Since my last post on Temple Court, I have been busy continuing with benchwork for the backdrop in this section as well as installing some upper deck supports.
I also added extra bracing back to the walls to strengthen the whole thing.
I have had to do quite a lot of thinking about the deck separation and depth of scenes around Temple Court, as, for me to continue with spline construction up into Ardglen, I needed to have some supports in place. This meant working out a bracket design that would support the spline and scenery, as well as maximising deck separation below to Temple Court.
I always had the idea of making the upper deck brackets out of 20mm square steel tube, mainly to maximise deck separation, but also because I had heaps of the stuff left over from an old balustrade system from around our outdoor deck.
As it turns out, at least in this section, I decided to use only a few steel brackets, as I could see issues with fixing future timber risers to the steel tube. Anyway, these ones will be a test for future supports under Pangela.
I ended up making the rest of the supports from 2×1 DAR pine screwed together in an inverted L shape. A 6mm ply brace was also glued and screwed to these supports.
These supports are placed at roughly the elevation of the spline at each location. I was going to make them exactly at the elevation, but thought it wouldn’t leave any room for adjustment to the correct height. This will be achieved with timber shims. The supports are just long enough so the spline will be attached close to the end. Another piece of 2×1 will be attached later to extend out for the fascia support. This design was done to ensure maximum scenery depth below track level but also to maintain maximum deck separation.
I wasn’t concerned about the angled brace being high at the back, as in this part of the upper deck scene, there will be hills pretty much the full height of the backdrop.
The above two photos show the section ready for backdrop installation. I have chosen to use 3mm MDF. In this section, the backdrop is about 400mm high, so out of a 2440 x 1220mm sheet, I was able to get three sections of backdrop for the full length of this scene. Prior to installing the MDF, the rear of each sheet was painted in an undercoat to seal the MDF, so as to prevent any possible ingress of moisture. I was unsure whether I would have to worry about it, but better to do it now than later.
The above two pictures show the curved backdrop at either end of the section. The left hand shot is at the Down staging yards and the right hand shot is leading to the helix.
The shot above shows the second section of backdrop being held in place with clamps and pieces of 2×1 whilst the adhesive sets. The clamps were left in place for 24 hours. I used construction adhesive, and was planning on using only that, but have since decided to also screw the MDF to the supports at the top and bottom. These screws will pretty much be hidden behind scenery and the upper deck pelmet.
The shot above is a panorama view of the Temple Court backdrop as it is now. I have started to fill and sand the joins in the MDF. Next stage will be to paint this in a “sky” blue.
Cheers for now.