Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Layout Construction - September 2011

Background Painting
Before I complete any more scenery, the backdrops for the Geraldine and Lewistown areas need to be finished. Kind of a putting the cart before the horse as they say. Finishing the backdrops will be more difficult with delicate trees and building in the way. The first four photos below show the final results for the Geraldine area. It took a couple of tries to get the colors I was hoping for. They aren’t great, but I can’t spend forever redoing it. The bottom two photos show the changes in the Lewistown side of the layout. A before and after view. The addition of clouds give the scene a sense of distance.

Click on the photo for a larger view.



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The Wheat Field
I finally completed the rows of wheat for this harvest scene. To finish the scene I added dirt and trimmed Woodland Scenic’s field grass to represent the cut stalks wheat. To complete this scene I will add a wire fence to create a border between the field and railroad property.

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Bridge Construction
To finish the track to Great Falls yard I need to complete the bridge between the upper levels of the layout. The Milwaukee Road used unique bridge abutments on the Northern Montana Line. I am scratch-buildings the abutments from sheet styrene. These abutments will not be exact models of what they used, but will be a close representation. Once the bridge is finished, track laying to Great Falls will begin.


Switch Stands
In Lewistown yard I replaced most of the above ground switch levers (top-left photo) with Fast Track Bullfrog switch controllers under the layout (top-right photo). Why replace something that works just find? The bottom left  photo will show you why. Each switch will have a scale non-operating switch stand just like the real thing. I think this adds a great look to the layout and will be more reliable. The one pictured is a NJ International switch stand that I picked up at a local railroad show for a great discount. These are low target stands that were frequently used on yard tracks. I have tall switch stands that the Milwaukee Road used on mainlines (bottom-right photo), but will not add them until more of the scenery is complete.

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