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B-Train Small Layout #2


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Walling along front edge of the hill section, which was cut earlier, was painted with grey primer which was darker than expected, so I gave all of it a wash of white paint wiped off front the high spots with a rag, and then given a bit of weathering to tone everything down.  Posts made from square brass tube superglued to the back of the walling at the appropriate locations.  This has not been installed yet.


The road base was then cut from a large sheet of 20 thou styrene sheet.  Kerbing was added from 30 thou by 1/4" strip styrene.  Some strip tape from hobby lobby was used to mask off the crossings, this is all just done by eyeball, not measured.  With masking done, I sprayed the edges with concrete colour spray paint.  After this had dried, I then masked off the edges and sprayed grey primer for the main road.  As soon as the paint was reasonably dried, I removed all the masking.


I then gave this a break as I masked off the viaduct area to paint the viaduct track.  Not as easy as it seems (see photo)!


While the viaduct area was drying I gave the road base a bit of weathering.  I also finished up the last section of the footbridge from the lower level.


With all paint dry, I glued the road base to the hill base.  I then added the footbridge which completed that little project.  I think it came out quite well overall!


With the road base installed I was able to install buildings and a bus shelter on the rear side of the hill.  A bit of vegetation was added to mask joins in the styrene.


Final activity for this evening was to install the houses on the front edge of the hill section.  Plenty of superglue around the base of each building, and then a bunch on the base of the parking area under each house.  This was then slipped under the road base and once in place, I used my finger to push the driveway piece down onto the parking area base to complete the awkward inclined road to level parking transition.


Tasks for tomorrow will be to add the edge walling, add concrete fencing, and then add the left hand fascia.  If this gets done in reasonable time, I will start working on upper level.


























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Krackel Hopper

I used my finger to push the driveway piece down onto the parking area base to complete the awkward inclined road to level parking transition.

Very simple solution to the incline road vs level buildings. I had just assumed that the styrene would not want to stay bent, cause a ripple in the roadway or otherwise not allow the building to sit level.. I figured it would require some careful heating and bending to make it work. Seeing this play out gives me more confidence in adding elevation to my city!


Fantastic work! Can't wait to see it running this February!

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I had just assumed that the styrene would not want to stay bent, cause a ripple in the roadway or otherwise not allow the building to sit level.. I figured it would require some careful heating and bending to make it work.


I use 20 thou styrene for my road bases, this gives them good flexibility.  I superglued the road to the base first, let the glue dry and then added the houses with the driveways.  I knew it would not affect the road section, I just wasn't sure how well the driveway transition would work.  Excuse the poor photo, limits of my iphone, one is unedited while one shows the transition.  I will add a little vegetation to cover that small area on each driveway, though in all honesty it is hardly visible.





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I went ahead and worked on house fencing with the wall edging on my work surface.  These are 2 pieces of 40 thou by 1/4" styrene stacked to give the appearance of a stacked concrete wall, and are painted concrete colour.


I then installed edge walling to front of the hill section.  While the glue is drying I weathered the fence sections ready for installation, and while I had the black paint out I decided to weather the walling at the front of the layout between lower and main level on the left hand side.


Installing fencing to fence posts that are attached to the edge walling was next.


A couple of detail and overview photos attached.


I am now working to complete preparation of the left hand fascia ready for installation tomorrow.  Once that is done I can start work on the scenic base above the main level tunnel.










Edited by nickhp
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Great work!!  Great tutorial!!


You got five trains/trams running on a small piece of real estate.


Lots of motion on a simple and interesting layout.




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Left hand fascia preparation complete.  The front edge represents a bridge pillar, so I added a thin strip of styrene to the front edge to hide the foam core.  I just used 30 thou styrene sheet, added a strip of L channel styrene to it, then cut the sheet to the right width and added another piece of L strip.  This was then glued to the inside edges of the gatorfoam.  After a few minutes of drying time for the superglue, I sprayed the front and inside edges my concrete colour (I think I need to patent my concrete colour!!).


I then glued the fascia to the main board.  Standing the layout on end gives weight and keeps everything square while the glue sets up, something I also check with a small square.  The photos of this step give an aerial view of the layout as it stands, but from the other side, allows you to see the base of the layout from underneath, something I hadn't show yet.  The front fascia piece I messed up a little, the cross member cut was made all the way to the bottom of the fascia, on subsequent fascia pieces it only goes down as far as the cross member, allowing me to add a nail from the bottom of the fascia to help hold the fascia to the cross member further.


More later!












Edited by nickhp
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Getting the base down for the upper area above the main level tunnel.  You can see the upper level loop in these photos. 


Progress is going to be hit and miss over the next 2 weeks, I will post updates as and when I make any worthwhile progress!







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Just added some fencing along the top of the wall on the main level.  Small items are probably going to be the progress I make in the next 2 weeks...


Also added a couple of views of the upper level progress.





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Was able to spend a little bit of time on the layout the last couple of days.  Made the front and rear sections of the main road on the main level.  I just need to weather the sections made before installing them.  The remaining road section is just the small piece between tracks on either side of the layout and the actual pieces between the rails.  I will get to those in a bit.


I am now working on the upper level loop, the back portion is a raised embankment and the majority of the middle and front portion is on a girder bridge.  All of this is being scratchbuilt using styrene.


My main challenge in the short term, other than finding time to do anything, will be doing any painting since the temperatures outside are going to be so cold, which leads to issues with me using spray paints.


Attached are a couple of photos showing the road pieces temporarily in place and a current overall view of the layout.







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Nice nick! Did you paint the roads on cardboard then push on the to get the road cracks?




Hi Jeff,


No, I just found with rustoleum primers that if you spray a little too much on plastic it tends to craze a bit.  First time it was not desired, but when painting roads I remembered the effect, so tried to reproduce it and sure enough, it worked.





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BTW, no cardboard used in any of my construction on this layout, the roads are 20 thou styrene sheet on top of 1/4 gatorfoam which is just to bring the road height up around the height of the kato unitrack rails given the built in roadbed height.  Didn't want ski ramps at each crossing!

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Had a couple of hours to work on the upper level area this morning.


I'm using sheet styrene to make the walls for the embankment section at the back of the layout.  I cut sheet styrene to the right height.  Then I bend (using my fingers) and glued 1/8" square strip to the edges of the track base gatorfoam  to which the sides will be glued (I can't glue to the foam core area with superglue, hence this step being required).


I then superglue the sides to the track base.  Finally I added the end piece which drops lower since it transitions to a lower level on the layout.  Once in place, I reinforce the joint from the inside with round tube styrene.


A few photos to show this part of construction and a couple of photos temporarily placed on the layout.











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Curved girder bridge = more difficult scratchbuild required.


Traced around the track base onto 40 thou styrene sheet, then drew lines either side and cut out using scissors.  Repeat again to create upper and lower pieces for both inside and outside of curve.  Then cut a strip of 80 thou styrene to form the vertical part of girder and glue it onto base piece.  I superglue a short section, hold it until it sets, then a little more, hold and set, and so on.  Once the lower girder is complete, I then add the top piece in the same manner.  While warped on their own, once glued up everything was quite true.


Girder height is track base plus styrene strip width x2 to allow for attaching pieces to glue to the styrene top and bottom face while also acting to centre the girder vertically on the roadbed.


More tomorrow?






Edited by nickhp
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Had a bit of time this morning so made the bridge support pillars.  I just drew up something the right height to support the lower trackbed gatorfoam height and width of the bridge section, then pretty much drew something that looked right and then drew it onto styrene sheet with a mechanical pencil.  Cut out the 4 parts with a razor blade.  I then used 1/4" styrene square tube I had in my styrene box to give the structure its depth and strength.  Once tubing was glued to one face sheet, I then glued the second sheet and squared it up to the first side/tubing.


Photos of the bridge support pillars attached.  BTW, you can see I glued the girder sections to the roadbed after I posted my last update...










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Added the vertical stiffeners to the outside edges of the girders, a somewhat fiddly and annoying task but only took a couple of hours to complete.  I then finished up the support pier arms.


This morning I went outside and sprayed everything in a dark concrete colour to give it a bit of difference to the regular concrete colour.  I then masked and sprayed the actual bridge area in a matte light blue colour which seems appropriate for Japanese structures of this type.


A few photos of everything temporarily installed on the layout.






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Slope between house site and railway track is too steep so decided to extend the retaining wall to the edge of the layout. 



Edited by nickhp
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Retaining wall painted and weathered, track ballasting on the last section of track completed.  20 thou styrene driveway cut, painted and glued in place.





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Since I'm on a ground cover roll I might as well complete the area, part of which included installing the house on the hill.  Then a quick clean up of the road, though it will need another round of cleaning once the glue has set.


Now on to a bit of weathering before calling it a day for today...





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