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Building the Northern Mountian Scenery with Rock Castings and Portals – Part 1 February 25, 2012

Posted by railroadman in 1, Buildings and Scenery, Model Railroading.
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Now that the majority of the layout construction is complete I am moving on to more scenery projects.  This mountain ridge will be the hardest to build as it is difficult to reach, has to be removable, has to encompass three portals two of which are almost on top of each other and all in very little space.  Here is an image to help show the confined area.  Note my very artistic red portal graphics and the tight amount of space on the left side.

Similar to my previous scenery posts, I start by covering all the track with newspaper strips and then with some castings I poured, form the portal walls and plaster them in place.  This part kind of drags on as I have to wait for the hydracal plaster to dry before I can more on so everything is done is a series of steps and days.

Once hardened I can not proceed to start building up the frame of the mountain using thin cardboard strips.  I prefer them as once they are glued to the form I want, they will stay in place even with the weight of the plaster toweling.  Nothing is more frustrating when you are plastering and your crumpled up newspaper starts to cave in.  This step requires lots of small clamps as the next series of pictures will prove.

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Finishing up the Fascia Boards February 24, 2012

Posted by railroadman in 1, Buildings and Scenery, Layout Construction, Model Railroading.
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After finishing up the track work and electrical on the branch line stub end and the new coal industry addition, I am able to install the final fascia boards.  No point putting them on until the track and electric work is complete as they would just be in the way.  Most of this section will not be removable as there are no switches or electrical connections in this area other than a bundle of feeder wires.  Not to mention that this side of the layout is only about a foot deep with plenty of access from underneath.  You will see on the left side a vertical rectangular section that is removable to allow access to the switch machines for the coal mine.

Where the fascia board dips down will be a valley or gorge and the main line lower tack will have a steel deck style bridge and the upper branch line track will have a wooden trestle bridge spanning the space.  There will also be a bricked portal where the fascia is at its highest to enter the mountain in its approach to  the Gainesville coal mines.  There are also walk around throttle plugins to the left of the valley.

Finishing the main control fascia boards seemed to take more time than the other large panels due to the several pieces required and all the cutting and fitting plus all the additional structural support needed.  These panels house the main control panel and the yard throttle panel plus push buttons for a switch motor and are all removable for easy access to the panels and electrical behind.  Note the thin top fascia board is permanent for which the scenery will attach to.  Also you will see on the right the car card holders for the 4 track yard and the town industries.  Below that is the office for train paperwork, etc…

Adding the fascia boards November 30, 2009

Posted by railroadman in Buildings and Scenery, Layout Construction, Model Railroading.
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Now that I have completed the track work, electrical and testing is complete, the only thing to finish off this area other than scenery is the fascia board.  It is nice to get all the tools and clutter cleaned up and make the layout look presentable.  The scenery will come later as I am focusing on finishing most of the track work and start an operating schedule amongst many other small projects that have been put on the back burner.

This image shows the fascia board butting up to the previous fascia boards installed a ways back on the left side and curving around the corner where a portal will be as the branch line track enters the mountain.  Some interesting contours will make for a real nice focal scene with the trestle bridge.

On the right side as show below the grade steepens to blend in with the trestle bridge and the next town up on the mountain.  This piece of fascia board is permanently installed as there is no electrical or mechanical systems behind needing access.

The next section of fascia is removable as all the towns switches and the lower level controls would need to be accessable.  So as to not damage any scenery once installed, I installed this section in two peices.  As seen below I fit the entire peice, screw it in place and then contour the top.  Then I cut a straight line about 2″ to 3″ down from the contour which lines up with the 3/4″ plywood.  This way the top peice secures into the plywood for strength and the scernery towling will form along the contour and will not be distrubed when the lower fascia is removed.  This is the same technique I used for the fascia on Gainesville.

I mounted my throttle plugs and cut in a door that accesses all the layout light switches and power switches and a quick vacuum and I am finished.

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