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Progress on board 4


DaveArkley

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Slow progress but I’m eating the elephant one bite at a time.

 

The branch

 

The first track work I’ve tackled is the section of the branch which dives down on board 4. In the last post I described how this was laid, on Woodland Scenics track bed. I’ve since bought an airbrush, so after practising on scrap lengths of track I sprayed the sleepers and rails with Lifecolour acrylic sleeper grime. After a couple of light coats I achieved the look I wanted, a dirty grey. I prefer this to the rust colours often used.

After a first stab at ballasting the track I have come to the conclusion that the track bed is too high and inappropriate for a single track branch line. So I filled the bottom of the branch cutting with filler to bring each side of the line up to rail level. and re-ballasted with Woodland Scenics Fine grey ballast. IT didn’t go too well, I think the glue mix as too weak resulting in patchy ballast on the shoulders. I’ll be patching this up with an application of neat PVA in the bald spots. While ballasting I’ve managed to chip away some of the brown emulsion/PVA mix used as a base colour on the scenery, looks like another coar once I’ve finished working in that area.

 

 

 

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Board 4 Ballasted branch line

 

Album: Cruikglen construction

Uploaded 14 Dec 2011 - 22:27

 

The shed

 

Next to be tackled was the track work for the shed area. First I printed a one-to-one scale copy of the Anyrail track plan for this board and then in true Blue Peter fashion cut and taped together the sheets for the shed area. Here’s how it looks in situ.

 

 

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Board 4 Shed track plan

 

Album: Cruikglen construction

Uploaded 14 Dec 2011 - 22:28

 

In the above picture you can see the branch on the far right, the white Woodland Scenics 2% incline which will carry the dual mainline tracks and the paper plan for the shed area. The line vanishing into the bottom right corner will be laid on another Woodland Scenics incline which rises at 3% from the shed area to the junction. Whilst 1:33 is un-prototypically steep the engines will be running light into this area, and tests with half a dozen different locos have reassured me that they can cope.

I’ve laid the points in position to get verify positioning, the points and turntable will be secured in place first and then flex laid to join them all together. One of the great things with Anyrail is that once the flex is shaped to give smooth transitions into the points then the exact length of the flex can be seen and cut ensuring good fidelity to the plan when the track is laid. By prodding through the plan I transferred the precise position and outline of each point and the turntable onto the board surface. After cross checking carefully with a ruler the laying of points and installation of the turntable could commence!

 

 

This next picture shows the turntable glued in place. It looks like a standard Peco turntable, but is in fact far from it. I’ll post details of the modifications made to this and the motorisation which enables rotation with a loco on board at 1 (yep one) RPM. Notice some of the weathering has flacked from the bottom of the pit, so some touching up will be required. I’m also planning to line the vertical walls of the pit with brick plasticard, weather the deck and add the railings. More on the turntable later.

 

 

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Board 4 Turntable In place

 

Album: Cruikglen construction

Uploaded 14 Dec 2011 - 22:28

 

Next to be fitted were the first two points at the far end of the shed. The position of these is key to ensure a straight approach to the slope out of the shed area, I want the transition onto the slope to be dead flat. The next picture shows the two pints glued in place. The straight rails on the right were aligned with a steel rule to ensure that the shed approach track runs right up the centre of the incline.

 

 

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Board 4 First Points In place

 

Album: Cruikglen construction

Uploaded 14 Dec 2011 - 22:29

 

These three pieces of track represent some 10 hours of work to fit and test. Why so long you may ask? The points are prepared so as not to rely on the blades for power to the frog, have slow motion point motors fitted and have been wired in to the DCC bus. I’ll cover the detail of the point work in another post, and the 3 hours spent working out why it initially shorted every time a loco bridged both frogs.

 

The next point to be laid is one of the new Peco three way asymmetric points. The Traintronics point motors which I’ve used for the first two points are too large to fit under the three way point and so I have some of the new Cobalt Digital motors on order, meaning that point laying has stopped for the moment.

 

Retaining Wall

 

Most of the shed will be surrounded by retaining wall. On the right (as photographed below) the main line embankment needs to be shored up to stop it spilling into the yard. The next picture shows the mainline incline on the right, the shed points to the left and couple of lengths of cereal packet card between. This card will form the base onto which Scalescenes retaining wall will be glued. More foam will be added and sanded roughly to shape to fill between the Woodland Scenics incline and the card, and then gaps will be back filled with filler so as to smoothly meet the card. The foam/filler will then be covered in papier mache and painted brown as can be seen on the right. Next I’ll trim and sand the top of the card to follow the contours of the scenery, such that the coloured side is completely hidden.

 

 

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Board 4 Scenery between the mainline and shed

 

Album: Cruikglen construction

Uploaded 14 Dec 2011 - 22:30

 

Looking from the shed side the shape which the retaining wall will follow can be clearly seen, including some nice curves. The retaining wall can be lower to the right of this picture as the mainline incline is lower at this end, and the shed incline higher.

 

 

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Board 4 Retaining wall base from shed

 

Album: Cruikglen construction

Uploaded 14 Dec 2011 - 22:31

 

Sorry this one has been so long, I’ll try and keep the next ones shorter and more frequent.

 

Happy modelling

Dave

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