Franklin’s Tower

Robin Adair

I built for my son. It is a 4 x 6 foot, 2 level O scale train table called Franklin’s Tower.Model_RR_radair_10I first purchased a Foam Factory Hot Knife in 2004 and I decided to see how much of a train table could be made out of foam. The O scale train table has 2 levels so he can run two trains at the same time. It has one turnout and an accessory track so he can launch his helicopter from the helicopter car.Model_RR_radair_12The frame is built out of 1 x 3 inch furring strips and the table top is 2 inch pink foam insulation. Once I laid the track down for the lower level i used more pink foam to build the table up to the second level and build the tunnels.

I needed 2 bridges, 5 tunnel portals and 1 building, all of which I made out of foam with the Foam Factory Hot Knife. Model_RR_radair_02The first thing I did was cut the five tunnel portals. I measured and drew the horizontal lines, then went back and drew in the vertical lines. Using the Foam Factory Hot Knife I cut all of the horizontal lines. Using the tip of the knife I cut all of the vertical lines.Model_RR_radair_04 Model_RR_radair_05The next step was to paint them, I used a cheap flat black primer paint in a spray can and painted a couple coats on all of the cut pieces. You want to make sure the paint get’s into and colors what will be the mortar cracks. The spray paint dissolves a little of the foam which is perfect because it makes the stones look like well cut stones. (Caution: some paints will eat all the way through your foam, especially the lighter white beaded foams.) Next I used a foam paint brush and white acrylic paint to splotch on an uneven coat of white paint. It blends in with the uneven surfaces and gives the bridges and tunnel portals various colors from white to light gray.Model_RR_radair_07 Model_RR_radair_08I repeated the same process for both of the bridges. Model_RR_radair_09The whole table was very sturdy but very light which made it easy to move around.Model_RR_radair_13 Model_RR_radair_11When I bought the Foam Factory Hot Knife 10 years ago I thought it was the hottest thing since sliced bread to hit model railroading. I have since stocked up on some of the newer products to use on my next endeavor.