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
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
Just kidding! I've had this "Monopoly" hotel kicking around for ages in my box of scraps - I think I picked it up off the pavement years ago...
Today I set about converting it into something useful for the layout - a newsagent kiosk.
Step one was to drill a hole in the side of the hotel and then square the circle using a file.
Next, I sanded down the surface of the building - prior to gluing on corrugated styrene sheet, to represent wood panellin
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
For anyone who doesn't know, Tommy Gander was a fictional Music Hall comic, a character that featured in the 1941 British film "The Ghost Train" portrayed by real life comic, Arthur Askey.
On his way down to Newquay to start a new sixteen week season of his act at The Pier Pavillion ("Well, we'll see how I go Monday night...") Tommy gets caught up in the events that unfold in the film (or was he instrumental in causing them...?)
Years later, Tommy Gander finds himself per
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.
*EDIT - 8/2/21: Magnetic connector snapped at weld, see posts for 8/2/21 and 9/2/1 for details on repair and improvements!
Power is supplied from a connection block wired fr
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
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!
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
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.
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
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
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.
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!)
I finally decided on a name for the layout, and added name-boards to the station today.
I settled on a French influenced one, inspired by a local road which in turn is named for a medieval landowner whose legacy is the road name and the remains of a gatehouse.
I think that the name fits in well with the Southern Region near-coastal setting.
The signs are "Knightwing" white metal (8 pack) and are grey primed with a bit of white dry-brushing (thanks
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
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
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.
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
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
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:
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
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