Some Vaguely Scenic Work

Up until now everything I have done has been on the non-scenic part of the layout. The station approach board is the first that has to be scenic, and whilst I don't want to get into the scenery yet, the one job I need to do before laying the track is to colour over the new cork and track bed so that when it is ballasted some years hence it will blend in nicely.

Here is the board with the cork laid on it


And here it is with a bit of colour


I am using the Chris Nevard recommended "misting" with cans of red oxide, matt black, and primer grey. It doesn't need to be a work of art right now because most of it will not be seen, all that is necessary is to remove the shiny newness of the cork and surrounding board.

Control Panel Shelf

Having finally completed the fiddle yard control panel I have built a shelf to mount it and a controller socket fascia on.

The control panel is easily moved elsewhere - requiring only the three cables (one power two signal) to be unplugged and moved elsewhere.

Having mounted the control panel I have found the 9000 mcd leds I have used to be blindingly bright....ah I think I am going to have to open up the panel box again and fit some resistors - easier than changing the LEDs. Still thats for another time.

For the next panels I will use perhasp 300 or 400mcd LEDs.


PCB Mounting Boards

Working on the next under layout mounting boards for the various electronics PCBs that control the points and occupancy detection (and perhaps signals later)...

Here are the next two (of 5 so far) completed, at least as far as wood and metalwork is concerned...


Laying Cork and Thinking Track

I have been really busy working on a smartphone video monitoring system called Manything lately so haven't had much time for modelling...

LINK}:-; Manything Website;

The odd moment I have had, I have cut and laid the cork for the track work on the station approach board. As this is the first scenic section I have cut the cork at a 60 degree angle in order for the ballast to sit nicely on it.

I made the cutter shown below by cutting a piece of 2x2 at 60deg using the compound mitre saw, and the screwed a box cutter blade to the surface - it seems to work ok.


I have also tried using the suggestion from Richard at DCC concepts to modify a peco point to take away the horrible chunks of plastic that make it look very unprototypical.


The modification requires soldering copper clad sleepers to replace the original yeuchy plastic.

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On to a new board

Hmmm so after several months of work I am still struggling to get all the gremlins out of the over-complex control panel. So I have turned my mind back to woodwork. Everytime you do woodwork you remind yourself that almost all wood you can buy is expensive and warped...

More expensive this time as I had a couple of big sheets of ply for the next couple of boards and so needed to pay a delivery charge from Inverness.

I have used my standard wall mounted L-girder technique - though the pictures below show with only one girder fitted.

I have used 100mm sections to hold baseboard surface rather than previous 90mm as this gives just a little more room for getting edge connectors on and off the Tortoise point motors.

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Class 128

Despite frequent resolutions to not buy any more stock - I am sucker for some things. I loved the new Heljan 128 Diesel Parcels Unit in green with speed whiskers.

It is a lovely heavy model, unfortunately Heljan have cost reduced their packaging from their lovely strong boxes to the same sort of system used by Bachmann and Hornby - you can see the result here -


I could have sent it back back; but it appears that I was far from alone in having this problem and would probably have just received a replacement with similar problems. Therefore out with the glue and some careful gluing got most of the pieces back on.

Taking it apart meant removing four small bolts and prising the body off - it would be easy to damage the fittings in the cab ends getting the body on and off.

I used a TCSEU621 decoder which seemed to fit in easily into the 21 pin socket.