Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Straco Layout, Part 24 - A lot of changes

Additional parking now available for our busy station.
The purpose of the Straco Express layout has changed somewhat since I started it (read more about the whole project here). The focus has shifted from just being a layout for some vintage Japanese toy trains to an operating display for Japanese toy vehicles and trains of the early 1960's.

While I'd like to get a few more vehicles to add visual interest, I don't want the roads to get too crowded. There's a fine line between an engaging display and a "kitchen sink" mishmash of clutter.

The open space next to the station seemed ripe for development -- specifically, a parking lot. (click on images to enlarge)

Unfortunately, just as in the real world, any large green
space seems ripe for development.
I originally chose to put the layout on pegboard to enhance the toy aspect, but it turned out to have another advantage. The peg holes make it very easy to do straight line designs. And the spacing just happens to work out perfectly for parking spaces.

I placed three cars on the board, and used painter's tape to make the outline of the lot. I used the same painting techniques as before (see Part 10 - Paving the Pegboard Paradise and Part 13 - White Line Fever), with model paint and paint pen.

One thing: the next time I use tape as a mask for straight lines, I'll be sure to use new tape. We've had the roll I used for years, and the adhesive just didn't do a good job -- paint seeped under it in quite a few places. I had to do some extensive touch-up work on just about every line.
 Outlining the lot was easy. The vehicles fit easily between
the peg holes.

Perhaps because the Testor's paint was thick, it didn't
get underneath the painter's tape, so I had nice clean lines.

It took a lot of work to get those white lines looking this good.
The paint ran under the tape and really made a mess.

Execution might have been  a drag, but the final result was rewarding. I can have a few more vehicles on the layout without making things look cluttered.

So what's next? I have no idea. But from now one additions will be carefully considered as the layout nears completion.

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