Saturday, August 25, 2007

Real California Scenery!

Latest progress: scenery in the hills. This is the east end of the Glenwood siding. I'd never been sure how I'd put scenery in this area; the track turns a corner and goes into the upper staging yard, so I never thought I had room for anything interesting. In January, I realized that the real line out of Glenwood crossed the nearby Bean Creek, and eventually entered a tunnel as the track headed towards Santa Cruz. Having a creek and tunnel scene sounded perfect; I'd have a focal point for the scene, and I'd have a way to hide the staging yard.

After a bit of work with the saber saw, I had space for the creek. The rest of the work happened in fits and starts; I finally put in several days of effort to finish the rough scenery, paint the backdrop, and add ground cover and trees.

Here's a picture of the whole scene; the road in the background represents the Glenwood Highway leading towards Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz. Simple ground cover, trees, and the backdrop are done; the bridge's foundation obviously needs work. To the left, the road and track are separated by a field, with large trees lining the road. There's also a railroad section house on the left bank of the creek.

With this scene done, it's time to move onward to the summit tunnel and the redwood forests!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

So... How Are We Doing?

Well, it doesn't look like I'm making progress, but I am. The layout's slowly moving from "rough" to "trim" work -- from all the structural work such as benchwork, track, and wiring to scenery and structures. West San Jose now has the PG&E gas holder placed at the north end of the yard, just across the Alameda underpass. In Campbell, Campbell Ave. is starting to look like a main street with buildings going up on the north side of the street.

Gas holder, West San Jose; D. O. Curry Building, Campbell Ave., Campbell.

The Del Monte Plant 51 cannery building's in place (with warped roof over the platform), but the building's basically complete. It's located across the tracks from my layout's temporary West San Jose depot Compare the model photo with the photo at right from San Jose's Diridon Station a few years back.

Plant 51, West San Jose. Left photo from my model railroad; right taken at Diridon Station, 2001.

When I was growing up, my father took me hiking on Mount Tamalpais. Getting there, we'd avoid taking the touristy route along Highway 1, but would instead wind through residential neighborhoods on the ridge overlooking Mill Valley. I'd see all sorts of houses clinging to the hillside, sometimes up on stilts, sometimes dug into the hillside. For my Glenwood scene in the Santa Cruz mountains, I placed a similar building on the hillside overlooking the tracks and the new semaphore signal. It's not complete -- the stilts are temporarily in place, unpainted, and unglued, but with luck it'll hold on the hillside til I can get more time to work on it.

Here's a pair of overview shots to show progress: