It’s Alive! - November 2009 Status

Cut Foam 1482

No, not the railroad. Just this website.

Work has been progressing more slowly than I’d like, and the first level of foam has yet to be glued down, or the subway track installed. The backdrops were taken down and repainted in a lighter shade of blue, and I’m much happier with them now. A new backing board was created for the end of the river scene (visible on the right, above). While I had the tables apart to repaint the backing, I added terminal strips and bus wiring under each table. In addition to the DCC bus and ground, there are two additional pairs: a power bus for turnouts, and a bus which could be used for DC power if I include that for trains, or it could be used for accessory lighting if I don’t.

Rough cutting of foam has begun, with much stopping for thought. The picture above shows the end section with the Sumida river bridges, taken from the “Urban Station” side (see the Track Plan). The loop of track on the left is the subway, which will be under the embankment when completed. On the right, the low level foam will represent the walkway along the edge of the river. At a scale 9’ above the water it’s probably a bit high, but close enough. The high level foam will probably be cut back, although there will be some kind of seawall to about that height, with residential buildings nestled inside the curve of the tracks. A road bridge will cross somewhere near the middle. I’m still debating if an elevated expressway above the right river bank would look good, or make the scene too cluttered. It’s prototypical, but may be too much for this limited space.

Work on adding lights to my first DCC-equipped car paused for several weeks, due to distractions and one body shell that wouldn’t come off. The figures (unpainted Preiser seated and standing people) arrived, and await painting with a gray primer. Except for a few near windows, that’s probably all I’ll paint them, as they’ll really only be silhouettes from the outside).

The big advance for the month was actually getting this website online. I’ve been working on it offline since September, adding content and rearranging it to get a format I like. I finally managed to get it to a state I was happy with (still far from “complete”, not that it ever really will be) and publish it over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Next: painting several hundred passengers for the trains, finishing the lighting of the first train, and adding the passengers. Actually gluing down the first layer of foam, adding the cork roadbed, and laying the subway track with feeder wires will happen in parallel. Maybe I’ll even install the first DCC circuit breaker to get some experience with that. I’d like to run a train on a permanent subway track loop before New Year’s, but we’ll see how that goes.
== Comments copied from old system
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - 02:50 PM
I'm very interested in your experience with the Prieser figures, as I've been considering doing the same. Do you think there is an advantage to using the Preisers, which have superior detail, over the cheap lots of pre-painted (albeit badly) figures available on eBay?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 11:32 PM
I put the figure painting aside for a while, so right now I just have a plastic box full of primer-gray figures. For what I'm going to use these for (people inside trains, mostly with little to no painting) I don't think the detail is really going to be all that useful. But I may paint a few more carefully and put them by large windows (I'm also considering using a scattering of pre-painted figures for that, although the quantity I'd need is probably too large). It's something to get back to, but I've been focused on track and other things lately.