JenTown Railroad

An N Scale Model Railroad

Banner Picture

Later Construction

The track is down and working well. The electrical components have been secured under the layout in a manner that makes them easy to access and work on when needed. The entire layout is controlled from the computer. I feel like I have achieved my goal. But there is no scenery yet. So now it's time to start working on that. The first thing needed for the city landscape that will be here are the concrete sidewalks and paved streets. Buildings will be added later.

Masking tape is used to indicate where the main street will run. There will also be a smaller cross street and a few alleys between the buildings. The buildings will be on either side of the street and there will be sidewalks in front of the buildings and behind them as well to leave space between the buildings and the tracks.

I have secured thin strips of plastic on edge to the layout in order to provide a form which will be used to lay the plaster that will be the concrete sidewalks and where the buildings will be placed as well. Though it's not necessary, I elected to run the plastic strips so that they outlined the different areas. The plaster will be filled in to the top of the plastic strips and sanded down if needed to keep it all level. The buildings and sidewalks are all the same level and can be done at the same time but the street level is slightly below the sidewalk, so we will do the streets later.

Here the first little bit of plaster creating the sidewalks that are nearest the tracks has been applied. It will take 4 or more 5 more light coats of plaster diluted with water to get a nice smooth finish. The last few coats of plaster were the consistency of paint and those coats were applied with a paint brush. A sanding block was used between coats to keep it all level and smooth.

Foam strips that are half the height of the sidewalks are laid down to provide depth guides for the plaster that will make the streets. They are only temporary guides and will be removed later.

These photos make it look like there was a plan but in reality there was no plan. I didn't even come up with the idea of making a city scene until after all the track was down.

This is a look down what will one day be a street. The main job of the plastic strips is to be a guide that will keep the plaster level and the correct depth.

The rest of the plaster is down and smooth. Here we see the white plaster after it has been painted gray to look like concrete.

The foam strips visible here will be used for depth guides to makes sure the streets are actually below the sidewalks. Once the plaster is down around them and all is level, they will be removed and filled in.

The layer of plaster that makes the streets has been laid and painted. Automotive pin striping from an auto parts store create the white lines. I used a sharp knife to score the plaster to create expansion lines for the concrete sidewalks. Brush on soot and rust have been applied to give the siewalks a dirty used look.

To give the streets a little texture, I mixed fine ballast in with the black asphalt paint. Then I used a squeeze bottle with a needle point tip and applied small lines of darker asphalt black to make it appear as though the asphalt had been patched.

One of the constraints of building inside an Ikea cabinet is that the streets really can't go anywhere.

Once some buildings have been placed, it should all look good.

After the ballasting is all done, those nails can come out.

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