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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been carving up the foam layers for the terrain. I'd say I'm 70% complete, and almost ready to lay the upper level track.

The upper level track is a pinched oval that crosses in each direction over the double bridge. The centerlines are traced with a sharpie pen. A spur will serve small industries on the one side and another spur on the other side for a town.

I'm happy with the results so far!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I still have a long way to go. In addition to laying the upper level track, I need to cut tunnel access hatches above the 2 tunnels on either end of the one bridge that's closest to the control panel. I need to vacuum up the foam debris, but my oldest daughter has my shop vac... so I need her to return it. I need to clean up before putting down the cork roadbed. I hope to get that started this weekend. I also need to be sure the upper level bridge is sitting at the right height, and figure out what I want to do for bridge piers for that bridge. Not sure I want to fabricate them from scrap foam like I did for the lower level bridges.

I need to set the bridges on the lower level. Right now they are just sitting there. I need to anchor them, and secure the track to the bridges.

And I still have a lot of carving to do. I have a lot of plaster cloth on the way, so at some point in the next few weeks, I should be able to start on the scenery.

I have 2 new locomotives on the way, and would like to run trains for a while once I get the upper level track laid down and before I start into the messy aspects of scenery. Because once I start with the plaster cloth, I'll have to mask off the track with painter's tape in order to keep all the crap from getting into the track.

During the week, I have an hour or so on some evenings which doesn't allow a lot of time to make serious progress. So the weekends are important. I find myself doing things on week nights to prepare for the weekend so the weekend can be as efficient as possible.
 

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That looks great! And looks like it’ll be tons of fun to scenic & operate too! I particularly like the curved reverse track to the left of your control stand, which looks like it could double as an interchange track between the loops. I don’t know what you’re planning there, but it screams “blasted cut” by 1920s dynamiters. I think that has promise to be a highly photographed spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, "blasted cut" will be a theme for sure. The area I'm modeling (Ohio River valley between Ohio and West Virginia) has a lot of roads and railways along the river where the roadbeds were blasted away from the hills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I lay down the cork roadbed with Elmer's Glue. Tack it down with T-pins and weigh it down with soup cans over night.

I use Liquid Nails Projects adhesive to layer the sheets of foam.

The tree trunks are held down with CA glue.

I plan to use plaster cloth on a lot of this to smooth out the ground. I'm going to use wadded up paper and small strips of cardboard to smooth out some places.
 

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Quick tip for free blasted rock; I've had good success using broken cement “crumbs.” But it can’t be the type with large aggregate (stones) that were in the mix.
I suppose you could pour some quikcrete & bust it up… but why pay when there are so many busted parking lots, sidewalks, curbs, etc.
 

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Unless you are modelling the Midwest prairie, African savanna, or concrete and steel downtown area, once you think you have enough trees, add more. There are more trees in just about any area than you first think there are.

I planted 100 trees in an 20"x40" area and it still looks sparse. Another 60 or 70 is needed.
 

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Wow, what an N empire. Bridges are always dynamic. Without bridges, civilization would not exist. Nice how you put in three different types. I hope you can do a little video of this empire in action someday.
 

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Unless you are modelling the Midwest prairie, African savanna, or concrete and steel downtown area, once you think you have enough trees, add more. There are more trees in just about any area than you first think there are.

I planted 100 trees in an 20"x40" area and it still looks sparse. Another 60 or 70 is needed.
:D Don't be daft, man, can't you see this is the African savannah he is modeling??
(Could be El Paso, where I reside. A dearth of trees. Resembles Australian outback).
 

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I lay down the cork roadbed with Elmer's Glue. Tack it down with T-pins and weigh it down with soup cans over night.

I use Liquid Nails Projects adhesive to layer the sheets of foam.

The tree trunks are held down with CA glue.

I plan to use plaster cloth on a lot of this to smooth out the ground. I'm going to use wadded up paper and small strips of cardboard to smooth out some places.
Thank you. I was thinking of changing my substrate from plywood to foam.

Bill
 

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Thank you. I was thinking of changing my substrate from plywood to foam.

Bill
If by "changing" you mean changing what you plan to use, it's a good idea. I have grown to prefer it. But I wouldn't rip out perfectly good plywood. You can definitely combine the two techniques on the same layout.
 
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If by "changing" you mean changing what you plan to use, it's a good idea. I have grown to prefer it. But I wouldn't rip out perfectly good plywood. You can definitely combine the two techniques on the same layout.
Well at the moment all I have is a 8x4 sheet covered with tablecloth. Nothing permanent.
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I have added a second track on trestle in an oval. I'm not very artsy/craftsy more of a runner guy from what I understand. I may add an additional 4 feet off the side.

Bill
 

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Well at the moment all I have is a 8x4 sheet covered with tablecloth. Nothing permanent. View attachment 574074
I have added a second track on trestle in an oval. I'm not very artsy/craftsy more of a runner guy from what I understand. I may add an additional 4 feet off the side.

Bill
You can build terrain using foam off of that base. If you add on to the side, you could use a foam base for that. Just be careful to match the heights of the layout surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, what an N empire. Bridges are always dynamic. Without bridges, civilization would not exist. Nice how you put in three different types. I hope you can do a little video of this empire in action someday.
Here is a quick walk around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Got all the cork roadbed laid between yesterday evening and today. I plan to lay track tomorrow.
 
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