Building a diorama 1 – roadbed and ties

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So, I have this really nice V 100 with great sounds and running characteristics, and lots of nice light effects. Or, so they say anyway… I haven’t actually been able to test mine due to the fact that I’m lacking a rather essential part of any railway, tracks ;)

I didn’t buy any of the Lenz track, something I regret now that I think about it again. I knew I wouldn’t be using it to build a diorama or module, but it would’ve been great to have a few straight bits to test rolling stock. Ohwell, I’ll just have to wait until they come out with the KöF II start set.

In the meantime, I started working on my diorama idea using a piece of Wenz Modellbau track. It’s just a simple straight bit of track with some signals and lots of trackside details. So, the first thing to do was build the base. I really just took some scrap wood I had left from the N-scale module I’m working on, and made a simple dam-like structure for the track to be on. I won’t go into detail how I did this, I would expect most people who’re into model trains will at least have some woodworking knowledge. As you can see in the picture, I messed up with the sawing, I really need to get a work bench and a circular saw =)

Simple roadbed


With the roadbed in place, next up was glueing down all the ties. I didn’t count them, but there’s a lot of them. Luckily, Mr. Wenz was kind enough to give me some advice before I bought any track, and he made me a list of all the things I’d need to get started. One of these things is the so-called “TieMaster 60“. It’s a little brass tool that makes placing ties with even spacing real easy. The tool comes as a “kit” of sorts, it’s an etched brass sheet which you need to fold and then solder the joints.

TieMaster 60 halfway folded.

TieMaster 60 halfway folded

TieMaster done, testing to see if the ties fit without falling out

TieMaster done, testing to see if the ties fit without falling out

TieMaster in action

TieMaster in action


After about 45 minutes, all ties were in place. After they had dried up, I sanded them down slightly, and then used a brass brush to add a slight wood structure to the ties. The next step will be to stain the ties with a deep black wood stain, and airbrush the rail profiles and small bits and pieces. More on that later.

6 comments on “Building a diorama 1 – roadbed and ties”

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