Last weekend I had a visit by a couple of friends and so I had a bit of pressure on to get a few tasks completed and make the layout look more presentable. The first task on the list was to get the track laid in the village of Buckland.
Buckland is the highest point on the mainline and will be a small place with maybe a shop or two, a pub and a church. Industries served by the railway will be a goods shed, the wool merchants and maybe a mine. As it is the high point helpers will probably be used from Geehi to here on the ore trains if operations ever happen.
I decided to use Micro Engineering code 83 flex track and points. While I am happy with the appearance of the Custom trax that I have been using, once I started running trains I am less so. I have had a lot of issues with the flex track being out of gauge and it isn't easy to adjust. I have also have had issues with the Custom trax turnouts being out of gauge and having intermittent electrical shorts. While the Micro Engineering track doesn't look as good the quality is much higher and that makes for more happier train running.
The next task I wanted to get completed is the fascia. A busy Saturday saw the bottom fascia installed the entire length of the layout that has track laid. In my eyes it has dramatically improved the appearance of the layout and given it a more finished look. Once the fascia was in, I couldn't help myself and I have started installing the landform.
My preference is to use wire netting that is used for fencing. As I live on a farm I have an almost unlimited supply and it is easy to work with. I attach it to the fascia by sandwiching the wire between scraps of wood and the fascia. Once I am happy with the shape I install risers under the hills to keep it in place. I then cover it with multiple layers of chux wipes soaked in white glue thinned with water. In the photo above the section of roadbed in front of the loco will be cut out and a bridge installed but it could be some time before I get to it.
The next task that I am about to tackle is painting the backdrop. I did consider using a photo backdrop but putting good photos together proved to be more difficult than I thought it would. Joining the different panoramas together was also an issue. The cost of the many metres of photos I would need was enough to get me motivated to start painting.