Welcome to Mara

Another month has gone by and it’s time for yet another update on the railway. It is hard to believe that I only started this adventure only a year ago. Even though progress seemed slow at times its hard to believe I accomplished as much as I did in the past year. Looking back, I must say I’ve learned a lot and am pleased with the progress to date.

A lot got accomplished this month, so without further ado, let’s begin.

First up was the bench work to the town and for the town of Mara. This was constructed the same way as the rest of the layout using 3/4″ x 4″ Plywood framing mounted on brackets in the wall for the bench work leading to the town of Mara and legs were required for the Mara town site bench work seeing as the town is on a peninsula.

Next up was the bus and loconet wiring.

Once the benchwork was completed I installed the furing strips required to support the .060 styrene backdrop and installed the styrene and painted the styrene “sky blue”. After the backdrop dried I installed the 2″ foam.

I decided to something a little different that in the previous section in that I painted the backdrop before laying laying the track. I figured by doing it this way I did not need to be worried about getting paint on the finished track work. (Just to let you know, I did not get one drop of paint in the trackwork this time)

Not bad for 2-1/2 hours of creativity. While happy with the overall result I still found the backdrop to be a little dark but I wasn’t sure of it was the backdrop, the fact that the wall was dark or both. So a trip to Home Depot provided me with some halogen light that I could install directly under the shelf. To hide the lights I build a 4″ valence out of .060 styrene.

While the background is still a little dark it is a bit better. During the Christmas holidays I plan to redo the hills to get them lighter color. After that it’s laying track with the goal to get all the track down by the end of January 2008. I’m planning my first operation session for the end of February 2008. Oh, and I need the layout to be presentable for the local NMRA convention in April seeing as I promised to open the layout up for the layout tours. There is nothing like a few deadlines to get you motivated.

That’s it for this month. This will be my last entry into this construction blog, but not to worry, I’ll be starting Volume 2 next month. Before I finish I would like to wish everyone and their families all the best during the Christmas season and the New Year and to thank you for your support, encouragement and suggestions during the past year.

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