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Nice job!  Looking forward to more pics.   Southwestern PA was also my 1st choice when putting together my layout.  There are a lot of older small towns that gave me ideas.  For the clouds and backdrop I hung 4x8 sheets of Masonite.  It was easy to put up and paint and looks good with the flats I built.20200518_205231


Images (1)
  • 20200518_205231


Your L-shaped layout platform provides opportunities for a track plan that transcends traditional rectangular layouts that are typically dominated by loops of track around the perimeter with some sidings.  Many OGR FORUM-ites wish for the space your have dedicated to your Pennsy-inspired layout.

My two-level L-shaped layout is much smaller (15x19 feet) and rendered in a plainer style than your empire with elegantly crafted scenery. You are making full use of Lionel's TMCC and Legacy technologies - a great control system. Cardboard strips and plaster cloth create a lightweight yet strong foundation to support added-on scenic magic. Carry on valiantly!

Some pix of my two-level L-shaped layout are attached -- although modest by comparison.

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394


Images (5)
  • E-W Platforms 3
  • N-S Platform Industrial District
  • Upper Level SW Corner
  • Dino Park 1
  • Oil Field 3

Thank you again everyone for all the compliments! It makes me want to go down in the basement and work away

PRR Joe, I really like your backdrop and elevated flats. I'd like to accomplish something similar.

Mike, all of the buildings on your layout look really great! I especially like the MTH drive-in restaurant in the first picture.

Hi Nick,

On the subject of sky backdrops, I recently had a conversation with an gifted HO modeler who models the Lehigh and New England. His approach was to paint the backdrop using two shades of blue. The upper half was painted a brighter sky blue and the lower horizon with in what was called Ice Blue (almost white) at the same time, in short sections,  using rollers and then, while still wet, blending them with a broad  brush. It looked like a typical sky in Pennsylvania, no clouds to distract the eye away from the layout, but adding great color to it.   I believe the paints were from Glidden. The look is exactly what I was looking for for my  soon-to-be layout.  Earl     

@wb47 posted:

I would go to great lengths to make sure both loops are a minimum O-72.  If you ever want 21 inch passenger cars.

Due to space limitations there are a few spots on the inner loop that had to be O-60, but it works enough for me. Luckily, the majority of the layout is O-72, O-84, and O-96 with the outer loop being O-72 minimum. The PRR Broadway cars in one of the pictures are the 21 inch variant from Lionel. They're a real pleasure to run

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