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This is a neat thread - and really nice work, Garrett. It is so rare to have so much natural light to work with. The foam cutting thing gives a neat effect. My only suggestion is to go back to a single operating loop but keep the over and under; having the train traverse the entire span will lend interest to viewers - making it appear more of a journey.

@Paul Kallus posted:

This is a neat thread - and really nice work, Garrett. It is so rare to have so much natural light to work with. The foam cutting thing gives a neat effect. My only suggestion is to go back to a single operating loop but keep the over and under; having the train traverse the entire span will lend interest to viewers - making it appear more of a journey.

yeah I had the same thought.  My past Christmas trains pulled about 20 cars.  A long train looks really nice traversing the layout.  But, I made the change for a few reasons which I will reveal later.  All good.

tonight's task was adding more piers under the elevated curves.  It really bothered me to see the O36 fastrack bending under the weight of the loco and tender.   Since I luckily purchased two of the MTH elevated trestle sets, I had plenty of extra piers to add.  Now, it's rock solid, and I have no fears about the train tipping over

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@palallin posted:

I see that you are using the Dept 56 O Little Town of Bethlehem initial set of buildings.  I have picked up one of those and a couple others from the series for my layout this year.  When I get the detailed finalized, I'll post a pic on another thread.  But I wanted to let you know I appreciate that aspect of your layout.

thank you, sir.  it's easy to get caught up in all the hoopla, but Jesus is the reason for the Season

PE train and MTH Nativity train.....

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the backdrop is the most time-consuming element in the entire layout.  I made a piece for the middle section in the back.  also had to make some length adjustments to the other back pieces.  I am painting two coats of blue as a base sky color then will add some other hues to achieve the desired look.  the overall length is about 19'

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here's a closer look at the backdrop construction.  A night sky backdrop for my Christmas layout has been on my to-do list for several years.  I wanted to incorporate the look of a quilt and star elements to give this a really custom and cozy look.  I think that it will look fantastic when the layout is finished and the backdrop is lit only by the lights of the Christmas tree.

the first step is to mark the vertical lines with a level while the foam is attached to the table.   I make a few other reference marks then remove the foam and place on a table.  Then, I map out 4" squares.  Then, I sketch the quilt pattern.

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