Primitive Cool

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Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:34 pm

OK. Having killed the old project off, here’s the new one. The general theme is still the same – an imaginary tramway/light railway far off the beaten track; quaint and antiquated, track level platforms, everything derailing or falling apart; more or less. My modelling standards can just about cope with that. This time the layout will be simpler and more compact, very much in the light of experience. There are only 4 turnouts. Interest should come from the unusual stock, scenery and the sometimes questionable operating practices of the tramway. Here is a track plan, originally knocked up in Templot.

neversay1.jpg


Work has already started on the trackwork. I wanted something lighter looking than code 75 rail, which looks too ‘main line’ to me. After a great deal of heart searching, I decided to try Peco Code 60 F/B rail combined with Masokits etched chairs. The foot of the Peco rail is not much wider than the head, so it looks OK as bullhead from a reasonable viewing distance – at least to my eye. The Masokits etches are designed for code 75 rail, but just about work with care on the Peco code 60. I enjoy soldering, so get on pretty well with this method of working. Overall, I think it gives a reasonable representation of lightweight bullhead track. I am basing the track design on 23ft rails and 9ft sleepers, which will hopefully add to the quaint atmosphere.

My first bit of track comprises of the two turnouts at the station throat – one for the loco siding; the other the start of the station loop. I am building these as one piece on a scrap piece of MDF. The boxed bit of sleepering is for an ash pit on the loco siding.

aDSCF4707.jpg


Following the primitive theme, I based them very roughly on a one-blade turnout design I found in Allan Prior’s book ‘19th Century Railway Drawings In 4mm Scale’ published by David & Charles. No reason, other than the design is is a bit unusual on a model railway. The quaint feature is the single point blade. The principle is still used on some street tramways, I believe. I think there are several street ones on Quai:87.

I have been aching to make one of these ever since I first bought the book some 30 years ago. This project is the first real opportunity I have had; especially now I have a little bit of experience of building P4 track. I guess the Achilles heel on the real thing is the use of the point blade as a checkrail when in the open position. It would likely have been a high-maintenance feature, though the very low speeds on my tramway would no doubt reduce the problem.

So far, I have more or less completed everything apart from adding the inside half-chairs, the point blades and checkrails on the opposite side of the track to the point blades. The blades will have to pivot, both to look authentic and to do their job properly. Here is a closeup of the point blade area on one of the turnouts. The sleepers are deliberately a bit roughly laid and cut - the other turnout is even more irregular. I will attack the ends and edges with a rough file to simulate decay when everything else is finished, but much of the sleepering will be covered in earth ballast so my efforts may be in vain. My next job will be to mount the track on a deeper sub-base to allow some depth for mounting the point blade pivots. I will introduce an element of super-elevation to the curves at the same time. Don't ask me how just yet as I need to experiment a little bit first.

aDSCF4708.jpg
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Stock seems to run well through the bladeless pointwork so far. There is no discernible dip as wheels cross the gap on the side with the fixed, non-moving "point blade". I fixed the exact position of these rails with gauges, rather than trying to work out how to do it in Templot. I now feel fairly confident that the whole thing will work very well.

The run-round loop is deliberately very short, as trains will be minimal in length. The whole layout, excluding fiddle yard, will be around 2 metres long. I can use the fiddle yard from my old, unfinished layout. Scenery will be more or less as planned for the deposed layout. This won't get built in a hurry, but hopefully it will be fun.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Knuckles » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:29 pm

Still seems a shame to bomb your original that looked like it was progressing so well, but this looks promising too.

Great idea on the ash pit mod, will have to remember that one.

The MDF base I am very very interested in as the whole debate about track laying methods and underlay is something I can never come to a solid conclusion on but will need to when I start the biggy.

And the 1 blade turnout, it almost looks like it would derail everything but I see how it could be quit effective as a check rail. Anything that pulls the wheel sets to the correct area in theory I would think should be fine, I'm no expert though.

I recently have built an unusual track formation but the post about it will have to wait until it is completed. Things are rolling through fine so far in all directions but just need to wire it. 009/P4 duel gauge crossing built from a photograph only and bodged in situe! Don't ask. :?

Looking forward to seeing and reading your progress with this one. ;)
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:12 pm

Thanks again for your encouragement Knuckles :thumb

The MDF base will be a bit noisy, but I much prefer a solid base to something like cork or rubber. You have to be careful not to expose it to lots of water - like a spilt cup of tea, or water-based paint and glue. 2mm MDF is a nice depth for a ballast shoulder, if you need one. I don't really need a ballast shoulder on my layout, as the track would more or less have been laid on bare earth. The MDF will be useful though, as it allows me to get a bit of superelevation, something that was noticeably missing from my now abandoned MK1 layout. Steam tramways seem to have had exaggerated superelevation on curves, a bit like narrow gauge lines. Maybe it helped short wheelbase stock and bogies negotiate the curves better?

I have built crossings in several gauges and find them not too difficult, so I am sure yours will be a success.

Progress on Mk2 will be slow as I have several other non-P4 things on the go, so please be patient.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:19 am

I have made progress of sorts. A few weeks ago I decided to make a half-scale mock up of the layout - mainly to sort out the scenic side of things. I made a baseboard and trackbed out of old scraps, with a view to throwing it away once the layout proper was under way.

During its construction however, I managed to find some really good old postcards online showing exactly how my scenery ought to look. This more or less made the mock-up redundant, as I could now clearly visualise how the scenery would look without modelling it in half scale. On the other hand, the urge to do some experiments with super-elevation and a few other ideas persuaded me to continue. I took the mock up along to a local 2mm Scale Association meeting a couple of weeks ago and - guess what - they persuaded me that I ought to turn it into a working layout.

I have now got all the track live and working. Here it is, warts and all.

aDSCF4711.jpg


It looks a bit rough, but it was never meant to be a working layout or put on public display. The main thing for the moment is that it is solid and it works. The track has been built to 2mm finescale standards. I am sure that over time, its shortcomings can be cunningly disguised. The super-elevation is exaggerated, as befits a tramway with sharp curves. This looks really great with a loco running through.

I have turned the layout round 180 degrees compared with the 4mm version, so that it looks a little different. The scenery will bear no resemblance to the 4mm version. I have simplified the pointwork too, so as to make it easier to build in such a small scale. The line approaching the station (right hand side of the photo) is slightly longer than the 4mm version would be. Also, there is no turntable on the 2mm version.

Overall it is probably an unnecessary diversion, on reflection. A few things made this little project worthwhile though, from a 4mm perspective. I must make the loop and the loco siding slightly longer than originally planned. Also, I built a short gradient on the approach to the station, which I now think would be a waste of time and effort. On reflection, I feel you need quite a long gradient even to notice that it is there. I do like the super-elevation though.

Now, I plan to get back to the 4mm version and finish the pointwork. The 2mm project will just creep along in the background.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:18 pm

Back to 4mm scale. :thumb

Rather than build new baseboards, I decided to adapt a couple of old baseboards for this project. These were made in the good old days when plywood was made of wood, not cardboard ;) - well worth keeping. They followed the lightweight principles of their age, with 6mm ply pinned and glued together - and nothing else. I have beefed them up a bit with stronger ends and a few blocks of wood in strategic locations, plus a few screws to hold it all together. I have also carefully extended them slightly to match the track plan. With two scenic boards, the temptation was to have them both the same size. Unfortunately, this would have put a baseboard joint across the platform area, which I wanted to avoid at all costs. So, one board is a metre long; the other 4 feet. Both are 2 feet wide.

Next, I stuck some 6mm ply onto the baseboard tops to form the trackbed. The boards already had tops, but I need just a tiny bit of depth below track level for scenery at the front of the layout. Roads should normally have a camber and buildings need to be bedded into the scenery, for example.

Then I stuck the track I have already built (on some 2mm MDF) onto the top of the 6mm ply. It was a bit more complicated than that though. As I mentioned before, I was keen to have noticeable superelevation on curves. Looking at photos of tramway-type tracks and narrow gauge lines with sharp curves, this can be quite obvious - exaggerated when compared with main line tracks, even in low speed situations. I had already experimented with this on the 2mm version, but probably overdid it a bit. The appearance of stock leaning as it goes round curves is quite fascinating though, particularly on reverse curves. The minimum curve I am working to on the 4mm version is 4ft radius, largely because I don't need anything tighter.

For the 4mm version, I experimented with little bits of 1mm plasticard as supports, to see what level of superelevation would look 'right'. I must emphasis that my approach was entirely aesthetic, rather than following scientific principles or any prototype guidelines. I finally decided that a maximum of around 2mm elevation looked best for single track. I then stuck these plasticard bits in place where they were needed. I used cheap epoxy adhesive to stick the MDF with track onto the trackbed. This acted as a filler as well as an adhesive. I held the track down with weights, allowing the relative rigidity of the MDF and track to create the vertical transition curves. The result seems to be exactly what I wanted. The critical angles are all there, along with nice smooth transition curves. Since the adhesive hardened, I have added a few more sleepers ready to lay some plain track. Here is an overall photo.

aDSCF4712.jpg


This one shows the end of the track as laid so far, with 3 strips of plasticard under the MDF on the left hand side.

aDSCF4714.jpg
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Here is the fiddle yard end of the layout, with the van on level ground and the brake van leaning to the left (no rails as yet).

aDSCF4715.jpg
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I should emphasise here that I am not planning to run anything other than very small locos and rolling stock. Everything will either be sprung or compensated.

I also need to finish off the two turnouts built so far by adding the point blades and one or two other details. I will then thoroughly test the track to make sure it is completely to my satisfaction. For the point blades, I will be using the good, old-fashioned, hinged, straight cut design. Having a hinged effect, as opposed to just getting the overall blade to bend when switching the points is critical to the way these points work. Whatever I use also has to prevent the point blade from leaning sideways when stock runs over it. I have experimented with a few ideas, including RTR-style 'fishplates' and a few other ideas. In the end, a pivot was the only reliable, long-term, robust solution I could come up with. Here is what I propose to use - a longish piece of tube with a rod in it, bent over at the top to solder under the blunt end of the point blade.

aDSCF4717.jpg
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The tube is 20mm long. This should be plenty long enough to prevent any tendency for the point blade to lean from side to side. it should also operate really smoothly. It will pass through the trackbed and the baseboard top, which is why I preferred to add the point blades after the turnouts were mounted on the baseboard. I shall add a washer to the bottom end of the rod to prevent it from moving up and down in the tube.

Next time, I hope to be able to show an operating turnout. There are a few mind-numbing things to do on the way though, like adding the inside halves of the etched chairs, cutting insulation gaps and some wiring.
Last edited by Armchair Modeller on Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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steamraiser
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby steamraiser » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:48 pm

A M,

What is the shorty guards van in your last lot of pictures?

Gordon A

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:57 pm

The brake van is a cut down 'Shark' from a Cambrian Models kit. I did it just for fun, really. It is my current track testing vehicle - hence the missing buffer, lost when the van ran too far and fell off the end of a baseboard. It won't become part of the official roster for the layout.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby steamraiser » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:50 pm

Thanks for the reply AM.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:44 pm

This post is more for my benefit than anyone else's. I had more or less run out of Masokits chairs, so am busy folding another large batch - hopefully enough to finish the layout with. Miniature brass origami is quite mind-numbing though. Time for a bit of light relief!

I have done a fair bit on the new layout since my last post, especially bearing in mind the time of year, when outdoor activities and ice cream consumption reach their greatest heights. Things did not go quite to plan though. I went off in completely different directions to those prophesied last time.

Firstly, the second baseboard (a relic of the distant past) was altered to make it slightly longer. It is now around 4ft long, just enough in conjunction with board one to complete the scenic part of the layout. The extra section was made open plan so I can eventually insert a sub-base complete with working turntable. I added baseboard joiners and laid the trackbed across the joint. I then laid the trackbed on board two, up to the position of the turntable. This all has super-elevation using the same methods as on board one - or at least that was the theory. In fact, I made a complete mess of part of the cross-baseboard trackbed. I had to correct it using filler. Thankfully all seems to be fine now.

Then, I decided to lay more track. Most of the remaining plain track on board one was laid, by which time I had almost run out of plain chairs. I had decided when I laid the trackbed to make the loco siding a bit 'rough'. I packed bits of card under the trackbed to make it slightly undulating as a kind of mini test track. In reality it would probably have been poorly maintained anyway. I really worried when I had finished it, thinking I might have overdone it a bit. Some testing with my test van, followed by a Branchlines Cleminson chassis and then the Model Rail Sentinel shunter under power showed that my fears were ungrounded - everything ran over it without derailing. The swaying from side to side and up and down looks pretty good!

I have since laid all the remaining sleepers. Most of the recent sleepering has been made more irregular than in the past - hopefully adding to the atmosphere. I can get 12-and-a-bit nine foot sleepers from each C&L point sleeper strip. Rather than waste the bit left over at the end, I have varied the length of the sleepers - anything from just over 34mm to whatever, in a fairly random way - just as if they had been hand sawn by local labour. Mind you, much of this effort may be nullified by the deep "ballasting" I plan to use - more earth than stone.

Then, my London Road Models 42ft turntable kit arrived in the post so I have been busy putting that together - more or less the first time for me ever that a new kit has been started straight after arrival, rather than being hidden away for years in a cupboard. I have assembled most of it, though there is a slight delay as I am missing one page of instructions. My only real change from the instructions has been to adapt the deck slightly for 1.6mm PCB sleepers, rather than the 1.5mm thick sleepers it is designed for. Its arrival meant that I could cut out a sub-baseboard to hold the turntable and the operating mechanism. Here is a photo of the turntable more or less in position. The ply is temporarily held in place with a little bit of anti-gravity.

aDSCF4739.jpg
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Here is a panoramic view of baseboard one - sorry about the mess!

aDSCF4737.jpg
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This is baseboard two

aDSCF4738.jpg
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For the cross-baseboard joint, I have recessed some PCB at trackbed level. The PCB will support the rails as they cross the joint using metal spacers. I will explain more about this when I actually lay the track - but it is an idea that has worked well for me in 2mm scale.

aDSCF4740.jpg
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I hadn't pushed the boards properly together when I took that shot - the boards are a very tight fit when placed properly.

Finally, I have a good idea of how the layout will look when complete. Seeing the track plan laid out on the baseboards is good for morale! As for scenery, I have been filling in a few gaps in the plans. I have received the bits to build the goods shed - four Ratio Provender's Store kits, which will be built as one shed and lightly modified to disguise their origin. I also have a couple of Wills Chapel kits to form an extended Tin Tabernacle in the front right hand corner of the layout (back right on the above photos, which are taken from what will be the operating side).

Experience with the fully-operational 2mm scale mock-up suggests that the line should not terminate just beyond the turntable. There is great merit in having the line exiting to a small hidden siding to allow wagons and other things to be shunted off the scenic area at the opposite end to the fiddle yard. I had always been thinking in terms of a terminus next to the sea, with small cliffs and a rock cutting behind the track. Browsing the Internet a few weeks ago, I accidentally came across a drawing for a small train ferry, built on the Thames for a narrow gauge railway in Puerto Rico. Even in 4mm scale, the ferry would only be just over 9 inches long. I have no need to model the ferry, but it provides an excuse for short rakes of stock being shunted on and off the layout. I would only need short cassettes beyond the scenic area in order to achieve this - maybe 12 inches long. All sorts of stock could be ferried, including regular wagon traffic and even the occasional locomotive being transferred to/from the main workshops for maintenance. This hidden bit would require very little work to create, yet would offer some interesting operating interest. To compensate for this extra layout length, I think I may have a cassette system at the fiddle yard end too. This would save space, yet allow eventually for a much wider range of stock.

Finally, it became apparent from seeing the baseboards with the turntable in place that there is will be a large gap behind the turntable where the cliffs recede towards the backscene. This would be filled with jagged rocks sloping down to the sea in my original scenario. With the ferry idea though, the sea would have to be further away from the turntable to allow space for an imaginary ferry terminus building. The space would make a nice spot for a small roundhouse nestling under the cliffs. Locos are going to be quite small, so it would not need to be particularly large. I have drawn up a rough first draft of the track plan in Templot, spacing the tracks at 15 degree intervals.

aDSCF4719.jpg
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The main reason for needing a turntable is to cope with stock that needs turning at the end of each journey. I am thinking mainly of a few road vehicle conversions and railcars with a driving cab at only one end. The roundhouse would add another reason for the turntable's existence, as well as a way of displaying more stock on the scenic area - even locos awaiting conversion to P4 standards in the dark recesses of the shed. The track plan would then look like this (operating side to the top)

neversay_v2-with-roundhouse.jpg


I will probably leave my decision on whether to include the roundhouse or not until a late stage in the layout's construction. It doesn't really affect much until I get around to building the scenery at the terminus end of the layout. Far more important is proving whether I can get the pointwork operational, which is what I plan to do very soon.

First though, I need to get some track laid across the baseboard joint so I can split the baseboards and work on them individually. I would also like to finish the turntable, as it is so close to completion.

Overall then, I am very pleased with how Neversay Mk2 is coming together. The super-elevation, compactness, solid wooden baseboards and the turntable facility alone on Mk2 make the decision to abandon Mk1 seem totally justified.

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RobM
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby RobM » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:39 am

Richard, like the idea of the train ferry. I was born and bred in Harwich where my father worked on the train ferry. The lifting and lowering gantry still exists and would make an interesting model……maybe Mk 7…. ;)
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:28 am

Hi Rob,

This is the ferry I referred to...

Porto Rico-EnglishFerryBoat.jpg
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and a photo of what I suspect is the same ferry later in life with a few creature comforts added

PRDH013PC00428a.jpg


No need for a gantry at the quayside in San Juan as (I believe) the tidal range in the Caribbean is quite small.

Here are photos of the quayside

Ferry Terminal-10.jpg

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby RobM » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:15 pm

Ah, that small and with its own ramps. The Harwich gantry would be a tad too big…….
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:10 pm

RobM wrote:Ah, that small and with its own ramps. The Harwich gantry would be a tad too big…….
Rob


...as would the waves on the North Sea crossing ;)

In other news, I have now finished folding enough chairs to finish the track laying, so it's full steam ahead again!

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:55 pm

Thoughts of ships may have made some of you mildly seasick, so here's a post that is firmly based on dry land.

The track has now been laid over the baseboard joint, so I am now able to separate the two scenic boards again and work on them individually. Here is some information on how I built the track over the joint, as promised in an earlier post. No claims for originality! My 2mm colleagues in the local area group don't seem to have heard of it before though, so maybe a few on here may find it useful too.

BBjoint-Profile.jpg
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The idea starts with recessing a piece of PCB level with each baseboard top (orange on the drawing). Mine were around 40mm wide and 12mm deep. These are glued in place with epoxy adhesive. I drilled a hole in the PCB and put a screw in to hold them down. I find it best to do this after the epoxy has set. I then laid the track over the baseboard joint, with no sleepers on the top of the PCB strips (rails shown in yellow).

Then, you need to find some thin metal near enough exactly the distance between the top of the PCB and the bottom of the rail (dark grey rectangles). For me, the code 60 rail was just about perfect - as is code 40 rail with Easitrac bases in 2mm scale. I used one piece for each rail, spanning the baseboard joint. Using aluminium hair clips to hold the rail and support together, I then soldered them together and to the PCB. Best to be slightly over generous with the solder as it is easy to clean it up later. It is worth checking before you solder everything up that the rails are to gauge. I then cut through the rails and supports at the baseboard joint with a razor saw - proof in itself that the soldering has done its job.

The bit I have not done yet is to cut sections of sleeper strip (dark brown on the diagram) to make 'dummy' sleepers and half chairs (purple) either side of the rail. It still looks a bit rough at the moment, as I have yet to clean things up.

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aDSCF4741.jpg
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Experience with 2mm scale versions suggests that this method is very stable and virtually indestructible, especially when combined with robust baseboard alignment dowels and good, solid baseboard ends. Only a soldering iron, or (not recommended) a sledgehammer will shift the rails. The end result is a kind of optical illusion. No one expects anything that long under the rails, so no one notices it. With Flat-bottomed rail, I find it best to turn the lower pieces of rail upside down.

John of London Road Models has very kindly supplied me with the missing instructions for the turntable, so I shall probably try and finish that next.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:11 pm

The London Road Models 42ft Cowans Sheldon turntable is now finished - or at least as far as I want to go with it for the moment. This was my first London Road Models kit, so I approached it with great trepidation. In the end though, it was relatively straightforward. If only they made other kits that I might be interested in! The carpet fairy was very kind on this project too - I managed to find all the bits I dropped on the floor very quickly :D

aDSCF4747.jpg
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There are still one or two things to finish. The stanchions will be left until later, as they will get in the way of track laying. Then there are the minor challenges of getting the turntable pit done and getting the model to function :shock:

I did make a few minor alterations and additions along the way. Most surprising was the lack of handles for my model railway staff to push the turntable round with. There is an illustration on the cover of the box showing what they should look like. I fabricated two out of spare brass wire. I cut small rectangular pieces of brass to represent the mounts which rest in the turntable deck. Also, a large pivot cover sits prominently in the centre of the turntable deck in photos and in the drawing. I fabricated one out of two different sized washers and a top made by punching a round bit out of thin brass sheet with a paper punch. These were soldered together with generous amounts of solder to form a meniscus between the two washers. It looks presentable, but not perfect. A cast metal one provided with the kit would have been nice, but never mind.

Also, I put small washers either side of the carrying wheels. It occurred to me that the paint on these wheels might get scraped off pretty quickly unless the wheels had some kind of spacers to stop them rubbing against the radius arms. I made the washers out of spare handrail stanchion bases, drilled to the correct diameter. I spaced the sleepers slightly apart and just very slightly at random angles to give a mild appearance of age and neglect. The curved ends of the deck were cut from PCB sheet - much easier than trying to cut or file sleepers.

Overall, I am very pleased with the 'finished' article - not concours d' elegance standard, but quite satisfactory for a first attempt - especially as I used a soldering iron, not a resistance soldering unit. The big shame is that most of the detail will be hidden from view once the turntable is installed on the layout - including many of the seemingly endless hordes rivets I was instructed to punch.

Thinking ahead, I will need to be careful to ensure that all stock can get over the turntable without fouling the locking levers. They only give a scale 10ft clearance, or thereabouts. I may need to put a kink in them to widen the loading gauge just a bit. That might mean I have to use non-standard stanchions. I should explain that a few things I hope to run may be a bit wider than the norm for British stock - but more of that another time.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:13 pm

The "primitive" in the title is of course a reference to the archaic practices of my tramway - nothing to do with me, or the natives. Never more so than in the use of an ancient form of pointwork dating back to c.1850. This uses a single moving point blade, rather than the two more normally used in a turnout. I first saw the design many years ago in Alan Prior's book '19th Century Railway Drawings in 4mm Scale' published in 1983. Ever since then, I have really fancied building one, more out of curiosity than anything else - just to see how well it would work in practice. With its close similarity to real track, P4 seems the obvious gauge to try it in, but it took me until very recently to pluck up the courage to have a go. I am building not one, but two - both in the station throat of my terminus. I figured that if the concept didn't work well, I could easily rebuild them as normal turnouts, so no great harm done if they failed - but if they worked even moderately well, it would be well worth doing. They fit in really well with the offbeat niche (i.e. deep hole) I am carving for myself with my current layout, Neversay Mk2. For copyright reasons, I am reluctant to show the drawing from the book here, but this sketch shows the general principle.......

Pts1.jpg
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.......and the good news is that the model version really does work rather well.

I drew the plan out in Templot, but as a normal turnout with 12ft straight cut point blades. The bits that make my single-blade turnout different were worked out and positioned manually using track gauges. I modified the design slightly to make it more modern. For example, the 1850 version had the point blade pivot in the middle of a special chair on a sleeper, whereas I opted for the more modern type where the pivot uses fishplates between 2 sleepers. Slide chairs are double-ended, so that the point blade is held firmly in place along its length when it is acting as a check rail. For the pivot, I glued a thin piece of tube vertically into the baseboard. This holds an upside-down 'L' shaped piece of wire which is soldered to the underside of the blunt end of the point blade. This makes the pivoting action very smooth, movement requiring very little force indeed.

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Blade Open

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Blade Closed

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Side View

I have still to make the operating mechanism. The operating rod for the point blade will pass through a hole in the adjacent stock rail. For the purists, the turnout is actually a right hander with the main line turning to the left. I chose to give the main line the smoother passage, so it uses the route with the point blade in its 'normal' point blade role. Even so, the other route is also very smooth with no perceptible dip by the wheels where they pass over the gap on the opposite side to the point blade.

I still have a few cosmetic things to do, plus the operating mechanism. I was going to use Blue Points again, but think they might be a little too harsh. I may use slide switches instead. I would really like to be able to operate the layout from either side though, so I am still thinking about it.

There are lots more hurdles to overcome, but getting over this one successfully makes me feel very happy!

In other news, I have added all the inside halves of the chairs and most of the fishplates on baseboard one. I have also added the cosmetic sleepers and chairs at the baseboard end. These photos hopefully gives an idea of their effect.

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And yes, I have remembered to put insulation gaps on the underside of the dummy sleepers - just in case anyone wants to know ;)

Whilst I ponder over the best way to operate the point blades, I plan to cut all remaining insulation gaps and do the wiring. With luck, I may be able to run something using electricity by the weekend.

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kelly
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby kelly » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:37 pm

Looking good on the track work so far. That single blade point has come out well too.
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:19 pm

Slow progress on the layout in the last few weeks, mainly due to a new boiler installation, redecorating and an horrendous cold. :(

I am just getting back into the model railway rhythm with research on railcars, experiments with W-Irons for coaches and the addition of a baseboard for the fiddle yard.

The "new" baseboard is yet another recycling project originating with the same long-deceased layout as the others. To make this one fit for purpose, I had to cut it longitudinally and add a bit of width, with appropriate strengthening. The plan is to use a cassette system to store the trains. I am currently browsing the Internet for good ideas. One thing for sure is a cassette rack at the front of the layout, as shown in the Photoshopped yellow box in the photo below. A window on the public side will allow the punters to get a close look at the stock. This rack would fold down flat for transit (after I had emptied it, of course).

aDSCF4803.jpg
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The first 6 inches or so of the new board is a transition area, allowing the super-elevated track from the scenic board to level out before the cassette bay is reached. The scenery will encroach on this area to some extent, yet to be decided. I will later add a little triangular bit to the scenic end of the new baseboard to help accommodate this.

The layout frontage between the chapel (extreme right) and the cassette rack will be blocked off, so any scenery on the fiddle yard board will only be viewable from an acute angle. This will allow the backscene to curve around to the front of the layout without any of the scenery looking odd and distorted, I hope.

The track will go into a shallow tunnel adjacent to the church, before it crosses the baseboard joint. I will be borrowing a scene from the USA (Bellows Falls on the Boston & Maine) - or more precisely a mirror image. I found it completely by chance, but the scene fits my needs perfectly.

aBellows-Falls-275ft-mirror.jpg
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I really like the way the tunnel starts whilst the adjacent road is still at a relatively low level - and the effect of the buildings above and around the tunnel mouth. I will, of course change the details a bit. The large building on the extreme right will not be required.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:14 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:Slow progress on the layout in the last few weeks, mainly due to a new boiler installation, redecorating and an horrendous cold. :(

I am just getting back into the model railway rhythm with research on railcars, experiments with W-Irons for coaches and the addition of a baseboard for the fiddle yard.

The "new" baseboard is yet another recycling project originating with the same long-deceased layout as the others. To make this one fit for purpose, I had to cut it longitudinally and add a bit of width, with appropriate strengthening. The plan is to use a cassette system to store the trains. I am currently browsing the Internet for good ideas. One thing for sure is a cassette rack at the front of the layout, as shown in the Photoshopped yellow box in the photo below. A window on the public side will allow the punters to get a close look at the stock. This rack would fold down flat for transit (after I had emptied it, of course).

aDSCF4803.jpg



I wonder if you have seen the similar arrangement use by Robin Gay on his Rolvenden layout.
This is doing some 4 exhibitions a year so plenty of chances to see it. Otherwise you could email a query to me and I would forward it, eg request for photos.
Robin's cassette rack has its own hinged lid that drops down to form FY floor and is lined with soft material to secure stock. It is accompanied by a smaller one for locos.
The major recommendation I pass on is that it stores and transports the stock still on cassettes; I don't think you had envisaged that.
The arrangement works well for the fiddle operator, makes for minimal stock handling and eases safe transport of stock
I like your idea of a transparent front.
I am likely to build one soon based on Robin's design with your idea added.
I understand Robin got the basic idea from Mark Humphrys of this parish and doubtless others before him

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:24 am

Many thanks for your suggestions and comments Paul. I guess Rolvenden is only exhibited down south, as I don't think I've ever seen it. A photo would very much help me understand the concept. Photos online only show the scenic bits.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:11 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote: I guess Rolvenden is only exhibited down south,

Absolutely not. I know it has been up north quite a lot.

Armchair Modeller wrote: A photo would very much help me understand the concept. Photos online only show the scenic bits.

I will ask Robin for some pix.
PM me with your email address so he can send direct to you.

David Knight
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby David Knight » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:44 pm

If it's OK with Robin could you please share the pics with the rest of us?

Cheers,

David

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RobM
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby RobM » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:32 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:
The layout frontage between the chapel (extreme right) and the cassette rack will be blocked off, so any scenery on the fiddle yard board will only be viewable from an acute angle. This will allow the backscene to curve around to the front of the layout without any of the scenery looking odd and distorted, I hope.



Richard,
Nice idea about the scenery extending onto the fiddle yard. I have seen this done once before and very effective it looked. Don't ask me where I saw it..... :(
You could possibly use that rising and curving road and the large buildings on the left (mirror image of) plus a few more low relief buildings following the curve of the back scene towards the front. Just an idea.........but there is the consideration of the 'cassette changer'..........
Rob
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:47 pm

Paul Townsend wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote: I guess Rolvenden is only exhibited down south,

Absolutely not. I know it has been up north quite a lot.

Armchair Modeller wrote: A photo would very much help me understand the concept. Photos online only show the scenic bits.

I will ask Robin for some pix.
PM me with your email address so he can send direct to you.


I don't go to many model railway exhibitions these days, so guess it would have been easy to have missed it, even up North ;)

Many thanks for the offer of photos. I am really grateful. I will PM you, as requested. It would be nice if Robin would allow us to post them here though, as I am sure they would be of interest to others. I will leave that to you and Robin's wishes.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:03 pm

RobM wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote:
The layout frontage between the chapel (extreme right) and the cassette rack will be blocked off, so any scenery on the fiddle yard board will only be viewable from an acute angle. This will allow the backscene to curve around to the front of the layout without any of the scenery looking odd and distorted, I hope.



Richard,
Nice idea about the scenery extending onto the fiddle yard. I have seen this done once before and very effective it looked. Don't ask me where I saw it..... :(
You could possibly use that rising and curving road and the large buildings on the left (mirror image of) plus a few more low relief buildings following the curve of the back scene towards the front. Just an idea.........but there is the consideration of the 'cassette changer'..........
Rob


Wow, Rob. We are really getting into deep water here! ;) I will resist the temptation to show you all my scenic ideas for Neversay for the time being, but here is the general idea for the right hand end (as viewed by the public), including the overlap onto the fiddle yard board. Note the view blocker, which should help the scenery to disappear into the backscene so much more easily.

aNeversay-RH-Scenic-Conject.jpg
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This is a mirror image showing the real Bellows Falls tunnel mouth from a higher level. Though my buildings will be different, it does suggest the general effect. The chapel would be on the far right on my model.

bNeversay-RH-Scenic-Conject.jpg
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You can hopefully imagine the tall buildings in the background as the general position of the dye works buildings, but at the side of a steeply inclined road. A diagonal backscene might actually work better than a curved one, but we shall see in due course.

The Neversay Dye Works is indispensible, for what I hope is an obvious reason. Dyeworks seem to have come in all shapes and sizes. The only thing they seem to have in common is at least one very large, tall chimney.


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