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.
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!