Have been a bit quiet recently but have now started in ernest on my layout:-
First the basic story------
This secret volcanic island is hiding somewhere in the oceans of the southern hemisphere of earth.
It is the secret headquarters of the seafaring hero of the seven seas who calls himself ‘Nero’.
The island is unusual in being composed mainly of lodestone. It is of such high quality that Nero mines it and then refines it even more and then manufactures high class compass needles. Because of thier fine quality they have captured the market and Nero has made his fortune.
This lodestone on the island affects all nearby magnetic compasses in such a way as to make any ship navigate around the island without them realising they had done so, making it almost impossible to find the island. A perfect secret headquarters.
Nero has a small secret submarine called “Naughty Lass” which is powered from radiated moon energy and so can remain at sea for just under a lunar month, just having to come to shore during the new moon for restocking with peanut butter (Nero’s favourite breakfast food) and explosive munitions used to sink ‘bad’ ships doing nasty ‘things’ out on the briny.
Nero, when not actually mining his lodestone, plies the seven seas looking for maritime injustices and trying to right any wrongs that he observes.
The island is home to a colony of penguins.
The island is so far south that it always has some snow on it, even at the height of its short summer. Nero Hero wishes it was a little warmer but values its secrecy.
The volcano is sort of dormant but occasionally it lets forth a little lava and smoke but never too much. Although it does make the island smell a little like bad eggs if the wind is in the wrong direction.
Nero has a small railway, 15 inch gauge, that runs around the habitable parts of the island and consists of an eclectic range of equipment, most of it heavily modified in the on-island workshops. This is used to transport ‘things’ from the mine to the wharf and to the workshops. Nero also uses it to go for joy rides when he feels like it. After all “all work and no play makes Jack (Nero) a dull boy”.
The workshops near the dock area are used to manufacture all his ‘secret’ things that Nero cannot purchase on eBay.
Nero supplements his, not insubstantial, income from the mine with trips to the local oyster bed where he harvests the oysters for both their pearls and their meat.
Well that's the story so far !
Might change later but who knows ?
I have also started to build the actual railway -----
The box looks like this____
It used to hold a pizza together with 'dipping strips' on a special offer.
While the track base looks like this _____
Based on a foam core baseboard with a cardboard track base.
(The glue I used to hold the sleepers dissolved the foam core !)
The track is code 83 soldered to PCB sleepers.
The curves are 150mm diameter, centre to centre.
There are continuous check rails on the visible track.
I didn't want to post details until I had built the track and tested it --- just in case it didn't work
In fact when I first tested it using one of my favorite chassis (34mm w/b Black Beetle) the project very nearly ground to a premature halt
The chassis had no problems on the straight but those curves _____
I then found that a Bachmann Gandy Dancer would negotiate the curves without derailing.
So I will be using the Bachmann unit as the power source for the loco.
The buildings will probably be in the 'Art Deco' style and built of foam core (which I have just run out of ! ---- damn !)
Progress is a little slow at the moment but I do have an exhibition coming up at the end of August and I would like to have it working, if not completely finished, by then.