Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Subdividing the 0-Gauge Zen Garden - Part 3. Paving Paradise

After cutting out the roadway, I traced it onto the cork.
In Part 1 I outlined the plan I had for a bare section of my tinplate layout. The flat surface of my mountain would become a small subdivision (two houses -- can't get much smaller than that). In Part 2 I documented how I prepared the vintage Plasticville homes for their new location.

Now it's time to work on said location.

In one sense, the surface is already prepared. I could just plop the Cape Cods down and be done with it, but I'd like to do a little more. I want to have a road, so that the happy homeowners could have access to the larger world.

Now if this were a scale model layout, I would need to find some way to trick the eye into believing the road extends far beyond the limits of the layout. One option is to have it go into a tunnel. Another is to have it go over a rise. But since space is at a premium, I just have to show the road on the layout, and concede that it cuts off along with the rest of the scenery right at the edge of the 3' x 5' board.

I started with some scrap paper and created a template of the roadway. With the limited space I had, a simple curve sufficed. After sketching it out, I straightened up the lines with a ruler, and measured the width of the road to ensure it remained consistent. 

 I used the road tracing as a guide and drew parallel lines 1/16"
deeper in. These would be my cut lines for the cork.
I wanted the road to sit down into the ground a little, which meant I had to raise the ground around it. To get that little bit of height, I used some spare cork I had. After trimming it to fit the space, I traced my black paper road onto the cork. I then added other markings, such as locations for lights and wires, and even a couple of driveways.

I then did some careful measuring, and with a ruler and French curve did a smoother outline in pen. I then went back and drew to parallel lines 1/16" in from the road. This would be the amount of overlap of the cork onto the black paper -- which would create a curb for the road.

I traced the outer lines of the road with opaque paper, and used it to create a cutting template. That template I used to cut the black paper, which looked enough like asphalt for my purposes. I then cut the cork pieces and laid everything onto the surface.

 The cork overlapped almost precisely the amount of the
pen outline.

As you can see from the photo at left, it all looked just about the way I thought it would. Note how the outer lines correspond to the border of the paper.

After painting, the cork pieces were ready for installation. After checking everything carefully once again, I glued down the road, and then the two cork pieces. As you can see, it looks like the road has curbs on either side.
Almost there. You can see where I carved out the ramps
for the driveways.

In order to mark the driveways, I carved inclines out of the edge of the cork, and then painted those parts in a concrete grey. Not realistic, but representational of two driveways.

The wiring for the lights was already run, so all I had to do now was install the light sockets, and place the houses.

Actually there were a few other things I wanted to do. In Part 4 I'll talk about the finishing touches for this project.

Subdividing the 0-Gauge Zen Garden
Part 1: The Plan
Part 2: Douse that light!
Part 4: Rocking the Details

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