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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Re-building Rock Springs Gravel Co.

Shortly after completing the front half of the layout I came to realize that the Gravel pit in the back half was too hard to efficiently switch.  the Track plan consisted of a Time saver- like track-plan with the switch back being the main line.  Though it was fun to operate and switch, it was complicated and slowed down operating sessions.  I wanted an efficient track plan that was still complicated.  So I decided that the Gravel pit would need to be re-done and get a face lift.

The first step that I do when building, or re-building is planning out everything.  to do this I didn't want to create a track plan on paper because the dimensions were really weird and could not be reproduced in scale on paper. So I had to rip up track and create a plan in a 1:1 scale.
But how does one rip up track so that the track can be re-used.  My track was harder than most because the track was glued to the base with liquid nails and is hard as a rock when dry.  However I still succeeded with only carrying a little of the scenery away.  This is shown in the following photos:

Using a foam knife, I gently pried up the track piece by piece.

Here is what the layout looked like in mid demolition. 
The following photos are the test fitting.  Notice that few pieces are connected yet.

Looking down towards the gravel loader.  Notice that i am leaving the track in a bumpy state, this helps to keep speeds slow and makes the overall track look like it receives low maintenance.  Also notice that the pink foam hills will be gravel piles. 

I used the track from the old layout at the end to give the trains more space and to disguise an already well hidden end with feeders. 

The first green has already appeared on the layout, although not glued down.
The back drop has been started!  I used artist oil paints to create and "art-like" feel to the layout.

Here are all of the hills and one of the loading ramps that front-end loaders crawl up to dump their load into a hopper.

This is the second loading ramp.

For gluing foam down, here are the materials needed, Elmer's foam safe wood glue, and a stir stick to fish out the glue from the bottle.

Before beginning, make sure EVERYTHING is off the layout.

My glue had sat in a closet for a while, so I shook the glue bottle so any particles go back into solution.

My stir stick wasn't wide enough so I got a spatula to get the glue.

After the glue is on the foam, rub it around the base like cake frosting.

Here are my first two hills being covered in gravel, a lot of glue is necessary to keep this much held down.

I use a technique for gluing gravel on hill sides where after glue has been applied, I take a spatula and mix the soaked gravel with the dry gravel so glue is absorbed better.

For applying glue, I use a contact solution bottle with a 3:1 mix of water and glue.  This gives me control over where the glue ends up.

When applying glue in this fashion, I hold the bottle up-side-down and on the top of the hill.


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