This has given me a taste for more experimentation, and I am currently working on mechanising the crossing gates using servos. I’ve got far enough to know that it can be done - I just need a few more components. In the future I might also replace my signal mechanisms with servos, as being a bit more straightforward and controllable than my current use of Tortoises.
In the run-up to our final show for the year - the South Hants show in Portsmouth (21st November) - I have been tidying up a few things. I’ve finished the detail on the main station building, and the lock up goods shed - windows, guttering, canopy, steps etc - which hasn’t been especially noticeable from the front of the layout, but has nevertheless been on the list of ‘must do’ things for far too long.
We have also at last finished (apart from some final painting and weathering) the D&S kit of a ‘Brighton’ Cowan Sheldon crane, complete with scratchbuilt match-truck and departmental wagon, which will be given a trial run at Portsmouth.
My next two priorities are to build the creamery which will fill a large gap in the scenery, and to complete the mechanisation of the crossing gates.
I’m aware of only one photo of the creamery from around 1900 (left), but now converted into homes, it still exists, largely unchanged externally. Google earth is useful for gauging overall dimensions, and a few recent photos have enabled me to build a scale mock up of the building (right). In reality it is located south of the railway, next to the signal cabin. Unfortunately this is outside the extent of my base-boards, so I will relocate it north of the railway line - it’s too good a building to leave out.
November 2015 to February 2016
Now that the layout is reasonably ‘mature’, is working fairly reliably, and substantially complete, I am going back over the boards one by one to add some of the outstanding bits and pieces - not obviously missing, but absent nevertheless, starting with the Lewes end of the layout.
My start point has been to complete the creamery which fills a large scenic gap (photo right). I’ve drawn the building using 3D Turbocad so that I can see what the building will look like before cutting any materials. The mock-up shown above has also helped correct a few minor errors.
I’ve recently bought a ‘Silhouette’ flat bed cutter - intended primarily for cutting paper or card, but it works well with 5 or 10 thou plasticard, and is also capable of marking out thicker plasticard - Slaters embossed brick for example. Having drawn out the building in Turbocad, it’s relatively straightforward to turn this into drawings which the Silhouette can then use to mark out the plasticard.
For cutting brick-embossed plasticard I’ve used the cutter to mark out the window and door openings on the back of the plasticard (the smooth side), and have also included the brick arches over the windows (also marked out on the back of the plasticard). The photo above shows the Silhouette in action, cutting out windows, and the photo (left) shows the sheet of windows on completion after removal of all the cut-away parts. The photo (right) shows one wall, having been marked out on the reverse by the Silhouette, and with all the openings subsequently cut out by hand. Two of the window arches have been cut out, turned over, and glued back in place. The doorway arch has been cut out and awaits gluing in place.
The next photo shows the building under construction, with all the walls in place, with a few windows, doors and sills added. Plasticard has a tendency to warp over time, so I have added balsa reinforcement along the tops of the walls and vertically between windows, fixed in with epoxy. A few of these pieces are in place, with a lot more to be added. The final photo shows the almost-complete building (I forgot to add the curtains) with a lot of work remaining to be done around the building.
Whilst visiting the Uckfield show last year, I was able to order eight trees from Realistic Modelling Services - I think the last he made before retiring. These are all now in place in the little copse adjacent to the line, known locally as ‘Percy’s Patch’. This has transformed this area of the layout, as shown in the photos.