Quite a bit to report today, a bit more done, and lots of things considered which will hopefully pay dividends down the line a little.
The original plan to carry the power and control wires to the control panel was to drill a hole in the foam, drill a corresponding hole in the ply base, insert a fairly wide piece of metal pipe, and use it as a conduit for the bundled wires. As I've over complicated the whole thing beyond sense for the reasons given above, the following connections need to go to the panel:
5x track sections - 2 wires each (10 total)
Lucky green LED - 2 wires
Amplifier power - 2 wires
Amplifier volume - 3 wires
Sliding door control switch - 2 wires
Lights - 2 wires
So, 21 total. Thankfully I've lots and lots of wire in all sorts of different colours, so this won't be a problem, and should make for a lovely looking wiring diagram. I've some really nice miniature switches which will look well and suit the very small size of the control panel (its 120mm wide x 77 mm high). The wiring on the viewing side will be invisible, and well hidden on the operator side.
The conduit looked like this after I'd cut a suitable bit off it:
before I shortened it to the correct length of 56mm to pass through the ply and foam. It needs a 15mm diameter hole. There isn't a lot of room between the back track (the one inside the shed) and the mdf back piece, and as well there is a bracing piece supporting the side of the ply box right where the hole needs to go. This is screwed / glued in place, and isn't going to move without a huge redesign.
That scuppered the conduit idea
I then had to go out for a bit, but the thinking head was on, and I came up with the following solution. I drilled a 10mm hole in the ply base, 30mm in from the edge and well clear of the brace, then carved a recess 30mm x 30mm x 10mm into the foam. Then I drilled two holes down through the foam and added two more plastic pipes to carry the wires up to where they need to be below and slightly to the left of the control panel where they can run up the inside of the back mdf panel out of sight.
This modification will be hidden by the ply back, and will provide plenty of room for the wires to pass without any danger of squeezing them too tightly together or nipping them.
I've also been thinking about the concrete hard standing around the turntable, tank and the edge of the loading bay. There are many ways shown online to make model concrete with embedded track, I've studied a lot of them, and none really sit will with me in terms of mess and end result.
I've also looked at painted card, painted foamcore and downloaded / printed papers. While these probably will look grand in smaller scales, they really don't in 1:24.
I found this link:http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Rocky-Terra ... adel-Games
which isn't quite what I was looking for, but which made my brain clank a bit harder and smell more of burning insulation
. I'm in the happy position of having a stove in my living room, which burns coal and wood in equal measure. It also generates fine, grey ash.
To avoid domestic wrath, I bought a sieve and went outside with the ash bucket. The resulting powder looks like this:
after a very rough sort to get the big bits out. The colour looks about right to me - the photograph doesn't do it justice. I need a layer 3mm thick to cover the sleepers of the OO settrack I'm planning to use where the track is embedded with just the rails showing.
So, I'm going to do some experiments. As a much younger man I worked mixing and pouring real concrete, so have a bit of an idea how it works. While at work today collecting the conduit, I cut a scrap piece of pink foam in half, and also cut some thin timber (a skip find, as usual) to make shuttering. This is held in place by cutting a thin slit into the foam and bracing the back end with dead matches.
Only two sides are currently done to make photographing it easier. I'll finish this tomorrow, then experiment with a mixture of sieved ash, PVA and water until I find a suitable consistency which will dry looking something like a tamped concrete surface.
To avoid covering the rails with the mixture, I'm planning to make a guard to keep the flangeways open on either side of the rails. The two long and one short track sections (long - to the loading bay from the turntable, to the processing shed from the turntable, short - turntable to the 3D printed track leading into the curve) are all straight, so this will be an easy thing to make. It will look like this end on:
I'm going to add a gutter with a couple of gratings around the edge of the loading bay, and a manhole cover to the right of the track leading to the processing shed using this mould:http://www.dioramadebris.co.uk/124-scal ... 7-72-p.asp
which should look well.
I'm also going to see if I can cast the top of the loading bay in "concrete" and make the hard standing in several sections as such an area wouldn't all have been poured at once. This leaves room for grass and weeds in the joints.
That's it for tonight, if anyone is still here and also awake