Tuesday 26 February 2019

More stock - Wasp

Although the layout is set in the early days of the WLLR I have been looking at the kit stash with a view to increasing the available stock. I have the 3 coaches to do but they invoke a level of trepidation. I've never built a Worsley Works scratch aid kit and don't really want the coaches to be first. Then I spotted the etch of Wasp. It's far too modern for the layout but, so far, there is nothing on the layout that screams a particular era. It fits on a Kato tram chassis and I just happened to have one of those as well.

It took a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon to solder up the pieces. The hardest part was deciding where two particular pieces went. In the end I realised they were bottom bracing for the cab unit. After that it was relatively quick to glue two pieces of plasticard together and then stick them to the roof with contact adhesive. I'm slightly concerned the fumes might attack the plastic but I used the glue sparingly. A file and several grades of sandpaper have been used to shape the roof. It doesn't have to be perfect.

There are several photos to be found on the internet but there is an excellent photo on flickr which is taken from above the railcar which shows the roof detail - the only photo I found of this.

Monday 18 February 2019

Detailing commences

A relatively productive few days. First up was the boards that allow people to cross the race. These were simply done with coffee shop stirrers, scored, stained and painted. I did take care to add some cross rods to represent the supports that would have existed for the timbers. Presumably these might well have had a bracing effect for the girders in real life. A touch of the same paint used on the girders and track and you wouldn't know they were only glued to the underside of the coffee stirrer.

The second piece of work was the telegraph poles. These had been made by Andy from the 009 Wilts Group and were surplus from his layout so he kindly gave them to me. It took a while to go over the pictures and determine where they might have been in real life but I believe they are close. While wondering what to use as wire my wide reminded me we had bought some invisible thread for hanging bats in a church (don't ask...). Needless to say we couldn't find it - well it's invisible isn't it... Once it was found I strung it up, just wrapped round the insulators for now and taped through the opening at each side. I also ran a paintbrush down the thread, much like dry brushing and that has helped it stand out a bit. Currently it is taught because off the reel the thread is slightly twisted. I am wondering if over time it will lose the twistedness and I can reduce the taughtness and have it sag like in the real world.

With my wife's help the front drape was hemmed and tested. No photo of that as the light had started to go off. I also turned the black material I had bought into a dust cover so it wasn't wasted. This all took place in the lounge so it dawned on me that as the layout was downstairs I should probably check if it fitted in the car. Thankfully it does and I have a good idea how I will pack the car on future outings.

Monday 11 February 2019

Ready to go?

This last week I have been finishing off the fascia. I had been putting it off for a couple of months whilst work and Christmas got in the way. What I also could not work out was exactly how the fascia should fit together. I had the idea that the front lighting beam should be removable for maintenance but it had already started to come loose from having manoeuvred the layout holding onto it.

Then the question was how to handle the 'wings' of the layout. The main board was designed to fit into the back of the car and to ensure there was no join in the visible part. Would these line up with the front or just be flat behind? Eventually I started cutting wood and it came together. The sides of the main fascia were glued on and braced with balsa. The bracing does not carry any load but is there to limit flexing.

The wings were cut and I selected a trapezium shape to try and limit the amount of flat surface the public would see and to help it stand out from the traditional square blob. I realised that I could effectively fix the wings to the sides of the main fascia by gluing strips of wood to the back of both boards and have then stick out. Imagine alternate pegs that push together by a lattice.

I then tried some velcro on the edge but it came away so a block of timber on the face of the wing provides the main weight support.

The next task was the front curtain. I went and bought some black material but it clashes with the muted green of the fascia so I will have to go out and buy another colour, probably grey.

The other task done is I have filled in the roof of the layout with mounting board. A layout like this is best viewed from just under eye level. My personal preference, however, is to set the layout height so people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters can see it. It means the majority of people have to stoop for the best view but many lean on barriers anyway. There isn't a good solution to this situation.

What I realised when standing up was that you could see down through the roof and that distracted from looking through the front s I filled it in.

Is it ready to go out now? Yes, I believe it is. I'll sort the curtain this week then there will be no bare boards visible and it runs. There is plenty to do on detailing and I need to build up enough stock but it can now go to exhibitions. I've contacted a couple of local shows and offered it as a fill-in should someone drop out at the last minute. A couple of shows should iron out anything I've missed!

A look back through this blog showed that I started this in Jan 2017 so a little over 2 years for a layout that has one track on it! I confess thought I had taken longer and wonder if I didn't start blogging until much later - who knows!

If you are interested then pop across to the Melin Dolryhd page on my website where there are details and an exhibition flyer you can download.

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