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Merry Christmas & My "Try-O-Rama"

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Merry Christmas 2006, everyone!

In my family most of the activity is on the evening of Christmas Eve, where I spent singing and playing music at two churches. There was little to do during Christmas Day so I spent the evening "working on the railroad."

Layout update: The past few days I removed the test track, so no test trains have been running the past few days. I did re-align my track plan slightly (no major changes, just some more accurate aligning made). I also cut the 1 1/2"-wide "Flood Control Channel" in the blue foam base. I plan to line this with styrene "walls" and "floor." I also have to fashion small "bridges" for the main and yard track to go over.

What I did do Christmas Day night was make...a "Try-O-Rama!"
What'is a Try-O-Rama, you mas ask? It's a small diorama made out of foam meant as a "practice pad" to try out scenery methods. There's also a 20" stretch of track consisting of four pieces of Atlas Code 80 sectional track. Since I only use Code 55 and lower on my layout, I figured this was the most appropriate place for this track, which came as excess from a few Atlas plate girder bridges I bought.

I also used the Try-O-Rama to practice my track soldering skills, which I've never really used before. It took about 3 tries to get it right, but I finally did it.

Most importantly I used the Try-O-Rama to practice laying roadbed and track with latex acrylic caulk. I drew a centerline and drew a couple thin lines of caulk, then spread them thin with a piece of spare styrofoam. Next I put aligned two split pieces of Woodland Scenics foam trackbed and aligned them with the centerline. Then I pressed firmly and the cauld did its work! Next, the track...I squeezed out a small line down the middle, spread it thin and pressed the track on. At one point I even lifted it off the nearly-dry caulk, and placed it back in realigned. It was that easy! I was even able to run my Atlas Dash-8 40B and a couple of boxcars back and forth on the Try-O-Rama...(later I used it to test-roll my rolling stock. Two of them (which had Intermountain metal wheelsets) did not roll freely so I took off the wheels and pressed the sharp end of a thumbtack into the axle receptacles. Eventually I got free-rolling cars!

I was so driven I pasted two pieces of WS foam trackbed onto the real layout with caulk. They were on the incline risers portion. So I put some masking tape down the middle to avoid ballast spillage into the "Z" crevices and squeesed out my caulk (Wow, I'm so glad I wrote that and not said it verbally!) Pressed down the trackbed and presto! That easy.

I'm still waiting on that flood control channel to be at least partially finished so I can do the rest of the track.

But looking good so far! That caulk stuff is magic! Beats nails any day!

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  1. MP333's Avatar
    I'm a huge caulk supporter for lots of modeling jobs. Looking good!


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