Sunday, June 21, 2020

Tunnel portals at Palisade Ranch

The next expansion of the layout will include this scene.   This is one of the most photographed areas on the prototype.  On the layout the scene will be viewed from the left as indicated by the arrow and after entering the tunnel portals the tracks will cross the lift bridge which was the subject of this recent post.  I already have the two  bridges and those were featured in this post.  Now it's time to create the tunnel portals.

This will be the portal for the SP line which is on the left in the above reference photo.  The curved top of the tunnel liner was made by cutting a section of 1-1/2 ABS drain pipe in half then adding sidewalls of 1/4 inch plywood.  The face and angled retaining walls are 1/8 inch hard board and a scrap of .060 x .060 styrene strip finishes the top.

Once the basic structures were finished the tunnel portals were placed over a straight section of track on the layout and all of the larger rolling stock were driven through to verify that they would clear.

The portal for the WP line was made the same way but without the wing walls.  It is longer and more of the top is finished as it will be exposed.  Both were painted with Testors concrete acrylic paint.  They will get a light smoke weathering and another pair will be needed later on the other end of the tunnel.


  1. Hi Brad.
    I did something like these when Vic and I built our Thompson River Canyon display layout way back. Only difference is that I glued thin styrene over the wood which then allowed me to scribe concrete form lines into the styrene. Once painted and weathered they turned out really nicely. Its a cheap way to get something unique.
    Yours look very good.

    1. Hi Rod, great look on all the concrete work done on the Thompson River Canyon layout. What did you use for color ? I've just used out of the bottle concrete or aged concrete but have never been 100% satisfied with the look.

  2. Now Brad that was 20 years ago ha ha. I know I switched to acrylic paints very early on so it was probably Accumate Concrete. I used to like that stuff but it went off the market quite a while ago. A colour a good friend and I are using for Corrugated iron is Tamiya fine undercoat Spray Grey. There could be a colour in their range or in Vallejo's Huge range. I love their paint and they have a lot of neat military colours for us modellers to use as well. Maybe try the Tamiya grey stuff and a wash of india ink will bring out some detail.
    Good hunting.

  3. That paint should be Accuflex, dam I am getting old.