Kites Croft

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
the fatadder

Kites Croft

Postby the fatadder » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:56 pm

I am currently working towards building the stock for a large continuous run layout aiming for an accurate model of Cheddar set in 1947/48. However before work can start on construction, I need to prepare the garage (which the layout is going to have to share with the Spitfire).

Given the cost involved in the planned new doors, insulation etc (along with wanting to get a window put into the side wall), its going to be a few years until I can start. (With saving for the wedding taking priority at the moment, along with decorating the new house)

In the mean time I have already taken over most of Bedroom 4 to store all the boxes of model bits, along with the workbench. My intention is to build a much smaller layout (I have something like 12ft by 1ft6 to play with)
This will not only give me somewhere to play trains until Cheddar gets up and running, but will also give a good test track operateable from the workbench.

Looking through the Cheddar branch books, I quite liked the look of Draycott as a minimal space concept. The addition of an extra siding gives a bit more interest, and a DCC controled treverser on each end will ensure the finished layout can be controlled from my seat at the workbench rather than needing to keep walking up and down the room moving treversers.

This thread on Rmweb describes the basic concept of the treverser ... ge__st__50
Discussing it with Dave at work today (having found out yesterday that he was in fact the guy sitting opposite me at work!), and our thoughts were that with the addition of a relay operated pin to lock it into position, his treverser design appears to give enough accuracy to work in P4. Experiments will follow in due course.

My intention is to build the scenic baseboads over the Christmas shutdown, and get some track laid. (making use of a couple of P4Track co points which are currently in the scrap box)
The other 2 points will need to be built, likely from scratch given the current availability/cost increases.

I also have a decent stock of Exactoscale track bases (of the type you just thread rail onto), which I will probably use (saving the bags of Exactoscale chairs / sleepers for Cheddar)

An evenings rough work on Templot has given this plan
project plan.JPG

The perpendicular line will be a working wagon turntable (with some sort of winch system to pull the wagon into a building)

All buildings will be in the style of the branch, and I want to try a few other bits (I really want to have working point rodding, though it may be a step too far...)
Last edited by the fatadder on Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alan Turner
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Re: Draycott Plus

Postby Alan Turner » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:18 am

MERG do what they call a turntable controller. It's actually a stepper motor controller, which you could use for this project if you didn't want to go down the Arduino route.

I don't think you will need any positive registration for the table. You will find that the stepper motor will provide sufficient registration on its own.



the fatadder

Re: Draycott Plus

Postby the fatadder » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:27 pm

A little more design work,

The basic outline of the station building (following the branch's standard operating procedure of being over the top in size for the station it serves.) The model is based on that of Axebridge, shrank by a reasonable amount to get a better fit with the layout.

The signal box I am still undecided on, as to whether it will be a GW standard design, Saxby & farmer (again probably following Axebridge), or a small wooden building based on Draycott or Wookey. The latter would be more accurate, but the former would be more interesting...

The goods shed outline is based on Wookey (or Cheddar / Lodge Hill etc)

Still undecided on the bridge as to whether it will be crossing a river, or road, If I go for a river I will likely add a road bridge (based on that at Wookey) over the station end, with trees on the river bank either side of the bridge to act as the scenic break at the other end

The building next to the station, again is undecided. In practice its not going to be the most useful bit operating wise as lack of room behind the layout at home will limit the spur to one wagon length. A small local brewery is my current favourite

The area in front of the station may have the back of a couple of cottages, or a wider part of the yard.

Another thing I am tempted to incorporate (again further stretching the realism), is to have the end of a 2ft gauge narrow gauge branch from a quarry into a transfer shed, my thinking here is that one day I fancy modelling a bit of L&B, and it would be nice to have a bit of a test track as part of the project. Will have a bit more of a think on that line.

The latest cad drawing, exported from Templot
draycott plus 1.JPG

Unfortunately a trip to B&Q today to buy baseboad materials was a bit of a let down due to no suitable board in stock, so will have to try again at another branch tomorrow...

the fatadder

Re: Draycott Plus

Postby the fatadder » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:58 pm

I have now sourced the foam for the baseboards, which has resulted in the need to reduce the length slightly, while adding 100mm to the width (in order that each baseboard matches the dimensions of the foam board.
I have yet to find a local (to Berkeley) suppler of decent quality 5mm ply, so have yet to be able to build the baseboards. Rather than my original plan of building a 4inch deep frame of 5mm ply around the edge of the foam board, I have decided that I will build the backsceen integrated to the sub frame. Once done, this will then get curved corners added to finish it off.

My plans to get the track plan printed off today on an A0 sheet were a bit of a let down after finding that the printer was broken, so instead I have printed it off on A3 sheets. Being a bit too lazy to look up the correct method of doing it (and wanting my CAD outlines of the platforms etc), I plotted the Autocad file to an A0 pdf and then printed onto A3 as tiles. The accuracy is there, but as its not optimised to the drawing there are a lot of templates positioned over paper joints (so not ideal for track building.)

Unfortunately my printer is not windows 7 compatible and has to use a HP work around to connect, unfortunately while every other program on the computer is happy to recognise this Templot doesnt. So next time I am in Devon I will print the templot file using my parents printer....

Still debating as to whether to use steel or HiNi rail, the former will mean that I have 2 A6 points already, so just need some B7s (which may or maynot be P4TC dependent on the price rise.)

The other work has been a start on the goods shed. This is loosely based on Lodge Hill, although its dimensions owe a lot to Ratio.

The loading platform is from a Ratio kit, this has had 10mm removed from the width and length in order to better match my plan. the width was again determined by the Ratio roof trusses.

The ends and loading side are now complete (ready for cladding in the embossed sheet), the next job is to cut the windows in the 80 thou front side, along with adding the gooves for the trusses to sit into.
On the loading side there is a full length canopy integral to the main roof following Lodge Hill,
Tempted to go the whole hog with the Bristol & Exeter style fancy ends to the roof rather than the plane ones as per lodge hill, though unsure as to how exactly. I will certainly help place the layout (and the station building will definitely need them)

Finally a couple of photos, showing the left hand board with the track plan laid on and buildings in position (along with 5512 with a short set of Collett Coaches), a Mallard Siphon J in the strawberry siding, and a coal wagon in the other siding. Apologies for the poor quality phone photos, the transformer for the light in the model room blew as I was working, so the next best place for photo taking was in bed 3 (the only room in the house with one of those awful energy saving lightbulbs!)

photo 3.JPG

photo 4.JPG

edit: forgot to add, the part built signal box is a left over from another project placed on the platform in one of the two potential signal box positions. The other potential location would be on the other baseboard.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Draycott Plus

Postby Martin Wynne » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:27 pm

the fatadder wrote:Unfortunately my printer is not windows 7 compatible and has to use a HP work around to connect, unfortunately while every other program on the computer is happy to recognise this Templot doesn't. So next time I am in Devon I will print the templot file using my parents printer....

Hi Richard,

Export a PDF file from Templot and then print it using a PDF reader program (Adobe Reader, Nitro Reader, Foxit Reader, PDF-XChange Viewer). All free, and at least one must surely access your printer. Make sure you set page scaling: none on the print dialog for the PDF reader -- this is not the default setting.

In Templot -- output > export a file... menu item.

40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

the fatadder

Re: Draycott Plus

Postby the fatadder » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:02 pm

Thanks Martin,

I will give that a go in the morning.

the fatadder

Re: Draycott Plus

Postby the fatadder » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Thanks to Martin's advice, I now have the templates for the point work printed off. Once I make a decision on the point construction method, I can get started building them off baseboard.

I have also made much more progress on the good shed, the basic structure formed from a mix of 80 and 60 thou plasticard along with ratio components for the main trusses. I would welcome any input on what other wood work aught to be included. Should there be something connecting the trusses?

The next job is to clad the outside in embossed plastic, looking at photos and comparing to Slatters and Southeasten Finecast neither is a good match. The prototype has fairly uniform rectangular stone blocks of varying sizes. Slatters do a good stone block, but the size is too regular, whereas SEF have the random size stones but they are very irregular. The third option (scribe it myself) isn't really an option at the moment (though may be something that I will try in the future).
Given that I currently have some of it, I am starting to tend towards the SEF option,

Another area I am unsure on is how to finish the insides, would they have rendered the inner walls or left them as bare stone.
photo 2.JPG

Armchair Modeller

Re: Draycott Plus

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:30 pm

Wills do some dressed stone, but the sheets are quite thick and difficult to match end to end with the next piece. See photo here. ... uct_id=236

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Ian Everett
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Re: Draycott Plus

Postby Ian Everett » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:08 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:Wills do some dressed stone, but the sheets are quite thick and difficult to match end to end with the next piece. See photo here. ... uct_id=236

I disagree. Wills sheets are cleverly designed to enable them to be joined. Just trim the ends or tops/bottoms using a craft knife to remove the moulding tabs then smooth them by rubbing on a big file or sandpaper on a smooth surface.

Join with solvent, reinforcing the joint with offcuts.

Iain Rice's Wild Swan book, Plastic Structure Kits - see ... 0906867711

- gives more details.

Good luck


the fatadder

Re: Draycott Plus

Postby the fatadder » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:42 pm

Thanks for the pointer, though again it looks a bit to uniform for what I am trying to achieve.

This photo (Creative common licence via Wikipedia) shows the desired effect

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Re: Draycott Plus

Postby DougN » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:07 pm

You have asked the question should the trusses be connected in some way. As the goods shed dates from the period of heavy trusssing, probably not. The top chords (OK bit of terminiology, top chord is the upper members ie going up hill on the very top, like wise the bottom chord is the bottom in this case going horrizontally between the walls. Then the bits between are the webs) will have battens running the lenght of the building to pick up the roof material. You could probably drop these as they will be smaller. Occationally though in the goods shed you "may" have lifting beams suspended on the trusses. These would be frowned on as the trusses are there to hold up the roof not as lifting points.

I hope that helps.
Still not doing enough modelling

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Re: Draycott Plus

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:02 am

Have a good look through this topic,, a lot of good links in it.
Many goods sheds had cranes with a top bearing in the roof trusses, and these needed cross bracing at the bearing level.
Grovenor Sidings

John Palmer
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Re: Draycott Plus

Postby John Palmer » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:08 am

Another possibility for your stonework is Peco N scale stone sheets:,3310&CAT_ID=3311&P_ID=16878. I've seen these used to good effect in 4mm scale representations of buildings built from Mendip limestone (e.g. Bath Extension station buildings on the S&D), and we used it for part of the platform on Avon & Somerset Group's model of Burnham.

You probably already know that the goods shed and station building remain intact at Axbridge, alongside the town's bypass.

Armchair Modeller

Re: Draycott Plus

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:15 am

Wills also do a more random sheet - see ... tic-sheets

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Re: Draycott Plus

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:08 pm

the fatadder wrote:I have now sourced the foam for the baseboards, which has resulted in the need to reduce the length slightly, while adding 100mm to the width (in order that each baseboard matches the dimensions of the foam board.

And I have a pack of three of those stashed in the back of the garage that I have every intent of doing something with in the New Year. As they say, watch this space...

Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!


Re: Kites Croft

Postby GMaslin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:20 pm

It's been over 18 months since anybody added to this topic so maybe nobody will ever see this, but I thought I'd add my two penn'th (if that's how ypou spell it).

I found this topic while searching for Arduino and this is the only thing that came up. I have recently acquired the unfinished Saffron Walden layout started by the Cambridge S4 group nearly 20 years ago and abandoned about 13 years ago. I reckon it'll be at least 10 years work to get it nearly finished, but it'll keep me out of the wife's hair.

Anyway, I intend to install an electrically operated turntable and considered several options. A synchronous motor out of a dishwasher timer nearly came out as the winner but at 5 rpm it still needed a bit of gearing down and I was trying to avoid any gearbox building, also it was 240V which I wanted to avoid on the layout. So I decided to try the stepper motor route. I bought five small stepper motors on ebay for less than a tenner including postage. These came without any instructions so I had to do a bit of research on how to drive a stepper motor. This then sent me down the Arduino sidestreet as this promised to be the quickest way of getting the stepper going at an appropriate speed and so I bought an Arduino Chinese clone including an E3 upgrade kit for about 30 quid including postage and within a day I had the stepper motor running at a realistically slow speed. I hasten to add that prior to buying the Arduino I had only the vaguest idea of the workings of a stepper motor and I'd never seen an Arduino either.

After the success with the turntable drive I then thought maybe the Arduino/stepper combination would also be ideal for powering a rotating ground signal which needed to turn through 90 degrees one way and then 90 degrees the other. With my new found stepper motor expertise I managed to achieve this in half an hour. I then thought I could probably reprogram it to operate a semaphore signal with built-in bounce. This was also a success. I got it going in 30 minutes and but then spent another hour and a half tweaking it until I was happy with its realism. I've tried to attach an AVI file of it in operation but the system won't let me

If anybody is interested in the hardware or software for these stepper motor solutions, or wants to see the AVI I'll gladly share them.

The other interesting thing about this topic is fatadder's use of polyurethane foam for baseboards. I built one experimental board from 25mm Celotex foam edged with 50mm x 3mm ply for stiffnes which looked very promising, but I never got beyond the one board. Is there a consensus of opinion on this approach? Also is there any format I can use to attach my little movie?

Graham Maslin

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Will L
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Re: Kites Croft

Postby Will L » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:23 pm

GMaslin wrote:... Also is there any format I can use to attach my little movie?

Usual way is to post it on youtube first, then attach it to a forum posting using the "youtub" button in the "post a reply" window. Hover over the button and it explains what needs to be done.


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Mike Garwood
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Re: Kites Croft

Postby Mike Garwood » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:54 pm

As a side point...if you enjoy Bernie Baker's 'Alt-y-Graban Road', that has it's boards all made of the same stuff. Having been one of the skeptics over Bernie using this material. I have been amazed at the way in which the material has coped with temperature changes. The layout is stored in Bernie's garage - no heating or insulation. Very impressed with it, to the extent that that is what Hengoed High Level will be going on....once my daughter moves out of the room it's going in!
Anyway, if you were to PM Bernie, he'd probably take and send some photos of his way of doing things.

Just a thought...


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