Laying the Roadbed and the Track
You may have your favourite way of laying your roadbed and track. A lot of "how-to-do-it" books have the details so we won't go into a lot of detail here. Here's the way that I do mine so that it gets rid of the shiny plastic look of the ties and the cork-like look of the roadbed.
Once you get the module frame constructed, the track power buss installed, the LocoNet installed, it's time to get onto the business of building the model railroad. These next set of photos show the roadbed construction and track-laying on my Bancroft and Irondale modules.
The first step is to transfer the trackplan to the surface of the module. I mark the module off into 6" squares and trace the trackplan onto the painted styrofoam surface. I next take a section of cork roadbed, separate it into the two halves, lightly sand the surfaces so that I don't have any protruding edges.
I next spread some LePage's "No-More-Nails" onto one half of the roadbed and set it in place along one side of the centre-line of the trackplan (carpenter's glue works equally as well). To keep the roadbed in place, I use some straight-pins. Here's a photo where we've spread some glue onto a piece of roadbed and we're ready to fit it in place. You can see where I've fitted other pieces of roadbed and these are being held in place with some straight pins.
Here's a closer view of the roadbed-laying process. You can faintly see the blue lines which mark off our 6" squares and corresponding blakc marks along the edge of the module frame. The top of the styrofoam deck has been painted with a latex "underbrush" brown.
Once the roadbed has been installed, we paint the cork roadbed with two coats of our latex underbrush brown paint to seal all the pores of the cork roadbed.
Painting the Track
You can have a nicely scenicked module or layout but the shiny plastic from the ties is going to detract from that nice look. Here's how I get rid of that shiny plastic look and make those rails look rusty and weathered using Tremclad oxide-red primer and flat black that you get in the spray cans.
I place the track on a cardboard backing and hold it in place with some pins. Then I apply some oil to the top of each rail and stuff some Kleenex into the open side of each turnout. This will help us scrape the paint off the top and edge of the rail when it has all dried. I apply a liberal coat of oxide-red rust primer - the kind that comes in the spray can (I use the Tremclad brand). This is what it looks like after I've applied the the oxide-red primer - it looks pretty awful, doesn't it!
Then I lightly overspray the oxide-red primer with the flat black. How much flat black you apply will depend on your preferences.
I then glue the track to the roadbed - if you use LePage's "No-More-Nails", you've got to be very quick. If you want to take your time, use carpenter's glue. Using a flat piece of steel, I scrape the paint off the top and edges of the rails.
Here's what it looks like after we've installed the track. The "whitness" of the glue between the ties will disappear when we ballast the track.
|Now that we've got the roadbed and track installed, let's connect the rails to the track power buss so that we can run some trains.|