Here We Go... The Layout

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:40 pm

Ah! The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. 8-)

Might need some inspiration from there before too long, as I still can't work out where my model station should be located.

Maybe The Restaurant at the End of the baseboard - sorry, Universe ;)

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

Postby Tim V » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:00 pm

My electrics are all wrong, it's the diodes down my left side...
Tim V

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

Postby David Knight » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:06 pm

As much as I admire Douglas Adams I have a question about the railway end of things. ;)

Mention is made of "Electrofix" as part of the formula for converting the Sentinel to P4. Am I correct in thinking that this is a contact cleaner/lube of some sort? I know on my Sentinels the addition of a touch of contact cleaner on the bearings/pickups and axle pinpoints has improved the running considerably. A touch of flat black paint on the circuit board helped conceal that feature as well.

The new kid.jpg


Cheers,

David

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:02 pm

Hi David, glad someone is sane :thumb

Electrofix is used on wheels to fix metal blackener. I used Carr's metal black to darken the wheels all over, then gave them a thin coat with the electrofix, left it to dry overnight and then put the new wheels into the Sentinel.

Nice model by the way! - Mine is black at the moment, but I may well repaint it in a different livery.

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:48 am

The run up to Christmas has been busy, so not much time for model railways. In such circumstances, I find it easier to get on with smaller jobs, requiring little space and minimal setting up/taking down.

One such task was to enhance the rolling stock fleet. I have assembled my remaining Masokits sprung w-irons, ready for a bit of kit-building. Along with the Brassmasters 6-wheel coach underframe, these were dunked quickly in metal blackener and painted with Electrofix, to form (hopefully) a decent primer for painting later on, once springs and other undergubbins have been applied. Everything was going well until (bizarrely) the Electrofix didn't dry. I tried for several days by putting the stuff on top of the hot water tank, in sunshine etc. etc. to no avail. The surface had the consistency of grease - very bizarre! I still think it was Electrofix I applied, but could just as well have been butter. It also proved difficult to remove. In the end kitchen cleaner followed by white spirit seemed to do the job. I then reapplied Electrofix and........it dried perfectly :? Just what went wrong the first time, I haven't a clue! Here are the underframes so far.......slightly less black than when I first dunked them, but otherwise in good health.

t-wirons.jpg
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I have also made some progress with the wiring. The first scenic board now has a bus made of mains copper wire attached to the underside. I soldered the bare copper to screws. Some feeds for the point frogs switches were then soldered to the bus.
t-bus.jpg
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I have also begun the wiring to link the baseboards together. As mentioned before, I want to be able to use DC for testing, as well as DCC for the final operation of the layout. My DCC controller is an NCE Powercab, bought for a very reasonable price on Ebay. This has a low power output, but should be more than adequate for my modest tramway. Having a wiring system that copes with both DC and DCC can be a challenge - though fortunately, I doubt if I will need any complications like current reversers.

I decided the trick would be to reduce everything to 2-wire input. That way, I could easily plug in either a DC or a CC controller in the same place. The NCE unit comes with an interface board which you are supposed to screw to the baseboard. I decided to make mine mobile by putting it in a wooden box, as below...

t-box.jpg
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This makes the interface portable. I could even attach it now to several layouts if I had them, though not all at the same time.

For the interface with the baseboard I decided to try Phono plugs and sockets. These are very compact and relatively cheap. Each baseboard will have one of these sockets attaches to each end. This enables me to link baseboards together using a 2-wire cable with a phono plug at each end. The first scenic board also has an additional socket in the middle, so that I can plug a controller in. With this system, I can easily plug a controller (DC or DCC) into any individual baseboard in isolation, or operate the whole layout. Here is an individual socket with a plug in place.

t-phono.jpg
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and here is the first scenic board with the 3 sockets in place

t-bbord.jpg
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The NCE interface board has one of these Phono plugs attached, as will my DC controller. I would not use this arrangement for a complex layout, but for my simple model, the system should work fine. As things stand, I don't think there will be a need for other inter-baseboard wires. The only exception might be a DC supply for accessories, but I am not sure about this at the moment. If I do need it, I can always install more sockets - though of a different type to avoid mixing them up. I decided to put the sockets on the side of the boards for convenience - when a baseboard is on a bench for testing etc. it is the most convenient place.

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:53 pm

Two progress reports in one day is a little excessive, but I couldn't resist the temptation to say.......

It's alive! - or to quote Frankenstein..........

Look! It's moving. It's sha — it's... it's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive! It's alive, it's alive, it's alive! It's ALIVE!

Yes, my Sentinel has been running on the layout - and didn't derail. No alcohol on the premises to celebrate with though - very bad planning :D :D :D

Apart from one dead spot where a little extra wiring was required, the track worked perfectly first time, which I found very pleasantly surprising. I don't have a video, so you will have to take my word for it, but here's a still image of the Sentinel chassis in action..

w-alive.jpg


I used my trusty H&M DC controller for the test, plugged into one of the Phono sockets.

I do wonder how I managed to test the pointwork properly when I built it though - a close look at the wagon I was using shows unbelievably rusty tyres (due to the flux used when building the track) and one W-iron has bent outwards so that the axle is only barely held in place at all.... :o

w-dead-wagon.jpg
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This will need some attention before I use it again, though as no further pointwork is required for the foreseeable future, its serious, intensive testing days are probably over.

There is still a small amount of plain fiddle yard track to lay on this board. Copper-clad sleepers were very kindly, quickly and efficiently supplied by C&L, so once I have the time, I will get that laid.

I mentioned in an earlier entry that I had been looking for some transfers with a "T" in them, standing for Tramway. Of course, "GREAT WESTERN" has 2 Ts in it. The transfers used for tank and tender sides are available in several scales, so I now think I will use these transfers for lettering stock. I just have to decide what other letter to use - E or R are the obvious candidates, as they are at least as common as the Ts in the name - so it's ET or RT then - or just maybe ERT or RET. All I need now is a slightly humerous name to fit the initials.

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John McAleely
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby John McAleely » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:40 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote: Look! It's moving. It's sha — it's... it's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive! It's alive, it's alive, it's alive! It's ALIVE!


Having had much the same experience today, can I empathise, share congratulations, and note well done? I'm enjoying this thread as it develops!

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:11 am

Many thanks John - and congratulations on your own success! Past experience in other scales and gauges suggests that stock and scenery are the biggest challenge though - can't wait to get properly going on those!

I must admit I am really enjoying this project. So far, apart from a few very minor problems it all seems to be fitting together rather well. With any other project I have attempted in the past, I have started to have doubts, or even given up altogether by this stage, but this one is still filling me with great enthusiasm. I can't wait until I have a bit more spare time to really have a go at making progress. The Winter months are relatively quiet work-wise, so that should give me a chance to catch up with where I really ought to be.

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:25 pm

Feeling a bit guilty that I haven't done an entry for well over a week now - here goes with a brief update.....

Work continues to take up most of my time, though the main Christmas deadlines have now passed, so things get a little easier from now on.

I have continued my work on wagons as and when I can. Here is a photo of the "production line".

121212a.jpg


The bodies in the foreground are a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of a Cambrian Shark kit and a shortened Ratio GW brake 3rd. I can't claim originality for either, but they do make interesting vehicles! The remainder are mainly Slaters Midland Railway wagon kits. I also have 2 sets of Ratio LMS permanent way wagons and a couple of other vans to build. That should be more than adequate for the foreseeable future. All are being fitted with Masokits sprung W-irons.

The second shot shows tracklaying progress on the sector plate. The plate did suffer a slight banana effect after the rails were soldered in place (not unexpected! :shock: ). I countered this by sticking an extra piece of ply underneath, whilst the whole assembly was bent the opposite way, using weights. Amazingly, it seems to have worked. The sector plate is now quite flat again. :P

121212b.jpg
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The few remaining short sections of track have now been laid on the first scenic board in the fiddle yard. I have also wired and tested the sector plate.

I will put an extra Phono socket at the narrow end of the sector plate board next. The reason for this is I have bought a couple of DCC Terminators. It will be handy to plug one in at each end of the layout. By using the Phono sockets, rather than a permanent installation, I can remove them if necessary - like when testing with a DC controller. I have also bought a DCC decoder and stay-alive for the Sentinel - but won't install these until track testing is complete.

The 3 baseboards have now been erected again on trestles for some intensive track-laying over the winter break. Once Christmas is over, I should really be able to get stuck in again. The main thing to do will be the track on the scenic part of the layout and the fiddle yard on the second scenic board. That means making decisions on how to operate the turnouts on the scenic area, couplings and a few other things. It could be a really interesting New Year!

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:07 pm

In a desperate attempt to improve my viewing figures before the end of the world on Friday 21st December, here is a very disjointed and relatively fact-free report on recent progress ;)

Firstly, here is a view of the terminators I plan to plug into each end of the layout.

terms.jpg
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The idea is that these suppress any attempt by DCC commands to circulate the layout more than once, which is alleged to cause all sorts of possible mayhem. The pair cost only £7, so even if the risk is small, they seem like a reasonable investment. Following the fuss over my decision to label one side of the layout "Dark Side", I decided to try and avoid giving these provocative names. The only name I could think of that hinted at Sci-fi and delicate DCC components was "Fry" (from Futurama) - instead, I will be boring and simply call them Terminator 1 and Terminator 2................ :?

Health and safety have made an early visit to see how things are progressing. Inevitably, they left their mark......

End2.jpg
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Even the CME is getting pretty bored with running the Sentinel loco chassis repeatedly up and down the existing trackwork now, so the Civil Engineer has been granted possession of the layout over the Christmas period to lay more track. Supplies have been pouring in, with rail, PCB sleepers and no less than 1056 Masokits plain chairs to bend into shape before construction can begin in earnest. We may have to rename Christmas and the New Year holiday "Solderfest" - at least in my household.

Preparatory work has already begun by laying a plywood base for the fiddle yard trackwork on scenic board 2. I was a bit nervous about this, as it is by far the largest bit of ply I have stuck down so far. I dampened both sides before applying PVA to stick it down. I used an old sheet of Contiboard to keep it flat whilst the glue dried. Much to my relief, everything was still flat when I removed the Contiboard the following morning. I have since stuck a bit of PCB on the end adjacent to where board 3 will be.

FY2base.jpg
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The track in the fiddle yard area will have rail soldered direct to PCB sleepers. Masokits etched chairs will only be used on the scenic areas.

In the workshops, things are busy with the sawing PCB sleepers to length and folding the etched chairs. The swear box is getting so full that the Tramway board of directors feel they can dispense with the customary Christmas raffle and collection this year.

A track jig has been started for soldering the rail to the sleepers. I used a base of chipboard, with small bits of PCB to act as the separators for the sleepers. Here it is, so far.....

jig.jpg
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The PCB separators are significantly lower than the PCB sleepers, so I should avert any danger of soldering the rail and sleepers to the track jig. I still have the rail guide and sleeper clamp to do.

As track is edging onto scenic board 2, I have decided I ought to firm up my ideas on what will happen beyond. Boards one and two were easy to visualise, as they fairly closely follow Wantage. Beyond the end of the Wantage buffer stops however, my imagination will have to kick into life. I once had a fairly clear idea for this end of the layout - at least until I decided to reduce the scope of the first two boards by eliminating the gasworks site and narrowing down the scenic area considerably. Scenic boards one and two are relatively flat. I really need a slightly more dramatic landscape to balance everything off. This is my first attempt at resolving the issue - though not necessarily the last. It involves the land dropping away below track level as the tramway crosses a small river. I have added a small siding to increase the operational interest.

Neversay.jpg


So that's about it until after Christmas. Have a great time everyone!

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

Postby Tim V » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:48 pm

Terminator 1 "I'll be back"
Tim V

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:09 am

Tim V wrote:Terminator 1 "I'll be back"


... and here I am :o

Just forgot to mention that the only reason I need the plywood under the fiddle yard track is to keep it the same height as the track on the scenic section. This is a result of the fiddle yard and the scenic section being parallel on the same board. Were I using a baseboard solely for fiddle yard trackwork, I would dispense with the plywood altogether by setting the foam slightly higher.

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:44 pm

Hasn't he finished it yet? - I'm sure you are all wondering how even I could take so long on such a simple layout :cry: Never mind - even a little progress is better than none at all 8-)

The Masokits chairs have now all been folded up ready for laying the plain track on the scenic part of the layout. It only took me a couple of (long) evenings - not too bad really :)

I have also just about finished laying the remaining track in the fiddle yard. I was not too impressed with my attempts to widen the C&L track to the correct gauge using a chisel. I decided instead to throw away the plastic sleepers and use the rail with PCB sleepers.

For this, I had intended to use the track jig I mentioned last time. I decided, however, that a dedicated jig would be better. I planned to use shorter sleepers and a different, wider sleeper spacing to save on PCB. I chose a sleeper length of 24mm, which is about the smallest you can get away with. I also chose a gap of 10mm between sleepers giving a sleeper spacing, centre to centre, of about 14mm. I stuck some 10mm spacers made of good quality card onto a piece of chipboard. I gave the whole thing a coat of varnish to give it a little protection. Here is a photo of the finished jig "in action".

29FYTrackjig.jpg
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To be honest, I expected the card to last no time at all. In reality, apart from some slightly singed edges, the jig is still in fine working order after more than 4 metres of rail have been soldered up. I just soldered on one rail in the jig, as all the tracks in the fiddle yard have at least one curve. The Second rail was added after the sleepers had been glued to the baseboard. One track still has to be finished. The photo below shows the sleepers of this track being held down with weights whilst the PVA sets.

29fy1.jpg
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This last track is being made from offcuts from the first four, so there are a couple of short sections in the middle left to apply. Waiting for the glue to set gave me the chance to do this brief report on progress (or lack of, more like!). I must make a new year resolution to be more focussed, or I will never get it finished :shock:

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:18 pm

A New Year brings new challenges!

During a very long walk on Sunday, I sorted out a few layout issues in my mind.

Firstly, a photo of the completed sidings in the fiddle yard

1st-A.jpg
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I still have to make insulation gaps and wire the track, but that can wait until the scenic track has been laid on the right hand side of the baseboard. The gentle, graceful curves on the right-hand track are to remind me of a former ladyfriend

........on the other hand, you might prefer to believe that nice gentle radii on a reverse curve minimise the risk of buffer locking. They also make coupling and uncoupling just that little bit easier. ;)

I mentioned a post or two ago that I had worked out a concept for the remaining two scenic boards, turning the "Wantage" concept into a through station. My main concern was that it might be a bit OTT for a beginner's first layout in P4. Conversely, there are plenty of examples of people out there saying "what the hell!" and just doing what ever they really want to - like Birmingham New Street, for example. Mine is nothing like as ambitious as that!

So, given reasonably successful progress on what I have achieved in 4 months so far, I too am going to say "what the hell!" and just get on with it.

Here is the plan again, slightly modified in the light of ideas from my 9-hour walk........

Neversay.jpg


The idea is to have a bridge over a river valley, with a removable span over the baseboard joint. The bridge will be a steel girder structure. Even tramways had to think big where the going got tough! Apart from being interesting to build it will be a fantastic place to photograph stock. I tried other ways of fitting it in, but with the need to include pointwork and the need for a headshunt on scenic baseboard 3, this does seem to be the most practical way of doing it. Here is a diagram of the idea...

Bridge-Concept.jpg
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My plan allows for a scenic section about 2 feet wide, with the fiddle yard behind. Having conjured up a plan, I then started building the next baseboard (scenic board 3). I decided to press on quickly whilst my beginner's luck still holds out. I really needed to build this board before I get too far with laying track on the second scenic board, to make baseboard alignment as easy as possible. The board is currently upside down, whilst some glue dries. Here is a poor photo, just in case you don't believe me...

1st-B.jpg
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I will include a photo of it the correct way up next time I do a report. The design took a lot of thinking out, as the ground level drops quite a bit nearer to the river. Early tests suggest that what I have devised is strong and rigid though, so I am optimistic that everything will be OK. It is about a metre long - though of irregular shape, to fit the curve of the line.

The pile of old "firewood" is rapidly diminishing though - I might even have to buy some new wood for the final scenic board. :D

The final scenic board and the second sector plate can wait for a while longer. Next, I have to get on with laying more track. I am also itching to have a go at more locos - I will wear the Sentinel out before it has ever run in revenue-earning service, if I am not careful ;)

It has been a great 4 months of progress - let's hope 2013 allows me the time, lots more beginner's luck and the determination to really press on!

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:43 am

Further to yesterday's post I now have a better image of the new baseboard. I have temporarily attached it to the adjacent board (the one on the left with the blue top).

2-01.jpg


The secondhand nature of the wood is clearly illustrated on this image :( It was just too good to just throw away. I will tidy it up eventually.

The new board will be open plan, to suit the topography. I have already added the base for the fiddle yard trackwork at the back. The pointwork for the end of the fiddle yard loops will be on this new board. Beyond here, there will just be a single, hidden fiddle yard track leading towards the second sector plate.

You can see how the board dips down below the level of the rest of the baseboard to accommodate the river valley. I will cut the baseboard edge to suit the contours once I know exactly where the main line will go. It only needs a very minor difference in alignment or length of each section of track on the other boards to move the alignment slightly. I would rather wait until I have a more definite idea of exactly where the track will be and the angle of alignment, when it arrives at the start of the new baseboard. Despite its bulky appearance, the board is surprisingly light.

I also need to confirm the exact dimensions of the bridge. I am hoping to use an etched kit for the first few spans. I have a plastic kit in mind for the longer span over the river.

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:32 am

After two busy evenings, I now have some track on the new baseboard. I hadn't planned to do it, but suddenly felt the urge and just got on with it. For this board, I glued the sleepers down to the baseboard before soldering on the rail. Unfortunately, I am running seriously short of rail and sleeper strip now - material that was originally intended for the scenic side of the layout. I could go ahead and order some more, but think the shortage is a good excuse to have a go at some stock for a change.

4-01.jpg
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I have just enough rail left to finish off two roads, plus a very small amount to make a start on the plain track in the scenic area. I have just about finalised my ideas for tie bars and point operation there, but want to thoroughly test the system out, IKEA style, before going into quantity production. I have built another small turnout to act as a test rig.

Now I am getting so involved in manual labour that I feel in serious danger of wanting to wear a cloth cap day and night, rent an allotment, start breeding pigeons or even install a fish tank in the lounge. No offence intended to anyone who does these things already - I may need advice in due course ;)

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

Postby Knuckles » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:30 am

Hey join the club, Im making two more wagons and have 2 loco kits on their way. I haven't a fish tank in my room but I have seriousely considered it on a few occasions. Serious. ;)

keep up the good work, I havent commented much because I've not known what to say but I think your progressing brilliantly, certainly in a much more polished fasion than myself.

What type of wagons or stock do you plan for population?
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Re: Here We Go..........

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:40 am

Thanks Knuckles :thumb

I am not sure that "polished" is quite the word - you haven't seen my work as close up as I have. ;)

As for stock - wow! Four months of dreaming whilst building the layout is very dangerous and can lead to all sorts of ambitious ideas - especially as I am still a naive beginner in P4 and don't yet realise how long it will all take. Even allowing for my usual progress of 5% building the model, 25% finding my tools and 70% trying to find things on the floor, I hope to get some of the following things up to running standard, though not necessarily finished, in the near future...

10 wagons - mainly Ratio PW wagon kits and Slaters MR wagons - all with Masokits sprung suspension and refined underframe detailing.

6-wheel Brassmasters underframe, undetailed, for track testing - later to be turned into an unusual coach (at least for P4)

Several tram kits, to be turned into double-deck tramway coaches. This requires a bit more research and a decision on which to go for. My favourites at the moment are the Dublin & Blessington type, but an older 4-wheel prototype would be nice as a contrast.

My Nonneminstre Planet diesel shunter to complete

A Mousa J72 underframe, to get a feel for the concept of wobbly chassis - this may not end up as a J72 though in the long run.

A couple of rail-converted lorries to run back to back, sort of Colonel Stephens style - not sure if I have the courage to do this one, but I already have the kits.

I also have some bits for a Manning Wardle 0-4-0T, a Terrier loco body and a High Level motor bogie kit to play around with.

Additionally, I need a railcar - not sure whether to do a Sentinel or go for something infernal-combustion, like a Drewry, a Colonel Stephens back-to-back type, or a Walker.

That lot should keep me going at least for this lifetime, if not the next as well. There is no point in being logical about it - I will just do whatever I feel like at the time. The list was gathered together to try and give me a wide experience of different techniques and ideas before I feel obliged to start behaving in a respectable manner and go on to build a proper, serious, respectable layout with conventional, prototypical stock ;)

I don't want to finish the detailing, or paint any stock until the trackwork is finished and thoroughly tested.

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

Postby Knuckles » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:51 am

Oh I dont know, certanly your workmanship looks far better planned and complete than my little project (thats actually taking longer than I though-another lesson!) Appologies for not replying sooner.

Im unsure what a lot of the stock looks like that you described. Also Im gueasing 'wobbly shassis' meNs suspension? When my loco kits arive (no idea when) they will have hornblocks. Never tried that before ao I hope I dont balls it. Itll be an expensive mistake. You scratch building the structures?
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/sparksho ... eationsscc
Mostly offering Loco kits & bits in 4mm.
SCC Photon Resin Prints Price list
download/file.php?id=19320

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:49 am

Knuckles wrote:Oh I dont know, certanly your workmanship looks far better planned and complete than my little project (thats actually taking longer than I though-another lesson!) Appologies for not replying sooner.

Im unsure what a lot of the stock looks like that you described. Also Im gueasing 'wobbly shassis' meNs suspension? When my loco kits arive (no idea when) they will have hornblocks. Never tried that before ao I hope I dont balls it. Itll be an expensive mistake. You scratch building the structures?


Hi Knuckles :thumb

I guess my crazy rambling entries take a lot of digesting at times, so no need to apologise for taking your time replying ;)

"Wobbly chassis" is my technical term for CSBs - the ones with a length of wire each side of the chassis linking all the hornblocks together. It seems very fashionable in some quarters, so I decided to give it a try.

One of the dangers of P4 modelling is that people tend to compare what they can do with the very best. If they can't match it either feel very frustrated - or just give up altogether. Personally, I am all for encouraging people to do what they are capable of at the time. Only through lots of experience can most people attain great feats of modelling. For people like me it might never happen, but it won't stop me modelling. My cunning plan is to try and model interesting and unique things that no one else does. That way, no one will be able to compare my work with an exact same model built by someone who knows what they are doing - and the novelty value will hide my shortcomings. At least it was a cunning plan, until I just revealed it to all and sundry ;)

This project is really a big experiment, to see what I am capable of and try to get up to speed as quickly as possible with a number of techniques and ideas. Not for me some "safe" rural GWR branchline terminus! The list of ideas for stock is designed to try and achieve that. It includes a few bog-standard kits and everything else up to and including a bit of scratchbuilding. Only when I have got that far will I decide if P4 is for me - unless of course I get excommunicated before I get that far.

Missing out the more obvious models from my list, here is a bit more gen on the rest....

Several steam tramways, like the Wantage Tramway, Dublin and Blessington and the Swansea and Mumbles used double decker tramway style coaches to carry passengers - a bit like an electric tram without the electrical gear. These were hauled by conventional steam locomotives, or locos adapted for use along roads. This is a photo of a Swansea & Mumbles train to give you an idea of what I mean.

http://www.oldukphotos.com/graphics/Wal ... 0Train.jpg

Plastic tram kits are available to help me with some of the awkward parts, but some bits would have to be scratchbuilt.

This link is about the Wantage Tramway and shows one of the Manning Wardle 0-4-0 tanks I hope to build, as in the first image. http://chasewaterstuff.wordpress.com/ta ... -4-0-no-5/

Etched parts for this loco were advertised in MRJ a few months ago. MRJ did a project on building the loco a long time ago. I have copies of these articles. I also have a set of castings for the chimney etc.

The Nonneminstre shunter is like this http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... m-shunter/ I am scratchbuilding a chassis.

The railcar idea could vary considerably, depending on what I choose. Worsley Works do scratch-aid etches for Colonel Stephens railcars - effectively small buses on wheels. This photo gives you the idea..

http://www.hfstephens-museum.org.uk/col ... amway.html

A Sentinel railcar, on the other hand, would have to be scratchbuilt. I have done a lot of research into Sentinels. One like this would be nice (top picture) http://www.flickr.com/photos/36844288@N00/3971798155/, but they also did some double-articulated ones like this that really get me drooling... http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... out-there/

As for the lorries, back-to-back, I have a couple of plastic kits. Lorries and other road vehicles were often adapted for rail use by swapping road wheels for rail wheels, or using special pneumatic tyres with metal rail flanges on the outside. It was a cheap and cheerful conversion for railways with little or no money. The French turned it into an art form by building a whole host of railcars with pneumatic tyres fitted with metal flanges. This article gives you the idea http://www.engrailhistory.info/r146.html

My kits are a couple of beautifully detailed Chevrolet army trucks. They are to 1:72 scale, but so small you would hardly notice the difference from 1:76. I have some etches to make them even better. Motorising one or both will be quite a challenge. There is a precedent for this conversion - at least a couple ran in India. I have seen a photo, but can't find it again. The idea was that only the engine of the one facing in the direction of travel would be running - the other one would be hauled unpowered. In fact, the Colonel Stephens railcars operated on the same principle.


If I get that lot done, I will feel really proud. On the other hand, a lot of remarkably similar kits, parts etc. may eventually appear on Ebay, if you know what I mean ;) We shall see!

I doubt if I could get much further from the traditional P4 layout concept, but if you have any good ideas, please let me know :D

Knuckles
Posts: 1185
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:15 pm

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

Postby Knuckles » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:51 pm

I feel bad for writing a responce so small in comparison with the above. :P
Thanks for taking time to write it. I'll just answer one question as the rest I know not how to reply to,although interesting.

I have an idea for a non traditional P4 Plank / Small Layout:

Roller Coaster! Code 75 rail, 6" radius curves, 18.83mm gauge track on the straights, err... 19.5 ........20.5mm gauge widening on the curves. All to P4 standar.....ah!...I see rotten fruit coming my way..see ya.

*hides* :D
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/sparksho ... eationsscc
Mostly offering Loco kits & bits in 4mm.
SCC Photon Resin Prints Price list
download/file.php?id=19320

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:07 pm

Well, technically that would be a railway, so what's the problem? - and it would come with its own integrated baseboards and legs. A bit boring for anyone who takes train numbers, but it sounds OK to me!

Personally, I think a model of one of those Ghost Train rides would be more fun to build, but I'm not too fussed either way :D

Knuckles
Posts: 1185
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:15 pm

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

Postby Knuckles » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:01 pm

I was joking you know! You seem almost about to construct one.
It is a railway. :) Albeit rare. I think you would have trouble getting a pacific around it though.
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/sparksho ... eationsscc
Mostly offering Loco kits & bits in 4mm.
SCC Photon Resin Prints Price list
download/file.php?id=19320

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

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

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:23 pm

Knuckles wrote:I was joking you know! You seem almost about to construct one.
It is a railway. :) Albeit rare. I think you would have trouble getting a pacific around it though.



That would be one for the silly hour at the end of an exhibition ;)

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Flymo748
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:00 pm

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

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:10 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:This project is really a big experiment, to see what I am capable of and try to get up to speed as quickly as possible with a number of techniques and ideas. Not for me some "safe" rural GWR branchline terminus! The list of ideas for stock is designed to try and achieve that. It includes a few bog-standard kits and everything else up to and including a bit of scratchbuilding. Only when I have got that far will I decide if P4 is for me - unless of course I get excommunicated before I get that far.

<snip>

I doubt if I could get much further from the traditional P4 layout concept, but if you have any good ideas, please let me know :D


Well, as they say, it's your train-set ;-)

More power to your elbow, in my view. You've made cracking progress in the last couple of months and I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be entirely successful.

The rate at which you and Knuckles try out ideas and simply Get Things Done has certainly spurred me to try harder at getting more modelling done...

I'm looking forward to seeing much more from your journey :-)

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


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