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Sunday 29 January 2017

Project 17 - Exit Stage Left

The problem at the west end of the layout, which mimics the prototype, is that there is no bridge, tunnel, building or vegetation to disguise a gaping hole in the back scene where trains exit and enter the stage.

My solution was inspired from the airport scene at Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg where aircraft flying off scene pass through a segmented curtain of sky.

After some experimentation I settled on a curtain ribbon width of 5mm.

Noted: Wrong head code for Swanage.

To Part 6.

To Part 1.

Saturday 14 January 2017

Project 17 - First track laid

At Swanage the ground level in the vicinity of the shed is level with the top of the track sleepers. On the model the track is fixed to the baseboard with double sided tape and the ground level raised around it with corrugated card board. The card board is cut straight to the end of the sleepers and the resulting castellated gap around the sleeper ends will be filled with DAS clay.

The track inside the shed passes over an inspection pit that runs nearly the full length of the shed. The rail base plates that fix the rail either side of the pit are home made 3D printed. 

I am using my stock of Graham Farish Formoway flat bottom flexible track from the 1970s (no longer marketed) with Peco electrofrog turnouts. Formoway track sleeper size and spacing seems more authentic than Peco Streamline to me, being designed to standards set by the British Railway Modelling Standards Bureau. I'm not using Formoway turnouts because they need an additional locking mechanism for the switch blades.

For the period of the model (early 1960s) there does not appear to be conventional buffer stops at the end of the short turntable run-off track or the shed track. In fact, a photo shows a single sleeper laid across the end of the shed track! This will be applied in due course.

The post 1958 engine shed (made from grey board with decorative paper overlays and fitted with LED pendant lighting) was the first item built for the project, predating both the cabinet and turntable construction.

To Part 5.

To Part 1.

Sunday 8 January 2017

Project 17 - Minecraft Torch to Theatrical Lighting

If your child or grandchild has one of these Minecraft Torches then you will know they stop working in a short time if handled roughly. Three faulty ones have been donated to me. They are repairable but not without cutting the plastic body in half to gain access to the inners. This act is irreversible and renders them unusable as a child toy.

Of the two I took apart one had a broken wire and the other had a dislodged battery clip, both easy to fix.

The 'electronics' is very well made so I retrieved these to make some theatrical lighting for my Swanage Loco Yard project.

The LED array produces a spotlight with a very bright white light. I installed two of these (wired in parallel) into a holder made from foam board left over from the cabinet construction.

I intend to build a Winter or Autumn scene on the layout so I needed a cold light. I placed a medium blue plastic filter in front of the LEDS and about 10mm in front of that a frosted plastic diffuser to spread the light.

I wanted the unit to be removable for servicing so into its frame I glued two small neo magnets (very strong) that will latch onto a row of metal staples glued into the cabinet side wall. The second photo shows the staples held by the magnets.

I placed the light unit nearer to the front of the cabinet than the back.

My idea is that it represents the morning sun in the East.

I will not know for sure how effective this will be until most of the scenery is in place. As it stands the right hand side (East) is brighter than the left  hand side (West) giving the impression, I hope, of a diffused sun breaking through a patch of thin cloud on an otherwise dull day. In due course this will be emphasised further with an appropriate sky back scene.

In the last photo can be seen the Minecraft Torch battery box and switch resting on the baseboard. These will be built into the side panel later and be accessible from the outside.

Since the last posting a couple of stone effect retaining walls have also been installed. These are prominent features of the prototype. On the model the rising ground level towards the rear will create an effective scene on this small layout.

To Part 4.

To Part 1

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