Monday, July 15, 2013

"Front Door" Update

View from bottom of stairs when entering the layout room. The tree line in the far distance provides a "3-D" backdrop for the peninsula and serves to mask the view of the staging yard on the far wall. Plans call for a distant backdrop on that wall to complete the "vista."
Long-time readers of this blog (both of them....) remember that one of the main reasons I completely gutted my layout three years ago and started again was a desire to have an appealing vista as the "front door" to the layout. Not only did I want an appealing scene for the sake of a scene, I also wanted to immediately tell visitors something about the railroad - this is in New England, or at least in a place where the trees change color in the fall; and the setting is fairly rural. Sure, there's a town or two, but frame buildings outnumber brick factories. 
BEST Trains Berry Machine. This is normally sited as a water-powered mill, but I've chosen to make it coal fired!
Although it may seem I've dropped off the face of the earth lately, I have been working on the layout. But my efforts were slowed by summer activities. Then about two weeks ago I was asked to appear in an interview for a model railroad video publication. "We'd like to ask you about the process of rebuilding your layout - and shoot a few scenes on the railroad itself." 
Although the railroad is now operational, I've been spending that minimal modeling time this summer doing things like ballasting the track (which as anyone who's ever built a model railroad can tell you is one sure-fire way to ensure the thing needs to be "tweaked" again. 
 In short, although the layout works, it's not much to look at - there isn't one single scene that's truly "finished." 
In this overview of the peninsula you can see the north end staging yard along the wall. The creamery siding needs to be installed, and obviously the creamery needs to be finished. I wasn't about to mess with trackwork before having the layout video taped - even if this is just a few "B roll" shots!
But I decided to put on the old college try and at least get some more trees on the railroad, maybe add some static grass, and finish up a couple of roads. The results are shown in this posts photos. I'd consider all this to be the "first coat" of scenery. But it's better than the unpainted plaster, pink styrofoam that existed a few days ago. 
Southern New England Ry. van 4045 (a Walthers car with a resin cupola from Funaro) on the approach to Willams Creek. Even though the scene lacks ballast, it looks a LOT more finished than it did a few days ago!
Williams Creek also got a freshening up with new trees, static grass, and a pole line. Obviously, the White River scene (the pink foam in the background) needs the basic scenic treatment! 


  1. Looking great, Marty! Nothing like having a deadline to get one moving...

  2. Wow. I am envious of both the layout and the space!

  3. Marty,

    The "front door" looks great! It took me a minute to figure out where the staging yard was in the first picture, so the tree line is very effective. The addition of a distant backdrop along the staging yard will make it all but disappear, at least for me. And the progress you're making on the scenery looks nice!

    Tom Patterson

  4. Thanks Tom. I enjoy following your progress on your blog as well!

  5. Absolutely Gorgeous! Great work Marty & your pix tell the story as you progress!