Incremental Changes

Subway Test 1861
Work on the layout continues, but without much visible to show for it. Mostly it’s been more of things I’ve already done: building the second set of supports for the other half of the elevated station, more roadbed painting, and preparing the fascia for the Riverside Station scene (complete with cut-out windows to view the subway).

The first set of supports I did for the elevated Urban Station turned out okay, although I wasn’t happy with the length of the PEX (it didn’t quite reach down to the ground, so a bit of the threaded rod was exposed). When I did the second set I made them longer (60 mm instead of 50 mm). These turned out well, so I made a second set to replace the original ones. I’m going to have to paint all of them now, but that waits on warmer weather as I’m using spray paint and need to do it outdoors. There are a lot of these: sixteen for each half of the station, plus six more of the “mushroom” style (with a nut and washer on top instead of holding up a long bar) for each end; that’s a total of 44 rods to cut and re-thread, and 44 sections of PEX to cut, and screw onto the rods. And it turns out that the extra 10 mm of PEX was too much for my electric screwdriver: the battery was running down every six or so I did. I eventually switched to using a corded variable-speed drill to turn the rod into the PEX (it’s a very snug fit). You can read more about how I made these supports on the phase 2d Construction page.

I also started experimenting with painting the Woodland Scenics foam roadbed (WS Track-Bed), using the same gray acrylic paint I used on the cork roadbed. I theorized that since the paint remained flexible it would not chip off when the foam flexed, assuming it adhered in the first place. And that turned out to be correct. So far I’ve only tested this on a scrap of the material, but it’s holding up after a week. I’m doing a durability test by weighting a platform segment down atop the foam and leaving it for a week or so, to see how the paint handles the pressure and whether it dries out. There’s a photo at the end of the Roadbed page. Assuming this all works out, I’ll be painting all of the foam for the elevated station in a week or two.

I’ve also begun work on the next part: the Riverside Station scene. So far this is just cutting and painting the fascia (the first coat of paint is drying as I type, but it’s going to take three coats, and then at least a week to let it cure, before I’ll be able to assemble them, although I may photograph a test-fitting before then). I did do some test-fitting before I painted them; the photo above shows one of these (this one and another photo are in the Construction photo album).

One reason I did the fascia now, before I work on the scene itself, is that cutting the hardboard is very dusty. After I did the Urban Station fascia I noticed a fine coat of brown dust all over the layout. I’m going to have to take off all the track and vacuum the whole thing to get it clean. So I wanted to finish cutting the fascia before I did that. I’m going to need to come up with some kind of dust-cover/drop-cloth once I have the scenery in place, as I can’t be vacuuming it every time I cut lumber (although most wood isn’t as dusty as hardboard).

Aside from the pages linked above I haven’t done any updates to the website since the last musing.