Saturday, October 22, 2016

Waihao Forks....Saturday Update

Am_Fet writes in block capitals:

Well, the weekend plans for the major protagonists to get together at Cabbages top secret layout building facility on Friday night fell apart in spectacular fashion thanks to illness and family commitments.  Poor Cabbage, he had to go and spend time with the Marklin Club....

Anyway, here is the latest email from 0-4-4-0T with progress:

"We now have slow speed running on all parts of Waihao Forks.

The electrical interlocking doesn't successfully stop the engine if the points aren't set completely correctly - essentially because everything ran fine on insulfrog. But we have slow speed running through all areas.

Finer testing is beyond the quality of my engines to date. The Graham Farish 0-6-0 has a very long wheel base plus its motor doesn't run well at very slow speeds. The Microace 4-6-4 doesn't run well on the slightly rough code 40 track because its power pick-ups (on the first two driving axles and the last axle of the trailing truck) are only just good enough for very smooth heavier track."

I believe the meeting will be postponed until next week when hopefully we can start the landforms.  There is also talk of sub-contracting out the grass planting to another well known modeller.  I'm waiting for Cabbage to confirm.

In the meantime, I had better pickup my mouse and start designing the buildings and structures.

In closing, does anyone have any ideas for modelling stucco in the smaller scales?  Everything I read seems to be aimed at HO and bigger, ranging from sandpaper to talc or white pepper mixed with paint.

All answers on the back of a postcard please!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Waihao Forks.....On Point.

Am_Fet, with great relief, pens:

Whew!  We are up to date.  This is the latest report from Backward Engineering in Karori ("Where the past is being made today!").

The curtain wire is now glued down, and then the ends of the push-pull wire have been bent and threaded into the pre-drilled holes in the switches using small pliers.  The kink in the push-pull wire can be opened and closed slightly to make fine adjustments to the length of the wire.

All the brass dropouts to get power to the track from underneath are now fitted and soldered on.

Next, turn it all over and attach wires to the switches and dropouts."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Waihao Forks....gaining control.

Am_Fet enthuses:

Can I just start off by saying that although it may seem like this work has been moving quickly, nothing could be further from the truth.  0-4-4-0T and I have only really had the chance to catchup during the planned monthly meetings in Lower Hutt, so most of the work documented here has only really happened since the Palmy show...whenever that was.

So hopefully todays post will take us up to where things sit currently and you can then marvel at the pace that things normally happen at around here.

This pic arrived in my inbox last weekend:

As can be seen from this picture from Backward Engineering in Karori ("Where the past is being made today!") things are now focussing on the gubbins needed to make things work.

(Hilariously enough, my iphone autocorrected "control gubbins" to "control gibbons"....which probably isnt far from the truth!)

Anyway, here is the written report from 0-4-4-0T:

"The trackwork for Waihao Forks has been glued to some 10mm foamboard.  Head Druff says this dampens the amount of track noise.  Slots have been cut in it to take curtain wire which takes curved routes to the switches.  Music wire just under 1mm thick runs inside the curtain wire from the point blades to the switches.  Some 5mm foamboard in the slots holds up the curtain wire next to the point blades.

The music wire is bent through a right angle to go through the end of the moving sleeper that the point blades are attached to. Having the track on 10mm foamboard rather than 5mm board means Am_Fet will be able to shape the ground level in the area surrounding the yard to levels lower than the trackwork when required.  Otherwise the ground surface of the whole module would look dead flat and unreal.

Next job is to attach the music wires to the switches - to be shown in a future post.  After that, the electrical wiring can go in underneath."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Waihao Forks - Setting the Scene

Am_Fet Postulates:

After the baseboards triumphant return from its southern sojourn, the next task was to work out where all the scenic features were going to go.

A meeting was hastily convened at the monthly club night with plans and photos in abundance.  Some mad rash fool started scribbling with a pencil, and by the end of the evening we had the beginnings of what (we hope) will be a very attractive scene. one had a camera to record the moment...Doh!

So instead, lets revisit my favourite photo of the station from the 1920's:

The three structures that really anchor the scene are the goods shed, the stock yards and the pub.  The goods shed was a stock 60' by 30' shed but with a strangely steep pitched roof.  As it was a known size, it became the "anchor structure" of the whole precinct, meaning it was sited first and we used its place to position the minor structures that related to it, such as the station platform and shelter shed and the loading bank.

Then onto the pub (what a grand idea!).  As the building was separated from the precinct by the road, we first needed to make an arbitrary decision on what looked like the acceptable width for a 1950's metaled country road.  Once this was drawn in, the pub was located in relation to the goods shed and station shelter.  It became apparent that the pub will need to be "split" at the baseboard edge, but discussions came up with a good way to make the most of the situation.

The stock yards were next.  We made a call on the position of the stock loading race and then drew the rest of the yards in position based on this.  As with the pub, the position of the road was critical and this was also drawn in.

The final structure to complete the scene is that non-descript corrugated iron shed on the roadside past the pub.  It will serve as a counterpoint to the obvious railway designed structures, being a simple rural shed seen in thousands of places around the country.

Final job was to rough in where the scenic landforms will sit.  There is a perceptible dip to the left of the track in the photo as well as the small hill the photo was taken from to include.  numerous lines were scribbled until something believable was deemed to be acceptable.

Apologies for all the words (lack of photos of the process is a bug bear) but I thought it was important to record how the process went.

And to finish off, here is a more recent photo from Joe Wallace.....its a brilliant photo for landscape detail.  The old loading bank and road can still be seen, and the roadbed leading up the hill to Mcleans can be discerned climbing up out of shot to the top right.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Waihao Forks.....On Tour

Am_Fet continues....

With the completion of the undergubbins (as seen in a previous instalment), the time had come for the focus to shift from the wastes of Lower Hutt to the leafy gentrified suburb of Karori.  0-4-4-0T took the baseboard home from club night and started the careful and painstaking task of marrying up the track with the baseboard (i.e he winged it).

The track was gently cut in the correct places and located on the baseboard....

....before being transported across the water to play a starring role at the Christchurch Show, even if only as a workbench....

I have no idea what Cabbage is saying here....a caption contest, perchance?  Note 0-4-4-0T using the area earmarked for paddocks and willow trees to assemble wagons....the philistine.

Recriminations will be swift, and effective....

(Luckily for our protagonist, the track was completed over the course of the weekend, appeasing the landowner)

Next:  Setting the Scene.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Waihao Forks....what lurks beneath...

Am_Fet expounds:

In designing the baseboard supporting structure, I was keen to produce something that would be simple yet strong as well as providing suitable attachment points for the MMW module ends to be screwed into.  Being a curvy baseboard doesnt make life easy either....but thats the shape of the station, so it is what it is.

The design I finally came up with is:

Effectively there are 2 quarter circles CNC routed out of 12mm plywood with right angle bends to suit the MMW endcaps.  I did 4 in all so they could be laminated together for a total thickness of roughly an inch (I said roughly....).  The pieces on the inner edge have a 3mm slot cut in them (just visible here) so that 3mm MDF can be used as a layout fascia at a later date.  A smaller crossbrace is added to provide a bit of stability for both the baseboard surface and the fascia.

Here are the parts being routed out on the Atomik Design CNC machine.  BTW, I have seen it do 1mm brass, I'm thinking one day I might try a simple chassis on it...

Also starring in the picture of the leg components, of which more later....

One momentous club night, the components were bought together and securely fastened.  Tip it on its side and it looks like this:

The more clever amongst you will notice the distinct lack of endacps.  The reason is purely practical:  As it stands, the board can still quickly be flicked upside down/stored sideways/flown like a frisbee.

Next up, baseboard is reunited with track.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Waihao Forks....Now with added length!

Am_Fet continues:

Initial Permanent Way meetings were held between 0-4-4-0T and myself during one of the monthly club nights.  The layout was viewed from all angles and measured up to within an inch of its life....

One of the decisions coming out of the meeting was that the loops were just a little too short, especially when a goods shed sized cutout was plonked on for a good look.  After a bit of deliberation and dicking about (A Noble Art, Sir!), it was decided that the loops all needed to be lengthened by about 150mm.

To facilitate the building of the baseboards at this point, the track was removed from its paper template which was duly sent on to Atomik Design, leaving the good stuff in Karori to be stretched.

Once the paper template had arrived in the Seaview workshops of Atomik Design (Layout Baseboards a Specialty), a quick attack of the "cut and paste" machine added in the necessary inches so that baseboard planning could commence.

It was then a simple matter to lay the template out on a piece of 4mm ply (purchased for this very task) and start jockeying around until a suitable size, shape and curve radius could be established.

The ply was then measured up and cut with the CNC router....and set aside to get in everyones way as they moved between the machines.

Next up: the baseboard supports and getting the whole thing together......