This is another page that won't show much in the way of any physical activity for a little while. I need to prepare the layout's location and build the baseboard before I can even contemplate laying track.
What I have been doing is looking into how I'm going to lay the track. I'm used to just pinning my track onto a baseboard without worrying about sound suppression, ballasting or any other method of securing the track other than pinning it to the baseboard. My project needs and, more importantly, deserves something a little more professional.
Initially, I thought about using the technique that I always see recommended. That is, to apply cork sheet to the baseboard to both raise the track bed slightly and to provide some noise dampening and then to put the track in place on top of that. After having secured the track in place temporarily by using track pins, I was planning on putting the ballast in place and then securing it permanently by applying a PVA glue solution before completing the job by removing the track pins.
2 ideas that have been put forward as an alternative by 2 members of this site's forum have got me intrigued, though, and I'm seriously contemplating using one of these methods. The first is to use foam laminated double sided tape from a source like B&Q. The idea is that the foam provides noise dampening and raises the track bed. The tape part secures the foam to the baseboard and then allows you to secure the track and ballast in place. No cork sheet, no track pins and no PVA glue. Sounds perfect. The other method involves pretty much the same thing but using AMI Instant Roadbed instead. There's a marked difference in price - around £2 a roll for the foam laminated tape and £16.95 for the instant roadbed - but I don't know how much you get in each pack. I might get some of both, give them a try and see how I get on.
While these 2 ideas have been put forward by members of the site's forum, there is not, as yet, a forum devoted to track laying. That may change but I have still included a link below to the forum as posts can still be made Scenery forum on this subject in the meantime for those of you that may be interested.
Trackwork for the Shed Layout
Ok, so it's now approaching the time to lay the track for this layout. I intend to lay ballast and thought it would be a good idea to paint the top of the baseboard grey. The model railway club I go to - Chatham & District - have done this with the main club layout and it means that any patches of trackwork where the ballast may have not secured properly and is bare of ballast as a result do not stand out.
I bought some grey exterior undercoat primer from Homebase. The layout is going in the shed and is likely to be exposed to some variable temperatures so felt that exterior paint would be best for the job as it's designed to cope with just that. I applied 3 coats of paint to make sure there was good paint coverage with no bare patches and the results can be seen in the photos below.
Now to start the track.
The paint used
The baseboard painted
Another view of the painted baseboard