Today the layout was put up for the first time in six months, and I’m pleased to report that apart from dirty track, there have been no problems with the layouts running. A few people have asked what is the track plan? Well as a picture speaks a thousand words, here it is in the assembly stage.
This plan is based on Iain Rices ‘Cornfield Street’ with one or two changes by myself. The scenic break between the fiddle yard and main board is at the foot of the image. When set up this is marked by a line of structures that act as a view block. The backscene wraps around the right hand side of the layout as you look at this shot, and the ‘bare’ boards still allow me to mess around moving buildings. Other tasks worked on today were more trees being completed, and just sitting back and playing trains for once! In the previous post I mentioned I’d add details on the fire irons on the locomotives, well I’ve added them to the 15 minute heroes page as well as here. Many prototype images show a set of Fire Iron tools in the tender, on the rear tool brackets as per the Pannier illustrated, or lying along the top of water tanks on locomotives like the 45/55XX or 41/51/61xx Praries.
Using a very fine wet and dry paper I gently rub both sides of the etch in preparation for the next bit which will save some offort when painting.
The etch is dipped into a blackening solution for a few seconds, I probably leave it in for ten or so and having rubbed them with wet and dry previously, there is plenty for the ‘black’ to get hold of. You can actually see it change color as the process occurs.
The blackening process can be stopped by immersing the etch in water. WHen its dry the etch will be a black colour and there is a matt residue left on the surface. This will come off with a wipe of tissue.
The tools can then be cut from the etch, I use a pair of sharpened nail scissors for this job. In real life the tools got pretty knocked about and didn’t stay nice and straight for long, so all of mine show a bit of lifes journey in their shape. You don’t need to put all the tools on, its often that you’ll find a picture with just one or two of items on board an engine, there are plenty of reference pictures in books which show variations you can model. You can use the same technique when replacing lamp irons too, and 247 as well as others do different types which you can fit.