Thursday, March 18, 2021

Under Construction

 I am going to leave that short section of the R58 main road as is - under construction, unfinished and unsurfaced. I have the LTA Road Construction Site office close by - they are attending to all the roadworks on my layout...

The main road was primed and the first gravel layer was done last night... Everything in the good old SA is happening at a snail's pace 🤔

Friday, January 22, 2021

Moving Layout

Been very busy the last twenty two days, preparing the new train room combined with office and man cave, moving the layout from previous cramped room to this more spacious and convenient room. Very happy with the outcome. 

An automated DC micro layout, only 4m x 2,2m, now in an air conditioned environment.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Modular Layout

Build a Portable Model Railroad...

No space for a permanent layout? Constantly moving? Or maybe you're looking for a way to share the hobby with others.
Sometimes the model railroad that moves us moves with us. A portable model railroad can be a great way to take your hobby on the road. And a railroad doesn't have to be huge to offer big rewards.
You don't need to have continuous running options to have hours of fun on a model railroad. In fact, with this method you are able to run the train endlessly through the Automated Reverse Loops, but thinking about its every move and job is a great way to lengthen your modelling enjoyment. This shelf-style layout represents a typical small station with a "fiddle yard" and provides a lot of operations in a relatively small space.
Although the "mainline" on this railroad between the two loops is only 1.2 metres long, you could easily stretch this plan into a larger shelf-style layout around the walls of the room to provide a longer run and even more industrial switching action.
A small train of only a locomotive and two cars can keep you occupied for quite a while on this deceptively simple railroad.

This track plan is designed around standard code 100 track sections.

As the entire railroad would be one operational block, conventional or DCC systems could both be used to power the line.
A DCC system would allow you to easily add a second locomotive to make your own operations easier.
A power bus with feeders to the many sidings will allow reliable operations through the many switches.
The number of feeders you install is up to you, but at least one pair on each of the three long tracks of the yard would minimize voltage drop issues.

Scenery and Structures
As a portable layout, scenery is a bit of a challenge. If your interest is primarily in operation, and you move the layout frequently, then minimal scenery may work best. Simply ballasting the track and adding some ground cover will go a long way towards providing a finished look without adding much weight or any delicate parts.
If you do choose to add structures, background buildings will work well. You could use kits as-is, or do some kitbashing to fit and make the most of materials. Walthers and others make many industry kits that can be easily modified for these scenes and stretched along the backdrop.
With sidings branching off in different directions, switching even a two-car train could take a while.
Uncoupling magnets could be added, but given the small size of the operation and the many places you'll want to separate cars, you may be better off using a hand tool.

The main module to be enclosed in a wooden box 
with removable plexiglass top and front panels, 
a photo realistic backdrop and neutral white 
LED lighting...

The control diagram.

Simplified wiring diagram...

Monday, August 20, 2018

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rocky Ridge

You can achieve a lot with a wee bit of imagination and ordinary American Ash tree bark from the nature store. 
The "rocky ridge" in the centre of the picture is actually a piece of tree bark!

A rocky ridge.

Added more vegetation.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Miniature Steam Engine

My Miniature Maritzburg "Steam" Engine - Model 'A' kit.
(Kits are available from the "Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society" - search them on Facebook)


Controlling the speed of my finished Maritzburg Engine Model A kit - February 23, 2017 

Test fitting of custom made
brass parts.

Test fitting of custom made
brass parts.

Test fitting of custom made
brass parts.

A custom built cylinder -
mild steel and brass stock.

Polished the brass cylinder 
outer ring.

Shaped and polished the 
brass cylinder end-cap.

A Customized Cylinder with a
Brass Sleeve, Mild Steel Piston
and Adjustable Brass Connecting
Rod Assembly.

Holes were precision drilled 
and tapped.
Test fitting the various parts.

A great product for gluing
metals - be careful though
and plan well in advance.

Wynn’s Nut Lock & Stud Lock are solvent free products that cure in the absence of air and in the presence of metal ions. Applications include studs, nuts, screws and any threaded fasteners. The adhesive prevents loosening caused by vibration, mechanical and thermal shock. Resistant to petrol, diesel, transmission fluid, anti freeze, and other chemicals. Wynn’s Nut Lock and Stud Lock also inhibit fretting corrosion and prevent seizure and galling. Nut Lock is a medium strength bond which requires 20Nm torque to loosen. Stud Lock has high bond strength for more permanent locking and requires 36Nm torque to loosen.

The finished model - I love the look 
of bare metal - Spray painted all 
the parts separately with Tamiya 
Clear Flat varnish.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Faded Billboards

Experimenting with "Faded Billboards / Signboards". Evenly faded - white washed with thinned white acrylic and light tan matte paints - it dulls the bright glossy look.

Washed with white acrylic matte.

Washed with white acrylic matte, left
to dry over night and then washed
with light tan acrylic matte.

Comparing the signboards.