As remarked upon in my previous post there are a good number of people in the hobby that spend far too much time telling you how something should be done, what can be done and what can’t be done, with little or no experience of trying it themselves. One common favourite is that Peco Code 75 track can’t be made to look good or work with ‘finescale’ OO track.
Firstly this is really an opinion, how good something looks is in the eye of the beholder, taking into allowance the ‘Specsavers’ factor. Secondly to say that Peco can’t be made to work with either SMP or C&L is complete shite. It can. This of course opens up the whole unedifying debate of OO scale track, and, ‘we want OO finescale points because you can’t mix the track types.
Well until someone decides what finescale points are, ‘we’, won’t be getting any. Not forgetting to add that Peco calling Streamline Code 75 ‘Finescale’ is beyond the pale and confuses the market. I’m not sure it does, as every time I’ve opened a box of it I’ve not been faced with a linear aquatic feature, ending up with what looks like a map of Africa across my groin, or a beautifully crafted set of weighing scales, so I’ve never been confused by Peco’s branding. It takes me back to a recent work related meeting where the concept of ‘common sense’ isn’t recognised. So if someone tells you they’ll be on their mobile on the train, we now have to assume that we are looking for someone balancing on their phone whilst train surfing. Can’t wait to see the hazard analysis for that one. 3, 2, 1, you’re back in the room and relaaaaax ….
The Shelfie for the Right Track DVD, and indeed the DVD, are now pretty much complete, with final editing and production runs to take place. It has been one of the toughest layouts to build, working with such a restricted space and wanting to get lots of discussion points highlighted and illustrated on film. I doubt I shall work on a similar small footprint project for quite a while. For me it has opened my eyes to how difficult a really small layout is to make ‘work’ well, without its size being highlighted in numerous highly visible compromises. I’d built Collier Street in N gauge for Peco previously, which had similar physical size constraints but in 2FS or N gauge the proportions work better, it does make me wonder if the modelling fraternity missed a trick with 3mm/ft TT scale. Imagine if it were introduced now with todays motors and technology and RTR finesse, I can imagine it really having an impact in what we model and how.
So the above three pictures show stages of the ‘shelfies’ development. Peco and C&L track laid on Woodland Scenics underlay and glued down with superglue. Very quick but little adjustment time. I like this as it really focusses the mind and ensures you know where you’re heading before you start. The second image shows ballasting, ‘in the traditional way’, after its all been painted with Halfords grey undercoat and a concrete hard standing made for the crane. The concrete is DAS clay torn into strips and then molded around the plain track and pointwork. I used Pizza cutter style wheels to make the flangeways before the clay dried, which were then opened out with scalpels and files as required once dry.
This worked very well and the inspiration came from Chris Nevard who used a similar technique on his Brewhouse Quay layout http://nevardmedia.blogspot . The final image shows the end result, with ‘standard’ scenery techniques used, lighting coming from blue LEDS and kitchin cabinet fluorescent 10W striplights.
It feels good to get this one finished, whilst small it was time consuming and challenging. It was useful in re-teaching me some of the basics, and to not take ‘space’ for granted. So what’s next? Another layout that’s for sure, in the background I’ve been working on a layout based on Dursley in Gloucestershire, many of the buildings and quite a bit of stock are already complete, staying in the 50’s-60’s era. The foot print is roughly 6ft x 2ft, and all of a sudden that seems a decent sized space to work in rather than a constricted space. The image below shows me ‘roughing the layout in full size, buildings aren’t those for the layout, but have similar size and volume, which helps me visualise in 3D and in my head how it’ll look. Having got Wharfedale Road to work in such a small space, East Dursley looks far more manageable and will probably, (un-tested theory section coming up), be quite quick to get built and completed.
Well, as I say, that’s the theory, but as its also been nearly nearly six months since the last interweb Charge of the Light Brigade into the Valley of Finescale OO pointwork, and that’s still not resolved, there’s no guarantee I’ll have East Dursley finished in the time frame of roughly six months I have in mind either. One of them however is I feel more likely to be complete in that time frame than the other. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets …..