Control Panel

I decided that I’ve been avoiding working on the Town module for long enough. On one of my Facebook groups a new modeler asked the group for tips about the hobby. One of the tips that really struck a chord with me was: don’t get distracted by other smaller projects. I realized that I’ve been distracted for most of the year by the diorama project and had not given The Town module the attention it needed to keep it moving at a reasonable pace. I’ve seen other modelers complete at least two layouts in the time that I’ve been working on The Town.  So with no more excuses or distractions I put the weathering project away and got back to building the control panel for The Town.

Time to get back to The Town.

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Control panel designs

So I’ve started working on the control panel design. The work has to be divided up between different functions required. Firstly laying out the space available for the controller, control panel and traction extension (see diagram). Then I need to select and design the hardware solutions and then finally decide on the panel front design. Tonight I attempted to layout the space roughly and get an idea of how to install the hardware pieces to hold the whole thing together.

I don’t enjoy this work. I see it as an evil but essential task if I am to get the design right. I used Sketchup to layout the space and solve some of the issues of suspending platforms for use only during operations. When not being operated the platforms either should be removed or folded away.

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Back to the Town

I’m very excited about getting back to The Town project now that the diorama is finished. I’ve been mulling over next steps: should I start on some structures or shall I finish the track-laying and powering up? I’ve decided to finish track-laying and the goal is to have a powered locomotive navigate the whole layout. I will also build a second cassette and the exit points and a proper control panel so that I can operate the layout in full before starting any structures.

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Current Projects

I’ve put together a section called ‘Current Projects’ where I keep a diary of the various projects within The Depot universe. Presently these include The Trestle and The Town. I’m currently putting together The Town diary but I’ve finished The Trestle up to the creekbed construction. I’ll add sections as the projects progress.

Coming up in that section will be the construction diary for the cassette system, the station building, and the weathering project. It is a similar section the blog but with the posts gathered in a single place for easy reading.

Third crossover finished – or is it?

Same process as the first two crossovers – using the Tim Warris notched rails method. The only mistake/customization I made was to make the outer guard rail further from its running rail due to the extreme curve of the track. But it looks interesting and works really well. The trucks run smoothly through the crossover without any issues.

First the running rails. I decided to do the curved rails first because the rails are hard to handle on the curve. It’s best to do the fiddly work with the other rails where there is less tension.

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Tracklaying

Finished the second of the two turnouts for section three. Two more sections to go – one more turnout and one more crossing and then I’ll be able to assemble them together. I’ve decided not to lay the rail on the straights as I want leave the area free for landscaping the trackbed.

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