One of the 'smart' ideas I had for Highclere was to add point rodding to the layout. Its something that you dont see that often on layouts, especially in 2mm Scale. Little did I know how much of a pain it would turn out to be!
Now for a little background info for those who dont know what I am on about...
The point rodding for the layout is based around two parts. The first is some 0.4mm square Nickel-Silver wire which I buy from Model Signal Engineering, it comes in a pack of 10 x 12" lengths. The second part are the 'stools' which I persuaded Ivan from Southwark Bridge Models to etch, reduced from his 4mm scale range. Trust me, it took some persuading as they are VERY small! Below is a picture on how they come.
Using a collection of jigs I then solder the stools at 12mm intervals along the length of the square wire. For each point I have used 2 lengths of wire, one for switching the point and the second for locking it in place. This is the time consuming bit as each stool is individually soldered in place, for each 12" length of 2 point rods there are roughly 75 point rodding stools. The stools are then soldered onto a small section of PCB and then glued to a similar section of plastic to represent the concrete plinths they are mounted on in real life. The picture below shows you roughly what I mean.
To me though, its worth the effort. Once its painted and on the layout it adds another little bit of detail that helps it come to life.
I have tried about 5 different jigs now to assemble the rodding, the jig below I made out of cardboard which I made because as the point rodding gets closer to the signal box on the layout it gains more rodding as its passed more points.
At the moment Im working on 4 rods in parallel as the picture below shows.
The saying "practice makes perfect" is so true! I havent given up yet....