Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Update: There's Hills in them there Hills!

I have not had much time to work on the layout recently, but I have done a few things here and there:

Making a freight platform from layered pieces of hardboard. The plastic piece in front is a Peco (I think) platform front, useful for the fine brickwork detail. The plan is to build up the bulk of the platform and then plaster the top, painting it to look like concrete.

Small rolling hill built up from two layers of cardboard. I'll lay the plaster cloth on top and add a few shrubs and maybe a couple trees. The main road will be sandwiched between this hill and the slope of the ramp.

Decorated the bridge! Printed these out on regular paper and glued on with PVA glue. I hope when the bridge is weathered they will look more like painted signboards and less like what they are.

Today I continued work on building up the landscape.

The tunnel portals are not painted yet, but I've put them in place using blu-tack temporarily to build up the tunnel. The plan is to have the top of the hill lift off for access, which I think is better than building a hole into the back of the hill since this is in the corner of the room. Sanding block is to keep the sides square while they dry. Unfortunately there will be a very steep hill between the ramp track and the top of the tunnel, but it's a good place to put a short cliff face or similar.

View of the upper tunnel portal with sides also temporarily attached.

Trying a new technique for the large hill in the upper right of the layout. Started with a single piece of cardboard that I stuck in the middle, then eyeballed it so that an operator standing in front of the layout (assuming they're 6' tall) would just be able to see trains passing behind the hill, but would easily be able to lean over and see everything. Then I measured and cut out the cardboard shapes based on this height.

Another view of the hill framework.

Yet another view. I don't know whether I'll use cardboard strips, newspaper, or a combination of both to build up the hills in preparation for plastering.

Next is to continue with the tunnel hill, and finish off that platform. I've started figuring out what each of the five sidings will accept/produce, looking forward to starting a random waybill system for ordering different cars around the layout. Also named the small passenger station and putative town beyond: Kabayama 樺山, after a neighbourhood in the real Taihoku where a major freight yard was built ca. 1938.

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