Category Archives: Benchwork

Ceiling panel install

I have started on the ceiling install as mentioned the other day.

I decided to make a panel for each segment based on the framework as it goes around the curved part of the peninsula.

The first two went up nice and easy as there is no backscene at this point. This will be installed later.

When I did the ceiling for the upper deck above Kankool, I had secured the ceiling panels using screws, but this was a lot of work and used up a lot of screws.

I had intended to keep going with this method so screws were used on the first two panels above.

Again, a lot of screws were used and I thought there had to be another way to do this.

So I looked into using small nails (brads) and looked around for a small nailing gun.

I found one for $40 and also bought a box of 2000 15mm brads for $3.95.

So, the first two panels had their screws removed, panels removed and woodworking glue applied to the joining surfaces, refitted in place and nailed. Much easier and quicker!!

The next panel was a bit trickier as it is starting to go around the curve. Once a piece was roughly cut to size, it was test fitted and the rear curve traced and cut. Because the backscene board is already installed at this location, I had to come up with a way of supporting the back edge of the ceiling panel, so I decided to cut a notch into the rear edge of the ceiling panel and a corresponding cut-out in the top edge of the backscene panel. This worked quite well.

A bead of glue will hold the notch in the cut-out.

At the same time, the front edge of the ceiling panel is also cut to the shape that the valance will follow.

I have got a bit of a system going now, so the rest of the panels should go up with ease.

Ceiling & valence framework installed

Hi all,

It’s been a while between posts!

However, I have been busy. I have been installing more scenery ‘mud’ on the large embankment and partly around the next peninsula towards Ardglen. The track has also been ballasted up to there as well.

I had come to a point where I realised to progress further, I needed to install more lighting.

I had always just moved around temporary fluro lights to where I was working, but this was becoming tiresome.

So the decision was made to install framework for the ceiling and valance from midway above the large embankment all the way through to Ardglen. This will enable me to permanently install the lighting for this section, so that I can continue to work in a well lit area. The same framework was also installed for the future top deck section back to Kankool.

Most of the layout timber work is from DAR pine, 70 x 19mm and 42 x 19mm. However, I was looking to save some money from this point onwards, so I decided to purchase large sheets of 19mm plywood and rip these down into 70mm and 42mm wide strips. The cost of the plywood is about half that of the equivalent DAR pine.

View looking towards Ardglen on the left and the large embankment on the right.
View looking towards the ballast siding at Ardglen.
View showing the climb into Ardglen. Temple Court can be seen on the lower level.
View showing the future upper deck above the large embankment.
More upper deck ceiling framework towards Kankool.
Completed upper deck ceiling framework to Kankool.

The ceiling will be made from 3mm MDF and painted the sky blue colour. The lighting will then be installed along with the valance up to Ardglen.

More photos will be added as the ceiling installation progresses.

Re-laying track

Well I can’t believe it’s 12 months since my last post. I just never seemed to get around to posting anything.

One of the biggest tasks undertaken was to re-glue the rails to the CV ties all the way from Kankool to Ardglen. I had discovered that the rail had started to lift in quite a few locations. I am still unsure what the cause was, but I’m putting it down to my initial glue mixture of contact cement and MEK.

I had been very apprehensive about doing it, but realised I had to just bite the bullet. Subsequently over about a six week period, I lifted 38 metres of rail, cleaned the old glue of the base and also off the CV ties, and using Pliobond straight from the tube, applied it to both rail and ties and re-laid the rail back in place. The process wasn’t too bad, as it was still all pre-curved.

During the process, I also increased the gap between lengths of rail from virtually nothing to around the thickness of a piece of paper.

The next biggest task had been to install more scenery foam nearly all the way to where Ardglen quarry is located. This was roughed in using previous techniques and is yet to be carved to shape.

More backscene board was installed, again, up to where the quarry is located.

More foam and trees

Work continues on foam installation in the area between the main peninsula and Ardglen.

As mentioned in a previous post, the track will be on quite a high embankment here with the New England Highway skirting around below.

I have also recently been purchasing and stocking up on seafoam “trees”. I have been able to successfully source them from Hattons Model Railways (https://www.hattons.co.uk/…/Gaugemaste…/StockDetail.aspx). They are the Gaugemaster brand GM195. I can get two boxes shipped here for around $60. There are literally dozens of “trees” in each box with a variety of sizes. Have a look at this video by Luke Towan as he describes how to make very realistic gum trees from the seafoam. https://youtu.be/IB6gMvN78fA

I also recently made the tree drying rack Luke uses in the video, and today I prepared some trees for straightening. Every month or so I get another two boxes shipped over and stockpile them.

Fascia installation continues

Work continues on more fascia installation on the other side of the main peninsula.

As before, I temporarily clamp a piece of masonite in place to get the curve required, then foam is cut to the curve and laid down. MDF backscene has also been installed.

This section will be on quite an embankment with more high hills behind. There will also be another section of the New England Highway here as shown in the picture of a reference photo.

More fascia installed

Over the last few months I have been busy installing fascia from Kankool to the main peninsula.

This also involved more foam installation in the foreground and shaping this in preparation for the fascia. I also finalised the location of the New England Highway near Kankool that was mentioned in a previous post.

I have glued the cork down but that’s as far as I’ll go with this for a while until I start on the scenery. The unpainted section of fascia was installed this afternoon.

More foam installation

More progress on foam installation from the peninsula back towards Kankool. Track will be on quite an embankment here with hills behind.

Peninsular scenery continues

More progress on the peninsula scenery. Started on the foreground foam and establishing the fascia edge. Timber extensions were added to the original joists, thus setting the front edge of the fascia. The strip of masonite is temporarily held in place to establish the curve which is then used to cut the foreground foam to shape.

Foam installation on main peninsular

Scenery taking shape around the peninsula between Kankool and Ardglen.

This will be quite a high cutting in this area. To save on foam use, only about half the area between the track and the backscene is built up, then the top couple of layers are cantilevered back to and attached to the backscene.

Peninsular benchwork continues

First section of ‘back scene’ has been installed around the peninsula along with gluing some foam down.

The scenery here will pretty much be hills right up to the top edge of the back scene, so there will hardly be any ‘sky’ as such.

The MDF is purely there to help strengthen the upper deck supports and to provide something to attach the foam to as the hills take shape.

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