Sunday, February 2, 2014

Roadways and Scenery

Last Monday I got stuck into some work in the shed.  I decided to join the baseboard of the extreme top track baseboard that spans from above the top deck of Acacia Ridge to Clapham Yard, to the lower baseboard almost directly below which is the second level of the baseboards that spans from Acacia Ridge to Glenapp Loop.  Previously the extreme top deck was resting on the lower baseboard propped up by blocks of wood.  So now it has been permanently screwed to risers.  I then added a backboard to the top baseboard from Acacia Ridge Yard to Clapham Yard.  This will stop a train falling off the back of the baseboard.  I then installed a backboard for the track from Acacia Ridge to Glenapp Loop. 
A view of the two levels of track.  The top one heads into Clapham Yard.  The one below is the link from Acacia Ridge Yard to Glenapp Loop.  I can gain access to the area behind the track at this location.

Looking towards Clapham yard and Glenapp Loop.  This shows the height separation of these two levels of the layout.

The other end of this area.  Acacia Ridge Yard in the foreground, and the track that climbs toward Clapham Yard in the background.

On the main deck directly below this location, in the locality just past Rappville Loop we have the Bruxner Highway level crossing and around the back of the Bonalbo Ballast Siding, I also installed a backboard around this section.
This view shows the backboard from Rappville Loop to behind Bonalbo Ballast Siding on the right.
Construction then turned to the 'blob' that allows the train to travel from Lismore around a spiral and into Murwillumbah.  I added two backboards on two sides of the this 'blob'.  I then added a facia to the layout front on the rear of that blob.  I then got stuck into the plastering. 
The new facia is in the foreground.  The background shows the two sides of the backboard that was also installed.  An overview of some of the plaster work undertaken is also visible.
I mixed a few batches of plaster and then added a few layers of plaster over some styrofoam that I was using to build up the embankments of a dam that will be located in the scenery here.  I also tried to blend in some styrene here with plaster over the top.  I also mixed up a couple of alfoil rock walls with plaster and added then to some foam uprights to make them loop mountainy near some tunnel portals.
A closer up view.  Here you can see the dam starting to take shape.  The backboards have certainly made this area dark.  I will need those LED lighting strips in this area for sure.

On the front side of the blob, the entry into one of the tunnels is starting to take shape.

This shows the inner circuit of the track in the blob from Lismore to Murwillumbah.  An overbridge will eventually be built here with some rock walls on the left hand side of this cutting.

Wednesday this week was the first day back at school and I ended up heading off early as my daughter also resumed here dancing class.  As this was going to necessitate that my wife was going to be away for close to two hours, I went home early to look after my son and prevent him being inflicted with two hours of dancing.  Late in the afternoon, I went down to the shed and mixed up another plaster mix and applied it to the area that I’m working on.
I then thought I would do some planning of the area around the Bruxner Highway crossing on the southern side of Cassino and the Richmond River.  I have a number of photos that I took over 10 years ago.  I know this as the photos show my car in some of photos that I took of the level crossing and that car has not been in the family for well over 10 years.  With these photos, and the help of Google Maps and driving over the level crossing in the Street View, you can look left and right.  It is a great help if you want to capture the scene correctly.  The only issue is I cannot get a 1985-1991 view of the level crossing through Google Street View.
On Wednesday night I started drawing up the scale drawing of the level crossing.  I then sourced the balsa that I was going to install at this Highway level crossing to simulate the roadway.
Looking west along the Bruxner Highway - some years back.

I even caught the southbound XPT.

The view looking east along the Bruxner Highway.

Later on Saturday afternoon before my mandatory game of cricket out the front, I cut the balsa I was to use for the roadway across the Bruxner Highway.  This was followed by staining the balsa. 
Today I fixed the balsa to the baseboard and will over the next few weeks work on the surrounding scenery.  I also mixed up another batch of plaster and went over some of the areas already plastered above.  I also put together what might end up being a bridge through truss bridge for just north of Lismore.
This shows the roadway in place.  I use thin styrene to represent the road lines.  This scene will develop over the next few weeks as more detail is added.
Yesterday I spend a few hours over my mate David’s place in the morning and early afternoon.  I powered up his layout (5 Amp NCE system) and noticed a short circuit in his recently re-wired yard.  That was not good.  As that was not my main reason to be there, I isolated this section of his yard and got on with work.   We connected up his Mini Panel into the cab bus and assigned address 63.  I then entered the code into the Mini Panel to control his main station from his yet to be built N-X panel (Entry-Exit Panel - You push two buttons in sequence and then the logic sets the valid route between those two points).  We identified what point motor cables from the 21 points in the station design had to go to what location in the four x DS64 devices that will power the points.  Some of these were connected up, with David to do the rest over the next few weeks.  David still has to connect all the DS64’s to the track bus and set the various addresses of the point motors and then we can test the point motors.  We still have to create 23 macros in the NCE command station to throw the various routes that are in the logic in the Mini Panel.  I am really looking forward to test this, and then demonstrate this concept to a few people.

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