Welcome back to Grinched, our N scale Christmas layout build. But wait, today is December 26th, wasn’t this layout on a finish-by-Christmas deadline? Well yes, yes it was. The 12 Days of Christmas actually begins on the 25th and ends on January 6th, so we could say I’m MILES ahead of schedule, we could say that. The Irish call this Little Christmas, and since I am Irish (and English), I think this works out well all the way around!
Let’s start with ballast today. I wanted this (very) shortline railroad to have a worn look to it, that’s actually why I have the tops of the rails at roughly ground level. I’ve used a very fine ballast mix of my own here, and during final scenery work, I’ll have some of the ties covered in soil as well. At this point I also triple checked all my LED power feeds just to make sure for the final time everything was working as it should, and it was.
The next step was connecting all my modified lampposts, my flickering LEDs for my outdoor fire and the SMD LEDs for inside the buildings to their respective feeds. This is the part I affectionately call Wiregeddon. Since I couldn’t go through the base of the layout for each individual LED feed as they are connected in series sets of 2, 3 and 4 LEDs, I’ve simply cut “V” shaped notches through the soil layer and I’ll place my connecting wires there.
Once the wires are somewhat under control and in place, to keep them in place I use ½” wide Gaffers tape to cover the wires. On top of the tape, I use PVA wood glue and add more soil to hide the tape. Gaffers tape works well for this as it’s a thick cotton cloth tape with a strong adhesive. The PVA soaks in nicely to the tape and surrounding soil and makes sure the “V” wire notches stay covered for life!
I still need to finish hiding the Gaffers tape with soil and do a little more work on the buildings, such as adding clear window material. The string of colored Christmas lights and the small Christmas tree lot also needs to be added, I want to do this last just to make sure I don’t knock these light poles over as I’m finishing my soil and building work.
Overall, the layout is looking good and should be ready in plenty of time for Little Christmas, January 6th! This might even give me some extra time to shoot some video of trains running on this layout. See, there’s often a silver lining to running a little late.
Category: Raildig Build Projects