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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, its cold out again, so we are back to work on the never ending project!

Since the last time we posted pics, the pits have been torn out and modified, and a new uphill carousel with a wicked 14" vertical downhill has been added. With enough speed through the carousel on the outside lane, you can actually get some air and de-slot coming over the hill with an x-traction!

Been seeing the threads on naming of your track. A bit of interesting history on ours. We live on Thunder Hills Road, and the fellow we bought our property from said that a group of investers were going to build a road racing course on 280 acres to compete with Elkhart Lake here in Wisconsin around 1960. So they bought this old farm, and had the road re-named. The township then decided they didn't want the racetrack and withheld the liquour license so they scrapped the project! At least thats the way the story goes.

Anyway, enjoy the photos!
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mike - I used 1/8 or 3/16 hardboard cut about 8" wide so I had some room outside the track to lay a border and attach the plaster cloth. Hardboard is pretty flexible, allowing for the uphill carousel with banking. Admittedly, it took forever to get the track smooth. Every thing is then screwed down with #4 screws. The hills are much easier. For the most part I try to have the tightest crests in the middle of a 15" straight. Seems easier to keep the joints smooth that way.

Jim - you aren't kidding its tedious bringing the sculptamold up to the track! You don't have any helpful hints do you?

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thunder Hills Update - Dirt work is done!

Bulldozing (painting the scenic underlayment) is complete! Big improvement over the white plaster cloth and sculptamold everywhere.

Finally figured out a great way to make rocks for the cliffs. I took small pieces (4x6" or so) of pink 1" thick building styrofoam, and CAREFULLY split it in half making it 1/2" thick in the process. I used a pointed fillet knife and cut in from the edge nearly all the way through and then broke the two halves apart. The imperfect cutting and the break result in the strata of broken stone (see pics below). We still have some detailing to do, but soon will be starting to add turf and painting the rocks. They currently are flat black so as to add shadow in the cracks when the final color is added.

Ed
 

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Model Murdering
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I really love this layout! The elevation changes and topography are excellent. There's really nothing more statisfying than finally getting the base coat down over bare hardshell and styrofoam, "Is there?" The base coat is such a small step in the huge over all picture of building a layout, but it's a big turning point. Enjoy the downhill run. This has been fun to watch!........BH
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thunder Hills Update - Growing Grass in January!

Painted some rocks today, re-blacktopped the pits and parking area, put up some stone walls on the overpass, and finally started laying down some grass!

For those that are interested, my chain link fences are from McMaster Carr, P/N 9314T26 and cost all of $1.46 plus $4 shipping. They're stiff enough to stop a magnet car, and in fact, some I didn't even use brass posts for some, I simply hot glued them to the top of the styrene walls.

Sometimes its good to have an impatient 9 year old helping out!

Ed
 

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Looking good....

I like the layout (alot) Ed. :thumbsup: ....You're exactly right about that Owens pink foam insulation board. Cheap too! Keep up the good work.

For anybody who's never tried it... you should. It's extremely light and GREAT for stone cliffs, boulders, whatever you need. It can even be carved to look like bricks. A steak knife is about all you need to cut it. Breaking it or scoring and snapping gives you a very realistic end result. It's sandable and paintable. You may not think too much of it when it's pink and first broken, but throw a coat of paint on it (stay away from solvent based stuff) and you'll be amazed. Well worth the trip to Home Depot and far easier and cheaper than the "traditional" Woodlands Scenic route.

tjd
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thunder Hills Update - Turf and Buildings

Well, another weekend done....got all the turf in and cliffs painted. Started planting trees, fixed up the grandstands, and put together a pit building. Starting to take shape....remember the valley of pink foam...well, its all rock now!

Ed
 

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Ed your landscaping is very realistic. It has great natural tones and is unforced. Very convincing. You'll have grease up that garage a little and add a few spills and burnouts. Perhaps a bloodied mechanic crushed under a fallen car. LOL. The downhill bobsled run in pic 3 looks fun. Hows the hang time on that little mogel on the backchute? This has been fun to watch!
 
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