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Didn't have much building time today... spent the day getting and configuring our new iPhone 5s's, but did get a little bit of time to fasten another filler piece of foam and then go back to those grade crossings...


I decided that cutting away the ballast and flexibed roadbed at the track and using a straight cut foam roadway will make it much easier to do the crossings, so I tried it out in one area and am pleased with the result. 


New Road Crossing Scheme 1


And here's a piece of foam refit with the square edges.


New Road Crossing Scheme 2


The 3/4" foam is almost exactly the same height as the track plus roadbed so it should make a neat urban-style crossing. It makes a bit of mess removing the ballast, but nothing that the shop vac couldn't handle. 


I also realized that I didn't follow my street plan when I cut the foam yesterday. In my drawing only one street goes to the train station, and no streets cross the tracks at a switch reducing that complication. It makes a 90 and joins the angular street going to the station. I'm making that change tomorrow.


Images (2)
  • New Road Crossing Scheme 1
  • New Road Crossing Scheme 2

I made all the modifications today so all the grade crossings are now flush with the railroad ties. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I marked the location with a sharpie, used a utility knife to make the initial cuts at the edges and scraped the ballast loose. I used the shop vac to remove almost all of the ballast and then went back with the utility knife to trim the Flexibed at the ties.


Then I went and modified all the road foam. I'm running low on the 3/4" which led to a major resource conservation program where all the left over bits and pieces were bonded to the main pieces to get back to the correct length after I had to cut off all the tapered ends.


I also cut a curve into one of the streets that was making a 90º turn, plus cut some quarter-round (inverted) curve fillers that will make the street corners not sharp angles, but have little curves in them.

 City Roadwork 07

There is now a parking area that will sit next to the train station. We're expecting lots of passenger traffic on this line so a nice sized parking lot was a necessity. The drill press vise is providing necessary pressure on the foam filler piece that is now curing. I used Loctite Foam Insulation adhesive to glue all the filler pieces onto their supporting wooden structure underneath. You can see hear that two pieces were hot-glued together to make up the lot. There are no more pieces left that are big enough to do it in one go.

 City Roadwork 08

I decided that it was time to make the cut through the hill separating the inside and outside loops and made a road piece that passes through the cut. It looks quite rough right now, but it will work out once the lumps are filled in and the plaster work is done. There is an upgrade moving towards the foreground since the out loop is still coming down grade at this point. There's a relief cut at the inflection point of the middle road piece to make that transition easier.


City Roadwork 06

With all the road pieces correctly fit, I started measuring and cutting the building sub-foundation foam pieces that will support all the town's structures. I'm able to crawl out on this part of the layout if I'm very careful and put my weight onto the foam pieces, and watch for the unsupported areas.


City Roadwork 05


I should finish making these cuts tomorrow (or Monday). I'll glue them in, but not the street. I'll removed the streets to laminate the road surface off the layout. It will give me much more control, and then I'll re-install them with adhesive. I'm leaving a gap between the building foundation pieces and the railroad which will be sculpted and landscaped a bit. I may put a chamfer on the edges so the transition will be a little softer.


With all this major work out of the way, it will time to start plastering the ravines and get those bridges back in business.


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  • City Roadwork 07
  • City Roadwork 08
  • City Roadwork 06
  • City Roadwork 05

All the foam building foundations are glued. I had to make an adjustment to on piece when I saw that the two sides of the cross street didn't align anymore. Somehow, I had moved something. I cut an inch off one side of the foundation piece and made another 1" piece (longer) to glue to the other side. Problem solved.City Foundation 12

I used various kinds of heavy things to weigh down the building foundations while the foam adhesive cured.  City Foundation 11

I then decided to start trying to fit some buildings into this matrix. Here's the first pass. I'm not sure if I like it. Corner buildings can be a challenge since they have "handed-ness". I also need to keep a space near the front for the Westport Models fire house which I haven't built yet. I also have Gravely and Parkside Diner to build, both of which will probably have interiors too. City Fitting 02

The candy store (foreground) has a loading dock on it's left side do it needs a driveway next to it, and there's a lot of detail so I'd like it to be facing front so you can see it. It also has a full interior. That corner building next to it, doesn't have an interior yet, but it's going to be an appliance store (I have a Miller Engineering "Zenith TV" sign for it), and it's facing the wrong way.


I also have to get some more lighting. This is the darkest area of the layout and all those building fronts are in shadow. I had to jack up the settings on these pictures to bring out any frontal details. I may get an LED track lighting setup since it would use no additional power to speak of.


I need to produce some more curb cuts. I'm going to make a master out of Sculpy and then make a latex mold and cast them out of Hydrostone. They came out pretty well for the gas station.

City Fitting 01

I'm going to try and locate the Idaho hotel "out of town" since it seems like a stand-alone structure with it's own kind of sidewalk. It looks like it should be "on the other side of the tracks" so to speak. 

City Fitting 03

I can imagine sleeping here are being awaken at 5:00 a.m. by a train horn a la "My Cousin Vinny" where he asked "Does that train always come by here at 5:00 a.m.?.


I also want to make the streets as realistic as possible. This means, in addition to weathering, to include manhole covers and storm drains. I Googled "manhole covers" and got a load of pictures. I found a number of them that were direct overhead shots and therefore were complete circles, not ellipses. I then cropped them in Corel PhotoPaint and imported them into CorelDraw and scaled them to 1:48. My research found that they vary from 24" to 36" in diameter so I picked 30". That's 0.63" in O'scale (5/8"). I printed them out on Avery sticky label and after spraying them with fixative, will stick them directly onto the streets in selected locations. 

Manhole Covers


I also looked up Storm Sewer inlets and got a lot of technical info. Westport Modelworks has a cast resin storm sewer inlet which is a possible choice. And Berkshire Valley has a cast resin manhole cover. By making them stickers means not having to cut round holes in the street. From the viewing distance, they should look acceptable as long as I hide the white paper edges.


I'm going to try scratch-building the sewer inlets. I have lots more things to buy for this railroad and I have to manage the budget carefully, so for these small details I'm going to make as many as I can.


Images (6)
  • City Foundation 11
  • City Foundation 12
  • City Fitting 02
  • City Fitting 01
  • City Fitting 03
  • Manhole Covers

All the road surfaces for the city region are done and covered with 4-ply Bristol Board. I basically ended up making my own foam core with 3/4" foam and the Bristol Board adhered with 3M Spray Glue. As you will read many years later, the 3M77 failed and a ceiling leak exacerbated the situation and the road surface buckled badly and all of it had to be replaced. I'm now using Liquid Nails General Purpose Adhesive. Hopefully that will work better. 3M also has a stronger spray adhesive, 3M99 that works better too. 

City Fitting 04

This pic also shows another alignment of the buildings which I like better. It really shows off Saulena's and the Candy store. There's lots of possibilities with this town.


Here's the station area with parking. That was a bit difficult to measure and cut especially since I was on my last piece of Bristol Board and was trying to piece it together to use as many odd-shaped left-overs as I could. It's almost $7 a sheet so I didn't want to waste any of it.


City Fitting 06


Once all the covering and fitting was done, I sanded the raised edges of the Bristol Board and prepared the sheets to fill the gaps between joined covering sheets. 


I put the first two coats of filler and while it's drying decided to make a trial piece of highway to experiment with colors, traffic lines, etc. I took some scrap foam and Bristol Board and created a small piece of road.


I used artists brush-on acrylic paints for this first attempt. Here's the palette.


Roads Pallette


Colors are Slate Gray, Black, White, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and Yellow. The yellow is a nice full-bodied color and looks great for highway lines. I made a warmish gray using some burnt sienna and yellow.


I also spent a few hours researching highway markings and signage. I love the internet. I found great examples of all the signs in Wikipedia, but they didn't explain the size. I then downloaded the entire Unified Manual of Traffic Control Devices which is 892 pages and published by the US DOT.


I was able to import the signs and scale them using my CorelDraw methods and am including them in this post. They are all scaled for O'scale. I'm printing out the signs on Avery 8153 2X4" shipping labels so I can cut them out and stick them onto styrene and make my own signs. I'm going to need a lot of them and didn't want to go broke buying plastic ones. Besides, I know these are dead-on correct size.


I also downloaded and a scaled road paint markings that I can use in various places. 


Center lines on non-expressways are 100mm wide, stop lines in front of intersections are 400mm wide as well as stop lines at RR crossings. They're included at the bottom and are full-size to be printed by you.


I chose to use the road-paint templates as stencils and printed them out, put some spray glue on and then stuck them to some left over Bristol Board and tediously cut them out to make stencils. 4-ply bristol is a bear to cut and it was a slow process that needs improving. Either I'm going to use a less dense sheet or cut the characters out and stick them directly onto the roadway.


After cutting the template I tried it out. It actually worked.


Here's the stencil in place for spraying and then the finished test piece.

Road Painting test 1

 The finished piece has a little overspray, but I really didn't spend much time ensuring that it was really down flat.


Road Painting test 2


Notice, I also stuck one of my paper facsimile manhole covers on the street. Since this "street" was made with two chunks of scrap Bristol Board, I decided to treat one part as if it was a road patch, using a blacker (newer) asphalt color and some gloss black around the edges as if sealed by pitch after the patch was done. The "Rs" have a gap since to make a stencil work with letters with holes, you need some piece of the body left to hold the hole. I will go back and lightly touch up this on the finished job.


Last edited by Trainman2001

I discovered a problem with the laminated Bristol Board to Foam... the water-based fillers that I was using was getting into the joint and causing the spray glue to release a bit at the joints. They're slightly elevated. Normally, any urban street is not only not dead flat, but has all kinds of defects and patch repairs. So the little bit on non-linearity at the joints may not be a detriment once the paint goes on. For the bad ones, I ran a bit of thin CA into the joint and hit it with accelerator to stabilize it. Worst case: they'll be speed bumps.


I added the little corner coves on the roads that will create curved street corners. Street corners don't end in sharp 90º bends. Even so, mine are still way tighter than what appeared in the manual. There it listed street corner radii to be either 10 foot or 30 foot. I used the pavement base that came with Saulena's Tavern (Bar Mills) as a master for the curves, making a template out of card stock to cut little foam concave curves. I glued them onto the road substrate with Loctite Foam Insulation glue, and today started putting layers of filler on them to bring them up to the road surface. 


street corner


There's probably an easier way to do this, but I wasn't aware of anyone publishing anything about how to actually make urban street corners. I cut the corresponding building foundation corners to the convex shape to make these curves.


While the filler was drying I set about doing some bench work for a change by making street signs. I know you can buy many of these, but I need a bunch and this process cost $0.00. 


I used a few different things to make the poles, and since the signs are printed on Avery adhesive labels I just stuck them to thin styrene sheet and cut them out.


I used Plastruct "T" material left over from the bridge building project, plus some small styrene tubing. After gluing the signs to the poles I painted the poles with Tamiya Flat Aluminum and painted the backs and sign edges to match the front. 


Street Sign Production 1

As you can see I also made street signs. Center St. and Main St. were the ones I downloaded from the sign site, but I have 3 streets to name and one goes to the train station, so it's "Station Street" (what else?). I went onto CorelDraw and drafted a sign in the same size and color as the others. Main Street will run fore and back, Center runs across the front and Station street goes... know.


Street Sign Production 2

I'm going to need a lot of curb cuts for every driveway and alleyway that enters a main street. For the gas station (way back in this thread) I crafted both out of Sculpey and that was that. But this time, I'm making a single master and will make a rubber mold and cast them out of Hydrocast. I'm spending more time to get the shape and finish better than the gas station attempt. I had made a styrene mold and used it again to get the basic shape correct. It has to dovetail into the .400 euro-foam-core that I'm using for many of the building bases.


Curb Cut Master


In one of my many German projects which working overseas for Henkel, we had professionally produced display boards. When the project was over I was able to keep all that foam-core and am still using. This was in 2001.


Next session I'll start the mold making process, finish up all concave corners and start painting all the streets prior to installation. As I write this, I'm thinking that I may start doing the plastering before street installation since it's going to be messy and the streets aren't. 


I ordered and received warm-white LEDs to start using for interior and street lights. I also order O'scale 4 X 5 Kappler lumber for telephone pole cross-bars. Yes...I'm going to make my own telephone poles again because of $$$. I need at least 21 of them don't feel like spending $60+ on this one scenery item.


Images (4)
  • street corner
  • Street Sign Production 1
  • Street Sign Production 2
  • Curb Cut Master

Started to plaster the hills separating the outer and inner loops on the left side. I began using the last 2 rolls of my J&J Specialist Bandage that I got from my doctor brother in law years ago. For the non-medical among us, Specialist Bandage is J&J's trade name for the plaster impregnated cloth that's used to make good old fashioned plaster casts. Mine was 3" wide, but it comes in other widths too. After using that up I used my one and only roll of W-S Plaster Cloth. This material, while similar to the J&J stuff, is not as good. The cloth substrate is a much wider weave and therefore produces a much weaker and more flexible result. It's also very expensive at $11 a roll which covers about 10 sq.ft.


Before commencing with the plastering, I shaped two green foam pieces to serve as the rock cuts that flank both sides of the highway that's crossing the tracks. I used the hot foam cutter to shape them, mashed the screen wire back to fit them, and then used some hot foam glue to tack them into place. The glue joint was very flimsy, but it only had to hold until the plaster hardened. I scored the foam to resemble Kentucky limestone road cuts. Kentucky strata is very parallel and easy to replicate. It's much easier than Appalachian bedrock formations. Everywhere you drive around the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky you see this formation lining all the highways and railway cuts.Rock Cut 1

After doing the right side, I started the left side before running out of plaster cloth.

 Rock Cut 3

For the left side, in addition to layering on the plaster cloth, I added a second coat of Sculptamold, which is where I again carved Kentucky strata into the wall facing the outer loop. This was intentional and I shaped the screen wire to make a sharp cut-off on that side. On the inner side, I made the slope less severe and will not make a "cut" in that area. While I didn't run out of Sculptamold yet, I decided to stop and do some other stuff. One of which was to put the 2nd coat of latex mold compound on the curb cut master. I have two more coats to apply and then I'll reinforce the mold with some gauze before adding more layers.Rock Cut 4

The vertical cuts in the foam represent the bore holes made when drilling the rock for the blasting that was used to create the cut.

 Plastering 06

I'm amazed how strong everything becomes as the layers are added. Believe it or not, but this is actually the first O'scale hardshell modeling that I've ever done. I've read a lot of books, but had little experience. When I'm done this layout—someday—I will be experienced. As a kid (see my layout pics at the beginning of the thread in the layout design forum) I built the mountain out of paper mache and stunk up the house as the flour-based paste dried. I used rubber cement to hold the grass in place. Boy have things evolved for the better in this hobby.


I decided to make the grade crossing filler pieces that will be needed when I install the streets. Because most of the crossings are at curves it's not as straight forward as it could pun intended. I needed to create a shaped piece that would be accurate and would have sufficient flange-way relief. At first I was going to make a rubbing of the curvature holding a piece of paper over the track and using the side of a pencil to inscribe the curve. As I was doing this I realized that it wasn't precise enough, so I went back to CorelDraw and created the templates on the Laptop.


I had a piece of track with me and measured the various clearances using a digital vernier. Creating a 96" circle in the computer in full scale made a huge image, but I only needed a sliver of it. The width measured out at .467" so I created a series of concentric circles. And when it was all done, and printed, and glued to card stock, and cut out and tried on the rails themselves, I discovered the most basic of dumb errors. I was measuring a radius, but I forgot to double it when actually enlarging the circles (duh...diameters) and the parts were half as wide as they needed to be. So it was back to the digital drawing board to redo the who operation. At least I didn't start saber sawing out the parts from Masonite, which, BTW, was exactly the right height to provide a nice crossing but still be low enough to keep the all-important center rail proud of the crossing.

 Crossing Template

 Crossing Template fitiing

I traced these onto Masonite and cut out the actual parts. While they were close, they still needed a cleanup with the Dremel. Sanding Masonite makes a ton of messy, very fine sawdust. I had a mask and goggles on when doing this and had to vacuum my shirt before I went upstairs for dinner.

 Crossing Fitting 1

The ends are tapered so they don't catch a wheel, and the bottom edge in contact with the center rail is chamfered so it clears that rail's flange and the spikes Ross uses to fasten the rails to ties. I'm going to paint them asphalt color just like the roads themselves and glue them in with Liquid Nails. 

 Crossing fitting 2

The space between the road and the outer rails will be filled so the road continues directly up to the rails.


Tomorrow, I'm going to try to use Hydrocast with paper towels to do the hard-shell. I've got a lot of paper towels and Hydrocast is much cheaper than plaster cloth. I'm concerned that it means mixing and losing lots of plaster as it hardens relatively quickly. Anyone with experience with paper towel method please comment.


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  • Rock Cut 1
  • Rock Cut 3
  • Rock Cut 4
  • Plastering 06
  • Crossing Template
  • Crossing Template fitiing
  • Crossing Fitting 1
  • Crossing fitting 2
Last edited by Trainman2001
Originally Posted by Trainman2001:

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to use Hydrocast with paper towels to do the hard-shell. I've got a lot of paper towels and Hydrocast is much cheaper than plaster cloth. I'm concerned that it means mixing and losing lots of plaster as it hardens relatively quickly. Anyone with experience with paper towel method please comment.


Use a slow setting plaster such as Structolite for the paper towel method. That way you can mix a big bowl of the stuff and work all evening without it setting up on you - no waste or aggravation. Sets up overnight.



I did some research and found a supplier that had Gypsolite (Structolite) in Louisville. It's not as easy to find as one would think since very few people make real plaster walls anymore.


I bought a 50lb bag (cheap!) and bought another bucket from Lowes so I didn't have to drag a 50lb bag down to the basement. I filled three large paint buckets. 


I put the bucket on the steps leading into the house from the garage to reach up to the garage door button, but the garage door didn't want to close. I needed to clean the electric eyes. While doing that, my wife opened the garage door to see why I had left it open and proceeded to knock the pail off the step. Needless to say it was a freaking mess! I got most cleaned up with a dust pan and back into the pail, and then the shop vac did the rest. Then I had to clean the shop vac.


Everything's back in order and I did get a little bit of time to do some more sculptamold plastering of what I previously covered.

While I haven't yet used the Gypsolite, I did do some things yesterday. I did a side project which eliminated the shadow area in front of the city. I bought and installed a 3-head, track light which will do double duty of illuminating the city and eventually light up the shelves that will hold overflow trains. I sprung for LED spot lights so as to not add much addition electrical load to the already loaded basement circuits, and they run very cool. All in all they use 27 watts. NOTHING! 


Shadow Killed 2

With the new warm-white, dimmable LEDs, you can get terrific lighting with low power and no heat loading. They're expensive, but they'll be working after I'm probably gone. People will be selling houses advertising if they LED lighting installed.

Shadow Killed 1

I then continued adding Sculptamold to the areas which already received plaster cloth. Those areas are done and today I'm moving on to adding more hard shell to remaining left-end terrain. This includes both ravines, which by now you have all figured out that I am procrastinating about. I wanted to gain some experience with hard shell before attacking the most difficult topography on the layout.







Terraine 01


Just for fun I put together a high-level task list of what's needed to put this layout in a reasonable level of completeness. I know, I know, model railroads are never really completed, but I wanted to see what this looks like. It's 46 items and is just scratching the surface. I estimate about 3 more years of work to get it there. This doesn't include putting any skirting below the fascia boards, or covering the ugly shelves in the left corner of the basement. If I store the train boxes underneath the platform, that space could be an area for expansion. Like this railroad isn't big enough already????


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  • Shadow Killed 2
  • Shadow Killed 1
  • Terraine 01
Last edited by Trainman2001

I did my first Paper-towels-soaked-in-Gypsolite method last week. I didn't realize that this product was so gritty, containing "Perlite". But sources tell me that for landscaping the texture is actually a benefit since it adds character to the terrain and adds a "tooth" so additional coats of Sculptamold will have something to stick to. It is generally strong, but in some places, the plaster isn't thick enough to stiffen the surface and will require more material.


I also decided I better get the terrain completed on the inter-ravine area first while I can still climb over the un-finished ravines to gain access without having to use the scooter to go underneath and come up in the opening. I'm using a combination of screen wire and cardboard strips. 


Number 2 grandson had a school project that needed some grandfatherly attention so I didn't get too much done during these last few days, but this week gives another opportunity to get some serious plastering done. 


Terrain 05

Terrain 04

Terrain 02

Paper towel hard shell 3


While doing this I started to cast some driveway curb cuts and W-S rock castings. I'm using the Hydrocast casting plaster and tinting it with W-S tinting colors. 


Curb Cut mold 1

Rocks 01

Curb Cut mold 3


I'm still trying to decide whether I want to make Sculptamold, cast plaster or carved Styrofoam rocks. There's pluses and minuses for any other these methods and I've been reviewing YouTube videos on making rocks either way. I might add that there are additional ways using various methods of polyurethane foams. I'm not sure I even want to go near the urethanes due to cost and mess.


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  • Terrain 05
  • Terrain 04
  • Terrain 02
  • Paper towel hard shell 3
  • Curb Cut mold 1
  • Rocks 01
  • Curb Cut mold 3

No need to stick with one method. This scene has rock castings, carved Styrofoam, and Sculptamold rock strata all on the same cliff. Structolite was used on all but the rock castings to add some texture with that perlite you mentioned.


IMO using a variety of methods adds interest.


The pre-colored rock castings you made look really good. I'm going to have to try coloring the plaster first on a future project.


cliff 001



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  • cliff  001

Those rocks are terrific and inspiring. I will consider doing a 'multi-media' rock job. I did a lot more plaster-paper-towel work today, and it sure is messy. I modified the method just a bit since I was consuming plaster at a ferocious rate by squeegying the excess plaster off back into the reservoir. This gave me a little more mileage. I have one more day of the rough layering and then I'll start the detail layering.


Terrain 06

I wised up this time and covered masked the track and covered the floor with newspaper. This is after I made a royal mess on the first terrain that I did. I am hoping that the splatters on the floor will come off with a wet mop. I will touch up the track and ballast when it's all done.


Here's some of the mess. Yuck!


Terrain 08


I will have to get some more Masonite to make the framing around the ravines before I can fully plaster them. I'll be getting that some time this week.


Images (2)
  • Terrain 06
  • Terrain 08

All week long I've been up to my elbows in soupy Gypsolite and paper towels. I've gotten the hang of it and am making progress. The left end's base coat is complete except for Ravine #1. I'm leaving this for last since I'm using it as a passage way into the inter-ravine area without having to come up from the underneath. It greatly expedited working in this area. I've started to add back more Sculptamold for the second coat and added my first cast plaster rocks... ever.


Here's a sampling of what's been done so far.  

Terrain 15


My first rock emplantments.(is that a word?)

Terrain 12


Ravine #2's base coat is done. It's quite stiff and strong. I now have to decide how best to install the rock formations, river channel, etc. I'm glad I took the time to protect the tower. It got hit many times with plaster splatter. I want weathering, but not that kind. It would look like it was hit by 1:1 sized seagulls.

Ravine Landscape 06

Terrain 13


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  • Terrain 15
  • Terrain 12
  • Ravine Landscape 06
  • Terrain 13

Spent almost two hours carving the first of many rock formations that will line the ravines using green insulation foam. I have to find a faster way to do this. I'm sure it will get faster as I go up the learning curve. I was thinking of making a mold and then casting them out of Hydrostone, but quickly realized that they each must be custom fitted to the contours of the ravines and that means carving each one separately. It got fast as I was progressing down the column since I scribed the overall contour on the outside and then use the Tippi hot foam cutter to chop away what didn't look like Kentucky Rock formations. 

 Ravine Carving 02

Ravine Carving 01Not having thick foam, I layered the pieces together using low temp hot melt. Here's some progressive pics showing how it shaped up. The picture of the rocks overhanging the Kentucky River is in the background and that's what I'm using as a guide. 


Ravine Carving 03

 Ravine Carving 05

 Four layers of foam to get a decent thickness.


Ravine Carving 04

 One down and a gazillon to go!


I'll glue them to the plaster with Loctite foam adhesive and then use Spackle to fill in any gaps. I think I'll primer paint them before gluing them to the substrate. 




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  • Ravine Carving 05
  • Ravine Carving 04
  • Ravine Carving 03
  • Ravine Carving 02
  • Ravine Carving 01
Last edited by Trainman2001

So I tried to make another rock column. This one is twice the width of the other as per the picture of the actual formation that I have. It still took too many hours to produce and I still need too many of them. My next choice will be to form Sculptamold rock formations in place. I think that will reduce the time since I won;t have to custom fit each column to the ravine contours. That took almost an hour putting on the backing pieces and shaping the rock so it nestled somewhat into the ravine's plaster base.


Ravine Landscape 08

Ravine Landscape 07

Ravine Carving 06


Images (3)
  • Ravine Landscape 08
  • Ravine Landscape 07
  • Ravine Carving 06

The foam carving was just taking too long. I eventually want to get my bridges back up and be able to run trains again, but at the rate this carving was taking it would be months before I could. So I went the Sculptamold route with pretty good success.


I wet the now-dry Gypsolite with some "wet water" and mixed the Sculptamold in small batches. It's Plaster of Paris and sets pretty quickly so I keep the batches small. It doesn't have the same level of relief that the foam carving has, but it will look okay. This ravine is narrow and the thick foam carvings were reducing the size of the valley too much anyway.


Ravine Plastering 01


I also spread a coat of light weight filler on the faux-concrete bridge abutments. When it dries I give it a light sanding and another coat if needed.


Here's a shot looking up from the valley floor.


Ravine Plastering 03


When primed, colored, weathered and peppered with some sporadic vegetation and it will be a pretty good impression of a Kentucky Limestone river gorge.


At the speed this went together, I should have the other side of this ravine "rocked" in another good work session. I'll then work on the valley floor and prepared the river bed to receive whatever water effects I'm going to use. I'm leaning towards Envirotex polyester casting resin. I've used bar-top finish before and it works pretty well to simulate water.


Images (2)
  • Ravine Plastering 01
  • Ravine Plastering 03

Looks great.  It is going to be an impressive layout for sure.


BUT, you must have been way too compulsive in the foam carving. I think that most people find it quick and easy (if a little messy).   You may want to try to convince Jim P. to make you a copy of his famous, patented foam-carving tool.   it is an awesome piece of technology.  

Well... Thanksgiving is over and I'm 2 pounds heavier. Hope everyone's holiday met or exceeded their expectations.


I got a couple of hours playing with Sculptamold yesterday and started working on the front side of Ravine #2. I didn't finish the rear side yet. I will do the remainder from inside the opening between the ravines. 


It's getting easier to shape the rock strata—practice making perfect and all that—and should finish the rock work on this ravine in a day or so. W-S just came out with some rock castings specifically designed for creek bottoms and banks. I'm thinking about getting them to make framing out the creeks a little easier. 


Ravine Carving 08


I'm pleased with how the faux bridge abutment is fitting into the rock strata. After painting and weathering, it's going to look like it was poured concrete and belongs there.

Ravine Carving 07


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  • Ravine Carving 08
  • Ravine Carving 07

Yesterday I finally had grandson #1 to help out. It was a wonderful work session with him doing landscaping and me continuing to lay down plastic and rock castings. During the entire time we talked current events, science and music. It's great to have this kind of quality time. He's 12 and is in those "formative" years that mean so much as he matures.


Here's some landscaping...


Landscaping 02

The first hill is just covered with brown, fine ballast, and the rear is painted with the tan ground color. I was working on the part of the hill in the background. The cut where the highway goes through is just painted base-coat gray. There's a lot more work to do on them before they look as they should.


Landscaping 01It's simple and in those open meadows I hear that some of that land is for sale and they'll be buildings on it someday.


Ravine #2's rock sculpting is complete. I now have to work on the river bed. I'm planning on buying the new river rock molds from W-S. I added more rock castings to the track hill and had to overcoat some of the Gypsolite was strong enough. In some spots the paper towels weren't fully involved in plaster and were weak. A nice layer of Scultamold made them much, much stronger.


Terrain 17



Ravine Plastering 05


There's open screen under the tower base that will need to be sealed before the water feature is poured. I have to be careful to not make it much thicker or the tower won't fit under the bridge properly. I'm planning on just filling the screen wire without thickening it.


Tomorrow I'm going to buy the telephone poles dowels, Masonite for the ravine fascia boards, and more Sculptamold.


Images (4)
  • Landscaping 02
  • Landscaping 01
  • Terrain 17
  • Ravine Plastering 05

Today was a non-working-in-the-basement day; it was a day to buy more stuff. I got more Sculptamold (2 bags) and a box of Super Sculpey for my #2 grandson, found 1/4" dowels at Michael's that were already cut to 12" and ready to make into telephone poles. I got another bottle of "Realistic Water" by W-S, and I put an order in at the LHS for the W-S "Creekside and Creek Bottom" rock molds which will be delivered at the end of January.


At Lowes I found some plastic connectors called Automotive variable length connectors. I bought three different kinds. 


Insulator candidate 3

These make some pretty neat insulators! The left one is the most accurate since its ribs form complete circles.


This lousy picture is that item. I expect to use this one for most of the transformer/breaker insulators since it's fins are really shaped correctly. They could be used in tandem to make longer insulators. By getting them at Lowes I saved $16 in shipping costs. The per-part price was a bit higher, but it was still a bargain. Luckily I had a picture on my phone of the sample I had, because what I was calling it didn't register with the Lowe's associate. When he saw the picture he knew exactly what I was looking for.

Insulator candidate 4.

 The long one and the other shorter one have interrupted fins so aren't as accurate, but this substation's going to be in the back of the layout and many feet from the viewing aisle. Even with these ribs I think they'll work in many locations.

Insulator candidate 5


I also bought some different sized beads and sequins to fashion my own insulators especially on the lower voltage side of things. I now have to draw out a full set of plans for the substation so I can specify the size and quantity of Plastruct structural pieces to make up the framework. I'll keep you advised on progress.


Meanwhile, in short while I'll have gone as far in the left end plastering as I can go until the new rock molds come in. That will give me a good opportunity to build telephone poles and design a substation. With a project this size there's always something to do.


Images (3)
  • Insulator candidate 5
  • Insulator candidate 4.
  • Insulator candidate 3

From now on, everything about the substation project is on a new thread. Since it's going to be complicated and time consuming I thought it best to segregate it out.


Meanwhile, I'm preparing an area to eventually receive the substation. This area was had the gypsolite treatment, but was very wavy and needed leveling. I decided to fill it in with more gyposlite/paper towels. It helped. My reasoning is that G/P is much cheaper than Sculptamold. Now that it's a little better, I'll finish the rest with Sculptamold.


Then a thought came to me... when the time comes to take this layout apart—hopefully some time in the far distant future—it's going to need a jack hammer or dynamite to remove the scenery. Styrofoam would have been much better to pave this area in retrospect. What you see he is going to be a road leading to the area where the substation will sit. Actually, you could just unscrew the joists from the girders and lift out entire sections of it.


Terrain 18

I also finished the rock wall on the hillock separating inner and outer loops. It's ready for paint, landscaping and weathering, but it will wait until the rest of the sloppy work is done in this area. I also don't believe that this kind of rock would co-exist with the Kentucky limestone walls just around the corner, but hey, it's my world and I can make it any way I like. 


Rocks 03


This next pic, while too dark, shows the relief really well. I specifically lit it from a single source so it would show the formation better.


Rocks 02.


Grandsons are here overnight so I may get some more landscape work out of them tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be awful. What a great time to work on trains!


Images (3)
  • Rocks 03
  • Terrain 18
  • Rocks 02.

Taking some time off from substation I decided to add some more Sculptamold (STM). I'm getting tired of plastering and the mess it creates, but I have some more work to do on this left end until I can get the bridges reinstalled. 


I covered almost all the area with STM that I previously had added some more Gypsolite/paper (G/P) towels. While this space is not completely level by a long shot, it is regular enough to lay down a road, and place some houses in the area. It could also be the "other side of tracks" area of town where I could put some Downtown Deco seemier businesses like tattoo parlors, pool halls or worse...

 Terrain 21

I also added more material to the front edge where the G/P had dropped below the fascia boards. This area alone took almost a bag of STM. I think I'll need another 3 bags to finish this end including both ravines. That leaves the right end of the layout where the mountain's going. I'm not doing that area for a long while. Once the bridges are in and trains running again, I'm going to get back to structures and get the town underway.


Also, the front edge that shows un-coated G/P was intentionally left that way. I still have G/P'd Ravine #1 and wanted some "raw" surface upon which to adhere the next layers of G/P. When I coat the ravine with STM, I'll go back and finish this spot.


I then turned attention back to Ravine #2, getting it ready for the river bed.


There was a significant dip in the G/P on the front edge of this ravine that would raise havoc when I started pouring W-S Realistic Water. The river bed needs to be flat and level. Instead on piling on great gobs of STM, I rolled up some paper and made a wad of that, attempted to hold it in place, wet it down, and then lathered it with STM. It kind of worked. I will go back and then pour a layer of Hydrostone to fill in all the irregularities and really develop a level surface that can be painted and then coated with clear resin.


Ravine Carving 10


Hydrostone is self-leveling and I'll use a thin mixture so it flows and fills in all the imperfections. I'll dam the ends with styrene sheet held on with clear caulking. I sealed the area around the bridge tower base so the plaster won't sneak under there (too much). I now have the Masonite for the facings of both ravines. Once their all plastered and most of the slop is gone, I'll layout and shape them.


I also have a few areas in this ravine to STM since there's some G/P showing. But I ran out of STM and this is as far as I've gotten.


And then there's the challenge of creating a retaining wall/arcade to cover the front of the high line. Like everything else in this big pike, buying Scenic Express's pre-formed rock walls is prohibitively expensive when looking at 20 feet of the stuff.


Images (2)
  • Terrain 21
  • Ravine Carving 10

Plastering, more plastering!


I finished Ravine #2 with STM, and also the layout edges on the far left end. I added some "occasional" rocks to one of the them since there was a depression that was just calling for rocks.


Terrain 22


I had some STM left over and there was a big gouge out of the one of the foam faux bridge abutments, so I decided to fill it. But first I had to stick some toothpicks into it to provide some for the plaster to grab onto. I should have trimmed them so they be below the plaster surface BEFORE I put on the plaster. Instead, it was very difficult to work it in properly until I took my Xuron cutters and chopped them down a bit.


Foam Damage


Here's the patch. This isn't the end. The entire abutment gets a coat of patching plaster to give it a smooth finish. The gouge will then be gone.


Foam Fix


Until next time...


Images (3)
  • Terrain 22
  • Foam Damage
  • Foam Fix
Last edited by Trainman2001

Finished patching the damaged abutment with light weight filler. After the second coat it looks pretty good. There's still a little bit of sanding to do, but all in all, all the foam "faux" abutments will look fine when painted and weathered. 


Foam Fix 2

I also temporarily glue dams to the ends of ravine 2 in preparation of pouring the plaster leveling coat. I'm using the foam insulation adhesive. It's light blue, but won't cause a problem since the whole thing's going to be painted.


Ravine Dams


I went back after it set and added another bead to ensure a good seal. Tomorrow I'll pour the plaster, remove the dams and with that, I'll be ready to shape and cut the fascia boards and begin adding more rocks, painting and landscaping... finally.


Images (2)
  • Foam Fix 2
  • Ravine Dams
Last edited by Trainman2001

The Hydrostone leveling pour was successful. It took about a half gallon of mixed plaster to fully cover the bottom and remove any irregularities. Tomorrow I'm going to start the painting process and see what I can do about creating river rocks. Otherwise, I'll need to wait until W-S's Creek Rock mold series in the hobby shop on January 13.


Ravine Level Pour 1


To show the cross-section I pulled on the foam dam on one end. Unfortunately, after I did this, I realized that I have re-dam it when I pour the realistic water. I won't need as big a piece to block the outflow.


Ravine Level Pour 6

The blue stuff is the foam adhesive. It doesn't matter since the fascia board is going to cover it up. The river bed is now perfectly level and ready for landscaping. This was a theory that proved out in practice. Everything I read about using resins to make a water feature keep emphasizing, "Make sure the base is level otherwise the resin will puddle in the low spots." If I was doing this on the table top, leveling would be a cinch since I've leveled all the ply panels, but here in this free-form ravine, there was no way that the bottom was level. It had to be filled with a liquid that would find its own level. It did. I was also worried about liquid plaster leaking out around the tower base since its just sitting on open screen wire. 


I was afraid to fill that with plaster also since the tower almost fits perfectly under the plate girder bridge that rests on it. I didn't want to anything that would elevate it in any way so I just made sure that the STM was firmly placed around the base. The base is wrapped with Press-n-Seal so I can put the tower out and remove all the masking and have a clean tower.


While this was drying, I got back to working on the Victorian RR station. This scratch-built model has been in progress for 6 years. I worked on it a little after moving to Louisville, but then bigger projects intervened. Now it's needed.


Fitting the roofs has been a challenge. It's not a simple "A" roof. It's got valleys and peaks, plus the ends of the roof is chopped off at an angle. The eaves is a multi-layer affair made of stacking up a stair-step arrangement of styrene strips and then cutting the length needed like salami.


Roof Fit 03I missed the little part on the storeroom roof that intersects with the main roof and had to add a little patch.


Roof Fix 2 Here, the two main roofs are being joined using Aleen's Tacky Glue. There's also a lot of CA being used. The building itself has Evergreen Novelty Siding oriented horizontally and vertically creating added complication. As a result, I used "snap & glue" method to cut up all the wall panels, open up the window holes and then glue them back together. Since this is an "English Tudor" style building, the panels and stiles are going to be painted in contrasting colors. Masking is going to be a major operation. You can't use square stock to reinforce this roof-roof joint because the included angle is NOT 90º! I have no idea what angle it is. Lots of glue!

 Roof fit 04

There are two passenger shed roofs that are standing seam metal. I have Evergreen Styrene standing seam roof that really looks good. I also used it on my Idaho Hotel with good results.


Idaho HotelThis roof isn't a "gimme". There are 0.010" little strips that get glued into little grooves on the roof plastic. I use the "Touch-n'-Flow" capillary glue applicator which did the job without a mess.


There's a ton of work left on this station including floors, interior, lighting, shingles/valleys/flashing, chimney, platform stanchions/framing/roof, and then there's all that painting.


BTW: Scratch building in styrene is not cheap. I have over $200 invested in styrene and all the Grandt Line windows, doors, and gingerbread.



Images (6)
  • Ravine Level Pour 1
  • Ravine Level Pour 6
  • Roof Fit 03
  • Roof Fix 2
  • Roof fit 04
  • Idaho Hotel

After a quick trip to the hardware store and the only remaining O'gauge supplier in Louisville, I finally got started on painting Ravine #2, and it's already looking better. Regarding the Train Store... I just found out today that L&N Trains closed its doors two months ago. That leaves Roundhouse Trains as the sole remaining train store catering to the O'gauge market in L'ville. But there's a silver lining. Roundhouse has expanded almost 3X by taking over vacant retail space attached to their space. It's a bit of a labyrinth with many rooms connected by passageways, but it's great all the same.


I did buy some more scenery supplies and then ordered 3 EMD HO scale GP40, 48" cooling fans that I will use as the cooling fans for the power transformer in the substation project. These scale out to .55" which are a bit smaller than what I drew on my transformer plan. I'll live with that.


Before painting, I reviewed the YouTube offerings on coloring model RR rocks. There seems to be three schools of thought: spray cans, various thin washes, and heavier coloring with dry brushing (Dave Frary's approach). I chose Dave's approach.


This involves coating the rocks with a 2:1 water/paint mixture of "Rock Black) which is 1 part black, 2 parts raw umber (brown) and some white. It's like a warmish weathered black. After this is dry, I'll go back and dry brush grays, white, and various browns and yellows to give the look I want.


Ravine Painting 02

These are limestone strata mainly and aren't too dark, but they have a lot of creases that need to show up.  The abutment will be colored with weathered concrete, thereafter pastel treatments including muds and rusts coming from the soil above and off the bridge hardware.


Ravine Painting 04

After highlighting and weathering, I add vegetation and then turn to the river itself. I bought some W-S Talus in medium gray in two sizes and also have lots of plaster scraps that will be used on the river backs and flanks of the slopes. 


It already looks more real, and the sculpting is really showing up with the color on it.


As a reminder, here's the coloration that I will be shooting for. There's lots of very light grays, heavy shadows, and some earth tones.


KY River Scenic Modeling

Any other limestone cut areas are also going to receive the "rock black" treatment like this little cut ridge running parallel to the tracks. Just wait until I get around to the much more extensive limestone cuts that are on the inter-track ridge.

 Ravine Painting 05

This rock painting goes pretty quickly and progress will appear rapidly. Regarding damming the river to prevent the resin from going overboard: I noted on one of the video that a small ridge of clear paintable caulking is sufficient to prevent the resin from exiting the river bed. I'm going to do that and bought the caulk today also.




Images (4)
  • Ravine Painting 02
  • Ravine Painting 04
  • KY River Scenic Modeling
  • Ravine Painting 05
Last edited by Trainman2001

I'd love to have a spiffy pun retort, but can't think of any. I'm sure other forum members will find some.


Today was another good day! Doing this rock painting goes fast. It's very forgiving and very artsy-craftsy. I got Ravine #2 prepped and ready for "realistic water". 

 Ravine Painting 07

The trees came to me from Frank Miller when I bought the watchman's tower and corner store in 2005. He just gave me this shopping bag full of trees. I hadn't looked at them until today since I didn't have a layout on which to plant them. Being that they're many years old, some were pretty beat up, but I was still able to salvage 26 of them. That's worth a few $$$ given that large trees go for 8 bucks a pair.


The Tallus along the banks are a combination of W-S large and X-large tallus plus broken plaster scraps that I died in a mixture of W-S slate gray tint, India Ink, water and Isopropyl 91% alcohol. I glued them in place with W-S spray scenery cement, and then will be encased in resin water.


I painted the "Faux" abutments a concrete color. I'm going to weather them more with chalks, but for now they work. 

 Ravine Painting 10

Since I was in a painting mood, I finished all the other rocks with first and top coats. All that's left is some weathering powder treatments, and putting in more vegetation. 

 Rock Painting 04

I also put some ground cover and working towards finishing up the rear area so Ravine #1 can be plastered, STM'd, painted and "watered". Now that I have one under my belt, this next one will go quickly and confidently. I think I've captured the Kentucky limestone cuts faithfully.  (Sorry about the soft focus...cell phone is not the best platform for steady pics)

 Rock Painting 06

Here's the palate I used for the rocks. Added to this was Chrome Yellow which I mixed with the grays to warm them up a bit. 


Rock Painting Palate

Tomorrow there's no train work. Grandson's school Holiday program is taking place and we're all going out to lunch. But I should be back in the train room on Friday and pour the water and finish up Ravine #2. The I will unveil the tower and get the bridge mounted.


Before I landscape any more inter-ravine areas, I want to prepare the raised edges of the town rear side. I rather not be messing with plaster and paint while the area in front of where I working is fully landscaped. So I estimate Ravine #1 plastering will start some time next week.


Images (5)
  • Ravine Painting 07
  • Ravine Painting 10
  • Rock Painting 04
  • Rock Painting Palate
  • Rock Painting 06
Last edited by Trainman2001

Just for fun, here's the "artist's" representation of what I wanted to do compared to what really happened. The actual abutments came out a little less large, and the fascia board, which will be made soon. As George Peppard used to say on the "A-Team", "It's good to see a plan come together."


 Real and Unreal



Images (1)
  • Real and Unreal
Last edited by Trainman2001

Thanks! And I will. I just went back and reviewed all four pages. There were several posts where the pictures disappeared. I found that as the author I could go back and edit these, so all the pictures are again displayed.


Does anyone know why that happens? The picture's file names were visible when you moused over the pictures, but no pics. It was helpful because I was able to go back and reload the same files.


Today I bought more stuff. Scenic work, while not as big a purchase as a $1,000 locomotive, creeps up on you and before you know it, you're spending a small fortune.

More work today on Ravine 2 including adding the weathering powders and more vegetation. I also tried out the Behr "Jungle Green" flat latex paint that I bought to do the fascia boards.


Ravine Veg 01I don't know about you, but I like the green. I bought two of their sample-sized containers and I think that will be enough to do the whole layout. 


It was time to remove the masking around the tower. Instead of trying to extricate the tower out of the plaster to remove all the Stretch and Seal and newspaper since I was afraid of what it may do. Instead I took a sharp #11 blade and just sliced it off at the water line. 


This exposed some areas where the plaster pour didn't reach well, so I filled those areas with joint compound. When this dries I'll give it a little sanding and then go back over with river-bottom coloration. While that's drying I'm going to run a bead of clear, paintable caulk at the two end to act as a dam for the W-S Realistic Water. I saw this technique on a video I reviewed before painting the rocks. This is instead of adhering the large dams I had when pouring the plaster. Since I'm only adding about 1/8" of resin. 


Ravine Veg 03

In this picture you can see the added rusting, the high water marks on the banks and other colorations, plus the added vegetation. It's funny that the joint compound looks like white water, but it's not.


As soon as the water hardens I'll install the fascia boards which will really dress up this area.


I woke up this morning thinking about the back area where I had added all that extra plaster last week. Instead of trying to fabricate a roadway by piling on more STM, which is an expensive resource, I realized that I have enough 1/2" green foam to make a road like I did for the town. This would be flat and level and would need to be supported underneath on the undulating terrain on which it's sitting.


Since I only have pieces left, this road was more like a jigsaw puzzle, but it will get STM to embed it in the terrain and a coating of joint compound for the running surface. I'm not going to use Bristol Board here like I did for the city streets since it's overkill considering where it's situated. (Don't look at the mess on the flower)


Skid Row road 02

The plan for this area is the skid row part of town with a flop house, tattoo parlor (although these are pretty main street right now), a tap room and other less-than-high class establishments. This will keep the rents higher in the mid-town business area. There's lots of Downtown Deco buildings that will go here.


Images (3)
  • Ravine Veg 01
  • Ravine Veg 03
  • Skid Row road 02

Had grandkids working again today (and maybe tomorrow too) so we got some more landscaping done and grandson #1 was able to start patching all the extra holes in my pre-used fascia boards. I taught him how to back up the holes with masking tape and then use joint compound putty knife to fill them up. He did a good job. Tomorrow he'll do a light sanding and hit them one more time.


Grandson 1 landscaping


#2 was on the layout adding masking tape to the rail heads before using more spray scenery cement to add more texture to the landscaping.


Grandson 2 landscaping

Meanwhile, I was plastering the new road into the terrain. In order to avoid using bags of STM I rolled and stuffed newspaper under and around the foam and then covered it with plaster. Even so I consumed almost a full bag of the stuff. When fully dry I'll go back and coat the road with joint compound to add some character.


Skid Row road 03My wife wasn't happy with the "skid row" idea so it's now going to be an industrial site. I'll temporarily landscape it with grass and weeds and put a "lot available" sign on it in anticipation of finding a buyer.


While that was drying I went back and did some more work on the train station. I got the roof properly fitted—after 3 attempts—and then measured and trimmed the Plastruct shingle material. I made a minor error. I forgot that there's a complicated eave detail on this roof. It's been over 4 years since I did the roof on the freight area and I forgot about it. After cutting all the shingle pieces, I realized that if I was going to make this detail, the shingle pieces would have to hang below the roof edge by 3/16" and I cut them flush. The kids both said not to worry about it and just put some trim on the edge and no one will know the difference. I love those kids! 


Roof Construct 01

What this pic shows is the valley flashing I installed before fastening the shingles. A roofing friend of mine said that with slate roofs it's traditional to use copper flashing. So after gluing on the heavy paper stock, I first painted it with craft paint copper and then Rub-n-Buff patina green. 


I then used acrylic caulk/adhesive to hold on the shingles. Plastruct suggests that or using spray adhesive. I find that spray adhesive (and Walther's Goo contact cement) dries out and loses it adhesion after time passes. The caulk no only maintains its flexibility, but also has enough body to get into the ridges and shape of the pressed plastic shingles.


Roof Construct 04Next session I will come up with something to simulate the ridge shingles. Also, this building has gingerbread trim on all the roof ridges. I was unable to get an O'gauge-sized trim from Grandt (they had it in HO) so I'm going to have to scratch build it. More complications in doing O'Scale scratch building. I am really jealous of those HO guys sometimes.


This drawing shows this trim and also the complicated eaves details. I also need additional porch columns which I didn't get 7 years ago when I bought the initial materials. I'm not sure what to do about them. I might turn them myself from bass wood.


Roof TrimAnd, oh yes... I have to fabricate that Chimney. I might try the Les Lewis method... individual scale styrene bricks glued to a styrene sheet piece.



Images (6)
  • Grandson 1 landscaping
  • Grandson 2 landscaping
  • Skid Row road 03
  • Roof Construct 01
  • Roof Construct 04
  • Roof Trim

The plaster isn't dry enough yet to add the finish coat, the boys were again helping on scenery and painting the fascia boards, so I worked on the station project. I decided to attempt the gingerbread on the roof peaks. 


I took a piece of 1/4" square styrene rod, shaped a chamfer on two edges, and located the center point of the hole with an awl. I then drilled with a #50 pilot and a #30 drill into the rod about 3/4" deep. 


Gingerbread 1

Next: set up the miter box with a stop to slice off the detail parts like salami. It was difficult to maintain a uniform thickness even with the stop because the box is wearing and the slots are no longer one-saw-kerf wide, but allow the saw some side-to-side play and therefore different slice thickness.


Gingerbread 2

It took a few minutes to de-burr all these little bits, but here they are - all kinds of ginger... they're not yet bread until they are installed. Does that make me a "Gingerbread Man"?

 Gingerbread 3

I had to determine the thickness of the intermediate pieces. The drawing pieces are slightly under 1/4", but my pieces are .252". Even this small difference would make a big difference as they stack up from one end to the other. So I counted the number of detail pieces in a given string and multiplied that by .252". Then I measured the exact length of the space on the various roof peaks on the model. Subtract that from the total from the previous addition giving the total length of the spacing pieces. Use the number of spacing pieces for a given run and dividing that into the total length gave the size of each spacing piece. 


I used the "Chopper" to cut these pieces to length. Again it was more difficult to get it exactly right and took a few scrap pieces before I got the dimension I was looking for... .269"


Holding the parts against a straight edge on plate glass and using a small brush to apply liquid cement, I put the string together for the first peak on the freight storeroom roof. (For some reason, this picture posted upside down)


Gingerbread 4

Here's the first strip installed. I have to hold off putting on the others ones until the eaves and other details are installed. One installed, this gingerbread will be fragile so it has to wait until later.


Gingerbread 5

While I was doing this #1 grandson was painting the fascia board after he sanded the joint compound that he used to fill all those old screw holes. 


Fascia 1The area the under the layout will eventually get the usual black drapes treatment to hide all those legs and braces, but that will wait for a long time until everything is done. The color is "jungle green" and is a custom-mixed Behr color. It covers nicely, but two coats worked better. The contrasting color on the fascia highlights the landscaping (IMHO).



Images (6)
  • Gingerbread 1
  • Gingerbread 2
  • Gingerbread 4
  • Gingerbread 3
  • Gingerbread 5
  • Fascia 1

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