and cogitating about what to replace it with, I finally settled on simply buying a small RubberMaid outdoor storage shed kit, cutting out the floor, and popping the whole thing, kit-and-kaboodle, over top of the pump on the foundation where the previous pumphouse stood (and if my wife is reading this, it should be noted that she did play a big role in figuring out which of the many shed kits that are on the market to buy when I couldn’t make up my mind ). It worked like a charm and has been through two winters so far. It still looks and works as good as new.

And after those two winters I still had the section of floor I cut out stashed in my junk pile.

Well, this last summer I finally realized that my junk pile was going on forty years old, and was starting to make our place look like a candidate for an episode of Hoarders! I separated out some useable stuff, and carted the rest off to the junk-yard (10 trips and 3 Saturday mornings in all with our poor cars stuffed to the gills with ratty old junk).

My regret is that I took the floor section on one of those fateful trips and I have it no more.

Even though I was hauling junk to the dump I was also thinking about how to build the base for the layout. That scrap floor section was speaking to me. It was light. It was rigid. It had lots of interstitial spaces for plumbing wires through. It was plastic. All good things. But it wasn’t completely flat – if it was a piece of wood for sale in a store, I would have put it back on the shelf and selected another. In this case it went to the dump. My mistake. I now think I could have reworked it a bit to make it a little flatter, and maybe useable.

I obviously used a more traditional approach to building the layout base. It’s got the flatness and rigidity I want, but it weighs more than I’d like. Weighs way more. In retrospect, I’d try an experiment where the upper surface of the train board would still be made of 2-inch thick high density construction foam board, but the lower box frame used for stiffening and wiring infrastructure would be something like the floor scrap from the pumphouse.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Layout construction scrapbook 2

{The basic box frame has a centre beam - as shown in the photo- and a shorter one perpendicular to it that is shown in some later photos. Again, the frame isn't warped as it appears in the photo. It's a distortion of the lens.}

{On the bottom I attached a piece of 1/2 inch particle board to improve rigidity and help keep the frame straight and true. However, it increases the weight of the board a lot. In a later post I plan to give a weight breakdown of the whole board, and show some areas where improvements can be made in future builds - live and learn :-) }

{I attached the hardboard substrate to the pine frame with 3/4 inch screws. Also, a number of holes were drilled into the frame for snaking wires through.}

{Almost all the substrate boards are attached.}

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Layout construction scrapbook

{I was totally old-school in layout planning. No fancy CAD programs, just laying out track on the back patio trying out ideas that seemed good.}

A few pictures from the construction of the layout board.

{After a while my back kept suggesting that I should work on the layout plans on the deck where I wouldn't have to bend over as much :-) I also worked on fixing the deck this past summer and it was partially finished when I took this picture.}

{That's the main frame leaning against the wall. It's made from 1x3 pine - as straight as I could find at the local home reno store.}

{The substrate is made from 1/4 inch hardboard. I used 4, 2x4 foot pieces mainly because they would fit in my car and a whole 4x8 sheet wouldn't.}

{This is an initial test fit of the frame and substrate pieces to make sure things were shaping up properly. The frame doesn't actually have a weird warp in it, my garage floor is far from level!}