Saturday, 23 April 2016

Downsizing gains

I'm fast learning that a smaller layout means a quicker pace of progress. Since my previous post I've managed to build the pelmet out of pine and plywood, supported by aluminium square tube sold under the Konnect-It range from Bunnings. I wasn't sure how strong this would be, so I've reinforced it with an angle-bracket pop-rivetted to the outside of the corner join (out of shot in these photos) for insurance. I've tried to keep the pelmet as light as possible to avoid stress on the aluminium where it bolts onto the layout at the rear.

I then installed the lights. These are the same LED lights I described in this post two years ago and used on the other layout. I've attached these to the roof with 100mm-long white zip ties. While the method I used on the other layout worked well and achieved 'directed' lighting, I'm happy with the results I've achieved below. The zip tie method will allow quick replacement if any of the strips fail/get damaged over the years.

Now, the layout!

The track plan is an Inglenook shunting puzzle, however with a 3+2+2 format rather than the traditional 5+3+3. A 1960s era theme would see more 4-wheeled stock in use and would permit running the sidings as per the traditional puzzle, however the 1970s saw the introduction of longer, heavier wagons, which partly adds to the challenge too. Plus, you get the variety of 4-wheelers on their last legs next to brand new wagons, and the railways' bogied stalwarts all vying for space in the yard.

The trains run off into a simple fiddle yard with removable cassettes built from aluminium angle, spaced 16.5mm apart and screwed to pine lengths.

The sidings are at the rear of the layout, with the main at the front. These will disappear under a road overbridge at right to help with the illusion of space.

I've added in a suburban meat siding for variety too. I'm going to build a compressed version of the building that used to stand at St Leonards here. Haven't quite figured out what I'm going to use as a scene block on the left-hand side just yet, but we'll see how we go.

Most exhibition layouts are loops which allow for a parade of trains, and acknowledging that this is a bit of a different approach I have some ideas to mix things up on mine. For the most part I want to showcase scenery techniques and what can be achieved in Australian outline in a small space, using readily available locos and rollingstock.

Next up, tracklaying, wiring and point motors.