My layout is located in the corner of my garage in Venice Florida and is modeled after Chesterville, a fictitious town somewhere in New England in the late 50’s and 60’s.
It measures 13’ on the long side and 8’ on the short side.
We are in Florida in the winter so I get about 6 months to work on it. This is my 4th winter.
Because it is in the corner I built the table on casters so I can wheel it out into the middle of the garage to work on it. The table is framed in 1X4 with 4X4 legs. I attached the casters to the bottom of the 4X4’s.
I covered the frame with 2” ridged pink foam. That kept it light and is easy to carve out for the river, easy to add trees and drill for wiring etc.
The mountains were constructed of layered white Styrofoam (mostly packing material that I salvaged), and then carved.
The white Styrofoam is easily carved and some bits can be broken off. I coated it with inexpensive premixed joint compound.
I put on two layers spreading it with my fingers. If you put joint compound on too thickly it takes a long time to dry and tends to crack.
The back of the mountains are open in case of problems with trains in the tunnels.
For the sky I used 1” ridged pink foam boards which I attached to the garage walls with Velcro thereby avoiding any visible attachment hardware.
I have three voltages (6-9-12) available for accessories and lighting. This allows me to use various voltage lights and balance out the brightness if needed. This also avoids the need for resistors on lower voltage lights.
There are 3 loops. There is one for the trolley, one for the outer loop and yard and one for the inner loop and siding.
I created a cross over to be able to bring a train from the outer loop to the inner loop and vice-versa. Because it is such a small layout I went with DC control. Many of the buildings are Walthers kits and prebuilt stuff I acquired along the way.
The layout has basically 4 areas on three levels. Main Street is on the upper level on the left. There a trolley that runs along Main Street, around the park, behind the buildings and through the mountain.
The park features a lunch wagon (named after my wife Tracy) which I build from a non-working trolley I picked up at a flea market.
Below Main Street is a small rail yard and a passenger station accessed by a pedestrian walkway with stairs down to the platform.
Moving to the right on the next level between the fire tower and the shack up on the mountain is a flat area which is a future farm.
Down below will be a rural street leading to the oil and gas depot. I am still figuring what is going to be on that street. For sure there will be a church with graveyard and various houses and buildings.
The river is crossed with four tracks and a scratch built covered bridge and foot bridge.
In the back there is a pathway down from the farm area over the foot bridge to the water tower at the far right. I created a chain railing along that pathway by drilling a small hole through some square stock. I then put a long round head pin through some jewelry chain and the square stock and stuck it in the foam. It is a little tedious but I think it looks great. I have another section to do when I get the patience There is a detail photo at the end.
That’s it folks, still very much a work in progress but just thought I would share what I have so far.
Lots to do including ballasting the track.
Thanks for looking and thanks to Alistair for the blog. It’s been great to follow along and see what others are doing.
A huge thanks to Jack – wonderful pics and a wonderful narrative too.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming, it’s all a bit quiet at the mo.
Don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if today is the day you make that start.