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August 2002 - Page 37


simply stacked in their respective places. Only the bottom and top rows are glued in place. The rest rely solely on the notched joints for structural integrity. This play allows for the spans expansion and contraction without destroying all the effort I put into building it. It isnt an exact duplicate of the prototype shown in Photo 3, but it faithfully represents the structure in a size that fits into my trackplan comfortably.

Turntables and Structures

There are two turntables on the layout. My first is the Walthers Cornerstone 90-footer in the engine yard, as seen in the background of Photo 11. I tossed the motor and drive assembly about a month ago, then re-powered it with an old Roco locomotive motor. I wired in a DCC decoder to make operation as simple as a push of a button on the walk-around. That way I dont need to run two controllers while running a locomotive across it. One of my remote control throttle hook-ups is strategically placed nearby. The other turntable (Photo 4) over in the logging companys yard is a freelanced scratchbuilt gallows configuration. Built from scrap strip wood and old slot-car parts, the manual turning of the bridge is made possible by twisting a slot-car drag racing slick knob on the front of the layouts skirt. Indexing isnt really required on the thing since its right there in front of you. I built a hidden contact disc inside the turntables base box from copper-clad circuit board. Contact strips under the bridge ride on the disc. Each side of the disc carries a separate current, effectively reversing the polarity of the bridge rail when the turntable is turned. This turntable provides rail access to the logging engine shed, a log loading siding, as well as end of line turnaround. Most of the structures are scratchbuilt or craftsman-type kits featuring lots of animated detail. The scratchbuilt water towers spout in Photo 4 is connected by linkage to an under-table mounted Tortoise machine. The spout raises and lowers by flipping a toggle switch on the tables side. The mine head at Ashley Coal has operating sheaves. The cables are connected to a motorized arm, and a counterweight under the hoist house in Photo 1. The wheels spin back and forth, offering the viewer a subtle display of motion to an otherwise still scene. Lakeside Lumber has a removable roof, revealing a completely scratchbuilt interior. The board-by-board construction of the scratchbuilt structure took me only two weeks to complete, but the interior is still being upgraded. The overhead line shaft is operational. A slow-moving fan is mounted inside the slat-covered vent, and is visible when the interior is lit. All the machinery and transfer tables were constructed from scrap lumber, details and chain. The saw blade is an old dull Dremel tool. The brass slash burner was made from individual sheets of shim stock and features a smoke unit. My brass and wood grist mill wheel turns on a Vollmer mechanism. Over in the main engine yard, I have a roundhouse I made from CNC routed brass walls, with a heavy aluminum roof. The wharf area (Photo 11) was my attempt at adding live water to my layout. The basement carpet, tabletop and surrounding scenery have survived several botched attempts at getting this part of the display finished. The dock was built up from scribed yardsticks after I sanded all the numbers off. I built the dock around a rail spur to embed the rail into the decking. The floor of the bay is built from PVC sheeting with a Plexiglas front and then screwed to the underside of the layouts edge. All the wooden parts of the table were saturated with every imaginable coating to make them waterproof. The boats hollow center hull is actually made from blocks of foam, covered in a thin coat of drywall mud! After sealing the hull in epoxy, I added the styrene decking, side rails and superstructure. All the upper parts were made from old plastic boxes and bits of computer disc parts. Water looks like very clean glass all by itself. In order to make water actually look like water, it needs to be in motion. I accomplished this by adding a Faller water pump to the display. The water is siphoned from under the hull to the pumps location under the main table. The pumped water returns through a fitting under the hollow hull to a tee. Each side of the tee is routed through the side of the

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The little Goose might be half a country away from Colorado, but its right at home on this tall, spindly trestle. The trestle was designed to be removable to make it easier to clean the gorge.

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Animated Wharf

I dont know of a single model railroader living in Louisville who does not own at least one L&N locomotive. This Stewart F7A/B unit manages to make a few rounds on the layout. The coal mine and loader were entirely built using only six paint stir sticks.

AUGUST 2002

MODEL RAILROADING 37

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