Sunday 16 April 2023

Dunallander 16th April 2023

Since the start of the year we have had Dunallander working sessions on most Tuesday evenings, which will be supplemented by a full-day Saturday on the 29th April. We have put most of our effort into ballasting and the viaduct board, which we will be taking to the Scottish Mini-meet on 20th May. Crudely this board is about 4' x 3'. The width is required to get the Oban line away from the main line and then straighten it before its curve back to the fiddle yard. The viaduct itself, which is about 400mm in length with four arches, takes the main line over the Allan Water river, after which the line climbs away in a deepening cutting, Using ballast from Woodland Scenics, we have completed all the planned ballasting on this board. We have also done some further tweaking of the main line's alignment to try to get the largest possible radius to the rear. We're very keen to accomodate Nigel Hunt's ex LMS Pacifics, which struggled on our original alignment back in 2019. This version ought to be the final one, so the wiring has been reinstated. Disguising the transition to the off-scene curves has been quite a challange. For the Oban line it's easy. The obvious place for the scenic break is a small overbridge that gives road access to the Springbank Mills a little way off-scene up the river. The bridge is roughly in line with the north end of the viaduct. Here on the main line the lack of an overbridge has been a pest. Long story short: we have continued the scenery northwards for about 2 feet across the whole width of the board (about six square feet) and also a little way onto the adjoining end-board. This includes a representation of part of the river and mill, but hopefully the result will be an effective illusion, especially for a viewer by the station or junction. The contours for the cutting and hillsides have been formed from foamboard, with heavy brown paper (from wrapping paper rolls) glued in thin strips and then small rectangles of newspaper glued over the top. the footpaths along the river as well as the roadways near the mill are made of card. The river has a ply base with a number of protruding large rocks formed from styrene. These have been painted in appropriately mucky colours. A sheet of transparent Perspex has been glued to the tops of the rocks and the side supports formed from thin ply. Finally, shaped styrene has been glued to the Perspex to represent the exposed tops of the rocks, and the Perspex has been painted to produce a representation of ripples. Away from the viaduct board, the scenery has been formed on the junction board on the east side, between the track and the river, and the ballasting is nearly done. The buildings have been made for 11 - 13 Bridgend - the final major structures in the town area. On 19th March we did a zoom presentation about the layout for the East of Scotland 4mm Group, and we plan to repeat the performance for the Forth and Clyde Group in October. Perhaps next year we could offer an updated show as an Association zoom event.

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