Groundwork

By September 2007 I'd trashed the first effort and started over. The track plan was conceptually the same, but the layout was reduced to 15 by 36 inches so that it could fit on a bookshelf—one that I'd prepared with special lighting to create a controlled environment for photography. Roll your mouse over the plan below to see the hidden track.

To the bottom of the shelf above the layout (below left) I attached banks of LED lighting units. This was in the early days of LED lighting, so they weren't as powerful as current ones, which is why I used so many. They were also much more expensive back then, so it was a hefty investment. But it paid off with bright, even light and a pleasant, natural color temperature.

As before, I made the base from two layers of half-inch Gatorfoam. I rounded the two front corners for a more refined effect. Onto the base I laminated layers of black foamcore.

I made risers from foamcore as well and glued them to the base, then attached subroadbed made from 1/8-inch thick sheet styrene. This provided the track with a smooth surface with smooth grade transitions; plus, it kept thickness to a minimum, which was important where tracks crossed over one another.

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