Sunday, 26 May 2013

What a difference a day makes

I had been hoping to get to Railex this year, not having been able to go last year.

Unfortunately during the week someone stole my wallet with all my credit cards and the cash I'd earmarked for spending at the show, so that idea went out the window.

The good news is it meant I had a day at home on a Saturday when the wife was working and I wasn't, and that I decided to prioritse work on the layout.

I had a list of things I wanted to get done by the end of the day. Now anyone looking back through this blog will realise that I'm notoriously bad at keeping to my self imposed deadlines but for once I didn't do too badly.

It helped that on the Friday before work I finally fixed the point operating mechanism with a replacement DPDT switch - you don't need a DPDT for the electrics but generally they are larger than SPDT switches so provide sufficient mechanical throw to operate the point blades. A couple of quick remedial dabs with the soldering iron and I was back with a fully operational layout, meaning Staurday could be devoted to scenics.

I'd also used Friday evening to make a start on the replacement for the road bridge. The original version was built from card and scenic papers. I quite liked it but a decision to go for 3d corrugated textures on the goods shed and platform shed made me worry that the 2d look would be too obvious, so I swapped over to using Wills sheets. If anything these have more 3d texture than I would like.

Anyway by the end of Saturday the  components of the new version were complete and painted, and I just need to assemble them. I'm not 100% happy with the colouring of either the stone or the brickwork but I think that just needs a bot of tinkering to sort out. Overall I think it is an imporvement.
Note that the various components of the bridge are yet to be joined and are just leaning against each other
The next thing you might note is that finally there is some ground cover in place. Shaping the polystyrene block to form the landscape was a bit messy since having dug out my hotwire cutter I couldn't find the resistance wire and had to resort to using a fretsaw. next time I'm going to use foamboard formers instead so that I have a little more control. The ground cover itself is hanging basket liner teased with a dog metal grooming brush. The great thing about this material is that it is thick enough to use to give more structure to the landscaping and also that joins are easily disguised. It needs mowing with scissors and then it form the base for further scenic treatments.

The Base Toys lorry converted to a flat bed
 On my wishlist for purchase at RAILEX was a replacement body for my Base Toys lorry. Since I couldn't go I bit the bullet and very quickly fabricated a flatbed  for it. In the background you'll see a platform is in place, and on it is a little balck shed....

The usual facilities

This is the shed/urinal that was found, in some form or another, at the end of most platforms on the Tanat Valley. I'm afraid I miscalculated a few things when assembling this one so it is destined for the scrap bin, but  building it was a useful exercise. This is the building which forced my hand to move to 3d sheets rather than printed paper because although there are some excellent corrugated iron textures available they wouldn't work for the free standing walls of the gents.

Minimum space modelling
Finally here is an aerial shot showing the current stat of play. From my perspective the great thing is that from now on everything that needs to be done is easily broken down into jobs that can be fitted into a couple of hours here and there. I need to finish off the ballasting after I put in the point rodding,  rebuild the gents, finish the signal box and build the goods shed and put down textures for the platform and the goods yard. Incidentally since the layout is set after the end of passenger services the platform is going to be modelled in an overgrown state. The black shape is a weighbridge. i'm still undecide about whether or not to go ahead with that idea because the shed would obscure the view of the signal box from "the ideal viewing position" Then the backscene needs to be finished. A grab shot lat last night included some odd shadows that have made me wonder about putting a suggestion  hills onto the backscene rather than sky.


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