Saturday 19 May 2018

Pambula is next

I don't remember if I have ever been to Pambula on the Sapphire Coast. To try and recreate the town in a few square metres is virtually impossible. We can always take elements from localities to add some resemblance for the viewer to recognise. It would look odd with a desert scene in the area I am modelling.
So the next station after leaving Broadwater, crossing the Yowaka Bridge and climbing up the S bend we come to the small town of Pambula. Similar in design to Broadwater and the prototype narrow gauge will be a main line, a loop, and a goods siding. Both of these will be double ended to assist shunting. There will also be a siding for a factory/building and two other dead end sidings at each end of the yard. The station comes around from off the wall and runs into the middle of the room before heading around a right hand bend towards the next station. My aim by providing some sidings is to create shunting interest at each location rather than just go round in circles. Job cards for each train are still some time away but by early track design this will become possible.
Baseboards for Pambula under construction
One thing I have realised in doing this blog is that most of the early stages are about the construction of the layout. Apart from the corner trestle (which I had to complete before locating into place) the photos are basically boring. We must all go through this stage, construction of baseboards, wiring, track laying before any scenery can be attempted. I must say that going over to DCC has simplified wiring and when I stare at my old control panel for the HO SCR laying on the ground with its birds nest of wiring I think I made the right choice.
The narrow width of Pambula is evident in this photo.
I have also used the wire in tube method for operating the points at this location. I am also trying to keep the curves as large as possible for both appearance and operation. Although most of the locos and rolling stock can go around 18" radius curves it don't look pretty.
Opposite view to above photo
The loops will take around 7 or 8 cars plus loco which will be practical for most trains. If there is a need to operate a double headed train with more than 8 cars then with a little judicious shunting, crossings can be made. The tracks are also close to the baseboard edge so uncoupling wagons won't be a problem. One thing I have realised with O scale is there is never enough room to be able to construct a town. I am happy with this aspect as the thought of making many shops, buildings etc doesn't interest me. The trains are the key point in operating the layout, towns are all about imaging them.
Two siding added, left hand one will have a factory
That poor old station build in the above photo will eventually get glued down at Eden with the nameboard suitable changed. At the moment it is a portable prop for each location that allows me visualise how it would look. The goods shed is 'borrowed' from Broadwater at the moment and will also end up back there one day.
Pambula from the air
I have decided to construct a loading platform instead of having a goods shed there. It will be a full faced NSW style loading platform with ramps, just a matter of getting the time to do these projects.
In  the above photo on the left can be seen a portion of future baseboard that will contain a 180 degree curve. I felt that I need to provide a backdrop along this back section of Pambula to restrict the view. This will allow the operator to entirely focus on Pambula. I cut up a piece of Masonite I had and placed it along the back section and it worked quite well. It's incredible how something so simple can change a scene.
Backdrop provides focus on Pambula
I will have to get the blue paint onto the backdrop soon. The only trouble with masonite is that one side is smooth and the other side is rough, so I am not sure whether to place another sheet on the back to smooth it all out.
The building of Pambula is now the joining section of the all new baseboards to what I have retained of the old baseboards. This basically means that most of the baseboards are in place and will just require the track to be designed and laid. The other thing that this means is that from here on most of the layout is now sacrificial. The front half can be removed bit by bit but this bit - no.
My main intention is to plow on with getting all the track laid, when this is done the layout can be operated. (Assuming I have enough rolling stock assembled!) The next job is to start getting rid of as much as I can in the way of surplus timber, gyprock and other rubbish. Then will come baseboard fascias and lastly some carpet tiles to pretty it all up. The ultimate man cave.