Thursday, 24 August 2017

Another layout idea. (And an update.)

 I've had a bit of a break over the last couple of weeks. I managed to pick up that nasty cold that has been going about and I managed to get away for a few days. To top it off, I did a little bit of trainspotting on the Skitube. 

There wasn't a huge variety of trains. There are four sets of trains. Set 1 is three cars long and spends most of the day running between Perisher and Blue Cow. Set 2 is four cars long and travels between Bullocks Flat and Perisher. Sets 3 and 4 are two cars long. They spend most of the time coupled together between Bullocks Flat and Perisher. However, at some stage throughout the day a supply train is run. I'm not sure of the whole ins and outs. At around 1:30 the train from Blue Cow runs down the hill to Bullocks Flat. At the same time one of the two car units pushes up a bogie open wagon loaded with supplies for the Blue Cow Terminal.

I've seen this over the years that I have been heading down to the snow. While I've seen the wagon go up and the wagon at Blue Cow in the morning, I have never seen the wagon go down the mountain. I have caught the train which runs from Blue Cow to Bullocks Flat on nasty days that aren't much fun to ski - such as last Friday. To be honest, the wagon from Blue Cow could be on the rear of this train. I have never looked.

I have often thought that this would make a nice micro-layout. The station at Bullocks Flat is simple it is one track which splits into two tracks either side of an island platform. It also gets snow. A simple auto reversing module would make it work without too much hassle. However, the stock would need to be scratch built or 3D printed. This is out of my capabilities at the moment.

Having said all that, two sets of points - one for the station and one for the staging yard - and you could use a similar idea for the end of a suburban line. I think East Hills was something like this before the line was extended to Holsworthy and Glenfield. A bit of quick research also showed that Beverly Hills was once called Dumbleton.

I reckon that a twelve foot long shelf would be good, although a bit bigger than micro. 1/3 of this would be platform (a four car single deck set or a double deck S set is about 90 cm long.), 1/3 could be a run through to the final 1/3 of staging yard. If the boards were less than 30 cm deep it could be cut from a single 1200 x 900 mm sheet of ply. If you cut out the middle section then the layout could be 30 cm x 240 cm.

Enough daydreaming and back to the current layout.

I carried on with the cobblestone sets and started on the warehouse. The next lot of cobblestones need to go inside the curved track. I reckon that I'll get to that on Sunday. 

The crane was put in place to get an idea of how things would look from a viewing angle. The crane needs replacing as it has visited the floor too many times.The warehouse was put in place. It's the front of the Cutting Scissors factory by DPM. The rest of it makes up the dairy. It seemed like a good solution. I did try some DPM modular sections and looked for another idea from other available kits but this is the cheapest option. It was given a coat of primer.

It was then given a nice shade of brown. Unfortunately it blends in with the background. To counteract this, I painted the windows and doors cream.

I don't think that this helped. To solve the problem I went to to my local hobby shop to buy some lighter paint. The Humbrol paint was really gluggy. I don't know if it's just me but I seem to find inconsistency with this brand. I spent a bit of time thinning it down. I have applied a lighter shade over a dark base, which isn't ideal but it will make the building stand out more.

A couple more coats will see it done. The concrete bits will be light grey and the windows and doors will be a mid grey.

The aim of the warehouse is to provide another spot for a wagon. As it will be parked out the front and on the circuit, it can provide an extra challenge for the operator.

The next lot of tasks are much the same.
1. Put up fences. (They need to be painted and put on the layout.)
2. Create the sign for the bakery.
3. More cobblestone sets.
4. Keep painting the warehouse.

Until next time.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Setting Things in Stone

This week has been a lot of this and that. Today's effort was putting some more Das modelling clay down into cobblestones. Although from what I hear, cobblestones are round whereas square or rectangular stones are setts.

I've had the Das open for 14 months. So long as you keep it wrapped in an airtight condition it still seems to work. I did find that dipping a finger in some water helped a little though. I have the section between the tracks in front of Fine Fish and to the left of the building still to go. After that, I have between the curved track and up to the backscene and the warehouse to go. The curved track will be more challenging than the straight track as the wheels will need more space for clearance. Once done, I can paint the cobblestones.

Earlier in the week I carried on with some ballast. Now all of the track is ballasted.

Once the ballasting was completed a bit of static turf was put down. Part of this was easy but some sections close to the backscene were difficult to put the grass down. A lot landed on rooftops. Instead of shaking it out of the static grass applicator, I had to sprinkle it on by hand and then wave the applicator over the top as close as I could. Behind the Fine Fish, in a spot where no one will actually see it, the applicator wouldn't fit at all. However the end result is not too bad.

The fishery building, as you can see is narrow. The idea is to give an impression of what should be there. On this micro layout there isn't enough room for a complete building so compromises had to be made. The main aim for the layout is for operation and on the two sidings I want to load four refrigerated vans.

For the coming week I've a couple of jobs.
1. Put up a couple more fences.
2. Create a sign for the bakery. I'm thinking about a billboard style on the roof.
3. More cobblestone setts.
4. Start on the warehouse.

Until next time.