Greetings from across the pond (and a pretty big chunk of non-pond)…
My name is “Olar” Maksin (pronounced “Oh — Lair”) and I live in the Great Pacific Northwest, USA.
I have been enjoying your site for quite a while and like others am constantly amazed at the talent and level of detail that the other modelers on your site achieve on their layouts. The things that can be done with a little bit of plaster, foam and whatever is laying around is remarkable.
What`s not remarkable is anything I`ve tried over the years using a little bit of plaster, foam and whatever is laying around. Any attempts for scenery have always ended up looking exactly like what it was— a pile of plaster and foam that looked like plaster covered foam.
There, however, is one exception to the “stuff laying around” category. I do have quite a bit of exotic hardwood scraps laying around so when I was trying to figure out how to add real eastate to my desk at work I came up with this idea.
I`m a Structural Designer at an engineering firm in Bellingham, Washington State, USA and most of our work is in the Oil and Gas Industry so when I decided to make a shelf to hold plants, etc, and still have room for an architectural “D” size shjeet of paper I thought “Why not break out some of my Z scale stuff that`s been in a box since before Queen Elizabeth was Queen.”
Keeping with the theme of my job I came up with this:
The first Pic is looking into my office (to give some perspective)
The next couple Pics are an overview
The control panel uses bi-colored LEDs to show when the blocks are powered, red is off/green is on
The second row is for the turnouts, the slider is the direction and the round one is momentary to throw the switch
The bottom switch is master on/off
The rest are self explanatory
The hardwoods used are mostly Teak, Sapele, Jatoba, Maple, Oak, Ash and ???
One last tour point: “Stonehenge” is hand carved from a chunk of oak and as close to scale as I could do with a knife and a Dremel
As a result of sometimes being left unsupervised I am in the beginning stages of a 8’x3′ Z Scale layout similarly modeled with hardwoods. More on that later, probably much later…
I`ve rambled on enough, I hope you enjoyed my little 40″x20″ Z Scale Layout…
That`s my story and I`m sticking to it…
I have a 5′ x 8′ layout with a tunnel in one corner. I have two ways to access the inside.
The two sides are open, covered with black cloth to keep the tunnel dark. Brush aside the cloth and I have access to fix derails.
The top has an irregular shaped removable hole. Good for cleaning the track, etc. When I cut the hole in the foam, I cut it at an angle, so it rests like a bowl in the surrounding foam.
To remove it, I can reach inside behind the cloth access area, and simply lift it up and off. Since the opening is irregular in shape, it is easier to hide the edges with foliage, etc.
If you have trouble removing a cutout like this, then you could add a lifting handle or two. A well-secured fallen tree could make a handle, as could a strong, small building or shack.
Carl in Kansas”
Just a quick tip I am using to make n-scale traffic cones used by police and utility companies etc. when they need to block off traffic.
I just purchased a 30 inch dowel the diameter of a plain old wooden pencil for 49 cents. I sharpen the end using a little cheap pencil sharpener, then cut the cone height to desired size and paint them orange.
I then cut small squares of black card stock and then a tiny dab of glue is all it takes to put the orange cone on the base. Took me about 45 min to make about three dozen traffic cones and I still have over 1 foot od dowel left.
A big thanks to Richard, Carl and Olar.
That’s all for today folks.
And if you liked these tips, don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is packed full of em.
Keep ’em coming.