Scenery starting to take shape on my Brazilian themed switching / switchback micro HO scale model railway layout. And an idea for more flexibility in switching moves.

Since my last post about my Brazilian micro layout I have had the opportunity to have some operating sessions on it, which has proved very enjoyable. But the lack of a locomotive escape was something I felt needed to be remedied. Here are some photos of some operating action on the layout.

I have also done some research into the major industries and flora of the Brazil, especially in the southern coastal areas where I am trying to make the layout depict. How I decided what to include as possible scenery plants for this layout was that I looked on various online websites selling model railway supplies to see what was available in HO / OO scale, and then checked whether those plants existed in Brazil. If I found that a plant existed in Brazil and it was available in HO / OO scale, then it became a candidate for inclusion on the layout. Eventually I decided on scale models of these plants:

  • Coconut palms: Brazil has plantations of these.
  • Bamboo: Brazil has this both cultivated and growing wild. This surprised me a bit!
  • Agave Americana: These seem to grow wild in Brazil, but appear to be an introduced species. There is also the possibility that these are cultivated as well.

So I sourced them on the internet, and purchased them. A pack of 4 Coconut Palms by Preiser arrived in fairly short order (a few days from when I ordered them), but the Bamboo (100 pieces) and Agave (50 pieces) models have taken a lot longer to arrive, as I ordered them China. While I have been waiting for the order from China to arrive, I have been assembling the Palm trees, and doing more scenery work on the layout itself. This included painting of the scenery base, adding some small hills, and creating a rock / landslip feature roughly in the middle of the layout.

Brazilian Micro Layout Rock / landslip feature

I also decided I might add a low relief building to one end, which was somewhat inspired by a colonial gate and wall in a MacGyver episode called “Trumbo’s World” about an ant plague in the Amazonian jungle. I had built stucco looking walls before and had used a rough sandpaper as the wall covering which was then painted a white-ish color. It worked well when I tried this in the past, and it worked quite well this time too.

Low relief colonial style wall with metal roller gate – obviously the roller gate is not an original feature of the wall!

After watching a video on YouTube about employing chain shunting on a micro layout to add interest and allowing more interesting switching moves, I decided I would try that on this layout. I acquired a couple of plastic cotton bobbles, painted them a mid-grey color. After testing for the best location, and having purchased some small link chain from a craft shop, I tested the chain shunting idea using a couple of carriages, and after I was satisfied with it I glued the bobble down in a suitable place on the layout.

Chain switching guides and chains.

I still havent added a dirt layer to the layout base, but am hoping once I have the palm trees constructed and placed on the layout that I can start to add that.


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