Once the trains start running, the kids become very interested. They were upstairs playing until they heard the train. Luckily, Taylor (age 10 now) is good with the camera, so she took all the pictures while I worked.
I traced the train track on the foam then drew in the second level trackage. I'm getting ready to cut out the gorge and put on the second tier of foam.
I've been photo bombed by Katie, now five years old and sporting a lollipop.
The camera person just can't be left out, so she shot a selfie, also with a lollipop.
You can see from the drawing that there is a river and a gorge that runs along the center of the layout. The cave is further back near the tunnel portals.
Using different color Sharpee markers I drew the canyon and the river, as well as all the structures.
The Digitrax unit is on a shelf below the layout, but isn't fastened down yet, so I have to be careful when moving the layout around.
I removed the soldered track and set it over on the Navajo Mining Railway while I work on the scenery.
Everything is drawn on the first level, so now is the time to cut.
I'm using a heat knife that I bought some years ago from Harbor Freight. It is my second as they don't last long.
This is a slow and boring process. Luckily the girls keep me entertained.
I pitch the blade at a slight angle to mimic the sides of the canyon.
Once the section is cut (about 15 minutes) then I remove the inside of the canyon and keep for later use as scenery material.
Here is the lower part of the gorge. Imagine a small pond in the middle with two small waterfalls and lots of large Kentucky rocks on both sides. Better start making ferns! I can't wait to show the NMRA guys the Southern scenery. Everyone here models the Utah rock scenery, which is amazing, but EVERY layout has it. Thought I'd do something different.
Once the inside part is removed you can see that we have some depth here. There will be a nice bridge spanning this cravass.
There! Next we'll make the second level which will be much more difficult and will require a lot of cutting.