I wanted to share a quick close-up of one of the turnouts to show off what I’ve done. The ties are all cut from balsa sheet. According to Robert Jones book on the Kennebec Central, Two Feet to Togus the KC used ties that were 7×8″ and six feet long. I’ve used 1/8″ balsa which is a little thinner than the 7″ thickness but I did cut them the correct width. My tie length is a little longer and is matched to the ties drawn on the paper turnout templates I downloaded from the Fast Tracks website.
The ties are glued to the foam-core roadbed. The rail is stripped from Atlas code 83 flex track. The rail is spiked to all the ties and the spikes are actually sold as sequins in the local Michael’s store. A pack of about 800 of these tiny brass nails sells for about $6 and, to me, represents a better value than ordering proper spikes from Micro-Engineering. The biggest, and most obvious, difference between the two objects is the shape of the head. The model spike has the properly shaped head whereas the sequin’s head is round. Once installed, painted and weathered, the round head dissappears – at least in my mind! Living here, track supplies are scarce and this approach really satisfies my need to improvise. On that note, the ties are coloured using washes of water-based craft (“tole”) paints.
Next I need to clean up the rails around the frog. I prefer to lay the curved rail straight through a frog and then cut the centre out. I find this really helps guarantee the flow of the rail. I’ll also need to add some check rails around the frog, etc. Finally I also still need to determine how to move the rails – throwbar.