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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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A recent feature of BRMA exhibitions is the interest in British outline DCC Sound. As such, it was discussed that a demonstration layout be developed to more appropriately display and demonstrate the members' DCC sound equipped locomotives. To that end Neil Woods and I elected to construct an appropriate "layout" that could be used to appropriately display British outline DCC equipped steam and diesel locomotives.

While not a particularly exciting layout, this essay into DCC Exhibition Standard display layouts is an example of the work required to exhibit at any "professional" venue and as such has been outlined here as a "way of going about it" for those interested in building not only an exhibition display but also a quality home based layout suitable for DC and DCC alike.

The board was made out of 12mm plywood with 19mm x 42mm batterns screwed all around. This was done with a built in countersink bit (courtesy of Festool Germany - my chosen power tool) and ably assisted by my 2.5 year old Lachlan (I hold the drill; he squeezes the trigger!).

The 12mm plywood was ripped down to 300mm wide from a 1200mm long board. Given that there were no complications of pointwork and controls required the 42 x 19 was deemed more than sufficient in bracing this "light weight" model railway structure.



This base board took approximately 1.5 hours to construct (with the help of aforementioned 2.5 year old). Once completed, the track road base was affixed using neat PVA glue (Selley's "Aquadhere" Interior). The track-bed is a closed cell foam underlay produced and marketted by DCC Concepts from Perth in Australia. I had already procured a box of this particular product prior to relocating across country from Perth to Melbourne. I duly marked out our double track mainlines and then glued the track base in place using a small offcut of the track base to spread the neat PVA glue along the underside of the foam product.

I then transported the board around to Neil's house (12 minutes - gosh I love Melbourne!) where Neil proceeded to apply his scenic magic in the form of polystyrene formers with plaster impregnated cloth to create the fantastic back drop to this fictional layout.



Once the foam was applied complete with plaster cloth application, Neil then utilised his suite of "earthy tones" to apply suitable natural variations in earth colour including a spectacular out-cropping of rock from commerciallly available mouldings. This feature was required, not only to provide a scenic backdrop to our DCC sound demonstration, but to also enhance reflection of the sounds produced by the locos out to the viewing (listening?) public.



While the relatively small size of these images prevents you from seeing the full detail in the scenic work, Neil has done a masterful job in creating a rock-hewn cutting by which the sounds from the DCC equipped locos shall reverberate thus enhancing the listening experience of the DCC Sound listener. (me amongst them!!)

This view along the track bed gives an indication of the strata that Neil has created - reminiscent of perhaps coarser scapes of wee bonny homelands I'm sure!



It was at this point that Neil and I agreed (over a pleasant lunch of your finest "Nando's") that it would be a fine idea to document (on MRF) this essay for those who care of such things. Additional complication was created when Neil advised me that the layout needed to be able to be connected to by other future BRMA essays. As such, the track at each end of the layout needed to be robust (to allow for different boards to be attached along the ways.)

As such I decided to go for robustness and include copper clad sleepers soldered to brass plated screws (at track ends) with track soldered to these copper clad sleepers aswell. We decided on PECO code 75 Streamline track in nickle-silver as a suitable comprimise given that we were unable to ascertain the flange dimensions (and subsequent coarseness?) of club members' locomotives. ( My preference would have been for C&L Finescale's Bullhead 75 flexitrack however some of the recent rolling stock does not rate a mention on this track due to its propensity to "smack" its flanges onto the beautifuly cast chair detail.")

This shot shows the robustness of the soldering technique while extolling the virtues of being able to finely adjust the height of the brass screws to ensure the copper-clad sleeper is fully aligned with the rest of the permanent way.

 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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844 Posts
Neil had indicated his desire to see droppers (wire feeders to the track) solders underneath the rail so as to appear inconspicuous.

I concurred!

As such, the following droppers were created using a simple system of marking and dropping. This resulted in accurate identification of the dropper location. Don't use a hole too small here otherwise you will be aligning track based on where the droppers are as opposed to where the track really is.



Neil also weathered the track with paints which has subdued the "as manufactured" product. Already the track is starting to "fit in" to its surroundings.

Another great view of Neil's excellent scenery work...



All right, we're showing a medium photo but really the detail is where it is all at. The track once aligned with PECO "Tracksettas" is then joined and the final alignment over the copper clad sleeper is ascertained. Once inplace, the track is held (in my case with a Q-tip) and the track soldered on the outside to the sleeper. The sleeper is suitably gouged with the piercing saw to prevent short circuits.



Droppers or DCC Feeds were soldered in place to the underside of the rail by carefully filing the underside and burnishing with a fibreglass pncil.

This was then tinned with some 145 solder and the feed added and soldered in place. Careful attention was endowed on the correct relationship between black and red wiring to ensure consistency throughout.

 

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Premium Member
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Hi

Nice one guys it is really looking the part...if I join the BMRA can I call on your services.....That's one thing I really miss from the east coast "Nando's". Your dropper method is by far the best, that is how I do it also.

How heavy do you estimate it will be.

Thanks for that will keep watching this one.

Last question I currently on site and normally I cannot see any photo's but I can see these. Who did you use to host them?

m
 

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I look forward to seeing how this progresses.


David
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Martin,

My services can be called on at any time...


The board is really light - an easy one hand lift that was the maximum length that would fit cross ways in the back of my Rangie. I haven't weighed it yet though.

I use flickr for my photo hosting.

Neil and I have Nandos at least once a week - delicious!!

QUOTE (Martin71 @ 28 Mar 2009, 22:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi

Nice one guys it is really looking the part...if I join the BMRA can I call on your services.....That's one thing I really miss from the east coast "Nando's". Your dropper method is by far the best, that is how I do it also.

How heavy do you estimate it will be.

Thanks for that will keep watching this one.

Last question I currently on site and normally I cannot see any photo's but I can see these. Who did you use to host them?

m
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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844 Posts
Carrying on with this thread, I wired up the layout as can be seen from the image below:



The droppers were fed to a chocolate block connector as shown and this in turn was wired with heavier gauge wire to the main DCC Bus connector.



As there may be a number of different users depending on the exhibition, I installed a speaker box terminal connection which has sprung loaded terminals. This will allow anyone to use their DCC station and simply need some bare wires to connect to the layout.



While I was at it I installed some 3mm MDF formers on both ends of the layout the conformed to Neil's scenery profile. These can be easily removed if the layout is to be joined to another one however I think it looks neater while it is a stand alone unit. To finish off the corners I used some pine moulding which looks quite neat.



While taking photos I thought I would show the installation of the C&L etched brass fish plates. These are cosmetic but I thought they would look better than the Peco sliding monstrosity. This also created a soldered joint which while robust may have led to the issue shown in the final image!



This is an interesting image that confirms the issue of track buckling due to temperature extremes. It is probably 33 degrees or so outside when I took this images and within minutes of being taken outside the track lifted. This is becasue it is soldered at both ends with no room for expansion. So if you have track remotely exposed to temperature fluctuations you must allow for this thermal expansion. The difference between the inside room temp and outside was probably only in the order of 10 degrees or so and the track is only 1.2 metres long.

 

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Sorry I've missed I've been in Canberra for the last couple of days. Just got back an hour ago after an eight hour drive.

Looks great with the ends on and track added.

It would be good to be able to add other sections to it as Doug is doing a different one with a shunting yard.

That's amazing the degree of track lift. Hopefully once glued and ballasted into place this will be minimised.

Nando's does seem to be turning into Melbourne's premium model rail conference centre.


It should be ready for adding the topography next.


Will discuss the next stage with you on Tuesday probably at Nando's.
 

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Ok well although it's been silent here for a while that doesn't mean that nothing has been happening. I have put in a basic ground cover, then some short grass, some longer grass in place, some ferns, some reeds in the pool areas and soil in the areas where top soil has been exposed. Here are some pictures below of where we are now up to. All I really need to do is add a couple of trees and a backdrop. The pools are white because I have use pva and it has still to dry.













 

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Well Neil,

Its comming along. Bit brown for my taste but that may just be the pics.

Since you are using it to highlight sound, are you going to put ambiant sound into it as well?

Cheers

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 22 Apr 2009, 16:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well Neil,

Its comming along. Bit brown for my taste but that may just be the pics.

Since you are using it to highlight sound, are you going to put ambiant sound into it as well?

Cheers

John
Hi John,

the colour is accuarate. It is meant to be late summer early autumn.

I could put ambient sound in but it would consist mainly of wind with some occassional rain.

cheers

Neil
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looks fabulous Neil. I am very happy with how this is going. I like the scenery colours a lot. Very nice and subtle indeed. Shall we do some weathering of the ballast? I am not sure how to go about it really. Is this a job for powders or for washes do you think?

Looking forward to getting the 4MT on to it that's for sure!
 

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Chief mouser
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Looks good chaps - that 47 looks right at home.

Regards
 

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QUOTE the colour is accuarate. It is meant to be late summer early autumn.

I'll vouch for that but it's definitely not 2007/2008 so no DB Schenker liveries


Great work Neil. It's convincing.


David
 

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QUOTE (Lancashire Fusilier @ 22 Apr 2009, 21:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Shall we do some weathering of the ballast? I am not sure how to go about it really. Is this a job for powders or for washes do you think?

Looking forward to getting the 4MT on to it that's for sure!
Yes, I've still got to do that and the track. I have the neccessary powders here so will get round to it at the weekend maybe.

If it's been a particularly dry summer it can get very brown.

Cheers

Neil
 

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Neil, Paul.
Looks very good and a lot simpler than some of the other ideas that were being floated around at the Sandown exhibition.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Not really familiar with other ideas floated as I am a pretty new member / resident over here. Just that Neil and I see each other at least once a week and I had all the stuff to build a baseboard with including all the track, road base, wire and even the choccolate block connectors. The only expenditure was the speaker box terminal connector which was from memory about $5 from Jaycar. The rest of the scenics I think Neil had too.

Anyway it starts the process off and if others are inspired to add to or exceed then so much the better in my book.

Should be running a new 4MT on it this weekend with any luck courtesy of our friends at DCC Concepts in Perth and Yes Jeff, there's always room for you to educate me about the finer points of diesel sound too. I am becoming quite interested in those green and blue things you know!
 

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QUOTE (SRman @ 23 Apr 2009, 18:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Looking good there Neil and Paul.


Withany luck i might even get to run some of my locomotives on it too.

I think that's a certainty Jeff.
It should be ready in a couple of weeks so we can take it to the next show. Might be sooner but you never know.


QUOTE Looks very good and a lot simpler than some of the other ideas that were being floated around at the Sandown exhibition.
Yes Manfred, you can't afford to overdo it in such a small space.

QUOTE I am becoming quite interested in those green and blue things you know!
I'm happy with the green ones.
 
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