Layout Construction Progress

March 2008

These photos show the progress since February 2008. Most of the effort has been directed toward modeling hills on the back side of the Riverside area of the layout. 

The first photo (below) is an overview of the right side of the Riverside area and was taken in mid-February.  I first removed a long curving backdrop from this area. There was a lot of unusable space behind part of it and the other part blocked the view of the back of the Corona engine terminal.  I replaced it by a rectangular, 3-section backdrop.  At left (out of view) is a 2-foot section that blocks the view of a cabinet.  The center section is 8 feet long.  The brown mountain shape against the center backdrop was temporary to get a feel for what a hill drawn on the backdrop might look like.  At the right is a 4-foot, double-sided view block that divides the layout without blocking the view of the back of the Corona engine terminal that is out of view on the right. The hill next to the view block was made of blue foam and vinyl spackling paste and was made off the layout. 

The second photo shows the center and left sections of the backdrop.

On March 4, 2008 Bill Messecar and I were in Riverside, Highgrove and Redlands, CA. I photographed some of the hills between Riverside and Highgrove to get a feel for how the hill and backdrop on my model railroad layout should look. The next photo shows a hill on the NE side of Riverside. I think the hill might be called Sugarloaf.

The photo below looks south from the east side of Highgrove, CA. The hills are part of the Big Springs Mountain Park that is just visible on the far right of the photo above. In both photos the hills are fairly green from winter rains. The hills will turn brown as spring turns to summer. 

The next photo shows the hill and packdrop after some scenery work. When I got the hill to its final shape it was painted with tan flat latex paint from Orchard Hardware Supply (OSH). The painted surface was then covered with Polyblend colored grout. Some of it was sifted on dry then sprayed with water. Some of it was sifted onto still tacky paint. The grout is a mixture of two colors, "Linen" and "Bone." I plan on adding some orange trees around the house and on the flatter parts of the hill and some chaparral on the rest of the hill. For the chaparral, I'm going to try coating some clumps of lichen with some
AMSI gray-green ground foam.

The backdrop, shown above and in the final two photos, was painted with the same tan paint as the hill followed by a coat of a lighter tan paint called "Wheatland Beige." I then used a sea sponge to dab on a gray-green paint called "Greystone Green." In the last step I dulled the green with a coat of highly diluted Wheatland Beige. I may still try to paint some rocks on the hills.

There's still a lot of work to do on the Riverside section - more scenery, including the orange trees and the chaparral, another packing house and ballasting the track.

Last update: 3/19/08