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Traverser, Tweaks and More Tracks.

Discovered today that I had ordered a different track (PECO SL-300F I believe) than I usually use - SL-300.   The result was that the track on the deck was approx 1 or 2mm lower than the track on the layout. Hmm... If I hadn't used "set track" points at the top of the traverser I could just raise the whole thing. However, the solution was pretty simple - a (temporary) strip of plasticard of the right depth, to lift the track very slightly.     I already have s

Ray Von

Ray Von in Wiring

Traverser

Constructed and test ran a new traverser today.     The parts I used were the top and base section of a bookcase (the main baseboard is made from the side panels.) The traverser base is wall mounted with reinforced brackets, the deck is fitted with heavy duty drawer runners.    Power is supplied from a connection block wired from the main controller, the cable is fitted to two magnetic terminals via the metal inserts from a connection block.  The terminal

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Ray Von in Wiring

Third Rail Cabling

Added a few bits of wire to represent the cabling that connects sections of third rail.  I've no idea how prototypical it is, but it looks ok.  Reference was from photos I took of actual track, or memory and from online images. I used the wire from inside sandwich bag ties, curved into visually pleasing arrangements then primed white and later dry brushed black and white.  They are held in place with tiny beads of superglue.  

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Ray Von in Third Rail

Station Details and Southern Region Fencing.

Just a couple of quick jobs attended to today - some timber details added to station gable ends (these are just cut card, primed grey and dry brushed green/brown) plus a couple of chimney pots - grey primer and "sand" coloured paint, weathered with black.  I also added a bit of Southern Region concrete fence erected around the old engine shed, I primed this white and then hand-painted beige, followed by a black wash and then dry brushed with beige again.      

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Ray Von in Painting and Weathering

A Pub of my Dreams...

I have long wanted a pub somewhere on my layout, but unfortunately I have limited space to put one - the only available site would in fact mean modelling in low relief.   Ideally, the pub would be situated on a spot that could offer a view that was interesting - for the tiny sozzled patrons.   I decided therefore to suspend reality somewhat and create a pub that probably wouldn't exist in real life.  And why not?   I found a likely candidate on eBay:    Up

Reclaimed Peco Goods Shed

Having a clear out of old model rail acquisitions, I found a Peco brand goods shed that I'd picked up as part of a job lot eBay purchase.  It was painted blotchy yellow, with a grey roof, dark red drainpipes, gutters and doors, and - somewhat bizarrely for a goods shed - it also had scale size holiday destination posters glued to it.   I very nearly consigned it to the recycling bin.  But I reconsidered and decided to take it on as a salvage project.   It had been

Converting a Station Kit to Fit... Part Two.

Following on from an earlier post, today (and a good part of yesterday) was spent building up layers of weathering on my recently "bashed" station kit.   Once painted with primer, I added two coats of yellow and picked out random bricks in varying quantities in black, white, brick red and blue-grey.  I painted the interior "arches" plain white too.   Having discovered that my usual "Brown Earth" paint had dried up in the pot, I ordered some more online - although not th

Platform Edging Improvement.

Got on with adding some detail to my "Kestrel" brand platform edges today, out of the box this particular model has plain edges with a faint brickwork pattern. I wanted to create something a little more authentic looking, this was achieved by simply gluing on some "Kibri" textured plastic sheet in strips over the existing edging.  I can't remember the particular name of the sheet I used, I would call it "irregular stone" or something like that.   The platforms themselves are about

Quick Build Co-op!

Having noticed - when going to the kitchen cupboard - that the "Co-op" have gone back to their old logo, I got to thinking that if I could build a Co-op Supermarket - the logo off a tea bag box etc could serve very nicely as a shop sign.   A quick rumage through the scrap box later,  I came up with a serviceable little low relief of the rear or side of a Co-op.  I used no glue in its construction, just good old double-sided tape to construct it (and the foam padded kind to add extra de

Converting a Station Kit to Fit...

Due to my unusual platform  format, see here:        I have had a Kestrel Station Kit waiting in the wings for a while now, waiting to be converted from "long and thin"  - as it is sold, to "sort of L-shaped" so it will fit neatly in the corner of the layout.   I started by measuring out the area that I have available - a square footprint of just about 10 x 11cm.  I then went about removing the various pieces of the kit from their sprues, and basically playing with

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Ray Von in Kit Bashing

(Happy) Accident in the Breaker's Yard

A couple of days ago I ballasted the "yard" area of the scrapyard on the layout.  Almost immediately that I started, I was not pleased with the result:    It seemed to me that it was going to be a lot of work, waiting for the ballast to dry, painting - more drying, then weathering... So, after a bit of weathering, I decided that when the glue dried I would simply tear up the ballast and start again (this is where using latex glue saves the day once more, folks!)   It to

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Ray Von in Surfaces

Railfreight Depot

In order to utilise as much  space as possible, I decided a while ago that I'd like a "Railfreight" depot in low relief at the back of the layout. I used some leftover parts from a Peco "Modern Engine Shed" kit, plus some corrugated plasticard for shutters.  I cut square doors into the panels, these were spaced so as to match up correctly with the wagon doors when they were bought into the station.     The whole thing has been sprayed with grey primer, I've not bothered

Relocation of Scrap Yard.

So, it's been a while!  But today I finally got around to adding the Scrap Merchant Yard to the layout.  It existed on a previous layout, which I decided to dismantle and "rejig." I enjoyed doing this area of the layout today, but it is by no means finished. The goods shed (adopted by the merchant) is just a temporary fixture, I bought this model second hand and would like to repaint it. I have yet to add a surface to the area outside of the engine shed (also reappropriated by the

Platform Templates

To get the ballast right up to the platform edges in a nice neat straight line, I needed to figure out how to apply it.  Because of the overhanging lip of the platforms it was not possible to accurately sprinkle the sand or add glue mixture in the traditional way. I opted to make some templates from card:   I marked these with a centre line and fixed them in place using Copydex glue, then went about applying ballast in the tried and tested way.   Once dried (overni

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Ray Von in Ballast

Ballasting "Finished" and Platforms Added.

Just a few quick pics of some rather belated ballasting and siting of platforms, just to see how they look. Will need to ballast right up to the platform edges and I still have third rail to fit.  The glue is still wet in these photos, but I like the way it's going.... The large gap between the topmost line and the sidings is where I will be putting my scrap merchant yard, I have that all ready to go so it's just a matter of putting it in place.

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Ray Von in Ballast

Ballast is Drying Nicely...

Some pics of the ballast after an overnight dry.  Looking good (better in real life than in the pics, I think the granular quality of the ballast confuses my phone camera, and it doesn't know what to focus on?)   However, I am genuinely really pleased with the results - I still have little gaps to fill and the odd bump to flatten, but for my first outing it's not looking too shabby!  Cleaned a small section of the rail tops as well (Sidings) and that always improves things I think.

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Ray Von in Ballast

Ballasting Update

Quick pic of progress made today, the glue on the track centres and immediate edges is now dry, so I've been gradually layering up the ballast in the area between tracks.  The method is pretty simple:   1. Wet baseboard area to be ballasted with very weak Copydex-water-washing up liquid solution. 2. Sprinkle on sand. 3. Drip stronger (1-4) glue solution over sand. 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.   The glue is still wet in these pictures:    As you can s

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Ray Von in Ballast

First Time Ballasting with Copydex and Sand!

Having been busy of late, work on the layout came to a bit of a halt for about two weeks.   I've had the materials waiting in the wings (play sand, brown spray paint and Copydex glue) and I'm pleased to say that I've finally ballasted one (the larger) section of the layout!   I've been apprehensive about it for a few reasons: I've never used latex based glue when ballasting before, I'm worried that the "peculiar" smell that Copydex has will linger, I've never used sand as a ballas

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Ray Von in Ballast

Base Coat Prior to Ballasting

I finally got round to spray painting the whole layout today (was going to wait until all the track was  laid, but as I'm waiting on deliveries - thought I might as well crack on.) I used a dull matt  brown, I think it was from Hobby Craft -I've had it a while! I painted the layout in 12" sections and sort of "Sqeegee'd" paint off the top of the rails using a small off cut of pine strip-wood as I went along, wiping that on kitchen towel as needed. Third rail was harder to cl

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Ray Von

Mini Blog - Third Rail, Wiring and Beach Sand Trial.

Just a few quick pics of the last bit of third rail I can lay before more arrives in the post and some detail of wiring on the insulated track sections: Laid in the now traditional way - held in place with Blu-tak and then glued at intervals with super glue, which seems to be "drawn in" to the gap between rail and sleeper by percolation (?)  Some gets on the edge of the rail inevitably, but is usually quite easy to remove with a blade once thoroughly dried.   You might be ab

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Ray Von

New Line and Station Building Mock Up

I went about laying the "New Line" at the rear of the layout today, I don't have the "Streamline" large radius points I really want to use at the moment, so progress has halted at the point work - I have put the medium radius points in the pic for reference. The track was laid the way I've found works well for me - positioned by eye, checked with a 6' way gauge, marked out with pencil and then fixed down semi permanently using double sided tape.  Checked again by eye and 6' gauge, pressed d

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Ray Von

Too Many Ideas!

So the anticipated work that was going to take place has been postponed - not due to lack of materials, more to do with a surplus of ideas! Last week I had a flash of inspiration and was thinking about adding an extra line at the rear of the layout.  This idea has since developed, and now influences the course of the build...   There was a problem to begin with re: one section of track being curved away from a straight section of platform.  All kinds of ideas were considered to re

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Ray Von

Adding Third Rail With Blu-tak...

Went about the task of adding third rail today.   I used British Finescale track for this as I've used it before with good results.  The rail is simply super glued to the sleeper parallel to the existing rail.   It was a fiddly task, but I hit upon the idea of using Blu-tak style adhesive to hold the track in place while gluing and it seems to have worked well!  The Blu-tak was removed after a couple of hours drying, and left no residue - except where it had mixed with super

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Better Vids of Uncouplers in Use and "Behind the Scenes."

Managed to squeeze in and get a more direct shot of the uncouplers working.  Also a shot of a "Mk II" control rod working the lifting ramp. The rod is longer and has a curve that levels back to a horizontal plane - this results in a gentler lifting of the spherical pinhead.  You can see a MkI rod in the background, they work well but there is very slight resistance sometimes because they "push" the pin rather than guide it.  I also added a third hinge barrel along the length of th

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Ray Von

Point Control

A few pics of the points (Peco Streamline.). They are insulfrog and are wired "live" with powered fishplates.   They are controlled manually by surface mounted brass rod levers that pass through "lift off" hinge barrels.  These hinges are currently glued in place but will be fixed more permanently with screws at a later date. They work very well, and I'm particularly pleased with the one that goes through the rail bed of one section of track and another set of points, out the other sid

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Ray Von

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