In the lead up to Christmas I wanted a break from the next phase of making the control panel for my Barrow Hill Yard layout - wiring just ain't fun enough! So, whilst perusing the internet during this let up period I came across David Shepherd's magnificent painting called 'On Shed' - this features a dirty 9F awaiting its next duty. This really got the juices flowing so I put together a quickie layout for a Shadow Box scheme (I've had a Bachmann 9F for Christmas which I'm eagerly waiting for the postie to deliver right now). The idea was to try and simulate David's painting by having streams of sunlight coming through imaginary skylights etc. This, I thought, could only be done by constructing a Shadow Box. Anyone familiar with military modeling will have probably heard of Shep Paine who honed this way of making dioramas way back in the 1980's. For anyone not in the know, a Shadow Box is basically a model within a sealed box with its own hidden light source that can be used to simulate sunlight through a window etc etc.
David Shepherd's magnificent and very dramatic painting.
My efforts so far. I'm still playing around with positioning the light bulbs and led spotlights. The beams have been generated by cutting tiny slits and holes in the roof of the layout - the roof has a sealed box glued on top which contains the lights. The bright light is generated by three 55 watt car headlight bulbs and is the closet to sunlight as you can get without burning the house down! Getting the lights to work was the most frustrating part of the project. However, I spent a couple of enjoyable hours with my local mechanic (Mike Dillane) in his workshop with card board boxes and different car lights. His son happily obliged us by blowing smoke into the boxes to try and create the beaming effect. Mike suggested using a car battery and battery charger, but I didn't fancy lugging this stuff around. In the end, I used simple AC 12v 60 amp transformers used for Kitchen downlights - these quite happily run 12v DC car bulbs and they were only a fiver each! I started off by running an extension cord from the battery of my car to run the bulbs, however, SWMBO put a stop to this in case I did damage! Then I tried an old drill battery charger but this was only putting out 2 amps and not the 15 amps I required - it lasted all of 15 minutes! It's all part of the learning curve I suppose, but to me, this is were the fun is.
The layout is quite simple and is basically a quarter of a roundhouse which has a mirror placed along one side. I initially considered taking a saw to my Barrow Hill Roundhouse model but reason prevailed. The layout took about 10 hours to build from bits of scrap I had lying around etc - the lights have taken about 6 hours so far. I used the same method of roof and smoke construction - this time without the skylights as the light can only be let in very slightly so you get the streaming effect without washing it out. Photographs have been taken at night with room lights off for maximum effect.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL RMweb members.