TURNTABLE

The 130′ turntable is from Walthers.  I would have preferred a shorter one, but the only other version they offered is a 90-footer which is way too short for my 4-8-2 Mohawks.  I see now Walthers is going to offer a 110′ version in the summer of 2016.  Go figure.  If you wait long enough, a model will be made, but you’ll never get a layout done.

I do not use the programming feature for aligning the turntable to the tracks.  I did try this when I was testing the installation.  It was time consuming as I have 24 for tracks to align to and I had to program both ends of the turntable for a total of 48 positions.  After spending time programming the positions, I found that the alignment became inaccurate not long after.  Not sure what I had done, but I re-indexed it again and the same trouble happened.  I then decided not to use the programming and we “drive” the turntable by pressing the control buttons and aligning any tracks by eye.  This works well and after a few tries, one gets a decent feel for the operation.  The infra-red positioning sensor doesn’t work anyway because I shimmed the bridge a little to more precisely match the level of the tracks to be aligned to.

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Something that I don’t like about the operation of the turntable is how Walthers reversed the polarity for track power for DCC.  This is mechanically done by creating a dead-spot in rotation.  A position is lost because of this.  However, that track is in a very short section of the roundhouse due to how the building is truncated to fit my layout.  Since there is no track power there, a switcher tender occupies stall 12.

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I repainted and weathered the turntable mainly by airbrush.  While repainting the bridge I took the risk and snapped-off the control cabin (there wasn’t much glue holding it in place).  I did this to paint the cabin separately, but then I realized I could install a figure inside.  I also weathered the windows by masking an irregular pattern with blue-tack/fun-tack and then sprayed flat acrylic over top.  After removing the masks, I applied a very light, very thinned spray of flat clear again.  The result is an appearance that the windows were not well cleaned.  This and the figure also hide the lack of interior detail.

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