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.

Broken turnout

I have prepared my Märklin K-Track turnouts to be operated from below the benchwork. While removing the cover under the track, the switch rod broke apart. I have rebuilt it from a tiny strip of 1 mm styrene. I hope this works.


The Track: Peco Code 83

I got some track. Peco Code 83 Track: 8 yards of flex track and #8 turnouts, one left and one right. I decided to use these large turnouts before settling on a final layout, that might end in a disaster. No risk no fun.


The freight cars look so much better on tracks :)
The freight cars look so much better on tracks 🙂

These turnouts are large. I knew the measurements before, but the real thing is something different as numbers on the screen.

50 foot boxcar on a #8 turnout

I made some quick tests about the required clearance for adjacent tracks. It requires about five inch track after the turnout to have enough clearance for the cars to pass each  other.

Required clearance to pass after a #8 turnout
Required clearance to pass after a #8 turnout

I have also ordered some rail joiners. I did not order any isolated rail joiners. Who needs isolated rail joiners in a world of DCC? That’s what I thought. Now, after studying the instructions on wireing the turnouts, I learned: I need them. So the next order will contain isolated rail joiners.