It’s funny, but when I decided that building a layout for the Cameo Competition was a good idea, the thing I didn’t see being a challenge was providing updates on progress… turns out it’s not as easy as it sounds, and when you’re in the mood to do something layout related it’s normally physical work rather than writing about it… still, I guess if writing about it was the first thing that came to mind I wouldn’t have got very far with the layout!
So with apologies for another longer than planned gap in updates, here is a summary of things that have been going on over the last month or so – the good news is that I have been able to start doing some ‘modelling’ rather than the aspects of building a layout that may be better described as ‘engineering’!
First off, to cover the last of the ‘engineering’ aspects, we now have track in the right hand fiddle yard
This comprises a sector plate loco release, in addition, there is a space to connect a cassette so as to switch a rake of stock, although I don’t plan on using this excessively. The length of Peco track in the foreground is a programming track – there seemed little point in hand laying this when I had a few offcuts of Peco lying around.
I’ve also cut some big old holes in the baseboard. It was a bit of a brave moment going charging into the scenic base with a big drill to cut these but without them the signals from the last post wouldn’t be appearing on the layout so it was needs must as they say…
Finally, the ‘control panel’ if you can call it as such, really just a bank of switches in the left hand facia, is now completely wired up and ready to go. Points are controlled by DPDT switches using one side to change the polarity of the V and the other to provide an on/off signal to the Megapoints controller. The signal switches are all SPDT being used as on/off only.
So, onto the actual modelling bits. The baseboards may still be brown but I have now reached a point of moral victory where all cosmetic fishplates are fitted and the track is ready to be primed and then painted ahead of ballasting. I’m off on holiday for a few days tomorrow so it’s nice to know when I return I can hopefully get the baseboard outside and get priming! Fishplates are a mixture of C&L and Exactoscale. I definitely prefer the latter, they appear much finer and are easier to fit I’ve found, but are sadly unavailable at present. It was probably a good job I realised this before hanging on a few weeks to get some more at Tolworth before finishing! Anyway, as I conveniently had some C&L ones in stock I cracked on with these and saved a few pounds in doing so.
Now before anyone asks why I’ve bothered spend a few hours of my life sticking fishplates to the side of rails when there are no chairs on the points, and the rails are too close together, it’s time for a bit of OTCM philosophy. (Ed- that’s it, the last person reading this post has now run for the hills too…) I’m a firm believer that the human eye focusses on things it sees and has a tendency to ignore those it doesn’t. I may have made this up but I have a feeling Jerry Clifford employs a similar mantra on his 2mm scale models, and they are top class, so it must be good.
As such, the fishplates are almost a distraction technique, but also massively improve the look of things by covering over scale gaps between rail ends that are required for insulation purposes, stopping you being able to see light through the joint.
Finally, I’ve fitted buffer stops to the front 2 sidings. One of these (the professional looking one) is from the excellent Lanarkshire Models range, while the other is a home built example more typical of industrial install, and somewhat more lightweight. I will fill the holes in the sleeper before it is finished.
That’s about it for now, hopefully there will be more updates in the not to distant future!