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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

Ray Von

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.

Ray Von

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.

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

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

Ray Von

Ray Von

Quick Vid of The Uncouplers in Use

Just a quick look at one of the uncouplers at work - the angle is a bit oblique because the rods that control them are in direct line of sight, and have masking tape "Flags" on them to prevent injuries.

Ray Von

Ray Von

The Layout from Above and Below

Quick "aerial" shot of the layout. The main line leading in will be fed by a traverser - there is a two island station with three arrival and departure platforms.   These lines are isolated at about half way along their length and the isolated sections controlled by on/off toggle switches.   Opposite the station are three sidings, similarly isolated.  Two of the sidings will, at busy times, serve as a holding areas for waiting EMU's and diesel locomotives (plus or minus coach

Ray Von

Ray Von

Uncouplers at work

Just a few of shots of the uncouplers at work, partially obscured by protruding brass rod ends (wrapped in masking tape to avoid injury...)   Also made a template for the control panel with card.  Surprised how good it looks, might try to recreate it with wood veneer.   As always, I can't get images to appear in any kind of order, apologies for that!

Ray Von

Ray Von

Uncoupling by Manual Remote Means...

I am currently rebuilding a layout from round and round to shelf format in N gauge.   I am using sections of an old bookcase (turned shelf) as the base - not the ideal material but so far so good....   I thought people might be interested to see some pics of the most recent part of the project - making Peco Uncouplers (Sort of) Remote Control.   I began by removing the small 45 degree overhang at the rear of the ramp with a scalpel, this gives the ramp much more ran

Ray Von

Ray Von

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