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entry 16 Dec 2009, 23:50
It's a hoary old cliche that "a model railway is never finished", but I wonder in how many cases that's because you start another one before finishing the first...

In my case I was mulling over what to do with some Setrack and buildings "left over" from my main layout Windmill Hill (i.e. stuff I'd purchased early on without much thought as to where it was actually going to go...what was that about planning being the most important aspect of building a layout?) when I was inspired by Ron North's excellent Littleworth Sidings (Hornby Magazine issue 30). I figured I could make a similar little shunting layout for my nine year old for next to nothing. Although the operating potential would be limited, it would be easy to store and could even be expanded at a future date by the construction of additional scenic baseboards or fiddle yards...

So, after spending a few quid at my local Wickes on a 4' 2' sheet of 6 mm ply, some 40 20 mm planed softwood battens, some 3 mm hardboard and some 1' square cork tiles (the most expensive item, actually) I spent the next few nights constructing a baseboard 4' long 18" deep, with a 6" high backscene. (It was originally going to have higher backscene, but keeping it at 6" made it possible to stand the whole thing on its end in the built-in cupboard of my lad's room, thus keeping the boss happy!)

I originally laid out the track and buildings like this:

...but decided on removing the middle siding as it actually left less space for rolling stock, and turned the track diagonally to allow the placement of a goods shed on the siding nearest the viewer if desired:

After a bit more scenic work (including static grass!) it looked like this:

The tunnel portal is a Metcalfe kit; the station platform is a Superquick kit; the station building is Hornby Skaledale and the Setrack, level crossing and signal box are all Hornby. Ballast is mixture of various fine grades and tracks have been painted with Railmatch rust and seeper grime colours. Locos are the Hornby class 08 and Jinty from the Mixed Goods set, de-chipped as they never ran very well on DCC anyway.

All of this stuff was going spare; apart from the timber, the only extra things I had to buy were the point motors and a Gaugemaster Combi controller.

I really enjoyed building the layout (in fact I wish I had built my main one to the same standard, instaed of being lazy and simply building it on 6' long 1" thick solid pine IKEA table tops - just have to make sure I never move house!) and Douglas loved doing the modroc. He actually also seems quite keen on playing with it - I hope that's not just to please me! He operates the controller and points and I do the uncoupling. He's even dragged me off to the local model railway shop to buy cars!

There's plenty I'd still like to do: road signs and markings, people, vehicles, trees, walls, etc. etc. I also need to find some sort of push fit multi-connector so that the controller (which also powers the point solenoids directly - nothing as sophisticated as CDUs yet!) can be removed from the scenic area and just be plugged in when required. There's also space for two Hornby cottages (the plastic trackside ones), but I think I will try to tart them up with some brick card or similar as they are rather toy-like out of the box...

Now I'd better get back to Windmill Hill.

The boss has actually been very accommodating, considering that in addition to the two layouts we have also recently built two 3' 2' Warhammer 40k dioramas!

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post 17 Dec 2009, 18:48
Comment #1

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Very nice thumbsup.gif

Thanks for posting this


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post 17 Dec 2009, 23:32
Comment #2

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dribble.gif VERY impressive layout sir. Lets hope the lad follows in your footsteps and who knows, maybe we'll see one of HIS little 'setups' which he constructed with his ideas and your assistance. ... wink.gif
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