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.

Here’s where I am at.

I decided that I would use a combination of hinges and a block to create a folding shelf. The hardware that I wanted to use just wasn’t going to work so I just simplified the set-up. Here’s a SketchUp drawing of it:

And here’s the actual real version of it.

I mostly used glue to stick the pieces together.
I’ve ordered a small mouse-pad which I will cut down to size and stick on the surface. I’m not sure what else this little shelf will need but it holds the controller just fine.

I’ll attach the platform to the layout while doing the wiring but it will have to be removed while I build the rest of the layout.

The control box

I originally wanted to try something fancy such as have Shapeways print out a 3D version of the plan onto which I was going to place the switches but I decided that I would keep it simple and just do what I did on the The Depot: a printed out plan on top of a wooden control box. I used SketchUp to create the plan and then exported it to Photoshop for fine tuning and easier printing.

I used a ruler to create a geometric version of the plan. The three crossings are going to be a challenge.
Used SketchUp to create a digital version of the plan.
SketchUp is not a great tool for printing in 2D so I transferred a version to Photoshop and added the arrows and then printed out a black and white version. I may end up adding details to this plan but it is a good starting point.

This coming weekend I’m going to build the control box. I’ve ordered Tortoise turnout motors and a bunch of DPDT toggle switches. Hopefully they will come in time for me to start wiring up the first stretch of track.