Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Preparing for photographic backdrops

It is usually best to finish the backdrop before installing the bench work that is going to be in front of it.   Now that the Wesso and Gloconda sections progressing nicely,  I need to install a hard, smooth paneling that will curve around the inside corners of the walls that I can then install a photo backdrop on.

Many people use Masonite but I have been using fiberglass reinforced plastic wall paneling.  It is bumpy on the finished side and smooth on the back side so I use it back side out.  This paneling had worked very well on my old layout for 11 years as mentioned in the December 2013 post Lessons learned from the old layout.  For me the advantages of this type of paneling are the thinness and the greater flexibility when rounding a corner.

This photo shows both sides of this type of paneling.  It comes in a 4 x 8 ft sheet and I cut it lengthwise to get three 16 inch x 8 ft strips.  I have cut this both on my table saw with a fine tooth blade and by the scribe and snap method.

Attachment is done with 1 inch nails on the top and bottom at each wall stud.  I tried using finishing nails but the heads of the nails tended to break through the panels so I now use 1 inch nails with a flat head.
At the seams I splice the sides of the panels facing the wall with .020 styrene.



The corners on this layout will be curved and the first one is going to be behind the dry creek scene on the Wesso section.

This photo shows that area and how I have placed the seam between two sections of panel to one side.  The first two panels were from the old layout and had been painted blue.  A notch has been cut out right at the corner so the panel could go over the bench work.


The nails and seams are then smoothed out with Spackle and then a coat of primer will put on to seal everything.  With at least some of the panels now ready I have ordered 24 ft of photo backdrop.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

East end return loop bench work

The east end of the layout is to have a return loop that will be above the Wesso section.  The Wesso section has been completed for some time but I do not want to install it until I have built and installed the end loop section that will be above it and also some of the back drops that will be behind the Wesso section.

So while I have been working on the Gloconda section in the train room I have also started bench work for the end loop out in the driveway as the weather has been nice lately.  In this photo the path of the end loop and a possible passing siding has been mocked up with Kato Unitrack.

Here is another view of this section with the bottom up.  The frame of this section is only 2 - 1/2 inches thick and will have removable panels on the bottom that will have LED light panels attached to them. This view shows one panel on and one off.

The panels will be secured all along the back by sliding a tab that runs along the back edge of the panel under a strip that is permanently attached along the bottom of the back edge of the section.  A pair of screws near the front edge of the panel will then hold the panel in place.

The end loop section of the layout will be supported by attachment to the walls and also by at least one bracket from above.  Near the center of this photo can be seen an extra support and mounting hole for one of those brackets.

There are several support frames within the end loop section.  Holes were made in these to run wiring for the track and notches were made so that the LED light wiring that will be on the panel will not be pinched when the panel is installed.





This east end return loop will be connected to another helix that will carry the tracks down to the Carlin section.  With so much track length being within the helix I am considering using some sort of serial staging for the east end of the layout.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Land forms for the Gloconda section

After finishing the basic bench work I used a similar method as I had done on the Wesso section to create the contours of the land.  Insulation board was cut and shaped with a inexpensive steak knife to get the basic shapes I wanted.  This time I decided to place a layer of plaster cloth over the shaped insulation board to further refine the shapes.  This will later be followed up with a brushed on wet coat of sheet rock mud.

The bridge abutments were cut from 1/4 inch plastic and after fitting them into the correct positions were attached with Liquid Nails adhesive.  The masking tape is to protect them from getting any plaster or sheet rock mud on them.