Chapter 3: The Base

By the time I started work on the Jersey City Industrial, Iíd established a preferred method
of constructing small layout bases. Gatorfoam had become my material of choice: strong,
lightweight and reasonably waterproof. I found that layouts up to around two by four feet
could be built on two layers of half-inch Gatorfoam. Ordinarily I laminated the two layers
together; for the JCIR, I chose to separate them to provide space for switch machines.

Basically I made a long, shallow box, the bottom of which had large access openings so
I could easily work on the underside. This also permitted me to drop the scenery below
track grade at one corner for added visual interest.

The track was attached to the base using double-stick foam tape. Iíve used this technique
for decades, although this time I decided to try 3Mís VHB (Very High Bond) as a test. This
stuff is almost frighteningly sticky, with a tack so strong itís vital to get things perfect the
first time, otherwise the track is toast.

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