Drakelow

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Bunchie3174
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Drakelow

Postby Bunchie3174 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:05 pm

Drakelow represents my first serious attempt to build a layout in P4. The SGW has given me that bit of impetus to complete it but I'm not going to give any estimation of when that may be. Drakelow was designed to fit in an alcove and be self contained. Hence the dimensions of 1150mm x 380mm. Luckily SGW rules are vague enough for this to qualify.
Every layout should have a history and Drakelow is no different. For those unfamiliar with North Worcestershire there is a fascinating place hidden in the woods and hills north of Kidderminster, a system of underground tunnels and rooms which were built to house Rover vehicle production during WWII. The tunnels never saw any vehicle production but later became a Cold War base. The government sold the tunnels off into private ownership when it was decommissioned, being used now for paintball and ghosthunting parties. My layout represents a fictitious period in the tunnel's history when it was served by a meandering MOD branch line, although in reality no railway came within 3 miles.
The layout will be of the tunnel end of the line and be, in effect, a small shunting puzzle for a WD Austerity and some box vans serving an ammunitions store with rail access into the tunnels.
Usual stuff track wise, Templot to design plans, parts from C&L and Exactoscale, some Society timber sleepers, glued to a 3mm cork base. No surprises. What may surprise some readers is that I designed this layout to be electric free, as far as track power goes anyhow. I want my loco(s) to run off batteries and be controlled by RC/IR. The tech is there so why not? I have also submitted it as a way of getting some feedback from other, more knowledgable, modellers. I don't claim to know very much but I'm willing to add things to the learning curve.
I enjoy making track, though I need to sharpen up my game. I've included a 3 way, crossover and a Barry Slip into the track plan. Some might bemoan the unprototypical elements but it's how I want it, no straights either (save for the hidden storage line on the left) all tracks curve gracefully into the viewing area.
I welcome feedback, however much it may hurt. I'd rather have it from Scalefour members though.
I have some more photos to post shortly showing recent progress.
Attachments
Photo-12_09_2013-21.41.59-27.JPG
A general overview of the entire layout.
Last edited by Bunchie3174 on Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Armchair Modeller
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:48 pm

Well done for making a start!

I only started my first layout in P4 a year ago and have not regretted it. If my experience is anything to go by, there is plenty of friendly advice on here, so don't be afraid to show us your progress on a regular basis!

This looks to be a very interesting concept. Don't get too carried away with prototypical accuracy though - I certainly hope the explosives won't be made to work realistically. :D

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steamraiser
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Re: Drakelow

Postby steamraiser » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:18 pm

The point work looks fun to build. What type of track construction will you be using?

The track work looks a bit squashed in, if you could make the whole lot a few inches wider to spread the tracks??

What is your minimum radius?

Gordon A
Bristol

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Ian Everett
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Ian Everett » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:03 am

Welcome aboard!

A most intriguing history and a great plan. But what, pray, is a "Barry Slip"? I think I've heard of one before but recall is not my best faculty these days...

Ian

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Flymo748
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:56 am

clecklewyke wrote:Welcome aboard!

A most intriguing history and a great plan. But what, pray, is a "Barry Slip"? I think I've heard of one before but recall is not my best faculty these days...


Have a look in News 163 (available for download). There is an article "Point of interest, A: building a Barry slip" by Michael Godfrey.

That's probably where you're recalling it from. Not that my memory is that effective either - I just used http://www.grindham.co.uk/news_index/index.cfm ;-)

HTH
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

Terry Bendall
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Terry Bendall » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:09 am

This sounds like great fun and it will be good to see progress. Quite a lot of MoD bases used for munitions storage had a 2 foot gauge system for use in the tunnels, which saved making them large enough for standard gauge stock. It maight be something to consider although space for on board batteries and RC might be a problem. The Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway (only 10 miles from the new Scaleforum venue) has a large collection of ex MoD locos and stock including a battery electric loco made expressly for this purpose.

I have recently discovered Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review, a very good publication very much in the mode of MRJ, but as the title suggests a different range of topics. Well worth getting for anyone interested in modelling narrow gauge.

And of course when Drakelow is sufficiently complete we would be very pleased to see it at Scaleforum. :D

Terry Bendall

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RobM
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Re: Drakelow

Postby RobM » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:25 am

An interesting sounding project and I look forward to following its progress.
Pleased to have some company here on the SGW........... ;)
Rob
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

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jayell
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Re: Drakelow

Postby jayell » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:41 am

Bunchie3174 wrote:Usual stuff track wise, Templot to design plans, parts from C&L and Exactoscale, some Society timber sleepers, glued to a 3mm cork base. No surprises. What may surprise some readers is that I designed this layout to be electric free, as far as track power goes anyhow. I want my loco(s) to run off batteries and be controlled by RC/IR. The tech is there so why not? I have also submitted it as a way of getting some feedback from other, more knowledgable, modellers. I don't claim to know very much but I'm willing to add things to the learning curve.


No surprise to me as I too want track with no power feed to it and a r/c controlled loco. I am hoping the loco will be built for me in Australia by a guy who has lots of experience with r/c locos albeit in a larger scale than 4mm. I decided loco building was a bit too much like watch-making for my ancient eyes and shaky right hand to cope with so was happy to contract that part out.

I have come to the conclusion that conventional modelling practice has to be discarded and that use of 3 volt motors and lipo batteries is the only way to get batteries down to a usable size for 4mm. I think too it better to forget worm/worm wheel drive as it is less efficient than a spur wheel drive. The motor that my loco will use is a fairly expensive gear-head type with quite high gear reduction but at the moment I don't have details of exactly what.

I understand that one dis-advantage of lipo batteries is that they cannot be trickle charged so you may need to set up a scenario where the loco can break down and have to be towed away to a "charging station" as I suspect the batteries will have the same characteristics as the ones used in my Hitachi drill, working fine one second, dead the next and needing swapping out for a charged battery.

My loco will be using this system:-

http://themodelworksaustralia-com.webs. ... rc-control

which is based on a British design tx/rx from DelTang

http://www.deltang.co.uk/

There is also the Protocab system but this is going to be a very complex and expensive system and way over the top for my 'one engine in steam' GWR country branch line

http://www.protocab.com

Don't get downhearted if you get told it cannot be done, It can be done in larger scales, the challenge is fitting it into 4mm scale. There is unkikely to be any commercial support in the forseable future from the current crop of model railway manufacturers.

Best of luck with all your project and have fun doing it

John

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Martin Wynne » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:33 am

clecklewyke wrote:But what, pray, is a "Barry Slip"?

Hi Ian,

Essentially it is two turnouts of the same hand reversed and interlaced. Here's a picture of a Barry Slip at Beverley:

Image

So called (on the GWR at least) because they were common in the sorting sidings at Barry Docks.

Thanks to Mick Nicholson for the pic.

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

nigelcliffe
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Re: Drakelow

Postby nigelcliffe » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:31 pm

Bunchie3174 wrote:......... What may surprise some readers is that I designed this layout to be electric free, as far as track power goes anyhow. I want my loco(s) to run off batteries and be controlled by RC/IR. The tech is there so why not? I have also submitted it as a way of getting some feedback from other, more knowledgable, modellers. I don't claim to know very much but I'm willing to add things to the learning curve.


John Lewis gives some comments on battery operation. You could also add "Red Arrow" into the battery system choices.

Whilst I can see some attraction, there is considerable effort required to produce a battery powered 4mm loco, and I think conventional power is a lot simpler. If the challenge of fitting it, without seriously compromising appearance, is what drives you, then that's fine (*). But, if seeking simplicity without being tied to a mains plug, then a DC controller powered by some rechargeable batteries would be cheap, effective and not require special development.


(* I do a fair number of technical challenging things ).

- Nigel

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Ian Everett
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Ian Everett » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:41 pm

Martin Wynne wrote:
clecklewyke wrote:But what, pray, is a "Barry Slip"?

Hi Ian,

Essentially it is two turnouts of the same hand reversed and interlaced. Here's a picture of a Barry Slip at Beverley:



Thanks Martin. I had a feeling it was something like that but I am surprised to see this example on my home turf - I trainspotted beside the Hull - Beverley line during biology lessons taught by a certain Lynden Emery of this parish during the early sixties!

Ian

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Bunchie3174
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Bunchie3174 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:59 pm

Thanks for all your support so far. I love the idea of finescale explosives, though I'm not sure that 1:76th size bangs would do 1/76th of the damage, but it would an interesting element to exhibitions. The Barry slip is something I've wanted to include in a layout since seeing a photo of Chichester Town station on the Hundred of Manhood and Selsey Tramway, one of my favourite Col Stephens lines.
To answer Steamraiser, the track is C&L chairs and steel rail stuck to society ply sleepers with Butanone. I've also used some C&L ready made track in places but this has needed packing up with some plasticard to level up the railheads. I have noticed my first mistake in using steel rail. The layout is under construction in my cellar workshop and there is a slight dampness which causes some surface rust. Unfortunately it doesn't rust to scale. The minimum radius is about 500mm on the inside hand of the 3 way. This may prove to be too tight in practice but I've had some success testing a compensated 6w chassis on a 450mm radius test track so I'm giving it a go. I'm taking my time with the track because I tend to make a great looking turnouts which have some silly error of my own making. Yes, it does appear a bit 'squashed in' but the prototype location I'm basing it on is a cramped site not dissimilar to Ventnor IOW but on a smaller scale.
I did consider a narrow gauge version of this layout, and a feeder line but the Drakelow tunnels are very large and could easily have handled standard gauge, especially in the main tunnels.
Must get a bit of ballasting done before it gets too complicated under that 3 way.
Attachments
photo 1.JPG
This is an up to date photo from the sector plate showing the extent of track. This shows off the curves quite nicely. The point lever will be hidden under an electricity sub station when the scenics are added. But, yes, that tunnel line does look very sharp. Get that right and the rest will be easy
photo 1.JPG (157.09 KiB) Viewed 8429 times

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Bunchie3174
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Drakelow

Postby Bunchie3174 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:36 pm

A few more images of Drakelow
Attachments
image.jpg
A view towards the sector plate with the half turnout as a space saving idea. The sector plate is only long enough for one loco and a couple of wagons
image.jpg
The track plan has changed slightly between the paper and templot versions.

David Knight
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Re: Drakelow

Postby David Knight » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:45 pm

Very tidy. I can see that you could have a lot of fun with that layout at an exhibition and not do your back in while transporting it. Plenty of choices for motive power for such a space too apart from the Austerity you already mentioned. I could see a Sentinel or any one of a number of Pugs being very happy on the layout.

Do you plan to operate from the front or the back?

Cheers,

David

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:01 pm

The Barry turnout is all very well, but how do you get to the front siding and the diary from the rest of the layout as it isolates these doesn't it?

I think you will be needing at least a single slip?

Like the idea of the small diaroma though; I am trying to resist........
Mark Tatlow

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Bunchie3174
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Bunchie3174 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:05 pm

I plan to operate it initially from the back with wagons being fetched out of the tunnel individually then taken off in ones and twos to the fictitious marshalling yard at Wolverley a mile down the line. Then a return process with empties arriving.
The dairy (or whatever it turns out to be) bottom left would be likely an independent concern taking advantage of the rail link and have separate wagons which arrive on the lower loop and are pushed back into the kick back siding. On leaving the operation is reversed and the loco runs round to take them away. I considered a double slip but thought the Barry slip would give a certain restriction to shunting to make it interesting or annoying. It could certainly be added at a later date though, should necessity arise (or I suddenly gain extra turnout building prowess).
I've also noticed that I've marked my tight curve as having a check rail, I haven't factored that in to the bit I've built so far. I have some exactoscale check rail chairs for this purpose. Are there any special tips for adding check rails? I have flange way gauge plus the society 3 point gauges for construction and I've found the exactoscale chairs to hold the rails quite accurately.

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Ian Everett
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Ian Everett » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:16 am

Bunchie3174 wrote: The minimum radius is about 500mm on the inside hand of the 3 way. This may prove to be too tight in practice but I've had some success testing a compensated 6w chassis on a 450mm radius test track so I'm giving it a go.


I have curves tighter than that on Humber Dock but they are significantly gauge-widened and greatly restrict the rolling stock that is used and the coupling systems. I use only short wheel-base wagons and 0-4-0Ts (Y1, Y7) Iain Rice-style S+W couplings, with long hooks to separate wagons and prevent buffer-lock.

Looking great so far!

Ian

DougN
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Re: Drakelow

Postby DougN » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:31 am

Bunchie. I think that any of the high level models will work on the radius down that low.... In fact the black hawthorn and the Robert Stephenson hawthorn's are both shorter than a wagon and the wheel base must be similar or slightly smaller. So if a wagon will go around I think the loco's will. I would doubt that a 0-6-0 or larger may not go a around but if my q6 can go slowly around a pair of a5's just (850mm radius give or take) I think you should be easily be able to get some small loco's to go around 500mm!

Good luck with it all.
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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Bunchie3174
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Bunchie3174 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:19 pm

How time flies. I've just realised I've made no appreciable progress on my layout since last September. I have been busy on other tasks such as making a P4 test track, mainly as practice for track building on this layout and helping a friend construct the baseboards for a large OO-SF layout in his garage. I've also been distracted by modelling in 'other scales', legacy projects in 1:35 and 1:55. Add in work and family commitments and 9 months has passed. Too many railways which need modelling, must try harder.

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Bunchie3174
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Slow progress on Drakelow

Postby Bunchie3174 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:47 pm

In a fit of activity I found some time to reach Drakelow down from the shelf and look at it for a couple of hours. The first task was to replace the check rail on the inside of the 3 way turnout with something more befitting the radius. Out came the Exactoscale check rail chairs and I found I had just enough to to complete it. Though on looking at it again I think it maybe a bit too short to match with the V crossing check rails.
Having completed this with uncommon success I moved onto gluing down the remaining turnout timbering. Society ply strips cut to length and stuck down on a layer of wood glue. I was having a lot of fun by this point (because I was making progress and hadn't hit a snag) and decided to complete the plain track sleepering. Careful to put away the turnout timbering and bring out the correct section strip (made this mistake before) I cut the required amount by hand using a razor saw. The method I use usually is to cut individual sleepers from a sheet of marine ply. For Drakelow I wanted to use up a couple of lengths of C&L plain track and my normal ply would be a little too high to match the sleeper height so it was easier to use the Society sleeper strips.
After a short errand I returned to find all my sleepers nicely secured to the plan and everything looking good. I readied my C&L chairs with the intention of laying the inside rail of the plain track sections. Around this time I realised that my stash of BH rail I believed I had didn't actually exist. I recalled buying some but on checking my last order it was for FB rail to be used on a different project.
I only found a 3" piece which I forlornly threaded on about 10 chairs, glued to the sleepers and called it a day.
The question I'd like to ask anyone reading this is, what is the protocol for mixing steel and NS rail? The C&L plain track I've used is NS but my rail stock with which I've built the remaining track is steel. My workshop/office is in my cellar and there is a level of moisture that causes some sections of steel rail to rust. I have a dehumidifier and an extractor fan in the room, both on timers. Some steel rail sections haven't rusted, so why do other bits? I chose steel because I read that it looked better and was easier to work. Would it be better to swap out the steel rail for NS before I go any further? Remember I'm planning to use RC battery power on this layout so electrical connectivity is not an issue. I'd like to know a consensus opinion as this would serve me well in future layouts.
Attachments
image-1.jpeg
A view of the new longer checkrail on the inside of the 3 way
image.jpeg
A view towards the sector plate showing the dairy siding curving to the left

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Tim V
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Tim V » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:26 pm

I have never experienced rusting on steel rail. Mixing rail not a problem with RC and batteries.

If you have rusting, there is a serious concern about other steel items - tools etc that could also rust.

Are you sure that when you do any soldering you're keeping flux away from any steel items?

Could be condensation? Are you sure the de-humidifier is working correctly, it should raise the temperature by a couple of degrees as well as extract the moisture. By putting it on a timer, aren't you creating the right conditions for moisture to form in the air?

I personally leave my de-humidifier always connected and on, with a permanent drain.
Tim V

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Ian Everett
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Ian Everett » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:53 pm

If you are using radio and batteries then rust without having to paint the rails would seem to be an advantage!

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Bunchie3174
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Re: Drakelow

Postby Bunchie3174 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:02 pm

Having had a look closely it would seem that it could be the flux causing the issue. It occurs mainly around joints and crossing vees. I thought it odd that two computers, a printer and paperwork in the same area never went damp. Must clean it off more thoroughly next time. This is the first time I've used steel rail and I use solder paint as it saves me getting too much in the joint. I may need to revisit my technique, or use loctite.

Ian

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Drakelow

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:04 am

When soldering my steel rail I use solder paint, ie that with corrosive flux, when building the track on the bench, after which it gets a thorough scrub with Ajax and toothbrush then a rinse under the hot tap, this gets rid of any corrosive residue. Any remedial action required after laying I use only electronic solder with non-corrosive flux, either the usual rosin core wire or the pastes sold for printed circuit board assembly. This has successfully avoided rust problems for 25 years now.
Regards
Keith

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jim s-w
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Re: Drakelow

Postby jim s-w » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:18 pm

Ian Everett wrote:If you are using radio and batteries then rust without having to paint the rails would seem to be an advantage!


It would seem that way but stuff will run like a bag of nails and your track and wheels would still need to be kept clean.

Cheers

Jim


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