This railroad project has been one of the most enjoyable projects we have ever been involved in. First of all, the people were a joy to work with and were involved from the beginning. The husband and wife team worked on this together with the husband doing the wiring and the wife building and weathering the structures. Both did a very good job at their tasks, which made our job easier. But we are getting ahead of the story.
This layout began as a simple question: “What can we do to make this pre-fab Noch layout look good?”
The customers had purchased and assembled a large Noch prefabricated track plan designed for Marklin track with a large storage area built in beneath the simple but long basic track plan. The scenery as Noch installed it looked extremely toylike and the customers wanted better. Our suggestion was to keep the underlying structure that Noch furnished but the essentially cover it up with better scenery and to add some more dramatic elements.
It started with this mountain:
That went well, so the next thing was changing the design by adding some drama. We worked out how to do a two level bridge crossing. That was dramatic…
But the upper level of the bridge needed somewhere to go and the main deck had to remain as a town, so that meant a long elevated railroad that had to be largely scratch built.
And that meant building a large mountain at the end for the turn around. But the clients wanted an alpine walled town with a castle and a cathedral…
Meanwhile, at the other end of the layout, Noch had provided for a village but the setup was soooo crude we needed to make some improvements:
Then the clients just had to add a working mill and that meant literally adding a bump-out to the side of the layout with a stream and hill for balance
And they needed a vineyard (left hillside in the first frame) and a brewery (off to the right in the second) for personal reasons…
We had to add hills and mountains and tunnels everywhere to break the scenes up and fit everything together.
A turntable and roundhouse also figure prominently in the operations
There are scenes everywhere including working fountains, working water pumps, animated figures… Plus all the streetlights work and all the buildings have interior lights. And most of the figures and vehicles had not even been placed yet.
This project has taken us several years to get to this point with a lot of input from the clients. We have enjoyed it very much and look forward to the next section.
The specific techniques and procedures and materials used on this project were all typical of what we do and nothing was ‘invented’ for this project specifically. However, this project pushed our imagination and applications to the limits! We are very proud of the results and I’d be happy to have this one in my own home. Thanks to the clients for trusting our artistic vision and letting us do this…
Note that all of the ‘scenery’ has been done by Rail Tales staff but all of the structures were built by the clients except for the custom concrete viaducts and bridge pillars. Most of the structure weathering was also done by the clients after attending a couple of our clinics.