Thursday, August 25, 2011

Subdividng the 0-Gauge Zen Garden - Part 1. The Plan

Look at that nice, flat green expanse, just
waiting to be developed!
I've characterized my 0-gauge train layout as a Zen garden. It's kind of grown, each addition sort of suggesting itself by the context of the entirety of the layout. Rather than do a scale model railroad, I chose to do a tinplate layout. That means that my layout isn't realistic, it's representational. The trains I run are basically toys, and so the layout has a more toy-like rather than real-world appearance. Sure, there's some nice detail on some of the plastic buildings, but then I have a lithographed tin station parked in the corner. Why? Because I like it, and I think it fits.

When I constructed the tunnel a corner of the layout, I deliberately made it fairly boxy. I didn't want a big, tall mountain that would overshadow everything. Instead, I wanted another level to add things to (space being extremely limited on my 3' x 5' board). So there's a nice flat surface instead of a rocky crag.

And now it's time to develop the last open space on the layout. It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted. I decided a small subdivision (very small -- two houses) would be perfect.

So that's the project. Landscape the surface, bring in the structures, illuminate the structures, and complete the scenery. If this were a scale model layout, there are some standard techniques and materials that I would use for this.

But because I have a tinplate layout, there are some special challenges to this project -- starting with the houses. More on that in part 2.

Subdividing the 0-Gauge Zen Garden
Part 2: Douse that light!
Part 3: Paving Paradise
Part 4: Rocking the Details

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