I started this project almost a year ago and so far the only things I was able to do were:
- running the tram
- setting up the rails together (which took me roughly 43 seconds)
- spending hours on Hobby Search to see what kind of scenery work I will do…
But after posting my train depot post on the Centram the other day I was in a good mood to work on my layout.
If you need a reminder on the project, I invite you to read my first post on the topic. Quick summary: I will use a shelf from an IKEA Billy bookshelf to build a mini tram layout on a 27 x 76cm space.
Big enough to build a real layout and not a diorama, and small enough to have it fit in our appartement without disturbing anything (or anyone! ;-) ).
The particularity of this layout is it has two sides: an urban and a nature/tunnel area. It’s maybe a bit strange to make a two sided layout on such a small space (especially knowing that 3 sides will be blind) but I think the whole thing can look nice and really japanese looking.
The base of the base
You have to start somewhere! As I plan to make a pond and why not a river, I decided not to work directly on the board but use a 10mm styrofoam base. This will also allow me to easily add electric poles (I don’t plan to use any LED for the moment), trees and other things by just “planting” them in the foam instead of gluing them on the board.
Then I simply reported the shape of my tracks on the styrofoam. This helps me visualize the layout and I was able to place the position of the hill and the tunnel under it.
Now that I have the base and the plan, I just need to make the elevation. I reported my shapes on another board of styrofoam and made the first layer of the hill. I’ll probably need 4 or 5 more to be able to close the tunnel. I’ll make rough shapes withe the foam and planned to use plaster to make the later work. An opening to access inside the tunnel in case of trouble is also planned.
I decided (like many others do) to put the feeder cable into the tunnel so it’s invisible. Using a Dremel tool, I dug a gutter to pass the cable. The foam is really fragile so I used staples to reenforce it.
Now that the base work was done, I glued my tracks to the board using a glue gun. Simple and incredibly effective! I will ballast the tracks so I don’t really care it’s visible for now on. It looks really strong, glue-gun is my new friend!
Next things I need to do are finishing the hill and place the thinner foam that will level the ground to the tram tracks (you can see that I already placed o part of it on the left of this picture). Then I’ll start working on the painting, grass, trees and ballast and eventually buildings, people and details!