Well I've spent the last few months going from one project to another to another, getting some things finished & others not so finished. I'll try to cover some of what I've been upto in this post.
I've finally gapped & insulated all the points at the frog, I used a razor saw to re-gap the gaps at the frogs and then used 10thou styrene glued into the gap to help insulate- I'm hopeful it will make a difference & help to alleviate any shorts that may have occurred due to rail expansion, as part of this bit of work I've also wired up the majority of the layout & run a limited test as wiring progressed - so far so good, I'm hoping to test the layout from go to whoa shortly. I still need to make more point motors and attach them to the layout, but I must admit if I had not made so many of them I would be using the servo motor point motors I saw in action on Rowan's Main South layout - very impressed by them, only because I have most of the components already for the remaining point motors that I won't be going down that path, though I might use the servo motors to activate some semaphore signals. I also need to clean and then wipe a graphite pencil onto the track/rail - find it makes for really good pickup quality between track & wheel.
Most of the Main line points now have point motors installed but they need to be adjusted for hopefully good performance.
I ended up using a Powerline Victorian T class to check the track - in general most things went well but there are a few things that need to be fine tuned.
We got a new fridge a little while ago & not wanting to waste the luverley packing material I ended up cutting the the carboard packing into strips of about 100 - 150 mm (4 - 6") and used them as a fascia board template ( not my idea I read it somewhere) - I'll eventually run the scenery (when I get started on it) up to the cardboard and the cut the carboard to use as a template when cutting the real fascia board. Talking about scenery I was at the modelling the Railways of NSW at Loftus and Bob Stack of the SCR was demonstrating some of his scenery techniques and I was particularly taken by the way he sceniced his embankment - basically used some white beadfoam broken into small pieces (about 12 mm - 1/2") dipped into a thick plaster mix (Bob said it had to be thick so as to not end up being too smooth) squashed into the chicken wire and sceniced from there - I was really taken with the end result - have a look at the photos below to get an idea of what I'm talking about - as where I am thinking of using it I aleady have a scenery base of blue insulating foam down I'll have to experiment
Photo of 3813 showing the front marker lights (white but they can be red), the running lights over the valve gear, the step cutouts in the cab and the cab light shining on the tender front plate, the tender water hatch light can just be made out just behind the coal load in the tender.
Red marker lights, cab light, cab step light & tender water hatch lights all lit up
pik looking down in to the modified tender - new (lowered) coal plate and driver's lunch box - easier to see the mod in an unpainted state.
Similar photo to the previous but this time the model is finished - weathered & coaled - I think the effort was worth it