Quite the day today - a locomotive ran on the layout for the first time
Unfortunately I wasn't able to record the momentous occasion, which was probably for the best as it was an On30 0-4-2 Porter and so a bit heretical. I'm over the moon though, I'd quite forgotten what a joy it is to just get something to move, even if it was only for 4" or so.
Anyway, lots done today. I added a third coat of varnish to the mdf panels after a very light sand. They now are starting to look like something after the first two coats mainly soaking into the mdf board. I'll add another coat tomorrow and see how that looks when it dries.
Today was also turntable mounting day. I've been nervous about this job even though I've given it a lot of thought.
I used white acrylic paint on the bottom of the mounting bolts to show where the holes in the ply base needed to go. I didn't get this just right first go, so the fainter paint marks are the correct ones. This was the third attempt.
** Picture to follow once found **
I then marked the sites for the holes with pencil marks, cleaned the paint off, and drilled the three holes. I made them oversize to allow for adjustment. The turntable was a right b*****r to place, as it needed washers on the bolts between the baseboard and the spacers to shim the top up enough for the thing to actually turn. I ended up with the layout on its side in order for things to stay in place while trying to align the three holes.
The final position is just off centre in the hole in the pink foam. This is accidental but ok as it is a hair (2mm or so) further back from the front edge and disaster if a train moves off in the wrong direction. I'll likely add a model low wall around this to prevent bad temper and very harsh language in the future. The "ground" falls away quite steeply in front of the turntable, so this won't look out of place.
Once the turntable was in place but not bolted down I tried it, and to my delight and great relief, it worked almost perfectly. There is a slight catch on the pink foam at one position, but this will not matter in operation as it is well outside the 90 degree range needed.
I then very carefully tipped the layout on to its side again, and added washers and the securing bolts to the underside.
I then tested it again, and it still worked as before. I had a wee sit down and some extra blood pressure tablets at this point
Next I temporarily added the acrylic "wings" to make sure that they cleared everything too (they do). These will eventually be covered in chequer plate plasticard, with a further strip over the sleepers of the track to disguise the OO origin.
I made a very short video of it in operation, with an epic fail at the end:https://youtu.be/PzDYreQn8hw
I then got all paranoid about the alignment between the turntable track and the two tracks coming off it, and was worried that locomotives and wagons wouldn't successfully bridge the gap (its just under 1mm). I bodged together track feeds using crocodile clip test leads, and used a H&M Clipper controller which I've had for nearly 40 years for speed and ease. The Bachmann On30 Porter mentioned above ran back and forward on and off the turntable several times, again to my great relief.
Plenty done today, plenty more still to do. Next is to take the turntable out again, wire it, and then finally glue the track on to it.
Sorry for a long post.