The S-Scale Zilwaukee

Okeechobee and Tremungus

- - Ready for the 2002 NMRA - -

This is the version of the railroad that was on display during the 2002 NMRA National Convention. The first layer of scenery had just been applied in time for the layout tours.

Photo 1

This view shows the entry with the swinging bridge section ready to run. The layout height is about 50 inches for the lower level tracks. That allows four feet of vertical clearance for the duck-under. Even so, that places a burden on visitors who may not be as flexible as they once were.

The top of the backdrop rises to just over 7 feet. The walls were painted in the same color of blue above the backdrop to extend the normal viewing area. On either side of the entry, you can see the lighted display cabinets. These things were part of the structure of the benchwork.>

The clouds on the backdrop were painted using a technique described on another page – somewhere in this site.

Photo 2

This is a view of the South east corner. You can see the stub end of the visible yard at the harbor. Also visible in this picture are the mirror and a lift-out handle.>

Mirrors were applied on both sides of the entry. They provide an illusion of additional railroad extending beyond the layout room.

Since there were so many hidden storage and staging tracks, I felt it was necessary to provide access.All of it was covered with sections of scenery that could be lifted out for service. The sections were made from cardboard forms covered by metal screen, drywall compound, paint and ground foam. At two places in each scenic panel, I placed a short piece of 1 x 2 wood with a Tee-nut and hole. Leading through the scenery to those supports on the underside were some brass or aluminum tubing. The handles were made from more 1x2 and carriage bolts with threads to match the Tee-nuts. The handles are removable for normal operation.

Photo 3

Here you can see a little more of the scenic base along the south side. The lift-out handles are in place for one section. It is pretty tough to spot the handle holes in the adjacent section. One benefit of the lift-out scenic sections is that the section can be removed from the layout. Then, the scenery can be applied in the workshop in greater comfort and with less mess on the railroad.

Photo 4

This view shows the remainder of the scenic base along the south side and the throat of the yard at the wharf area. The track is Shinohara code 100. All of the turnouts are controlled with Tortoise switch machines mounted below the roadbed.

Photo 5

Here you can see the slightly more advanced scenery at the south west corner. There are about 40 trees up there. The road leads away from the viewer and up into the hills. To add some forced perspective, I applied a few techniques. First, the Inn at the top of the hill is an N-Scale model. Second, the road leading up to it becomes more narrow from the S-Scale size at the bottom. As the road narrows, I also used stripes with decreasing size to match. These were made using a spreadsheet program and alternating black and white cells. I varied the column widths proportionally to match the narrowing road. Next, I applied an HO car part way up the hill and an N-Scale car farther along.

Finally, using a digital camera, I took a photograph of the Inn building. I fiddled with a paint program to produce an HO-scale bill board to encourage weary drivers to stop.

Photo 6

These buildings all started out as HO kits. I added some height to the lower storey and placed some S-Scale people on the sidewalk. There is such a nice selection of 1/64th scale cars in the toy departments that S-Scale is easy to ‘motorize’.

Photo 7

Here at the north west corner, I again applied the forced perspective technique. Since this part was intended to capture the spirit of the Castle Rock area north of the Straits of Mackinac, I needed statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. At the base of the rock, all of the figures and cars are HO scale. On top of the rock is a viewing platform populated with N-Scale people. Unless you play in the NBA, the normal viewing angle for this part of the layout is level or upwards. Paul was made from a G-Scale figure and so was Babe. I was able to find an appropriate (except for painting) Bunyan candidate, but, no one makes oxen. So, I obtained a set of cows and painted one of them blue. Then, I created ox horns by heating, stretching and bending some of the plastic runners from other kits.

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