MODULE #4

57.5cm x 25cm

2019

 
 
 

Module #4 is a straight double track segment with a standard width of 250mm and a length of 575mm (equaling 5x Rokuhan's standard 110mm length plus a total of 25mm for the connecting track pieces at both ends).

The plywood framework and the construction methods are identical to those used for Corner Module #1.

 
The module design reflects the "staging idea" of theatrical layout design, providing both a sturdy and protective shell and a stage-like setting through which trains run - in this case, a a segment of double track crossing a creek on a girder bridge somewhere in an Appalachian backwater.
 
 

CONSTRUCTION STAGES

 

 

 
 
It's always important to get dimensions and measurements right from the start - such as establishing the width of the cutting for a bridge made up of two Rokuhan R072 girder bridge segments, giving a total length of 220mm. The picture on the right (above) also illustrates how small portable modules can be worked on at a table in the comfort of your living quarters.
 

 

 
 
For the scenery below track level, my "railbox" module construction requires the contours of the landscape to be built up "top down" rather than the usual "bottom up". Three styrofoam layers, each 30mm thick, are built up that way, using a hot wire cutter. Once the three layers are glued in place, the piece of plywood forming the riverbed base is put back in for good. Next, a rough base for the bridge pillars is put in place.
 

 

 
 
The end partitions are then put in to complete the "railbox"; on this module there are no tunnels, the cuts through which the track leads trains on and off the module will be made less conspicuous by trees and other viewblockers. The styrofoam scenery base is covered in modelling plaster, and once dried some basic senic contours are added to the level which is on and above track level. After all of the plaster is thoroughly dry (a 24 hours waiting period is the minimum; I usually let it sit for a week), a liberal coating of acrylic paint seals the surface (there will be a lot of diluted white glue applied to it later on). This can really be any colour, but adding two layers of first earth brown and then green literally sets the tone for what's to come and thus serves as a "scenic colour base".
 

 

 

 
At this point, the track could be put in place, but focusing on the little stream and the slopes on its banks first provides easier access. Painting the small riverbed with different colour hues (with darker shades in the center and lighter touches towards the edges) gives it some visual depth. There are some amazing how-to online videos providing stunningly reaslistic results, but even the comparatively crude approach used here will yield nice results when the resin is poured. As for colours there simply is no set formula - the very same waterway can and will look very different depending on weather circumstances (and after some heavy rainfall all rivers look brown), so it really is up to the modeller to portray what he or she likes. For this module, I opted for a dark blue (quite unlike the murky water on a previous test module) which will provide a nice mirroring effect.
 
 

under construction - more to come

 
 

 

 

page created 9 June 2019
last updated 21 July 2019