Here's something I've completed over the last few weekends - the log dump and Jill Poke for my layout.
I started by putting small sections of stripwood between the sleepers, to allow the boards (made from coffee stirrers) to be stuck between them. I painted this stripwood and the gaps between the rails black.
Following this, I laid out stripwood over the edge of the log pond, the put the boards over that. For the other side of the log dump, I decided to use MDF board with just a bit of stripwood at the end to give the impression of supports running under all of it.
Once that was done, I laid the boards down on top. I also installed a brass tube going through the layout as I thought I was going to be installing some sort of pivoting log loader. It wouldn’t be functional, just positionable.
I then started working on a log loader kit, only to realise it wouldn’t be suitable. An inquiry on a Facebook On30 group made me aware of the existence of a device called a ‘Jill Poke’. This is an arm on a pole, which engages with the log flats as they’re pushed forward. The spikes on the end catch the log, and the motion pulls the arm along with the logs. This forces it to swing out, which pushes on the logs and dumps them into the pond.
After finding a couple of photographs and diagrams, I scratchbuilt one from balsa doweling, some styrene and some cardboard. For the base and the main support for the swing arm, I used styrene. However, it was difficult to bend around for the smaller rings, so I switched to thin cardboard for the rest of it, building it up in layers as I went along.
I had some nut/bolt/washer castings and chain in my spare parts box and used those to add some detail to the model. The pulley was scratchbuilt out of styrene and brass tubing.
Once construction was completed, I weathered the metal bits with weathering powders, then installed it on the layout with some bracing.
I had to remove the brass tubing, as it was no longer needed, and ended up replacing the boards through which it ran.