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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Lessons learned Tunnels

Updated 4-28-2007

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This entry was in response to an interesting thread on Trains.Com.

Whew, I built the mountains, really liked them, used some paper rock homemade portals and stopped cold. Why? I realized I need to 'line my tunnels'. OK, so I built some 'paper and cardboard' liners. I fitted them in from the back. Yuk, the paper portals looked awful. And the liners were only a bit better.

So I purchased some plaster portals and fitted them to my paper liners. Even more yuk! So I built some styrene liners and started installing them and the plaster portals. Ready to glue it down and stopped cold again. I needed to paint the styrene tunnels which turned out to be no trivial task as the acrylic paint bubbles on dirty plastic. (First time I tried to paint any styrene with acrylic paints you know). OK, painted lets glue. Oh no! The track needs to be balasted but the roadbed needs to be painted first.

At that point, I was glad my mountains were light and removable, so off they came, and I started ground up.

  1. widen roadbed so tunnel liners have no gaps. I use 3/4 masonite strips glued to the sub road bed edges like they do in spline roadbeds to fix narrow places on the roadbed.
  2. Paint roadbed very dark gray
  3. Align track one more time and replace missing ties.
  4. Ballast track all the way past the liner and outside the portals
  5. Check liner paint job
  6. Trimed liners to fit with retaining walls
  7. Paint and weather the portals and retaining walls. What a kick that was!
  8. Glue liner to portals
  9. Glue portals to roadbed
  10. Installed retaining walls
  11. Reinstalled mountains
  12. Plaster cloth repairs to mountain shells
  13. Now ready to so some scenicing.

Never did I realize it was so involved in making mountains and portals and such. But boy do I like the results.

Update 4-28-2007

I took the plunge over the last week and moved ahead with the scenery work. Overall, things went about like I had hoped with a few little exceptions here and there. It is simply amazing how much you tend to learn by doing this stuff. One of the biggest lessons I learned this past week is the difference in landscaping with evergreens vs deciduous trees. Next time you see a group of model railroad scenery, examine the differences. The Evergreens are harder, taking many more trees to achieve a decent look, plus they require you do something with the 'ground' where as with the other trees you could do a canopy of the area, totally blocking out the ground. Anyway, here is the current status picture.

Joe Daddy



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