Friday, August 30, 2013

Scenic Divides

 One of the theories in layout construction is that you only want the viewer to see one scene at a time as they look at the trains. That places the train, then, in some sort of context with the landscape around it. As you have seen in all my pictures, you can see the entire room to this point. So, now I have to divide the room into discrete scenes. This is the beginning of that exercise. I have built a half stud wall that will be faced with a sandwich of Masonite and plastic to form that wall. This shows the curved ending to the wall where the main line will disappear into a tunnel on the lower level. On top of the wall, the tracks hanging from the ceiling form the sky. You can see in this view that the walls diverge with the front one ending, and the rear one starting to proceed to the left.
 This is a view that shows the rear wall moving left along the railroad yard while the right wall curves out to the end of the benchwork and stops. I have purchased 14 sheets of Masonite for the wall backer. I plan to build more stud walls before I hang that material. Key to this exercise is to get the wall vertical and have the curves smooth so I can bend the material without problems and without having the backer climbing up the studs (if it is not vertical). Thus it will take time.
This is a view from the entrance to the yard, of how the wall will appear as it rises up to the bottom of the structure that holds the 6 overhead tracks. I had to build this first to hold the wiring that drops down from the overhead tracks to a control panel that I have to build about where I am standing. You can see the red wire dropping down in the background. So, I will probably stop this as I do some wiring.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More turntable

 Well, I have added about 7 coats of plaster to make the pit somewhat smooth. I used a wet sponge between coats to even things out and then drew a putty knife over the surface when it was wet to get the best finish.
 If you recall, we had a rather grossly oversize pit rail when we started this. I have now made a smaller pit rail using Micro Engineering flex track that I cut in half on a band saw. I sized it off the original one which I had removed. I finished the sizing by putting the rail into the pit and marking it for the final cut.
 It loos so much better making the project worthwhile.
Next, I have to do the painting of the pit, the rail and the wall. More later.

Turntable continued

 Well, as I mentioned, I have to cover the gap between the ring rail base and the pit bottom. Plus, I have to make the pit bottom taper as the real one would have to facilitate drainage. So, I cut a sloped edge to some styrene plastic, sized to fit the base.
 This is how I will use it to screed the plaster as I put it in. In the event, it actually took multiple coats of plaster.
 I drew some circular lines to guide the plastic as I drew it around the ring.
 We are putting our first coat of plaster into place. I roughly shaped it with the plastic as I knew I would have to recoat this several times.
 Here is the big bucket of spackling compound purchased at Lowes. In O scale you go through lots of these buckets!
 Another view of the first coat. I wanted to seal up the gap as a first step.
 Again, using the plastic shaping tool. You can tell I get into my work.
This is a view of the whole pit after the first coat.