Ray Dunakin's layout


Ray Dunakin lives in San Diego.

He was kind enough to share his layout with us after the 2008 NGRC.

He has a site with many (much better than I took) pictures of his layout. I've put a few here to whet your appetite. All I can tell you is that the pictures do not do justice to the real thing, it's great.

To start, here are 2 pictures to show the entire layout, he has a radical slope up behind his house:

Here's a closeup view of the lower left end, the layout is basically a long dogbone, folded back and forth as it zig zags up the hill.

Moving to the right, still on the lower level: (Ray and I tried to count all the bridges on the layout, we sort of lost count, but we agreed on about 22!

Here's the far right hand end of the layout, still at the lower levels:

Here's some more pictures from above:

(That's Ray in the hat and Ted Doskaris beyond him).

That's R.J. DeBerg, checking all track alignments!

Now, you have seen a lot of tunnels in the layout. Also, you have seen steps in the layout. Ray used crinkled aluminum foil to make the faces of the steps blend into the scenery better:

Notice the non-slip mat on the concrete step top? Good idea!, but what's this?

What are those metal loops? I wonder? Uh oh! Is he attacking? No, the two handles can hook into the holes, and lift the concrete cover off, and whammo, you have access to the tunnel below. Yep, Ray coordinated the steps with the tunnel hatches. Very cool.

Ray built all his bridges and trestles himself. We were noticing the nice detail on a trestle, and the more we looked, the more we appreciated the threaded bolts that held the trestle together, but they were too tiny to be real. Solution? Ray took a length of hex styrene, and sliced off the "heads", and then glued it to a type of finishing nail. You also notice the ridges on the nail that look like threads? He put this assembly through the wood. To make the "nut" he took a length of styrene tube, and sliced off lengths and pressed them on. Finally he trimmed the excess a bit past the "nut". It looks totally realistic and it was of inexpensive materials.

There's a lot more details all over his layout, but here's some details that just plain knocked my socks off. The minature agave and ocotillo  plants were so realistic that I just stared at them!




All I can say is wow and thanks Ray! 


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