I've started putting some buildings into the layout starting with the engine service area. It includes a Model Tech Sanding Tower, the Gloor Craft Coaling Tower now modified for my track spacing and a (I think) Gloor Craft 50k gallon water tank. The tank was one of the three buildings I purchased from Frank Miller. Since all three were on the elevated foam section, I use three different means to attach them to the layout. The sanding tower was built on foam core that was about an 1/8" lower than the surrounding foam so I spaced it up a bit with some cardboard.
After positioning and marking the location on the foam, I used a utility knife to cut the foam down to the OSB. It meant disturbing some of the ballast, but that's okay since it will be replaced up and over the sanding tower's base. I then used regular hot glue to hold both the cardboard spacer and the model. After gluing the model's base was just a little proud of the surrounding foam so I went back and used some light spackling compound to level the area. When it was dry I lightly sanded the area and then used another light coat to finish the job.
This picture shows the cardboard already in place.
For the Coaling Tower, I first glued the plaster footings to the legs of the tower, and then glue them to the foam using hot glue, but it didn't work in this case. I then went back and used Titebond wood glue on the plaster to foam and CA for the legs to the plaster. I then when back and filled all the gaps with DAP filler in a tube. This product is very fine grained and goes on pink and turns white when dry enough to sand. After it dried I cleaned it up with a sanding stick and then went back and added a second coat. This should that coat drying.
I'm going to go back and paint the footings and then ground cover and coal debris with clean it up. Of course I'll post pictures of the finished product.
For the water tank, I used adhesive caulk to hold the footings to the foam. I went this route since I wanted something that was flexible so if it got bumped it wouldn't break free. I made sure it was paintable before using it.
With these in place and their plaster drying I added one more building, the Model Tech Inc, signal tower. This fell in an area that was half foam, sculptamold and then OSB. Again, I cleaned the area, marked out the location by tracing, and then start cutting. In this case, I again used hot melt to hold the model to the table, and the Sculptamold to contour the area into the surrounding terrain. I'm going to have a drive leading up to this building as well as some form of roadway/gravel to the yard buildings.
Here it is in place:
Here's the contouring putty in place and drying. Sculptamold takes days to dry enough for painting and recoating with skin coat. It will need another coat to make it more "driveable."
While all this is drying, I was redesigning the truss bridges for the last time before beginning construction. I'm glad I did since my first attempt have way too many errors which would have been disastrous. Since the bridge will be a deck truss instead of through truss, it can be much narrower and have less truss depth since trains don't have to fit inside of it. Here's the design in elevation and plan. There will be two of these bridges at slightly different elevations. One will be on a 2º slope.
The bridges will be 30 long. These were drawn in 1:1 scale in CorelDraw. The bridge will be built directly over the plans, model RC plane style. I find the Plastruct's instructions to be awful since no full-size diagrams are shown in O'Scale and therefore you must use the cutting table to measure and cut all the members. It's much easier to put the parts directly over the plan, mark them, cut them and then hold them to the plan during gluing. Since I can't print a 30+ inch paper on my printer, I print it as "tiles" and then tape them together. Not elegant, but it works. I suppose I could take it to Kinko's and have them print it out on large paper...
Bottom (top is similar, but has only four bays
End Elevations, True projection. Not, you can use full cross-bracing on a deck truss since nothing must pass inside, unlike a through truss.
Changing the height and width of the truss changed every gusset plate in the model and required the most redesign effort.
I still have to figure out what kind and how I'm going to install a catwalk on the side, but this is not necessarily required.
I'm also starting to think about building a 36", 3-bay engine house. It will be scratchbuilt since nothing like this exists on the market. While I'd love a roundhouse and turntable, the layout (as it stands now) can't handle one, nor can the budget handle the cost of a turntable. I probably can swing a cool engine house.