When I first started to date Jay he was all about his RC jets. We were at the flying field a good chunk of every weekend. Yet, just like every diamond-in-the-rough there are different facets to Jay, too. His mom told me once that he goes through spells of his hobbies. He was full-bore into skydiving, then he built his own full-scale airplane and flew that; there were the gas helicopters that he flew constantly; EDF technology came along, got better, and he got into the jets; his wife enables him and he gets heavy into 3D printing and his CNC machine. At some point in there he was into model trains, too. Well, we’ve come full circle and he’s getting back into the trains. He’s working on a large lay-out right now, but let me show you something that he did before I met him that I think is really neat.
Back in 2009 Jay was apparently bored. As he was watching TV one day he looked at his coffee table and thought, “You know what would look good on that? A train!” Except, he wasn’t thinking about painting a train on it. Nope. He was going to build a train track to run a locomotive around.
To do this he first cut a piece of plywood the same size as the top of the table.
Lay out your track and figure out what you want to put in the scene. How many switches? Are there going to be any crossing gates? How many lines do you want running?
Get some of your rolling stock out and see how it looks on the track layout. Does it look good? Are there any changes that should be made?
Once you have your layout done you want to lay down the ground cover and the cork bed for the track.
At one end of the track there is going to be a raised overpass so we need to raise the track and begin to prepare for the building of the pass.
Be sure to mask your track with tape so that you don’t mess it up.
I’m not sure why Jay started using cake icing over here, but perhaps it makes the work easier to do?
Oh, wait… I see the bucket of plaster in the background. So perhaps it wasn’t cake icing that he was using…
Remember to build it up on BOTH sides of the track.
A lot of masking tape will be needed. You don’t want to get plaster in places where it doesn’t belong.
Also, you apparently need a LARGE amount of caffeine to get through this building stage.
Once the plaster is dry make sure to remove all of the tape.
This is a neatly-done job.
Right now it just looks like the track is sitting on a pile of mashed potatoes, but in the next installment you’ll see how it gets finished and improved upon.