Here We Go... The Layout

Armchair Modeller
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:49 pm

How about Domestic dustbins for the dome? Bachmann are bringing out a 10-pack soon.

http://www.ehattons.com/32911/Bachmann_ ... etail.aspx.

If they are as good as the artwork on their site, they might well be OK. Also Dart Castings do a set, though the castings look a little "rustic" in comparison with the Bachmann artwork.

http://www.dartcastings.co.uk/dart/L30.php

From (poor) memory, old-fashioned dustbins were around 2ft in diameter, which is definitely in the right ball park.

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Will L
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Will L » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:26 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:So the saying "Where there's a Will, there's a way" isn't always true then? :shock:


Oh no I'd go with that thought, but you said "expert" which is not quite the same thing. ;)
Will

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:30 pm

Well, the Dart Castings dustbins arrived this morning. I was thinking of using them for the corrugated middle part of the dome of my loco. The casting is excellent - much better than the photo on their site suggests, but they seem small for the kind of dustbins I had in mind - only a scale 18" wide and 2 ft tall. As they are cast in whitemetal, I may try cutting them up and rolling the bits around a larger diameter tube to make a bigger structure. Alternatively, I could wait for the Bachmann domestic dustbins to arrive in the UK. I also have some brass tube now for the boiler.

Dbinz.jpg
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My image of the loco is poor, to say the least. I have managed to find a few photos and drawings of E B Wilson and early Manning Wardle locos to give me a better idea of the details.

E-B-Wilson-Belg-Loco.jpg
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The first step will have to be to get the J72 chassis to look a little more like what I need. Making major modifications is out of the question, especially now the kit has been bent into shape and soldered up. It needs trimming and a bit of reshaping at the ends. I should also make some cut-outs in the frames. This may be too difficult to do accurately. Apart from the physical difficulty of doing this now the chassis has been made up, it would expose or remove parts of the springy beam gubbins. I suppose an 1855 loco might even have received replacement frames at some point in its life - so that's my excuse for not being too close to the original, quite apart from the fact that information is vague. Also, my tramway is fictitious, so the loco is too. I want it to look convincing though, even if it is a fake.

This does raise the philosophical issue of just how accurate Scalefour modelling should be. I suppose if we only built models of things we had all the necessary information on, we would be very restricted for choice. I have the additional excuse that this is my first and is largely experimental. Hopefully, the charm and character of the loco will hide some of its deficiencies!

The best place for the motor seems to be in the bunker, allowing room for plenty of weight in the boiler. After my chassis surgery, the next job will be to plan exactly how to fit a motor and gears.

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Tim V
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Tim V » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Have you looked at the pewter (I think it was) corrugated iron? Or had a look at the rolling mill that Pendon use for corrugated iron?

Another thought, if someone can produce whitemetal castings, someone has produced a master, so it can't be that difficult to produce a dome on the lathe with an indexing attachment?
Tim V

David Knight
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby David Knight » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:33 pm

[quote="Armchair Modeller"]
This does raise the philosophical issue of just how accurate Scalefour modelling should be. I suppose if we only built models of things we had all the necessary information on, we would be very restricted for choice. I have the additional excuse that this is my first and is largely experimental. Hopefully, the charm and character of the loco will hide some of its deficiencies!
[quote]

Three rules to consider here.
1/ Model railways are (supposed to be) fun.
2/ There is a prototype for everything.
3/ It's my train set.

Use as many as many as you like :thumb

Cheers,

David
Director, Nether Upton Light Railway :D

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Tim V wrote:Have you looked at the pewter (I think it was) corrugated iron? Or had a look at the rolling mill that Pendon use for corrugated iron?

Another thought, if someone can produce whitemetal castings, someone has produced a master, so it can't be that difficult to produce a dome on the lathe with an indexing attachment?


Thanks again for your suggestions Tim. It must be very frustrating for experienced P4 modellers like yourself to see a beginner trying to do things in crude and amateurish ways, dragging P4 modelling down to new depths! ;)

TBH, I just want this to be a quickie project to build up a bit of confidence and experience in scratch-building. I fully appreciate that using an indexing attachment would be the best engineering approach. Buying the tools to do the lathe route would be better spent on other things - particularly as I may well only need one of these domes. I don't want this loco to take a lifetime, so I am looking for reasonable short cuts to speed up the process - just as long as they don't detract too much from the final model. There are few kits and no virtually no ready-to-run models for this project. That applies to locos, rolling stock and structures. I have to consider reasonable shortcuts, or I fear will never get anything finished.

Corrugated iron would be too coarse, assuming it is similar to the Wills plastic stuff. If the worst comes to the worst with the Dart Castings dustbins, I can always wait for the Bachmann ones, which are hopefully nearer to the size I first envisaged. A temporary dome will suffice, if it's a long wait!

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:27 pm

davknigh wrote:
Three rules to consider here.
1/ Model railways are (supposed to be) fun.
2/ There is a prototype for everything.
3/ It's my train set.

Use as many as many as you like :thumb

Cheers,

David
Director, Nether Upton Light Railway :D


Thanks, David. That is very much my own opinion too. Possibly you have to break these things very gently to the P4 aristocracy though ;) ;)

Truth is, I am very fussy and really do want to produce something that looks the part. Given the choice of spending years of my life building a whole model railway to a reasonable standard, or building just one loco that is totally accurate in every detail and built using the most impressive techniques, I would definitely choose the former - not that an average (at best!) modeller like myself has much choice!

I think that doing everything to a consistent standard is more important than trying to get everything spot-on.

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Tim V
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Tim V » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:49 pm

The Will's stuff is very crude, but there are other corrugated iron products out there. I used to have some corrugated copper, cut a piece of that, bend it round a piece of tube - dome made!
Tim V

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:11 pm

Tim V wrote:The Will's stuff is very crude, but there are other corrugated iron products out there. I used to have some corrugated copper, cut a piece of that, bend it round a piece of tube - dome made!


Thanks for your further support and encouragement, Tim. :thumb

The "corrugations" are not quite as simple as that though - see photo and drawing below.....

domdom.jpg
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The design is (I guess) imitating classical fluted stone columns, with semi-circular tops to the fluting. For that reason alone, I think the dustbin idea may still be the best. If it doesn't work very well, I can just ......... chuck it in the bin.

Don't let me put you off giving me helpful advice though - the dome is probably the easy bit - I have all of the rest of the loco to sort out too ;)

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Tim V
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Tim V » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:35 pm

Personally, I don't view my models that close up (but don't tell the thought police, because I don't get everything right..).
Tim V

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:55 pm

There is plenty of potential for unusual locos and rolling stock on this project - for some of which, the information is so limited that there would be no point in looking too closely at the model!

Still, I mustn't try running before I can crawl...........

;)

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:29 am

The idea of reproducing early bullhead turnouts is proving quite a problem for me.

wotsthepoint.jpg
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I had decided to use Masokits stretcher bars as the functioning component, with dummy stretchers to represent the type on the photo. Finding a suitable material for the dummy components has proved elusive though. The catch is that I have to maintain electrical isolation between the running rails. I built a few crude experimental mock-ups to try different ideas.

Plastic Rod - won't maintain shape, especially the curved one

Filed down PCB - too delicate, difficult to file to a convincing shape and profile

Metal Rod - soldered to one point blade, Araldited to the other - difficult to maintain electrical discontinuity, especially on the stretcher nearest the end of the point blades, which passes through the stock rail

Filaments of copper wire twisted together and soldered - similar results to metal rod, but too soft and bendable

Metal rod soldered to rails with plastic sleeving to cover a gap in the centre - the plastic sleeving quickly distorted over the gap, making the stretcher look warped.

Drilling holes in the point blades to accept the stretcher bars also seems to weaken them.

My general conclusion at the moment is that I am wasting my time! I think I would be better off just using the Masokits stretchers and swallowing my pride. As the railway is intended to represent the immediate post-WW2 period, I guess the railway may have replaced their stretchers and their track at some point in the previous 50 years anyway, so maybe I shouldn't be too pedantic. My worry is that if I spend too long developing ideas, I may never get the model railway finished. It is my first attempt in P4, after all, so maybe I should be pragmatic and just use what is already available, tried and tested.

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:38 pm

Finishing off the pointwork is now well underway, following my decision to be pragmatic about the stretchers, rather than prototypical. All the Masokits stretchers/tie bars are now assembled and attached to the turnouts. The interlaced turnout at the station throat has been stuck to its plywood base with PVA, after removing as much of the paper template as I could from under the sleepers. I also drilled a hole for the operating mechanism before sticking the turnout in place.

I have made some wire loops to insert the operating wire from the Blue Point mechanisms under the baseboard. These are soldered to the tiebars, as in the photo below. This shows the inner of the two stretchers. On reflection, trying to get realistic, prototypical old-fashioned stretcher bars to work in this location would have been a nightmare - especially the one that runs through holes in the stock rails.

loopy.jpg
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I have deliberately over-engineered the soldering etc. on this turnout as it will be largely invisible and difficult to access once the buildings and scenery are in place. Once painted, the whole thing should be reasonably invisible.

I will next do the final adjustment of the gauge through the point blades. I decided to do this after attaching to the base. This way, the overall alignment of the turnout will stay the same. Past experience with 2mm turnouts shows that even small adjustments to the rails can make small, but significant changes to the alignment of the turnout if it is not stuck down first.

The Blue Point mechanisms will be screwed to the underside of the track base and tested to make sure that it operates reliably before everything is stuck to the baseboard.

I will also polish the top of the rails to get rid of any residue of solder etc. before the turnouts and base are installed.

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:34 pm

The wet weather over the last few days left me little to do - except to get on with the model railway. I feel I am making real progress again, at last! :D

I have been preparing the turnouts on the scenic section of the layout for installation on the baseboards, starting with the first scenic board. Having soldered the Masokits stretchers and the operating loops in place in my last instalment, I started attaching the Blue Points. Hopefully, little can go wrong with these. They are little more than a DPDT switch with a point operating wire attached. I put the Blue Point and the points in mid-position using various bits and pieces as wedges. I then stuck the Blue Points in position on the underside of the wooden track bases. Here is one....

DSCF1788.jpg
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When the glue had set, I added screws to make the Blue Points really secure. I then did any final adjustments to make sure the point blades moved properly when I operated the Blue Point mechanism. Finally, I began glueing the turnouts in place on the baseboard, complete with Blue Points and the wooden bases. Here are the first two in position.

DSCF1790.jpg
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I won't do any wiring until all the scenic area track on baseboards one and two are in place. I also need to make the insulation gaps.

This is the view of one of the mech's from the underside of the board. The wires in the background have nothing to do with the Blue Point, by the way - they just got into the picture by accident. I will add the plastic tubes used to operate the Blue Points when I dismantle the layout again. In the meantime, I can still operate the Blue Points by bravely shoving my hand under the baseboards and groping around ;)

DSCF1792.jpg
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To be honest, I should really have got to this stage in February, believe it or not. 6 months of almost nothing - where did it go?

One of my worries was that operating the Blue Points might cause the track bases to work loose on the Styrofoam baseboard top. In reality, the forces involved seem to be far too small to cause any problems.

Another worry had been whether the baseboards and the ply track bases would survive the cold of Winter and the heat of Summer. I have read a few horror stories elsewhere of this combination warping over time. The fiddle yard certainly seems to be very stable. I can happily report that there seems to have been no warping at all that I can discern. Only time will tell if this will also be true of the track bases in the scenic area. I have always dampened the top of the ply when using PVA to glue it to the Styrofoam. Hopefully, that has done the trick.

There will also be some plain track to build, filling in the gaps between the turnouts. Fortunately, I folded up the Masokits chair etches some time ago, so building the track itself should not be too great a chore.

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jayell
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby jayell » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:05 pm

[quote="Armchair Modeller"

I had decided to use Masokits stretcher bars as the functioning component, with dummy stretchers to represent the type on the photo. Finding a suitable material for the dummy components has proved elusive though. The catch is that I have to maintain electrical isolation between the running rails. I built a few crude experimental mock-ups to try different ideas.

Plastic Rod - won't maintain shape, especially the curved one
Filed down PCB - too delicate, difficult to file to a convincing shape and profile
Metal Rod - soldered to one point blade, Araldited to the other - difficult to maintain electrical discontinuity, especially on the stretcher nearest the end of the point blades, which passes through the stock rail
Filaments of copper wire twisted together and soldered - similar results to metal rod, but too soft and bendable
Metal rod soldered to rails with plastic sleeving to cover a gap in the centre - the plastic sleeving quickly distorted over the gap, making the stretcher look warped.
Drilling holes in the point blades to accept the stretcher bars also seems to weaken them.
<snipped>
[/quote]

I am also thinking about rod tiebars but in my case I want them to be working ones, not that they will work very often since it won't be a working layout in the usual sense but I want to be able to move the blades for demo purposes with working rods from the ground frame. I don't have to worry about insulating it from either rail since no power will be applied to the rails. To be a realistic GWR turnout the ends of the rods must show through the stockrails so drilling through both stock rail and point blade must be attempted.

The problem comes when trying to fit the stretcher bar, it would have to be very springy material to allow bending whilst feeding one end through blade and rail. but getting it in place seems to be tricky so I think it is going to need some watchmaking type skills. The ends which go through the stock rail will have to be separate from the main bar, which will have small washers soldered each end with holes the the extension pieces will fit into from the outside and then be soldered in place.

Could really do with the watchmakers lathe I used to have to turn those extensions down, I have the small washers in the form of bouchons which are using in clock repairing, worn holes in the clock plates are opened up with a broach to take a bouchon which is pressed into the clock plate and the hole in the bouchon then opened up with a much smaller broach to the right size to fit the 'axle'

An alternative is to use some 'pierced brass plugs' which I have an almost unused box of, these are 80mm long brass rods in various diameters pierced through with holes ranging from 30/100mm to 175/100mm, but they are made from a very hard brass and may not be bendable.

It was only this evening that I remembered I had turned out a lot of clockmaking stuff but hadn't got around to throwing it away and these clock repair bits and bobs were in an shoe box under my desk.

There are also lots of small screws, some, the watch screws, will be too small to be usable (I can barely see some of them without an eyeglass) but the box of 'assorted alarm clock screws' may have usable stuff if I can sort out what threads they use, almost certainly not BA and maybe not even standard metric sizes. I will have to search t'internet to see if I can find out.

John

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:53 am

It will be interesting to see how you get on, John. Seems a shame that you do not have the objective of getting everything working though. Being able to run trains would be a very satisfying experience, even on a simple layout like the one you are building.

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Flymo748
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:27 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:I have been preparing the turnouts on the scenic section of the layout for installation on the baseboards, starting with the first scenic board. Having soldered the Masokits stretchers and the operating loops in place in my last instalment, I started attaching the Blue Points. Hopefully, little can go wrong with these. They are little more than a DPDT switch with a point operating wire attached. I put the Blue Point and the points in mid-position using various bits and pieces as wedges. I then stuck the Blue Points in position on the underside of the wooden track bases. Here is one....

When the glue had set, I added screws to make the Blue Points really secure. I then did any final adjustments to make sure the point blades moved properly when I operated the Blue Point mechanism. Finally, I began glueing the turnouts in place on the baseboard, complete with Blue Points and the wooden bases.

This is the view of one of the mech's from the underside of the board. The wires in the background have nothing to do with the Blue Point, by the way - they just got into the picture by accident. I will add the plastic tubes used to operate the Blue Points when I dismantle the layout again. In the meantime, I can still operate the Blue Points by bravely shoving my hand under the baseboards and groping around ;)

I hadn't heard of Blue Point turnout control at all until your posting.

Thank you very much for that - they sound just the thing, probably combined with a Society lever frame, for a SGW layout :-)

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

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jayell
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby jayell » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:03 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:It will be interesting to see how you get on, John. Seems a shame that you do not have the objective of getting everything working though. Being able to run trains would be a very satisfying experience, even on a simple layout like the one you are building.


Watch this space :) If things work out I may be able to run something

John

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:28 am

Flymo748 wrote:I hadn't heard of Blue Point turnout control at all until your posting.

Thank you very much for that - they sound just the thing, probably combined with a Society lever frame, for a SGW layout :-)

Cheers
Flymo


Glad the idea is of interest to someone else too. I am not sure where you would get them in the UK these days though. I obtained mine from Bromsgrove Models about 3-4 years ago, but the owner retired and they have stopped trading.

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:35 am

johnlewis wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote:It will be interesting to see how you get on, John. Seems a shame that you do not have the objective of getting everything working though. Being able to run trains would be a very satisfying experience, even on a simple layout like the one you are building.


Watch this space :) If things work out I may be able to run something

John


Hopefully, it will be your own space, John - I can't have you upstaging me in my own topic ;)

:D

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jayell
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby jayell » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:43 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:Hopefully, it will be your own space, John - I can't have you upstaging me in my own topic ;)


I agree and will start a new thread when when the time comes, I seem to have a habit of hi-jacking other threads :(

John

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:51 pm

The crossover giving access to the western sidings is now ready for installation, with 2 Blue Points added. This formation goes over a baseboard joint. I had already laid most of the track base here in advance, to help get the vertical and horisontal alignment correct, so the Blue Points were attached to short sub-bases. This shows the formation upside down...........

0801a.jpg
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....... and this shows the formation temporarily in place to check that the holes in the Styrofoam baseboard top were in the correct place.

0801b.jpg
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This also shows the first long section of plain track, partly built and ready to stick down. Coming from a 2mm FS background, building half-track in a jig and adding the second rail in situ is de rigeur!.

I have deliberately made the sleepering on the plain track look a little "rustic". The ends are not all in line and the jig allows slightly random sleeper angles too. I suspect I overdid this a bit. The result may look more like a caricature than a model of a real railway in the end. Still, I am having fun, so I don't intend to change things now! ;)

One of the problems with using Wantage as a basis for any model is the tightness of the curves and turnouts. In real life, the curve along this section of plain track was much tighter. Since I want to be able to run larger locos and stock, the curve is more generous. This means that the train shed covering the platform has to be at a different angle to the loco shed than on the prototype.

I don't plan to do anything special to protect the rail ends at the baseboard joints. As has been suggested before, Masokits track is very robust in its own right!

dave_long
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby dave_long » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 pm

Reference UK suppliers of the bluepoint tou, ngtrains sell them, and he offers multi packs.

http://www.ngtrains.com/Pages/Track/track.htm#Blue

Happy customer, so no links

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Thanks, that's handy to know - even I may need a few more sometime in the future. :thumb

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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:21 pm

The wet weather drove me to do a bit more work on the track today. Also, there are baby hedgehogs in the back garden. They seem to be growing at a frightening rate. Definitely safest to stay indoors ;)

It will only be about 6 weeks now before this topic is 12 months old. This will be the 150th post, with over 12,500 views. I can't believe it! What might I have achieved if I were doing a proper job of it, I wonder? I won't be entering my layout in the SGW by the way, as my scenic bit is about 6 inches too long - even with just 2 scenic boards.

Here is a photo including the plain track I have recently laid. Unfortunately I have temporarily run out of sleepers, or I would have done more. At last, it is beginning to look just a little bit like a model railway!

0805a.jpg
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You can now see the two main running lines pointing towards the camera. The space between them will be an island platform, so that I can accommodate 2 passenger trains at once.

I will try to get the plain track on these 2 scenic boards finished before the layout's first birthday. It would be really nice if I could get it operational by then too - but that might be expecting too much in so short a time.


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