Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out.. - Martin Scorsese

Like a scene on a movie screen, or a picture in a frame, or a display in a museum, most model railroaders like to frame in their layouts with valances and fascia, because if it's done right, the valance and fascia help draw in your visitors to the model scene and not the surrounding room.  

A few days ago I made good use of the beautiful weather outside to get out the chop saw and cut the Masonite fascia pieces that I had previously measured.  Today I decided that all the parts for the fascia were small and light enough that I can handle putting them up without any help.  

The method I use to fasten the fascia pieces to the layout edge is to apply Liquid Nails for projects to the Gatorfoam bench work edges, and then I apply the fascia sections making sure to press them on firmly.  I then tack on 2-3 brad staples from my air brad nailer to hold everything in place.  Fast and simple.  The pictures below show the end results of today's efforts. 

I'm still working out the logistics on how I'm going to hang the valances but in the meantime, I can start painting the fascia (black) and installing throttle plugs, throttle holders, and those neat signs from Sign-O-Matic. 



  1. Looking good Ted! However I strongly suggest not using black. I used it on my current layout, and have vowed to never do it again.
    The problem with black is that it shows every imperfection and it is almost impossible to hide them all. The semi-gloss also seems to have a tacky feel to it even a year later. Next time I will use a dark green or dark brown.
    Keep the progress flowing!

  2. Two other guys in our group use black and I've seen other layouts in my travels that had black fascia and valances and I like how it looks. I already have one control panel painted black, and I'll test out one or two sections before I go onto the rest of the layout.

    I have one or two backup colors I'd consider if the black turns out not to my liking. I've used a dark Pullman green on a previous layout with good results and that could be a fallback color too.

    What ever color I use, it needs to compliment my nice yellow Sign-O-Matic signs. :)

  3. Hi Ted: On my last layout's fascia I used an epoxy floor paint in Battleship Gray. Ugly - but it lasted 25 years, was patched and washed and still looked neat. I now use a Sherwin Williams Duration spring green. With no scenery color but the Fascia visitors promptly recognized the season. Dick Bradley

  4. Oh don't get me wrong, cause the black fascia looks awesome from a few feet away and in photos. I'm all about presentation and it would be my prefered oolor. But up close it is very hard to make it perfect. Ask me, my truck is black (never again!). While the casual visitor may not notice, it drives me crazy. And my current layout is only 10 feet long.
    Then again, maybe I just suck at carpentry!