Urban Planning at 1:160

Work continues on Quinntopia, although it often feels like one step forward, two steps back!  Case in point are my city blocks/sidewalks.  My first (and only) finished city block (shown above) was dismantled and removed. The reason for this is that this city block was done well over a year ago and now that I've got more buildings and my building skills are improving, I just wasn't happy with how this 'block' turned out.  So down it came.

I'm also trying to get at least one line of track fully operational...meaning track weathered, ballasted, wired and ready to run trains, and the best candidate is the inner loop that goes around the city (what I call the "green line").   Which meant finishing up, as much as possible, the tram line and most of the city buildings/scenery. As I started working on this, I realized that it would be impossible to do all the street markings with buildings installed, so I had to clear everything down to the streets.

While I was on that project, I realized that I didn't like my 'sidewalk color' and decided I wanted something a bit more gray instead of the yellow-ish gray I originally chose.  I also need to add new sidewalks and couldn't get a good match of the colors and I really wanted the sidewalks to not be noticeable, but just add to the attempted realism of an urban environment ( and having city blocks in different colors didn't fit this plan!).
The original sidewalk color...which looks better in the photo than it does in 'real life', but went under the spray can with Tamiya AS-11 Medium Sea Gray as the new 'sidewalk' color.
Street markings are starting to go down.  I'm going to use quite a bit of the Faller 272451 rub-on decals for most of the markings, although for dashes and solid lines I'm using Chartpak 1/32 Matte White tape.  Rub-on decals are not my favorite thing to do and I'm glad I have a few extra as I've made a few mistakes with this stuff.  The Chartpak tape is a lot easier to deal with, although it doesn't have the strongest bond, but a coat of dull-coat over the markings when I'm finished should seal everything in nicely.
Other stuff I'm working on is pretty boring...wiring, re-wiring, and figuring out the track plan into the passenger terminal.  None of which is very interesting to share!


  1. This is an interesting post. I curious as to how this turns out. While your doing this can you find a little more space to add room for a building or two.

    Ive never seen those decals before either. Ill have to get a bunch of those.

    Again keep up the good work.


  2. Street markings and sidewalks are details that always make layouts look much better very quickly :) Good to see your layout developing! Looking good :)

  3. @Bob - Thanks Bob! Actually, this rearrangement will help me to better position my buildings - especially to ensure that my newer buildings that I like a lot - get better placement! Those Faller rub-on decals are okay, Busch makes some too. You need a lot to do a city! Not sure how they'll turn out, and they may not work too well for non-European cities! I'll let you know more as I use them more often.

    @Jes - Thanks Jes! I've actually been looking forward to getting this part done for a while! I hope to get more completed this weekend!

  4. Jerry,

    I had an idea for your layout. It's something you may not like at all but I had a small brain storming session while looking over the layout.

    I thought that the wrap around tracks at the back of the city center take up a lot of space that you could detail more city. I wondered if you could redo this section by lowering the train lines underground. You could have a station in the city where people could walk down to catch the train. Like a subway. You could also detail a cool underground tunnel where the trains enter the underground lines. This would also free up a lot of layout real estate for extra city buildings and it would give the city a bit more depth.

    Anyways this is just an idea...I hope it's not offensive to bring ideas up about your layout.

    All the best, Bob.

    by the way... I love seeing updates on your work. I wish I could be building a layout. That said I have so much work on building structures it's crazy! :D

  5. Bob! Thanks for the comment! And NO, I actually like to get different ideas so please keep them coming!...lord knows I change enough things on this layout!!!!!

    One thing that's not apparent with the photos on this post is that the city and these tracks are already on the 'higher level'....at the bottom of the grass hillside are two more tracks that circumvent the 'downtown area. In fact, one of those lines comes up to be one of the lines at street level with the 'downtown' area. If I lowered the two upper lines, it would cause total chaos with areas of the layout where these lines already cross over other lines...and the track would be a bit of roller coaster too! I did think about putting in a subway, but given that I have so much track already jammed into this layout, there's no way I can do that without having lots of crossover tracks, which I want to avoid!

    Good idea though! There is some space that I am thinking of turning into more of an 'industrial area' on the 'south end' of the city...more on that later!