Above shows the main (foreground) and cement siding baseboard. The baseboard timber had started to warp slightly at the extremities so I fixed it to 19mm x 30mm lengths for strength, then screwed that to the risers. I liquid nailed the parts sitting above the backscene and outer frame today and have weighted them, letting it set until tomorrow night. I pessimistically went over the whole thing with the spirit level just now, and was relieved to find the layout is level! I had to check a few times, but the effort in attention to detail thus has appeared to have paid off. As someone who usually rushes things and needs to do a hack job to get it to fit, this is quite rewarding.
As I've said before, I want to paint the modules before they move to their home in the train room. Despite the good weather and I didn't particularly feel like painting today after finishing the baseboards, so I sat down and sketched an idea for attaching the return loops to the modules. Because of limited space between where the backscene and end wall are in this area of the modules, I can't get a bolt in to secure and align the pieces. I had thought of pattern maker's dowels for alignment, but I'm more looking for an all-in-one secure and align solution.
The big, not-so-square rectangular thing is the end of the left-hand module. Underneath the protruding baseboard from the module, and also under the return loop baseboard would be two blocks of timber. Attached to these on both the visible side and the same place on the other side, would be a loose-pin hinge, at A and B, such as this one below.
I had this idea while looking at how Chris Nevard joined his Catcott Burtle layout to the fiddle yard. In the below photo you can see a similar, albeit smaller hinge arrangement on the left of the bottom of the module.
Mine wouldn't be load-bearing, so in theory I think it would work. I don't plan on moving it very much once it is set up, so I wouldn't have to worry about wear too much (and therefore mis-alignment) from removing and reinserting the pin either. Has anyone else tried this? I'm keen to hear thoughts on this or other ideas.
Finally I wanted to show off a bit of modelling. More accurately, this piece of scenery is about to meet the garbage man (it's sitting where the new track off the left-hand return loop needs to go) and I wanted to record it for reference when come to creating the cutting on the new layout.
My old layout was a single-line branchline terminus. The track entered here from the fiddle yard through a small cutting. The scenery is Woodland Scenics' plaster sheet over styrene foam shaped into the desired contour with a knife. I lathered some sculpting plaster over the cutting after that and scraped away at it to get the effect of erosion along the cutting wall. The ground cover is a blend of Chuck's Dust sand and red dirt, to replicate the kind of soil in the Central West of NSW, finished with a blend of three different static grasses and miniNatur grass tufts. I'm happy with how it came out.
I'll detail the exact mixtures and measurements when I get up to that stage on the new layout, but otherwise, anything you see so far you want to know more about, feel free to ask.