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Old 04-07-2018, 05:04 PM   #31
Bunkerbarge
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This is the straight track 'former' made from a piece of 20 mm x 16 mm x 1000 mm finished steel with a piece of plastic angle glued to it. Time to start working on removing track pins and glueing the straights, straight!
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:23 PM   #32
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Very nice. I used a 1000mm solid steel rule placed alongside and touching the track to achieve same result.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:46 PM   #33
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What I liked with this idea was the fact that the weight of the former holds the track in place quite firmly and allows you to glue the sleeper edges with it in place.

Just to make me smile I have placed the former on all my existing fitted straights and I now see just how much the track I was happy with and thought was straight is, in fact, not as true as I thought! Luckily I only used track pins so far as I wanted to prove everything works OK before committing to glueing and ballasting.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:33 PM   #34
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A very good idea for getting the track dead straight. Some nice looking trees you have growing on the left Hand made?
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:50 PM   #35
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As my layout is set in Autumn I wanted some bare trees but all the armatures you can buy are not really designed to be displayed bare. I tried twigs from my own garden but simply couldn't find anything that looked scale.

I therefore bought a couple of boxes of dried seafoam and started to see what I could get out of them. So far they have been dipped in watered down PVA and sprayed with a base coat of brown enamel. A watered down wash and a bit of dry brushing has finished the bare trees and some of them have been sprayed with a fabric glue before being rolled in some Autumn scatter. So far I'm quite pleased with the results.

I've now planted some of the seeds that you get in the bottom of the box and I've got two quite healthy plants growing!

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Old 04-07-2018, 08:51 PM   #36
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I use strips of hardwood 16mm wide to get the track straight, it also has holes to drill flexi track and pin in place.
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Old 13-07-2018, 06:09 PM   #37
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I wanted to add a bit of life to the area I am creating around a loco shed so hacked around an old coach to create this. I learned a few more bits and pieces anyway.
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Old 14-07-2018, 05:58 PM   #38
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Today I thought I would have a go at rectifying the warped track I mentioned earlier and try out my new straight template as I have now at least had a go at reducing the heating effect by putting a solar film over the windows.

I decided to increase the expansion gap I had created earlier so I split the track again and filed the ends to give a slightly bigger gap. When I was happy with that I replaced the track, slid the fishplates back and put the former in place to align the track.

To start with I put a strip of masking tape against the shoulder of the cork underlay and painted a watered down PVA along the edge for around six inches. Then I peeled the masking tape back up to where I had got to with the glue and poured the ballast over the glue, gently tamping it down with a finger. I continued glueing and moving along in six inch sections until I had finished up to the end of the former.

When I had completed the first side I did the second side in exactly the same way. When the glue had completely set overnight I vacuumed the excess ballast off with a thoroughly cleaned out and dried hand held vacuum cleaner. Next I slid the former along around two thirds of its length to ensure it maintained a true position with the completed piece but still allowed the end to be positioned according to the underlay. I then continued adding the outside edge until I reached the new end position of the former. The first piece of track done was now exposed in the middle so that was filled with more ballast from a spoon, which was then distributed with a flat brush along the length of exposed track. This was then sprayed with a plastic spray bottle containing water and a little washing up liquid to break the surface tension and then, when wet, watered down PVA was laid on the ballast in the middle of the track.

I will now continue the process of sliding the former along and doing the edges as I go while back filling the middle as it becomes exposed, until I reach a curved secion of track. Then it is all freehand!

When the glue has dried I will apply some paint to the edges of the rails and some washes to the ballast and sleepers. The ballast is a mixture of DCCConcepts HO/OO Legacy Ballast in grey, which is just a little on the course side for me, and Woodland Scenics Grey Blend Ballast, which I find a little fine. Mixing the two together allows the blend to be varied to add a more realistic finish. I will do the cess in a brown blend when the two tracks are finished.

As always a steep learning curve, some aspects came out better than others but hopefully things will improve as I gain experience and move forward.
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Old 14-07-2018, 05:59 PM   #39
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Last couple of pictures
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