Sarum Road – Part 9 – The End?


Michael Joseph


9th July 2020

Reading Time

2 minutes

The Bendy Legs

I was never happy with the guttering nuts and bolts used on the legs and eventually found a supply of the binding screws used in bookbinding. For anyone not familiar with them, they consist of two items: a hollow stud, threaded internally and a threaded bolt, both with larger, round slotted ends. These have replaced all of the fixed nuts and bolts and made a noticeable weight saving as well as looking a lot neater. The only snag is that the holes were originally drilled 6mm and these are 5mm. Oh well. The binding screws came from the Binding Bazaar.


Currently the backscene is 20 thou plasticard from Eileen’s Emporium. It was to have been 3mm ply but this proved too intractable to work with. The backscene sheets have been given one very light spraying of grey but will need another. The corners where created around a curved former although I will have to try again sometime since I am not really happy with the result. The backscene sheets are ‘locked’ together by a finger arrangement to (hopefully) keep them aligned and to prevent ‘daylight’ at the joins.


You did read this right (I hope!) – to finish of the front of the layout I have lengths of card to form what is in effect a boundary wall (and to prevent a loco sliding off the layout into oblivion). These are simply sections of the brick work developed earlier glued to card and clipped into place.


The layout is now substantially complete – detailing is really only the last thing left as well as finishing off certain things such as automating the viaduct operation, building a loco shed frontage, etc. There may be a separate article on some aspects like automation when completed.

The project has taken two and a half years and has been an awful lot of fun and I hope that I have given people some useful hints and ideas. I have learnt a lot myself.


First ‘finished’ exhibition outing

It got to Alexandra Palace for the London Festival of Railway Modelling for it’s first proper exhibition in 2003 – as shown at the top.


Had to add some more figures to make it look less like a grey desert as well as a bit of detailing around the water columns, clutter, etc.

As to presentation, I took this photo just before the opening and looked at it days afterwards. It looked very untidy. I will not be putting an explanation board like that at the front again! I will try to remember a mirror so that people can see how things are done underneath the layout.

Operational experience has shown a problem with the legs that was not immediately apparent. This is that over a period in time the extra weight of the traverser causes the layout to dip to the left. I am now working on a system using aluminium angle that promises to be more rigid and about the same weight.

But I had a plan – which forms the final installment next week.

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