PHASE 4: CONSTRUCTION - During Phase 3, materials will be ordered and a construction schedule arranged for the start of your project. Once materials are in-house, construction will begin.
BENCHWORK: We use clear grade Pine for our B grade construction. All joints are glued and stapled. With A grade construction, we will rip all framework, joists and cross-ties from 3/4” A-C Exterior Glue or Baltic Birch plywood. This provides improved straightness and warp-resistance over Pine. Our plywood is sourced from major commercial cabinet-shop suppliers, not from local home centers. AA grade construction will use only furniture quality, 3/4” imported Baltic Birch plywood or equivalent. This fabulous material is great to work with due to its solid (without voids) core, 13 ply construction and perfectly straight and uniform sheets. To our knowledge, no other builders offer this level of quality on their benchwork (although they may after reading about it here). AA grade joints are all glued, screwed and reinforced with cleats where necessary.
FASCIA: B grade layouts will have tempered hardboard or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) fascia, contoured to match the layout. Mounting screws or staples will be countersunk below the surface of the board and the recesses filled with polyester putty so that no fasteners will be visible. The surface will be primed, sanded and top-coated with a sprayed color finish specified by the client. Custom color matches are available, but additional. A primed finish is available for slightly less cost. For A grade layouts, a high-pressure laminate (Formica™, Wilsonart™, etc.) will be applied to a medium density fiberboard (MDF) core. Or…. We can easily provide furniture grade hardwoods and veneers for our AA grade construction. These surfaces are normally provided unfinished and sanding, staining and finishing can be done by the client. For an additional charge, we will do it for you.
BACKDROPS: We are strong believers in the artistic value of properly designed and executed backdrops. They add incredible depth to the overall miniature scenes. We have 3 different levels of detail available in our hand-painted backdrops, or we can apply some of the commercially available backdrops to your layout. Have a look at some of our backdrop work HERE.
TRACKWORK: We spend a great deal of time on the trackwork phase of construction and we ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE derailment-free operation on every layout we build. You will not find any kinks on curves or at rail joints on any Progressive Model Design layout.
· Track is carefully gauged at all points, especially through turnouts and at rail joints.
· All rail joiners on curves will be soldered. Those on straight trackage are not (to allow for expansion/contraction).
· Spiral easements (transition curves) are standard at all levels of construction and greatly enhance operation, especially on tight radius curves.
· Curves are super-elevated on all AA level layouts.
· Separate electrical feeders will be supplied throughout the trackwork wherever the risk of loss of electrical continuity at a rail joint exists.
· We offer a proprietary Insul-Sound™ roadbed construction which combines unique laminated composite materials over super-strong 9 ply Baltic birch plywood sub-roadbed, and exclusive sound-absorbing adhesives to provide the quietest possible operation of all your fine models. Standard with AA level construction.
WIRING: You will likely notice a distinct difference in the wiring practices followed by PMD. We maintain a LARGE stock of wire sizes and colors and where we need additional identification, we have wires custom dyed and striped for us. All wire runs will be clearly marked with identifying labels and wire sizes will always be ample for the current loads. Wires will be run carefully and neatly contained in multiple clips under the layout. Upon wiring completion, groups of wires will be neatly bundled using Ty-wraps and additional clips. Below is a (not great) studio photo of a rather complicated computer controlled layout section in the process of being wired by PMD.
COST ESTIMATING AND
MODELING: Please see the Comparison Chart for details about the different levels of modeling we offer.
LOGOS and CONTROL PANELS: PMD can design a custom logo for your layout and we fabricate beautiful, highly detailed control panels. No simple stuck on tape designs from us. Have a look at some examples [HERE].
PHASE 5: INTERIM BILLINGS - During the construction phase, PMD will issue a few invoices for work completed. As always, you are welcome to inspect the progress at any time during the construction phase. These invoices may or may not coincide to specific areas of construction. A proportionate percentage of your down-payment will be applied to each invoice, and the balance will be due within 15 days of the invoice date. Failure to pay in a timely manner may result in the suspension of work on your project. The total of all invoices will not exceed 85% of the contract price, allowing a 15% holdback for final installation and checkout.
PHASE 6: INSTALLATION - The layout will be delivered to the site under the terms of the contract. Final installation, section joint disguise with scenery patching and completion and operational checkout will be conducted on-site under your supervision. All capabilities of the installation will be fully tested. If any problems are found, they will be corrected at this time. Upon your acceptance, the layout will be considered complete, waivers of Lien and a final invoice for the balance due will be presented and final payment will be expected at that time.
PHASE 7: WARRANTY - The warranty period for a layout is 1 year from the date of completion. During that time period, PMD will repair, or replace at our expense, any item(s) that prove to be defective or fail to operate as originally specified. Structure and scenery lighting is warranted for 180 days only. A small percentage of scenery materials and track ballast will be lost to cleaning procedures. This is considered normal and is not covered by warranty. Other scenery defects such as visible cracks, chipped plaster or paint, cracked resin in streams or lakes or ballast loosening are warranted and will be repaired. Damage to the layout caused by accident, lack of routine maintenance, act of God or failure of climate control devices in the layout area is not covered by this warranty.
PHASE 8: EXTENDED SERVICE - Although there should be no need for any periodic maintenance on a PMD layout, time and dust accumulation will take their toll. Colors on trees and ground cover may become washed out and water surfaces may appear dull. We have a number of restorative compounds and special cleaning agents that can make an older layout look almost new again. We can also add a fresh dusting of new ground cover and foliage and you will be amazed at the difference this makes. The cost for this service is quite reasonable. You are welcome to contact us any time for an assessment and quote.
Computer Control can get complicated. Miles of wire, SMAIL™ Switch Machines, Kadee Electromagnetic Uncouplers, Detection Circuit Motherboards, Track Control Relays, Electronic Power District Circuit Breakers, 2 of 13 boosters, DCC Block Signal Drivers and Computer I/O interface boards are all installed on this section.