From the start, Waihao Forks was always going to be built with MMW endcaps. Not only did I want to enjoy running it at home, but I also wanted to take it to shows and being able to join it up with other like-minded module builders made a lot of sense.
But I also wanted the chance to model what happened at each end of the station as that was just as important as the station itself. Waihao Forks is located in a river valley with stiff climbs and bridges out each side. To the west was Bridge number 9, the "Big Bridge" which was a multi truss affair:
To the east was the side by side bridges that carried the rail and road back towards Waimate as well as the start of the ruling grade up to McLeans (seen in the photo yesterday).
So already I had the idea that there were an additional 2 scenes that needed to be included to tell the story of the line. It was a quick mental leap to decide that 3 scenes plus a fiddle yard equals a nice standalone 1 person layout perfect for exhibiting. A quick CAD scribble confirmed that this was indeed a good idea.
While I was thinking about the layout and the exhibiting thereoff, my mind turned to how to support everything. MMW modules are designed to sit comfortably on tables, but I wanted something more "leggish". Remembering photos of tab and slot structures from the UK, I started playing around with some slot together leg structures that will clamp the endcaps together and hold the layout at a consistent height, yet be lasered so they can be produced accurately ad infinitum. Here is the prototype undergoing testing:
So thats the civil engineering sorted. The next things to discuss with 0-4-4-0T at a club night was rolling stock and operations. My goal is to be able to run a B 4-8-0 (No 305) and Wf 389 (which was the mainstay back when the branch closed in the 50's) but maybe mix things up a bit by running a Red Dj to show "what might have been". Wagons will be lots of J's (those sheep yards will need lots) plus your joe-average L and K wagons with a few interlopers thrown in.
SO! Thats the thinking out of the way, tomorrow (with 0-4-4-0T's help) we can start looking at the revamping of the trackwork and the new baseboard.