Blog Archives

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.

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.

More benchwork

I had been trying to sort out some more issues with a new turnout actuator, so my attention has turned to benchwork, particularly around the main peninsula.

Supports for the backdrop and upper deck have been installed. The scene depth here will be around 300mm behind the track.

Spline now 80% complete …

Hi all,

Over the last few months, I have completed all spline work within the Ardglen area, including the ballast sidings, and also to a point about halfway between Ardglen and Pangela.

This now means I have completed construction of 80% of total spline, which equates to 292 feet (88.5 metres) with just 74 feet (22.5 metres) of spline left to build through Pangela and to connect up to the helix.

The two images below are views of Ardglen from either end, showing the storage and goods sidings.

Ardglen spline (tunnel end)

Ardglen spline looking towards tunnel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next image is a shot further down the grade from Ardglen, looking back towards the ballast sidings coming off the quarry road.

Ardglen spline with ballast sidings

 

The next image shows the shunting neck at the end of the quarry road.

Ardglen spline with quarry road shunting neck

 

The next image shows a general view of the section above Temple Court.  I have yet to finalise setting the grade in this section.  Temple Court has been covered with drop sheets to protect the scenery from dust and dirt whilst working above.

 

The next series of images show the spline from Ardglen tunnel through to a point about halfway to Pangela.

Cheers.

Upper deck progress …

Hi all,

Since my last post, I have been busy with work on the upper deck above the Chilcott’s Ck to Kankool section.

To support the upper deck valance and future lighting, steel brackets were fabricated from second hand 20x20mm square tube, along with bracing made from thin steel plate.

A simple timber jig was made to hold the pieces of tube in place whilst the brace plate was attached using pop rivets.

support brackets

support brackets

 

 

 

 

 

 

These brackets were then screwed to the wall at strategic locations at wall studs.

After the initial installation of these brackets, I discovered a potential flaw in my design.  The two rivets fixing the brace plate to the vertical tube were shearing off with only minimal downward force being exerted at the outer end of the horizontal tube.  Now, I’m not sure whether it was actual rivet failure or what, so I decided to replace these rivets with a 3/16” bolt/spring washer/nut combination.  The result is a much stronger feeling bracket.

 

I had also decided to install a ceiling above each scene, as I didn’t fancy the idea of being able to see the open benchwork when looking along the scene from one end.  Once painted, I also think it will assist in spreading the light onto the scene.

The ceiling is made from sheets of 3.2mm MDF (2440x1220mm).  This required the installation of a timber sub-frame built around the steel brackets to allow for the securing of the ceiling.  2×1 DAR pine was used.

upper deck ceiling frame

upper deck ceiling frame

 

More framing was also installed in the corner to support the backscene and ceiling.

corner framing

 

A ceiling section was cut to size from the MDF and secured to the timber frame using Liquid Nails and small gauge countersunk screws.  The adhesive was also applied to the steel tube.  Temporary supports were used to hold the ceiling in place whilst fixing the screws.  After the screws were installed, extra temporary supports were fitted to force the ceiling against the steel tube whilst the adhesive cured.

ceiling in place with temporary supports

ceiling in place with temporary supports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ceiling section in the corner proved to be quite tricky to cut to size, but by using accurate measurements, I ended up with a piece that fitted perfectly.

layout_construction_250

 

A couple more sections of backscene was also installed, including the piece in the corner.

more backscene

These sections of backscene have no need to extend completely down to the benchwork, as the track level will be around where the lower edge of the MDF is in the picture above, and the majority of scenery here behind the track will be hills covered with trees.

I also started playing around with how I will locate the Kankool lever frame into the fascia.  The picture below shows a mock-up of what I hope to achieve.

Kankool frame placement

The MDF immediately behind the frame will be the scene fascia and the curved piece in front is to indicate another section of fascia that will serve as ‘protection’ for the frame.  More on this later.

Cheers.

Layout progress update …

Hi all,

Apologies for the lack of updates since early Dec last year.  I have been busy with some scenery in the Temple Court section as well as some more benchwork and spline construction.

Temple Court scenery

I’ve made a start on some static grass application but have not done much since Christmas.  It’s been tricky getting the look and colours right, but I think it will look OK as it progresses.

Some pics below of the progress so far.

Temple Court scenery

Temple Court scenery

Temple Court scenery

I still haven’t done any more with the rocky outcrop, but you can see lots of plaster castings sitting around for inspiration.

 

Lower level backscene, upper deck benchwork and spline

I also started installing the backscene from staging through Kankool, including the entry from staging onto the Chilcott’s Ck bridge scene.

Backscene at Chilcott's Ck bridge scene

Backscene & upper deck benchwork at Kankool

Backscene & upper deck benchwork at Kankool

The last picture above shows the new supports installed for the upper deck above Kankool as well for backscene support.  As mentioned previously, I am using 3mm MDF as the backscene and this will be painted with the sky colour.

I had always planned to work on the lower deck scenery and trackwork from Chilcott’s Ck bridge to Ardglen first before the upper deck, mainly due to thinking I would have access issues on the lower deck for scenery work if I built the upper deck benchwork.  In the last few weeks I have since decided to progress with upper deck benchwork, spline and scenery from Ardglen through to Pangela as the next stage.

This all came about after I had started to think about getting the bridge in place and laying track from staging through Kankool.  But I realised that this may not be such a good idea as once the bridge was installed, and I had scenery in place, I would be working above all this with the ever present danger of things falling on the scene below.

So, the decision was made to continue with upper deck benchwork above Kankool and around to Pangela as well with spline construction from Ardglen to Pangela.

As I had already built the benchwork for Ardglen and the section above Chilcott’s Ck to Kankool some time ago (see previous post), I started to lay out the spline in this area.

Ardglen spline construction

Upper deck spline

As mentioned above, the plan is to continue with upper deck benchwork all the way from Kankool through Pangela and to build the spline from Ardglen to Pangela, then start on basic scenery formation.  Once all the messy stuff with plaster is done on the upper deck, I’ll probably then look at getting the Chilcott’s Ck bridge installed and continuing with scenery through Kankool and beyond towards Ardglen.

Cheers for now.

A revised ‘new location’ – Temple Court …

Hi all,

Well things have been pretty quiet since my post in late August.  During September, myself, Jodi and Connor went to the United Kingdom for a holiday.  We all had a great time but were glad to be home after being away for a month.

Work on the layout was pretty much non existent since we returned in early October, but a few weeks ago Andrew and I cut up some masonite sheets for more supplies of spline strips, and this spurred me on to complete the section of spline from the bottom of the helix round to the Down storage yard.

Since my post way back in January this year about incorporating an additional crossing loop in this section, I have since changed my mind again and decided to just make it a scene from the area around Temple Court, which is between Pangela and Murrurundi.  The main reason for not going ahead with Wingen, is that trains just wouldn’t have been in the right context for that location (I know – picky, picky! Winking smile ).  If an UP train was being banked in the front all the way from Willow Tree, the bank engines, which were sometimes attached “in the shafts”, normally would have been detached at Murrurundi, and therefore a train with bank engines attached would have looked out of place at Wingen, which is further south from Murrurundi.

I had come across a couple of great pictures showing a big granite rocky outcrop at Temple Court that was just begging to be modelled.

4538+4512+4497+48138 with Up No.606 freight, make their way past

a granite outcrop near Temple Court on 19 May 1982.  The 44 and 48 are the bank engines.

Photo by Mick Morahan

4854+44224+4483+44211 with an Up wheat near Temple Court in 1980.

Photo by Chris Nelson

I have also laid down the foam roadbed in this section in preparation for commencement of laying down the Central Valley tie strips.  The photo below shows the foam in place on top of the spline.

foam roadbed in place

I also installed a few more sections of the PECO flextrack from where I finished off when tracklaying in the helix.  See previous post.

layout_construction_161

There will be one more length of flextrack installed than in the photo above, which will be close to where this section of track will emerge into the new Temple Court scene.  The CV track will then be laid all the way back to the staging yards.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to carry out some tests on painting the CV track in readiness for laying.  I will keep you all updated as that progresses.

Cheers.

Spline continues …

Hi all,

I have now completed full spline past the teardrop on the main peninsula.  Since the last post, I installed the temporary joists to support the spline up to and around the teardrop.

spline on peninsula

spline at teardrop

spline at teardropAs described previously, the first job is to set out the two centre strips, held in place by nails and temporarily clamped together.  Then, using a plywood template set to 40 inch radius, the centre strips are then adjusted to the correct radius.  Once the final position of the spline looks OK, the centre strips are glued and clamped together.  Then the normal process of attaching the spacer blocks and the other spline strips continues.

completed spline looking back towards Kankool

completed spline looking towards teardrop

teardrop spline

spline at teardrop

Just to finish off, following a request from a fellow modeller, here is a shot of the track plan showing spline progress to date.    The red line shows where I am currently up to, and shows a distance of 92 feet of spline completed.

Cheers.

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