With track laying going along fine I realized I would soon need a control panel. I wanted the panel to include turnout controls and also a plug for my DCC throttle. I decided to do a panel that folds up, on the underside of the layout, when not in use. I wanted it to totally disappear "inside" the layout, above one of the underside "lids"
The panel is simple in its design. A piece of hardboard on a wooden frame. This picture shows the frame glued to the back of the hardboard.
And this is the front, with track schematics penciled in. As you can see in both pictures, I have also drilled holes for the turnout switches and the Lenz Express Net plug.
Next I painted the front white. When the paint had dried I used masking tape to form the track schematics. Here is the now white panel with green masking tape. The upper track is the staging yard, and the lower is the mainline siding.
Then I sprayed the panel white a dark green paint, and removed the masking tape. Voilá, a green panel with white track schematics. I love these kind of mask, paint and peel tricks!
Now was the time to install the SPDT switches controlling the polarity of the voltage to the Tortoise switch machines. I also installed a 5 pole DIN plug, which is the type of plug used for the Lenz Express Net throttle bus.
And finally, here is the panel attached to the layout, hanging on a pair of hinges. Ready to control trains and turnouts.
The next picture shows the panel from above, when it is halfway folded up, to be out of the way when the layout is not in use.
And here it is completely up, as is the layout underside lid. In this position the panel wll of course eventually be invisible, under the scenery to come.