For many years, Allen McClelland has been concerned with what type of material to use on his fascia. In the early days, it was quite common to use panels or paint masonite, but painting would have to be done on a completely flat surface and you had to deal with wear and tear on the paint.
Being involved with exhibits in his profession, Allen noticed that they used carpeting on a lot of the exhibits, so he decided to adopt this for his layout. For his fascia he uses indoor outdoor carpet available at a lot of home stores like Lowes and Home Depot. It sells by the yard and the rolls are twelve feet in width, so they could be cut into strips for the fascia. To bond the carpet to the fascia, Allen uses outdoor carpet adhesive in a premium grade.
Chuck Marshall, a member of Allen’s workgroup demonstrates how to apply the adhesive to the fascia. It’s applied in an even layer with a paintbrush, making sure to leave part of the end unglued to get a better seam that matches up evenly.
Once glue is applied about four to five feet at a time, he lines the carpet up with the straight bottom edge. They trim the top edge off later. Once it has sat for several days to dry, he goes in with a blade and cuts along the top edge of the facia.
The glue leftover can be removed and then touched up with a dark green paint to match the color of the carpet. The carpet also has an added bonus of adding some acoustics to the room and operators can also hang various items on the carpet with velcro. Mike Brestel, President of NMRA goes on to talk more about Allen’s accomplishments.
Watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroads in the Model Railroad Academy archives.