by Curt LeVan
After more than 10 years away from the hobby I decided to contract out the hard work of building a medium-size N scale layout for my basement. Unfortunately, this meant that I had nearly a year to wait for the basics of the layout to be completed and I wanted something to work on now. Fortunately, I was introduced to TTRAK.
Initially the small size of the module seemed to impose serious limitations on modelling license. The obvious thing to do was to line up some buildings facing a street parallel to the track, and possibly have a grade crossing. Turning the buildings around to model back yards would only be a little more interesting. The small sliver of "land" along the front edge also presented challenges - what could you possibly do with that? Then three ideas hit me. First, turn the buildings at 45 degree angles to present several interesting viewing perspectives. Second, raise the ground so that the trains will run below grade (very prototypical) and have the rear portion of the module higher than the front. Finally, use the small area at the front edge for a single lane road to display newly purchased vehicles.
My module is not quite finished but I am pleased with the results so far. For me it is a good middle ground between hyper-detailing and merely suggestive scenery. The small size of TTRAK allows you to quickly get a high density of people, vehicles, trees, etc. It also permits you to try new modelling techniques on a small scale - here I have experimented with using Scenic Accents Glue to adhere people to pieces of paper. I find this far easier that trying to cement 1:150 people in small spaces using a 1:1 hand.
What is left to do? Add some fences or guardrails to keep the people and cars from falling onto the tracks, install light poles and add striping to the road. Then start planning the next module.
Curt's T-Trak photo gallery can be found here with larger pictures of those above and others.