Sunday, November 3, 2019

Construction Update - Filling in around the Airline

Wow - Happy November already(!) It's been a fun-filled couple of months what with all the railroady events coming all at once right during my favorite season. If you haven't already, be sure to scroll back through the posts for my reports on the NHRHTA Reunion, MARPM, and OPtoberfest.

The only downside of so much goodness is that the layout has taken a bit of a back seat these past weeks - I haven't posted any construction update since I last did scenery in East Berlin at the end of August(!) But things haven't been totally idle. Since my last ops session, I've taken a break from scenery-making and instead have been been busy making a few changes and upgrades to the layout itself, with a view to finally finishing basic construction (well, except for the valence and maybe some other sundries that don't occur to me at the moment).

* * *

I'd always planned to do a "generic Airline" scene to the left of Somerset, but after accidentally knocking a loco off the elevated Airline track - and seeing it careen through the still-open benchwork to the floor - I decided it was finally time to start closing things up and get a backdrop in there.

A scene something like this . . .
Or this . . .
Here's what I started with. This is the area to the left of Somerset with the "Airline" on the upper level and the west end return loop on the lower level. Lead into west end staging is off to the right on the lower level. Where that little bit of tree backdrop fell off? Yeah, that's where the loco took a dive.

I used some scrap pieces of plywood for a base for the foam (figuring I could use the larger piece that was there before somewhere else)

First layer of foam is 1" thick with 1.5" thick spacers on that.
I'll top this off with another layer of 1" foam. Note that I've also added a 2nd "fascia" to face the foam and blend the scene into the upper level, leaving the Shore Line in a trench on the lower level to de-emphasize it. It shouldn't really be there, distracting from the Airline, but the location is a necessary evil. Not smart to bury it all since we still need easy access during operations.

Since the foam was just placed temporarily to get an idea of contours, I removed it in order to install the backdrop of 1/8" Masonite.

Clamps are your friend when you're doing this by yourself. I secured the two end pieces, then pressed/wedged the middle section in, secured right to the studs.

Screws are all countersunk, seams sanded smooth, with fiberglass mesh tape over that.

Then it's just a matter of topping, sanding, then topping again to make it all nice and smooth.

Final steps are two coats of "sky" paint. Another good view of the "2nd fascia"

Finally, needed to engineer some support for the foam behind the Airline track, which also has to be high enough to provide clearance for trains on the loop below. Here are a couple of long risers on the joists, along with foam block spacers in the middle at the back.

Provided a little lip of support at the back left corner as well.

A nice new one-piece of 1" foam cut to shape.

I'm leaving the foam off the front and the "slats" (plywood supports) loose for now so I can pop up from below and have easy access to scenic behind the Airline main.

So that's what's going on on the Airline. Tune in next time for an improvement on the Shore Line!

No comments:

Post a Comment