Finally Made A Start in P4!

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
Alan Turner
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Alan Turner » Sun May 31, 2015 8:25 pm

CDGFife wrote:
If anyone has thoughts on type of white light for overhead layout lighting I'd be interested to hear


You might wish to consider the "Natural White" option offered here: https://www.led-lighthouse.co.uk/warm-w ... pure-white.

We have bought the Natural White option for Ellerton Road but we have yet to install it.

regards

Alan

hughesp87
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby hughesp87 » Sun May 31, 2015 10:28 pm

Chris,

You're making great progress here. Looking forward to seeing the finished article at Scaleforum.

On the question of lighting, the usual advice is that your layout lighting should replicate the light conditions under which you have created the scenic colour palette - otherwise your hard work in getting the colours of trees and foliage correct could be undermined. I've found this is also true with the colour of buildings. I now use the same striplights on the layout as I have in the workshop, for that reason.

Having recently engaged the services of a lighting contractor for a public art project, he advised the use of Warm White LEDs, especially where you need to preserve any richness of colour. You may also need to experiment a little on the height at which the LEDs are mounted, as some of them tend to lose intensity over a fairly short distance.

I'm sure they are the way forward, and I would be interested in the results of any experiments you carry out. Good luck!

Geraint Hughes
Geraint Hughes
Cromford & High Peak in P4
Danish Railways in P87

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Guy Rixon » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:19 am

Whenever I see a layout in a show and think "nicely lit", it turns out to be lit by fluorescent tubes in the linear form. CFL bulbs work, but not quite as well. LEDs do the job, but I've never seen them give the same feeling of warmth; and I also have this issue in my dining room where LED units have replaced CFLs which in turn replaced GU10 halogen bulbs.

Of course, you could just use GU10 halogen, but care is needed. I saw one layout which had so many GU10s that I literally couldn't stand near it because of the heat. Lovely sunny day in 2mm, needed some scale sun-block.

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Been a little busy lately but have made some progress on the layout:
Built the two bridges for the lane over the river
River bed is now moulded and painted
First pass static grass is in place on the banks
CS-15-6-7.jpg

CS-15-6-8.jpg

CS-15-6-9.jpg

CS-15-6-10.jpg


Also done some design work on the trackplan for the next 2 boards and the buildings for the farmyard (the last empty space on this board). A pdf track plan follows for anyone interested. To the left (Down) is the single line off to what will eventually be Cadhay St Mary Station (and next years boards 4,5 & 6!) and to the right the line runs Up to Sidmouth Junction and the West Of England Line.
Cadhay Sidings Plan2015.pdf
(63.26 KiB) Downloaded 140 times

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jim s-w
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby jim s-w » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:25 pm

Looks great so far.

Jim

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:28 pm

Been laying fence posts this week along with finishing the crossing gates (apart from the underneath mechanism!).
Also added the siding gate and finished the surfacing on the bridge.
Also the 3mm birch ply for baseboard 2 has arrived so next week will see that made up.
Meanwhile:
CS-15-7-1.jpg

CS-15-7-2.jpg

CS-15-7-3.jpg

CS-15-7-4.jpg

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:07 am

Been a bit busy this week but have made a little progress on the "unseen" areas.
The second baseboard is assembled and ready for its track bed to be added
I've made some "proper" legs for the first board. See the photo below. I'm not entirely sure about the height. I've set the under side of the board at 1150 from the floor so by the time you have the board structure the lowest piece of scenery is around 1280mm (you can gauge the height by looking at the door handle in the photo which is roughly 930mm from the floor). I think it is fine for my viewing preference and height (5'9") but I do like to bend down to human perspective level to view a layout. Gauging from layouts seen exhibited, my feeling is it's probably 50 - 100mm too high. Anyone got any thoughts before I build the next set of legs/chop these down and have to build them again!?
CS-15-7-5.jpg

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Noel
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Noel » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:29 am

CDGFife wrote:I do like to bend down to human perspective level to view a layout


Why bend down? It's bad for your back. Why not just put it at whatever level is comfortable for you to view it without having to bend down, which would probably be several inches higher than at present? Iain Rice's 'Woolverstone' was 5ft, which seemed OK to me [and I'm taller than Iain]. Alternatively, you could make it low enough to operate from an armchair, but this may have a downside for maintenance when compared with a higher layout.

If you intend it to be exhibitable, then you may want to compromise on height, especially if you intend to operate from the back, but if it's just for home then your comfort should be paramount.

Noel
Regards
Noel

DougN
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby DougN » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:58 am

We have a BRMA member who set his layout at about the 5ft mark and it has received critical acclaim from every one at has seen it. I personally like he height at you look into the layout rather than down on it. I think there may also be a width function also as you look into the scene so the layout doesn't need to be as wide. The layout that I would like to build is about 2ft wide and set about 4'8" to the scenic section with a proscenium arch about 12ft long so it would be a very letter box view. I think this matches the ideals of Iain Rices layout books and his ideals of small layouts but well executed. Time will tell if I get around to this idea though!
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

David Knight
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby David Knight » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:16 pm

Having exhibited or helped with layout of varying heights I can only say that higher is better. My own layouts (home and display) are 53" above the floor and I'm 6' (ish). You will be the prime person operating and viewing the layout so tailor it to your own needs, your back will thank you!

Cheers,

David

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:16 pm

For exhibiting, I suggest that you envisage the shortest spectator you wish to accommodate easily and scale from there.

E.g., you might want all adults and older children to be able to see without needing steps or periscopes, but younger children and wheelchair users will, regretfully, have to make their own arrangements. "All adults" (who are not midgets) probably means persons 4' 9" or over, to include petite lady visitors. Then subtract the distance from eye level to top of head, say 4" (not sure about this figure). Then subtract the minimum eye-height above track level that they ought to be able to reach without special aids; say 12". That puts your rail level at 41" above the floor: 1,048mm in new money. If you're happy with eye-line 6" above track, that gives 1,194mm. Either way, your 1,280+ mm is a bit too high for this scenario.

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:51 pm

Thanks all for the comments re height. Guy's logic confirms my original gut feeling on putting board onto legs that it's a tad too high. I'm going to start by taking 100mm off the legs and see how that looks. It will still give me a track height of around 1190 but I can always take a little more off if that still looks too high. From a home running point of view the 100mm (even 150mm) won't make much difference practically as it will still be fine for running and I have a set of 750mm horses to set the boards on when I'm working on the scenery. Now track height of less than 900mm would give me backache after a long running session!

Cheers

CDG

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Will L
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Will L » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:05 pm

Backache? I exhibited a layout for 15 years which was at traditional table top hight (3'6"). We used three link couplings too. Nobody who operated it ever complained about backache. Sore feet after 3 days of exhibiting yes, but not backache.

While I appreciate why you might like to look at a layout at eye level, takes you back to a youth misspent at the line side, to fully appreciate a layout of any complexity, I think you need to be able to look down on it. So Knutsford being a relatively simple track plan and quite thin layout could well be mounted hight than it is, but for my money, Tim's Clutton is too high, as you can't really enjoy the sweep of the track work.

Tony M's Ambergate is relatively high high and very complicated, and to get a good look at it you need a step ladder, but as a permanent layout it is still just about possible for the more elderly and infirm to duck under.

I remember watching one layout at Scaleforum 2013 which was displayed quite high. I was both amused, and rather concerned about elfandsafty, by the antics of an operator who found he needed to stand on a chair.

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:59 am

Will L wrote:Backache? I exhibited a layout for 15 years which was at traditional table top hight (3'6"). We used three link couplings too. Nobody who operated it ever complained about backache. Sore feet after 3 days of exhibiting yes, but not backache.


After far too many seasons of chasing a hockey ball around very poor quality astroturf pitches I'm afraid my back and knees are my weak point! Cycling has actually improved the knees but I find I need to be very careful about the back. When I'm doing scenic work the boards sit on the horses with the track level at about 875mm purely so I can reach to work but I can only do this in short bursts of about an hour with a minimum couple of hours between sessions. Sad to say these are timed using the phones alarm. ;) On the odd occasion I've gone considerably over the hour to get a job finished I have paid for it for a week so, notwithstanding the differences in posture of operation versus working on the scenery, I'd be worried that a weekend of operations (at that height) would have me at the physio!!

What is interesting is the varied views on height people have. In contrast to Will's post I have a friend who advocates track level should be at 4' 8 1/2"! Personally the exhibition layouts whose presentation I have enjoyed most have generally been higher rather than lower and that is what I am aiming for, but I'm still going to reduce the current height as my initial reaction was that it was too high.

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Ian Everett
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Ian Everett » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:02 am

Will L wrote:I remember watching one layout at Scaleforum 2013 which was displayed quite high. I was both amused, and rather concerned about elfandsafty, by the antics of an operator who found he needed to stand on a chair.


Ah, layout height. How I love these old staples of the finescale discussion diet. On one occasion my colleague Steve Griffiths got so fed up reaching for the cassettes on the admittedly very high Clecklewyke that he sat on a chair ON A TABLE in order to make life easier. And he's over 6' tall. I think he was making a point.

I confess that I am considering lowering the layout in its permanent home so that it is at eye-level when I'm sitting to operate it but then, I am nearly 70...

As regards under-baseboard access, I always try either to make the boards easy to move so they can be worked on upside down (easy with dioramas like Humber Dock or Royston Vasey) or to have the maintainable bits (point motors etc.) above baseboard level, possibly on a lower shelf which is normally covered by scenery or buildings.

Ian

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:00 pm

Been busy this week working on baseboards and legs:

Second baseboard has been completed using 4mm birch ply. This weighs only 6Kg including the 12mm ply track-beds, which I'm quite pleased with. Believe it or not it also takes my (not inconsiderable) weight!!
Second set of fold flat legs also completed
Boards married up and plaster bandage scenery started (sorry no pics of that yet!)
CS-15-7-6.jpg

CS-15-7-7.jpg

CS-15-7-8.jpg


Next up completion of the plaster bandage and laying track bed, template and then track. Also the small matter of a tandem turnout to construct.

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:57 pm

Been busy on the second board this week

Trackbed is down and have started laying sleepers/timbering and ballasting
Some rail laid on the running line and across the board joint
Also some scenic work on the cuttings and riverbank and a new stone wall
Finally I've now ordered the timber for Baseboard C which should be with me this week

CS-15-8-1.jpg
General view of Board B (New wall in foreground)

CS-15-8-2.jpg
Looking down the boards from A to B

CS-15-8-3.jpg
Scenic detailing on the riverbank started

CS-15-8-4.jpg
Baseboard joint (having been parted and reconnected) just to the left of the 3 rocks

CS-15-8-5.jpg
Board B showing where I ran out of chairs!! (More now arrived)

David Knight
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby David Knight » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:46 pm

You're doing a wonderful job :thumb (apart from making me think I should tear my layout out and start over :cry: )

Cheers,

David

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Mike Garwood » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:09 pm

I really like that, looks great fun.

Mike

dal-t
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby dal-t » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:15 pm

I have always thought that building the track through the landscape - like the real thing - was the best way to go, rather than the traditional sequence of putting all the permanent way down first, then adding (or even starting to think about!) the surrounding terrain. Thanks for showing how well it can work (he mutters, as he goes back to making off-board track panels - but they are only for a (non-scenic) test track).
David L-T

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:10 pm

With the first board, I put in the contours on the timber formers and then the track base but then laid the track. When I came to add the modroc/plaster bandage for the landform, I made a bit of a mess of my nicely ballasted track!! Hence with this board I thought I'd get all the landform done then lay the track. In general I think this has worked out fine, although would be more difficult (although not impossible) to arrange where there are bridges involved. I will definitely do it this way going forward.

I've always had a landscape in my mind/plan and I'm definitely of the opinion that not much real railway exists (especially in the countryside) on a flat baseboard, hence the design of this type of baseboard to easily allow for cuttings and embankments!!

Incidentally, whilst I'm laying all my plain track completely in-situ, some of the P&C (e.g. crossing Vs and points) is built as sub-assemblies on a template and transferred to the timbering as per Howard Bolton. Should have some pictures of this soon as the next bit to be done is the 3 way turnout!

Chris

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CDGFife
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby CDGFife » Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:07 pm

Another busy week on the layout!

Added some more to the board 2 running line. It's now as far as I can get till Board 3 is ready for track!
Talking of Board 3 the timber is here and most of it has been cut to size. Just need to machine and assemble.
Also been busy working on the 3 way turnout:
CS-15-8-6.jpg
The four sub-assemblies are more or less complete (shown here parted for clarity)

CS-15-8-7.jpg
And shown here roughly in place on the desk template

CS-15-8-8.jpg
And here's the trackbed ready and waiting

Knuckles
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Knuckles » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:13 pm

This layout is really grabbing my interest. The rolling grass and bridges give it a very expansive feel.
The 3 way turnout interests me too as I'd like to build one at some point but it looks a bit scary. Knowing what rail to gauge another off could be a bit of a mental chess game if you don't know how. Most complex bit of rail I have done is a single slip and that took a lot of working out.

Good luck on the rest of the build. :) Looking great so far.
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Steve Carter
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Steve Carter » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:41 pm

I'm really looking forward to seeing this at Scaleforum Chris.

Keep up the good work.
Steve Carter

Terry Bendall
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Re: Finally Made A Start in P4!

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:28 am

Knuckles wrote:The 3 way turnout interests me too as I'd like to build one at some point but it looks a bit scary. Most complex bit of rail I have done is a single slip and that took a lot of working out.


Building a three way turnout is probably no more difficult than doing a single slip. I described how to make one using Exactoscale components in Scalefour News 169, available on our site for those who do not have a copy. The article includes mention of a couple of pitfalls to avoid in the order of assembly of the common crossings I have recently built a second one using the same techniques for use on the new board for Ravenscroft Sidings and that will be on show at Scaleforum this year.

Terry Bendall


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