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I applied the auto body filler to the area outside of the rails first although it wouldn't have made any difference had I begun by filling between the rails.
Here is a view of the 'raised' Trolley tracks. I made sure to extend the rail height entirely through the depression.
Our junction with the west side street and Main Street had a harsh 'dip' or depression. To fix this, I would need to not only fill the roadway but also raise the Trolley tracks too. I began this project by first super gluing .020" X .060" styrene strips to the top of the Trolley tracks thereby raising their height. I then proceeded to build up the surrounding roadway by applying a layer of auto body filler being sure to cover the entire area of the depression.
After studying our photos of Disneyland's Main Street it was apparent that a few more lines between pavement sections were needed. This view shows my technique: after penciling-in the lines I use a metal straight edge and a hobby knife to scribe them. Notice I'm using the back edge of my #11 blade! The lines only need to be about .005" deep so light pressure and a couple of passes are all that's needed. India ink was then flowed into the lines with a small detail brush to make them stand out and also show if I'd done a good job with them. Any poor lines or mistakes can be fixed by puttying them over and trying again. This view also shows some of the putty used to fill the outside gap on the trolley tracks prior to sanding.
In looking at the trolley tracks at the Park I noticed that there isn't a noticeable gap on the outside of the track rails. I used .020" X .020" styrene strips to fill the gap on our street and then used automotive spot putty (made by Bondo) to conceal any remaining imperfections. This is evident here at the trolly passing spurs. Filling this gap also makes the tracks appear narrower and more to scale.
At this point the roadway around the Town Square area is looking pretty good. Additional details like manhole covers will be added before the final painting begins.
This is our east Town Square side-street with additional hand-scribed lines.
At this stage the roadway has been primered. It is necessary to do this to be able to discern any remaining flaws with the putty work and line details. It may be necessary to repeat the primer coat to reveal any remaining small flaws.
Once the Trolley track extension has been epoxied in place I used pieces of 1/8" thick extruded ABS plastic to fill in the remaining gaps. The street has now been extended and will allow the Olszewski pieces to be aligned around the Hub.
I used a 1 15/16"section of the Troley tracks taken from our leftover piece from the City Hall makeover.
Here is the separated and re-spaced Hub.
Because we are endeavoring to build a model of the entire Park, it is paramount that the Central Plaza (Hub) and the surrounding pieces are located according to my plot plan of the Park. In order to get the Frontierland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland (Astro Orbitor) entrance pieces aligned around the Hub, Main Street needs to be lengthened 1 15/16". Here I'm beginning to saw the street to separate the Hub using the scribed line closest to the Hub as a guide.
I have used Bondo auto body filler to smooth the area between the Train Station and City Hall pieces. The same treatment will be applied to the Opera House side.
East Plaza Street (top of photo) and Photo Corner also is now better aligned with West Plaza Street and Coke Corner. We now have the locations of all the structures from Main Street Station to the Plaza Streets locked-in (whew!). We'll be addressing the Plaza Inn and Plaza Pavillion pieces next.
The benefit of the new position of the Disney Showcase is illustrated here with East Center Street (top of photo) now correctly aligned with West Center Street.
A straight edge here shows the improved alignment between the Emporium (at the lower left) and the Disney Showcase. In addition to the material removed on the east side street, approximately 3/16" was removed from the front sidewalk (the 45 degree angled side) of the Showcase piece. As shown here, sidewalks closest to Town Square on the Emporium and Showcase pieces are now correctly aligned at a 90 degree plane to Main Street.
The dark line running diagonally through the center of this photo marks the amount of material from the east Town Square side street that will be removed. This will allow the Disney Showcase piece to be moved closer to Town Square, thus allowing all the pieces on the east side of Main Street to slide down. This will improve the alignment of the buildings on both sides of Main Street to more accurately replicate their true relationship at the Park.
All done! It took me about 45 minutes to complete the removal of material all the way around. This job brings the buildings on either side of the street about 3/8" closer together.
Main Street is now being narrowed by using the same tools and technique employed on the Town Square project. When finished, our Main Street between Town Square and the Plaza will be just 3" wide.
It's done! The hole for Town Square has now been enlarged. Notice the proximity of the new edge to the Trolley tracks.
I'm now removing the material with a Dremel tool with a 60 grit sanding drum. I'm being careful to keep the tool 90 degrees to the roadway. If you do this be sure to wear a dust mask. It's best to perform this job outdoors!
If you look closely you'll be able to see the line I've drawn around the inside of the Horse Drawn Trolley tracks. This will be the material removed to enlarge our hole for our scratch-built Town Square. The curb at Disneyland's Town Square is very close to the running board on the Trolley cars -about 6"- so, enlarging the hole will bring our curb line closer to replicating this. The Train Station has been covered with a plastic shopping bag to prevent dust from getting on it during the sanding operation.
Here is our Main Street after it's been narrowed by 3/8."
Since our Main Street buildings will be permanently installed on our platform, holes have to be cut to allow access to the electrical components. After placing the pieces in precise position, I marked the areas on the PLatform to be removed. If you choose to do this be mindfull of the cross bracing. You don't want to cut through these!
Because we are "paving" the sidewalk areas with brick pattern paper it is necessary to install new curbing so the bricks will be flush. I use .010" by .040" styrene strips for the curbing. I carefully glue it in place following the original curb line. In this photo the curbing has been masked prior to painting.
The new curbing has been painted. I first used a light grey base coat and then stiple painted the curb with a weathered black to simulate the texture of stone. A little overspray has managed to get onto the base of the firebox but is easily fixed.
Before the Bondo was completely cured I used a Sureform blade to remove the excess filler down to the desired level. This saves a lot of extra sanding.
Close up of street work.
Here's a shot of the filler. It was necessary to apply a couple of separate coats to fill the entire section completely.
I found our street piece was a bit low in front of City Hall which had the effect of creating a very tall curb there. To remedy this I used some .100" styrene strip and glued it to the street edge following the curb. I was careful not to glue it to the City Hall base. The styrene set the new street level so the next step was to sand the ends gently to blend them out to the "good" street level on either side. Then, after masking off the trolly tracks, I used plastic auto body filler (Bondo) to fill in the new street. In this view the tracks have been masked and I'm ready to add the filler.
I positioned the Town Square side roads with all the surrounding buildings in place and then tacked them to the Main Street piece with a bit of super glue. I then removed Main Street from the platform and filled the sizeable joint gap underneath with five minute epoxy. This is a close-up of the firehouse side.
Street and Opera House Postioned with the Train Station
Cutting a piece off of the Opera HouseA piece of the Opera House base needs to be removed to allow it to be re-positioned in proximity to the Train Station base.
Marking the Opera House base before cutting.
Piece of Particle Board RemovedA piece of the Town Square support is removed so that the street can be re-positioned.
Removing a Piece of Particle Board
Cutting a piece of Town Square support.
Marking the Areas to be Cut
Marking the Piece to be CutWe opted to reposition the street against the Train Station for more scale accuracy. To achieve this meant we had to modify the platform. This will also involve further modification of the Olszewski pieces (like the souvenir kiosks and the Opera House base) but we felt it's worth it. NOTE: this can only be done if Z gauge trains and track are used as the N gauge track curves do not allow clearance for the City Hall and Opera House pieces! This is why there is a "spacer" between the Train Staion base and the Main Street road piece.
Track and roadbed in Place on the Train StationAll that's left to do now is ballast the rest of the track. I used Highball brand N scale ballast because it is actually crushed real rock and stays in place during the gluing process.
Adding Glue for the Grass
Adding Grass to the LandscapeI mixed several colors of finely ground foam and applied it over the painted landscape.
Painting the TrackI airbrushed the track with Floquil roof brown paint for a more realistic color. This was done outside!
Platform before Painting
The Celluclay is dry and ready for painting. I use a light tan color latex house paint to color and seal the Celluclay.
Enlarged Train Station HoleThe Train Station hole is enlarged for easy access to electronics and to lighten the platform. In place of the rubber feet, basswood and plastic is used to shim the Train Station.
Placing Celluclay Over the Foam RoadbedI've been using Celluclay Instant Papier Mache to create model landscaping for four decades. It is very easy to mix and use and non-toxic. It is available in white or grey and I've even mixed in (though not here) brown latex house paint to color it before application. It is available through hobby and craft retailers.
Dried Celluclay over Foam Roadbed
Track in Place and Connected with the Train Station PieceNo cork was used accross the Olszewski Main Street Train Station piece in order to keep the track height as low as possible in front of the station.
Cork Roadbed Pinned in Place until Glue SetsZ scale cork roadbed was glued on top of the foam to complete our track roadbed.
The Foam Sub-Roadbed for the RoadwayWe built up the new roadbed using 1/2" foam risers. The foam risers are available from Woodland Scenics. The material is extremely lightweight and easy to work with. Since eventually we'll be constructing a model of the entire park and thus requiring the right of way to be re-directed, the roadbed will be easy to remove later.
Shaping the Landscape BaseWe used extruded insulating foam over the 1/2" Woodland Scenics risers. This material is dense and spans all the gaps between the risers making laying the track much easier. It is easy to contour -though a bit messy- and is available through home improvement stores. Made by Dow Chemical, it is available in sheets 2' X 8' and several thicknesses from 3/4" to 4". We used 3/4" thick pieces.
Finished Trimmed Piece Positioned on the PlatformThis view shows the saved landscaping while the original track roadbed is gone.
Removing and replacing the original track roadbed.We decided to use Z gauge track and trains on our platform. Because the Z track's curve radius would be different than the supplied N gauge roadbed, it required us to reconstruct the entire track roadbed around the platform. A side benefit was we lost about 15lbs off the platform's weight. After removing the the supplied roadbed we proceded to cut the pieces to retain the Olszewski landscaping areas behind the Main Street buildings. A band or scroll saw is necessary to perform this task. Here a power sander is used to smooth the edges and refine the shape.
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