From Here on in to be known as Layout 2 until a better name can be devised…
It may or may not have escaped regular readers notice that I haven’t constructed, or even tried to construct a layout for a very long time…. Aside from Stoating Bank which was a joint effort, and a couple of club projects I’ve been involved in, my last layout was built when I was 16!
This has been fuelled by a number of things, time/inspiration in my late teens and early 20’s meant nothing happened then I was looking to move into my own house, and there seemed little point in building something without knowing it would fit in the new place… Then finding there wasn’t space in the new place to store something big enough to model the heavy freight operations I really fancy…. You’re probably getting the idea!
Anyway, a few weeks back the OTCM planning committee decided I should build something small, and to satisfy our craving for a run down US outline setting, it would be based on a US shortline and be quite small, with a maximum of one point. This may seem operationally limiting, and it is, but it was designed to kickstart the layout building mojo and refresh my techniques ahead of doing something a bit larger (when I sort somewhere to store it!) while also allowing a big chunk of construction to take place in one weekend so instant progress could be seen.
One thing leads to another and after talking to Paul Tasker at the local club one evening (he’s the bloke who comes up with ideas for things like moving back scenes in Scalefour news, which probably explains this….) it was decided that with one removable scenic module, the layout could also represent an NCB internal line!
So there we have it, that’s how this concept came about, somewhere in the northern USA and Yorkshire all in one scene, and this odd combination has already raised a few issues but I’m committed now!
Now, onto the layout, since last weekend was the designated work weekend.
A gradient was always on the cards, and the fact we had been on a visit to the Foxfield railway the week before cemented this, and probably made it steeper than planned. I also wanted to try out using foam baseboards, rather like those on Pempoul, and using code 55 rail for the trackbed. This is the plan I came up with after much prevaricating:
I always find it difficult to transfer ideas from a small size on paper onto a full size diagram, but battled on nevertheless, and before long had the foam core for the boards cut to size and a trackbed made and secured to it from 6mm ply:
I now took the opportunity to add more foam to create the base level for the landscape, before calling it a day on Saturday evening. Sunday was then spent adding the wooden frame around the foam to protect it, and carving the landscape to match the scenic contours cut into the wood:
Note that the area rear left from the curved front will house a module that can be changed depending to what is being represented – at the moment I feel this will be an American single storey warehouse and possibly a corner of a slag heap for the colliery railway.
Before the weekends work was drawn to a close with a good old papier mache session to give a nice firm base for the scenery.
Note some sleepers also got laid along the way! The original concept had been to get something running by the end of the weekend but not starting until 14.00 Saturday and having family round to my parents wanting to chat to me meant progress was not as rapid as originally hoped….
This was the final scene on Sunday evening, with fiddle yards in position although I didn’t bother bolting the whole ensemble together – note the compressor got excited and did a wheelie to celebrate!