Off to work today, with Leanne (the long suffering mrs) in tow as we'd other bits to do after playtime
After some careful measuring, coffee, looking at the thing, more measuring, thinking and talking, the final place for the turntable was marked on the foam, and the cutting table powered on.
The finished job looks like this:
cut slowly and carefully by Leanne, so all credit there, where its due.
The cut at the front edge has been mostly filled by a sliver of scrap foam, and will be completed with filler and ground cover when the job is done.
There is a shallow "false start" just beside the patch.
The turntable drops neatly into place, shown here sitting on a temporary mount, so a little high and offset to one side, overseen by the resident mechanic (who it turns out is called Pete, not Jim):
The mdf top will sit around 1/32" above the base, so that the track is level with the rest of the permanent way. The turntable track length is 4 5/8", so I'm going to make two thin balsa semi circles as a sub base for the top, cut to butt up to the edges of the sleepers of the turntable track at the same level as the sleeper tops. This will give a circular turntable 4 5/8" in diameter, which I will then face with chequer plate plasticard, with a strip up the middle of the track and gaps either side to allow for wheel clearances.
I'll need to make a mount for the turntable as it is considerably shorter than the depth of the well. I've not thought too much about this yet, but will probably use one of the spare mdf circles as the base, bolted through the plywood base using captive bolts in order to allow removal of the turntable unit if required. As it only turns 90 degrees, I may well fit stops to prohibit excess movement, as a full turn will stretch the track feed wires too much. I'll give this a fair bit of thought, though.
The very short length of the turntable will hold one very small locomotive and one wagon, which will lead to some interesting shunting moves when a "long" train of three hoppers arrives at once from the mine. As I'm intending to use 3 link couplers and a pair of tweezers as a shunters pole, operations should take place in more or less real time.
Pete is seen here wondering how its all going to work in practice:
I've now also thought of a name for the cat litter mining company, it will be known as:
Practical (or possibly Patent) Odour Obfuscation Products (Feline) Ltd
which sums up the nature of the product rather well.
There really only needs to be one locomotive, but me being me there will probably be a couple at least. I've decided to name these after two of the stray cats which I've fed at work, so we will have a "Lottie" (after Charlotte, my first wee girl and now retired to a comfy back garden) and a "Marvin", after the late, great Starvin' Marvin who now resides in a wee wodden box in my dining room. There may well also be an "Usul", an "Alia" and a "Wee Black One". Time and finances will tell.
To return to something faintly modelling related, the next job is to make mock ups of the various buildings needed from cardboard, to see what works and fits, and to check clearances before I start to make anything "proper". Work permitting I'll get a start at this through the week, and the whole project should really start to come to life. I've a picture of it in my minds eye, so will have to see if I can translate this into reality. Thankfully a scale of 1:24 opens up a lot of 3D printed bits and pieces from Shapeways
Sorry for a long post, I'll be quiet for a bit now and get some modelling done...