What little time I had this summer for model railroading was pretty much devoted to making another Proto:87 Stores #10 “Ultimate” Turnout. This time I decided to heavily modify it from the original. These are some of the modifications and the lessons I learned along the way.

  1. I substituted Heavy Duty tie plates for the standard Medium Duty Tie plates.The heavy duty tie plates don’t fit the Proto:87 Stores Switch-Works tie-plate jig I’ve been using. So in order to lay the Heavy duty tie plates, I used tie plate jig to lay a few reference tie plates and then used a piece of rail to site the rest of the tie plates. I glued them in place using Barge/MEK. Somehow, I misplaced about every tie plate, causing me to have to lift them up and reapply them several times to get the correct position. In the future, I will use several more reference tie plates.
  2. I substituted tie plates around the points, guard rails and frog.Some of this had to be done somewhat freehand, so I didn’t get a perfect job, but the tie plates around the guard rails turned out pretty good. In the future I’ll be much more careful with these and I will need to develop a better way to site the frog first, then slip tie plates beneath.
  3. I added Details West Adjustable Rail Braces.These look OK, they all needed some degree of filing to make them fit. I don’t think they turned out that great, they don’t all look to be the same size and they don’t all seat the same. I was tempted to use the Central Valley rail braces, but I think I had a hard time cutting them off the sprue and threw them out.
  4. I tried Humbrol Enamels for Painting the TrackMatt 113 and Matt 98 looked good going on, but turned out to be more like a gloss than a matte. I had to strip the paint off and go back to my old friend Vallejo Cam Medium Brown. The Vallejo paint looks great.
  5. I Abandoned the Proto:87 Stores Point Hinges for Micro Engineering Rail JoinersI didn’t like the Proto:87 Stores point hinges, it leaves too much vertical slop in the points. I’m much happier with the rail joiners.
  6. I’m not Satisfied with the Turnout ThrowI’ve built six turnouts and probably experimented with 15 different points. I don’t like how the Proto:87 Stores throw bars work. The best interim solution I’ve found is to shim them, but this leaves them extremely stiff and hard to throw.
  7. Glue (Ewwww!)As you can see in the photos, I really ended up with some glue globs. Not what I want at all!

I started another turnout last week. This time using CA to glue the ties to the plastic base, and inadvertently to the Switch-Works fixture. I destroyed the tie base and thought I had destroyed the fixture also, but was able to reshape it and clean it up. I’ve ordered more supplies and hopefully will be making more turnouts soon.

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Greg Amer

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