Well I thought it's about time I post some pics of my layout seeing as alot of u guys have been a great help then came the benchwork plan printed 1:1 in xtrack WS risers glued down yes you can see I had to tweak the plan a bit as can be expected testing the radius and lining up track for turnouts time to do some cookie cutting .......its not alot shamus but it is cookie cutting LOL [can roughly see where bridges will go over gorge so next step is to finish supports for cookie cutter declines or inclines depending on how you look at it well I couldn't quite decide how to go about setting up for track and roadbed so I'm going to do it the long tedious method by laying the track on the track plan layout and tracing the track. I'm sure there are easier ways but for me I have to make sure all curves are smooth and well I guess I'm just finicky. I'll lay all the track then using the blue marker outline take centre of that and line it up with centre split on cork. started working on the yrd and yes tracks aren't perfectly straight Don't forget this is just to get track roughly layed to apply cork roadbed then I'll relay track nicey nicey. I got inclines supported rather ruff looking but it will al be sceneried in anyway I painted cork roadbed as you can see and started tacking yrd back in place for the paint I just got some brown and cut it with water 50/50 to thin it down I just about got all of the double main down took a bit longer than I anticipated. I used same bond fast white glue for fastening track and roadbed down to the styro WS risers . Couple more flex on the main and I can move onto the spurs. finally got around to making cutout for mounth of the gorge Well here the final block setup for the layout for those of use who have an appreciation for many blocks and many options for running multiple trains Quote And a guide line for explanation . This guy really knows his stuff. This may look complicated at first look, but for only 24 blocks, it gives a much more flexible use of the sidings by clever use of both Blocks and turnouts to isolate two sections of track behind many turnouts. Study it carefully, and follow the “Power” along the tracks to the blue track breaks, and you should see which Feed supplies which lines and what can be isolated 1 = Power Feed to TT 2 = Inner Track Block Feed 3 = Outer Track Block Feed 4 = Inner Track Block Feed 5 = Outer Track Block Feed 6 = Inner Track Block Feed 7 = Outer Track Block Feed 8 = Inner Track Block Feed 9 = Outer Track Block Feed 10 = Inner Track Feed 11 = Yard Block Feed 12 = Yard Block Feed 13 = Yard Block Feed 14 = Yard Block Feed 15 = Yard Block Feed 16 = Yard Block Feed 17 to 24 = Inner Yard and Sidings. Notes Unless the 5 sidings around the Turn Table receive power from the table when it lines up, they will also need block switches and power feeds. Main Yard is split into 2 areas, Area A and B by track breaks. Area A is fed by the inner or outer line Feeds 2 & 3. By use of Block switches 11 to 16 and the turnouts leading into Area A, two locomotives can be held and Isolated on one yard track – One in area A and the other in Area B. In area A, the turnouts will need to isolate the track as they turn against one direction. This will mean that one track will remain live. The only way to isolate both ends of all the yard tracks is with more blocks, switches and power feeds. Power feed 17 supplies the power leading up to the Turn Table. Power supply 19 supplies area L leading towards feed 17 so two locos can be stopped on this track or the track leading to feed 18. Feed 18 supplies area I, and also into area J. Area K has power feeds 20 & 21 so two locos can be stopped in the J & K area tracks. Feed 19 supplies area C tracks up to break, where feed 23 supplies the other half of this loop, area D. Feed 23 also supplies the passing loop in area F. Feed 24 supplies area G sidings I thought this was well worth posting just to show the vaste amount of talent we have here . ]image shack[/url] You can see the engine house my son assembled that area of the layout is going to be a loading / unloading area for transports we have yet to assemble the over head crane gantry. Well time for another post tsarted filling in the gorge looks rough but you get the idea heres my sons first try Then we started filling in I know this one looks rough. I just threw a couple pieces aginst the rail banks to give an idea where we're goin with it When all the banks are in we'll start shaping and maybe attach some rock molds Well here's a little something we're toying with just to get a bit of elevation he he he I threw on 11 of my heaviest cars just to test out my theory some cars loaded with wood screws even . Had a bit of a time with just the one loco but had no problem at all with the help of second loco added on LOL 3" at 58 inches from the start of the incline hmm what would that work out to ;D I thinks 5% grade he he Had to move the original turnout closer to the mountain and add in a new turnout for the incline I'm installing the risers for the new incline Well as promised her's some pics with the new incline permanently in place Time to start on the bridges ...hmm all 7 of them . Guess I also should get started on building up the scenery bases oh ya don't mind the mess haven't really cleaned up since making the new incline thought I'd try my hand at some scenery. Used 1x4 first stilts then cardboard interlaced with a styrene wall on 2 corners Yep thats who it is all right my sons Cat in the Hat This is after first coat of plaster of paris I dipped bug screen into the p o p first This is after second coat done this mornin Thought I'd better put this one in 2 seeing as this area is on hold untill I do some scenery and seeing as it is scenery at least roughed in.As you probably already noticed I tend to bounce from one area of modeling to another which I prefer doing because as I work on an area and look over at another area I get new ideas.I'm trying different techiniques as well it took me quite a while of trial and error and practice to get the mine base painted to where I was happy and could then move on to something differenet. Plus this way I'm not rushing to get it done after all its going to take a very long time .... Here's a few shots of the results I got playing around with the aluminum foil , got the rocks started on the top portion of the portals and a really rough start at another mountain tunnel. I just grabbed bunch of 2x4's and 1x4 's that were scrap and glued and screwed them down . I cut a bunch of construction paper into strips and attached , unfortunately I ran out of time but I shuld get it covered in tonite. Nice mess I got going on there huh LOL Got a second coat on the third mountain I think on this mountain I'm going to try building up the plaster and carving some strata with a knife or flat screw driver. Today when I gave the first coat a spray of water before putting the layer of plaster I thought I'd try spraying warm/hot water rather than the usual cold water to see how fast the plaster would thicken and it went hard really fast so that should come in handy where I have to layer up the steep front side. I don't don't understand why I here so much about plaster being so messy ... it's not messy if you keep it in control I just use a big paint brush to spread additional layers and cleanup is super easy . Got a start on the third tunnel mountain with a plaster covering . This time I wanted to try using the brown industrial paper towels dipped in plaster bowl and applying ... what a mess . I ended up just using my big paint brush to apply some plaster to foam board constuction then laying out the paper towels then using the brush to spread the plaster on in. I think next time I'll stick to the screen as it is more durable than paper towels although because the paper towels tore quite a bit it gave a better ending result not so smooth. Obviously I didn't do the plaster work with the mine base in place . I fitted the base back in after plaster had hardened and found I'll have to trim the base a bit on the one side. Anyone have some suggestions as to how to finish this hill some one with a good imagination ????. You can see where the road will go up starting on the lower left side there will also be a road coming off top of mine base joining onto that road I plan on having a couple mining structures on the hill all scratch built of course .First pic is the hill without the mine base in place. Obviously this was a kinda fast track to where I'm at ... Well it was a very busy Christmas and the rock building was very slow. I think I have about 75 lbs of plaster on the mills/rocks. Her's a few shots of my progress as you can see I'm aiming for rocky scenery once I'm comfortable that there's enough rocks jutting here and there I'll start with some painting and foilage. And this pretty well brings you fine group of modelers upto speed as to where I'm at here's some kinda half done pics of the mountains with ground foilage started I took these with the flash turned off so I'm not sure if they look ok You can also see where I gave the mine base a once over with white , I'm planning on repainting that area Oh yes and I can't forget this pic of the corner piece my 14 yr old son has been working on right from the beginning ( he didn't want this one posted ) of doing this layout he put the foam together plastered it added a couple rocks and painted it to the way it is now and is now starting to add the ground cover and trees etc Well here's an update on what I've been upto as you can see I've been hard at it with the plaster. I wasn't real happy with the gorge so I redid it with castings and I will soon give it a splash of paint then pour the river and complete the waterfalls. Once the inerds of the gorge is complete I will add the 5 bridges on of which will be a vehicle bridge. You can see I also have the new hill put in and I gave it a brown base coat but before doing anything more on that area I wanna get the gorge completed so I can start running the trains again . Ya I know kinda messy I got caught on a messy day for pics LOL So thats all I got for now folks I'm working on the 5 bridges that cross the gorge for now as well as looking into running a rail off the side next to the mone for a staging area decline.