Category Archives: Trackwork

Removable mountain


Starting to get whole logging area working, and I needed a mountainous area for logging but it should be removable because it would be over several fairly long track tunnel sections. I thought a base of foamcore would work, be light but strong enough with a structural frame above, making it more ridgid.

foamcore, mountain,

Foamcore base of mountain

Thinking about how I would do this, I decided to try the new shaper sheet material, but even though Woodland Scenics says it needs no under support, I wanted to visually rough in the mountain and thought a hot glued cardboard strip web would also give it more strength, since it would be movable. Actually I do not think it will have to be moved all that much because even with a derailment under the tunnel, you can pop up inside the mountain enough to retrieve a car or engine.

Woodland scenics, mountain, shaper sheets, hot glue

Web of cardboard strips to support shaper sheets for mountain

The Shaper Sheet material shown is interesting as it has a very heavy foil backing with a fabric adhered to the foil, that mechanically bonds with applied plaster. Woodland Scenics has a Plaster made for it which I believe is lightweight Hydrocal with a retarder to slow the hardening so there is time to work a soupy mix, and get it into all the crevices.

Woodland Scenics, Shaper sheet, tunnel, Access cover, Scenic express

Shaper sheet showing Heavy foil and bonded material on opposite side

Here is the mountain partially covered with the Shaper Sheet material and matching plaster

Woodland Scenics, Shaper sheet, tunnel, Access cover, Scenic express, plaster, mountain

Mountain partially covered with shaper sheets and shaper sheet plaster

Timber Tunnel and track access panel

Back to the timber tunnel project:

Woodland Scenics Shaper sheet, tunnel, Access cover

Tunnel with cover

Here is the tunnel and the piece of Woodland Scenics Shaper Sheet material. I thought I would try it to produce an removable access panel. The Material is a bendable heavy foil backing with a fabric (the white to the left of the tunnel) bonded to the foil. This is then coated with thinned plaster. Woodland Scenics sell a special plaster for this that has a longer working time, so you can coat the whole sheet before it starts to set up.

Woodland Scenics Shaper sheet, tunnel, Access cover

Removing Access cover

The plaster has not yet been added in these photos, but you can see that it still holds it’s shape pretty well, and will get much stiffer and stronger once the plaster and other scenic material has been applied.

Woodland Scenics Shaper sheet, tunnel, Access cover

Showing Track that is covered

Here you can see the track that the panel will cover, giving access to an area of a long tunnel in case of derailment. Edges of the panel will have bushes, small rock areas etc to hide the edges of the panel. I will enter a post in the near future when I complete this section with scenery, ballast and cliff faces.

Track and the Holidays

Busy working on getting some new track in place before my grandsons Cooper and Fletcher arrive.
A combination of Central Valley and Micro Engineering track and switches, with help from the afore mentioned Ribbonrail track gauges.
I hope everyone has a great holiday season, and I’ll see you next year

The Perils of Humidity

Jumping ahead a little just to relate an “oh no” realization about barge cement and the perils of east coast, Mid Atlantic basements and the changes in humidity and temperature. I laid a fair amount of Central Valley tie strips and Micro Engineering code 70 rail applied with barge cement. As you can see in the photo, the seasonal pressure to expand was too much for the barge to contain. To be fair, Central Valley’s new tie strips are molded with push over mechanical spikes and rail clamps, and this works very well. Sometimes the learning process does seem frustrating, but its all worth it. I have decided to use the NEW central Valley strips and also Micro Engineering code 70 flex track in hidden areas (tunnels,covered connectors, staging). I think it’s all an adventure worth taking.

Track problems

Track out of gauge