I had a couple of days off work this week and thought this might allow a bit of modelling time. It did, but nowhere near as much as I would have liked. The current list of tasks for my WLL project is broken down into rolling stock, buildings (& other structures) and track. Having done some work on buildings and rolling stock recently I thought maybe it was time to look at track and I managed to find a couple of hours to have a go at putting together one of the P4 track company turnout kits.
I had high expectations for these products, in fact it would be fair to say they were one of the things which attracted me to building the layout in P4 rather than EM. They have small pips on the timbering which allow the chairs to locate in the correct position. I’ve not used steel rail or plastic timbering before and have previously made up my own common crossings and switch rails so these kits are quite different to anything I’ve built before. The first one (of three which I’ll need) is a B8 left-hand turnout, which will form the junction of the former goods avoiding lines at the rear of the layout.
Overall I found construction to be a quite a pleasant experience, although must admit I struggled a little to follow the text of the instructions (I’m never good with instructions and was confused further by my LH kit having a RH template in the pack, as the astute will have already noticed in the photo above!). Despite the pips on the timbers, a set of gauges are still required to ensure accurate alignment of the rails, mine came from EMGS (who can supply these to suit 18.2mm and 18.83mm gauge to members of the society). As designed the kit is intended to make a straight turnout, but I found it easy enough to introduce a gentle curve to match the drawing I have prepared in Templot (which is based on a scan of a 1:500 plan of the station). I suspect this may be more of a challenge when it comes to the C10 turnout for the down platform though.
At this stage there are still some details to add. The detail in the chair components is far superior to the C&L components I’ve used previously and overall I’m very impressed.
Testing with a spare coach bogie seems to confirm all is well; hopefully I’ll find a little time over the weekend to add the remaining chairs. I think it probably took about 3 hours (excluding tea breaks) from opening the pack to get to this stage; probably another hour on top of that to add the remaining details – although this should reduce as familiarity and confidence with the product increases. At £35 each they aren’t cheap, but as I only need a few, I think the advantages in prototype fidelity and ease of assembly do make them good value.