Any model of an engine terminal needs to include its roundhouse, but the 27 lane Laramie one would take up a massive amount of space in O-scale so from the early days of the layout’s planning the idea as to include a ‘slice’ of it – arranged to allow viewing of the inside of the building. The ‘slice’ has turned out to be 3 full lanes and 3 more partial lanes big – enough to capture the scale of the structure without taking up crazy amounts of space. As the design developed (see design pages) it became clear it was entirely possible (and in fact preferable) to be able to look at both the inside AND the outside.

The outer walls were built from laminating multiple layers of 30thou (0.75mm) styrene sheet together using limonene solvent. Gaps were left in the laminate to allow the window units to be inserted – see photos to follow. The top ‘skin’ is N-scale Architect embossed brick styrene sheet (American bond obviously!).

The windows frames were resin cast from masters made from Evergreen strip. Each window panel consists of 2 frame castings with a piece of 10 thou clear plastic sandwiched between. Short lengths of spring steel wire are also in the sandwich to act as pivots for the skylight windows – again photos to follow.

The thing that gives all roundhouse their character is the internal beam structure. Once the floor had been constructed from plywood, the inspection pits installed and the rails laid (spiked code 125 flat bottom rail):

Roundhouse 1

construction of the beams could commence – large quantities of Evergreen strip were used and the whole structure actually went together relatively quickly:

Roundhouse 2

and the scene started to take shape:

Roundhouse 3

Roundhouse 4

The 1944 extension used steel and concrete beams rather than timber – the steel was modelled using brass section and the concrete using yet more Evergreen strip:

Roundhouse 6

Roundhouse 5

Suddenly, it became apparent what a visual treat the completed scene would be:

Roundhouse 7