The owner of the venue was persuaded to allow us to put removable brackets up along the way to support the layout, which was a major relief, as we were worried that if supported only on the legs if someone grabbed it and fell over, they could bring the layout with it. The brackets not only provide extra support, put also enable us to fix its relationship to the wall, so it doesn't move in or out. The brackets are a simple two-slot type from a well known DIY chain, with a wood baton screwed to the top on which the boards rest, and pieces of wood screwed inside for the boards to sit over.
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Work continued, with more track laid, and the wiring following closely behind. The connectors are 3-pin XLRs, with wires linking directly between the sockets on the boards and then to each section of rail. There are separate jumpers between each of the boards. The wire is thicker than we'd normally use, to make sure it can take the current and not have a voltage drop over the length of the layout.
The team that had been making baseboards moved onto some legs. The idea was to provide support along the undulating floor of the venue, with some sort of representation of an American trestle bridge. Following a prototype leg, to check the concept, I got some 70m of timber baton to Keen House from the trusty timber merchant on the roof of the car, and we set about cutting it into the sections. We made a jig to help speed up the process, and in the pictures below you can see the jig next to some half constructed legs, halfway through construction and with Tom S and David screwing in the leg height adjusters. I'm not sure why the screw driver is that long either.
Work has continued over the weekend, with all 15 boards now made. The picture here shows 12 of them with some of the underside cross-bracing. What's more, they all fit together, but our work-room is only about 10m long, so it's not possible to erect the full length at one time, even if we didn't have parts of four other layouts up at the moment.
The boards are aligned using dowels, and then held together using toggle latches. These are now fitted to 10 of the boards, so that track laying can continue unhindered this week.
As you can imagine, we get a fairly steady stream of requests to help others make bespoke model railways, from a huge range of people - private individuals, TV and film productions and fixed installations in commercial premises.
We aren't in a position to help with most for all sorts of reasons (normally unrealistic budgets and timescales), but from time to time we get asked to help with a project that is both interesting and achievable in the timescale. Although a few years ago now, you can see some of our work in Bernard Butler's video for "Not Alone" which had specially built O gauge tracks and ran some of the stock from our layout Happisburgh.
Recently we were approached to build a working railway for a pop-up restaurant in Vauxhall. For the uninitiated, a pop-up is a temporary venue, and in this case it's a lovely old mews area, normally used by a steel fabricator. Except over the summer it's being turned into an American gold-rush themed restaurant every Friday and Saturday night, with a five course meal and music for about 80 people a night. So the whole restaurant has to be set up on Friday afternoon, and taken down again and put into storage by Monday morning. So a bit like an exhibition every weekend but with better food and drink.
Progress on L96 continues as I make preparations for detailing on the tank body.
Meanwhile, I have started work on the second Pannier 'L90' which will be converted to EM (18.2 mm) gauge.
For this, I have bought a Gibson conversion package which includes the following:
OO/EM Wheel set + Axles
Coupling Rod Bushes
Brass washers for 1/8" axles.
This was the first attempt at converting a model from OO to EM. While the instructions seemed straight forward, there were some obstacles to overcome with the process such as; Soldering, application of crankpins, application of washers and quartering.