Following EXPO-NG, there is an untold chapter in the story of Slugworth & Co. Astute readers may have wondered where the track went when it disappeared through the hole in the backscene. I didn't want to give away too much of Joshua's layout before the show, so I haven't yet shown that the layout is in fact two-sided. So, now it is time for a trip "to the other side".
Right from the start this was planned as a double-sided layout (actually Mum's idea, but Joshua loved it as it effectively doubled the scenic length); and if one side was the factory, the other side had to be the other end of the line. Which logically would be an exchange siding.
The SG track is set a little lower than the NG, with a Hornby bufferstop - removing the clips and painting has made it quite acceptable. The wagon came from the 009 sales stand, complete with 3-link couplings, perfect! The shed for storing perishable goods has been posted before, it's plasticard with clear plastic Wills sheets. We fitted a yellow LED in the roof to give a faint glow inside, hinting at the goods inside and illuminating the dirty clear roof panel.
A wider view without trains shows the coal siding, we've used a different point lever this side. The plastic handle kept breaking off so we've replaced it with wire. There's limited detailing here, for a peaceful atmosphere.
Joshua wanted a lot on his layout, the urban (factory) side with lots of detail, but also countryside. The split side approach allowed us to do that, and although this view is only a few inches wide and deep, I think we achieved his aim. The fence and gate is Dapol, and the animals are from Dart Castings (the cows are Merit and are carefully placed to be difficult to see all at once), but Joshua's trees and blending of the static grass really make this scene I think.
A view the other way with Joshua's new loco, bought from the sales stand on Saturday. We need to fit couplings.
Joshua's first loco, a Roco diesel, with his first wagons, rounds the curve at the front. Joshua weathered the loco and wagons, and fitted the appropriate loads to the wagons. After initial concerns about the poor low-speed running of the loco, I was pleasantly surprised how well the loco performed at EXPO, my attention to the pick-ups, a drop of oil, and the graphite rails have helped immensely. It ran smoothly back and forth all day at a realistic pace. The trees are quite effective at disguising the hole in the sky.
Which brings us through the tree-tunnel into the factory yard. This side is deliberately more crowded and busy, the two sides contrasting and complementing each other. Still, it's amazing that each side is just 50cm by about 18cm (the backscene is slightly angled).
Another idea planned from the start is that the layout will become a continuous run. We plan an off-stage extension allowing an semi-circle of track to link the factory front track (through the green gateway) to the corrugated shed. This will provide a fiddle yard track as well as the ability for continuous running when required. There will be updates as we work on this idea.