Habouring A Secret

The New New Project Part 8

My last post was over two months ago, life has kept me busy in that time. I got married to the Love Of My Life, I am rehearsing for two plays that I’m appearing in later this month (November 2016) and my new wife and I built a karaoke system. So while I have not been working on my layout, I have been busy.

The train room is being used for temporary storage right now but there has been more work done that I haven’t shared yet. So, I’ve been referring to how the layout sub roadbed gets more complex as we move around the table. Finally we arrive at the most complex part. Really, though, as train layouts go, it’s not that complex.

To provide continuous running via a loop and allow for some really interesting scenery I opted to have the mainline dip under the surface and continue, hidden around the wall. This meant that under the area I have designated as the East waterfront another set of tracks would be running underneath. You saw in my last post how the grade was descending. I had to design so that tracks would have adequate clearance and the above layer would be sturdy enough to support track and structures.

I used some old Woodland scenics grade kits turned on their side, since they provided the right height for clearance at 2-1/2″. I curved them so that the track could curve around them. They cracked in a few spots since I was bending them the wrong way so I filled in the gaps with spackling plaster. I laid out the grade going back up along the back wall. I then filled in the middle with various pieces of foam and more Woodland scenics unused grade kits along the back.


Curved grade kits being misused. The pink is the spackling plaster. It goes on pink and dries white.

Below you can see the completed downgrade in the first photo and the return upgrade along the back. Also in the other two photos you can see the bent Woodland Scenics grade kits plus cut foam to fill in the middle section.

The next part would be the top layer. I wanted to make sure I could have a cut-out section to allow for the watery part of the waterfront (I hope to have two ships there) plus the track areas. So I decided to use a base of sheet metal with a final 1/2″ layer of foam. This would allow enough rigidity and the cut out area. I found some pieces of pre-cut sheet metal at Home Depot that would work. I crafted some wooden posts to hold up the sheet metal and foam.

I was also aware that laying track would be difficult once the ‘lid’  was on. My plan was to paint the area black since it was backstage, so to speak. I used dollar store acrylic to paint the area black, glued the posts in place and glued the metal onto the foam and posts. Then I laid down the final foam layer with lots of weight (look at the photo, I’m not kidding).

The last bit was to cut out the area for the ships to float in. I cut out a large enough section to accommodate two N scale ships and then lined the harbour bottom with plaster. This way I can later paint it then add water in the form of resin.

After all that I realized that I should paint the upgrade area black as well but, as I said above, I’ve been so busy I haven’t gotten to that yet. I hope to be back working on it next month (December 2016) so be patient.

In the meantime, here's a photo of a fun Union Station clock face I made plus...

In the meantime, here’s a photo of a fun Union Station clock face I made (once the glue dried the wrinkles went away, I promise) plus…

...Union Station as it appears today annndddd....

…Union Station as it appears today annndddd….


…the east waterfront area now. Both as seen from the CN Tower. Very different from the era I’m modelling (1962).


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