Monday, 8 June 2015

Underlay finshed!

It's the end of the June Long Weekend and, you guessed it, the track isn't down. But it isn't far off!

Apart from attending the Epping Model Railway Club's exhibition at the Brickpit in Thornleigh, I spent the weekend cutting and fitting underlay to the return loops, gate and the layout itself. Before I get to the layout progress, the exhibition. It was good for different reasons to other shows. The Thornleigh exhibition feels like more of a modeller's exhibition; fewer general public, good quality layouts, and an encouraging vibe. Despite the fewer layouts this year and a noticeable gap that looked like it should have been filled with a layout, I got to meet a lot of the people who belong to the same diesel-era interest group on Facebook, and watch a weathering demonstration that uses such simple techniques and methods that achieve amazing results. I've started this method on an Austrains WHX so I'll post some photos when I finish it. This and the friendly chats I got into with some of the layout operators made it enjoyable and reinvigorated me to do more modelling while I'm away during the week.

Right, underlay.

I bought some Universal Rubber Mat from Bunnings to use as underlay and for about $70 for a 4m x 1.2m roll, it's winning on value over Trackrite. It's 3mm thick and really easy to cut with household scissors too. I've only included photos of the underlay on the layout modules - the others are the same colour, so it doesn't look like much has changed.

Before I could start, I had to cut the holes through the backdrop that I have been dreading. The backdrop has started to lift from the round corners so I was hoping the holes would relieve some of that. They didn't, but they didn't make it any worse either. Small mercies.

Then I added the underlay, trimming with a boning knife from the kitchen that I doubt we've ever used. A sharp stanley knife would work too for this bit.

To attach the two, I used Selley's Kwik Grip (Horizontal Surfaces type) as per the instructions, which was time-consuming but worthwhile to get right. I weighted the edges while they set to prevent curling. It seems to have worked.

I ran out of time for more work on the layout this weekend after that, but I couldn't resist. I had to get the track out.

Next stop, tracklaying!

As the last one for tonight, I got some of the newer wagons out and set them up in the storage road to see what train lengths I can get in there. Bearing in mind that I'm planning on using a few more four-wheelers (mainly S wagons), I'm pretty happy with the versatility for operations that this branch will provide, and with the length I can get in there; the short, colourful trains were what drew me to the era in the first place.

Til next time!