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Friday 28 December 2018

A Model Railway - Fiddle Yard

The options are i) a fan out of fixed track from the single line of the layout (not space efficient) ii) a sliding traverser comprising several tracks (complicated construction) iii) portable cassettes.

I opted for cassettes simply because I already had some spare from a previously scrapped layout.

The existing cassettes are two road but, a three or four road may be better for this layout. Simply made from hardboard and softwood frame with track glued down using  Aleene's tacky glue. The open softwood frame is joined to the scenic board with hinge and removable pin, as before.

Track connection is a successful method I previously used. Copper clad sleepers are soldered to the end of the rails. Copper tubes* are soldered to each end of the sleepers. Lengths of mains copper wire are pushed into the tubes for both alignment and electrical connection.

*The tube was formed by holding the mains copper wire against the copper strip in a vice, bending the copper strip around the wire and then repositioning to bend a bit more and so on until the tube was formed. A tag was retained for soldering to the copper clad sleepers.

The train controller connecting wires have croc. clips on the end, which are simple clipped to the far end of the cassette track currently in use.

This completes the basic operational model railway layout, which took about 2 months of spare time to build (not including railway buildings). Fine detailing, like platform lamps and benches etc. can now be applied.

A track mat template upon which to lay track and scenery for this model railway is available from January 2019 at http://www.amodelrailway.uk.


To Part 1.

Friday 21 December 2018

A Model Railway - Hidden Exit

The transition from scenic layout to bare fiddle yard needs to be disguised. Common ways to do this are a tunnel, bridge, buildings or vegetation. I have opted for vegetation as being the most realistic scene for the open countryside section of the layout. Second choice would be an over bridge but, as a road is already close by then that would be overkill. A tunnel would not work here because, to be realistic, a steep and tall hill side above the tunnel mouth would be necessary.

Trees and shrubs are sprigs of dead Yarrow and Sedum flower heads joined together with PVA glue. The plants retain tightly bunched small flower heads when the plant dies back in Autumn. These give the appearance of leaves so, scatter sprinkling is not necessary. The brown 'leaves' of the assembled trees and shrubs are sprayed with green acrylic paint.

To Part 15.

To Part 1.

Thursday 13 December 2018

A Model Railway - Lineside

Moving into the countryside the railway is bounded by a 3 bar fence (Dapol CO23) that wraps around the Platelayer and Tool huts. The static grass here is kept short (2mm) to minimise fire risk from cinder spitting steam engines.

The fields either side of the fence presently show a bright green painted base layer for static grass landscaping (to be applied).

The home signal gantry has offset signals. The lower is for the bay platform and the taller for the main platform. There should be a ground disk on the gantry for the goods siding that is just beyond the crossing. The signal gantry is Ratio UQ/80 LNER upper quadrant, which is similar to LSWR lattice signals.

Another gantry of starting signals is located at the end of the platform.

To Part 14.

To Part 1.  

Sunday 9 December 2018

A Model Railway - Hedging

Unkempt hedging alongside country lanes can be very tall. This hedging is about 50 mm (12.5 ft).

It is made from coir matting (coir basket liner or flower pot). This material is ideal because it mimics a branch like structure. Tease it apart a little and random cut the top. Next, apply diluted PVA glue (50/50) and sprinkle on green scatter letting the coir show through in places. I used two grades of scatter and applied more to the base line after the hedge was stuck down. To finish, cut off any long, straggly coir pieces and maybe overspray lightly with green acrylic paint.

To Part 13.

To Part 1

Wednesday 5 December 2018

A Model Railway - Level Crossing

The level crossing protects a minor country road that has no white line markings. The gates, posts and lamps are DIY 3D prints (with a mesh netting overlay to the gates). The red targets and board between rails is from a left over Airfix/Dapol kit and in fact the entire kit would fit here.

The road ramp up to the top of the rails is DAS clay. Two tips about using DAS clay. Press the clay into a layer of PVA glue to help adhesion and second, wet a finger with water to smooth the clay top surface. A nice finish is created this way.

With the road and crossing complete the signal box can be placed alongside.

To Part 12.

To Part 1.

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