Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Straco Layout, Part 10 - Paving the Pegboard Paradise

Outlining the road with painter's tape.
 In Part 9, I described the buildings I picked up that seemed to be a good match for the Straco layout. But of course, one can't just slap structures down on a layout without some type of landscaping!

Although the scale of these Japanese trains is HO, this is by no means an HO-scale layout. The spirit of this project is more in line with that of tinplate train layouts -- that is, these are toys rather than scale models, and so the setting should be more toy-like than realistic.

The end result. I decided not to paint underneath
the track. Can you tell?
In this case, it meant all I had to do was just lay down a road for the houses to be grouped around, and I was done. Using painter's tape, I played around with some different configurations before choosing the one in the photos. One nice thing about using a pegboard -- it was easy to keep things lined up. I just used the holes as guides for the tape.

My initial idea was to paint the road underneath the places where it crosses the tracks. Building a graded crossing was out of the question. The rails are unusually high because the gear mechanism of the engine hangs pretty low (as I discovered early on in the process). I couldn't fill in the space between the rails to make a crossing. My second thought was to then just continue the road underneath the tracks.

But to do that, I would have had to take up the entire loop, and quite frankly, that seemed to be a bit much. So I just painted as close to the ties as possible, and I'm happy with the result.

For paint, I chose a basic enamel gray from Testor's. I used a small sponge brush to apply it, let it dry, and that was that. I let the paint dry overnight, removed the tape, and ran some trains.

Sometimes the simplest pleasures are the most enjoyable.

Read more about the whole project here.

Total cost for the project:

Pegboard: $4.95
Flathead Screws: $0.40
Moulding: $2.49
SilClear: borrowed from a friend
Green Paint: left over from another project
Wood Screws: $3.60
Felt Pads: $1.99
Power Pack: $5.90
Small Houses: $3.00
Testor's Gray Paint: $1.29

Total Cost: $23.62

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