It runs!!! After scenery work etc IT RUNS!!!
It runs!!! After scenery work etc IT RUNS!!!
Australian Standard domestic freight pallets measures 1165 x1165mm and are designed to fit perfectly into the RACE (Railways of Australia Container Express) container of the Australian railways. 1165mm scale down to 7.3mm in 1:160 scale.
Micro Engineering Part No. 80-144 is a `kit’ for 24 `skids’, which are like pallets without the bottom cross boards. They come moulded onto a sprue with six skids on each side of the central sprue. Our task therefore is not only make sure they have correct dimensions but to also add some bottom cross boards.
The ME skids measure out at 7mm wide, close enough to our desired 7.3mm.
The skids measure up one cross board too many for a 7x7mm pallet.
The boards on the underside of the pallet were made using 0.020×0.030”styrene strip from Evergreen. Rather than cutting off each skid before applying the styrene strip I made use of the sprue holding them together to stick the strip to six skids at once and save a lot of fiddly work. The strips were glued on to the underside of the runners so that they lined up with the first, third, and fifth upper cross boards, as counting from the end furthest from the sprue. See the photo below:
When the glue has set, and that means waiting an hour or two as you will need a good strong bond, you can start trimming the styrene strips to match the length of the upper cross boards.
Then you can trim the pallet from the sprue by making the cut on the outside edge of the fifth cross board from the non-sprue end. Wise folks will paint their pallets before doing this cut.
The ME pack of 24 skids cost about A$10.00 plus postage.
G’day Folks, these modules have been a bit neglected, and my posts about them even more so. As I (hopefully) enter the recovery phase of a cold/flu type virus I was able to work at painting up the track on the project. I didn’t get out all the modules, just the ones in need of painted track, plus the trestle module which was kept in the same box. Here is the overview:
This is a view of the corner module that will form the scenic break between the open dairy country on the left and the dense bush-land on the right. The other modules will form a steady transition of scenery as the viewer follows the line around from the module on the left across `the back’ and around to the module on the left. Fortunately the dairy farmers of the Camperdown & Cobden region like to have lots of Pine and Cypress Pine plantations as wind breaks.
This module will represent a small version of the loading shed siding that existed for Curdies Creek Lime (forgotten the official company name at the moment) at Curdies Creek:
This is another view of the corner junction module.
G’day Folks, An update on Sadler’s Sidings.
First an extra building next to ‘Shed A’ cobbled together out of old POLA kit parts. It will become either a workshop for Sadler’s or a separate business leasing the building.
Second, some pallets with merchandise are now on Shed A’s platform, I will follow up exact details later on my Pallets post in N Gauge Forum:
Please note that I am not overloading the platform. In real life a well functioning and efficient warehouse operation would keep lots of items on the move or stored away in its proper place. Otherwise not only is there confusion and delay, it is very dangerous and limiting to workmen and forklifts etc.
G’day Folks, I’ve been working on rollingstock lately.
First off I’ve rebuilt one of my old Fybren Models ELX open wagon kits. I shortened it to fit under an Aust-N-Rails ELX resin tarpaulin. I then fitted shunter’s steps made out of folded brass ladders and small rectangles of styrene. Then followed them up with some folded staples for other bits and a styrene rectangle for the logo. Paint was Humbrol 113(?) carefully brushed on and then followed by two light coats of hardware/discount store spray paint. Decals are a mixture of G&R and Bills Billboards. The VLX is also a rebuilt Fybren kit fitted with a Spirit Design underframe with details etc much the same as the ELX except only spray paint used for VR oxide red. White paint is Tamiya acrylic white carefully brushed on. Others have done far better than I with these models, but I am satisfied with them as `shunting fodder’.
The green van is an N-TRAINS NSWGR HLX that in my theoretical world has been bought by Sadler’s as a private owner in captive service on the broad gauge. Tamyia spray can paint for this beastie. Will work on decalling and details sometime as I want it to resemble the prototype Sadleirs vans, but not be an exact copy.
G’day Folks, I have some photos and commentary on laying track on the Sidetrack modules.
The quality of some photos may be a bit below par due to being taken outside, at night, under a single light, on our front verandah, when day to day life events and temperatures allowed me to work.
The photos come from the laying of track on two 160mm wide and 250mm track length modules (248mm woodwork length). The displayed sequence is correct although the photos may alternate between the two modules. The 160mm width is to allow for some more space for either 3 tracks or industrial structures behind the rear track. The 250mm length is partly because of the single point on the 2 to 3 track transition module and because I was starting to run out of room on the table! I will play around with ideas for corner modules a bit later.
First off, PAINT the modules to seal them, both outside and inside.
Then mark out the edges of the track locations for the Kato Unitrack which has a 25mm width on its plastic ballast, and which for Sidetrack using Peco Set-Track points has a 35mm track centers.
Next mark out two lines 20mm from the ends of the modules and running parallel to the ends. Then stick down sheets of 3mm thick balsa wood between the two new lines and at the total width of the number of tracks you are going to lay. This forms a roadbed/underlay for the conventional N gauge track so that its height matches the Kato Unitrack. When glue has dried, paint!
Taking your 30mm (or so) long piece of Unitrack (in this case it’s just the Unitrack base threaded on to some existing flexible track) and on the underside mark out a line 20mm from the Unijoiner end.
Turning the Unitrack upside down, cut through the ballast slope edges of the Unitrack until you touch the actual track base.
Then from the top cut off the sloping ballast edge until you reach the transverse cut.
Then break off the ballast slope.
When you have done this for both sides drill holes for the track pins. The first hole is drilled through the hollow column under the Unitrack, This is Kato’s built in fixing point.
Then on both sides of the track drill holes in the corner between the outside of the Unijoiner pockets and the beginning of the ballast slope.
Take some Silicon Wet Area Sealant, or similar, to use as a glue for the track. This wonderful stuff feels weird on the fingers, does actually hold the track down, and yet will peel or rub of when you need to get rid of it.
Apply three dabs of the Silicon sealant in the spots shown.Ber careful to keep the area where the Uni-joiners go clear of sealant, tricky, but necessary.
Locate the track into its position and push down into the Silicon paste. Use a 1mm thick steel ruler to allow you to work out the 1mm overhang.
Carefully push a track pin in to the first drilled hole. Then follow this with pushing in two more track pins into the other two holes. Because of the wood frame these last two pins will not push all the way down. Carefully using a nail punch hammer the pins into the wood frame.
When you have let the first piece of track set in the silicon for a few hours you can locate and fix down the adjacent piece of track using a jig made out f two Peco track spacing jigs.
Because this end of the track has some rail sticking out the end I used Xuran Track Cutter to trim it back to length.
How the other module ended up.
For all sorts of tips and tricks for fitting Unitrack in with conventional gauge track go to pages 19 to 21 of the Australian T-TRAK Guidelines at:
G’day All, This post covers the making up a 160mm wide (125 +35) and 248mm long (multiple of 50mm less 2mm for Unitrack overhang) Sidetrack Module. i.e. this module will allow for three parallel tracks.
This is a ‘pull saw’ that makes cutting timber a dream. It takes a little getting used to and really requires that you let the saw do the cutting and not your pushing down on the wood:
A comparatively cheap plastic mitre box that does the job well if you don’t hurry:
Even though there is the mitre box to keep cuts square, marking them as square is a good habit that pays dividends in future work:
While the sides were cut to the full length of the module (248mm) the ends were cut to fit inside the sides to give a neat outer appearance. This means that the ends have to be cut to a length of 160mm less the combined width of the two side pieces. Don’t rely upon the theoretical widths, measure the real ones. Sidetrack, and its original T-TRAK, can tolerate small errors (see down further), but sensibly keeping them to a minimum doesn’t stretch that tolerance:
As you can see there are a couple of ‘ooops!’. Width is 161mm but that is less than 1% error and the `wonky’ corner was straightened up before the glue had set:
This end piece is an off cut from a previous module’s construction. One side was `dead on’ for the width, the other was 1mm too short. A bit of careful alignment of the corner blocks and it was overcome. Not recommended for your first few modules unless you are really limited on timber to hand:
3mm balsa for the top of the module. I find that prices here in Auz can vary quite a bit between individual shops and towns. There is no place to buy it in my own home town and so if my own stocks are low I purchase sheets when I see them:
The reinforcing spine was another offcut from previous work and I had apples stewing on the stove. No one will see it, except you dear reader(s):
An update to fitting the spine, make sure that you have worked out your track plan in terms of under the baseboard items before fitting the spine. I have had to remove this one to allow for an under the baseboard drop away magnetic uncoupler. I will refit the spine once clearances are worked out.