The track laying is mostly done. I’m 70% happy with it. I find that even though natural materials scale very well they tend to be a bit flat and boring. The way to spruce things up would be to use paint or details with color but I’m very reluctant to start messing with the current state of things. I can probably add some color – rusty rails, rust stain across the ties, as well as some details such as trash and leaves around the ties and the edges. I will do this at a later date.
Here are some of the steps:
I decided to use the British Brook-Smith method of laying rails. The method was described by Iain Rice in one of his 1980s books on hand laying track. The method involves gluing rivets into the ties onto which the rail is soldered. I had to adapt it to American standards and I would say I only had partial success: it was slow, messy, damaged ties, and it was difficult to keep the rail in a straight line etc. Nevertheless I will continue to use the Brook Smith method and intend to create a bunch of tools to help speed up the track laying process.
Finished (kind of)
I still have to add details such as rail joiners across the gaps. A glaring omission is the tie plates – something I will add when building the next layout. Also the rail sits a little high above the ties in places. I intend to build various jigs to make the track laying faster and more accurate – this was just a test run of the Brook-Smith method. I’ll add more color via leaves, rust and more vibrant ground cover. I want to see how the diorama develops before adding too much new color.