Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Part 1 was me cutting the plywood bases 5 days ago. When I went back to work on them today I discovered that they’d all warped badly for some reason. The longest piece has a 1/4"+ bow in in and bounces visibly when you push on the center. Not great if you’re planning to add spackle to it and don’t want constant cracking.

Illustration for article titled Wrong side of the Tracks Diorama part 2
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So I bought a big piece of MDF and re-made the the bases. Once I was back to that point I measured out my roadway (4 1/2“, 2" per lane, and 1/4" gutters), and added sidewalks. The first version were 3/4" (a scale 4' wide), but looked too narrow, so I bumped it up to 1" (scale 5 1/3' wide) which looked more right.

Center section, gas station & diner are going here, which side still to be worked out
Center section, gas station & diner are going here, which side still to be worked out
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The next step was the cut out the curb cuts in the sidewalk, sand the edges to round them and staple them in place. The extra bits you see sitting free are to plug the curb cuts when I spackle the road.

Right section, junkyard on the left, auto repair/restoration shop on the right, though they may still swap.
Right section, junkyard on the left, auto repair/restoration shop on the right, though they may still swap.
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I’m not 100% sure of this method for making sidewalks, but it seems worth a shot as it is simpler than trying to sculpt them out of plaster/spackle/etc.

Left section. Tow company on the left, freight transfer terminal on the right.
Left section. Tow company on the left, freight transfer terminal on the right.
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Then came the spackling.

Illustration for article titled Wrong side of the Tracks Diorama part 2
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I tried to get it as smooth as possible to minimize the sanding needed, but there is still going to be a fair amount of work.

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