Sunday, January 22, 2012

Virgin Railhead 04

Back after a fast trip to California.  I managed to stay unplugged, but my modelling suffered.  It is always hard for me to start again after a cold stop.

I returned to the workshop, and realized that what I had build before was still not stiff enough--it twisted a little too easily for my taste, and I did not want the torsion to "pop" the scenery.  At the same time, the "super light" concept was not so light, as I kept adding material, and the spacers I used for my splines were MDF, and frankly, that was a dumb choice for someone who cares about weight.

So, I managed to get a new piece of plywood, and made a pattern from what I had done, I liked the way it looked--so, I left the track arrangement as it was.

A little of my favorite chocolate brown spray paint, and I had a trace of the pattern.  I cut it out cookie cutter style, and framed the edges with pine at various elevations.  In the end, I had a stronger, lighter version of what I had before. 

My sub-roadbed is made of spongy foam (I am not sure what it was intended for, I bought it to make knee pads in a canoe I was building), that spongy foam is topped with cardboard.  The combination is great, in that it will perform its task as sound isolator, but will still provide good tooth to glue the ties to.

The ties are Datura Stramonium, which are prolific here.  The branches when dried make great logs--though I am careful with it.  The seeds and flowers are toxic--and although I think the dried stems are harmless, I still take care with the dust.  Some people attempt to ingest the plant for its hallucinogenic effects, however, it seems like doing so would lead to certain brain damage.  It has been used both as a poison and a hallucinogen by native people in the Southwest--I can add to its storied past by using it as scale railroad ties.

Back to model railroading: My plan is to sand them level once the glue is adequately dry.

I made up a turnout using an HO #4 Fast Tracks jig I picked up on Ebay.  My plan is to use the jig without ties, and solder spacers on top, so I can drop the turnout on to my own ties.  Rather than draw the turnout, I just whipped a couple out using the jig, and used them as spray paint templates.  Then I used my favorite sideways cutting drill bit to make the slots for the actuators.

You can see that some of my ties are massive, but I think they will look good when they are sanded and weathered.

Added some more glue to the edge of the ties just to make sure they are secure for the sanding festival. 

I have to go "pick" another few dried out Datura plants to finish up. Gluing ties will make a good little job that can be done just about any time.  It felt good to make a little headway after time away.

No comments:

Post a Comment