Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Laboring on the Weekend

I've had that model railroading bug in me again lately so I put that motivation to good use and I'm rather happy with the amount of laboring I was able to get done on my railroad this Labor Day weekend.

I started by completing all of the basic foam contours that would make up the terrain on my layout. I trimmed and shaped 2" extruded foam and 2" floral foam and hot glued them into place on the layout.  Once secure, I went back over it with a saw to clean up rough edges and create the final shape.

The green floral foam is nice in that it is easy to secure trees into. (or so I am told.) I'm pretty happy with the overall look of the box canyon scene at this point. I'm starting to get a better idea of how this area will look when finished. It's exciting to see it take shape!

Once that job was complete, I was feeling rather bold, so I decided to start the process of painting my track. To avoid conductivity issues, I carefully taped off the switch points for all of my turnouts with masking tape. I then applied a base coat of Rustoleum dark brown spray paint straight from the can.

I've read that most of the master model railroaders use an airbrush and airbrush paints for this process. I don't have an airbrush yet and I was concerned that all my hard work detailing the track would be ruined  by cheap spray paint.  However, once I saw that Rustoleum straight from the can was the same technique that Mike Confalone uses on his Allagash Railroad, I went for it without hesitation.

Once dried, I decanted a small amount of spray paint into a jar and touched up the switch points being careful not to get paint in the areas where electrical contact is important. (Click here for more information on decanting spray paint.)

I'm only part of the way through the process of painting the track, but the results so far are great! the individually distressed ties look especially good which is only encouraging me to go back and beat them up some more.

More to come soon!


  1. It's looking great - keep going!

  2. Looking good Matt! I just bought a cube of that foam from AC Moore to "try" it. I also here its good at holding trees. Plan on using it for some littl ehumps and hills in another scene.

  3. Yeah, I really like carving it. It's way easier than the pink stuff and the crumbly bits aren't all staticy and difficult to clean up.