Pete's Pumpkins

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Constructing the Baseboard – Part One

Having finished (mostly finished) Pete and his speeder, I was finally able to calculate the clearances needed to construct the baseboard. The height of Pete in the engineer’s seat was just shy of 2 inches – a touch higher then I would have liked as this meant that the entrance / exit to the Pumpkin Pit would need to be on a 14% grade! I reasoned that this wasn’t a terrible incline for a narrow gage railway as there are examples prototypes railways with steep inclines; the Mt. Albert Tramway in New Zealand for one.

I transferred the original layout plan to a large sheet of boxboard, and then removed the areas between the tracks to create a cookie-cutter style sub roadbed. I traced this template onto several sheets of Styrofoam and removed the areas that corresponded to the tunnel. I glued the two Styrofoam sheets to a 1/8th inch masonite panel using regular white glue, and hot-glued small pine blocks in the corners of the baseboard for facia installation. I next measured the total run of each of the grades and cut out Styrofoam ramps, which I sectioned and again fastened to the baseboard with glue. Finally, I glued the cardboard sub roadbed atop the Styrofoam with a combination of white and hot glue, and temporarily secured the entire assembly with some finishing nails.

I was surprised how quickly I managed to complete the assembly, as well as how rigid the final structure is, and how little the baseboard weighs. Next step: contouring.

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