More Hilltop Work


Work has progressed. I finally finished getting the backdrop photo attached to the backdrop, and the latter attached to the layout table. This was not without a lot of awkward contortionism to get the darn thing bolted in place. Perhaps I would have been better off disconnecting the whole return loop end from the rest of the layout, so I could turn it and work somewhere other than in a two-inch slot up against a concrete wall. But while that’s possible by design, it’s REALLY hard in practice, and I decided I didn’t need to do it. And in the end I didn’t, although I’m not sure I actually saved any real time.

The backdrop looks pretty good, even in person. It has just the right level of detail, and the sizes are acceptable (perhaps a bit too large, but I don’t think they’ll be too obtrusive). The faded/hazy color and low-resolution of detail looks just right.

The Shinto temple model I ordered last week also arrived (about a week from order to delivery, including five days in Express Mail Service (EMS) from Tōkyō to my door. It’s a very nice model. Pre-painted, but needing to be glued together. And I’ll probably end up painting at least some parts of it. The set includes several buildings, plus a base I probably won’t use (except perhaps to cut individual building bases out of it). Fortunately the buildings mostly aren’t ones I’d expect to have lit, so I’m not likely to need to expend effort on light-blocking them, although I may think about adding some exterior lighting (lanterns, etc).

Design, or rather thoughts about design, for the actual structure of the hilltop has also continued. This was helped by the arrival of some Tomix curved viaduct track in the radius I expect to use in the helix so I can visualize positions and check clearances. This isn’t the full set of track needed for the helix, just one loop’s worth for planning.

In the photo above, I’m trying out some ideas for the support for the hilltop. The 1x3 wood is what I expect to use for the supports. The light plywood and foam above it was one idea I had (they sell 2’ x 2’ panels of one-inch foam at the local home supply store now, but it’s just a bit too small to work for the hilltop, so I probably won’t end up using it. I might still use the plywood to support a larger chunk of foam though.

All things considered a productive week, even though I didn’t get to spend as much time on the layout as I would have liked to. But progress is made from continuous small increments; I just need to keep at it.