Thursday, 15 March 2012

Bendigo A Box Module

Well things have been very busy. I thought it would be about time to show some A box action rather than track work or models.  I plan to build bendigo in different module sizes to try and fit the yard plan in the best way. I dont want a turnout over a join of a module.  So using plans of the yard and my templates ive been drawing the yard out in scale on corel draw.  From this i now know how long to make the different modules and also how the overall layout will sit when it goes in the shed one day.  The one thing i did find is that around the B box area is going to be viewed from both sides.  Which in fact is going to work really well from one side you will see all the goods yards and from the other side you can get a great view of the engine shed (watch a loco been turned inside the shed through the window), repair shop, back platform etc. Im glad this is going to happen due to the fact it will be great to see all sides of the wonder full buildings.  The main reason for it having to being two side is for access.  It will be just to hard to get to something if it comes off by only having access on one side.

A Box Module

After downloading google sketchup 8 (freeware) i went off to make up some design work. The pictures below will tell the story but i will give a little bit of info on it.  I plan to use aluminium square cube lock system. This offers strong and light weight modules. I have seen this in use and is the only way to go now. Wood just adds up too much weight.  In the pictures below i did not draw in the black connectors but i guess you will know where they will be. 

So after looking at my plan I needed a length of 2300mm to fit in the whole of A box area including just past the bridge.  The track is width is about 350mm. I have allowed 150mm from the track to the front for the down hill slope and some landscaping. There is 150mm to the back for a road and houses.

I plan to use a photo back drop up to where the back board curves up.  I dont like having right angles on the back drop to i always was going to have it curved. I be live it just makes the layout flow better.  The actual layout will sit high almost eye height. Maybe around 1600mm or 1700mm.  Having a layout this height gives it a really good proto feel. I may in the end have a second lower level so this will help that. 

In the picture there is a signal frame. This will be on a roller draw system so it can side out, but also be pushed in under the layout. I will make the signal frame with full interlocking from modratec. Up above will be a yard diagram which will show which route is set and also have track circuits. I plan to have lights up on the top but have not sure what system i will use. I want to have a system that gives a nice day light feel but also can be change to have like a moon light effect.
The track will sit on cork and blue foam which will be glued down on the ply baseboard which will be glued and screwed into the aluminium square cube.
Remember to click on the pictures to make than bigger

Whats next?
Once i work out how to import my track plan into sketchup i will post again to show how the yard will look on the module. Im also working on an etch to iron out the bugs from the first one and hopefully when i return from a overseas holiday i will start the module building.

If you have any ideas on module building, tips and tricks all any other thoughts or question please email me at would love to hear from you.