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Redesign of the Fiddle Yards

Posted by Gerd on Saturday, 31 January 2015 with 1 Comment


after the first operation sessions I realized, that my fiddle yards were not the best. I had trouble with the curved turnouts on the large fiddle and the solution of the small one was odd too.

As I was working on the whole layout while adding the backdrops, I just decided to rebuilt the fiddles too. I installed a 180° passing siding on the large fiddle with Peco turnouts. Now it’s possible to bypass trains in the fiddle area too which will be useful on loop style layouts. The small fiddle was constructed all new with two spur tracks from each direction.

Additional, I made a small 20cm joker module, which can be used as lead tracks on the large fiddle yard and at least as connection between the fiddle yards. This way, the small fiddle and the joker will replace the log landing module on the loop style layout which can than be used to the right of the char coal square. This will result in 3 new layout variants.

At least I made small backdrop boards for the entries which were held in place by magnets. Next I’ll show you the new storage box that I made to store all the fiddle yard equipment.

Backdrops for the Hon30 layout

Posted by Gerd on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 with 2 Comments

Meanwhile I managed the long time open issue “backdrops”.

I bought some simple sky backdrops offset printed on paper. They are 80 by 20cm each and originally designed for N-scale modules. I glued them to MDF boards and screwed them to the back of the modules. With the new backdrops, the modules are fitting just perfect into the storage boxes.

I used 10mm MDF and cut them to the needed dimensions. I cut them 1mm smaller as the modules are. I used spray adhesive to apply the paper sky and included a 2cm overlap on both ends. These were bent around the corner and hold in place with double-sided tape. When ever possible, I glued the blue sky around the bend. This will prevent “white gaps” between two back drops if they are not 100% aligned. This is why I cut the boards 1mm smaller. These steps are the same for all single backdrop boards.

A little bit more difficult was the module “char coal square”. Depending on the layout, one need a short backdrop when the rear module connection is user, or a long backdrop for a shelf layout. Therefore I made a foldable backdrop. The short piece is mounted to the module, while the extension is mounted with hinges. I use magnets to lock the foldable backdrop in both positions.

Another special segment is the corner module with the pond. In one layout, it’s necessary to remove the backdrop on this one. I installed threaded inserts and use M4 wing screws on this one.

Additional to the mounted backdrops, I made a foldable 40x40cm external backdrop which is used on 3 special layouts when the rear track on the char coal square is used for another fiddle yard. They will continue the backdrop from the right to the back.

Last special is the long module with the log landing. On the corner layout with two fiddle yards, the small fiddle will be right behind the log landing. Therefore it was not possible to extend the backdrop all the way down. The same solution will be used on the new to come module.

But first I’ll go to rebuild and improve my fiddle yards.

Construction of my storage boxes for my Hon30 layout

Posted by Gerd on Sunday, 25 January 2015 (Comments Closed)

Hello again,

during the last days, I build the storage boxes for my Hon30 layout. I did some more improvements to my last design since I realized, that I can handle the whole thing without exchange back drops. I just have to mount the backdrop another way on two special modules.

I got all wood ready cut to size at the local hardware store. I use 10mm poplar plywood which is light weight and helps to keep the whole thing easy to handle. I also bought 20x20mm wooden strips and some aluminum angle and U channels as well as screws and other hardware.

I use the 20×20 strips in the corners as connection between the boards and also as distance blocks to clear room for the switch handles. I glued and screwed everything together step by step. I cut the guide rails from aluminium angles and installed them with double-sided tape. A U channel is mounted head over to guide the backdrop. Everything fitted together very well and one can see what good planing is good for.

I installed a handle on top and wooden strips as feet to the boxes and finally a door with hinges and hatches. Once the wood working was done, I tested all slots with a module. Since the backdrop is still missing, the modules are not as well guided as designed. This will change once the backdrops are installed.

At least I spend some sanding and paint.
Next I’ll install the backdrops to the modules.

Sugiyama 13 ton Class A Shay

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 22 January 2015 with 1 Comment

Hello, the Palatinate Coal & Lumber (former Palatinate Lumber Company) is proud to present the newest locomotive in the roundhouse. This tiny 13 ton Class A Shay, often called the BabyShay, was made by Sugiyama in Japan. It’s a high detailed brass model. Comparing this Shay with a Joe Works loco shows a huge difference […]

Re-gauge the Flying Zoo Climax

Posted by Gerd on Monday, 19 January 2015 (Comments Closed)

Today, I re-gauged my Flying Zoo Climax from Hon3 down zo 9mm gauge. First I pulled the wheels off of the axles in my drill press. I made a part-holder from hex-brass to turn the 8 bushings down to the new size. I had to turn 0,65mm off from the thicker part. Before I start […]