Sunday, 6 April 2014

Return loop progress

This weekend I made a start on the left-hand return loop. I picked up some additional 24" radius Atlas curved track to complete this return loop too. The advantage is less time mucking around with a track gauge and the ease of sighting the smaller and larger raidii for jig-sawing the inner and outer curves of the loop respectively. Plus, there's the added benefit of cost for the cheaper code 100 in the "off-stage" half of the layout.

I did make a small stuff-up. Above is the loop after being cut out. In the foreground I've placed a piece of 19mm x 90mm timber I used as bracing underneath to keep everything flat and join the two pieces of timber together to make up the loop. I mistakenly screwed the bracing to the top of the timber, not underneath as I should have. Luckily, this one was a case of flipping the job over and re-aligning the ends so as to mate with the module and fiddle yard. The other end will be less forgiving as the track is already on a 32" curve leaving the module before transitioning to the 24" radius return loop track and an eased curve into the fiddle yard.

Here is where I got up to today. The drill bit which fits the smaller screw size wore away this arvo (it's only cheap - another lesson learned!), and along with more screws I now also need another drill bit before I can finish this one.

Before breaking the drill bit, I lined up the fiddle yard I'm recycling from my old layout with the return loop on the garage floor. You can just make out the 90-degree 24" radius section of track laid out at the opposite end. I plan on installing a lift-up section between the end of that track and the fiddle yard. That February 2014 AMRM article is going to come in handy!

I need to scrape the old scenery and track off the fiddle yard and remove the two shelf drawer runners currently providing mobility for the traverser. That idea never really worked properly and I've since been warming to the idea of two sanded, flat pieces of timber sliding along the top of each other. Need to plan that one out a little more before committing to it though. Not quite sure what to install to prevent the two pieces from separating and unintentionally discovering which wagon in the fleet bounces the highest, but plenty of time to plan. For now I'll be working towards finishing the return loops, painting the backdrop and installing lighting before moving the layout upstairs, back to it's home.

Until next time, Happy Modelling!

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