Saturday, November 26, 2016

Track Laying almost done

Now that my version of  the Southern Aurora is done & dusted I've gone back to the layout which I have not done any real work on since starting the Southern Aurora and it does need a lot of TLC, also with me hosting  a meeting here recently (Yesterday) it was a good deadline to work to to get some more stuff done on the layout.

I've had a bit of a track laying spurt over the last few months, the track for my version of Dunedoo is now laid, the servo point motors have been installed and the track from Dunedoo to Binnaway (Staging) is laid, I do have to make the Binnaway staging yard though, which will be based on a sector plate and the final (Up/East) staging yard (which will be in the return loop near Liverpool).

Looking from the Mudgee end into Dunedoo, 
The station building is actually based on Gulgong (which I was going  to model originally but I then realised I did not really have the room for it), I'm in two minds whether to make another station building based on the real thing or just use this. The Silos were started many moons ago  but I've recently re-started on them, I've built the scale annex and loading road, still heaps to do though, I'll be using Keiran Ryan's Etch parts (KRModels Silo Details Etch) to detail the silo with.

Looking from part way along the Binnaway end of the yard, the loading bank will have to be modified to fit the space

Looking from the Binnaway end of the yard, the Yellow Golden Fleece tanker is on the siding that will serve the Oil depot via a remote unloading point and the stock wagons are parked on the stock road.

I've also made a new curved point to serve an oil depot, I made it using a templot plan
The Templot plan mounted on a board

I made the plan initially by rubbing the original track curve onto a piece of paper and then scanning & importing the rubbing/drawing into templot to then develop the point plan, then using the standard (for me) rail soldered to PCB method to make the point
The point built using the temmplot plan, the road to the left is the oil depot road, the 2 roads to the right are to serve the abattoir
Pretty happy with the resultant point & the rolling stock  seems to roll through it OK, though  they don't have very far to go & at bugger all speed so I guess not a real test for track laying skills.

Another job I undertook was to make the viaduct that sort off represents the Shepherd Street viaduct just south of Liverpool, it was made using a mix of 10mm and 5mm foamcore as the structural base

The foamcore core for the viaduct, pretty simple really

 and then overlaying with SouthEast finecast embossed styrene (they make an A3 size viaductsheet which is near enough for me to the Liverpool Viaduct)

Detailing bits & pieces added

 I used crosslinked PVA to glue the styrene to the foamcore and whilst it seems to have worked OK, I'm not convinced on the long term bond of the Styrene to the foamcore (Solvent based contact adhesive may have been better), the viaduct was then detailed (buttresses made, capping added etc, and arches lined) this was then sprayed with a yellow oxide (Cheap) spray can

sprayed with (Cheap) yellow oxide

 and then drybrushed with various tones of browns and reds and then overstamped with the same colours using an offcut of a kitchen sponge, not sure whether to give the viaduct a final overall wash to tie it all in or not.

Drybrushed and 'pad/sponge' painted.

I'm pretty happy with the end result, and its first time I've attempted something like this and it has been a great learning experience.

Then I had to clear the layout of all the junk currently strewn over it to get it running for a meeting I just had here, so this is the cleanest the layout has been for quite a while And I CAN run trains again - always a good thing, but somehow I don't think it will stay that way, but hopefully it won't get as untidy as what it was and I'll be able to continue running trains.
Overall view of the bottom deck of the layout - I can see a floor :-)

Overall view of the top deck of the layout - Dunedoo is right at the back against the rear wall/window
Whilst the guys were here I discussed the hiding of the back roads from Mudgee to Dunedoo & from Dunedoo to the staging yard as I did not want them to be part of the scene - then one of the guys (thank you Geoff S.) said why not just make the back drop smaller cause there is a ready made 'sky' backdrop in the blue ceiling so just hide the tracks. So I experimented by cutting down one of the backdrops and am quite pleased with the results, the following few photos show the results using the track going from Dunedoo to staging/Binnaway etc.

No backdrop - Portland in the foreground and the track from Dunedoo to Binnaway (stage) in the background (its the rearmost track and you can just make out the Silo @ Dunedoo) The trackbed leading down behind the station is for a small Narrow Gauge (HOn30) line

Original Backdrop temporarily added - whilst the trains would not be visible behind the backdrop any derailed trains would have to be retrieved from under the layout with some gymnastic involved, and I'm getting too old for gymnastics.

The 'new' shorter backdrop taken from roughly the same location as the previous photo

Same location as above photo, but with the SHO on the  track

Closer view of the cutdown backdrop - note that tracks are not visible which is the main effect I was after

Closer view of the cutdown backdrop with SHO carriage on the track
The photo with the SHO on the back track shows that whilst noticeable & does intrude into the scene, it is not really that bad and trains will not all that often be on the back track so no real biggie & the track is not noticeable when no trains are on it which in an ops session would be the norm more often than not.

I'll probably end up making the top a bit wavy so it's not too 'solid' a line and thus will hopefully not draw the eye to it and also will be covering the 'backdrop' with foilage (trees/shrubs etc)  leaving the ceiling to represent the sky, well that the current plan.

The next  few step will be around the points/switches, one will be to setup the TAM Valley point controllers to use them as an accessory decoder via DCC, the other main thing I have to do is to re-visit the main staging yard points as they were some of the first point I made and I'm not happy with their layout, nor the way they move (too stiff), once they've been re-done I'll then leave the track laying for  while, hopefully run the layout & iron out any bugs I can see & I can already see some track has buckled in the recent hot days we've had.

Well, that's it for now, so until next time.

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