Introduction: LED Yankee Stadium Night Game Re-Creation W/ City, Trains, Subway and LED Skyline
HO and N scale Yankee Stadium recreation with all the sights and sounds of New York. Lets add all the elements to simulate the excitement of heading into the city for a big league game. We have an outdoor marquee, traffic, elevated subway, Hudson line, parking lots, tour buses and of course LED stadium lights. I will go through each step along with some of the materials you will need.
LED Bulbs (wired in parallel)
Plywood base board
Elevation foam (to support grades)
Scenery (bushes, trees etc.)
HO and/or N scale tracks and trains
Power Pack for accessories
Power Pack for Trains
Hardboard Tempered Panel (Home Depot)
Step 1: Plan Your Track Layout Before LED Planning
Starting a layout plan can be overwhelming. Make it a non rush project and add ideas as you go along. First decide how big your base layout will be, using plywood. Usually a good start is a 4 x 8 sheet and you could add to that if so desired. Once you know your layout size you need to design a track that fits. Google a program called SCARM, this is a program which enables you to input your size layout. You then can drag tracks onto your design, if it doesn't fit, it will let you know. Experiment with it. Of course you can just wing it, and buy a bunch of tracks and guess at patterns.
I started out with adding to my 4' x 8' base by attaching two one foot ends. I then mapped my tracks with SCARM.
Lay the tracks out in a dry run, with the elevated tracks just laying over the lower tracks. Trace the paths with a pencil. This is where you will lay your elevated foam which comes in gradual grades. Do not elevate a track too rapidly as trains can labor. Keep the elevated track just low enough to allow good clearance for the underpass.
For the elevation supports, I cut blocks of wood and made upside down "U's". After gluing, I spray painted them with a textured paint which gives the appearance of concrete. I then secured them to the board with screws.
Step 2: Laying Down Elevation Foam
I attached the elevation foam to the board with Hot Glue Gun. As I worked around the board with that, I began also molding mountains. These are foam board panels which were sculpted with a foam cutter knife. You can singe the ends for simulated rugged terrain. The panels are then glued (Elmers) together in a stepped design. These later can be painted with acrylic paint found at your hobby store.
Step 3: Plaster, Cork Bedding and Hardboard Overpass
After your Elevation foam is down, you can cut sheets of plaster cloth, wet it, and drape it over the foam. This hides the spacers. You also will drop plaster sheets over your mountains and any terrain you wish.
For the elevated overpass, we need a surface to support the track. That's where hardboard comes in. I traced the exact circle I needed from a large panel, and used a jig saw to cut out the segments. Then screwed them onto the overpass supports we made earlier.
Once the plaster is hardened, its time to place your cork bedding over the elevation foam and where the track will lay bare on the board. I did not use cork on the overpass.
Step 4: Train Platform and Stadium Construction and Parking Lot
Using Birch ply, I constructed a train platform. You can purchase fencing, I chose to make my own with copper tubing as well as making copper railings.
The Stadium is actually a 3D Puzzle kit. I assembled it, glued it down and fished some LED wires up through the roof to single led bulbs to simulate Stadium lights.
Note: All LED bulbs are wired with resistors to terminal connectors.
I made the parking lot out of a thin foam sheet. I sprayed it with a Krylon asphalt paint. For the parking lines I used Line O Tape, which is popular for model cars. For the lamp posts, I took a straw (the kind which bends) and threaded LED's up into it until the bulb just barely hung out.
You can see the foliage beginning to form as well.
Step 5: City Skyline Added and Train Station Sign
The City Skyline was cut from the scraps of Hardwood left over from the overpass. I printed out pictures of city buildings, joined them in panoramic fashion, glued them on one long board, carved the hardboard to conform to the pictures, and drilled holes through the windows. I then attached a duplicate board with spacers to make a hollow sandwich where I placed an LED color changing light strip in between the Hardboard pieces and the lights shine nicely through the 'windows'. You also can use the remote to create different city moods.
For the platform sign, I sprayed it black and printed a photo of the 161st St sign and glued it to a piece of Birch plywood. I ran LED lights up the supports to illuminate the sign.
Step 6: Name Badge "Marquee"- Cars-
Picture 1 shows a Marquee which is simply a scrolling name badge. It is rechargeable and stays plugged in to a power supply. Miniature cars are already pulling in the lot. Various signs and a Plaster formed tunnel add to the landscape.
I also pushed LED bulbs up through the overpass to simulate warning lights.
Final landscaping such as trees, bushes and ground cover are shown in the video. These are all glued down with common white glue.
On the overpass, I used N Scale trains to simulate subway cars, with graffiti included. The larger HO scale train runs on an outer loop.
The other half of my board is a village or suburb as seen in the last photo.