was decided that to turn locos by hand just added to the risk of
the big drop or damage in some way so a turntable was needed. As
my largest loco was the Ja it was a no brainer that a 70ft version
was called for, who knows there may be a day when something larger
will use it!!! Below
2 Pics; A wooden frame was built & braced accordingly with
the required sized hole cut out with a jigsaw, not forgetting to
save the insert as it is a crucial part of the next step!
Left; Work out the depth of the pit & cut a strip off 3mm
plywood, tack & glue to the insert. I used brass tacks which I
had left over but any small nail with a head will do the job &
staples, now for the hard bit!! Once it is dry you have to make it
fit in the hole so the width of the cut the jig saw made was about
2mm so in theory you have to sand another 1mm all the way around,
you have to try & keep it as even as possible all the way
around or it can get out of shape so the secert is sand & have
a try fit!! Below Right; Once it has been fitted, glued
& secured in place sand flat to the base board & fill any
Board is in place with a centre spigot in the middle with the hand
laid rails leading to the pit, I can't say enough that you have to
brace it as you don't want any twisting at a later date as this
may result in the turntable jaming up when being used. Below
Right; After the pit was complete the pit rail had to be made,
this was where the clubs trusty old rail-bender came into play.
Sleepers were cut, glued & then the rail was spiked into
Left; We are now viewing the underside of the turntable
itself, we started with a solid piece of MDF & stepped it back
in layers. The decking is all exterior timber cut to required
sizes, once again I use the glue & pin technique to get a
lasting bond. Above Right; The sides are in place which are
2mm styrene with flat 0.5mm flat made into angle to give it more
Left; Just a general view of the underside sitting in the pit,
the wheel at the end is only a temporary measure to mark out where
the pit rail was going. Below Right; The deck plate is
riveted in place.
Left & Right; A detailed view of the power pick-up
arrangement. I used a LGB pick-up (skate) at each end of the
turntable, this runs along the pit rail which is connected to the
delivery track. as you can see Below Left; A gap in the
rail is an insulation point with another diagonally across the
other side to get the power from the delivery track to the
turntable. The only down side to this is you must remember to hit
the reverse button before moving off!!! Below Right;
The push-bar has been machined out of a alloy rod withe the box
staples being used for the up-rights of the hand rails. Some long
lengths of welding wire was purchased to do the pipe effect on the
hand rails which has turn out quite well.
Left; Close uo of the added detail of the push-bar &
railings. Above Right; It took a bit of working out to get
the correct bends to mount the push-bar to the main frame of the
turntable (more good luck I think) it all worked out well in the
end. Below; Ja1268 is awaiting permission to proceed onto
the turntable, have just noticed the LGB Santa Fe mikado to the
left is no longer with the AFR it was recently sold to the local
Railway here in Ashburton & sometimes visits on run days.
Right; I might have got a bit carried away with the 6 pics but
it will show all quite a lot of the detail on the turntable before
it heads to the paint shop & of course 1268.
Fresh from the paint shop, Just a quick note I have changed my
brand of paint as VHT is close to $20 a tin so have gone to
Rust-Oleum @ $12.00 a can from the local Bunnings Store. There
Primer range has a great choice of colours with White, Red Oxide,
Grey & Black which will cover the while range of Railway
items. I have found that it covers very well & is less prone
to run unlike the VHT. Or maybe I have become more
The next 4 pics are of the turntable in its pit, the railings have
been painted 7 the pit ballasted with Woodlands Scenics HO Coarse
mix to try & get the finer texture.
The finished article!!! You may notice that we now have an
addition on the turntable module with a buffer stop!! This was
added as I found out if you forget to change the direction on the
hand piece there is on one way to go & thats over the edge!!
Lucky for me it was a Bachmann Big Hauler so no damage was done.