A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Nothing like a three day weekend to make some progress on the layout, even if one day was our wedding anniversary.

I decided that it was time to finish the benchwork, install the remainder of the fascia and, after consultations with Alicia and Dave Emery, relocate the valance.

Photo at Left: Dave Emery is helping relocate the valance. The former location of the valance is visible on the ceiling.

The original valance protruded into the center of the room to accommodate the benchwork of the previous layout, one that was based on some of my existing oNeTRAK modules. The upshot was that the valance was in the way, made the room claustrophobic and presented a head strike hazard. The line showing the location of the old valance is visible on the ceiling in the photo at the left.

Once I decided to move it, it was a rather simple job. Dave Emery arrived just in time to be an invaluable help in relocating it. Moving the lights and patching the nail holes was not that hard.

The relocated valance is great. Combined with the new benchwork, the center aisle is now much more roomy. BTW Dave is working on his own Early Rail HO layout. You can see it here.

This photo shows the deep fascia installed at the Potomac Creek location. The completed fascia is visible at the far end of the layout room. The north end of the bridge is the narrowest point of the center aisle. The aisle is about 36 inches wide that choke point.

This photo shows the terrain forms at the big curve near Stoneman's Station. I used a can of Great Stuff expanding foam sealant to fill the holes in between the pieces of pink foam. The Great Stuff works, well... great :)

The horizon painted on the backdrop at Stoneman's Station will be adjusted from this photo to be about 3 inches lower. That is one of the advantages of hand painting backdrops, adjustments are easy.

n this photo, some of the pink foam terrain has been covered with a coat
of "Fast and Final" patching putty. This particular putty works well with pink foam. It allows trees and other scenery items to penetrate without crumbling. One this dries, a coat of paint will go a long way to making it look like something.

his will be the view greeting people as they walk into the layout room.


  1. By default the top valence is aligned with the bottom fascia. But I think that makes the room look a bit too constricting. I think it's a bit better to have the top valence offset by an inch or two into the layout.

    Anyone else have experience on aligning valence and fascia?


  2. The main purpose for aligning the fascia and valance as you describe is to avoid having the front of the scene in backlight/shadow. There are a couple places on my layout where the valance is inset from the fascia, for example at Stoneman's Station. Jury is still out on whether the shadows will be a problem.