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After making some measurements and thinking about how to add a background diorama and town scene at the north end of my 12’-by-8’ model railroad, my first step was to cut a piece of one-inch-thick extruded pink foam to fit the space across the “window” and between the north edge of the table and the back of the sill - about 14 inches deep by 30 inches wide. The sill was higher than the table, so I added a half-inch-square basswood strip to the bottom of the foam to make it level. Therefore, street level of the town scene will be about six feet (full-scale) above the level of the railroad.


I cut and glued together three pieces of urethane stone wall material and attached them to the front edge of the pink foam with yellow carpenter’s glue.


The stone wall extends only part way across the front edge of the foam.


In many places on the New Haven Railroad (now Metro-North Railroad - the prototype with which I’m most familiar), the right-of-way was lined by stone retaining-walls and rock-faces. If possible, it was easier to leave a rock-face in place rather than to build a stone wall, and the walls often abutted the rocks. Therefore, the next piece of urethane at the front edge of the pink foam simulates a rock-face.


Another section of rock-face was then applied to the left side of the foam and its lower surface was trimmed to match the contour of the terrain at the north edge of the table. I trimmed these pieces at the workbench and fitted them together and to the layout by trial and error. Working at the bench was much easier than squeezing into the narrow aisle.


After the urethane rock-faces were glued in place, I applied Mold-a-Scene plaster behind their upper edges to blend them into the flat surface of the town scene.


The last two photos show the diorama base in position on the “window” sill and the north edge of the layout. An area of grass has been added at the left side of the rock-face to conceal the gap between it and the layout terrain, but more work will be required there.



At this point, with the diorama fitted onto the layout, I decided on several additions that I will discuss next time.



Images (8)
  • MELGAR_2021_0708_01_12X8_BASE
  • MELGAR_2021_0708_03_12X8_STONE_WALL
  • MELGAR_2021_0708_06_12X8_BASE_IN_PLACE
  • MELGAR_2021_0708_07_12X8_STONE_FACE
  • MELGAR_2021_0710_01_STONE_FACE_LEFT
  • MELGAR_2021_0711_01B_TEST_FIT
  • MELGAR_2021_0711_02_TEST_FIT
@coach joe posted:

Mel will you be working on the diorama on the bench?


Work on the diorama base and its scenery is now on hold because I first must build the structures that will be placed on the scene. When that's done, I will remove the diorama from the layout and install the structures, sidewalks, street, etc. at the workbench. Update again next Sunday.


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