The Tunnel Portals

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The two helixes or mountains Felix One and Felix Two (Wetterhorn!) are almost ready for the tunnel portals to be added.

Layout as of the start of April 2006

Just when you think it's all going well...oh heck! Roco allegedly sack the guy who owns the rights to your track, and suddenly the track with roadbed is.....NO MORE!!!! There I am half way through a layout, and I've really got to finish it. My regular 'model railway people' tell me they have little or no stock, so there I am pleeding with companies all over the UK, even buying discontinued items from Germany( and paying the 20 Euros to get it here)

No new ideas but ones you might not know about!!
As usual click for a BIGGER view

The track issue has turned out to be a complete nightmare with most bits unavailable. I've managed to get the 78 R3 curves that I needed(from four suppliers!) But what has really got to me is the fact that I am I'm short of 3 left hand and 1 right hand for my choccy factory runaround, and 2 curved points for my  Felix One crossover near the station. Roco hasn't even had the decency to reply to my emails on the matter. I have discovered that the under track points motors are very scarce. Mackays had one, so I've had that, but I'm not panicking too much as Viessmann are making one which will fit the roadbed (problem there being that they are 3 times the price of the Roco version!) An awful lot of the track is of course within tunnels, and  I am regretting starting with the Roco track, but the reason I used it, was initially that you don't have to pin it down, as the roadbed holds it very well in place. I'm not even sure I will pin it now, as it doesn't seem to move much.

If I accidentely break any more bits of that platform I will scream!!

A few hours have been spent, with a few more to come fitting the helixes outer tracks 12  R3  (419.6mm R 30 degree) curves create a circle and I've got alot of circles, and most of them are in difficult places to work! I've a few bruises manouvering around in the middle of each of the helixes! I have tried tackling the mountain base colour which frankly has been ariot of colour so far! After staring at various lumps of stone in the garden and on photos of the Kander valley, I thought I'd try grey, so... what do you think?

I think it will probably be successful with darker and lighter patches, as well as green under the tree planting areas, and snow on the peaks. We'll go further with it and see how it goes. Also track work in the helixes is complete, an uproad on the outer radius and a down road on the inner. Felix One....

Inside Mountain One ... Felix One
Normally garden chairs are stored below!

You can see the bikes stored below!
Backstage in mountain two... Felix two

I was a little disappointed as the first train I sent round them both, hit the woodwork on a couple of occasions, and that is with some short wheelbase trucks, so the longer coaches are bound to hit. So a little jiggerypokery is needed yet. the only bit of track to complete on the main line is the very very tight turn into the river bridge which I have left because I was getting a headache, and I ran out of time, (Catherine's friend's birthday parties are only so long you know!). And of course my insistance on continuing the project with set track is somewhat limiting in such situations. How I should have taken Gerald's advice!


Time to turn our attention to scenery again, yes I will get onto the tunnel portals soon! And I'm giving cork oak a go on the front of the raised mainline leading up to and above the main station. I've obtained the oak, (from a returning Portuguese holiday maker!!), so over the next couple of parties I hope to start cutting it up. I think natural finish might do well?

Work has begun in earnest.... (should have been in the garage really lol) to sort out the tunnel portals. Below the station portals on two levels.

The portals bedded in..time for the paint brush
SBB shunter pulls into the main station branch line platform

Yes, yet more white filled finger nails! It's been a summer with little activity here. The digital DCC controller had been powered off so long that it had forgotten all my settings for train deceleration etc, so changing speed took sometime after the control knob had been turned actually more like a real train so I might keep it that way! But the biggest problem, the track was in need of a good clean. However, the Kleinbahn cleaning truck refused to co-operate, derailing at every opportunity, as well as getting stuck at every set of points, as the felt pad got snagged! But eventually I was able to run a rake of 4 SBB carriages round in both directions. I ran my RE460 Historic for an hour or so, in an attempt to put some shine back on the rails, while I got on with altering my bedsheet and chicken wire mountains to accomodate the tunnel portals. More Polyfilla! The main station portals above are now ready for a coat of paint, as are the ground level entrances to the Wetterhorn  mountain (Felix 2!).


On the above photos you can see I have cut and laid in some of the cork oak bark on the station approach to get an idea of what it looks like, and I am quite pleased. Your thoughts are welcome! I don't know how much colouring I need though, I quite like it the natural colour, but that is quite dark. So four portals bedded in, 5 more to do, and they are the ones in awkward places. Ho hum! Then I supsect paint to the mountain, white on the snowy peaks, patches above the tree line, green and browns for the tree line....then TREES! So far I have 200 waiting to go.  But then I must finish the track work!

Next - Trees Trees and more trees

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