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My Exhibition Layout - Part 3

After having converted the track bed to NOCH ballast mat I have started to use the Märklin catenary with the small feet that you can put under the C-track. 

Because my track bed is not as wide as required I have some huge gabs underneath the track where the mast foot lifts the track upwards while resting on the uneven scenery.


The mast lifts the track because of the uneven terrain.

To mitigate against this I have to remove some scenery where the masts are supposed to be. The scenery base consists mainly of plaster and Woodland Scenics Shaper Sheet. It is not the funniest task, but it is rather easy to do.

I use a screwdriver to remove the existing terrain in an area just a little wider than the mast foot. You need to make the area wide enough so the mast foot can move a little from side to side and back and forth. It will make it easier to set up the track later and give you some wiggle room to fully take advantage of the elastic nature of the C-track.

Tip! Be sure to use an older screwdriver because you will damage it in the process. If you have a better tool for the job, I would recommend using that instead.


Use an old screwdriver as you will damage the screwdriver while "digging" up the terrain.

When the area is clear and flat, I apply additional ballast mat from NOCH (NOCH 00090) and glue it to the baseboard using Woodland Scenics Foam Tack Glue (Woodland Scenics ST 1444). You can also use regular wood glue. Spray glue will not work! At least it did not work very well for me.

The result speaks for itself, the ballast mat blends very well with the terrain and a minimum of touch up is needed.

You get the best results if you tear the ballast mat carefully instead of cutting it. The tear makes it easier to blend the mat into the existing scenery.


The ballast mat blends easily into the scenery.

Before doing the scenery touch up I bind things together using NOCH brown acrylic paint (NOCH 61193). The brown acrylic paint from NOCH has become my weapon of choice when colouring the scenery base. It works very well and best of all: It dries completely dull. This is an awesome product. 


The brown acrylic paint from NOCH dries completely dull and is perfect for your scenery base.

A final test to see if everything fits as expected and it does. The track now lies as flat as possible with the foot going under the track. Next step will be to blend the area back into the surrounding scenery. More on that later.

If you are into this way of laying track I would suggest that you consider the width of the track bed before laying down the track. It is not always a good idea to make these adjustments after the scenery is finished.

That being said, using the different products (especially the water based glue) from the different scenery manufacturers does make it easy to alter the scenery later. The glue easily dissolves in water making changes quick. I like that. If I had used other sorts of glue not intended for scenery work (e.g. White Glue) I would have had a harder time changing the scenery later.

My future modules will have wider track beds to get around this problem when using track side accessories.

Happy Modelling!