Sunday, 29 April 2012

After an enjoyable meeting of the Woking group of the 3mm Society here on Friday, I set about doing a bit more and here is the result!  The inner fiddle yard is now almost complete except for filling in the gaps with sleepers, and sorting out point control.

Work will now stop for several weeks to await delivery of some hand built points from my friends in 3mmSMR which are the result of some horse trading for some single and double slips, and three way points which in the end I could not use.  These will allow me to finish the outer fiddle yard.

Work will then turn to the scenic section of the layout.  I bought some of the new (ish) backscenes from Gaugemaster at a show the other week and one of these was a lovely (!) industrial scene which I am told is Middlesborough.  I have also asked my friend Howard Love in France if he can build me some terraced housebacks, the sort you still find backing onto the railway in industrial towns.

I also promised a better photo of the master for the class 66 and here it is!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Another couple of weeks have passed and although temperatures remain mild, the rain has hampered my enthusiasm to progress in the garage, but I have been doing some work indoors on locos.

Since the last post, I have laid track on the curved board and rearranged the boards to allow construction to commence on the "missing link" the interlaced interface between the two fiddle yards. I think that there will be the 3mm equivalent of the "Golden Spike Ceremony" when this one is finished!!


This will be the most challenging board on the whole layout with (I think) 16 points to juggle into a 4' x 2' space. I have already made a couple of design changes in order to make the track layout fit the space better - the last point on each fiddle yard now sits on the adjacent board, and the fiddle yard roads will fan out in pairs rather than one after the other.  Phil Smith, who is beavering on a track plan for this site will probably kill me after reading this!

The box at the end of the boards contains points salvaged from my previous layout and hopefully when refurbished, these will form the mainstay of the two throats.  I am still undecided whether to make the blades hanging free, or sprung loaded to save on point motors and wiring or bite the bullet and motorise all these trailing points!  Watch this space!

The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed a couple of resin loco bodies standing on the fiddle yard.  The one on the left is the master for a forthcoming class 66 body kit, and the one on the right and in close up above is a "L" of "L & J" class 40 resin body.  Although I am now getting it to a stage where I am happy with it (just the diagonal bars on the side grilles to go), it has needed a lot of work to make it look the part - especially the windows, main grilles, and fan.  I have used parts from a damaged 3mmSMR etched kit purchased from a fellow Society member last year.
Power will be provided from a pair of Tri-Ang A-1-A motor bogies which have had their side detail ground off on a bench belt grinder and the new sides glued on, plus a pony wheel added.

Hopefully the rain will pass off and I shall be able to get painting SOON!!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

I started doing the curved part of the outer fiddle yard just prior to going on holiday in the week before Easter and thought that readers might like to see the Heath Robinson method of getting the curves right!

The curves start six inches into the two adjoining boards and I nailed two strips of offcuts from laminate floor panelling to join at the centre of the circle and inserted a nail at the point where the lines crossed.  To that nail was attached one end of a length of telephone wire long enough to reach the outer track. The other end was wound round a pencil. I did try string at first but this proved too stretchy. You could also try another baton of wood nailed in at one end and with pencil shaped holes at the right distances.

Starting with the outer track, the first track's centre line was traced and the wire wound in to the centre of the next track and traced. This continued until all tracks were traced onto the board.  Crude but reasonably simple and accurate!

I have now started laying the tracks on boards L (shown) and A (to right).  As there is a change in track used between the board on the left - Peco and Society to match the Peco Points, and board L GEM - as I have about 40 yard lengths to use up - it was not possible to lay across the join between boards K & L which would have been preferable so the alignment is done by eye.