More ATSF Gallup

I left off at the point where the land forms were ready for painting.  Let’s continue with more construction photos. 

Here is my rendition of Pyramid Peak side by side with a photo of the prototype:

Pyramid Peak

The Painting Phase

I had layout lines all over the place, so the first thing was to mask off the lines I needed to keep.

To get the effects I wanted I needed to work in layers.  I started with a light, sand colored base.

The interesting thing about Southwestern landscapes is the way you can see the exposed layers of rock strata, with a range of colors from dark to light, dominated by the red oxides you find throughout the region. Mixed, broken down rock tends to be sandy and reflective of light. A light base with darker overlays tends to reproduce the scenery best IMHO.

Base Coat done. What would I do without blue tape?

I had a palette of colors selected. I started with my darkest red for the Red Oxide for the base of exposed rock faces where rock strata are visible.

Dark rock base.

The color I chose is intentionally on the “hot” side, but don’t worry, we’re going to tone it down with the next layer, a color somewhere between pink and salmon.

I over sprayed the base layer with the second layer, added to a matte finish base.
Here you can see both before and after adding layer 2.

The third layer is off-white in a matte base, over sprayed lightly, to further dull the color and create contrasting areas of highlights and shadows.

Layer 3 further modifies the color and enhances variations of rock strata.

As you can see, I now have stronger highlights and shadows and a rock color that works for my purposes.  Depending on what you like you could shift the color one way or another. The point is to demonstrate how simple layered painting techniques work to help quickly and easily create consistently painted landscapes. This was done over 2 days to allow for drying time of each layer.

Pyramid Peak ready for the next layer of materials to provide texture and simulate low lying desert plants.

Roadbed and Track

Next step is to lay cork road, followed by track.  I used yellow glue to adhere the cork roadbed to the layout.  I then used latex caulk — the type that dries clear — to adhere the track to the roadbed.

I started at the tunnel.
Time invested in making a smooth track bed pays off later on.
The great thing about an all-foam layout base is you can use T pins to hold things down while they dry.
The object is to use as little caulk as possible — enough to hold the track down without oozing excess all over the place.

After laying all the track, I had a “forest of feeders” underneath do deal with.  In an upcoming post I’ll go into wiring and electronics.

Adding Roads

After connecting feeders to power and doing basic track testing, I started adding roads to further define the scene.

I started the streets by building the West overpass for Route 66 to pass over the tracks. The bridge is a Rix 150′ Highway Overpass kit, plus additional road sections for the ramp.
I’m using the Woodland Scenics Street system to lay out streets and parking areas.

The Camera Sees All

So the roadwork above dried and I removed all the tape and dams, cleaned up and decided to run a train. While I was at it I figured I’d collect some video clips for the future. Naturally, some clips were good, some were not, and then there was this clip.  A little out of focus but I couldn’t resist turning it into a short video.


Hobo Fly Catches a Ride

In the next post I’ll go back to Layout Control Nodes, the usefulness of which will become evident as I build out the ATSF Gallup.

Until then, Happy Model Railroading!

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