Plaster, Trackwork and Groundpreparations

IMG_3844After the preparation of the backdrop and the installation of the lights the plastering continued. The first coat of plaster was sanded to remove any rough bumps and to detect spots with too less or no coverage. I mixed up a new batch of plaster with 45 minutes of working time to fill the some holes and make some corrections to the landscape. After drying this the whole plaster was sanded again. I vacuumed the layout and cleaned the track – which is not so enjoyable with K-Track. A slow test-drive ensured smooth operation of Märklin locomotives.


IMG_3845Before painting the plaster, I decided to give my new airbrush a try and painted the rails. Before spraying the rails, I covered the “Pukos” with some tape to reduce the amount of cleaning that will be required after painting the track. To paint the rails I used a mix of black, rust and leather brown email colours from Revell and about the same amount of thinner. I like the result. The paint covers the shiny code 100 rails very good and makes them less dominant.


The plaster got a basic coat of wall paint. I made a mix of yellow and brown for the area around the drainage channel. For the rest of the layout I added black to this mix and painted all visible surfaces.

IMG_3853IMG_3852When the paint was dry, I started ballasting the track. A while ago I ordered a sample package of ballast at Koemo Modellbahnschotter. It consists of six 40 ml bags of different ballast colours. I made a test with every single single type. For this layout I have mixed all colours. The uncoloured types stood out pretty obviously. To blend them in I added a small amount of “dirt” and rust weathering powders. That worked well so I the games could begin.  After applying the glue, the ballast looked much darker.

19th Century Culvert: Second Prototype

After not being satisfied with the result of my first try, I took my bike, camera and dog to search a new prototype for my little culvert.

This culvert is a little overgrown but the basic shape is still very good visible. In contrast to my first try this culvert has been built from rock and bricks. The tunnel is round and not square. So this element is a little more complex, but we will see how it works out.

Right-Of-Way-Details: Poly Dome

Today in the US there are a lot white poles with colored tops stuck in the ground. These are Poly Domes. They are used to inform and warn the public about any delicate infrastructure that is buried beneath, such as gas pipelines or communication wires or fibre optics. Specifications and examples of the real thing can be found at ACP International including the specs of poly-dome-markers.

Lance Mindheim mentioned them in an article about vertical elements. Cody’s Workshop on MRVP shows a nice tutorial how to build right of way details such as poly domes.

This is indeed something to keep in mind when detailing the scenery around the tracks.

Railroad services interrupted

Advent Calendar sceneryFor Christmas preparations, the model railroading activities have been interrupted for a few days. My wife got an Advent Calendar that consists of 24 small cardboard houses. So we decided to build a small winter village scene with lightning and a few trees.

I built the base from 6 mm plywood (birch multiplex). About one third of the scene is set to 40 mm height using some insulation foam. The curved background is made from 0.5 mm styrene. Our son used the airbrush to cover the styrene with gray primer.

The trees have been sprayed white and sprinkled with some glimmer. The Landscape has been painted white and is now covered with a lot glimmer.