Sunday, 24 October 2021

The Industrial Area

With most of the work around the inclines completed, (The stuff that is left requires work closer to the front of the boards to be completed first.) I can get to work filling in the loop with the industrial area.

Here's what is in so far.

The track for the brewery and manufacturing industry is in. The next two lines are the wheat sidings and then the container sidings.

I've spent some time during the past week putting together a Walther's Medusa Cement kit. I've still got a bit to go but I put it on the layout for a bit of an idea as to how it would fit. In between the cement works and the container sidings is the steel works.

I had planned to use a Peco Manyways train shed. It is a little wide. I am trying to cram in as much as I can. It may be slightly unrealistic but I am more into the operations side of model railways so more industries to shunt is more appealing to me. I can save about 3 cm by using old Hornby Tri-ang loco sheds. While these are red and yellow with big windows, a bit of brick plasticard and some paint and they should look the business.

In the meantime, they will hold a bright place before the work is done.

Behind the wheat silos I've placed an extreme low relief building. It will hide the incline but still allow some access. I'm considering placing more behind these buildings so that the line to the terminus on the upper level disappears for a while.

The plan for this week is to finish off the cement works kit and lay some track.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Mind the Gap


Oooh! What a nasty gap. I always thought that it would be a problem for future me. A bit of masking tape and some plaster, paint and some scenic material later and we have this.

While the gaps aren't gone, they are better disguised. The big one on the left is for future me to deal with.

The end result for today is this.

This is closer than people will get to the scene but I can tell that there are some patches where the ballast needs topping up.

Some of you may notice that I am using three different shades of ballast in this scene. There is a fourth shade around Bega. At the main junction of the inclines the track looks like this.

The three colours are for three different routes. I got the idea from Tony Koester, the American railroad modeller, author and legend. On his layout he uses a different colour of ballast for his mainline from his yards so that his operators know which track is the mainline.

All of my sidings that have so far received ballast all have Bombo ballast, which is the brown ballast on the right. The mainline on the lower level has a shade of grey of unknown origin. It is a lighter grey but you can still discern the mainline from the sidings.

On this level the mainline will have Ardglen ballast, which is a dark grey and on the left. This is the track that comes up the incline from the bottom level. This track runs along two and a half walls of the room before entering a return loop and coming back before heading back down to the bottom level.

The middle two tracks head up to the terminus and has Martin's Creek ballast. All of the ballast used is from Matt's Ballast and picked up from my local hobby shop or exhibitions. 

The track on the bottom level to Tathra should have Martin's Creek ballast as well but I used something that looks more like budgie grit or crushed shells. I thought it was good stuff. When I get the chance, I'm going to replace what I can with the real deal.

Operators will know that the lighter grey of Martin's Creek represents branch lines and the dirtier brown of the Bombo ballast as sidings to help them guide their trains through the layout as they change the points themselves.

This is a function of interior designed used in a lot of public spaces such as shopping centres and airports, if you remember going to them. The floor is a colour that takes you where they want you to go and can help differentiate from thoroughfares to areas such as shopfronts where they don't want people bustling past. I had to dig the clip up but I saw this years ago. 

I'm hoping that using similar principals of using colour will help operators. My layout is complicated and while I know it well, visiting operators visit once a month so it takes a while for them to learn the route. Hopefully, this will speed the process up.

Until next time.

Monday, 4 October 2021

A Scenic Start

 Last time, I was fixing up the main yard. After a bit of testing, I came up with something that I said that I wouldn't do. It works. It makes three sidings longer and the others about 5 mm shorter, so I figured that it wasn't a bad trade off. I did lose the Repair in Place (RIP) track and the storage siding. The latter was geometrically impossible.

While I was at it, I realigned the loop line that runs hidden behind the yard. This was to give the operator a better chance to stop their loco before shorting out the layout. I had accidentally run my sound 3801 through the points and shorted the layout. The chip reset itself. I have yet to reprogram it.

I have a real hankering to get the industrial yard going but I know that the best thing to do is to work from the back. In this corner, I want a bit of suburbia, a bit like this image from the last layout.

I was told by a mate in the UK when I was there in in January 2020 that the house with the porch needed a bloke with a BBQ. I went to the Ian Allan shop near Waterloo Station (it has since closed) and bought a set of Noch people having a BBQ. They didn't make it on to the layout before the flooding.

On Friday night I was pondering what to do. Could I get all of this sorted this weekend? The plan was to build the the scene on a platform of MDF on top of pine to support the foam. To try and keep the scene moving along the back wall I cut some ply to represent a hillside.

It was looking great until I realised that the clearances were terrible. I cut some 3mm MDF for the hillside and re-carved the foam. All this was after the scene was finished. Hey, if you haven't don a job at least twice have you really done it?

Here's the finished result with the tracks in front ballasted as well. The space wasn't the same size so I could only fit in one house. I was able to reuse a lot of the previous scene and I have included people having a BBQ.

The next task is to fix the gap between the two inclines.

Until next time.