Sunday, 16 February 2014

New layout plan

Below is the plan of the new layout.

It's *groan* another remote, passing-loop-with-goods-siding station. Sure, it's been done before. In fact, many many many times before. With some detailing and nice scenery you can have a standout model. If you've seen Bullenbung Creek for example, it's minimalist, done well.

This layout will have a Pc2 station, G1B goods shed, small precast concrete signal box, cattle siding (off to the right) and cement siding (off to the left). I've decided on the smaller station building and goods shed so as not to dominate the scene and give the impression of a greater space. It will be DCC and laid with Code 70 rail. It was originally going to be code 83 but I still think this is too heavy for a branch or secondary line. Still tossing up whether to have code 55 in the sidings. I really can't be bothered changing out all of my wheelsets for finer than the current off-the-shelf stuff, so it will probably be Code 70 all the way.

As for location, somewhere in the NSW Central West, probably more towards the south-west, but I'm not wedded to a particular depot. I mainly want to run wheat trains and general goods, along with a mail train connection and a railmotor. Most trains will cross each other at the station as I have imagineered a turnout for a branch line "offstage" to the left of this photo. The trains will pass through the layout to a fiddle yard parallel via return loops.

For me, this layout needs to encompass improvements on all of the mistakes I made in the previous layout. The first problem was portability and survivability. I need to move every few years with works and despite my best intentions, my previous layout wasn't portable. Seeing the steel-and-foam designs used in Bolivia and Bowen Creek, I think this is the way to go. Light and durable. So I knocked up the following two frames in about a day with some help:

The frames are 25mm SHS, aligned at the top and bottom of the front pieces by 20mm SHS, and held together by a bolt in the top of the frame and at the rear. Each frame is 1300 x 600 x 475 (L x H x W). 475mm allows for a modelled area of 450mm wide. I carried both upstairs by myself quite comfortably, so the weight theory works!

At the rear of the frames the two horizontal pieces at the top and bottom are locating slightly in from the edges so that I can attach the backboard to them. The baseboard will be minimal in coverage to save on weight and only feature under the areas with track. The rest of the layout will be carved from foam. 

I wanted to cut and attach the plywood ends and backboard today as well as cutting the template for the baseboard, but it's been raining and it's mighty humid outside this weekend. Best to wait for a drier day so as to minimise warping I reckon.

Next post I'll put up some photos of the mock-up to give an idea of what I'm aiming to achieve.

Happy Modelling!

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