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The world of model railroading and other hobbies

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's been a while

Time to get back to it. OK ... you've chosen your scale, picked a spot - preferrably a place the wife or significant other does not have a problem with - and your benchwork is in place. You might even know what type of layout you're going to build - switching, point-to-point or just a really big loop so you can watch long trains stretch out kind of like the real thing.
The next thing you need to decide is whether there will be elevated areas on the layout. If so, is it the track or the landscape or both that will be set at different heights?
If you're planning to have your trains go up a hill - and we all know what goes up must come down - consider your options.
Perhaps you have the knowledge, skills and patience I lack. In that case, you could opt for an open-grid style of benchwork utilizing wood on which the track will sit to create the gentle slopes that your tiny engineers will navigate while traveling from Point A to Point B - or Point A to Point A or, uh, whatever.
Be careful to stay around the 2 to 3% range for your inclines. Anything more will be unrealistic and difficult for your trains to climb.
Not being one to pull out the slide rule and surveying equipment, opted for something a bit simpler.
Woodland Scenics offers foam risers in grades ranging from 1 to 4%.
They are flexible, easily modified and really easy to use. They attach to your layout base - in my case particleboard - using Woodland Scenics Foam Tack Glue.
Once they are in place, the roadbed (cork or foam as discussed in a previous blog) and track (we all know what that is) can be attached using the same glue or track spikes, if you're so inclined - get it? "Inclined."
Anyway ... The risers are easily hidden using plaster cloth, paint and a host of other items that will be the subjects of blogs to come.
As the weather warms and the skies clear, we hope, There will be less and less time to devote to our worlds in miniature. But on those rainy days, which are certain to return, you might find yourself wanting to carve out a few minutes to spend in your world. I know I will.
Next time, I'll discuss some of those options for hiding the risers and all those other things that make your world seem not so realisitc.



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