Saturday, April 15, 2017

Purloining Good Ideas on the Old Line Corridor

Just now, while I was writing this caption, I decided this will be called 'Old Line Highway'. This is an overhead shot of the in-progress Old Line Highway at the front of the layout. I cut it from a very large sheet of .030" styrene so as to minimize joints. After spray painting it a warm lightish gray, I stenciled in dividing lines with cheap yellow craft paint and added weathering tracks in each lane with dark gray pan pastels. I stole this idea from a Lance Mindheim blog post gave me this idea, and I think an article in either Model Railroader or Model Railroad Hobbyist gave me the idea for the stenciled yellow lines.  

Another view of Old Line Highway from the wilderness end of the layout. The styrene roadway is glued directly to a failed road experiment in which I tried Woodland Scenics Smooth-It. I suspect the Smooth-It might work best in HO or larger scales and on a relatively flat surface; most of Old Line Highway is on a grade and curved. Next steps will include building up a gravel shoulder and inking in some expansion lines and patches.

I stole this idea from Conrail Modeler extraordinaire Ed Kapuscinski, who stole it himself from another Baltimore area modeler. It's a 5mm rare earth magnet disc countersunk and cemented into the base of a 3D printed catenary tower. Hopefully it will be the basis for a strong mount that 'fails beautifully' when these catenary towers are inevitably bumped and jostled for track cleaning, rerailing, and scenery maintenance.

The magnets are strong! Here's one of the towers stuck to a stainless steel ruler. If this were a GIF or video, you could see it withstand a lot of movement and jiggling. My tentative plan is press wide-headed short roofing nails or carpet tacks into the roadbed, which the magnetic tower bases will then grip.