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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, August 5, 2021 9:38 PM

richhotrain
Looking good, Mark. If you eventually enjoy operating this layout as much as you seem to enjoy making the videos, you are in for a real treat.

Hi Rich and Mark,

If you produce videos of the same quality about how you operate we will all be in for a treat!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 9, 2021 1:02 PM

Doughless
Chapstick on the tops of the rails before rattle can paint.  Pure genius! 

In all fairness, that tip came from a post on the "other" forum.

hon30critter
If you produce videos of the same quality about how you operate we will all be in for a treat!

Dave

The real "if" is IF I ever get to the point of actually operating the layout!

9 August 2021

I got the Casper backdrop posted a couple days ago. It's a bit bluury in this post (camera and photographer are both a bit depth-of-field challenged), but it gives you an idea of how it looks:

Here's a shot of another part of it:

I actually was able to successfully solder wires to one of the 0402 LEDs! 

And yesterday I applied a plaster layer to the entire engine terminal. Today or tomorrow I'll add the dirt, tyhen the entire west end of the yard is ready for ballasting.

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 9, 2021 4:23 PM

Pruitt

The real "if" is IF I ever get to the point of actually operating the layout!

Well now, there you have it.  Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 9, 2021 10:24 PM

Pruitt
The real "if" is IF I ever get to the point of actually operating the layout!

Mark, you are a prolific modeller. I know that you have a long ways to go but I'm sure you will get there sooner rather than later.

One thing I like about your approach to the layout is that you are doing the scenery (at least the basics) as you go. You won't end up with a plywood paradise. When the final track is laid your layout will look like a layout.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, August 12, 2021 10:27 PM

Thanks Dave, but I sure feel like the proverbial tortoise in my modeling speed.

12 August 2021

Basic scenery in Casper is now done. And I mean basic - dirt has been applied everywhere. Foliage, structures, and all the details will come over time. 

Last night I applied dirt to the remaining area on the west end. Here's part of the engine terminal after a brief downpour (sprayed water to activate the plaster to affix the dirt):

I kinda like the way this looks, but I have no idea how to keep the after rain look.

This evening, with the dirt dried and solid, I removed the tape from the tracks and vacuumed up all the plaster debris. Here's an overall view of the west end:

A closer view of the Standard Refinery's oil loading tracks (behind the roundhouse), followed by a view of the turntable and lead tracks.

I have to say that overall I'm pleased with how things look at this point.

Now I just have to clean out plaster from between tie ends where it seeped under the tape (an easy job since it's just Plaster of Paris) and I'm ready to ballast the area.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, August 13, 2021 7:00 AM

Pruitt

Last night I applied dirt to the remaining area on the west end. Here's part of the engine terminal after a brief downpour (sprayed water to activate the plaster to affix the dirt):

I kinda like the way this looks, but I have no idea how to keep the after rain look.

I like the way it looks too. I wonder if a light, shallow application of Envirotex Lite would work? Might be worth a try.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 23, 2021 10:32 PM

23 August 2021

I finished ballasting all the industry tracks in Casper. The only thing left is the engine terminal, and since I can get to that easily from the front of the yard, I may not get to it for awhile. Everything I needed to work on from behind the yard is now complete. Final detailing can be done from aboard my Topside Creeper as the mood strikes.

I moved beyond my "disaster" (I started a thread about that a few days ago; it's now resolved) to finish the Standard Oil Refinery loading tracks. Oil dripped and gushed (and everything in between) onto the tracks over a period of many years as cars were loaded, so the tracks needed to have an almost black, slimy semi-wet look to them. I think I accomplished that, for the most part:

So today, after the second track was dry and I removed the weights, I set the loading racks back in place and spotted a few cars alongside. In this shot I caught 0-8-0 number 545 spotting a second cut of cars on the right hand track.

And here's a view looking down that track at the oncoming string. That track is pretty disgusting looking. I sure wouldn't want to work out there every day!

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, August 23, 2021 10:38 PM

Pruitt

 


 

 

I especially like the above shot because there's so much emptiness showing.  

 

Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 2:04 AM

Hi Mark,

You are a highly skilled modeler whether you want to admit or not! I like the greasy tracks!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 3:33 AM

hon30critter
You are a highly skilled modeler whether you want to admit or not!

No slouch with a camera, either! Bow Yes Bow

You got the depth of field balanced perfectly in those photos.

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, August 27, 2021 9:22 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Ed, Dave and EdEmbarrassed

27 August 2021

I just posted the lastest episode of Building Casper. This one covers major construction of the engine terminal.

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, September 3, 2021 8:52 AM

3 September 2021

My latest layout update video is now posted on YouTube:

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, September 4, 2021 10:32 PM

4 September 2021

With the invaluable advice and suggestions of several of the members here, I managed to get Rocky Mountain Drilling lighting installed. Even more amazing, it works!

Yesterday I finished installing the LEDs. There are five gooseneck lamps over the exterior doors, and three LEDs attached to the underside of the loft flooring (which is just thin scrap plywood cut to rough shape and glued into the building). Here we're looking into the building from the bottom:

I was really worried about those very fine wires that connect to the LEDs. I didn't want to stress them, because I knew they'd break right off. I thought overnight about how to hook them all into power, and came up with this today:

Those connectors are just scrap bits of PC board from the tie strips I use in turnout construction. I tinned them and glued them to the underside of the floor using adhesive caulk. I soldered on the power wires (those are the larger ones with the colored insulation), then fed the LED wires through holes I drilled in the floor and soldered them to the appropriate pads. There are four pads because the interior lights are separated from the exterior ones so I can adjust the light intensities separately.

Then I set the building in place on the layout, feeding the leads through a hole in the surface. I hooked up a temporary power source, and whipped out my cellphone to take some pictures. Click on any of them for a larger view.

The platform side at "dusk:"

And the track side:

Later that night a boxcar was delivered.

If you look very carefully just to the left of the building in this last shot, you can just make out the side of the boxcar spotted at the facility.

It's amazing how good cell phone cameras are these days. I'm a pretty crappy photographer at the best of times, but the camera seems to compensate for at least some of my shortcomings.

The structure still needs to be finished - signs added, building weathered, the roof details (chimney, vents, etc.) installed, and the building needs to be embedded into the layout and not just sit atop the dirt. But there it is.

Thanks to everyone who helped out in the other thread!

  • Member since
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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, September 5, 2021 12:28 AM
Gidday Mark, have had a post-holiday catch up and am impressed with the progress you’re making, even with the OOPS!!! that you’ve had. While I know that you could well have done without them, I’m pleased that you’re documenting them, not only as a “what not to do”, but as an encouragement to those of us who also have various OOPses while modelling. It just goes to show we’re not on our own, and that “victory” can be snatched from the jaws of defeat. Thank you.
 
Those back drops are looking great and I suspect that the majority of us would have been hard pressed to find the discrepancies.
Striving to achieve High Standards and Quality is admirable, but sometimes I think that we have to recognise that we can be our own worst critics, and should learn to unbend in some cases and actually give ourselves an occasional pat on the back. That said, getting so big headed that our head wear no longer fits, is not desirable, either!!Smile, Wink & Grin
 
The fonts I tend to use for my freelanced mid 50s rolling stock, taking into consideration that some where lettered pre 1940 are…
Bookman Old Style,
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DRILLING  
Book Antiqua,
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DRILLING
Baskerville Old Face,
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DRILLING
 
But hey, go with your gut. You don't need to satisfy those of us in the cheap seats!!
 
Once again thanks for sharing.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 5, 2021 1:12 AM

Hi Mark,

You did an excellent job on the lighting! I love night time running and good lighting adds so much realism to the layout.

One of the things I have yet to figure out is how to provide overhead lighting for daylight and night time scenes. My layout is in a garage so I will have to add a couple of extra lighting circuits, one with blue lights and the other with daylight tones.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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Posted by NorthBrit on Sunday, September 5, 2021 6:14 AM

Mark.   I like the 'glow' of the lights.   Just right.  Not bright like some I have seen on other layouts.   Well done.

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, September 5, 2021 5:15 PM

Thanks for the kind words, guys! 

Bear, I like the Bookman Old Style font. I may switch up and use it instead of Georgia, the one I was leanig towards.

Dave, I haven't really addressed night lighting of the layout other than structure lights and what-not on the layout. My LED pceiling panels dim, but only to about 40% brightness. I thought I might try leaving room lights off completely, but then I'll have to put some low-brightness LED strips around the base of the benchwork so operators can see where they're putting their feet. That will not happen soon...

David, one thing I've noticed is that more often than not structure lighting are too bright on our layouts. I'm trying not to let that happen, but selecting the "right" brightness is not easy. What I'm plasnning is to install a small bit of perfboard under the layout with trimpots mounted on it so I can adjust the brightness of each set of lights. I'll do that for each structure / set of lights so I can use just a few power supplies to drive all lighting but be able to adjust individual groups of LEDs. Kinda like a poor man's Just Plug system.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 6, 2021 1:07 AM

Pruitt
Dave, I haven't really addressed night lighting of the layout other than structure lights and what-not on the layout. My LED pceiling panels dim, but only to about 40% brightness. I thought I might try leaving room lights off completely, but then I'll have to put some low-brightness LED strips around the base of the benchwork so operators can see where they're putting their feet.

Hi Mark,

I would like to achieve the sort of night time lighting effect that RRMel has done (maybe he will post some pictures). IIRC he used blue LED strips that actually throw enough light that all of the scenery and structures can be discerned, but it still suggests a night scene.

One of my challenges will be trying to figure out how to make the overhead lighting repositionable. Eventually I want to move the layout to the other side of the garage so I will need to devise a lighting system that can be relocated on the garage ceiling. I don't think that will be too difficult. I can use some 1x2s to make frames that can be mounted to the ceiling wherever I want. The garage ceiling is finished but that won't affect anything.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 6, 2021 5:08 PM

hon30critter
Hi Mark,

I would like to achieve the sort of night time lighting effect that RRMel has done (maybe he will post some pictures). IIRC he used blue LED strips that actually throw enough light that all of the scenery and structures can be discerned, but it still suggests a night scene.

One of my challenges will be trying to figure out how to make the overhead lighting repositionable. Eventually I want to move the layout to the other side of the garage so I will need to devise a lighting system that can be relocated on the garage ceiling. I don't think that will be too difficult. I can use some 1x2s to make frames that can be mounted to the ceiling wherever I want. The garage ceiling is finished but that won't affect anything.

Dave

I don't recall seeing any of RRMel's nighttime shots. I'd be interested.

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about repositionable lighting. The layout is where it is. If it moves again, it will be to another house altogether (or maybe just a dumpster!).

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 12:25 AM

21 September 2021

After a hiatus from actual layout work for a few weeks to test out cab ride video cameras and clean up (and clean out) the train room, I'm back at it.

By clean out I mean I removed nearly all the non-train stuff from the room. There used to be a lot of boxes of books and other stuff filling about a third of the room - check out the background of this picture:

That's all gone and the room is mostly clean (except the tables and shelves). Here's what the room looks like now, taken from behind Casper yard:

That's a lot of room for new benchwork! 

Where did all those boxes, which were mostly books, go? Into the newly completed library, of course!

(my wife was hiding from the camera). Note all those Model Railroader binders on the lower left shelves. Most of the clutter on the table is also MRs that don't have a binder to call home yet (I have a batch of binders on order, and will need many more).

Back to the trains - 

Now I'm in the middle of doing the last bit of scenery in the corner of the Chicago and North Western line from Riverton to Hudson. Once that corner is done, I'll be able to move Casper back into its permanent location in the corner and start building mainline out of both ends of the yard. I'm looking forward to that! Big Smile

So here's a bit of work I did on the CNW line today. I added static grass and other weeds and such to the line leading into the corner towards Hudson:

For a couple days before that I was working IN the corner, adding painted polyfiber "corn" to either side of the track. Just the polyfiber with fine ground foam on top looks like this:

And I just started adding ground-level dead vegetation around the base at the east end of the fields. Glue is still wet. Grass and other weeds and some small bushes and such will also be added through this area.

Hey, I know it doesn't resemble corn all that much, but the colors are close to those on the backdrop, and you won't be able to get as close to this in person as the camera is in this shot. So what the heck - it's good enough for what it is (I hope).

Sure feels good to be working on the layout again! 

The past few days I've also started removing the over-center springs and reinstalling the ground throws. Though I got the springs to work okay for the most part, they weren't as reliable as I wanted them to be. The springs tended to pop out of the ties at one end or the other, and some of them were a bit picky about which way they were being thrown. So, with the advice of a few folks in another thread here, I've found a way that attaches the ground throws more securely to the cork and foam than I was able to accomplish before. Thanks for the help, folks!

I think by the end of the month I'll be able to reposition Casper and begin new benchwork construction towards Powder River (the right end of Casper as you're facing it). 

(huh. I just noticed that some of the emojis don't work anymore. Like the one with the party favor...)

  • Member since
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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 1:11 AM
Heaven forbid that the Bear dare to ever sully Mel’s sterling contributions to the Forum, and then query Dave’s memory, but I suggest that the lighting thread mentioned is Mike Lehman’s Night Scene.
 
 
I have been wrong before, I think?
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 2:55 AM

Heaven forbid that the Bear dare to eversully Mel’s sterling contributions to the Forum, and then query Dave’s memory, but I suggest that the lighting thread mentioned is Mike Lehman’s Night Scene.

Hi Bear,

You are correct! Thank you for fixing my mistake.

By the way, I question my memory every day so feel free to chime in! I need all the help I can get!

Apologies to Mike Lehman for not giving credit where due.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 3:15 AM

Pruitt
I know it doesn't resemble corn all that much, but the colors are close to those on the backdrop, and you won't be able to get as close to this in person as the camera is in this shot. So what the heck - it's good enough for what it is (I hope).

Hi Mark,

I think that the colour blending is done really well! I don't think it matters one bit the there are no actual corn stalks in the forefront. In fact, personally I find that most modelled corn fields look too sparse to be realistic. The viewer's eye will be focused even better on the trains because they will not be distracted by fake corn stocks that look like they are planted too far apart. This is a 'less is more' situation IMHO and you have done a good job of it.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, September 23, 2021 11:19 PM

Thanks Dave!

23 September 2021

Work has continued on what I've started calling "cornfield corner."

Yesterday I added the rest of the dead vegetation - oregano leaves. The layout smells pretty nice for about a day after I do that! I also added some small bushes around the periphery of the fields.

Today I added static grass and some weeds. Here's the result:

I still need to spray on an overall fixative (very diluted Mod Podge, I'm thinking) to keep the bushes from deteriorating and spreading all over the place. I also want to add a couple of 3-D versions of the scraggly trees you see in the foreground of the backdrop. Making those will involve using an old wallpaper paste brush and a variety of ground foam.

I probably won't make and install those trees immediately, though. Tomorrow I'm going to prep Casper to be moved permanently back into the corner. Then over the weekend I'm going to hopefully start extending the benchwork towards Powder River. Woo-Hoo!!

Boy, that fascia sure needs cleaned, doesn't it?

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Posted by Tin Can II on Friday, September 24, 2021 9:26 AM

Mark:

Wow.  Just Wow.  Thank you for posting your videos and how to's.  

 

  • Member since
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  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 1:39 AM

Facia by Bear, on Flickr

WhistlingSmile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 2:18 AM

Hey Mark!

I just wanted to let you know that your excellent videos are 'out there'. I was watching a video of a James Bond Aston Martin being driven by the movies stunt driver and three Grand Prix leading drivers. When it was over up popped your video from August 31, 2021.

I shouldn't try to compare the two videos. All I can say is that your videos aren't quite as heart pounding as when the F1 drivers lost control trying to drift the car and nearly rammed into the track barriers!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, October 3, 2021 8:28 AM

Tin Can II, I'm glad you're enjoying my videos. Hopefully they're helpful in some way.

Bear, always the comedian! I guess I destroyed the ambiance when I cleaned the fascia!

Dave, it's interesting that my videos are popping up in unexpected places. Considering that the Astin Martin video was probbly professionally created, it isn't surprising that my amateur production doesn't "grab" in that same way.

3 October 2021

I just posted my latest layout update video:

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 3, 2021 1:52 PM

Hi Mark,

Good video. I don't think it was too long. There was lots to cover and I think it was edited quite well.

You make me feel guilty. You make so much progress in a month and I make so little!Embarrassed

Cheers,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    May 2004
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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 3, 2021 3:01 PM

Yup, it wasn't too long--moved right along, as they say.  Good work!

With rare exception, when I place a building on scenery, I build a foundation in position into the scenery, and make the rest of the building a lift-off.  Most buildings have the siding go down a bit past the foundtion top, and that covers the joint between the two.  That solves the problem of any small gap between the foundation and the structure.

I've got an upcoming building made with concrete blocks on a slab that I have to solve, though.  Probably use screws from below to draw it down onto the slab.

I don't look forward to my first "multi-legged" loading dock.

 

 

Ed

 

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