Some staged photos with some of the big guns of the Reading…
This will be a great spot for railfanning the layout as trains work their way out of the helix and through the buildings behind the backdrop.
Another productive day today, installed two more structures into the backdrop transition scene. The bigger structure/building is one kit that was spread out to cover the remaining areas within the scene.
It adds some variety & bulk to the smaller buildings. It also managed to cover the backdrop drywall cut on the Locomotive Shops side, and spans the track work too.
The second building was used to hide the corner of the layout frame work, and again blend the foreground backdrop into the scene behind. Tricking the eye from multiple angles, whilst trying to maintain depth, and make it look plausible, requires a lot of lateral thinking, and trying different configurations.
Eventually the upper fascia will cover the very top portion of the 5 storey building, the mark on the right is 255mm - 10” and is the shadow box gap that will be created when the upper fascia is built.
Working on the backdrop buildings for the helix/locomotive shops transition onto the layout. These buildings will get a basic paint & weathering. This scene actually sits between two backdrops, but because it can be seen from sides of the layout I decided to add some basic building & scene to finish off the area...
I knew there was a reason I stocked up on Walthers - Modular kits. These are perfect for kitbashing buildings for view blocks.
This is the second building backdrop work for the helix/locomotive shops transition between the backdrops.
Again I used a combination of Walthers - Modular kits. These are really adaptable & quick to put together.
Two more structures to build and the scene will be ready for painting & weathering.
Tweaking the bridge/backdrop transition today, previously the bridge deck was sitting below the backdrop cut line. I wasn’t happy with it as you could see the cut in the backdrop through the bridge railing.
I’ve now raised the bridge about 20mm - 3/4” so that the bridge deck is in-line with backdrop cut line, and now hides the transition perfectly.
With a few vehicles strategically placed, the view is much better than before from both angles the scene can be viewed from.
Installed the last Showcase Miniatures- G-Type/Tri-Light lens cabinet on my scratch built - Triple Head Signal Mast.
I’ve got the process down to about an hour per head, that’s solder the magnet wires onto each 0603 LED, twist all three pairs of wires, install the 1/8” light pipes, glue the LED’s to the light pipes, and then feed the three pairs of magnet wires through the mast stem.
Last step will be to prime the lens hoods, and paint in flat black and install them onto the lens cabinets, and install the lens cabinet backs after a final check of the LED's...
Next G-Type/Tri-Light triple head mast. Using the Showcase Miniatures heads & hoods again, 1.8mm - 1/8” (diameter) Light Pipes for the lenses, and 0603 SMD LED’s.
Trying a few different processes on this one. I've colour-coded the four pin connector for ease of connection when under the layout, the four pins are smaller than the Tomar mast base so the hole connectors will be smaller than the base.
Second Showcase Miniatures head installed, got the process of soldering the 0.19” magnet wire to the 0603 LED’s sorted now, one more to go and I’ll install the hoods.
Today was spent scratch building a newer version of a G-Type/Tri-Light, triple head mast signal.
I purchased some heads from Showcase Miniatures, these have great detail and are really good prototype versions.
I found some 1.8mm light tubes that fitted the cast lens case perfectly, I glued the 0603 LED’s directly to the light pipes, and fed the magnet wire through the bottom of the lens casing.
These kits also come with cast mounting brackets too, I soldered the bracket to a modified Tomar signal mast. I’m redoing these as they’re right on the fascia edge and I wanted more detail in them.
I also came up with a method of connecting the mast magnet wires to the wires that connect to the Digitrax TSMK & SE8C.
This will allow me to disconnect masts & signal bridges from the scenic area of the layout, without disconnecting the wires from the detection system wiring.
So at the end of today's little experiment I've managed to get all three railroad signal colours into seperate 0603 SMD LED's. I decided to try this out, as I couldn't find them anywhere with the correct colours for use in HO.
They're not the easiest things to work with, but I'm sure that after making a few, I'll pick up a process. I've even purchased a digital soldering station with some SMD tips to help out.
Really happy with the green, it's the magical 505nm wavelength and the emerald green required for railroad signalling as recommended by AAR's AREMA railroad signal colour guide.
These will eventually go into my tri-light/g-type signal heads that I have on order.