It's hard to believe it's been five months or so since I finished up my benchwork. In any case, I've made some progress recently, and while my track is not anywhere near ready to start racing on, it is ready enough for it's photo debut.
I'm about to secure the roadbed to the benchwork. To make sure that the roadbed in in the right places, I assembled the track to confirm fit and placement.
The benchwork is still amazingly stiff. Grab a joist and push and pull on it, trying to get the table to wiggle, and -- nothing. That table is stiff - no movement whatsoever. I can get every self supporting piece of furniture in my house to wiggle with far less effort -- including an Amish-built oak table, metal desk, etc., but the track tables will not budge.
The track is AFX -- all new as of last winter -- and I've not noticed any 15" straights that are less than acceptably straight.
The track will be held together with the new AFX track clips
. I originally wasn't going to use them, but AFX dropped the price by two thirds since I started, and that moved the clips into the realm of financial possibility. They work really well. They do raise the track by about .5mm, but I can shim the cork borders up to the right height. I'm thinking about assembling the track in modules using the clips -- full straights, full curves, and then nail down the modules. Only the module joins would not be clipped together.
The borders will be cork roadbed on both sides of the track all the way around -- O gauge on the outside, and N gauge on the inside. I have plans to paint both the track and the borders, but nothing definite yet. Maybe a gray track surface, with a dry brushed layer of black to break up the long stretches of gray, and paint the cork borders green, and then dry brush them with the road surface gray, so the borders end up looking like the road surface with some grass growing in between the rocks/cracks.
The track will be landscaped in a simple manner. Not so simple as just a coat of green paint on all the flat sections, but maybe some low foam hills to add a touch of realism. I'm a 'less is more' kind of person when it comes to landscaping.
The track roadbed is 1/2" MDF, which is (or will be) supported about every 2 feet. That much support will ensure that the MDF does not sag, as commercial 1/24 scale slot tracks used the same thickness of MDF and distance between supports and they don't have problems with sagging.
As you can see, there is a significant altitude change (about 7") between the 'flat' portions of the track and the 'hillclimb' portions. Seven inches might be a bit of an overkill, but I had decided on that height to ensure that everyone -- no matter how tall -- would be able to clearly see the cars below the upper roadbed.
There is a little camber on the decent from the upper roadbed to the flats, and again in the donut. I may have to tweak the camber after I get power to the track and see how the cars handle the turns.
Enjoy the pictures, hope I have some more progress to show soon.