Benchwork has always been a problem for me. I’ve never had the time or space to learn to build proper benchwork so most of my modeling has been confined to diorama’s. With that said, I turned to Tim Horn of Tim Horn Lasercutting to produce the the layout in 4 sections.
A basic drawing was created in Adobe Illustrator which Tim used to design the modules. There was a slight edit made in the final design which, was the addition of a creek bed for the Angels Creek bridge. I have purchased a module from Tim in the past and knew of the quality he produces so I was extremely excited to get these modules once the designs were finalized.
Based on the design, three of the modules would have to be custom made and one, a three-foot module, would be one of Tim’s standard designs.
Tim was able to send three of the four modules and I started assembling them. Assembly is straight-forward; wood glue and provided wood screws. The modules are 24-inches deep so I purchased 16-inch long metal brackets to provide a base for the modules to rest on. 2×2 inch wood was fastened to the walls and then the modules were fastened to them to secure them in place.
As I secured the modules to the walls, bolts provided by Tim were used to bolt the modules together at the base and top.
After all modules were secured in place, My son Jacob and I painted the inside of the modules a flat sky color. I am either going to paint the backdrop or use a photo background. I’m still undecided at the time of this writing as to what direction I am going.
Tim provided 3mm sheets for the fascia and valances, however, I decided to use masonite to give it a smoother finish and hide the module ends. I then painted both black. This is an old theater trick to force the viewers eyes into the scene on stage and works well with model railroads.
I added a “ceiling” to my modules using 9mm plywood after I painted the inside the same blue color. I should have applied these before I hung the modules as the corner module is too large for me to reach the back. Luck my youngest son, Jacob, was willing to test the strength of Tims work and nail them in place.
Behind the valance I installed LED light fixtures. These work quite well and put off quite a bit of light. I am also considering adding recessed lighting to each module to help fill the modules with extra lighting. I still have a bit of experimentation to do .
I’m waiting on the final module to be finished but while I’m waiting I plan on starting the track for the three modules. Once the final module arrives, I will finish the fascia as well as finalize the lighting arrangement.