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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT - Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

James Hickman

JAMES HICKMAN looks at this new range of cork sheeting available in both OO/HO and N Scales.

Taking a break from the usual wiring/electrical articles I have written for Right Lines previously, I am going to look at the new range of Cork Underlay available soon from Gaugemaster. Some of our longer-standing customers may remember that a few years ago we produced a range of cork strips for use as a trackbed for your layouts. Unfortunately, due to issues with supply we had to take the decision to discontinue the product.

After this we were still getting call for such products, so we set about looking at reinventing the product while adding others to satisfy the needs of the modern modeller. Presenting the new range of Gaugemaster Cork Underlay, available soon:

The 'OO/HO' Scale Range:

Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

GM240 3mm Sectional Track RH Turnout Cork Underlay (2)

GM241 3mm Sectional Track LH Turnout Cork Underlay (2)

GM244 3mm Sectional Track RH Curve Turnout Cork Underlay (2)

GM245 3mm Sectional Track LH Curve Turnout Cork Underlay (2)

GM251 3mm Cork Trackbed

GM252 3mm Cork Plates

GM247 3mm Sectional Track Y Turnout Underlay (2)

The 'N' Scale Range:

Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

GM225 2mm Sectional Track RH Turnout Cork Underlay (2)

GM226 2mm Sectional Track LH Turnout Cork Underlay (2)

GM231 2mm Cork Trackbed

GM232 2mm Cork Plates

The range comprises of cork plates, strips, and left and right turnout underlays for both scales, as well as curved an 'Y' underlays for 'OO'. The turnout underlay has been designed for use with all set-track makes including Peco, Graham Farish, Bachmann, and Hornby. For those of you using the streamlined or Flexi-track systems, the plates can be cut to fit any turnout configuration. All the sectionalised underlay also comes pre-cut with sloped edges, allowing a realistic ballast shoulder to be created.

Installation of the underlay couldn't be easier either. First stage is to decide where your track is going to go. Once that is decided, simply mark round the edge of the track with a marker pen, and move the track out of the way. This will leave you with an outline of the track on which to work.

Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

The next stage is to lay out all the underlay for the points. The sections fit nicely to the shape of the point, so simply apply a thin layer of glue (We recommend Deluxe Materials Tacky Glue, DLAD-27) to the underside of the cork, and lay in place. Leave that to dry for 5 minutes.

Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

Once set in place, the next thing to do is add the fill-in sections. For the straight sections this is easy, simply lay in place. When you come to matching to the point work, you may need to trim one end of the section to allow a smooth and level connection.

Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

For curves, simply 'notch out' a few small triangles to create the same radius as the track. It may be helpful to use the track itself as a guide first. Then again, once all sections have been cut to size, simply apply a thin layer of glue, lay in place, and allow to dry.

Once fully dry, all that is left to do is lay the track onto the underlay, and once done the scenic stage can begin.

Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

The track can then be laid and glued in place using Deluxe Materials Ballast Magic, and left to dry.

Gaugemaster Cork Underlay

For those of you that prefer our ballasted foam underlay on your layouts, consider using the cork underlay in those hidden tunnels or fiddle yards as it blends seamlessly with that as well.

And that's it! Quick and easy laying of track onto cork underlay. Now add the appropriate weathering and details around, and your track is up and running from all those heavy passenger lines to the local branch-line traffic.

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