So this evening has been spent redesigning the layouts fascia control panels. The previous design was down in Microsoft Excel to try and use the cells as a guide to get the panels the same and I'm quite proficient with doing neat little tricks with it too.
But there was a snag... Somewhere between swapping computers and different versions the panels wouldn't print the same and I was getting artefacts when I cut & paste the same pieces when I printed.
I also needed to do them again as the track work and signals have changed since version one. So this time I have used a program called Pixelmator, its a iMac based drawing software like Photoshop. Very easy to use and has some great features that make doing duplicates very easy and quick.
So tonight I redesigned the Harrisburg Fascia Panel to match the new track work around the Steel Mill/Furnace and the changes made to the signals as well. It can be difficult to get the 3D layout track work to fit and match on a 2D fascia Panel.
The below photo is the area represented on the first Harrisburg Fascia Panel...
One other issue is leaving enough room to be able to place the push buttons for the Tortoise motors too. This often requires some tweaking of the track design to allow them all to fit.
The picture below is the first draft of the new fascia panel for Harrisburg...
I've tried to simplify the design too, gone are the dots on the end of the tracks to represent the end of a track or siding, the arrows on sidings showing the continuation, and the triple railroad heralds. I've made the decision to plant the layout and theme more into the Reading era rather than Reading/Conrail merger era. Hence the single Reading Herald now.
After our last ops session I also decided to change the colour of the main so that it is easier for operators to pick it up while operating the Tortoise push buttons.
So far I'm happy with the redesign and the simplified new look, next stage is to make another ten (10) new fascia panel inserts...