The problem with a completed model railroad is that it needs no further modeling work. That has been the situation since I finished my 12’-by-8’ model railroad in 2004. It was the subject of an article in OGR Run 214 and nothing has been changed ever since. As shown in the photos, it’s an island-style layout with about one foot of clearance on the north (eight-foot) and east (twelve-foot) sides – just enough so that I can squeeze between the walls and the table to clean the track. As an old-school O gauge model railroader who didn’t anticipate layout photography or the OGR Forum, I didn’t think a backdrop was necessary and, to preserve track access, I still don’t think it’s practical, either at the edges of the table or on the walls.
However, there is an area along the north edge of the layout that presents a modeling opportunity that I’ve been thinking about for years. In particular, the conspicuous brown “window” area on the wall and the flat terrain in the middle of the north edge look unrealistic and don’t make for good photographs. This didn’t matter to me when I built the layout.
Moving the layout to extend the table is not an option. The narrow aisle will be a difficult space in which to work, and anything I put there will have to be easily removable so my track can remain nice and shiny…
I’ve decided to put a piece of one-inch-thick extruded pink foam extending across the “window” between the rear edge of the table and the back of the sill - a space about 14 inches deep by 30 inches wide. This will be a removable flat surface behind the north edge of the layout on which I plan to build structures and scenery for a town scene. Photos show the north edge of the layout before starting the project. Updates to follow as work proceeds.