Friday, August 31, 2012

August Progress

This update is usual as the month has been closer to normal and we have seen work on: Sprucing Up Trees, Daveyston, Staging under Hornertown, Double Slip Control Panel Indication Circuits, Bottom Level Mainline Commissioning, Hornertown Yard Turnout Wiring and visiting Sandgate & Southern equipment.

Sprucing Up Trees

BJ gave me a lesson on how to make toy like stuff turn into good looking vegetation!


The trees were from two sources - a pack of 100 pines in three sizes and a box of lifelike which has been in the cupboard since layout No2 some 2 or 3 decades ago!

The sprucing materials included the usual various colours of green ground foam which will be attached by the use of artists' workable fixative and of course the rubber gloves to keep operator hands clean and free of chemicals.

The Work Area

A trestle table covered with newspaper, a cardboard box to catch excess dusting materials and some foam insulation board to place the finished product into for drying.

The Process

The larger trees were worked on individually and the small trees were done en-mass.

Large and Medium Trees

The individual trees were sprayed with the workable fixative to ensure a good covering then the coarser darker colour material was "sprinkled" from a dried Parmesan cheese shaker (the ones that are used for "stinky cheese" on pasta dishes).  The tree was again sprayed with the workable fixative and then sprinkled with the medium green (which is finer than the dark green) using a fish & chip shop salt shaker.  The trees were then set into the foam board and left to dry.

Raw pine tree

After dark colour applied

Applying medium colour

After medium colour applied

The first four

A few more

Sorting into medium and small sizes

The four Lifelike trees after treatment.

Small Trees

All fo the small trees were placed into the foam board, sprayed throughly with workable fixatve the sprinkled with the dark green then more fixative then medium green and again sprayed with fixative then some fine light green.

Applying medium green

A fine dusting by hand of light green.

The finished products - 104 tress of varying sizes were spruced up


Southern End

Centre of Town

Crew Quarters

Northern End

Claxton Lumber

BJ at work

Staging Tracks

The ability to store six complete trains in staging was added when the operations regime was thought through more thoroughly.  So it was decided to install a line with three staging tracks under both Hornertown yard and Flinston.

Under Hornertown

The approach track to staging comes from the outer track of Fleets Loop (the track going down) which immediately passes under the coach yard and flour mill in Hornertown East.

Eastern end


Western End

Initial turnout location the tracks were too far to the right.

Final turnout location

Joining the two sections

Finished track work with glue to fix rail locations.

Underside showing wiring

And finally in place.  It has been installed in such a way that if disaster strikes it can be removed if major maintenance of anything above servicing Hornertown yard is required.

Transition between Hornertown and Flintston

The corner section between the two towns.  A small filler piece will be installed between the Hornertown eastern end and the corner section after the placement of both the Hornertown and Flintston staging sections.

Under Flintston

The track work is still outstanding and should be completed next month.

Hornertown Yard Testing

Finally the turnouts in the Hornertown Yard (excluding Hornertown East flour mill sections) have been wired and tested.  The test train starts in the classification tracks and is reversed into shunt main then into the yard tracks and then into the icing track.

Double Slip Control Panel Indication Circuits

The problem reported last month was a poor solder joint which was found when the board went back to the bench - I also fitted test LEDs to each board so all functions could be tested on the bench to eliminate board errors from any other wiring faults.

The final circuit

What it looks like on the panel

Sandgate & Southern visitation

Roz from Oz was keen to see the operation of the Sandgate & Southern equipment on track work with similar properties to those being constructed on the home line.  changes to coupler arrangements were required in order to navigate the complex turnout arrangements.  These improvements were undertaken changing some Kadee No. 5's to No. 26's and everything worked smoothly.

SP Brill Doodlebug #324

At Hornertown.

Arriving at Daveyston Station.

SP E7 A-B-B Sunset Limited

Adjacent to the Hornertown Yard.

On the main line adjacent the Hornertown.

Near the Hunting branch trestle.

Thanks again to all that continue to hep me achieve my ambitions..

Till next month.