Friday, 15 February 2013

Mind the gap

I've done it, yep, a train will run from one board to the other without falling over/uncoupling/grinding to a halt.     I've been doing intensive testing and cleaning of my locos and trying out combinations to see if they fit in the silly short sidings. Good fun.

I'm still not happy with the sky backscene but I really don't know what to do about it... ignore it I guess.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

One step forward...

I've made some good progress this week getting the layout working and match fit. All the points now work nicely, I had a bit of a crisis with one which I managed to bugger up completely and had to remove the point blade, straighten it out and glue it back in. Fortunately I got it working ok as it would have been an absolute nightmare to replace; I would have to have hacked up the plaster ballast and probably all the surrounding track.

I have one problem remaining with the smooth running and that is the baseboard join. I thought I'd cracked it but every time I take it apart and re join it it doesn't line up properly. I spent some hours fannying about this evening but to no avail, I suspect that plan B will now have to come in to play... not sure what that is though.

On a more positive note, scenery is looking pretty good for the most part. I'm still not happy with the sky on the Three Bridges board but I don't really know what to do about it so I'll ignore it for now. I need a few more trees to hide some joins/finger prints.

I've added a small street sale and a statue with flower bed to Alma Street and it is looking nicely busy without being cluttered.

The ugly end bit between the boards where the lighting rig attaches now has a little quarter round shelf which screws on and the picture frame with the map of the island and some blurb about it will sit nicely on there.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Back together again

I had a day off today and managed to grab a couple of hours to get the two boards back together again. Before I could join them together I had to modify one set of legs so that they were exactly the same height as the other. Having made them in two pairs I made the cross piece a slightly different way so they were a few mm out; now they are identical both boards are completely level.

My rebuilt end to the Three Bridges board fitted very well with the Underhill board... once I had removed one piece of bracing I added during the last bodging session before the Port exhibition.

There are a few trackwork issues on the new board that need sorting out but fundamentally it all worked once I had cleaned the paint of the track and cut back a bit of over enthusiastic new greenery. A couple of the points are bunged up with paint so don't throw properly with their motors so I'll need to get them dug out. The baseboard join is OK but there is a slight height jump which can be adjusted with a bit of fiddling.

Once the track is working properly the only real things to get sorted are some drapes to go under the baseboards to hide the legs etc and something to fill in the corner between the boards where the lighting rig plugs in. I have an A4 picture frame with a map of the island and an explanation but it needs some tidying up somehow; I have a few ideas.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Small flowers make you go blind

I spent yesterday evening adding some more detail to Alma Street and also putting some filler under the buildings as the tiny gap was annoying me. It's a pet hate of mine to see floating buildings so it had to be sorted.

The flowers in the tubs and troughs are a mixture of Busch plastic flowers, which you have to actually make from the small parts, and some Silfor tufts. Not only are they fearsomly small and fiddly which gave me a head ache to see but I also ended up with more bits stuck to me than each other.

The other thing I did was to add a 'low bridge' road sign and some picket fence on the road side of the road bridge.

Friday, 1 February 2013

The end is nigh

I've had half the layout set up in the corner of the living room for the last couple of weeks so that I can work on it when I get a few minutes here and there... and that is what I've done. Mainly I've been adding detail and colour. There is also a new sleeper built crossing from the station building made from bits of Evergreen cut to sleeper sizes, I made some IoSR 'Beware of  trains' signs and a new running in board for the station and added some additional enamel signs, I got some different ones off eBay and they are very nice reproductions which make a change from Tiny signs.

Up on Alma Street I've added street drains and a direction sign, the biggest difference to this area has actually been made with weathering powder which I use to blend the whole scene together.

The bad section of back scene at the left side of the layout has proved to be very troublesome to improve on. Having stuck the original effort on with PVA it proved virtually impossible to remove and  I ended up peeling and scraping it off as best I could and then sticking a fresh sheet over it. Having done so it looks not much better; not sure what to do to disguise it now.

Today I've replaced the woodwork on the right hand side which got broken in the 'pulling the two boards apart' incident before the Port exhibition. I've used the same end piece which has the support for the lighting rig on it, but I've added a bracing piece which means that it is much more solid this time. Now I need to sort out the other set of legs so that they are the same height as the ones on this board, they were only out slightly but enough to make rolling stock move on its own!

The end