Monday, August 29, 2016

Building a switching layout (Part 2: Planning and painting)

After all the track and turnouts have been wired, I hooked up a simple transformer and made a couple of passes through all the turnouts and spurs. I used one of my analog Walthers/Life Like P1K Alcos with one 50' Boxcar to see if there are no dead rails.

 I laid all the track and turnouts on cork roadbed, not for sound reduction but only to get the track raised above ground level. The wider strips of cork will be my roads.

I did not build the tracks to fit along the structures that I would use. This would be too simple. Guess I'm joking here. I already regret my decision. This implies that I have to build all my structures to suit my existing track arrangement. It's like on the prototype.

To start with, I measured my available spaces between or next to the tracks and fashioned paper templates with the footprints of the future buildings.

Except for the footprints, at this stage of construction, I had no clue of what buildings I would put there. I relied completely on my considerable stash of scratchbuilding material and leftovers from previous kits.

In the meanwhile I filled the screw heads and sanded the facia and valance smooth in preparation of the painting. The backdrop already received a coat of sky blue. To some the sky might be too "blue", but most of what you see there will be covered with backdrop buildings anyway. I like the strong blue color because the sky is actually blue on the photos and not grey or white with a backdrop that is painted with a lighter color.

The access to the staging yard cassette will also be hidden by a corner building and a highway bridge.

Most spur tracks will only hold one car plus engine.

A bird's eye perspective of the layout. The lighting fixtures are behind the upper valance.

You don't need as many clamps to hold the sideboard until the glue has dried, but I had enough of them at the club, so I probably did a bit of overkill. ;)

That's the staging area which basically hides a turnout to form a runaround. Because of the turnout, there is not enough room left to switch cars, so I added a short (2 car length) extension.

I usually paint my fascia and valance black. It makes a better contrast with the lighted interior of the box. This is the left side view of the layout....

..and here the right side. I also recessed the turnout controls to avoid damage during transport and operation.

Thanks for following and now it's time to build some structures.

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