After a second trip too Maplins, the first one being abortive, they were shut after being robbed on Friday, I bought the necessary electrical connectors to link the 3 separate bits together.
In the interim, following some advice from Steve about fitting Kadees, 1 loco and a number of wagons were converted. These have been duly shunted back and forth. One thing I hadn't allowed for is that Kadees take up more room then link and pin, no real problem on the shoebox layout but more problematic on my Gnotter Yard layout. It reduces the capacity of the left hand sector plate from a loco and 3 wagons to a loco and 2 wagons. The righthand sector plate is now a tight fit for a loco and 2 wagons (its previous capacity but with a bit of slack).
An experiment with rare earth magnets proved unsuccessful. They were too powerful and pulled the wagons, weighted or otherwise down by the trip pin! I had to resort to a standard Kadee magnet. I've yet to try the magtrix magnets suggested by Jack Trollope in MTI 59 but I've bought some to experiment with.
Both locos now have been given a basic coat of paint, dark green and some rusting has been attempted on one of them. Any recommendations for rust? I'm not happy with my first attempt
Layout will probably end up representing a gravel pit, since I have lots of suitable gravel looking material as well as a couple of large boulders, by Gn15 standards.
Although the loco drivers have only been undercoated they've shown a design flaw once they were sat on the locos, the scenic block isn't high enough to clear their heads
Need to cut out another with sufficient headroom, literally.
One other operational aspect was noted and duly fixed in a suitably Heath Robinson way to maintain my bodger status. The layout tended to come apart as the traverser was operated. Rubbers bands, one on each side are held in place by 2 pins on each side. This keeps the layout together despite my hamfisted traverser movements. The pins in the lid are removable to ensure it can still function as a lid when required.
Other than that not much more progress to report but at least it's running!