Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Murray River Bridge, Post the Sydney Exhibition its time for a blog de brief.

Post the Sydney Exhibition its time for a blog de brief.
The new trailer and the 4X4 worked really well, even if the trailer was a bit of a squeeze on Sydney roads.

We had a reduced ops team, and my thanks goes to Doug and Peter for helping me out.
MRB suffers from extension issues,  with the width extension of the layout, the light assemblies and the backdrops are separate items.  To put these up and take them down, thus increase the set up and take down times.

I have made a prototype back drop and light assembly replacement, I can use the current boards, this would change the layout from having eight small scenery boards to four large ones.
This will make the layout a lot easier to put up and take down.
The down side of this is the increase of weight.
I will have to evaluate this advantage of this vs, the number of expected exhibitions remaining for the layout.

MRBs fiddle yard.
The Sydney exhibition again confirmed that the DCC Concepts Cobalt SS point motors and controls, over the time of operation during an exhibition seem to move or loose their settings, which means that they need to be reset and readjusted in the middle of an exhibition.

The root cause could be a number of factors:
Mechanical resistance, or accumulation of heat, which may cause reduction of resistance and thus move the setting.

An exhibition layout requires a very high amount of reliability, so I am going to look at the old faithful, Tortoise point motors, I have used them in the past and they are bullet proof.

Curved track joins:
MRBs fiddle yard suffers from “Bunnings advice” I should have known better, that my local store, has less experience than others, and their recommendation of foam glue, caused the boards to bow from expansion, they said would not happen.

So my lesson is learnt here too, use what you know works, so it is back to the old Liquid nails for me.
However this still means that I have to manage the issue, I don’t think there is a need to resolve it right now, just use it as a learning.

In future, I’ll design the fiddle yard boards with 90deg joins, I have already to a plan, that should mean I can replace the current five board fiddle yard, with an average of 18ft standing room for each road, with a six board yard, with an average of 26ft standing room for each road.
A new fiddle yard can be used for Checkamus Canyon and my next “big” layout.

So whats next.
John is itching to build a layout based on his favourite part of the world, Gippsland.
John is not currently in a position to build or transport such a layout, but I can.  So this will be interesting.
I'll probably do the display boards and the fiddle yard and set it up at his joint to allow him to do his thing!

Next SA layout, 
The northern BG lines are calling, and I would like to make a small layout that I can operate at home.
So probably one branchine and one mainline.
Long term I think it would be really groovy to have a true BG, SG and NG layouts to an exhibition.
I have purchased some station buildings from Models n More at the Sydney exhibition, I had no idea they made SAR station kits, so I was pleasantly surprised.
I’ll have to get over my silo phobia, and make them as close as I can to scale. 
I find that an exhibition layout needs at least one “wow” item, MRB is one big “Wow” item.
I would like to make a homage to the Peterborough line with some small scenes, and one “wow” scene.  This is all still in the "think" mode at the moment, but there will be no "generic" locations.....

Western Australian layout.
I have built the three boards for Southern Cross WA.
After pacing it out, there is just not enough room on these boards to do the location justice (width wise) I don’t like getting rid of perfectly good boards.
However, Once again my insomnia came to the rescue.  After a lot of thinking, and working various scenarios, I think I found a way of replicating the balloon loop at Koolynobbing East, without the need to manually load the empty train.  I can also include the old ballast siding and a salt lake.
If I am smart I can use the replacement MRB fiddle yard for Koolyanobbing East.
This is a big undertaking and stacks and stacks of rolling stock. Ugg!

Enjoy Scott


  1. Heh, you've perked my interest with that mention of the Gippsland Layout

  2. I have discussed with John, so we have a plan A, and the location for modelling part 1 is selected. We just need to sort out the new train room where it will live (get rid of stuff that is not required)