Today saw the beginning of layout the sub-roadbed area out on the layout.

First, I put in that bottom panel I’d talked about , then I began the sub-roadbed.

I’m starting from the center section (Mary Ann Junction) and working my way out from there. I picked up a piece of 2 inch insulating foam today (Owen’s Corning, the Pink Panther brand). I’m cutting it up using a Woodland Scenics hot wire foam cutter and started laying out the area where the waterfall will be. I explained a bit of my reasoning and approach in the video below.

After I made the video, I spent a few brief sessions of time working on cutting out and laying the foam, piece-by-piece. Now bear in mind that the foam I’m using isn’t as straight-forward to work with as the stuff from Woodland Scenics is. I’ve used their product and it is definitely the way to go if you have the money to spend on the product. But the best estimate for cost for my layout would have been in excess of $200 just to support my track work, and frankly that is just too much for me to justify spending. The pieces are smoother and allow for cleaner layout, but hey, the people who built the railroads of the late 1800s and early 1900s didn’t always get to pick their terrain, either. Once I am done with this, I intend to use some of the foam smoothing materials from Woodland Scenics to fill in those gaps and smooth the terrain out more, before moving onto the second phase of this, and doing the plaster cloth for the terrain.

Net result, I have all but completed the sub-roadbed area for the central table today, and while it’s not perfect, it’s a worthy start, and the process is straight-forward, if a bit time consuming. More to follow!