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Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
I finally start the construction of my Dad and my new layout.:) It's just the backdrop but heck it's one of the most important and under appreciated part of a layout, hehe.
Here is the plan as of now

This weekend I'm heading down to the basement... umm, I mean my Dad's house to work on the backdrop. I should finish the sky painted blue and clouds.
I wish I could show you some of the video taken as the progress continues.

More pictures to come.
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Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Sky and clouds

I got the sky and clouds painted this weekend. Now, onto the bench work.
The first picture is a sky blue color on top and a ceiling white on the bottom.
The second picture is the 2 colors blended together. I started in the middle with a criss-cross pattern and then did long horizontal strokes to blend it all together.
the third and fourth pictures are the clouds added in only an hour later. I used the same ceiling white paint and a small jar of Benjamin Moore color samples, any light grey color. If you can find these colors samples near you get them they are farely cheap($3.99-2oz. jar) and do a great job on background painting. I think True Values have a similar line,too. They are a flat finish and come in a variety of colors.

The next step is bench work. I'm going to try plywood L-girders for the base. It seems like it would be strong, like engineered beams in houses, and you can get alot out of one piece of plywood(cheap).

Till the next update



Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Have you ever noticed not many model railroads have a rainy day or ominous dark clouds over head...Hmm?

Here's a few more pix.

The first and second ones are long shots of 2 of the walls.
View attachment 4590
View attachment 4591

The third picture is of one of the corners. My 4yr old daughter wanted to help so I had her paint the large cloud in the middle at the bottom of the picture. She thinks it looks like an alligator.
View attachment 4592

The fourth picture is of a RR sign my friends got me when we where up in Massachusettes. It from the Housatanic Tunnel in Adams,MA. They didn't steal it they got it at an antique dealer in Adams. The sucker is bigger than most I've seen, it's about 3-1/2' round.
View attachment 4593

The valance along the top is scheduled for 3 4'flourescent T8 light fictures. The whole span is 16', so if we seperate them by 1' apart it should be good coverage. After that's installed we'll put a trim piece in front of the lights and paint it the wall color to dress it up abit.

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Wow, excellent backdrop. It looks like you've got things planned out pretty well. I bet painting that was a lot easier without a bunch of benchwork in the way.


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Wow, excellent backdrop. It looks like you've got things planned out pretty well. I bet painting that was a lot easier without a bunch of benchwork in the way.

The only thing I had to worry about tripping on was my 4yr old daughter under my feet, hehe.:D Yeh, it was worth putting off the bench work for a couple weeks to get the backdrop just right. In the past I climb over, under, thru bench work to paint the backdrop... a literal pain in the neck.:eek:



Drum Driver
AWESOME cloud work!....even your daughters one!..(if its the one in the center).....I should send her some paper and paint!.....Excellent!! Keep us posted!


Running the MC & Buffalo
Very nice clouds and sky I wish I would have painted mine also .Now it's just panel walls will have to paper over I guess !


Those are some excellent sky paintings! I'm going to have my wife add her two cents here because she is the artist in the family. She has painted some pictures before and one of them was a night sky off a cliff overlooking a body of water.



Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
OK, well I'm back. It's been a few weeks but with school ending and final exams I was a little incapacitated.

Over the thanksgiving holiday my Dad and I finally started on the bench-work. We would have worked on it longer but that whole "Family getting together" thing interrupted progress, Geez. We used the plywood splines to build T-girders to support the whole layout. Quite strong! We glued and screwed the joints.

The first 2 pix are of the T-girders and assorted boards use.
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The next picture is of my Dad "screwin' " the whole thing up, hehe.:) You can see the installed fluorescent lights above, which needs a valance now. The lights really brighten up the sky and clouds. The large space between the bench-work and the bottom of the backdrop will be filled with a steep false mountain or hill.
View attachment 4803

And this is me "screwin' " the whole thing down. Notice the Pennsy Tuscan Red sweat pants and shirt.;)
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Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Just back from a long day of benchwork building. I got a good 8hrs put in, thanks to my wife watching the kids all day.
Now, on to progess...

This first pictures is of the whole layout area. I'm standing in the attached den looking into the space. As you can see the benchwork has come along quite nicely.
View attachment 4894

The next photo is to the left of the red column. You can see the aisle going into the center of the layout. I still have to put cross bracing on some of the legs.
View attachment 4895

And here is the right side of the column. My dad had a large piece of cardboard that we laid on top of the bench to support the printout of the plan from XTrkCad. 1:1 scale is the best thing ever invented on the computer.:D
View attachment 4896

This is a closer view of the first pieces of plywood and the printout. It's nice that you can print mirror images of the plan to optimize the piece of plywood. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get these 2 large pieces out of one sheet and still have alot leftover.
View attachment 4897

Still more pix to come...


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Risers and roadbed continued...

This is a shot of the printout on top of the plywood I cut out. I'm transferring the location of turnouts, elevations, 1' mark grid that I had the program add, and any other important things.
View attachment 4898

Here is just before we took away the cardboard and paper. All the roadbed is spliced together and ready for risers. See the orange and pink tracks leading into the yard... Man, that's gonna look good.:)
View attachment 4899

This is some of the risers in place. The one right in the middle of the picture is a 6" elevation. To the left, against the wall, will branch off an industrial spur.
View attachment 4900

This is the section of track that is 4 mainlines, 2 are going up to continue the main run around the layout, and the 2 outside tracks (one on either side) will drop down to a reverse loop and staging area. Notice the paper to the left, that's a prinout of prices of rolls of cork. I saw a guy using it Roadbed factory on a large layout and figured it would be alot cheaper than boxes of roadbed. It wouldn't be beveled, but who cares. We figured it would only take a 4'X12' roll to do the whole layout! It would cost $100 w/ free shipping. Cork roll link
View attachment 4901

And still more to come


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Laying out the Yard...

I got some free plywood from work that was just collecting dust, yippy.:D But to fit it in my little toyota corolla I had to cut the 30"x96" pieces in half. I was upset at first, but the price was right so I wasn't gonna complain. I actually worked out well because the yard is approx. 12' long. With 3 of these pieces I could fit most of the yard on it, and by staggering the joints the yard fit on perfectly.
These are of the yard area. I taped the printout together, butting the edge of the paper against each other. Can't say it enough... I love 1:1 scale.
View attachment 4902

View attachment 4903

View attachment 4904

And here is the view you'll get as your entering the room from the hall. To the right of the yard and roundhouse will be a double faced backdrop. A more rural scene will be on the other side.
View attachment 4905

Well, that's all for now. Christmas is coming and I think santa has alot of track in his bag for two good little boys that are playing in their basement, hehe.;)

grove den

naturally natural trees
dream come thrue

Ron This is what we all dream about starting to make your own mrr and beginning with the construction!!:) :) great progress AND pictures
It is like a global virus:eek: ( Watch Ken's ,from down under, progress:D )Alas I am vaccinated for the coming 4/5 years...:mad: ;)



Diesel Detail Freak
Man thats awesome! I like that ay of planning, I might have to do something like that.

Jos, I think the Military vaccinated me for that one too, but I got the 10 year shot :( .


In Training Down Under.
Great Work Ron/Dad, love the progress photos, it's like we're there with you.
You'll have a fantastic layout.


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