The track plan of the Manheim layout is pretty simple: even at its most extravagant it’s two turnouts. Hopefully twenty or so feet of running but still just two turnouts. In Coy and Victoria I learned a lot about ballasting and tie colour—not enough—but a lot.
In all my screwing around I’ve never tried varying the height of a siding compared to a mainline track. Studying photos along the Manheim layout shows that it’s a prominent detail at Ferrellgas that really makes the layout. Not just an aesthetic value that climb up to the mainline is something we’ll hear in the sound of an engine working to overcome that little grade from its start position at its grade. Equally, it’s a challenge to overcome when we drop down into the Ferrellgas siding when placing cars. In the above aerial from Google Earth I’ve highlighted two places that I wanted to study to develop an understanding of their profile and how that looks in section.
- Red line is a section through Ferrellgas
- Blue line is a section through the switching lead
What’s neat about that switching lead is there’s also a culvert so planning here is accommodating that change too.
While scaled to 1/87 the above sketch is one I drew using my estimates from photos translated into what I thought would need to happen to make things look right. What I need to think about, to approach differently and grow from what I usually do, is not simply lay down two inches of rigid foam and then just cut into them and hope for the best. I need to be more deliberate in my actions. Drawing full scale profile templates like I did was a fun exercise in drafting but also creating a drawing of what the scenery should be built up to—rather than subtracting foam that didn’t need to be there in the first place is there a way I could create this using maybe thinner layers? Maybe solid construction is the wrong way to think about this?