V5 (Casper) Layout

Modeling – The Present – Version 5, The Casper Layout

This page shows current construction on the layout. The most recent entry is at the top, and they get older as you scroll down.
Every now and then, when the page gets too long, I'll move everything into the appropriate link just below. Enjoy!

15 July 2021

Here's an overall view of the west end of Casper from a few days ago, showing all the freshly-painted and cleaned track.

The last few days I've mostly been working on the Casper Mountain panorama. This has taken hours to put together, but I think it's about ready to go.

This was stitched together out of 40 or 50 photos in Affinity Photo.

Here's a closer view of the center section of the backdrop, showing the switchbacks on the road up the mountain.

This backdrop will be about 13 inches high by 29 feet long.

8 July 2021

The last few days I've been preparing to ballast the remainder of Casper yard - the west end industries and the engine terminal.

First I had to install the missing track in the engine terminal - the inbound turntable lead and the commodities supply track. Here the inbound track is being installed.

And here the second lead is complete.

Here's a shot down the engine terminal lead, checking alignment of the new turnout and tracks.

Here the last track - the commodities delivery track - is in, running through the coaling tower delivery shed.

The pink foam block that's partially visible at the right edge of the photo matches the footprint of the sand bin and drying house that will be placed about there. The gondola is roughly in position to deliver sand. The end of the track extending towards the camera is where a gondola will be positioned for the ash hoist to empty into it.

Today I got ready to paint the track. Everything moveable was cleared away from the area. Here the turntable pit has been covered, and the roundhouse is shrouded in paper towels to protect it from overspray.

I also wrapped the coaling tower with paper towels to protect it.

Here are a few shots after I applied the first coat of paint. This coat is a brown to simulate the rust on the sides of the rails.

Here are the Standard Refinery oil loading tracks - also with a first coat of brown.
The entire area, especially the refinery tracks, will get a second coat of black paint, ranging from light near the yard ladder to somewhat heavier in the engine facility, and very heavy on the loading tracks, where years and years of oil spillage will have turned the ground black.

4 July 2021

It's been awhile since I did an update, and quite a bit has happened in the last five weeks, so here we go...

On June 1st I started messing around with creating a panorama of Casper Mountain for the backdrop behind the yard. This is my first experiment - a single shot taken with my cellphone camera in panorama mode. This was taken from Amoco Park in Casper, the site of the old Standard Refinery. This is a reduced resolution shot - the original is a pretty big file.

Also on June 1st I taped up the yard ladder in preparation for basic ground cover and ballasting of that area.

Then I repopulated the "finished" area.

On 3 June I posted my monthly update video on YouTube.

By 12 June I had the plaster ground cover added, and "dirt" sifted onto the area.

By 14 June I removed the tape and cleaned up the entire area. Then I started ballasting. In this photo you can see that I started with the icing track turnouts.

Then I moved on to the ladder turnouts themselves. I proceeded very slowly and cautiously here, since I didn't want to mess up operation of the turnouts with the ballast and glue. I also had to make several over-center springs to replace the ground throws I'd originally installed. I spent most of the rest of the time on the layout for the month ballasting the ladder and adjacent tracks.

By 2 July I had the entire ladder and adjacent industry track completely ballasted. All turnouts function properly.

Today I installed the second turntable lead - the one that goes through the coaling tower. The only track left to complete in Casper yard is the service track for the coaling tower, sand bin and ash pit. That will be added in the next day or two, and after that I'll wire up the new tracks and begin finishing this section.

I did just a little bit of work on Rocky Mountain Drilling, adding frieze boards along the roof line and fabricating the loading platforms. Here's the building set in place, with the platforms sitting loosely alongside. Work has stopped at this point until I can get lighting installed. Parts for that are on order and should arrive in a week or two.


I've also continued working on the panorama for the backdrop. Casper yard is 24 feet long, and the mountain needs to extend across that entire distance.  On June 20th the weather was right, so I spent several hours travelling across the town taking many photos of the mountain. I've built several test panoramas, and while none have been of sufficient quality to use as the final product, I'm getting there. I'm hoping to have the backdrop at least ready for final printing by the end of July.

The panoramas are way to large to post here (several hundred megabytes each), but here's a photo that representative of the what's going into it.

June 25th was the first anniversary of beginning construction of this layout, so on that day I posted a "First Birthday" video.

And finally, yesterday I posted my July construction update video