Got a solid start on my first section over the Holiday season.
Getting back into the hobby after 20+ years away and after seeing all the new methods of construction out there ive decided to go with Mod-U-Rail as I would like it to be something I can break down and store on a rack(custom made of course) if needed.In the past ive done a 5x10 cookie cutter, a U- Shaped 9x12 room build using open grid and,as we all do starting out,ive done a few 4x8`s plywood tables.Another reason for wanting to try the Woodland Scenics system is that I have stored up a large amount of Styrofoam packing over the years,,I use bits of it now and then for building wargame minatures terrain but have collected alot more than I could ever use for that.
Ive started with one of their corner kits and from what ive seen thus far,the amount of supplies it includes is more than I will use in this section.For the Styro parts though,its probably a bit short for anthing other than just a single (or double in the case of N) track passing through,This is were all my spare styro came in and for those interested in trying this system I would strongly recommend gathering up as much extra styro packing as you can,it comes in real handy for making reinforcements to the build and forming flat areas.
For Tools needed I would say that a Hot wire Knife is a must,,I have a bow style hot wire cutter as well but didnt use it at all once I started using the knife.You can make pretty straight cuts with it by using a metal straight edge along side the knife.Also grab a hot glue gun but get the low temp glue sticks so ya dont melt you build.
The assembly of the Styro went really well,its very nice to be able to use a material you can just cut right on the spot and glue it in place only having to wait a few moments while it sets firm.I did have to build the lower loop first of course,then switch over to laying that track,wiring it and testing it out for opperation.Then moved on to the upper level were my end terminus and Lumber Mill will be.I also added the 1x1 sections to the bottom of the section to make routing wires easier.Plus also cut some access from below as well as made those removable top sections to access the hidden loop.These "Hatches" will certainly provide a bit of a challenge for hiding the gaps but I figure I will use some of the plant matting material in spots and on one end the Lumber mill structure will cover a good part of it.
Plaster cloth is something new for me as I used to do the paper towell dip on carboard strip webbing,im liking this cloth though,,just need more practice with it.Also this kit comes with more than enough to complete the top deck,,probably enough to do two layers overall if you dont cover the ends which I dont intend to do with the cloth as ive purchased some black colored foam board to do that with.Also I got blue colored Foam board for the back ends to use as my backdrop as well.
For a base frame I will be building a partial set of legs as part of the these sections will be sitting on a 15" wall shelf that runs 11 feet to a corner than another 8 feet so my overall layout will be an L shape in this case.However I intend to move this to my Garage within a couple of years after I get some yard projects done that include a large garden shed that will hold most of my stuff stored in the garage.Once in the garage I will likely be adding several more sections and revamping some of these sections to connect to the new configuration.
For track and electical im just using the Atlas Code 80 stuff ive had for years.Ive got a bunch of their flex sections a dozen or so turnouts and a batch of 9 3/4 and 11 1/4 radius curve sections.I just used clear latex adhesive caulk to mount the track,,thats new to me as well as I was used to nailing my track to plywood risers in the past,,this is working great though.Also to note,the kit comes with both HO and N gauge foam roadbed,I used the HO roadbed in my lower hidden loop as its a bit higher and will help to make the transitions at the tunnel exit with the N gauge foam that sits on the plaster cloth layers,,this worked out very well plus it saved me a couple pieces of N gauge roadbed.For wiring I did 4 connection points 2 on the hidden loop and 2 above on the terminus,im doing DCC so I dont have to worry about the nest of block wiring this go around.Im gonna try the WS Just-plug system for the building lights as it comes with those hubs that I can just stick up inside one of the voids in the base were ive made access holes.
I`ll add more pics once I get the main scenery done and get the thing in its place with the support benchwork done..then its on to the next section