Many months ago (Okay: many, many months ago…) I mentioned that I had discovered a photo of the Lynn Valley water tank that showed a setoff for a track speeder. I’ve been meaning to add such a setoff to my water tank scene – but I kept finding other things to do.
This week, however, I’ve been working on trees that will stand between the water tank and the fascia – and today I realized that if I didn’t get that speeder setoff built and installed soon, I wouldn’t be able to do so without damaging finished scenery.
So the speeder setoff became this afternoon’s project. As the lead photo shows, it’s now in place and the ballast/ground cover is drying.
I started by figuring out how much space I had, and what would work best for the base for this setoff. I planned to build it at the bench and drop it into place, then add ground cover to blend it into the scene.
The setoff is about 2.5 inches long. I cut a square of 0.060″ styrene sheet to fit about half that length, and glued some ties in place with CA. I then distressed and stained the ties. Next, I used CA to glue some short lengths of rail in place – gauged with an NMRA-style standards gauge. I cut the base shorter than the rails on purpose, since the rails would have to rest on the existing ballast. To complete the base, I shaved a tie into several thin sections with a razor blade, and used two of the best pieces to create a pair of profile ties. These would rest on the existing ballast on the layout, and be blended into the scene with ground cover.
(The setoff, ready to install – plus an in-progress regauging of a Wiseman Model Services Sn3 speeder.)
As a final step, I drilled a couple of holes in the base between the last two ties. One hole can be seen just to the left of the righthand rail in the above photo. The reason for the holes will soon be revealed…
In the above photo, I’ve glued the setoff in place on the layout. I used CA on the underside of the rails to glue the setoff to the ties on the mainline. Since the ballast slopes away from the track, the far end of the setoff was hanging in space. I threaded a pair of brass rods through the two holes in the base and pushed them into the terrain underneath. Then I added some thick CA to the rods to secure them to the styrene base.
In the photo below, I have spread a mix of ballast and ground foam around the setoff and glued it in place with dilute Weld-Bond.
The white in the photo is glue that has not yet cured. As the photo notes, when it has cured I will snip off the brass rods flush with the top of the ballast. The completed track speeder will cover any portion of the rods that I can’t snip flush.
I will also have to add a few boards between the rails of the main track to facilitate moving a speeder between the track and the setoff. I’ll do that once the ballast glue has cured.
The speeder itself? Well, that’s still a work in progress – and therefore a story for another time…