Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Prototype Pic of the Day #24

NS #1031 | Image courtesy of Steven McKay via
Its about a week from Christmas here in Michigan and there has been a noticeable lack of snow lately. I was browsing and came across this great shot of some Norfolk Southern power rolling through a snow covered Cohoctah, MI. I've actually driven along side these same tracks in the past so its kind of neat to see them with some unique power. According to the photographer, this was the first time in 15 years a NS train was on that line.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Basement Layout: Roadwork

I still don't have all of the track I need to finish my main line run yet, so I've been working on some smaller projects for the layout lately. One of those is figuring out how I want to do the roads and grade crossings. In my last post I showed some work I started with foamcore poster board. Now I've had some more time to play with it and I think I will be using this for sure on the layout.

I've cut a few more test pieces and started experimenting with striping using acrylic paint. I took some frog tape and used two pieces to create a straight line along the center of the road. Then it was as simple as brushing on some yellow in the opening. For a first shot at this, the results are pretty good. I missed on the centering a bit, but this was just a test piece so that's ok.  I'll just have to measure before I put the tape down next time.

Experimenting with road striping.
The straight sections are the easiest so it took a little more effort to get any curved lines to work. To do this, I cut some thin strips of frog tape with my xacto knife and placed them gradually along the bend. The hard part about that was keeping a consistent gap between pieces of tape. I got as close as I could for another test piece and threw down some paint. This one also came out pretty nice.

Painting curved road markings with painters tape.
So far I like what I see with the painting method, so I might just do this for the entire layout. Beyond that, I still need to figure out exactly what I want to do for the grade crossings. The picture above kind of shows what I'm thinking so far. I have both the road and sidewalk coming to the exact same elevation just before meeting the ties. This will leave space for a pre-made crossing to be inserted.