Had a fair whack of time available this weekend, so I tried to get some of the less desirable aspects underway. In particular wiring, especially the bus connectors underneath the layout. Managed to get the double switches wired up with droppers hanging in abundance from the one area. Doing the maths, we have two for track power on each double slip, four turnout motor cables, plus the two polarity wires that go back to the motor. So, with two double slips linked onto each other that gives me - 16 droppers in a space of about 300mm of track. Let us hope they are all pointing in the right direction.
I have also had my first chance to throw some power at a Cobalt motor and to be fair it looks pretty straightforward and has a nice smooth action. Haven't got them in situ yet so time will tell as to how well they actually switch turnouts, but I have great faith...
So, a lot has been going on, but probably not a lot of difference to the naked eye. I think until I actually start to get some of the topography in place it's going to seem very underdone to me, but I realise that a lack of preparation at this stage will cause endless grief once the plaster cloth is in place. So, softly, softly.
In an effort to quell my scenic modelling urges I have another order on its way from Hattons - mainly Metcalfe gear - platform kit for Chesterfield station, low relief row housing for up the top of Whaley Thorns, a few railway cottages and an engine shed for Langwith Junction. Oh and finally bit the bullet with an order of my first Bolsover coal wagons form Dapol. A little concerned at the specified weight of these. Most Farish and Peco rolling stock is 22gms or thereabouts. These Dapol wagons are showing up as 90gms each! Be lucky to pull two up a hill at that rate. No doubt all will become clear.
On the issue of weight I hooked up all my wagons and carriages at once to see how the new inclines would go. At first it seemed as though there was still some reluctance in one or two spots. However, I stuck a 20cent piece to the top of the tender (such scientific methods in action) to see how a bit of extra friction might work. Hey presto, she will easily crawl or gallop up and down any of my tracks, so it all comes down to grip and slip. Looks like I need to add a bit of lead to the tender...
I like the look of the progress in those two photos. It's good to see a layout where the trackbed is the only flat part of the countryside.
Yes, it's nice in theory, but the practice is a bit of a bugger. As you can tell I want to capture the rolling fields and hills of the area and mimic the actual relative topography of specific places. Of course putting it all into the condensed format of a model means sharper inclines and declines than reality, which in turn makes for some entertaining geometric conundrums when trying to get a train line up and down. Having said that the plan is definitely to make it look as though the rail cuts through the existing landscape, not some hills being placed around a pre-existing railway. Whether my modelling skills allows for that is another thing altogether.
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