Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Essence progress.

I have been doing some work on the layout, which means the former proposal on a post dealing with fonts on steam locomotives, while I have a degree of data, there are a couple of areas that I need to look into for that post, it has been started & in draft mode.  Besides that I need to get work on the layout that I have started done, which will help get the room a bit more organised than it is now.

The work on what I guess I can call section A of the 3 piece of Moblayne is to a semi fixed state, at least to the point where I have got a good start on scenery, after getting the brown pigment to mix in with the Cornice cement, the backdrop for the base board is in final stages of painting, before it goes up, I have need to put static grass onto the areas at the back of the Roundhouse, once that is done along with the backdrop I can move away from that spot, and work on tidying up around that area.

A quite tedious job was to get fence posts into position along with using elastic sewing thread for two rows at the top to replicate wire strands as found on the boundary lines, with bridal mesh for the main fencing mesh., only need to some rust like paint on that to give it some realism. There is but one fence that runs that part of the layout, rather than fencing off both sides of the Rail line, with none on the depot & yard side of the line, something that was very common across the state, also saves a day trying to work with it.

The main line track from the station/yard area is now in place with ballasting finished, minimum radius of 32" is excellent, and a couple of joins fixed which were problems on the old layout.  I thought the old radius of 28" was ok and the concern was that going to the 32" would mean I needed a fair amount more room, compared to the old curve, and would muck up the first section of the rising track to Akuna, It was a pleasant surprise to find the new radius has meant that it only goes 30mm further away from where the old line went, also to join to the Akuna section is only affected by 45mm short that needs a short track insert.

One blooper I found, which took me a little while to fix was I had not installed the Walthers 90ft TT correctly, it needs to have an area where there is no track space above a feeder that is under the pit.  I had to prise up all the track and rotate to new position, helped in another way in getting the various roads better aligned.

The roundhouse has proved to be a bit of a problem owing to the areas which were damaged in the move, one side  has pretty much broken up, and I am not sure I have the desire to try and replicate the original fine detail on the inside, as its not going to be seen anyway. I had heck of a lot of trouble getting one of the sides glued back in place, a brick wall that would for some reason not take Plastic cement or Super Glue, I was left with no other option than using Plumbers PVC cement and primer, that fixed it no problems

The last two days have gone into finishing the backdrop, the grassing of the area between track and the back drop, and from track to the depot area.
The very beginnings of the new Essence and Moblayne depot, new track in place between the two low profile land. A slow start but at least it was the start needed.

Taking the next step was to work on the size of the backdrops, as there are two large windows in the room, one to the left side of Moblayne and one at the back wall & to the right of the photo, trying to fit in commercial backdrops would not work, I may go that way for Akuna though.

The depot with the finishe painted backdrop in place, I have to say that I found doing this quite enjoyable after I had found 2 of the cloud masters (copies from friend) and decided to play around with them, Matt white spray paint and Matt Grey primer to see how much I could mess it up. Being a lowish profile backdrop of 360mm works well as does the length of it that fits at the Window frame to the left of the drop.
The approach to Moblayne from Akuna that runs behind the Roundhouse, the track comes off the new 32" radius curve, where I had to extend the baseboard by a whopping 140mm to enable the reworking of the track, where the inside landscape is shown, that was where the old line was. That made the curve of 28" radius a bit tight but I am more than happy with how the wider curve fits. The big advantage in the new room is that I get at least 400mm more room on each wall compared to the old garage layout.
Behind the Roundhouse and again the old radius is just visible to the right of the track, the roundhouse shows some damage as a result of the move.

Exiting the low cuttings and approaching the home signals, the brownish dirt spot is at the start of where the new larger radius curve commences, the worst damage to the roundhouse is seen on the wall, but most of the internal supports were also broken, I constructed the whole roundhouse with wood, if I had my time over again I would likely do it in Styrene, as the wood components gave way generally at glue points.

Many loco depots had small cut aways in any dirt areas such as I have created two of the, one a bit below the photo is the main entry to the depot for workers, the above one though is a short stopping spot where incoming crews could be relieved before going into the yard/station areas.


  1. Col,
    Great to see Essence returning to operation albeit with a few tweaks and improvements. Looking forward to ongoing updates in 2020. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Phil

  2. Looking good Colin!

    Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New year.

    Ray P