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July 2002 - Page 36


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UP 2302 replenishes the tender with coal after completing a run to LaSalle. The coal dock is kitbashed from IHC and Central Valley parts. The prototype spanned three tracks, but mine only spans two due to space considerations. The LaSalle yard is in the foreground. outbound freights with through cars and local cars. Mainline freights set out and pick up blocks of cars at LaSalle keeping that yard supplied with cars for the local freights. There are two passing sidings, each long enough for 30 cars and four F-units. One has a middle crossover, which gives the dispatcher a three-way meet option. This really comes in handy when LaSalle gets full and cant take any more cars. I have always wanted a 4-12-2 and better still, a place to run it. For a long time I had the engine but had to run it on a friends PRR layout (totally unacceptable). When I planned this layout that problem was solved by using 42 " minimum curves and #8 turnouts on the mainline. Curves up to 72" are used when possible for cosmetic reasons. This is flatland railroading so the grades are kept at 1% or less even though

there really is no level track. The railroad undulates to give the scenery believability and to allow tracks to cross over each other. Scenery With this size layout, scenery has to be kept simple. I use tried and true methods that Ive used for many years. The scenery base is screen wire covered with Structolite plaster and painted an earth color. The basic ground cover is about seven different colors of Woodland Scenics ground foam. This is layered on and held secured with dilute white glue or Mod Podge. My ground cover is too green but living in Kentucky makes it difficult to not add just a little more green. My neighbors grow yarrow around their mailbox, which I harvest in the fall for my trees. I dip the dried heads in sanding sealer then coat them with ground foam. Since the trees in the prototype area are not very big, this looks fairly good. Structures are mainly plastic kits painted and weathered without many embellishments. The only structure that I put a lot of effort into is the coal dock at LaSalle. It is kitbashed from a Cheyenne coal dock to only straddle two tracks (vs. three tracks for the real one). Backdrop The very simply constructed backdrop is made from 1/4" drywall, bent in most corners to give a continuous sky. Drywall is durable, cheap and easily worked or repaired, while giving a smooth surface for the sky. The entire backdrop was painted sky blue to represent a beautiful Western summer day. About five years after it was made, I decided that it needed to be white at the horizon line, tapering to blue as

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36 MODEL RAILROADING

JULY 2002

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