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Nick,
Here is the conversation about backdrops I mentioned.

The backdrops are .060 sheet styrene painted with two shades of blue flat latex paint from Home Depot that I blend together. I use a typical sky blue on the upper two-thirds. I no longer know which Glidden color I used originally, but Glidden's "Wild Blue Yonder" is close, though a shade lighter. On the bottom third, I use a very light blue (almost white) from Glidden called "Ice Age." I apply both to 4 or 5 foot section of backdrop with rollers and then I blend them together with a wide brush while they are still wet to create that hazy transition.

The Glidden website is great for comparing shades.

Here's a quick video of one lap around the mainline. I apologize for the messy layout and rather amateur video, but hopefully it gives a good general view of the track plan.



Awesome video and awesome layout! Nothing worse than waiting for someone to quit yabbering on for 5 minutes when you just want to see the layout.

Could you/did you go into detail about the mountains you did along the basement wall? I'm more or less trying to accomplish the same exact thing on my layout. It looks like cardboard lattice and plaster cloth?

@BillYo414 posted:

Awesome video and awesome layout! Nothing worse than waiting for someone to quit yabbering on for 5 minutes when you just want to see the layout.

Could you/did you go into detail about the mountains you did along the basement wall? I'm more or less trying to accomplish the same exact thing on my layout. It looks like cardboard lattice and plaster cloth?

Yep, that's exactly what I did. The below image shows basically every step from beginning to end. Starts with simple cardboard strip lattice. I then covered the entire thing with plaster cloth and on top of the plaster cloth I smoothed on joint compound; sculptamold or plaster would work just as well. Once it dries I decide where I want to add and carve some rocks made of plaster. I throw on some brown paint and add various colors of turfs, bushes, and trees. I still have to go back and add some more coloring to the rocks, add more trees and small details and such.



IMG-0574

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Yep, that's exactly what I did. The below image shows basically every step from beginning to end. Starts with simple cardboard strip lattice. I then covered the entire thing with plaster cloth and on top of the plaster cloth I smoothed on joint compound; sculptamold or plaster would work just as well. Once it dries I decide where I want to add and carve some rocks made of plaster. I throw on some brown paint and add various colors of turfs, bushes, and trees. I still have to go back and add some more coloring to the rocks, add more trees and small details and such.



IMG-0574

Nick, Perfect !

I need to begin in my layout but I don't know the first step !!

Nick,

I just discovered your layout build.  I am super impressed!  You have made a ton of progress in a short amount of time.  I love your theme and your scenery is already making the PRR  come alive and feel real.  Your horseshoe curve section reminded me of the real thing as I have been there several times. Western PA is my old stomping ground.  My layout build, the Allegheny Crossing is along the same lines as yours, loosely modeling the look and feel of the PRR and Western Maryland RR in the 40's to 50's with a few other things mixed in there.  Although, I am nowhere near as far along as you are.  I will be following your build closely and if you don't mind, I'm sure I will be grabbing some inspiration for my layout.  Keep up the great work!  Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Michael

2/9/21

I was really anxious to start putting together my Horseshoe Curve inspired scene. So, today I put the base layer of scenery down around the tracks and hillside. I also added in a sidewalk that will eventually have a fence on the track side (I don't believe the fence was present in the steam era, but I like the look if it) and will have a staircase leading down to the small flat area below. Many more layers of details will be added in the coming days along with a good vacuuming of the track.

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@pennsynut posted:

From what I see, you have nice viewing angles of trains approaching, traveling through and exiting your horseshoe curve. I especially like your view of the train on a curve exiting the main curve area. The elongated "s" adds a lot of interesting drama to train traffic.

That was something I was really trying to incorporate on this layout wherever I could. There are some areas where I was forced to have the tracks run parallel to the edge of the table but in places I had more space, I tried to create as interesting yet realistic trackage as I could.

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