The last month has seen intermittent progress on the layout, there have been some massive steps forward but to look at it until today you wouldn’t really have known.
First up, it works! I’ve successfully rigged up my Gaugemaster Prodigy under the layout running to a pair of connection sockets tucked away under each corner of the facia. With decent length leads, this will allow a single operator to get to each end easily, while also allowing 2 people to run things at the same time.
I’ve also finished fitting and setting up my point control servos, using Motrak Models servo mounts that I picked up years ago for a project that never came to fruition. There are 6 signals which will also be controlled by servos, the non connected servo cables being ready for their installation.
With a couple of spare hours today, I took the opportunity to spend some time concentrating on the storage yards which will be pretty critical to operation at both ends…
At the left hand end, which represents the coking plant and ‘mainline’ I’ll be using cassettes, so the board is very simple. As per the suggestion in the Cameo Layouts book, the lines heading off scene end before the board joint and the cassette will span the board joint. Therefore this board is literally a ply top and that’s it!
A little more sanding is needed on the board joint but this is where the cassette will connect to the layout. My cassette design is very similar to that used on ‘Kyle of Sutherland’ having been inspired at Railex earlier this year.
The right hand yard is somewhat more involved, essentially being the other end of the 3 loops on the scenic section. Loco release is via a sector plate at the far end, and there will be space to attach a cassette allowing a train to be removed if I so wish. Getting the track down on this board is now the next job on the to do list.
Rather than supporting the off scene areas conventionally using some additional legs, I decided a cantilevered arrangement would be better, and save on the amount of stuff that needed taking to a show. Rather than use a chain as Iain Rice has done on Trerice, I opted for a metal wire arrangement similar to that used by Andy Jones to cantilever the pelmet on his Tarring Neville layout. This provides greater flexibility as the wire is adjustable, while also looking nice and tidy.
To add some additional strength where they mount, I’ve sandwiched a couple of layers of 9mm ply behind the 6mm backscene, screwing the mounting eyes through all of these.
An initial test of strength shows these to be very robust and more than up to the job of supporting the short boards. It also means I can vary the layout height easily, potentially presenting it lower height if attending a more family friendly show – this will be subject to some experiments and experience I guess.
Until next time.